Kappa Alumni of Sigma Phi Delta, Inc.

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Thursday, April 11, 2024

In the Fall of 1923, a group of engineering students at the University of Southern California considered the idea of forming an engineering fraternity. The idea was considered and temporarily discarded due to the unsuccessful previous attempts. In the Spring of 1924, however, the group met to formulate their ideas into action. The first meeting of this group was held at the University YMCA, commonly called "The Red Barn" or "The Barn". For many years there has been confusion as to the exact date of the first meeting. From a recently discovered "Minute Book", the date of this first meeting was found to be on April 2, 1924. This Minute Book, a student composition pad, consists of the record of the activities of this student group for the first year of its life.

Charles Kahlert acted as Secretary at this meeting at which C. J. Robinson presided as president. Albert B. Collins was chairman of the constitution and by-laws committee. As near as can be determined, the men present at this meeting were C. J. Robinson, Earl C. Payne, Archie Black, Albert B. Collins, W. Severns, Charles G. Kahlert, Addison E. Wells, C. J. Young, H. B. Foster, Monte Clare, George Shindler, H. B. Wilcox and Charles Fuller.

April 11, 1924, is considered to be the founding date of the Sigma Phi Delta Fraternity. At the meeting on this date, the discussion centered on the name for this new fraternity. First considered was Psi Delta Sigma, but this was rejected because of conflict with the name of another fraternity. Discussion on the name was then deferred until the meeting of April 21, 1924. The group adopted a constitution and by-laws and voted to increase the number of the charter membership to twenty. Actually, the eighteen men listed in this history are considered as the Charter Members of the Fraternity. Added to the list at this time were M. B. Pritchard, Harry H. Lembke, Ross Stoker and LeRoy Henzie.

The name "Sigma Delta Phi" was suggested at the meeting on April 21. At this time, the pin committee was given the added responsibility of choosing colors for the organization. A committee was chosen to draw up a formal petition to the Faculty Committee of the University of Southern California for recognition. Named to the Committee were Kahlert, Payne and Black. At the meeting on April 25, 1924, the name of this new fraternity was changed to "Sigma Phi Delta".