E Clampus Vitus

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History

First incarnation

The early history of the organization is unclear. Historian Lois Rather suggests that the order came originally from the Southern states before the being carried over to California during the Gold Rush. The Sons of Malta, a fraternal society given to pranks and parody initiation rites, has been sometimes cited as an influence even though the Sons of Malta do not seem to have existed until 1854 (though ECV may have inspired the Sons of Malta, as there were many disappointed by the California gold rush who returned East). Others maintain that the group is a native Californian institution, founded by one Joseph H. Zumwalt in Mokelumne Hill. Both legend and scholars agree that the group was founded in 1849.[1]

The original purpose of the order appears to have been to initiate new members. When a stranger came to town Clampers would inform him that to do business in the town it was essential to join the local secret society. The initiate rite was a parody of Freemasonic, Oddfellow and other orders, and took many forms, including rowing the initiate down a wheelbarrow, hoisting him into the air and leaving him there, or dropping him in a vat of water. Afterwards the initiate had to buy the other members a round of drinks.[2]

The organizations leader was known as a Supreme Grand Humbug, a title carried over into the later incarnation, and other “officials” included the Clampatriach. Ephraim Bee, an early leader of the group, was styled Grand Gyascutis and later the Grand Lama. A move to greater seriousness was shown during the Civil War, when the Order changed its parade day from the first Sunday after the snows to the Fourth of July.[3]

The history of E Clampus Vitus is steeped in mythology. Members claim that the organization was brought to the United States in 1845 in Lewisport, Virginia, now West Union, West Virginia, when inn and stable owner Ephraim Bee was given a commission from the Emperor of China to “extend the work and influence of the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus.”

Bee claimed to have received his commission from Caleb Cushing, the American Commissoner to China. A monument to Bee in West Union now stands on the site of the old “Beehive” Inn along the North Bend Rail-Trail; the original “Bee Hive” was destroyed in a flood in the late 1800s.

At the age of 60, Bee was a Captain of the Doddridge County Militia, which protected the area from roving Confederate forces, horse thieves & outlaws. The Militia also had a part in the Underground Railroad in Doddridge County. They were hidden in hidden cellars of homes and also in Jaco Cave. Ephraim Bee played his greatest joke on his local West Virginian neighbors. Occasionally, the entire town was invited to a great party. After the Civil War, it was discovered that Jaco Cave was a holding area for the runaway slaves. When the cave was full, E. Bee gave a party to keep all busy while that group of people were moved further north to the next stop.

CEO of ECV Chapter .75 and founder of the Elephant Temperance Society exhibits a prime example of ECV regalia.

Bee felt that an organization was needed which was less exclusive than the other organizations of the day, such as the Masons, Elks andOdd Fellows. In addition, nativism was rising in the United States, as evidenced by such political organizations as the Know-Nothing Party. Bee opened membership in ECV to any “upstanding” man who had come of age. It is known that there were E Clampus Vitus chapters in Bedford, Pennsylvania; Metropolis, Illinois; Bowling Green, Missouri; and Dahlonega, Georgia. (It has been rumored that ECV brethren within the U.S. Army even attempted to bring the order as far south as Mexico City following the Mexican-American War as a gesture of brotherhood and reconciliation, but all record has vanished of the well-intentioned Chapultepec chapter.)

Chairman Moe of the Salt of the Scum of the Earth models an upright yet casual ECV look of red and black.

The organization is said to have been taken to California by an ECV member named Joe Zumwalt, who first heard of it in Missouri. Zumwalt opened an ECV lodge inMokelumne Hill in 1851, when Mokelumne Hill Lodge No. 1001 was established. There are arguments that previous lodges had been founded in Hangtown, Downieville andSierra City, but none of those became permanent.

ECV flourished, in part, as the result of the miners’ reaction to the “established” organizations such as the Masons and Odd Fellows. Those groups had come to the mining country prior to ECV, and when ECV appeared, the older, more established groups looked down upon the more rowdy nature of E Clampus Vitus. ECV, on the other hand, made fun of the stuffed shirts of the Masons: they made great fun of the sashes and ceremonial attire of the “upscale” fraternities, and began dressing in red shirts and pinning on badges made of cut-out tin can lids. This practice, called “wearing the tin,” continues to this day, although the badges are frequently professionally made. Members commonly dress in a red shirt, black hat and Levi’s jeans. ECV titles reflected the tongue-in-cheek nature of the organization. Officials were called “Noble Grand Humbug,” “Roisterous Iscutis,” “Grand Imperturbable Hangman,” “Clamps Vitrix,” and “Royal Gyascutis.” All members are officers and all officers, the organization professes, are of equal indignity.

