Oregon State University


Corvallis, OR

Corvallis College was founded in 1860, by the Southern Methodist Church. In 1868, the institution became Corvallis College and Agricultural College of Oregon. The institution became Oregon Agricultural College in 1890, Oregon State College in 1937, and finally, in 1961, Oregon State University.

The Aztec Club, organized in 1912, was chartered as Psi of Alpha Sigma Phi on May 22, 1920. At the time of chartering, Aztec Fraternity alumnus Dr. William J. Kerr, Oregon State ‘20, was President of the College; he served until 1932. Frank Ballard, Oregon State ‘21, became President of the College in 1942, but his career was interrupted by a neurological disorder. The chapter was home to several wrestling team captains during a period when Oregon Agricultural College won twelve successive Pacific Coast Conference championships in wrestling. The chapter closed due to World War II mobilization limiting male enrollment in 1943, and was revived in 1946-47 under the leadership of Chapter President Don Preble and six other pre-war initiates who had returned to school. From 1920 until 1966, the chapter house was at 957 Jefferson Street. The original house was of wood frame construction; in 1928 a brick house was erected on the lot and housing capacity increased from 28 to 56. In the early 1960’s under the leadership of Chapter and IFC President Jim Hamner, Oregon State ‘59, and Recruitment Director Rick Dexter, Oregon State ‘60, the chapter doubled its undergraduate membership.

In 1966-67 the chapter operated from a temporary house at 610 Jefferson Street. In 1967, a new house was completed at 410 N. W. 25th Street. The chapter grew to over 100 undergraduate members in the early 1970’s. In 1974, Psi reported that its alumni relations publication program through COMCOA (from 1970) raised $3,000 per year for the chapter. Renovations and improvements to the chapter house were made in 1977, 1990, and 1998-99. The chapter burned the mortgage on its house and initiated its 1000th member in May 1988.

In 1991, a substantial number of upperclassmen did not return to the Chapter house in the Winter term. The attrition left the chapter with substantial debts which an alumni fund drive was only partly able to cover. In 1992 there were similar defections, with a similar operating loss. In the Fall of 1992, an estimated 50 Alpha Sigma Phi initiates returned to the Oregon State campus, but only 18 to the chapter house. Although there were heroic recruitment efforts made by the remaining active members, the chapter was not able to recruit sufficient men to operate from the chapter house for the year. The status of the chapter and of the chapter house was tenuous for several years. Joseph Sandy Sanders, Oregon State ‘54, redeemed the chapter house from default on its mortgage in 1998 and invested heavily in renovation and refurnishing of the facility. Reorganization of the chapter got on a firmer footing in 1998. Sanders was named Grand Chapter Advisor, and called for undergraduate members to operate the chapter with high standards. There was substantial progress for a time. In 2002, a majority of the undergraduate members got into a disagreement with Grand Chapter Advisor and house landlord Joseph Sandy Sanders over chapter operating standards and policy. All of the officers and all but two of the undergraduate members moved out of the house. Each side sought Fraternity recognition as the active chapter at Oregon State. The Fraternity recognized the group comprising the officers and the 90% of undergraduate members who had moved out. This group continued to operate as an un-housed chapter for over a year, but were unable to recruit successfully. In 2004, the chapter surrendered its charter. Shortly thereafter, the chapter house was sold to Sigma Pi Fraternity.

Efforts to restore Psi Chapter began in 2010. In 2010 an interest group was organized on the Oregon State University campus and grew to approximately 30 members. It became a colony on October 26, 2010. Members of the colony in 2010-11 participated in the OSU Senate, Memorial Union Control Board, Residence Hall Council, College Republicans, OSU College of Engineering and Air Force ROTC. In 2009-10, they raised more than $30,000 by participating in Kappa Delta sorority’s Mock Rock, a lip sync and dance competition to benefit the Corvallis-based Center Against Rape And Domestic Violence. In Fall 2011, housing for the group was obtained, and the colony recruited five additional men. 

