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Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (1879)/Alpha Sigma Chi

< Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (1879)

This, the youngest of the college fraternities of any importance, was founded at Rutgers College, New Jersey, in 1874, by Elbridge Vansyckel, Jr., '73, Chas. L. D. Washburn, '75, and Wm. P. Watson, M.D., '75. Closely associated with these three gentlemen was Ellis Dunn Thompson, C. E., '76, of Cornell University. The Rutgers Chapter, which was termed the Alpha, was formally announced in 1874, although the movement which resulted in its formation was begun nearly three years before. The Cornell Chapter soon followed, and the roll of chapters is at present as follows :

  1. Alpha, Rutgers College, 1874.
  2. Beta, Cornell University, 1874.
  3. Gamma, Stevens Institute of Technology, 1875.
  4. Delta, Princeton College, 1876 (died 1878).
  5. Epsilon, St. Lawrence University, 1876.
  6. Zeta, Columbia College, 1877 (died 1878).
  7. Eta, Maine State College, 1878.

At the time of its formation the Alpha was the best fraternity chapter at Rutgers, and had a large membership. The chapter, though now small, is prosperous. The members of the Beta have always been foremost in athletic sports, and have been among the chief supporters of Cornell's navy. The Gamma has won its way to the foremost place at the Stevens Institute, and is now the largest chapter. The Delta, established at a time when it was deemed a heinous crime to be a member of a secret organization at Princeton, prospered until 1878, when the charter was withdrawn by order of the convention. The Epsilon was formed from a literary society which long held a prominent place at St. Lawrence University. The chapter possesses a fine hall in the university buildings. The Zeta had hardly been started on what bid fair to be a smooth and successful career when some discontented spirits brought discord and disunion into its ranks. Its charter is suspended. The Eta, like the Epsilon, was formerly a local society. Annual conventions of the fraternity are held with the chapters in turn, the last one having met under the auspices of the Gamma, in December, 1878. The fraternity, as yet, has issued no catalogues, its sole publications being a collection of songs, privately printed, and the "Alpha Sigma Chi Waltz," dedicated to Epsilon.

The badge of the fraternity is a jewelled monogram of the letters "ΑΣΧ," and is one of the handsomest of all the Greek-Letter badges. The colors are purple and gold. The total number of members is 223.