The History of Greek Social Organizations in Potsdam

St. Lawrence Academy is founded

St. Lawrence Academy is renamed the Potsdam Normal School

The Crane Normal Institute of Music is established

Clarkson University is founded as the "Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial School of Technology."

On November 9th, the idea of starting a fraternity at Clarkson is considered by a group of seven underclassmen. The idea is kept a secret.

  • In February, at an 8:15am chapel service, the members of Omicron Pi Omicron show up proudly wearing their fraternity badges. Clarkson had 56 students.
  • Clarkson's second fraternity, Sigma Delta is formed on March 17th (St. Patrick's Day) by 14 juniors and seniors.
Pi Delta Sigma Sorority is founded at the Crane School of Music

Kappa Epsilon Phi Fraternity is founded on November 1st at Clarkson.

In May, Omicron Pi Omicron fraternity merges with Kappa Epsilon Phi Fraternity. (1930 CU yearbook)

Omicron Pi Omicron purchases a house at 95 Market Street

Clarkson's third fraternity, Lambda Iota, is established by 30 men on October 28th

  • Theta Pi Epsilon is founded at Clarkson on November 11th by 19 students.
  • Sigma Delta purchases the Mann House at 6 Prospect Place for $4,500 and remodels it before moving in.
  • A large Victorian house at 30 Elm Street is purchased by Lambda Iota Fraternity.
  • Theta Pi Epsilon fraternity purchases a house on Lawrence Ave. in April.
The Clarkson Technical Society is formed, renting their first house at 28 Bay Street 
Interfraternity Council is formed at Clarkson in January. 

  • The Clarkson Technical Society renames themselves Chi Tau Sigma Fraternity and purchases a house on Main Street.
  • Phi Kappa Gamma Sorority is founded in the Fall at Potsdam Normal School
The Alpha Delta literary society (founded in 1886) becomes Alpha Sigma Nu with Alpha Delta becoming the social sorority of the society at the Potsdam Normal School

  • The Calliopean Literary Society (founded in 1882) became Zeta Gamma Upsilon, and in December of 1928 becomes the Gamma chapter of Alpha Kappa Phi, the Agonian Sorority (Ago).
  • In June, Pi Delta Sigma Sorority affiliates with the Clionian Fraternity of the Geneseo Normal School, adopting the name Clio and the letters Phi Kappa Pi, the Kappa Chapter. The sorority is referred to as Kappa Clio.
  • The Sigma Beta Sigma Society, founded in 1926, becomes a sorority at Potsdam Normal School. 
  • The Omega Society, founded in 1928, becomes Pi Phi Omega Sorority at Potsdam Normal School, residing at 28 Bay Street.
  • Karma Fraternity is founded at Clarkson on November 20th, first residing at 11 Pierrepont Ave.
  • On January 12th, Alpha Delta separates from Alpha Sigma Nu literary society and affiliates with the statewide Alpha Delta Sorority as their Kappa chapter.
  • Alpha Kappa Phi (Agonian) Sorority moves to 59 Elm Street.
  • The Beta Society, founded in 1927, becomes Phi Beta Nu Sorority at Potsdam Normal School.
  • The Leu De Cra Society was founded in the fall of 1926 with four charter members. The organization grew in numbers and activities and shortly adopted the name Lambda Society. In May 1929 the group is recognized as Lambda Delta Chi Sorority. 
  • Phi Kappa Gamma Sorority moves their chapter from 51 Elm Street to 31 Main Street.
  • Lambda Delta Chi Sorority becomes the Lambda chapter of Arethusa Sorority at the Potsdam Normal School on March 8th.
  • Phi Kappa Pi Sorority purchases the Perkin's Estate at 16 Pleasant Street.
  • The first Ice Carnival is scheduled for Thursday, February 20th but it appears the weather didn't cooperate as it was rescheduled for February 27th and then canceled as there was no ice.
  • The first Ice Carnival was held on Saturday, February 7th.
  • Alpha Kappa Phi Agonian Sorority moves into the W. D. Hayes' house, 61 Elm Street.
  • In June, Phi Beta Nu, Pi Phi Omega and Arethusa Sororities combine to form Kappa Chi Delta Sorority and move to 46 Elm Street.
  • Sigma Beta Sigma Sorority renames itself Sigma Beta Epsilon.
Sigma Sigma Sigma Fraternity (Tri-Sig) is founded as the first fraternity at Potsdam Normal School on November 29th.
Alpha Delta purchases the Myron Powell House / Lockwood House at 29 Elm Street.

