Greek News

Letter from the Director

The Fraternal Movement
Anita Cory, M.S.Ed
Director, Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life

Kappa Theta, Ophite, Sigma, Beta Alpha, the Tolo Club, Phi Alpha Epsilon, Theta Kappa, and Pi Delta Phi may not be familiar names to many of our readers.  Whether or not you are familiar with these names, can you deduce what they have in common?   If you guessed they are the names of the first five local men s fraternities and three local women s sororities at the State College of Washington to become chartered as national fraternities and sororities you are correct.

  • Kappa Theta became Gamma Nu of Kappa Sigma in 1909
  • Ophite became Delta Iota of Sigma Nu in 1910
  • Sigma became WA Gamma of Alpha Tau Omega in 1911
  • Beta Alpha became WA Alpha of Sigma Phi Epsilon in 1912
  • The Tolo Club became Tau Zeta of Lambda Chi Alpha in 1914
  • Phi Alpha Epsilon became WA Beta of Pi Beta Phi in 1912
  • Theta Kappa became Upsilon of Alpha Delta Pi in 1912
  • Pi Delta Phi became Alpha Sigma of Kappa Alpha Theta in 1913

Can you imagine the excitement the members of that day between 1909 and 1914 felt as they became founding fathers and founding sisters of chapters?  Surely you share the pride they would feel today knowing that the legacy they began a century ago has continued to this day! 

This is indeed an exciting year!  Washington State Universitys first national fraternity, Kappa Sigma, celebrated its century milestone in the spring of 2009.  The entire Greek Community will mark and celebrate this once in a lifetime occurrence this fall with a week of activities. You can read more about this event in our article on the Greek Centennial.

Today, in a vastly different campus environment and American society, Greek alumni and students share the belief in the value of fraternity/sorority membership for undergraduates.  Our experiences as undergraduate Greek students shaped us into the men and women we are today.  Collectively, we believe the fraternal experience is still relevant, is still worthwhile, and is still a value added experience for college students.  However, we cannot presume our fraternal experience is the same as todays college student.  The fraternal movement has always experienced times of favor and times when a lack of interest prevailed.  We invite you to reflect, engage and participate in the thoughtful discussion with many of todays fraternity/sorority leaders, both students and alumni. 

This fall, we will continue the tradition of hosting a Greek Alumni Dialogue on Homecoming Weekend and other dialogues in cities around the state this fall and early next spring.  Please look for more information about dates/times in the form of an invitation that will be sent to all alumni!


We invite you to celebrate with us this fall, and look forward to seeing you then!

Interfraternally yours,

Anita Cory
Director, Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life