Tau Delta Phi History

Tau Delta Phi Fraternity was founded in 1910 by a group of New York City Jewish teenagers, as a high school fraternity named Phi Sigma Beta. When these men went on to college they longed to carry on their fraternal ties and bonding of brotherhood. These nine men created Tau Delta Phi because they wanted to form a society that would accept them when almost all fraternities of the time would have denied them membership. They started a Jewish Fraternity that would, in the 1940′s, be the first NIC Fraternity to disenthrall themselves from creating a fraternity that was only for Jewish men. The founders, and their contemporaries of that time, called for the integration of all chapters and became inclusive of members of all races, creeds, and ethnic origins. They advocated integration 20 years before the height of the civil rights movement because affiliation with other fraternities was not open to them as individuals when they were in college, due to their Jewish religious beliefs. Therefore, our nine, noble founders didn’t want to see anyone else excluded from Fraternity Life the way they had been.

Quick Facts

  • Founded on June 22, 1910 as a high school fraternity named Phi Sigma Beta at DeWitt Clinton High School.
  • Took the name Tau Delta Phi 1914 and founded chapters at City College of New York, The New York College of Dentistry, and New York University simultaneously.
  • Joined the North American Interfraternity Conference in 1922.
  • The 50th Anniversary Convention is held in 1960 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. In 1967, the Fraternity had 33 active chapters, the height of its growth.
  • After a periord of turmoil, the Fraternity reaches 10 chapters and colonies in 2009 and begins its plan to grow with a full-time staff model.
  • The 100th Anniversary Convention of Tau Delta Phi in 2010 is called to order by Grand Consul Shaun Armhold at the Seaview Resort in Galloway, New Jersey.
  • The Fraternity hires executive director, Shawn Dowiak, CK, as its first full-time executive director in three decades to lead the National Office in 2012.