Due to the financial strain of the Depression, Phi Kappa Pi Sorority merges with Sigma Beta Epsilon Sorority of 18 Elm Street, the new organization adopts the name Clio and the letters Phi Kappa Pi.

Chi Tau Sigma Fraternity and Theta Pi Epsilon fraternity are both dissolved for unknown reasons (they both stopped appearing in the yearbook)

Phi Kappa Pi Sorority moves into "The Colonial House" at 61 Elm Street.

Kappa Chi Delta and Phi Kappa Gamma Sororities disband around this time as neither appears in the 1941 Potsdam Normal School yearbook.

The Normal School at Potsdam is re-named the State Teachers College at Potsdam.

Sigma Sigma Sigma Fraternity (Tri-Sig) disbanded due to WWII. After the war, the returning brothers of Tri-Sig formed Sigma Tau Fraternity, with the intent of joining a national fraternity. On June 1st the brothers of Sigma Tau are initiated as charter members of Theta Chapter of Delta Kappa Fraternity.

The Delta chapter of Psi Phi Fraternity is founded at the State Teachers College at Potsdam.

Clarkson's fifth fraternity, Kappa Kappa Tau is founded on April 19th.

On May 24th Kappa Kappa Tau fraternity becomes the Delta Sigma chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity, becoming the first Clarkson fraternity to affiliate with a national organization. They move into a building on Fall Island.

  • The State University of New York ordered all fraternities at its institutions to sever connections with their national organizations because of a few which are prohibiting certain racial groups from joining. Article
    • The Theta Chapter of Delta Kappa Fraternity is forced to part from their national organization and is incorporated under the name Delta Kappa Theta Fraternity.
    • Phi Kappa Pi Sorority is forced to sever their connections with Clio, but keep the letters Phi Kappa Pi and maintain many of the Clionian traditions.
    • Alpha Delta Sorority is forced to sever their connections with their state organization, they become Alpha Delta Kappa.
    • It's safe to assume that this is when Psi Phi had to sever connections with their national and become Psi Phi Delta.
    • Alpha Kappa Phi Agonian Sorority is forced to sever their ties to their national organization 
  • Omega Epsilon, Clarkson's sixth fraternity, is recognized by Clarkson on May 25th.
Clarkson builds it's first dormitory, the Pit/Hamlin-Powers Complex. Prior to this time Greek houses were the only homes that were completely occupied by students. Other students rented rooms throughout town or commuted.

