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  #1  
Old 11-11-2005, 03:51 PM
sdbeta1 sdbeta1 is offline
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Selection of Chapter Names

Does anyone know of any history regarding the selection of names for chapters? The next colony to be chartered will receive Zeta Omega, and I suppose Eta Alpha will be afterwards. I do believe San Diego and Loyola Marymount are on track for these two designations.

I've also noticed there are several chapters which don't follow the naming convention, such as Tau Sigma at Iowa State and Theta Zeta at Toronto. Does anyone know how these chapters went about receiving these letters?
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2005, 04:28 PM
ZZ-kai- ZZ-kai- is offline
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I do recall reading about this somewhere, I believe the explanation is in the Pledge Manual.....
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  #3  
Old 11-11-2005, 04:59 PM
a.e.B.O.T. a.e.B.O.T. is offline
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The list of chapters were rearranged with during the 1847,1848, and 1854 convention to cover over dead chapters. In 1858, they made an attempt to stop this, but it was not always followed. In 1865, they had used all 24 letters, so they decided to double up the letters, calling new chapters 'alpha alpha' or 'beta beta' ... all the way up to 'mu mu.' In 1872, they decided to change that, because the names would just get bigger and bigger. So, they dropped the first letter of the chapters with double letters, and changed them to alpha. So, Howard was Alpha Mu, and this would work for 600 chapters. Then between 1880- 1913 the order of the greek alphabet was disregarded. Instead, the chapters chose names with local significance, like Theta Zeta. However, in 1913, they got back on track and went in a strict alphabetical order.

Last edited by a.e.B.O.T.; 11-11-2005 at 06:18 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-11-2005, 05:03 PM
DoctorThursday DoctorThursday is offline
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Originally, the letters showed the order, just as the chapters in (say) the Iliad: Alpha indicated "chapter one", Beta was "chapter two" and so forth. That was fine for the first 24 chapters, but when Omega had been assigned to the (short-lived) Naval Academy chapter, the chapters decided to double the letters, so Monmouth was Alpha Alpha, Iowa was Beta Beta, and so forth... I seem to recall there was an interesting situation about Zeta Zeta which I hope our ZZ-kai- brother will explain... then (in the great year 1872!) they revised the scheme again, and changed all the two-letter names so that the first letter was Alpha (thus Iowa became Alpha Beta).

Then there was the "low-name-hunt" - I think Hanna (or was it Chandler) tells about this... and chapters tried to get the names of defunct chapters, which is how there was some shuffling, and how Stevens got Sigma and Penn got Phi and the re-chartered Davidson had to accept "Phi Alpha" (the "first" Phi)... lots of intricate history to tell here, but I don't have the books nearby. There were also a handful of chapters where they were permitted to use some local designation, such as Mu Epsilon at Wesleyan and Zeta Phi at Missouri and Tau Sigma at Iowa State... the rules were changed again, and strict order has been maintained, except there have been one or two odd cases even recently - upon my recommendation the General Secretary proposed and the convention ratified Priceton to be given an out-of-order name (Theta Epsilon) to suggest her ancient identity.

As I recall, much of this is detailed in Shep's Beta Book, which you should consult for the correct information - as the years have run on since J Cal and George M. and Shep and I used to hang out and talk about Greek...

"In days of yore on a Greecian shore..."
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Old 11-11-2005, 05:07 PM
DoctorThursday DoctorThursday is offline
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I think a.e.b.o.t. means 600 not 60... 24 with one letter, 576 with two letters. There is also the special case of Western Reserve (which had been Beta) and Case (which had been Lambda Kappa) and when the chapters were finally merged, it was "Lambda Kappa Beta"

For extra credit, what was the only other merger, and what is the name of the existing chapter?
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  #6  
Old 11-11-2005, 05:40 PM
ZZ-kai- ZZ-kai- is offline
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Good point Doc. Zeta Zeta was also an old alumni association designation. Off the top of my head, I recall either Chicago or Kentucky somewhere....wow, I really gotta brush up....
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  #7  
Old 11-14-2005, 01:00 AM
RACooper RACooper is offline
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Re: Selection of Chapter Names

Quote:
Originally posted by sdbeta1
Does anyone know of any history regarding the selection of names for chapters? The next colony to be chartered will receive Zeta Omega, and I suppose Eta Alpha will be afterwards. I do believe San Diego and Loyola Marymount are on track for these two designations.

