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Eta Sigma Phi. Beta Chapter (Northwestern University)


Eta Sigma Phi is an honorary classics (Greek and Latin) fraternity.

Eta Sigma Phi grew out of a local society, Phi Sigma, founded at the University of Chicago in 1914. The idea to start a national society originated in Professor Clyde Murray's second year Greek class at Northwestern University in 1924. Phi Sigma became the Alpha Chapter of the newly formed society with the

Beta Chapter being established at Northwestern. Eta Sigma Phi was incorporated in 1927 under the laws of the State of Illinois. The preamble to its constitution states that the purpose of Eta Sigma Phi is “to further the spirit of co-operation and good will among members of the Classical departments and to stimulate interest in the study of the classics and to stimulate interest in the study of the classics and to increase our knowledge of ancient Greece and Rome…”

Both the Alpha and Beta Chapters became inactive during World War II. However, on Thursday, April 27, 1950, a group of Northwestern students, under the direction of Professors Alfred Dorjahn, Clyde Murray, and Grundy Steiner, met at Delta Zeta sorority to reactivate the Beta Chapter. Seventeen new members were initiated on May 23, 1950 in room 410 of Scott Hall. Professor Grundy Steiner became the faculty advisor to the Beta Chapter and served in that capacity through 1960.

Student memberships in the Beta Chapter was dependent upon a departmental invitation. A B average in two years of college Greek or Latin was the general criterion for membership.

The Beta Chapter gave an annual award to an outstanding high school Latin student. Activities of the chapter included regular meetings, an annual party at Grundy Steiner's home, and an annual trip to the Eta Sigma Phi national convention. The Beta Chapter hosted the convention in 1957. Members of the Beta Chapter were encouraged to subscribe to Nuntius, the Eta Sigma Phi national magazine.

The Beta Chapter appears to have become defunct in 1960.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Eta Sigma Phi (Beta Chapter) Records

Identifier: 31/6/23
Abstract This series consists of the surviving records of the Beta Chapter (Northwestern University) of Eta Sigma Phi, an honorary classics (Greek and Latin) fraternity. The bulk of the records concern the activities of the Beta Chapter in the years 1950-1960.
Dates: 1950-1960