Clamper meetings were held in the Hall of Comparative Ovations, generally the back room of a saloon. Some chapters even built their own Halls of Comparative Ovations. One still stands in Murphys. The Clamper flag was a hoop skirt, with the words “This is the flag we fight under.” Meetings were held “at any time before or after a full moon.” New members were called “Poor Blind Candidates.” They were required to present a poke of gold dust, although the value of the poke was left to the discretion of the brotherhood, and was frequently waived entirely if the prospective member could not afford it.

Despite the humor and rowdiness of E Clampus Vitus, the members do take their brotherhood seriously. When a member became sick or injured, the group would collect food or money to help him. They frequently trekked through the vastness of the Sierra Nevada to reach lonely miners who otherwise would have had no Christmas celebration. The society was also careful to assist the widows and orphans of fallen members.

Wayward Clampers showing their colors, tin and chapter affiliation. It is not uncommon for clampers to share the good news of ECV while traveling which has led to growth throughout its history.

At the ECV’s peak, around 1870, so many miners were members that many mining camps shut down during ECV celebrations (some mining towns had two chapters). At one point, Lord Sholto Douglas, a British peer leading a troupe of actors in Marysville, was so downheartened by the lack of ticket sales that he had determined to leave town. When a local Clamper found out that the troupe was having trouble, Lord Douglas was immediately initiated into ECV, and the brothers bought enough tickets to fill the local theater. A 20th century chapter of the ECV was named for Lord Douglas LSD in honor of this event. Mark Twain was a member, and it was while attending an ECV meeting that he heard the story which he wrote as The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

Members of note included Adam, the first “Clampatriarch”; Philip D. Armour, the meat packer; John Mohler Studebaker, the automobile manufacturer; Gene Autry “The Singing Cowboy” and owner of the California Angels baseball team; and John Hume, a California state assemblyman. ECV also claims Ulysses S. Grant, J. Pierpont Morgan, Horace Greeley, and Horatio Alger as members, but claims have also been made to Solomon, Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar, Henry VIII of England, Sir Francis Drake, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Ronald Reagan, and of course, His Imperial Majesty Joshua A. Norton, “Emperor of these United States and Protector of Mexico”. These fanciful claims show ECV’s propensity for not taking much of anything particularly seriously, least of all itself.

There is evidence to support the ECV claim to Ulysses S. Grant. One of the early capitals of California was Benicia. At the close of the War with Mexico, Lt. William Tecumseh Sherman was Adjutant to Col. Richard Barnes Mason at the time of the gold discovery at Sutter’s Mill. Upon Sherman’s retirement in 1853, his replacement at the Benicia Arsenal was Lt. Ulysses S. Grant, who spent 30 days in the Arsenal Guardhouse for being drunk on duty and firing his cannons at the Martinez shoreline. Considering Benicia’s position as the major inland Army post and transport hub to the valley, both Grant’s and the Brotherhood’s affinity for strong drink and the early spread of the Brotherhood through Northern California, it is entirely possible that Grant was inducted into the Organization.

Reestablishment[edit]

Early afternoon ECV colloquium focused on the lasting effects of Byzantine and Medieval history on the Santa Margarita Ranch and environs

The original E Clampus Vitus disappeared after the Civil War. A “second era” version of the organization was formed in 1930 by attorney Carl Irving Wheat. The new incarnation of ECV is more serious than its predecessor, as an historical society as well as a mirth making club. ECV historical plaque are found on many buildings around California.[4]

The drinking and revelry aspects were not entirely abandoned however, with one man accidentally shot dead during a drunken party inColumbia in 1967.[5]

As the mining industry faded towards the end of the 19th century, ECV started to fade as well. It was revitalized in 1931 by San Franciscohistorian Carl Wheat and his friends G. Ezra Dane and Leon O. Whitsell. They were contacted by one of the last surviving members of the original ECV, who passed on all that he could remember of the organization’s rites and legends. The three founded a new chapter, Yerba Buena Number 1, or the “Capitulus Redivivus.” Wheat described E Clampus Vitus as “the comic strip on the page of California history.”

New chapters sprang up in Los Angeles (Platrix Chapter #2) and other major cities in California, and were numbered sequentially. However, once Lodge 10 was established in 1936, members pointed out that it was illogical for such a rowdy organization to be so neat in its numbering scheme, and so some creativity was developed in the numbering. The “Pair-o-Dice” chapter in Paradise, for example, is Lodge No. 7-11. The de la Guerra y Pacheco chapter, halfway between Lodge Number 1 in San Francisco and Lodge Number 2 in Los Angeles, is Lodge Number 1.5. There were chapters in British Columbia andHawaii, but they no longer exist.