  • Zeta Gamma Sigma Sorority is founded at the State Teachers College at Potsdam on March 17th (St. Patrick's Day).
  • Three sophomore members of Theta Chi write and produce a horror film (as a school project) with help from a Humanities professor named Wesley Craven. The film is about strange occurrences at their fraternity house, which used to be a funeral parlor. They name their film "A Nightmare on Elm Street." Years later Mr. Craven capitalizes on this idea with his series of horror films.
  • Omega Epsilon Fraternity purchases the house at 77 Elm Street.
  • On February 18th, Omega Epsilon becomes the Zeta Phi chapter of the national social fraternity Alpha Chi Rho.
  • The seventh fraternity at Clarkson, Zeta Nu, a local fraternity, is established on February 23rd. The 31 founding members move into the house at 74 Elm Street soon after.
  • The brothers of Psi Phi Delta purchase the house at 14 Pierrepont.
  • A group of 25 men start the Alpha chapter of Nu Phi Fraternity in February. On September 29th they became the Beta Kappa chapter of Theta Xi Fraternity.
  • A new local fraternity, Beta Tau, is founded at Clarkson on September 29th.
  • The fraternity known as KARMA became the Beta Rho chapter of the national social fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi on November 3rd.
  • On November 16th the Clarkson chapter of Triangle Fraternity is officially installed as a chapter after two years as a colony organization.
  • Theta Chi purchases 18 Elm Street, a "The Dewey Mansion" built in the 1894.
  • Zeta Gamma Sigma Sorority purchases the house at 6 Leroy Street in the fall.
  • The members of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity salvage a bell from a burnt out schoolhouse in Colton, NY, and began hauling it on a specially built wagon to sporting events the members were participating in.
  • On December 6th the Theta Iota Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity is established at SUNY Potsdam as a professional music fraternity.
  • Omicron Pi Omicron Fraternity purchases the Sisson Mansion at 14 Leroy Street
  • Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity purchases the "Old Lenney House" at 29 Bay Street in November.
  • Beta Tau Fraternity purchases the house at 42 Bay Street.
  • Theta Xi Fraternity purchases the house at 11 Lawrence Ave in December.
  • Phi Delta is recognized by Clarkson's Inter-fraternity Council on March 20th, they purchase 74 Elm from Zeta Nu within nine months.
  • The home known as Reynold's Hall at 27 Main Street, is purchased by Zeta Nu fraternity. The building and its adjacent garage were the oldest standing wooden structures in the town of Potsdam, and the house was once home to a funeral parlor.
  • There were 475 freshman at Clarkson, 180 men received a bid to join one of the 10 fraternities, 114 to their first choice. 
  • Local Clarkson fraternity Lambda Iota begins petitioning the national fraternity Delta Upsilon on March 26, 1959, and during a ceremony on March 18, 1961, all active, alumni and honorary members of Lambda Iota become brothers of Delta Upsilon
  • Omega Delta Phi Sorority is recognized as a new sorority at the annual ISC picnic at the State Teachers College at Potsdam on May 21st.
  • Local fraternity Phi Delta becomes a chapter of the national social fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon on April 28th.
  • Omega Delta Phi Sorority purchases the house at 4 Hamilton St from Dr. Marvin P. Garner, chairman of the College's art department.
  • Zeta Gamma Sigma Sorority purchases the house at 24 Main St. in the spring.
  • On March 26th the brothers of Pi Kappa Phi vote to dissolve their relationship with their national to became known as KARMA once again, when a dispute begins over their new Jewish member. They did not want to to be associated with a group who practiced blatant discrimination.
Clarkson starts accepting women, starting with nine women (three leave after the first semester).
  • Enrollment at Clarkson increases from 1,625 to 2,224 in three years, but fraternity membership stays consistent, lowering the percentage of students in fraternities from 32% to 23%.
  • Sigma Tau Psi Fraternity is recognized at State University College at Potsdam on May 22nd.
  • On December 6th, Kappa Gamma, a new local fraternity begins with 18 founding members at Clarkson
  • On March 20th, Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity is established at Clarkson.
  • For the second time in its history, local fraternity KARMA associates with a national fraternity. On May 7th they became the Epsilon Zeta Chapter of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity.
  • Cheel Arena at Clarkson is enlarged, and the Delta Sigma Phi bell is given a permanent home to be rung when the hockey team scores and other special occasions. The sisters of Omega Delta Phi Sorority are allowed to borrow the carefully guarded clapper so the bell can be rung when the women's hockey team scores.
  • Kappa Gamma charters into national Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) in October.
  • Theta Omega Phi (Prometheus) is founded October 2nd at the State Teachers College at Potsdam.
  • Local fraternity Lambda Phi Epsilon becomes a chapter of the national fraternity Tau Epsilon Phi and purchases the Sisson mansion at 209 Sissonville Road in May.
  • Omega Delta Phi Sorority purchases the house at 51 Elm Street on November 26th.
  • Sigma Tau Psi Fraternity moves into 59 Elm Street.
  • Tau Epsilon Phi and Omega Delta Phi hold the TEP-Omega Blast at TEP on September 28th. 77 kegs of beer, food, transportation and live music (The Group) are provided. Is this the first beer blast?

