Delta Kappa

Delta Kappa Fraternity (ΔΚ) was a national fraternity in the United States of America that existed from 1920 to 1964. Local chapters still exist in New York state.

Delta Kappa
Crest of Delta Kappa National Fraternity
Buffalo State College
ScopeUnited States
Mission statementTo foster the development of fellowship, scholarship, and leadership through the socializing influence of fraternal life.[1]
MottoTrue leadership is possible only through honorable and upright living.[2][3]
MaximKorufaios, Kathapos, and Kosmos
Member badge
Colors     White
FlowerRed Rose[3]
JewelPearl and Ruby
PublicationThe Deltan
Chapters21 undergraduate chapters
HeadquartersBuffalo, NY and Milwaukee, WI


Founding and early growth

The fraternity was founded as Kappa Kappa Kappa at the State Normal School in Buffalo, New York (now Buffalo State College) by James Finley, Albert Meinhold, Albert Stalk, Fred Weyler, and Arthur S. Bellfield as a fraternity for students majoring in education. The organization was first incorporated in New York in 1930. It was a national fraternity for the teaching profession with its headquarters in Buffalo, NY. It assumed the name Kappa Kappa Kappa (ΚΚΚ) to represent the tri-Kappa symbolism of Korufaios , Kathapos , and Kosmos .[4] The fraternity voted to change its name to Delta Kappa at the 1936 convention to avoid being confused with the Ku Klux Klan and was incorporated for a second time under the new name in 1937.[3] At the 1936 convention, the fraternity also changed the scope of the organization by changing its emphasis from professional to social and allowing any bachelor's degree granting institution to host a chapter.

The fraternity went inactive from 1944 to 1946 during World War II. Delta Kappa quickly reactivated seven chapters by the end of 1948. The organization then began expanding outside of the state of New York by adding chapters in six other states. This growth was hastened when the fraternity decided to drop the requirement that at least half the members of any petitioning fraternal group be working toward a degree in the teaching profession.[5]

Loss of Chapters

Delta Kappa was growing until a 1953 edict by the SUNY Board of Trustees forced the abandonment of all chapters affiliated with national societies in state supported schools.[6] Delta Kappa, along with several other Greek Letter Organizations, fought this edict in court under the case name Webb vs. State University of New York[7] where they argued for the benefits of national affiliation and showed the lack of discriminatory clauses in their constitutions. Unfortunately for Delta Kappa the courts sided with the SUNY Board of Trustees in 1954 by ruling that the trustees were acting in their supervisory powers.

The decision cost the fraternity eight chapters in New York State. In a later petition,[8] the fraternity claimed that the edict also caused the closing of two other chapters (ΔΡ and ΗΦ). Most of the New York chapters became local fraternities after the ruling. The loss of chapters and know-how threw the Delta Kappa national leadership into a tailspin and ΔΧ and Κ chapters, perhaps thinking there was no more national fraternity, affiliated with other organizations.

Independent New York Chapters

With the loss of the court case the chapters at SUNY institutions became independent local fraternities after 1953. The chapter at Ithaca would follow suit in 1964.

Reorganization in Wisconsin

Within the space of a year, Delta Kappa went from having nineteen chapters down to seven. With most of the active chapters now in Wisconsin a meeting was called in 1954 where it was decided that there should be an attempt to save the fraternity. In 1956 the fraternity was incorporated for the third time in the state of Wisconsin[5] and the national offices were moved to Milwaukee.

The move to Wisconsin did not help with the fraternity's growth. Delta Kappa did add two new chapters between 1954 and 1963 but they also had three chapters, Φ, ΧΔ, and ΣΦ, disaffiliate and join other organizations. By 1963 there were only six chapters left in the fraternity.


