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Zeta Psi was founded at New York University, in 1846, by Judge Wm. Henry Dayton, of Boston; John B. Yates Sommers, of New York; and John M. Skillman, U.S.A., of Brooklyn. The fraternity extended itself rapidly until 1860, since which time constitutional restrictions have caused it to add chapters more slowly. The present list of chapters is as follows:

  1. Phi, New York Ulliycrsity, 1847.
  2. Zeta, Williams College, 1848 (died 1855).
  3. Delta, Rutgers College, 1848.
  4. Omicron, Princeton College, 1850.
  5. Sigma, Pennsylvania University, 1850.
  6. Chi, Colby University, 1850.
  7. Epsilon, Brown University, 1852 (died 1878).
  8. Rho, Harvard University, 1852 (died 1857).
  9. Alpha, Dickinson College, 1852 (died 1857).
  10. Psi, Dartmouth College, 1853 (died 1873).
  11. Kappa, Tufts College, 1855.
  12. Theta, Union College, 1856 (died 1864).
  13. Tau, Lafayette College, 1857.
  14. Upsilon, North Carolina University, 1858 (died 1862).
  15. Xi, Michigan University, 1858.
  16. Pi, Amherst, 1858, transferred to
  17. Pi, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1865.
  18. Eta, Pennsylvania College, 1861 (died 1864).
  19. Omega, Chicago University, 1864.
  20. Lambda, Bowdoin College, 1868.
  21. Psi, Cornell University, 1869.
  22. Beta, Virginia University, 1868.
  23. Iota, California University, 1870.
  24. Mu, United States Naval Academy, 1872 (died 1877).
  25. Gamma, Syracuse University, 1874.

The Phi has for a long time been in a very weak condition, and was said to have been transferred to Columbia College in 1878. It still lives, however. The Zeta was killed by some college troubles. The Delta was established at Rutgers College the same year, and its members have always stood well in every way. The Omicon has continued its organization in spite of the incessant warfare waged against the fraternities by the faculty. The Sigma was temporarily suspended from 1874 to 1876, but it is now doing well. Following the foundation of this chapter the Chi was established at Colby University, where it still exists. The Epsilon was established at Brown in 1852; at the breaking out of the Rebellion the entire chapter enlisted and the charter was withdrawn. In 1865 it was re-established, but became inactive in 1878 by the graduation of the last member. The Rho was killed by the decrce of the faculty abolishing secret societies. It was subsequently re-established in 1865, but the charter was revoked in 1870. At Dartmouth the Psi existed until 1863, when the limitation of the membership and opposition to the society system there prevalent caused the charter to be revoked. It was again established in 1869, but only lived four years. Kappa, at Tufts, published the college annual alone for a number of years, until recently the other fraternity has united in its support. The Theta was withdrawn on account of the perceptible decadence of the college. The Tau has had a career of uninterrupted success, and owns a fine club house. The Upsilon, at first established at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was transferred to Virginia University by the closing of the former institution. Its name is now Beta. The Pi, also transferred from one college to another, was first situated at Amherst, but was placed at Troy in 1865. The Eta was established at a most unfavorable time, and was, consequently, short lived. The Omega had built a fine chapter house, which was destroyed by the Chicago fire. It was suspended in 1872, and was reinstituted in 1878. The Psi, organized at Cornell in 1868, was the first of the many fraternities now existing there. During the disagreement among the fraternities in 1878, the chapter published alone its edition of the college annual. The book was beautiful, but the advisability of the step may be questioned. The Iota, at Ca1ifornia University, had the finest chapter house in the country, and is deservedly popular.

The fraternity has an excellent reputation and is widely known. Having been founded by members of the Masonic brotherhood, its internal machinery is a modified form of the Masonic. The badgc is formed of the two Greek letters, “Ζ” and “Ψ,” the “Ζ” above the “Ψ;” on the “Ψ” are a star, a Roman fasces, and a small “Α;” on the “Ζ” is a small “Ο.” The fraternity color is white, each chapter having its distinctive color.

The total membership is about 2700.

Among the prominent alumni of Zeta Psi are Right. Rev. E. Seymour, Isaac Newton, U.S.N.; Chief-Justice Niles, of California; Robert Bonnor, of New York; Speaker Randall, General E. C. Stedman, Governor. S. Conner, of Maine; ex-Governor Nelson Dingley, Hon. W. G. Frye, and others.

The fraternity has metropolitan chapters in New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Chicago, Troy, and San Francisco.