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The History of Michigan Beta

The Michigan Beta Chapter of Phi Delta Theta has some of the deepest roots in Michigan State's Greek Life. Dating back to 1873, we are the oldest standing national fraternity on campus, and we are lucky enough to call notable Michigan State alumni such as Robert Kedzie, W.J Beal, and Liberty Bailey our brothers.

This book of our history was put together using images from the Scroll of Phi Delta Theta, Documents and yearbooks from the Michigan State Archives, and a scrapbook created by Ezra Wilson (1915). The history was completed in the spring of of 2018 by brother Colin Green (19).

Michigan Beta Photo Archives

Overview of Michigan Beta

November 8th, 1873 - Michigan Beta receives their charter​. One year after Delta Tau Delta.

Fall, 1896​​ - MAC faculty ban national Greek organizations. We rename ourselves the "Phi Delta Society."

September 19th, 1931 - Michigan Beta is re-founded, all brothers of the Phi Delta Society are initiated at our new chapter house.

November 1st, 1931 - Construction on the chapter house at 626 Cowley is complete. Brothers move in in January.

Fall, 1935 - Michigan Beta becomes first house on campus with a house mother, Mrs. Johnathon Palmer Jr.

Fall, 1944 - Spring, 1946 - Due to the war, fraternity houses were empty. Michigan Beta rents house to Delta Zeta sorority , we move to 523 Abbott.

Spring, 1948 - Michigan Beta has 105 active brothers, annual comedy show, "The Follies" begins.

November, 1955 - Spartan Phi Magazine published for the first time.

Fall, 1965 - Michigan Beta gets its first color TV.

March 23rd, 1972 - Fire rages through the third floor of 626 Cowley, causing $175,000 worth of damages.

September 9th, 1976 - The second house fire in four years hits the Phi Delt house, this one occurring in the basement.

October, 1981 - Michigan Beta accommodates over 700 people in its' first annual Oktoberfest.

November, 1998 - Michigan Beta celebrates 125 years on campus, the longest of any Greek organization.

November 12th, 2004 - 626 Cowley is recognized as a house in the "East Lansing Mansions," now a historical site.

October 20th, 2014 - After a 12 year hiatus, Michigan Beta receives its' charter and is an active chapter on campus.

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