In 1936 a plaque appeared in Northern California purporting to have been made by Sir Francis Drake during his voyage of discovery in which it was stated that he had claimed all of California for England, and that he had the authority of the claim by having been ceded the land by the local Miwok Indians. The man who was chief of the Miwoks in 1937, William Fuller, was a member of E Clampus Vitus. During an ECV meeting, he revoked the cession of land to England, and ceded it all to the United States government. The so-called Drake’s Plate of Brass was accepted as authentic for forty years, yet was in actuality a hoax initiated by Dane that got out of control. It is now thought that the Fuller ceremony was part of an effort for the perpetrators to tip off the plate’s finders as to its true origins.

The current ECV[edit]

A clampout at sunset. Clampsite location is China Harbor on the Pacific Coast near Cayucos, California.

A plaque placed by E Clampus Vitus in San Francisco, California.

Plaque commemorating the Star of India as a California landmark

In 1991 there were 50,000 Clampers in 62 lodges.[6]

There are currently 43 ECV chapters in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona/New Mexico and Colorado, and as well as an offshore chapter (the Floating Whang chapter), an online chapter (the Cyber Whang chapter), and 2 more proposed chapters.

Al Packer Chapter 100 in Colorado was chartered in 2000 — the year 6005 on ECV’s idiosyncratic calendar. This chapter has four encampments statewide for members to get together and socialize.

Doc Maynard Chapter #54-40 in Washington State was chartered in 2006, the year 6011 in Clamper years, signifying the first Chapter in the Pacific Northwest.

Snake River Chapter #1811 (Idaho) and Umpqua Joe Chapter #1859 (Oregon) are the most recently chartered, changing their status from “Outpost” to “Chapter” in May 2010, the year 6015 in Clamper years.

The organization has raised historical plaques in many places throughout the West (often those sites such as bordellos and saloons overlooked by more traditional historical societies), with a traditional “doin’s,” or party, after each plaque dedication. These are now common in historical areas around California and the West — when in the Gold Country, a Clamper-placed plaque is never far away. In 1999, a plaque was placed on the Star of India, the oldest iron-hulled merchant ship afloat, by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus John P. Squibob Chapter 1853. In 2006, Platrix Chapter #2 erected a plaque commemorating the 50th Anniversary of “Godzilla, King of the Monsters” at the former studio site where Raymond Burr’s insert scenes were filmed by director Terry Morse in 1956. The plaque is at the entrance of the Frank del Olmo Elementary School, the current occupant of the site. The current Modesto regional leader is a man named Jacob K Couch, who has once again led the group to surprising new results. A national icon, Golden Gate Bridge, was dedicated in June 2010 by the Mother Lodge Yerba Buena #1 Capitulus Redivivus.

On February 19, 2009 the Nevada Assembly agreed to make the 19 “Clamper Day” the motion has not yet been passed by the state senate.

Initiation[edit]

By tradition, a man can only become a Clamper by invitation. However, one can express his desire to join. Initiation rites are sometimes spur-of-the-moment, such as forcing a blindfolded candidate to be lifted into the air by a block and tackle. Other times, the blindfolded initiate is seated upon a wet sponge in a wheelbarrow, and taken upon the “Rocky Road to Dublin” (a ladder lying on the ground). The initiations are secret and vary greatly in execution and severity. Afterward, everyone toasts the new member with drink. Once enlightened, a brother is a brother for life.

Artistic efforts to advertise and promote one’s chapter are quite common at most clampouts and other ECV doins.

Further r

Fraternal / sorority Orders around the world

Social or general fraternities and sororities, in the North American fraternity system, are those that do not promote a particular profession (as professional fraternities are) or discipline (such as service fraternities and sororities). Instead, their primary purposes are often stated as the development of character, literary or leadership ability, or a more simple social purpose. Some organizations in this list have a specific major listed as a traditional emphasis. These organizations are social organizations which cater to students in those majors. Other organizations listed have a traditional emphasis in a specific religion or ethnic background. Despite this emphasis, most organizations have non-discrimination membership policies.

Fraternity is usually understood to mean a social organization composed only of men, and sorority one of women, although many women’s organizations also refer to themselves as fraternities. For the purposes of this article, national also includes international organizations, and local refers to organizations that are composed of only one chapter. This list is not exhaustive and does not include local organizations that do not have Wikipedia articles.

