A strong brotherhood since 1856.
Theta Chi Society, as it was originally known, was founded on Thursday, April 10, 1856 at 9:00 pm on the campus of Norwich University in Norwich, Vermont by Frederick Norton Freeman and Arthur Chase.
At that time Frederick Norton Freeman '57, and Arthur Chase '56, met in Freeman's room in the Old South Barracks of the University and, to quote from the minutes of the first meeting, "being called to order by Mr. Chase, Messrs. Chase and Freeman mutually took the oaths prescribed and declared each other true and accepted members of the Theta Chi Society." From this humble beginning Theta Chi Fraternity has grown to its present status.
To quote again from the minutes of the first meeting we learn that, "The Theta Chi Society was the idea and plan of Frederick Norton Freeman, and with the assistance of Arthur Chase, his plans were perfected and the society was organized." Chase was elected president and Freeman was elected secretary. The next evening, April 11, the first initiation was conducted. One of the initiates was Edward Bancroft Williston of Norwich Vermont, and the other was Lorenzo Potter of Elkhorn, Wisconsin.
Theta Chi was the first Greek Letter society to make its appearance at Norwich. It was preceded in 1853 by a secret society known as the "Regulators." In a letter from Arthur Chase sent to the chapter in the 1880's Chase states that he and Freeman were members of a "secret society" prior to founding Theta Chi. However, whether there was any connection between the Regulators and Theta Chi is open to conjecture. The fundamentals of Theta Chi, as expressed in the original constitution, to this day remain unchanged; strengthening the bonds of true friendship, loyalty to Alma Mater and the mutual benefit and improvement of its members. Our present ritual includes the original ritual used in 1856. The oaths taken by Freeman and Chase on that April evening long ago have since been shared by every man initiated into Theta Chi.
The early history of Theta Chi Fraternity is closely connected with the history of Norwich University. The University was founded at Norwich, Vermont, in 1819 being then known as The American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy. It was a pioneer engineering college of the country and has always maintained its military training and traditions. In 1834 the name was changed to Norwich University. In the Spring of 1866 the Norwich University buildings burned. Old South Barracks, where Theta Chi was founded, was completely destroyed. The University moved after the fire to Northfield, Vermont, its present location. At the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Convention the Fraternity erected a granite monument with a bronze plaque at Norwich, Vermont, to commemorate the founding of the Fraternity.
In the first decade of the Fraternity's existence a number of serious handicaps were experienced. The Civil War greatly depleted the student body of the University, for Norwich was a military school. After the fire in 1866 there was doubt for a while as to whether or not the University would continue. The war, the fire, and the uncertainty regarding the continuation of the University seriously lowered the attendance, and the school opened in the Fall of 1866 with only nineteen students. In spite of the low enrollment, which continued for some years, "The History of Norwich University" by Dodge and Ellis says that "The Theta Chi and Alpha Sigma Pi fraternities flourished in this period, 1866 to 1880.
"The men of Delta Eta have already begun to change the landscape of Greek Life at Colorado State University. They value leadership, service, and scholarship, which has been shown through their extracurricular activities as well as highest GPA on campus for two semesters in a row. Delta Eta has made a huge impact in the CSU and Greek Communities and I am very excited to see what the future holds in store". - Leadership and Education Consultant Matthew Gillis
At Colorado State Since 2012.
After a nearly 40 year absence from Colorado State University, Theta Chi International Headquarters received permission from CSU administrators to recolonize Delta Eta Chapter. In spring of 2012, Leadership and Education Consultants Eddie Higginbotham IV, Eta Omicron/Northwestern State 2010, and Cody Chinn, Eta Beta/Eastern Kentucky 2011, were dispatched to Colorado State University to begin the task of recruiting men to bring back Theta Chi. On Feb. 12, 2012, Higginbotham and Chinn held their first group meeting with the initial 15 men that they had recruited at the Best Western University Inn at Ft. Collins, Colo. These 15 CSU students shared their hopes and visions of creating an organization that would incorporate their values of leadership, involvement, service and community. The men would soon agree to focus on academics and passed a minimum GPA requirement of 2.80.
Delta Eta members became involved in over 100 different organizations on CSU's campus, with the average member being involved in at least 3 different organizations or activities outside of the Fraternity. Delta Eta lived up to its focus on academic with its average GPA of 3.38, the highest of any Greek chapter (fraternity or sorority) on campus. The men maintained the highest GPA of Greek organizations on campus for the past two semesters. Delta Eta also focused on giving back to the Ft. Collins community with numerous hours of community service and raised a respectable amount of money for their philanthropy, Crossroads Safehouse. Due to these and other additional accomplishments, the Grand Chapter approved the colony’s petition for reinstallation.
At 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 27, 2013, the 43 pledges of Delta Eta Colony were initiated into Theta Chi fraternity during a reinstallation ceremony held at the Fort Collins Masonic Temple. National President, Dick Elder presided over the ceremonies. Ryan Weir (2013) was installed as the Delta Eta Chapter President.
Frederick Norton Freeman The founder of Theta Chi Fraternity, Frederick Norton Freeman, was born in Claremont, New Hampshire, on March 2, 1839. His ancestors on his father's side had been in America since the early sixteen hundreds. The grandmother of Freeman was a Chase, and through this circumstance Freeman and Arthur Chase were distant cousins. Freeman attended Claremont Academy and entered Norwich University at the age of fourteen. he received the degrees of B.S. in 1856 and B.A. in 1857 and A.M. in 1860. In the years of 1858 and 1859 Freeman read law in his father's office in Claremont, New Hampshire, and was admitted to the bar, but did not practice. In 1864 Freeman became the first superintendent of the Pennsylvania Coal Company at Newburgh, New York.
While engaged in the construction of a new dock for his company at Newburgh, Freeman contracted a severe cold which progressed rapidly to pneumonia. He died suddenly on March 28, 1867, at the age of 28 years. Freeman was a young man of great promise and achievement, who held positions of responsibility and trust far beyond his years. It was unfortunate that his span of life was so short.
Arthur ChaseArthur Chase was born at Bellows Falls, Vermont, on October 21, 1835. His father was an Episcopal minister who later became the first Bishop of New Hampshire. When Arthur was nine years old the family moved to Claremont, New Hampshire, and this town remained his home for the balance of his life.
Chase entered Norwich University in the fall of 1852, shortly before he became seventeen years old. He was graduated in 1856 and immediately entered a law office in Claremont to begin the study of law. He followed this study by attending the Harvard Law School from which he graduated in 1857 with the degree of LL.B. He practiced law in Claremont for nine years and then entered newspaper work, purchasing The National Eagle, a weekly newspaper published in Claremont, in 1868. Chase was married in 1863 to Garafelia Davis. Seven children were born of the union, four of whom, two sons and two daughters, reached adult life and survived their father.
After three years of newspaper work, Chase's health failed, and on the advice of his physician he retired to a farm he purchased on the outskirts of Claremont.
Arthur Chase was always a power in his community. At one time he was superintendent of public schools and filled the position with considerable efficiency. He was a staunch Episcopalian and active in church and diocese affairs until the time of his death.
Although Arthur Chase never enjoyed robust health, death came unexpectedly and suddenly on November 20, 1888. Chase was 53 years of age at his death, living scarcely beyond middle life. It was said that he lived more in fifty years than most men do in three-score and ten.