In an attempt to save their chapters and preserve some unity the fraternity began looking at other organizations for a merger. Fraternities with active chapters at the six schools where Delta Kappa was active were not considered. Of the remaining organizations Sigma Pi was chosen since it was considered best at fulfilling the goals of their young men.[8]

In late 1964, Delta Kappa merged with Sigma Pi Fraternity, with the approval of the conventions occurring in June and September, respectively.[3] Of the six chapters, four (Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wisconsin-Stout, Milton, and Western State College of Colorado) became Sigma Pi chapters. The chapter at Wisconsin-Oshkosh decided to go its own way and affiliate with Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. The chapter at Ithaca College (which is not a SUNY institution) became a local fraternity.

With the merger, Sigma Pi gave the joining Delta Kappa chapters designations starting with Delta to help maintain their sense of history. This was out of order since new chapters were then being named in the Gamma series. Sigma Pi has never named any chapter Delta Kappa as a sign of respect to their new brothers.[9] Sigma Pi also initiated any Delta Kappa alumni who wished to attend their initiation ceremonies.

After the Merger

Sigma Pi made an effort to reach out to Delta Kappa alumni in Wisconsin by colonizing at schools that once had DK chapters or where alumni were nearby. Between 1966 and 1971 five chapters were chartered in the state at Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Wisconsin-Whitewater, Wisconsin-Platteville, and Wisconsin-LaCrosse.[9] When the SUNY ban on national fraternities was lifted in 1976 Sigma Pi contacted the surviving chapters of Delta Kappa in New York state but there was little interest in joining a national organization again.

At least one national officer of Delta Kappa, Richard Barnard (Milton College), became a national officer in Sigma Pi. Mr. Barnard served on the Sigma Pi Grand Council as Grand Secretary from 1970 to 1974.[10] He also served on the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation as Treasurer from 1990 to 1994 and as President from 1994 to 1996.[11]


  • The Delta Kappa Pledge Manual was last published in 1959.
  • The Kappan was a yearbook that was published every year.
  • The Deltan was a newsletter that was published at the discretion of the national officers starting in 1958.[12]
  • The Operational Handbook was an aid for chapter officers.


Membership in Delta Kappa, like most fraternities, was limited to males. The 1959 Pledge Manual stated that "membership is open to any male who believes in a supreme being." According to the 1963 edition of Baird's Manual (the last published before the merger with Sigma Pi) there were no membership restrictions. Baird's also stated that the organization had 1200 members in 1963.[13]


Grand Chapter

The Grand Chapter of Delta Kappa met in the spring during the National Convention and was composed of the Board of Directors and delegates from each chapter and alumni club. The Board of Directors was composed of six national officers: President, Vice President, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, and Librarian. Each chapter could send two voting delegates to the Grand Chapter while alumni clubs received one voting delegate. A two-thirds vote was needed for the grand chapter to pass by-laws or to suspend chapters. The National Convention was held each year with a different chapter hosting each convention and arranging the accommodations.[14]:13

Two awards were given during the National Convention. A Scholarship Award was given to the chapter with the highest Grade Point Average. A Distance Travelled Award was given to the chapter that travelled the farthest to attend.[14]:26

A Fall Business Meeting could also be called at the discretion of the National President. Attendance was not compulsory.[14]:14

Board of directors

The Board of Directors governed the fraternity when the Grand Chapter was not in session. Board members were elected to one year terms at each meeting of the Grand Chapter. The President was the executive of the fraternity while the Vice President oversaw the ritual and was director of expansion. The Corresponding Secretary kept meeting minutes and oversaw correspondence while the Recording Secretary kept membership records. The Treasurer kept the fraternity's finances and the Librarian acted as the historian and publisher of the Kappan.[14]:13

Each chapter was inspected yearly by at least one member of the Board of Directors during a Chapter Visitation.[14]:15


The 1963 edition of Baird's Manual lists Delta Kappa in its National Interfraternity Conference non-member section.[13] Between 1954 and 1964 the fraternity lost three chapters to NIC member fraternities. This did not violate the NIC anti-pirating rule since it only applies to member fraternity chapters.[15]

Expansion Plan

Delta Kappa's expansion plan called for contacting local fraternities with at least ten members at accredited four year colleges. Petitioning groups paid installation fees but had their first year chapter dues waived.[14]:14

Notable alumni

This section includes alumni of the local Delta Kappa chapters in New York.