International

Australia

Fraternities or lodges were an important part of Australian society in the 19th and the first half of the 20th century. They were gradually replaced by “service clubs“, such asLions, Apex, Rotary, etc. By the end of the 20th century, all the fraternities had been wound up[clarification needed] except for the Freemasons and a few lodges of the Buffaloes. The reasons for their decline probably have something to do with generational change and bemusement at the secretive rites that all fraternities had, as the service clubs that succeeded them did fairly similar charitable work.

No general history has been written, but some of the many lodges that operated in the state of Victoria were:

  • Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes,
  • Druids,
  • Foresters,
  • Freemasons,
  • Odd Fellows ,

Of course in those sectarian times there had to be two different lodges for those of Irish descent:

Canada

Europe

South Africa

United States

Organization Symbol Founded Affiliation Traditional Emphasis
Acacia (Chapters) AKAKIA 1904 NIC Masonic (Masonic membership no longer required)[1]
Adelphikos Αδελφικοσ 1913 Local, Grove City College Christian
Alpha Beta Chi ΑΒΧ 1941 CIPFI Puerto Rican
Alpha Chi Alpha ΑΧΑ 1919 Local, Dartmouth College Traditional
Alpha Chi Rho (Chapters) ΑΧΡ 1895 NIC Traditional
Alpha Delta ΑΔ 1847 Local, Dartmouth College Traditional
Alpha Delta Gamma (Chapters) ΑΔΓ 1924 NIC Jesuit
Alpha Delta Phi (Chapters) ΑΔΦ 1832 NIC Originally a secret literary society, now traditional
Alpha Epsilon Pi (Chapters) ΑΕΠ 1913 NIC Jewish
Alpha Gamma Omega ΑΓΩ 1927 Unaffiliated Christian
Alpha Gamma Rho (Chapters) ΑΓΡ 1904 NIC Agricultural
Alpha Iota Omicron ΑΙΟ 1998 Unaffiliated South Asian[2]
Alpha Kappa Lambda (Chapters) ΑΚΛ 1914 NIC Traditional
Alpha Phi Alpha ΑΦΑ 1906 NIC, NPHC African-American
Alpha Phi Delta ΑΦΔ 1914 NIC Italian-American
Alpha Sigma Phi (Chapters) ΑΣΦ 1845 NIC Originally secret sophomore society, now traditional
Alpha Tau Omega (Chapters) ΑΤΩ 1865 NIC Founded on Christian principles, now traditional
Beta Chi Theta (Chapters) ΒΧΘ 1999 NIC, NAPA South Asian
Beta Epsilon Gamma Gamma Alpha Rho Sigma ΒΕΓΓΑΡΣ 1923 Local, Loyola University New Orleans Jesuit
Beta Kappa Gamma ΒΚΓ 1999 Unaffiliated Asian[3]
Beta Sigma Psi (Chapters) ΒΣΨ 1925 NIC Lutheran[4]
Beta Theta Pi (Chapters) ΒΘΠ 1839 NIC Traditional[5]
Beta Upsilon Chi ΒΥΧ 1985 Unaffiliated Christian
Bones Gate BG 1901 Local, Dartmouth College Traditional
Chi Gamma Epsilon ΧΓΕ 1905 (1987) Local, Dartmouth College Traditional
Chi Heorot ΧH 1897 Local, Dartmouth College Traditional
Chi Phi (Chapters) ΧΦ 1824 NIC Traditional
Chi Psi (Chapters) ΧΨ 1841 NIC Traditional
Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau ΓΣΤ 1871 NMGC Multicultural
Delta Chi (Chapters) ΔΧ 1890 NIC Originally a law fraternity, now traditional
Delta Epsilon Psi ΔΕΨ 1998 NIC South Asian
Delta Gamma Iota ΔΓΙ 1965 Unaffiliated national Traditional[6]
Delta Kappa Epsilon (Chapters) ΔΚΕ 1844 NIC Originally secret society, traditional
Delta Lambda Phi ΔΛΦ 1986 NIC Gay, bisexual, progressive
Delta Rho Upsilon ΔΡΥ 1929 Local/Traditional
Delta Omega Epsilon ΔΩΕ 1985 Unaffiliated national Traditional[7]
Delta Phi (Chapters) ΔΦ 1827 NIC Originally secret society, traditional
Delta Sigma Phi (Chapters) ΔΣΦ 1899 NIC Traditional/Social
Delta Tau Delta (Chapters) ΔΤΔ 1858 NIC Originally literary society, traditional
Delta Theta Sigma ΔΘΣ 1906 Unaffiliated National Agricultural[8]
Delta Upsilon (Chapters) ΔΥ 1834 NIC Traditional
Epsilon Sigma Rho ΕΣΡ 1986 Unaffiliated national Multicultural[9]
FarmHouse (Chapters) FH 1905 NIC Agricultural
Gamma Omega Delta ΓΩΔ 1989 Unaffiliated national Multicultural[10]
Gamma Zeta Alpha (Chapters) ΓΖΑ 1987 NALFO Latino[11]
Iota Nu Delta ΙΝΔ 1994 NIC South Asian
Iota Phi Theta ΙΦΘ 1963 NIC, NPHC African-American
Kappa Alpha Order (Chapters) ΚΑ 1865 NIC Traditional/Social
Kappa Alpha Society (Chapters) ΚΑ 1825 NIC Originally literary society, traditional/social
Kappa Alpha Psi (Chapters) ΚΑΨ 1911 NIC, NPHC African-American
Kappa Delta Phi (Chapters) ΚΔΦ 1900 NIC Traditional
Kappa Delta Rho (Chapters) ΚΔΡ 1905 NIC Traditional
Kappa Kappa Kappa ΚΚΚ 1842 Local, Dartmouth College Traditional