I've also noticed there are several chapters which don't follow the naming convention, such as Tau Sigma at Iowa State and Theta Zeta at Toronto. Does anyone know how these chapters went about receiving these letters?
Sorry to bud in... but I can tell you that Theta Zeta was the name for the local that preceeded the Beta Theta Pi chapter - or so I've been told.
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  #8  
Old 11-14-2005, 01:31 AM
sdbeta1 sdbeta1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by DoctorThursday
There is also the special case of Western Reserve (which had been Beta) and Case (which had been Lambda Kappa) and when the chapters were finally merged, it was "Lambda Kappa Beta"

For extra credit, what was the only other merger, and what is the name of the existing chapter?
I have searched for the other merger to no avail. Any chance for the answer?
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  #9  
Old 11-14-2005, 09:51 AM
ZZ-kai- ZZ-kai- is offline
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I have a few guesses, one that stands out would be Delta Eta, at Kettering University. I was always intrigued by how that chapter ran an A and a B section to their chapter/house. It seems to me that two schools merged, and most fraternities are set up similar to the Beta chapter there....

Either that, or EMI-GMI (we're inactive there). It just sounds like two schools merged!
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2005, 08:07 PM
DoctorThursday DoctorThursday is offline
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No, it's not GMI-EMI (aka Kettering), though that chapter did have a very interesting status for some time (again I do not know her current state) - basically it was two chapters at one school, paralleling the two student bodies. They had two delegates to the convention but only one vote.

An aside: Of course in the OLD days there were as many delegates from a chapter as there were members, but the vote was on a CHAPTER basis - that is, regardless of the number attending, a chapter could cast only one vote (so her members had to come to some agreement about each ballot question!)

So - do you really need a hint? Or are you all merely away from your books?
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  #11  
Old 11-14-2005, 11:53 PM
ZZ-kai- ZZ-kai- is offline
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Ha Ha Doc., you persuaded me to dust off the Faithful Home from my newly designated 'Library' in my unfinished basement and bring it bedside tonight for a little nighttime reading. It took me but 15 seconds to get the answer, but I won't divulge it at the moment. I will however, drop a hint.

This chapter (or chapters prior to merger in 1865) holds a record that still stands today, not only throughout our Domain, but also in the whole Greek world.

And Zeta Zeta was delegated to the Nashville Alumni Chapter in 1868, but in 1870, 'Zeta Zeta' was delegated to the Chicago Chapter and the Nashville Alumni Chapter was changed to Nashville Beta Alumni.

* * *
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  #12  
Old 11-15-2005, 12:20 AM
Betarulz! Betarulz! is offline
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I knew the answer to the merger...that's a simple one, even with out ZZ's hint.


As for the odd names...Like RACooper said, most were the names of locals that got to keep them for the old timers.

Some others that I know of, offhand.

Missouri, Kansas State, and Iowa State, as well as the aforementioned Toronto chapter.



As for the Kettering situation. They are really two separate chapters, with no overlap in membership. At UIFI, I got to talk with the woman (an extremely nice AGD) that at the time was their Director of Greek Affairs. The students there go to class for half the year and half the year work at internships. You're pretty much set on a very strict schedule, with no opportunity to meet people who are in the other session. She said that Beta was one of the few chapters she worked with in which the two sections actually got along. Some chapters had major problems between the sections...one of the wierdest things I'd ever heard. But yeah, they share the same house I think, but have independent budgets, different personalities, and traditions. I thought it was wild.
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  #13  
Old 11-15-2005, 01:18 AM
Coramoor Coramoor is offline
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That's pretty cool.
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  #14  
Old 11-15-2005, 01:43 AM
ECUJacob ECUJacob is offline
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Our chapter counselor is from Kettering B... and you're all right. They are treated as if they are two separate chapters (because in all actuality, they are two chapters). He has some WILD stories about his undergraduate experience there.

I need to buy a copy of Shep's book(s) because I feel like I'm the only one on here who doesn't know as much as I should about Beta.
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  #15  
Old 11-15-2005, 08:45 AM
DoctorThursday DoctorThursday is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ECUJacob
I feel like I'm the only one on here who doesn't know as much as I should about Beta.
Well, to be honest, I think we all feel the same way... There sure are a LOT of things I would like to know.

And, it will probably sound strange to you, but I'm still looking for the meaning of the Three Stars...

Did you know it is said that Shep KNEW one HALF of all Betas?
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