Chi Psi

Chi Psi
Chi Psi Fraternity
Founded May 20, 1841 (1841-05-20) (170 years ago)
Union College
Type Social Fraternity
Scope National
Colors Royal Purple and Gold
Chapters 29
Headquarters Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Chi Psi Fraternity is a fraternity and secret society consisting of 29 active chapters (known as "Alphas") at American colleges and universities. It was founded on Thursday May 20, 1841, by 10 students at Union College with the idea of emphasizing the fraternal and social principles of a brotherhood. It was the first Greek-letter organization to be founded on these grounds rather than the literary characteristics of the seven existing societies. In addition, Chi Psi was the first fraternity in the nation to establish a fraternity house, at the University of Michigan in 1845, originally called a "lodge" because of its resemblance to a hunting lodge, the name stuck and now all Chi Psi houses are referred to as Lodges.[1] Chi Psi Fraternity is the 8th fraternity to be founded in the USA. Founded in 1845, Alpha Phi at Hamilton College is the longest active Alpha in the United States.

Chi Psi's official colors are Royal Purple and Gold. Chi Psi's national headquarters, the Central Office, is in Nashville, Tennessee.



Chi Psi was founded on Thursday May 20, 1841, by 10 students at Union College with the idea of emphasizing the fraternal and social principles of a brotherhood. The 10 students' qualification for membership were simply embodied in one word: "gentleman". The 10 founding members were: Philip Spencer (later hanged on charges of mutiny aboard the brig USS Somers), Robert Heyward McFaddin, Jacob Henry Farrell, John Brush Jr., Samuel Titus Taber, James Lafayette Witherspoon (cousin of McFaddin), William Force Terhune, Alexander Peter Berthoud, James Chatham Duane, and Patrick Upshaw Major. Spencer designed the Chi Psi badge, while Terhune was considered the 'poet' writing the rites of initiation. [2]

Values and the Chi Psi Gentleman

Chi Psi is founded upon the fraternal aspects of brotherhood and embraces a number of values in its pursuit to establish this brotherhood. These values were first adopted at its founding in 1841, and later, a restatement of principles was given at the 122nd National Convention in 1963. Some of these values are as follows: Chi Psi is defined by the values which are collectively accepted by its members. The extent to which these values are practiced is the measure of our fraternity; Chi Psi is committed to the growth of the individual in a social environment which nurtures integrity, dignity and maturity while enjoying shared experiences and college sociability; and Chi Psi recognizing that academic achievement is fundamental to the development of the individual, stands for intellectual growth and the attainment of human potential. [3]

Chi Psi also embraces the idea of being a true gentleman, by following the definition of a gentleman as put forward by John Walter Wayland's 'The True Gentleman':

The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others rather than his own; and who appears well in any company; a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.


Program for Excellence

In pursuit of the values the fraternity put forth and in order to make up for a lack of leadership opportunities available on college campuses, the Chi Psi Educational Trust has funded the Program for Excellence. Consisting of numerous sessions and workshops the Program for Excellence focuses on instilling the members of Chi Psi with a respect for themselves, the people they are around, and their community. [5] [6]

Purple & Gold

The Chi Psi newsletter, 'The Purple & Gold' was first published in November of 1883, and is currently received by all current brothers on a lifetime subscription. [7]


Chi Psi has 29 chapters, which are known as Alphas, at American colleges and universities.

Active Alphas

Institution Date founded Alpha Active since
Union College 1841 Pi 2008
Hamilton College 1845 Phi 1845
University of Michigan 1845 Epsilon 1845
University of North Carolina 1855 Sigma 1928
University of South Carolina 1858 Beta 1957
Amherst College 1864 Chi 1985
Cornell University 1869 Psi 1885
University of Minnesota 1874 Nu 1874
University of Wisconsin 1878 Iota 1878
Rutgers University 1879 Rho 2005
Stevens Institute of Technology 1883 Xi 1883
Lehigh University 1894 Beta Delta 1894
University of California-Berkeley 1895 Delta Delta 1895
Northwestern University 1892 Epsilon Delta 1947
University of Illinois 1912 Zeta Delta 1912
University of Colorado at Boulder 1920 Psi Delta 2011
University of Oregon 1921 Eta Delta 1921
University of Washington 1921 Theta Delta 1921
Georgia Tech 1923 Iota Delta 1923
University of the South 1964 Tau Delta 1964
Clemson University 1972 Chi Delta 1972
Washington and Lee University 1977 Omicron Delta 1977
Rollins College 1977 Mu Delta 1977
Texas Tech University 1983 Xi Delta 2000
Wake Forest University 1986 Upsilon Delta 1986
Duke University 1989 Sigma Delta 1989
North Carolina State University 2001 Pi Delta 2001
George Mason University 2003 Omega Delta 2003
Miami University 2005 Rho Delta 2005

Dormant Alphas

Institution Date founded Alpha Dormant since
Williams College 1842 Theta 1963
Middlebury College 1843 Mu 1994
Wesleyan University 1844 Alpha 2000
Bowdoin College 1844 Eta 1993
Columbia University 1846 Zeta 1885
Princeton University 1851 Delta 1859
College of the City of New York 1857 Kappa 1873
Furman University 1858 Upsilon 1898
University of Mississippi 1858 Gamma 2007
Brown University 1860 Lambda 1870
University of Virginia 1860 Omicron 2008
Wofford College 1869 Tau 1906
University of Rochester 1884 Omega 1889
Stanford University 1895 Gamma Delta 1971
Yale University 1924 Kappa Delta 1963
UCLA/UC-Irvine 1949 Lambda Delta 1994
Penn State University 1997 Nu Delta 2004
University of Georgia 1890 Alpha Delta 1890

Notable alumni

Links and references


  1. ^ The Chi Psi Story, p70
  2. ^ The Chi Psi Story
  3. ^
  4. ^ The Chi Psi Story, p19
  5. ^ The CHi Psi Story, p 36-39
  6. ^
  7. ^ The Chi Psi Story, p184

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