The Phi Kappa Tau fraternity was started on March 17, 1906, at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Today, there are 89 active charters and three colonies.
On November 16, 1929, the first founding fathers for Phi Kappa Tau signed the original CSU charter at the Northern Hotel. It was charter number 42.
Seventy-three years later, on this Saturday, Phi Kappa Tau’s second founding fathers signed another charter.
The chapter on the CSU campus is Alpha Sigma. Every fraternity and sorority chapter has a Greek letter. Once the Greek alphabet is gone through once, Greek life gives multiple letters, said Cliff Unger, the CSU chapter adviser.
The founding fathers, after signing the two charters, then received their certificate of membership.
In this fraternity, the founding fathers signed two charters, one for the chapter house and one to go into a fireproof cabinet- in case something happens to the first charter, Unger said.
“It’s been a long time. I am in shock and very happy,” said Aaron Harris, a senior majoring in history. “This is two years of work here. Looking back it was all worth it.”
In 1997 the Phi Kappa Tau charter was revoked for many reasons, such as fighting, financial issues and some weak leadership. The headquarters and CSU decided to have the fraternity take a break and come back with new people, said Adam Zahm, a junior in landscape architecture.
Phi Kappa Tau was re-instated as a colony at CSU on September 11, 2000.
“I came in the fall of 2000 and recruited the original group of guys to make a colony. I then helped them get started,” said Jeff Lewis, who works at the Phi Kappa Tau executive office. “This is absolutely wonderful.”
The original 15 members called people, worked at Rush, signed up friends and wrote letters, Harris said.
“Every member has to do 15 hours of community service and have at least a 2.4 GPA. We had to have at least 35 people, raise money for our national philanthropy and write a constitution,” Zahm said. “We also had to write alumni letters, have two councils and hold regular meetings.”
Alpha Kappa Tau also had to have a bank account and budget, and do three risk management presentations every semester. Risk management presentations included topics such as drinking and driving.
The national philanthropy is with the Hole in the Wall camps, started by Paul Newman, who also was in Alpha Kappa Tau. The camp is for children with terminal illnesses.
There were 35 men who initiated on Saturday. There are more men that are being recruited and a few others that are going to be added, now that the charter ceremony is over, said Zahm.
“This is absolutely great,” said Lewis.