Name Original chapter Notability Reference
Richard Jadick Delta Kappa

local fraternity Ithaca College

Combat Surgeon and Bronze Star recipient [16]
Bill Tierney Delta Kappa Beta

local fraternity SUNY Cortland

NCAA lacrosse coach and player [17]

List of chapters

Undergraduate chapters

Known undergraduate chapters were[3]

Chapter Institution's Name at Chartering (if different than current) Current Name Date Chartered Notes Status
Α State Normal School - Buffalo Buffalo State College September 1920 Inactive in 1944. Reactivated in 1946.[14]:46–51 Became Delta Kappa local fraternity in 1953. Closed
Β Cortland State Normal School[18] SUNY Cortland 1925 Inactive in 1944. Reactivated in 1946.[14]:46–51 Became Delta Kappa Beta local fraternity in 1953.[19] Briefly became a Sigma Pi colony in 1977[20] Lost university recognition in 1991. Banned by the university in 2000.[4]
Γ Oswego State Normal School[21] SUNY Oswego March 1926 Inactive in 1944. Reactivated in 1946.[14]:46–51 Became Delta Kappa Gamma in 1953 then changed its name to Delta Kappa Kappa in the Fall of 1955.[22] Active
Δ Plattsburgh State Normal School[23] SUNY Plattsburgh 1927 Dormant in 1932. Rechartered on March 14, 1953.[14]:46–51 Became Delta Kappa Delta local fraternity later in 1953.[24] Closed in 1979.
Ε Ithaca College 1931 Inactive in 1944. Reactivated in May, 1948.[14]:46–51 Became Delta Kappa local fraternity in 1964 after the national merger with Sigma Pi. Ithaca removed recognition from most Greek letter organizations in the 1980s. Closed in 2009.
Ζ New Paltz State Normal School[25] SUNY New Paltz May 26, 1935[14]:46–51 Dormant in 1944. Reactivated in September, 1946.[14]:46–51 Became Delta Kappa Zeta local fraternity in 1953.[26] Active
Η Oneonta State Normal School SUNY Oneonta November 1942 Formed from the merger of two local fraternities, Pi Delta Alpha and Phi Lambda Chi. Inactive in March 1943. Reactivated on December 6, 1947.[14]:46–51 Became Delta Phi Kappa local fraternity in 1953.[27] Closed in 1984.
Θ Potsdam State Teacher's College SUNY Potsdam June 1, 1946[14]:46–51 Founded as Sigma Sigma Sigma local fraternity in 1932. The organization became dormant during World War II then reformed as Sigma Tau fraternity after the war. Became Delta Kappa Theta local fraternity in 1953.[28][29][30] Active
Ι Geneseo State Teacher's College SUNY Geneseo 1948[31] Founded as the Delphic Society in 1871. At the time of chartering the organization was operating as local fraternity Alpha Sigma Epsilon. Became Delta Kappa Tau local fraternity in 1953.[32] Active
Κ Indiana State Teacher's College Indiana State University March 4, 1950[14]:46–51 Formed as a colony of Delta Kappa. First chapter outside of the state of New York. Disaffiliated from the national organization in the Winter term of 1954 and became Kappa Zeta local fraternity.[33] In May 1954 the organization became the Indiana Delta chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.[34] Active
ΔΧ Southeast Missouri State College Southeast Missouri State University January 27, 1951[35] Founded on March 19, 1949 as Delta Chi Delta local fraternity. Disaffiliated from Delta Kappa and became the Delta Zeta chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity in 1953.[36] Dormant in 1992. Rechartered in 2016. Active
ΔΡ Madison College James Madison University April 21, 1951[1] Formed as Sigma Delta Rho local fraternity in 1947.[37] Disaffiliated from the national organization in 1954 and once again became Sigma Delta Rho local fraternity.[38] Became the Mu Tau chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity in 1969.[39] Active
Φ Clarion State College Clarion University of Pennsylvania 1951 Formed as Alpha Phi Alpha local fraternity in 1930.[40] Received permission from the national organization to disaffiliate in 1960 [41] and became the Epsilon Xi chapter of Theta Chi fraternity later that year.[42] Dormant
ΣΦ State Teachers' College at Frostburg Frostburg State University 1951 Founded in 1935 as Sigma Phi local fraternity. Disaffiliated from Delta Kappa and became the Theta Chi chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity in 1962 before becoming a local fraternity again. It is now Alpha Theta Chi local fraternity and is not recognized by the university. Active-Unrecognized
Σ The Stout Institute University of Wisconsin–Stout November 30, 1951 Formed as Sigma local fraternity in 1946.[14]:46–51 Became the Delta Sigma chapter of Sigma Pi in 1964.[43] Dormant since 1983.[44][45]
ΧΔ Wisconsin State College–Whitewater University of Wisconsin-Whitewater March 14, 1952[14]:46–51 Formed as Beta Kappa Nu local fraternity in 1929. Became the Beta chapter of Chi Delta Rho state fraternity in 1939. Reorganized as Chi Delta Rho local fraternity after World War II. Disaffiliated from Delta Kappa in 1961 and became Chi Delta Rho again. Became the Lambda Iota chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity in 1965. Dormant in 2005. Rechartered in 2013.[46] Active
ΗΦ Wisconsin State College at Eau Claire University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire March 15, 1952[47] Founded as Eta Phi local fraternity on February 16, 1949. Disaffiliated from the national organization in 1954 and became Eta Phi again.[48] Became the Iota Sigma chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity in the Fall of 1963.[49] Dormant
ΧΓ Milton College April 24, 1953[14]:46–51 Formed as a local fraternity then became Gamma chapter of Chi Delta Rho state fraternity before World War II. Became the Delta Gamma chapter of Sigma Pi in 1968 after a four-year colony status. The delay was due to the college's accreditation status.[50] Dormant when the college closed in 1974.[44]
Ο Wisconsin State College of Milwaukee University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee May 12, 1953[14]:46–51 Founded as Omicron Omicron Omicron local fraternity. Became the Delta Omicron chapter of Sigma Pi fraternity in 1964. First Delta Kappa chapter to be initiated into Sigma Pi.[51] Dormant since 1972.[44]
ΙΑΣ Wisconsin State College–Oshkosh University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh 1962 Became the Epsilon Beta chapter of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity in 1965.[52] Active
ΧΣ Western State College of Colorado Western State Colorado University November 17, 1963 Formed as a colony of Delta Kappa. Became the Delta Chi chapter of Sigma Pi in 1965.[53] Dormant in 1972. Rechartered in 1994.[54] Dormant since 1999.[44]