Kappa Sigma (Chapters) ΚΣ 1869 Unaffiliated national Traditional[12]
Kappa Upsilon Chi ΚΥΧ 1993 Unaffiliated Christian[13]
Lambda Alpha Upsilon (Chapters) ΛΑΥ 1985 NALFO Latino
Lambda Chi Alpha (Chapters) ΛΧΑ 1909 NIC Traditional
Lambda Iota Society ΛΙ 1836 Local, University of Vermont Originally secret literary society, Traditional
Lambda Phi Epsilon (Chapters) ΛΦΕ 1981 NIC, NAPA Asian
Lambda Sigma Upsilon (Chapters) ΛΣΥ 1979 NALFO, NIC Latino
Lambda Theta Phi (Chapters) ΛΘΦ 1975 NALFO, NIC Latino
Lambda Upsilon Lambda (Chapters) ΛΥΛ 1982 NALFO Latino
Men of God 1999 UCCFS Christian[14]
Nu Alpha Kappa (Chapters) ΝΑΚ 1988 NIC Latino
Nu Sigma Beta ΝΣΒ 1937 CIPFI Puerto Rican
Omega Delta Phi (Chapters) ΩΔΦ 1987 NIC Latino
Omega Psi Phi (Chapters) ΩΨΦ 1911 NPHC African-American
Phi Beta Sigma (Chapters) ΦΒΣ 1914 NIC, NPHC African-American
Phi Delta Alpha ΦΔΑ 1884 Local, Dartmouth College Traditional
Phi Delta Gamma ΦΔΓ 1942 CIPFI Puerto Rican
Phi Delta Psi ΦΔΨ 1977 Unaffiliated national African-American[15]
Phi Delta Theta (Chapters) ΦΔΘ 1848 NIC Originally nonsectarian, Traditional
Phi Epsilon Chi ΦEX 1943 CIPFI Puerto Rican
Phi Eta Kappa ΦΗΚ 1906 Local, University of Maine Traditional
Phi Eta Mu ΦΗΜ 1923 CIPFI Puerto Rican
Phi Gamma Delta (Chapters) FIJI 1848 NIC Traditional
Phi Iota Alpha (Chapters) ΦΙΑ 1931 NIC Latino
Phi Kappa Pi ΦΚΠ 1913 Unaffiliated, Canadian national Traditional[16]
Phi Kappa Psi (Chapters) ΦΚΨ 1852 NIC Originally service, traditional
Phi Kappa Sigma (Chapters) ΦΚΣ 1850 NIC Originally secret order, traditional
Phi Kappa Tau (Chapters) ΦΚΤ 1906 NIC Traditional
Phi Kappa Theta (Chapters) ΦΚΘ 1889 NIC Catholic
Phi Lambda Chi (Chapters) ΦΛΧ 1925 NIC Traditional
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia ΦΜΑ 1898 NIMC Music
Phi Mu Delta (Chapters) ΦΜΔ 1918 NIC Originally Commons Club, traditional
Phi Rho Eta ΦΡΗ 1994 Unaffiliated national African-American[17]
Phi Sigma Alpha (Chapters) ΦΣΑ 1928 CIPFI Puerto Rican/Hispanic
Phi Sigma Chi ΦΣΧ 1996 NMGC Multicultural[18]
Phi Sigma Gamma ΦΣΓ 1915-1916 Unaffiliated national Osteopathic Medicine
Phi Sigma Kappa (Chapters) ΦΣΚ 1873 NIC Traditional
Phi Sigma Nu ΦΣΝ 1996 Unaffiliated national Native American
Phi Sigma Phi ΦΣΦ 1988 NIC Traditional[19]
Pi Alpha Phi (Chapters) ΠΑΦ 1929 NAPA Asian
Pi Delta Psi (Chapters) ΠΔΨ 1994 NAPA Asian
Pi Kappa Alpha ΠΚΑ 1868 NIC Traditional
Pi Kappa Phi (Chapters) ΠΚΦ 1904 NIC Traditional
Pi Lambda Phi (Chapters) ΠΛΦ 1895 NIC Traditional
Psi Sigma Phi (Chapters) ΨΣΦ 1990 NMGC Multicultural
Psi Upsilon (Chapters) ΨΥ 1833 NIC Traditional
Seal and Serpent 1905 Local, Cornell University Traditional
Sigma Alpha Epsilon (Chapters) ΣΑΕ 1856 NIC Traditional
Sigma Alpha Mu (Chapters) ΣΑΜ 1909 NIC Jewish
Sigma Beta Rho ΣΒΡ 1996 NIC, NAPA South Asian/Multicultural
Sigma Chi (Chapters) ΣΧ 1855 NIC Originally literary society, traditional
Sigma Delta Alpha ΣΔΑ 1992 Unaffiliated National Latino
Sigma Lambda Beta (Chapters) ΣΛΒ 1986 NIC Latino
Sigma Nu (Chapters) ΣΝ 1869 NIC Originally anti-hazing, traditional
Sigma Phi Delta (Chapters) ΣΦΔ 1924 NIC Engineering
Sigma Phi Epsilon (Chapters) ΣΦΕ 1901 NIC Traditional
Sigma Phi Society ΣΦ 1827 NIC Originally secret society, traditional
Sigma Pi (Chapters) ΣΠ 1897 NIC Originally literary society, traditional
Sigma Tau Gamma (Chapters) ΣΤΓ 1920 NIC Originally literary society, traditional
Sigma Thêta Pi ΣΘΠ 2003 Unaffiliated national Francophone Greek
Tau Delta Phi ΤΔΦ 1910 NIC Jewish Social
Tau Epsilon Phi (Chapters) ΤΕΦ 1910 NIC Jewish Social
Tau Kappa Epsilon (Chapters) ΤΚΕ 1899 NIC Traditional
Theta Chi (Chapters) ΘΧ 1856 NIC Traditional/Social
Theta Delta Chi (Chapters) ΘΔΧ 1847 NIC Originally secret society, traditional/Social
Theta Gamma ΘΓ 1912 Unaffiliated national Traditional
Theta Xi (Chapters) ΘΞ 1864 NIC Engineering, social
Triangle Fraternity (Chapters) TriangleDeltaT.png 1907 NIC Engineering, architecture, and Science
Trojan Knights 1921 Local, University of Southern California Traditional
Zeta Beta Tau (Chapters) ΖΒΤ 1898 NIC Originally Jewish, traditional (no religious affiliation)
Zeta Phi Rho ΖΦΡ 1995 Unaffiliated national Multicultural
Zeta Psi (Chapters) ΖΨ 1847 NIC Traditional/social