The colony had a chartering petition approved by the Grand Council in April 2012 and was re-chartered on June 2, 2012 with past Fraternity Staff member Jason Hinson-Nolen, Murray State ‘05, and Undergraduate Grand Councilor Kyle DeDiminicantanio, Chico State ‘11, in attendance. The Chartering Ceremony was held in the Memorial Union Ballroom. 

Upsilon of Phi Pi Phi: Sphinx Club was organized early in 1920 by nineteen charter members. It was admitted to the inter-fraternity conference on April 19, 1920. On May 27, 1921, the name was changed to Sigma Gamma. On May 29, 1922, the fraternity purchased a house at 320 N. Ninth Street, Corvallis. From 1924 to 1929 the grade point average of the group was above the all fraternity average every term, and was first every term of the 1925-26 academic year. On November 9, 1929, Sigma Gamma was chartered as Upsilon of Phi Pi Phi. The chapter placed first on campus in academic standing in 1929-30. The effects of the Great Depression of 1929 on the college (Oregon State experienced a 60% enrollment reduction between 1931 and 1933) and fraternity system led to death of the chapter in 1932.

Psi Chapter won Grand Senior President’s Awards in 1976 and 1978. The chapter newsletter, published continuously from 1927 to 1989, was “Sig Phi Secrets”. Richard Dexter, Oregon State ‘60, served as Grand Senior President of Alpha Sigma Phi from 1978 to 1980, and received the Distinguished Service Award.  Richard Middlekauf, Oregon State, served as Trustee of the Alpha Sigma Phi Foundation.  Michael K. Waters, Oregon State' 73, won the F. F. Hargear Award in 1977, and G. Matthew Stermer, Oregon State ‘84, won the Alpha Sigma Phi Scholar of the Year Award in 1986. Eleven initiates have received the Delta Beta Xi Award. Several brothers have served on the Fraternity staff, including Richard Dexter, Oregon State ‘60; Mike Waters, Oregon State ‘73; Michael Boundy, Oregon State ‘74; Randy Lewis, Oregon State ‘81; Owen McCulloch, Oregon State ‘88; Mark Winston, Oregon State ‘88; and Jacob Gamble, Oregon State ‘97.  Owen McCulloch, Oregon State ‘88, was President and CEO of Alpha Sigma Phi in 2008.  Robert Ingram, Oregon State ‘60, and Mike Larkin, Oregon State ‘66, were long time chapter advisors and recipients of the Delta Beta Xi Award.

Records show award name and year(s) received.

Alpha Gamma Upsilon Bronze Cup of Distinction 2016 
Grand Senior President's Cup 1978, 1976
Phi Pi Phi Silver Cup of Distinction 2014 
Victor B. Scott Award 1941

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

Edward B. Beaty 1920 Delta Beta Xi Award
Joseph H. Berry 1963 Delta Beta Xi Award
Christian Nelson Collett 2011 Undergraduate Hall of Fame
Richard A. Dexter 1960 Varner Distinguished Service Award
    Stan Thurston Lifetime Achievement Award
    Delta Beta Xi Award
Jacob Michael Gamble 1997 Delta Beta Xi Award
Oscar N. Hagg 1923 Delta Beta Xi Award
Robert B. Ingram 1960 Delta Beta Xi Award
Arthur N. King 1996 Delta Beta Xi Award
Michael D. Larkin 1966 Delta Beta Xi Award
Richard H. Lee 1966 Delta Beta Xi Award
Randall S. Lewis 1981 Delta Beta Xi Award
Richard E. Middlekauff 1961 Varner Distinguished Service Award
    Citation - Grand Senior President
    Delta Beta Xi Award
Alan J. Stonewall 1966 Delta Beta Xi Award
Michael K. Waters 1973 Frank F. Hargear Recipient
    Delta Beta Xi Award
Wilbur H. Welch 1921 Delta Beta Xi Award