Marietta College


Marietta, OH

On recommendation of a former Marietta College student Frank H. Bosworth, Alpha 1859, several of his friends remaining at Marietta College applied for a charter in Alpha Sigma Phi. The charter was granted to operate as Delta Chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi on June 30, 1860. There was no class fraternity system at Marietta College, and the chapter took its members from all classes. All but one of the chapter’s charter members, and over 80% of its initiates through 1864, entered military service during the Civil War. The War severely tested the Chapter, but its survived and thrived through the 1870’s and 1880’s.

From 1864 until its suspension by Alpha Sigma Phi in 1993, the Delta Chapter at Marietta College was the oldest continuously active chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi. From 1864 until Summer 1907, Delta Chapter was the Mother Chapter, and governed the fraternity. From 1920 until 1993, Delta Chapter was the oldest active fraternity on the Marietta College Campus. The “Sig Bust” or alumni reunion, usually held during commencement week, has been a tradition at Delta Chapter since the early 1860’s.

After the Civil War the chapter rented halls for its meetings and events. The halls were known as “Whittlesey Hall” in memory of a bequest to the chapter of his sword and $100.00 by alumnus William Beale Whittlesey, Marietta 1861, who was killed at the Battle of Missionary Ridgein the Civil War. In the nineteenth century, inter-fraternity raids and hijinks were common, and were destructive of the records and property of the Chapter. The modern initiation ritual of Alpha Sigma Phi, based on the core from Louis Manigault at Alpha, was put in substantially its present form by Delta Chapter in 1875.

In 1864, when Epsilon Chapter ceased operation and Alpha Chapter was abolished by the Yale faculty, Delta Chapter approached each of the Yale Junior Fraternities seeking a chapter. At the time, however, those fraternities were concerned with restoring their war weakened chapters, restoring inactive chapters, and they saw little value in adding a four year old organization at a small college in southern Ohio. Delta Chapter was a leader on the Marietta College campus through the 25 years following the Civil War. It counted 18 of Marietta’s valedictorians among its brothers and had initiated a number of prominent men in the area as honorary members. After Delta Beta Xi became inactive and Delta Chapter’s record and duration at Marietta were better established, and with other national fraternities were gaining more strength, Delta again began to sense that there would be advantage in being part of a national organization. When, in 1880, an invitation to petition another national fraternity for a charter was under serious consideration, the Alpha Sigma Phi alumni in Cincinnati organized the first Alumni Council and brought the undergraduate chapter members to 

Cincinnati by river boat for a Sig Bust. Their enthusiasm and support kept Delta in the Mystic Circle.

In 1883 the chapter owned a lot in Marietta. Another was purchased in 1889. The economic situation of the economy and of private colleges in the 1880’s and 1890’s was unstable due to recurring economic “Panics.” One of the panics caused failure of the original University of Chicago. The different dates of lot ownerships is probably a result of the loss of the prior lots during lean times between the dates.

In the 1890’s the strength of Delta began to wane, and again the alumni stepped in to preserve the chapter. In 1900, after two years without initiations, the alumni “recolonized” the chapter. By the start of the 1906-07 academic year, the chapter was again in decline.

Receipt of the petition of several Yale students in 1907 restored a sense of purpose to the Delta Chapter, both to its undergraduates and to alumni in southern Ohio. Delta Chapter has played a leading role in the growth and development of the National Fraternity. The chapter purchased a house at 203 Fourth Street in the Fall of 1909. In the 1930’s the chapter was located at 427 Fourth Street, and in 1949 it moved to 302 Sixth Street. Its most recent move, in 1985, was to 207 Fourth Street. Delta Chapter hosted National Conventions in 1907, 1910, 1946, and 1960. Delta Chapter’s newsletter is “The Triangle”.

During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s risk management violations and incidents of member misconduct resulted in suspension of the chapter in 1993.

In 1997 an effort was made to re-colonize at Marietta, but the lingering reputation of the last years of the old chapter on the campus prevented recruitment of sufficient numbers of quality men to justify re-colonization.   An alumni association was reorganized by 25 chapter initiates in 2010; Dean Haine, Marietta ‘59 was contact coordinator. Restoration of the chapter began in the 2012 spring semester.

In the spring of 2012, Fraternity staff member, Jeremy Ried, Elmhurst ‘07, led expansion efforts at Marietta. Ried recruited a group of 18 members to restart the chapter. The group met expectations to become a colony and were colonized on March 24, 2012. The first Initiation Ceremony for the revitalized colony was held on campus on April 28, 2012. Delta”s historic Charter was reactivated on April 6, 2013, an event celebrated by the 30 founding fathers and many Delta Chapter alumni.

Michael S. Leahy, Marietta ‘56, was Alpha Sigma Phi Scholar of the Year in 1958. Stacy Evans, Marietta ‘66, was captain of the Marietta College Bowl television quiz show team in 1966. The Chapter won the Chapter Newsletter Award in 1992.

Five Delta Chapter alumni have served as Grand Senior Presidents of Alpha Sigma Phi:  Alfred D. Follett, Marietta 1872; A. B. White, Marietta 1874; John H. Snodgrass, Marietta 1886; Charles B. Elliott, Marietta ‘04; and John H. Roemer, Marietta 1883. In addition to those five alumni, ten other Delta Chapter alumni have served on the Grand Council or Grand Prudential Committee. A. Vernon Bowen, Marietta ‘24, served as Executive Secretary of Alpha Sigma Phi. Twenty-two alumni of the chapter, including eight initiated before 1907, have received the Delta Beta Xi Award.

Records show award name and year(s) received.

Alpha Gamma Upsilon Bronze Cup of Distinction 2018, 2017, 2015 
Alpha Kappa Pi Gold Cup of Distinction 2021, 2019
Most Improved Chapter Award 2021
Phi Pi Phi Silver Cup of Distinction 2022, 2018, 2016, 2014, 2013 

Records show brother's name, initiation year, and award received.

Alec Charles Bollinger 2020 Undergraduate Hall of Fame
A. Vernon Bowen 1924 Delta Beta Xi Award
Thomas L. Bush 1919 Delta Beta Xi Award
G Blaine Darrah 1908 Delta Beta Xi Award
J. Gary Fitzgerald 1958 Delta Beta Xi Award
Spencer James Flick 2021 Undergraduate Scholar of the Year
Charles D. Fogle, Jr. 1936 Delta Beta Xi Award
Edgar A. Follett   Delta Beta Xi Award
Sheldon C. Gilman   Delta Beta Xi Award
Dean H. Haine 1959 Delta Beta Xi Award
C Earle Humphrey 1912 Delta Beta Xi Award
John D. Jones   Delta Beta Xi Award
Stephen E. Littler 1965 Delta Beta Xi Award
Charles A. Ludey   Delta Beta Xi Award
Thomas W. McCaw 1910 Delta Beta Xi Award
Glenver McConnell 1907 Delta Beta Xi Award
Kenner McConnell 1907 Delta Beta Xi Award
Howard P. Meister 1913 Delta Beta Xi Award
Jon Robert Monnig 2012 Undergraduate Hall of Fame
Roy B. Naylor   Delta Beta Xi Award
Clifford T. Okey   Delta Beta Xi Award
Charles J. Otto 1928 Delta Beta Xi Award
John K. Payne   Delta Beta Xi Award
Paul F. Spear 1964 Delta Beta Xi Award
C. Edward Stitt 1927 Delta Beta Xi Award
Clive G. Wallis 1958 Delta Beta Xi Award
Albert Blakeslee White   Delta Beta Xi Award