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University of Chicago

Chi Chapter

University of Chicago
Founded: May 15, 1920
Status: In-Active


Chapter History

The University of Chicago was incorporated as a coeducational, secular institution in 1890 by the American Baptist Education Society and supported by a donation from John D. Rockefeller on land donated by Marshall Field. It succeeded an earlier Baptist affiliated University of Chicago which had closed in 1886 during a national financial crisis.

On February 22, 1898 a local fraternity known as Washington House made its debut at the University of Chicago. These were the patriotic days of the Spanish American War. One of the alumni of the Washington House, Harold F. Mac Neish, Yale '12, joined Alpha Sigma Phi at Yale while doing graduate work there. He led Washington House to petition Alpha Sigma Phi for a charter in 1913. The petition was not accepted, but work between the groups continued, and a successful petition was submitted in 1919. Nathan Van Stone, Michigan '10, was advisor to the colony in 1919-20, and served as installing officer.

The Washington House was installed as Chi Chapter on May 15, 1920. It was initially housed at 5532 Kenwood Avenue, but moved in 1922 to 5635 University Avenue. In 1935, with fewer students able to afford fraternity affiliation, and a growing preponderance of graduate students at the University, operations of Chi Chapter were suspended.

In 1923, a charter was granted to Beta Chapter of Phi Pi Phi at the University of Chicago. In 1924 the chapter's address was 923 E. Sixtieth Street. In Spring 1929 it moved to a new house at 5643 Dorchester Avenue. In 1932 the chapter moved into a residence hall suite on campus, and in 1934 it left campus for a house at 5756 Kimbark Avenue. Beta of Phi Pi Phi ranked first in academic performance for four successive terms in 1929-31, and took permanent possession of the University of Chicago fraternity scholarship trophy. The chapter continued to have the leading grade point average among campus fraternities in 1932-34.

In the Fall of 1948 a reactivation committee was formed, but efforts to revive Chi Chapter were unsuccessful. The chapter initiated 192 members and an additional 17 Phi Pi Phi's are enrolled on the Chi Chapter Roster.

George H. MacDonald, Chicago '20, served on the Grand Council of Alpha Sigma Phi. He and five other Chicago Chapter alumni have received the Delta Beta Xi Award.

Submitting Changes to the Chapter's History: Any member of the fraternity and/or chapter is welcome to submit a request to update/change/correct information listed within the chapter history portion of this page. Submissions will be accepted in two ways: Should a correction need to be made, please submit the entire sentence/paragraph that needs to be updated with the correction highlighted in yellow or in a different color. If something new or updated needs to be added, please submit the entire sentence/paragraph that needs to be added and/or revised with the new or added information highlighted in yellow or in a different color.

This information should be submitted to where it will be reviewed by Fraternity Staff and/or the Grand Historian. Your submission will not be acknowledged unless it has been added to the website. It is very important that the chapter's history accurately and objectively reflect the chapter, so all corrections, additions, revisions should be reviewed by other members of your chapter/colony before they are submitted for consideration.

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