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Local History

In 1906 the local Fraternity Alpha Omega Alpha formed at Ripon College. The fraternity existed for nearly fifty years and they later became known as the "Smith Boys" because they lived in one of the four buildings of Ripon's quad residence area, Smith Hall. Seeking a national affiliate, the men of Alpha Omega Alpha petitioned Theta Chi Fraternity. Founding members of the Delta Omega Chapter report that Theta Chi's non-discriminatory membership policy was primarly what drew them to the organization. On November 13, 1954 the "Smith Boys" became the men of the Delta Omega Chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity.

The Founding Members


Neil Gundermann
Gary Ross
Lawrence Ellis  
Raymond Atlee 
Gale White Jr.
Lyle Heide      
Richard Gronert
Neil Anderson
William Mueller
John Gorr 
John McMahon
Author Schallon
Walter Boughton

The active brothers of Delta Omega Chapter the Current Brothers would like to send out thanks to all of our founding members. Without your dedication and effort we would not exist today.


-Brothers of the Delta Omega Chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity

Joseph Mazanetz
James Howard
Eldon Wood
Rupert Groh Jr.
John Rekus Jr.
Siegfried Heuser
David Doten
Suhail Habid
James Hammit
Kenneth Wenning
William Church Jr.
Horace Bumby
Richard Carrington

National History

Founding and early years at Norwich


Theta Chi Fraternity was founded on Thursday, April 10, 1856 at 9:00 p.m. in the Old South Barracks on the campus of Norwich University in Norwich, Vermont, by two military cadets, Frederick Norton Freeman and Arthur Chase. The first initiates were Edward Bancroft Williston and Lorenzo Potter. The early history of Theta Chi Fraternity is closely connected with the history of Norwich University. In 1866 a massive fire devastated the university, completely destroying the Old South Barracks. This disaster prompted the university to move from Norwich, Vermont to its present location in Northfield, Vermont. Norwich University reduced to only 15 students in fall quarter of 1881, and Theta Chi membership reduced to only one undergraduate member, James M. Holland. In November of that year, Phil S. Randall and Henry Hersey approached Holland and insisted that they be allowed to join Theta Chi; Holland agreed, thus saving the Fraternity from extinction.

Theta Chi Fraternity Founders

                       Arthur Chase, A '56
                       Co-Founder of Theta Chi Fraternity

                       This picture shows Chase as an alumnus and was taken

                       from the original oil painting by Paul B. King which hangs in the

                       Executive Office.

                       Fredrick Norton Freeman, A '57
                       Co-Founder of Theta Chi Fraternity

                       This picture shows Freeman as an alumnus and was taken

                       from the original oil painting by Paul B. King which hangs in the

                       Executive Office.




The Fraternity incorporated in Vermont in 1888, and acquired its first chapter house two years later. However, it remained a single entity for forty-six years until the installation of Beta Chapter at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1902. A Grand Chapter was organized in 1908 to direct the fraternity and promote its growth. In 1942, Beta Kappa Fraternity joined Theta Chi Fraternity, bringing 16 undergraduate chapters and approximately 6,000 undergraduate and alumnus members into the ranks. The Foundation Chapter was established in 1953 as a charity to provide educational scholarships and assistance. In 1965 installation of Zeta Gamma Chapter at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, made Theta Chi an International Fraternity.


Initially, the Alpha Chapter and Grand Chapter volunteered to maintain all records of the Fraternity until 1923, when the first Executive Office was established in New York City. In 1928, the headquarters moved to Huntington, West Virginia. In 1932, the third headquarters moved to Trenton, New Jersey. In 1990, the headquarters moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2014 Theta Chi Fraternity relocated the international headquarters to Carmel, Indiana, where it remains to this day.

For more information about the national chapter please visit:

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