Alumni Chapters

Alumni Chapters were usually given the name of the local college chapter with the Greek letter Pi added before the local chapter name. Alumni Chapters could be recognized if they had five or more men who had graduated or left school in good standing.[14]:39 Known alumni chapters are:

  • Pi Alpha - Buffalo, NY
  • Pi Beta - Cortland, NY
  • Pi Kappa – Evansville, IN
  • Pi Chi Delta – Whitewater, WI
  • Pi Omicron – Milwaukee, WI
  • Pi Sigma Phi – Frostburg, MD
  • Pi Chi Gamma – Milton, WI
  • Pi Epsilon – Ithaca, NY
  • Pi Phi – Clarion, PA

Fraternity song

"Hail Men of Delta Kappa", Words by Bill Fyfe, Music by Sam Forcucci[14]:17

Hail Men of Delta Kappa Keep your honor ever high. Raise your heads fling out your banner Let the colors never die.

We are brothers all DK men, With a trust that men hold high. It's a pledge we call good fellowship, Let our emblem fill the sky.

Sing out with voice proclaiming, Let our song be ever known. We are proud to be DK men, With an emblem all our own.

We are brothers pledged together That our faith be ever true. In the pledge we call good fellowship, Men of DK here's to you.[2]


  1. "National Frat Installs Group". The Breeze. Madison College. May 4, 1951. p. 4.
  2. "About - Delta Kappa Kappa - Oswego, NY". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  3. Robson, John, ed. (1968). Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (18th ed.). Menasha, Wisconsin: Banta Publishing Company. pp. 769–770.
  4. "History of DK - Delta Kappa Beta". Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  5. "History". Delta Kappa Fraternity of Ithaca College. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  6. "Fraternity Communication: New York State Fraternity History". Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  7. "WEBB v. STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK | 125 F.Supp. 910 (1954)". 1954-06-07. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  8. Delta Kappa Letter of Petition to Merge with Sigma Pi, 1964
  11. "Past Educational Foundation Officers – Sigma Pi Educational Foundation". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  12. "Deltan" (PDF). 1 (1). May 1958. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  13. Robson, John, ed. (1963). "Non NIC Members". Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (17th ed.). Menasha, Wisconsin: Banta Publishing Company. p. 365.
  14. Delta Kappa Pledge Manual, 1959
  15. "(By Laws Sec. 5)". Archived from the original on 2015-10-11. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
  16. Name * First Last. "Alumni Directory - Delta Kappa Fraternity of Ithaca College". Archived from the original on 2016-12-05. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  17. "Delta Kappa Beta Cortland". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  18. SUNY Cortland History
  19. "Kappa (1925-1991) Fraternity". Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  20. "The Emerald of Sigma Pi" (PDF). 1977. p. 1. Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  21. Campus History
  22. "Ontarian 1956 :: SUNY Oswego". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  23. Past Presidents and Principals of Plattsburgh State Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine
  24. "Delta Kappa Delta Honors Brothers and Alma Mater with Scholarship and Memorial". Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  25. History of the Campus
  26. "2013 Reunion Brochure" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-15. Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  27. "DeltaPhiKappa | Fraternity based at SUNY Oneonta, NY". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  28. "Delta Kappa Theta Fraternity".
  29. "Potsdam Greeks United: Delta Kappa Theta Fraternity". Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  30. "Potsdam Greeks United: Social Fraternities in Potsdam". Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  31. "1949 Oh-Ha-Daih - geneseoyearbook". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  32. "1955 Oh-Ha-Daih - geneseoyearbook". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  33., p. 118.
  34., p. 130.
  35. "1953 by Southeast Missouri State University". issuu. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  36. "1954 by Southeast Missouri State University". issuu. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  37. "Schoolma'am 1952". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  38. "Schoolma'am 1955". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  39. "Bluestone 1969". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  40. "Sequelle 1951". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  41. "Sequelle 1960". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  42. "Sequelle 1961". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  43. "The Emerald of Sigma Pi" (PDF). Sigma Pi Fraternity. 1965. pp. 204–205. Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  44. Sigma Pi Fraternity, International. "Sigma Pi Fraternity » Chapter Roll". Sigma Pi Fraternity.
  45. "Delta Sigma". Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  46. "Lambda Chi Alpha : University of Wisconsin-Whitewater » Local History". Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  47. "ResCarta-Web - Image Viewer". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  48. "ResCarta-Web - Image Viewer". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  50. "The Emerald of Sigma Pi" (PDF). Sigma Pi Fraternity. 1968. pp. 62–63. Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  51. "The Emerald of Sigma Pi" (PDF). Sigma Pi Fraternity. 1965. pp. 202–203. Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  52. Anson, Jack; Marchesani Jr., Robert F., eds. (1990). "VIII Fraternities That Are No More". Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (20th ed.). Baird's Manual Foundation. p. 6. ISBN 0-9637159-0-9.
  53. "The Emerald of Sigma Pi" (PDF). Sigma Pi Fraternity. 1965. pp. 86–88. Retrieved 2015-04-18.
  54. "The Emerald of Sigma Pi" (PDF). Sigma Pi Fraternity. 1995. pp. 35–36. Retrieved 2015-08-28.
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