The History of Phi Sigma Phi
Ripped off of the national website.
The history of Phi Sigma Phi begins not so much with an actual date, but rather with the evolution of ideals and dedication to independence and freedom of choice. On July 30, 1988, in South Bend, Indiana, Phi Sigma Phi National Fraternity was formally organized to serve as a national organization, uniting college men who wished to share in the spirit of true friendship and brotherhood. Years of fraternity experience and know-how laid the foundation of this new national fraternity.
The group of alumni and undergraduate college men who were the driving force behind the formation of Phi Sigma Phi were alumni and former chapter members of Phi Sigma Epsilon who elected not to participate in a merger between Phi Sigma Epsilon and Phi Sigma Kappa in 1985. Seven chapters and select alumni supported this new and independent organization. The undergraduate chapters which became "The Founding Seven" of Phi Sigma Phi were: Lambda (Λ) Chapter, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan; Omega (Ω) Chapter University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin; Phi Beta (ΦΒ) Chapter University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Phi Iota (ΦΙ) Chapter Northland College, Ashland, Wisconsin; Phi Kappa (ΦΚ) Chapter West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, West Virginia; Phi Mu (ΦΜ) Chapter Concord College, Athens, West Virginia; and Sigma Zeta (ΣΖ) Chapter University of Wisconsin-River Falls, River Falls, Wisconsin.
Leading this small group of chapters into the formation of a new national fraternity were former Phi Sigma Epsilon alumni who were elected to serve as Phi Sigma Phi's first National Council: Harry Parker (National President), Mark Helling (National Vice-President), Rick Facemire (National Vice-President), Dan Foster (National Vice-President), and George Perry (National Vice-President). David Prueher (Regional Director), John Lecco, and Ken Siverling (Chapter Consultants) also served as members of the National Staff. In addition, long time supporters and former Phi Sigma Epsilon National Presidents Dean Rockwell (1950-1958) and John Sandwell (1978-1984) added their advice and experience to all areas of Phi Sigma Phi's new operations.
Although there was strong support for this new fraternity from many campuses and alumni, the first years of Phi Sigma Phi's existence were difficult. During the years of 1988 through 1990, the National Fraternity struggled for survival, and expansion was nonexistent. Establishing new national programs, publications, visitations, and a new financial program were top priorities and took most of the new National Fraternity's energy and efforts.
The dawn of the 1990's saw Phi Sigma Phi settle into its position as that of a strong and determined new national fraternity. The National Council and Staff of Phi Sigma Phi were determined to chart a course for this new national fraternity where the emphasis was on superior service and support for the membership. The initial turmoil of the late 1980's gradually settled, and the desire and drive for expansion was put into action.
The first new colony of Phi Sigma Phi was founded at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. In 1989, a Lambda Chapter brother transferred from EMU to MSU, and began a colony. This colony was formally chartered as Epsilon Alpha (ΕΑ) Chapter by the National Council of Phi Sigma Phi on March 2, 1991. Forty-three brothers became the first new chapter initiates into the new National Fraternity. In 1996, Epsilon Beta (ΕΒ) Chapter, at Wright State University in Dayton/Fairborn, Ohio, joined ΦΣΦ. Epsilon Delta (ΕΔ) Chapter, at Bluefield State University in Bluefield, West Virginia became the third new chapter in April, 1998.
In 1997, Phi Sigma Phi was officially recognized as the 66th member fraternity of the National (now North-American) Interfraternity Conference (NIC).
The former Phi Sigma Epsilon chapters and alumni believed in a unique and different fraternity experience. Their dedication and vision live today in Phi Sigma Phi brothers who perpetuate our great National Fraternity!
(NOTE: References to Phi Sigma Epsilon courtesy of Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity)