Iowa State University


Ames, IA

The Iowa Agricultural College was authorized by legislation signed on March 22, 1858, and became the first Merrill Land Grant College in 1862. The first freshman class was admitted in 1869 and its first degrees were granted in 1872. Iowa was the first state to accept provisions of the Morrill Act of 1862 and Iowa designated Iowa State as the land-grant college on March 29, 1864. Iowa Agricultural College became the Iowa State College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts in 1898, and on July 4, 1959, the College was officially renamed Iowa State University of Science and Technology.

The Palisades Fraternity was organized in 1911. In 1912 and 1913, initiates of other chapters of Alpha Sigma Phi attending Iowa Sate attempted to interest local fraternities in Alpha Sigma Phi but the attempts led nowhere. Gerald Thornton, president of The Palisades contacted Alpha Sigma Phi in February 1919. While investigation was underway, contacts from other local fraternities were received by Alpha Sigma Phi on March 12 and March 25, 1919; these were tabled pending a conclusion to the application of The Palisades. The petition was delivered on June 14, 1919. An investigating committee met in Ames in November 1919 and issued a report wholly in favor of the petitioners. The petition of the Palisades Fraternity was accepted and Phi Chapter was installed on May 8, 1920 in ceremonies at the Xi Chapter house. 

The local fraternity had a house at 158 Hyland Avenue, which was sold in 1922. The Chapter then moved to 115 Welch Avenue. On October 14, 1922, the Alsiphi Corporation was formed to promote construction of a permanent home. This plan was realized in 1930 when the Chapter moved into its new house at 2138 Sunset Drive. Depression forced abandonment of the new house and the Chapter returned to 158 Hyland Avenue. It remained there until the fall of 1941, when the Chapter opened with three brothers and one new member. Operations ceased on the eve of World War II due to low membership. Alumnus Bill Stacy, Iowa State ‘20, took possession of Phi records and most other property was sold.

After World War II, the Phi remained inactive until 1953 when two alumni, Lewis Hawkins, Iowa State ‘20, Robert Pierce, Iowa State ‘40, and a transfer student, William Yates, Westminster ‘52, started a reactivation drive. The Chapter was reinstalled on June 5, 1954, when 21 brothers were initiated. The 1954 reactivation was also assisted by Arthur L. Neilson, Milton ‘49, three other alumni of the Chapter and Mervin S. Coover, Colorado ‘24.

The Alsiphi Corporation arranged for housing at 2727 West Avenue for the fall of 1954. The charter was presented in ceremonies on October 16, 1954. Although consideration was given at times to finding a larger house in 1969-70, the Chapter remained in the 2717 West house from 1954 until 1993. In 1976-77, the chapter house was remodeled adding an East wing with a new kitchen, four bedrooms, a den and basement. Geoff Grimes, Iowa State ‘65, had designed the addition and prepared the blueprints for the renovation. On January 18, 1991, a fire destroyed the cold dorm of the chapter house and damaged adjacent areas. Fire regulations applicable on reconstruction reduced the housing capacity from 56 to 47 men. With the reduced capacity, chapter operations became more troubled. In 1993, Alsiphi Corporation decided to sell the West Avenue house and relocate. On December 2, 1993, Phi Chapter undergraduates were made alumni and chapter operations suspended.

In February 1995, an interest group was formed and adopted the acronym BEST, standing for Brotherhood, Excellence, Spirit and Truth. The Chapter was re-colonized on May 6, 1995, and acquired a house at 208 Stanton Avenue. The Stanton Street house accommodated 18 men. Upon re-organization, the group decided to try a substance free housing operation. Phi Chapter was re-chartered on April 26, 1997. In fall 1997, the Chapter leased a house accommodating 42 men at 305 Lynn Avenue. In 1998, Phi purchased a lot and in 1999 moved into a new house on that lot: “Thurston Manor,” at 2132 Sunset Drive.

Phi won the National Province Leadership Award for 1975. It won the Chapter Scholarship Award in 1960. The chapter newsletter is, “Phi Cries.”

Stanley B. Thurston, Iowa State ‘66, served on the Grand Council of Alpha Sigma Phi from 1988 to 1996, holding offices of Grand Treasurer 1990-1992, Grand Junior President, 1992-1994, and Grand Senior President, 1994-1996. He also served as a Trustee, Director and Chairman of Trustees for the Alpha Sigma Phi Educational Foundation from 1996 to 2006. Brother Thurston received the Distinguished Service Award in 2000. Stan also led the Alsiphi Corporation building efforts in the late 1990’s and contributed over $100,000 to fund the effort. In 2010,

Brother Thurston made the largest inter-vivos gift to date to the Alpha Sigma Phi Foundation: $500,000.00. The Stan Thurston Lifetime Achievement Award was created in 2017 to honor the legacy of Brother Stan Thurston. The award goes to an alumnus who has made a lifetime commitment to exemplifying the ideals, vision and purpose of Alpha Sigma Phi through outstanding dedication. 

Scott Olson, Iowa State ‘65, served as a Grand Councilor from 1996-02 and as Grand Treasurer from 2000-01. He was also a Trustee of the Alpha Sigma Phi Educational Foundation.

Records show award name and year(s) received.

Alpha Gamma Upsilon Bronze Cup of Distinction 2022, 2011 
Alpha Kappa Pi Gold Cup of Distinction 2017, 2014, 2015 
Grand Senior President's Cup 2019, 2002, 2000, 1970
Phi Pi Phi Silver Cup of Distinction 2018, 2016, 2013, 2012 
Victor B. Scott Award 1940

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

Ralph W. Anderson 1933 Delta Beta Xi Award
Floyd J. Arnold 1923 Delta Beta Xi Award
Bradley A. Barling 1980 Frank F. Hargear Recipient
David M. Critchlow 1987 Delta Beta Xi Award
Daniel Thomas Devine 2010 Undergraduate Hall of Fame
Thomas Kenneth Frizelle 1997 Kleinoeder Graduate Scholar of the Year
Geoffrey C. Grimes 1965 Delta Beta Xi Award
Lewis L. Hawkins 1931 Delta Beta Xi Award
Drew Louis Helm 2010 Kleinoeder Graduate Scholar of the Year
Hollis R. Hilstrom 1931 Delta Beta Xi Award
Stanley Rex Jensen 2010 Undergraduate Hall of Fame
Isaac Randel Knoot 2000 Frank F. Hargear Recipient
Harold R Larke, III 2013 Undergraduate Hall of Fame
Todd M. Maiellaro 1987 Delta Beta Xi Award
Scott E. Olson 1965 Delta Beta Xi Award
Wesley R. Owen 1987 Delta Beta Xi Award
Michael Lynn Paustian 1997 Kleinoeder Graduate Scholar of the Year
Kyle Arthur Pedersen 2001 Delta Beta Xi Award
William V. Record 1940 Delta Beta Xi Award
Richard F. Ross 1954 Distinguished Merit Award
    Delta Beta Xi Award
William H. Stacy 1920 Delta Beta Xi Award
J. Stewart Stewart Swanson 1974 Delta Beta Xi Award
Matthew James Swenka 2003 Kleinoeder Graduate Scholar of the Year
Edward Thayer 1920 Delta Beta Xi Award
Stan G. Thurston 1966 Varner Distinguished Service Award
    Distinguished Merit Award
    Delta Beta Xi Award
    Citation - Grand Senior President
Theodore Wlazlowski, Jr. 1997 Kleinoeder Graduate Scholar of the Year