During the holidays of 1848, six friends were stranded on the campus of Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, due to particularly harsh winter weather that prevented them from returning home. They passed the time discussing the idea of a new brotherhood, one based upon their shared ideals of cultivating the mind and maintaining a high standard of morality, and on December 30th the “Immortal Six” put their signatures to “The Bond of Phi Delta Theta.”
While many fraternal documents have been altered extensively since their original drafting, The Bond is of such character that it remains unchanged to this day, embodying the timeless ideals held by all Brothers of Phi Delta Theta.
Since its beginnings over 160 years ago, Phi Delta Theta has grown into a leader in the fraternity world, having initiated more than 240,000 members, 160,000 of them living, with nearly 170 active chapters across the United States and Canada.
AL Beta History
Phi Delta Theta is Auburn’s oldest continuous student organization. Our
chapter, Alabama Beta, received the second charter granted to any fraternity on
January 30, 1879. It followed the establishment of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) by
six months and preceded the third fraternity Alpha Tau Omega, by ten months.
Alabama Beta’s two guiding lights in the early years of the chapter were
Clifford Leroy Hare and Dr. George Petrie. Both men became Deans at Auburn, and were instrumental in the development of sports in the south, Petrie was Auburn’s first football coach, Hare and Petrie were both on Auburn’s first baseball team, Hare was the first president of the Southern Conference (Forerunner of the SEC) and Petrie wrote the words to “The Auburn Creed”. The original name of our football stadium was Cliff Hare Stadium. Adjacent to the stadium, is Petrie Hall, originally built as the athletic Field House.
Alabama Beta has served Auburn well through the years. Many Phis
have served as Glomerata editors, Plainsman editors, IFC Presidents, and
Student Government leaders. Several have been varsity football captains as well
as captains of the baseball and basketball teams.