Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (1879)/Class fraternities/Senior societies
Skull and Bones.Edit
This society originated in 1832, its founders being fifteen members of the class of '33, among whom were General Russell and ex-Attorney-General Taft. The membership is always fifteen each year, and, unlike the other societies at Yale, there is no electioneering or "pledging" connected with its management. The society endeavors to select the most prominent men in the class in every way, and is generally successful. Its elections are offered equally to Psi U., or D. K. E. men, but neutrals very frequently have been elected also.
The society owns a fine hall, and is said to possess a very complete collection of “memorabilia” appertaining to the college. Its badge is of solid gold, and consistsof a skull supported by the crossed bones, and having the figures “322” in place of the lower jaw. Its mode of offering elections, wearing badges, its catalogues, commencement invitations, and general usages are peculiar, though somewhat silly, and are described at length in the work on Yale referred to above.
Scroll and Key.Edit
Scroll and Key was founded in 1841 by members of the class of ’42. It was probably the result of antagonism to Skull and Bones. Its usages and customs have been copied very closely after its older rival, and it is in most respects similar. Its badge is a plain scroll, across which a key is lying, and is of solid gold. It owns a fine hall. For many years it was somewhat looked down upon, but it now stands upon equal terms with the other senior society.
Other senior societies have been established at Yale, such as “Spade and Grave,“ “Star and Dart," “Crown and Sceptre” etc.
Chi Delta Theta.Edit
This society, which perhaps ought to have been mentioned before the other two, was founded in 1821 as a literary society. It flourished for some time and then disbanded, its library being made a present to the college. It was revived in 1868, at the suggestion of one of the board of editors of the “Literary Magazine,” and its membership has since been confined to that board, and it is now assured of a continued active existence. Its badge is a gold triangle, upon the lower side of which is inscribed “ΧΔΘ, 1821;" on the reverse is the holder’s name and class, and “Yale Lit., 1836.”
Elephant and Coffin.Edit
A senior society which originated in the College of the City of New York, and is one of a host of imitators of the external forms of the Yale Societies, such as the “Owl and Serpent,” at Wesleyan; the “Trident and Shell,” at Michigan, etc.
A recent society at Bowdoin, local and open.
Delta Kappa Delta.Edit
A class society at Marietta. It has an annual membership of from three to eight.
A senior society at Bowdoin.
A society founded at Knyon in 1841. It is local, and possesses a large membership.
C. C. C.Edit
An apparently select society, founded at the University of California in 1876. The badge is a crescent inscribed with the above letters.