The first fraternal organization was organized at GMI in 1921. Five years later the first officially recognized organization was formed with the founding of White Elephants in 1926 ushering in a new age in the history of GMI/Kettering. The following year two additional fraternities would be formed; Gamma Mu Tau and Phi Kappa Epsilon.
White Elephants Gamma Mu Tau Phi Kappa Epsilon
In 1928 four additional groups would be founded on campus, Alpha Delta, Beta Tau Sigma, Gilgal, and Phi Sigma Phi, bringing the total number of organizations on campus to seven. The President of the Interfraternity Council or IFC in 1928 was Wilbur Jones.
Alpha Delta Beta Tau Sigma Gilgal Phi Sigma Phi Phi Tau Alpha Alpha Gamma Upsilon
In 1929, Phi Tau Alpha was founded. In 1932 Alpha Gamma Upsilon was founded around the same time period Beta Tau Sigma merged with the White Elephants. The remaining eight organizations would make up the IFC for the next 21 years. In 1953 Beta Alpha Epsilon was founded, followed by Kappa Sigma Kappa and the Eleventh Fellowship in 1954, which would become known as Delta Chi Rho in 1955. In 1955 White Elephants changed its name to Omega Epsilon.
The Greek Community remained a strong and active part of campus life at GMI throughout the 1950’s and into the 1960’s when the University gained its national accreditation. As a result the fraternities sought national association and so beginning in 1963 the first of many name changes would take place as the local organizations would become chapters of national fraternal organizations. In 1963 Omega Epsilon became Alpha Tau Omega, Gamma Tau Mu became Delta Tau Delta, Delta Chi Rho became Sigma Nu, Phi Kappa Epsilon became Pi Kappa Alpha, Phi Sigma Phi became Sigma Chi, and Kappa Sigma Kappa became Theta Xi. In 1964 Gilgal became Lambda Chi Alpha, followed by Beta Alpha Epsilon becoming Beta Theta Pi, and Alpha Gamma Upsilon becoming Phi Gamma Delta, and Alpha Delta which became Phi Delta Theta in 1965. The last of the original organization would go national in 1966, Phi Tau Alpha would become Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
In 1969 the first new fraternity in over a decade expanded on campus, Phi Eta Psi was the first fraternal organization for African American men at GMI.
Phi Eta Psi
In the 1970’s another first for the GMI/Kettering Greek Community came about with the official recognition of sororities on campus along with the expansion of the culturally based organizations. In 1973 the Theta Tau chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc, was established at GMI. Also, in 1973 Theta Phi Alpha became the first recognized sorority on campus. In 1975 Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Beta Sigma Theta Sorority and Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority joined the Greek Community at then GMI. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. arrived on campus in 1976, along with Omega Epsilon Omicron. In 1978 Beta Sigma Phi became the third non-culturally based sorority on campus. Also, in 1978 another culturally based organization arrived on campus in the form of Omega Psi Phi.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc Theta Phi Alpha Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Alpha Sigma AlphaDelta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Beta Sigma Phi Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Alpha Gamma Delta
Throughout the 1980’s the Greek Community continued to play a prominent role on campus and within the local community. In 1986 members of Beta Sigma Phi split off and joined the national sorority known as Alpha Gamma Delta. This would be the only significant change to the Greek Community for the next ten years.
In 1996 under the direction of the Greek Director a new organization was colonized, Delta Chi fraternity became the newest member of the Greek Community at GMI-EMI. In 1998 Alpha Tau Omega was disbanded and their chapter house on Dupont St. became a youth center. Also, in 1998 Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was established on Kettering’s campus.
Delta Chi Alpha Phi
In 2000, members of Beta Sigma Phi in A-section decided to go national and became Alpha Phi. In 2003 Theta Phi Alpha sorority was disbanded although, their alumnae remain active in the community to this day.
It is quite clear that the Greek Community has had a long and colorful history on this campus. A history which has its high and low points as any history does. But the current Greek Community is stronger than ever. With 11 NIC fraternities, 4 NPHC organizations and 3 NPC sororities; the current Greek Community accounts for more than 40% of the total student population at Kettering.
The names may change, the colors may be different, but the values, life-lessons, and friendships will continue on this campus far into the future.