Delta Sigma Phi National History

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Inspired by the principle of universal brotherhood of man, the development of Delta Sigma Phi can be traced back to the City College of New York. A group of college undergrads who started meeting informally soon amassed the courage and boldness to form their own fraternity.

These young men, some who new each other from public school, wished to keep their friendships intact through college--joining a fraternity was the obvious answer. The group, a mix of Jewish and Christian young men, would collectively have been denied entrance to other fraternities because of a bar on mixed religions.

Based on their beliefs of brotherhood, these men formed their own fraternity on December 10, 1899. The Greek words they used for symbols were Delta, Sigma, and Phi. The chapter was called Insula (later renamed Alpha) from the Greek Insularis because the chapter is located in Manhattan.

The second chapter of Delta Sigma Phi was established at Columbia University in 1901, but was not official instated until 1902. Columbia’s chapter was named Morningside (later renamed Beta) because of its location in Morningside Heights.

Delta Sigma Phi was formally incorporated in New York City on December 2, 1902. Five members of Insula (Alpha) chapter signed the incorporation papers.

Meyer Boskey, Insula chapter, drafted the fraternity’s laws; the laws require open membership to all college men of quality. The same year Delta Sigma Phi's purpose was written, the purpose is: “to fulfill the desire of serious young college men for a fellowship of brotherhood, as near a practical working ideal as possible not fettered with too many traditional prejudices and artificial standards of membership and accompanied by a clean, pure, and honorable chapter home life.”

Delta Sigma Phi’s principles are “friendship and brotherhood among college men, without respect to race and creed.”

The founding ideals inspired the expansion of many other chapters. Today Delta Sigma Phi has more than 120 chapters around the United States.



Dr. Charles A Tonsor Jr. and Meyer Boskey