In 1899 at the City College of New York none of the eight existing fraternities awarded membership to both Christian and Jewish students. Much like the rest of the country, segregation was the norm; it was typical.
On December 10, 1899 by way of a secret meeting, Delta Sigma Phi was established as the first membership organization to initiate members from a variety of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds and founded on the principles of diversity and good character. Delta Sigma Phi incorporated with the purpose to spread “the principles of friendship and brotherhood among college men, without respect to race or creed.”
The Fraternity eventually began to grow, first within New York City, then out to and past the Mississippi River. Though challenges of a membership mixed between Jewish and Christian men proved trying early in the 20th Century, the Fraternity was able to continue to lead and develop a modern fraternity experience. Delta Sig became one of the first fraternities to banish Hell Week, to develop an all-deaf chapter and to develop a membership manual to be published and delivered to new members on a national scale.
Our mission today continues to embody that of our founding fathers, recognized as Meyer Boskey (an original founder from the Alpha Chapter at C.U.N.Y.) and Charles Tonsor (a recruit of Boskey’s at the Gamma Chapter at NYU), in all that we do today. Over the last 8 years, Delta Sigma Phi has experience solid growth across the continental United States, dramatic increases in Fraternity programming and constantly evaluates how to modernize the fraternity experience for men of high character across the nation.
We were founded as and maintain a position as a modern fraternity of firsts. Our founders built a different group during hostile times, demonstrating the courage to dare, poise to take action and an unrelenting focus on excellence. Today we bind these traits together as our definition of The Better Man and the world is just as ready for better today as it was 114 years ago.