Sororities and women’s fraternities[edit]

Organization Symbol Founded Affiliation Traditional emphasis
Alpha Chi Omega ΑΧΩ 1885 NPC Originally music, now Traditional
Alpha Delta Chi ΑΔΧ 1925 Unaffiliated Christian
Alpha Delta Pi ΑΔΠ 1851 NPC Originally secret society, traditional
Alpha Epsilon Phi ΑΕΦ 1909 NPC Originally Jewish, traditional
Alpha Gamma Delta (Chapters) ΑΓΔ 1904 NPC Traditional
Alpha Kappa Alpha ΑΚΑ 1908 NPHC African-American
alpha Kappa Delta Phi aΚΔΦ 1990 NAPA Asian
Alpha Nu Omega ΑΝΩ 1988 UCCFS Christian
Alpha Omicron Pi ΑΟΠ 1897 NPC Traditional
Alpha Phi ΑΦ 1872 NPC Traditional
Alpha Phi Gamma ΑΦΓ 1994 NAPA Asian
Alpha Pi Omega ΑΠΩ 1994 Unaffiliated Native American
Alpha Pi Sigma ΑΠΣ 1990 NALFO Latina[20]
Alpha Sigma Alpha (Chapters) ΑΣΑ 1901 NPC Traditional
Alpha Sigma Kappa ΑΣΚ 1989 Unaffiliated Math, architecture, engineering, and science
Alpha Sigma Omega ΑΣΩ 1997 Unaffiliated Latina and Caribbean[21]
Alpha Sigma Rho ΑΣΡ 1998 NAPA Asian[22]
Alpha Sigma Tau ΑΣΤ 1899 NPC Traditional
Alpha Xi Delta ΑΞΔ 1893 NPC Traditional
Ceres 1984 Unaffiliated Agricultural[23]
Chi Omega (Chapters) ΧΩ 1895 NPC Traditional
Chi Upsilon Sigma ΧΥΣ 1980 NALFO Latina
Delta Chi Lambda ΔΧΛ 2000 Unaffiliated National Asian[24]
Delta Delta Delta ΔΔΔ 1888 NPC Traditional
Delta Gamma ΔΓ 1873 NPC Traditional
Delta Gamma Pi ΔΓΠ 1998 Unaffiliated Multicultural[citation needed]
Delta Kappa Delta ΔΚΔ 1999 NAPA South Asian
Delta Lambda Chi ΔΛΧ 2002 Unaffiliated Asian
Delta Phi Epsilon ΔΦΕ 1917 NPC Non-sectarian
Delta Phi Lambda ΔΦΛ 1998 NAPA Asian
Delta Phi Mu ΔΦΜ 1991 Unaffiliated national Multicultural
Delta Phi Omega ΔΦΩ 1998 Unaffiliated national South Asian
Delta Psi Epsilon ΔΨΕ 1999 UCCFS Christian
Delta Sigma Chi ΔΣΧ 1996 Unaffiliated national Multicultural[25]
Delta Sigma Theta ΔΣΘ 1913 NPHC African-American
Delta Tau Lambda ΔΤΛ 1994 Unaffiliated national Latina
Delta Xi Nu ΔΞΝ 1997 Unaffiliated national Multicultural
Delta Xi Phi ΔΞΦ 1994 NMGC Multicultural
Delta Zeta ΔΖ 1902 NPC Traditional
Eta Gamma Delta ΗΓΔ 1928 CIPFI Puerto Rican
Gamma Alpha Omega ΓΑΩ 1993 NALFO Latina
Gamma Eta ΓΗ 1995 NMGC Multicultural
Gamma Phi Beta ΓΦΒ 1874 NPC Traditional
Gamma Phi Omega ΓΦΩ 1991 Unaffiliated national Latina[26]
Gamma Rho Lambda ΓΡΛ 2003 Unaffiliated national LGBTQ[27]
Kappa Alpha Theta ΚΑΘ 1870 NPC Traditional
Kappa Beta Gamma ΚΒΓ 1917 Unaffiliated national Traditional
