The Alpha Thets of 1898.  Photo from The Sombrero, which was the name of the University of Nebraska Yearbook at this time. 

The Alpha Thets of 1898.  Photo from The Sombrero, which was the name of the University of Nebraska Yearbook at this time. 

Chi Phi at Nebraska

originated as a local fraternity on the University of Nebraska campus on May 9, 1895. It was the sixth fraternity on campus and had fifteen founding members .

At its inception, Alpha Theta Chi was a literary organization designed to further scholarship and literary ambitions. In the early years John J. Pershing was the faculty advisor. Subsequently, members of Alpha Theta Chi were instrumental in the organization of the National Military Fraternity -- The Pershing Rifles. Chi Phi has had more members listed in "Who’s Who" than any other Nebraska fraternity, and, percentage wise, more than any other fraternity.

Three Alpha Thets were charter members of the Innocents Society, which today remains the chancellor’s honorary society of thirteen elected seniors. The campus newspaper, the "Daily Nebraskan" was organized by three Alpha Thets and the majority stock was held by the fraternity until its purchase by the University. Since that time, the Chapter has furnished 19 editors-in-chief.

The Fraternity leased its housing in the early years at 1412 R Street and 2548 Q Street until they purchased housing at 1806 D Street some two miles from campus. A fire in 1928 proved profitable by reason of inexpensive alumni repair. This was the origination of the "Fireman’s Ball" which is still celebrated today.


the alpha theta chi chapter of chi phi... 



November 26, 1932, Chi Phi chartered the local fraternity as the Zeta Delta Chapter. Twenty-seven active and twenty-eight alumni charter members are listed on the original charter. Nearly all of the members of Alpha Theta Chi Fraternity were initiated into Chi Phi, including the surviving members of the original organizing group.


Zeta Delta lost ground just preceding the Second World War and was forced to give up its charter and leave the campus in 1942. Chi Phi interest and Chi Phi traditions were maintained for twenty years by a loyal alumni group headed by Earl Fredrickson. Immediately after the chartering of the Oregon Chapter, Victor D. Smith, Fred Hunter and Earl Fredrickson sparked the colonizing at Nebraska by leasing a home at 1345 R Street. By spring of 1963 a pledge class of fifteen men was accepted and the first rush week of the colony that fall gained ten more. On May 23, 1964, about a year after the inception of the colony, Alpha Theta Chi Chapter was granted a charter. That document contains the names of twenty active members and five alumni, representing actives, pledges, and alumni instrumental in the organization.