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Vermont Alpha of Phi Delta Theta – A Brief History
Oct. 30,1879: The Alpha Chapter of Phi Delta Theta in the State of Vermont
Charter members: George E. Bertrand, Charles F.B. Haskell, Henry M. Woods, James W. Dodds, Edward A. Enright,Edmund C. Lane, Frank O. Sinclair, Chauncey H. Hayden, George E. Sawyer, Alfred H. Wheeler.
1879: Chapter holds meetings on the second floor of the Merchant’s Bank Block until 1882.
Chapter moves to the second floor of the Middlebrook Block on College Street until the summer of 1886.
From the Class of 1886 twelve join the young chapter (largest class to this point).
1886: Larger chapter moves to the fourth floor of the Wood Block, also on College Street.
Chapter moves to the Odd Fellow’s Hall and then temporarily to the Y.M.C.A. in that same year before returning to the Odd Fellow’s Hall.
June 1894: The Chapter acquires its first rented Chapter House at the corner of College and Willard Streets (“Old Herrick House”). Class of 1894 pictured below.
1902: Guy Potter Benton (Ohio Wesleyan 1886), at the time president of Miami University, proposed to a few of his favorite students that they form a sorority with the intention that it become a national organization. He helped them write a constitutional and ritual. For his help, the women made him grand patron of Delta Zeta. He was the only man ever allowed to wear the Delta Zeta Pin. He eventually became president of the University of Vermont and helped Vermont Alpha in acquiring the land necessary to build our current home.
1903: Vermont Alpha moves to 439 College Street.
The small 180 year old house at 439 college street is torn down so as to make way for the current building which used materials from the original house in its construction. Roy L. Patrick, a VT Alpha Alumnus, donates much of the material to build the house, all of which came from Vermont minerals, trees, and so forth.
Commencement, June 1923: The present house, designed by architects who graduated as alumni from Phi Delta Theta’s Cornell Chapter, have completed a sufficient portion of the house so as to allow it to be formally opened.
1997: Phi Delta Theta, as an international organization, officially votes at convention to make all Chapter properties alcohol free by 2000. Vermont Alpha becomes one of the first to enact the policy.
2008: Vermont Alpha wins UVM Fraternity of the Year after an excellent year of scholarship, service, and programming. The Chapter reached 35 members for the first time in over a decade. Plans are made to renovate the Chapter House, notably its historic slate roof and an installed sprinkler system.
In current times, VT Alpha has consistently received notoriety as tending one of the top scholarship, new member, philanthropic, community service, and diversity programs amongst Greek Life at the University of Vermont
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