Kappa Delta ΚΔ 1897 NPC Traditional
Kappa Delta Chi ΚΔΧ 1987 NALFO Latina
Kappa Delta Phi National Affiliated Sorority ΚΔΦ 1977 Unaffiliated Traditional
Kappa Kappa Gamma ΚΚΓ 1870 NPC Traditional
Kappa Phi Gamma ΚΦΓ 1998 Unaffiliated national South Asian
Kappa Phi Lambda ΚΦΛ 1995 NAPA Asian
Kappa Phi Chi KΦX 1991 Local, Brooklyn College Traditional
Lambda Pi Chi ΛΠΧ 1988 NALFO Latina
Lambda Pi Upsilon ΛΠΥ 1992 NALFO Latina
Lambda Psi Delta ΛΨΔ 1997 NMGC Multicultural
Lambda Sigma Gamma ΛΣΓ 1986 NMGC Multicultural
Lambda Tau Omega ΛΤΩ 1988 NMGC Multicultural
Lambda Theta Alpha ΛΘΑ 1975 NALFO Latina
Lambda Theta Nu ΛΘΝ 1986 NALFO Latina
Mu Alpha Phi ΜΑΦ 1927 CIPFI Puerto Rican
Mu Epsilon Theta ΜΕΘ 1987 Unaffiliated, national Catholic[28]
Mu Sigma Upsilon ΜΣΥ 1981 NMGC Multicultural
National Society of Pershing Angels 1962 Unaffiliated Military drill[29]
Omega Phi Beta ΏΦΒ 1989 NALFO Latina
Omega Phi Chi ΏΦΧ 1988 NMGC Multicultural
Phi Beta Chi ΦΒΧ 1978 Unaffiliated national Lutheran
Phi Mu (Chapters) ΦΜ 1852 NPC Traditional
Phi Sigma Rho ΦΣΡ 1984 Unaffiliated national Engineering
Phi Sigma Sigma (Chapters) ΦΣΣ 1913 NPC Non-sectarian
Pi Beta Phi (Chapters) ΠΒΦ 1867 NPC Originally secret, Traditional
Pi Lambda Chi ΠΛΧ 1994 Unaffiliated national Latina[30]
Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi ΣΑΕΠ 1998 Unaffiliated national Jewish
Sigma Delta Tau ΣΔΤ 1917 NPC Non-sectarian
Sigma Gamma Rho ΣΓΡ 1922 NPHC African-American
Sigma Iota Alpha ΣΙΑ 1990 NALFO Latina
Sigma Kappa ΣΚ 1874 NPC Traditional
Sigma Lambda Alpha ΣΛΑ 1990 NALFO Latina
Sigma Lambda Gamma (Chapters) ΣΛΓ 1990 Unaffiliated national Latina
Sigma Lambda Upsilon ΣΛΥ 1987 NALFO Latina
Sigma Omega Nu ΣΩΝ 1996 Unaffiliated national Latina[31]
Sigma Omega Phi ΣΩΦ 2008 Unaffiliated national “Aggressive” lesbian[32]
Sigma Omicron Pi ΣΟΠ 1930 NAPA Asian
Sigma Phi Omega ΣΦΩ 1949 Unaffiliated national Asian
Sigma Pi Alpha ΣΠΑ 2004 Unaffiliated Chicana/Latina[33]
Sigma Psi Zeta ΣΨΖ 1994 NAPA Asian
Sigma Sigma Rho ΣΣΡ 1998 NAPA South Asian
Sigma Sigma Sigma ΣΣΣ 1898 NPC Traditional
Theta Nu Xi ΘΝΞ 1997 NMGC Multicultural
Theta Phi Alpha ΘΦΑ 1912 NPC Originally catholic, traditional
Zeta Chi Phi ΖΧΦ 2003 Unaffiliated national Multicultural
Zeta Phi Beta ΖΦΒ 1920 NPHC African-American
Zeta Sigma Chi ΖΣΧ 1991 Unofficial national Multicultural
Zeta Tau Alpha ΖΤΑ 1898 NPC Traditional

Coeducational fraternities[edit]

Coeducational fraternities permit both male and female members. Occasionally coed groups use the term frarority.

Organization Symbol Founded Affiliation Traditional emphasis
Alpha Nu Omega (Chapters) ΑΝΩ 1988 UCCFS Christian coed fraternity
Zeta Phi Zeta ΖΦΖ 2001 UCCFS Christian[34]
Alpha Delta Phi Society ΑΔΦ 1832 Unaffiliated, national Literary and traditional
Alpha Psi Lambda ΑΨΛ 1985 NALFO Latino
St. Anthony Hall (Delta Psi) ΔΨ 1847 Unaffiliated, national Literary and social
Delta Psi Alpha ΔΨΑ 1998 Unaffiliated, national Multicultural
Lambda Lambda Lambda ΛΛΛ 2006 Unaffiliated, national Traditional
Theta Delta Sigma ΘΔΣ 2001 Unaffiliated, national Multicultural
Alpha Theta ΑΘ 1920 Local, Dartmouth College Traditional
Delta Lambda Psi ΔΛΨ 2005 Local, University of California at Santa Cruz LBGTQ
Zeta Delta Xi ΖΔΞ 1852 Local, Brown University Traditional
Kappa Gamma Psi ΚΓΨ 1913 Local, Ithaca College Performing arts
Nu Alpha Phi ΝΑΦ 1994 Local, SUNY Albany Asian
Phi Tau ΦΤ 1905 Local, Dartmouth College Traditional
Psi Upsilon ΨΥ 1833 Local, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Traditional

Defunct national organizations[edit]

Organization Symbol Operated/Merged
Alpha Delta Theta ΑΔΘ 1919 – 1939, Phi Mu
Beta Phi Alpha ΒΦΑ 1919 – 1941, Delta Zeta
Delta Sigma Epsilon ΔΣΕ 1914 – 1956, Delta Zeta
Iota Alpha Pi ΙΑΠ 1903 – 1971
Kappa Phi Lambda ΚΦΛ 1862 – 1874
Lambda Omega ΛΩ 1915 – 1933, Delta Zeta
Pi Delta Kappa ΠΔΚ 1907 – 1913, Chi Omega
Pi Kappa Sigma ΠΚΣ 1894 – 1959 Sigma Kappa
Pi Lambda Sigma ΠΛΣ 1903 – 1959 Beta Phi Mu
Sigma Iota ΣΙ 1904 – 1931 Phi Iota Alpha
Phi Omega Pi ΦΩΠ 1922 – 1946 Delta Zeta
Phi Lambda Alpha ΦΛΑ 1919 – 1931 Phi Iota Alpha
Theta Kappa Nu ΘKN 1924 – 1939 Lambda Chi Alpha
Theta Upsilon ΘΥ 1921 – 1962 Delta Zeta

See also