  • In September, the Clarkson chapter of Triangle is expelled from their national for "refusing to adhere to course-of-study membership requirements." The brothers become a local fraternity, Tau Delta Kappa.
  • Delta Lambda Nu Sorority is recognized at the State Teachers College at Potsdam on December 3rd.
  • The brothers of Psi Phi Delta sell their house at 14 Pierrepont to Clarkson University. The house was later torn down and the land became an extension to the Clarkson Library parking lot. The brothers move into the house at 15 Bay Street. 
  • The Crane Department of Music becomes the Crane School of Music.
  • Curfews at the SUNY Potsdam dormitories end. Prior to this students were required to be in their rooms by 10pm weeknights and 1am Fridays and Saturdays. 
After sending out letters to alumni to gather opinions, Zeta Gamma Sigma Sorority accepts their first Clarkson pledge.

  • The State University of New York lifts their 1953 ban on fraternities and sororities affiliating with national organization.
  • Sigma Tau Psi Fraternity dissolves at SUNY Potsdam (they do not appear in the 1975 yearbook).
  • At 7am on December 20th, a heat sensor system sounds the fire alarm at the Alpha Chi Rho Fraternity house. The fire becomes too much for the fire department at one point and the fire spread to a nearby house. The house is leveled from the fire.
  • Delta Lambda Nu Sorority goes inactive due to lack of interest.
With strong alumni support, Alpha Chi Rho Fraternity builds a new house at 77 Elm. It is dedicated on October 24th.
  • During the time between 4 & 4:30am on September 3rd, a fire breaks out on the third floor of the Delta Sigma Phi house at 20 Pleasant Street. The majority of the house is saved, and no one is hurt. Repairs are made and the house is ready again before Christmas break.
  • Clarkson mandates that any new organization applying for recognition after 1977 must affiliate with a national organization within five years to maintain recognition.
  • Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority at Clarkson becomes a pledge colony of their national organization in September, moving into a house at 71 Main Street. They are the first sorority founded at Clarkson.
Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority accepts their first Potsdam State pledge, "in recognition of the tradition which has always integrated the women of both schools."
The Beta Upsilon chapter of Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity is chartered on December 2nd with members from both Clarkson and State. This dual-school charter is done with the blessing of their National organization.
  • The State University of New York Teachers College at Potsdam goes through additional name changes in 1959, 1961 and 1980 before it settles into what it is known as today, the State University College at Potsdam.
  • The town of Potsdam discusses banning beer blasts. Village residents, fraternity and sorority members turn out to express their opinions. Clarkson's IFC proposes changes to the beer blast permit including a maximum sound level of 100 decibels at 150 feet, having the sponsor provided at least 12 people to patrol the property perimeter at the end of the blast to control behavior of departing attendees, not advertising the amount of alcohol available, offering an adequate amount of non-alcoholic beverages, informing neighbors 48-hours in advance that a blast was going to take place, and holding public meetings each semester to hear feedback and suggestions. The town votes to ban beer blasts.
  • Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority disassociates themselves from their national and goes by the name Phi Sigma Lambda, in order to continue to accept members from both colleges.
  • Two years after the dual-school charter was approved by National, Clarkson's colony of Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity is chartered on April 12th after their National organization decides each school should have their own chapter.
  • A colony of Sigma Pi Fraternity is founded at SUNY Potsdam in March.
  • The State Supreme Court overturns the town of Potsdam beer blast ban on a technicality.
The New York State Legislature raises the legal drinking age from 18 to 19.

  • Clarkson's second sorority, Phi Mu, is founded as the Beta Iota chapter.
  • Phi Chi Epsilon Fraternity is founded at SUNY Potsdam on October 21st
  • A new beer blast ban (banning large outdoor gatherings in the village limits) that would have replaced a 1980 ban is defeated by the Potsdam Village Board of Trustees in a 4-to-1 vote.  The town instead decided to work within existing laws to get more control over the noise and public drunkenness issues.
  • On November 5th the Epsilon Omega chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity is chartered at SUNY Potsdam.
  • Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority accepts 48 new members and is re-chartered at Clarkson.
  • Clarkson is re-named Clarkson University
  • The two Clarkson sororities hold their own sorority rush in January, separate from the local sororities. In the fall semester, Clarkson stops allowing the local sororities to utilize campus facilities for rush sign-up or other activities.
  • After scrutiny of the fraternity situation at Clarkson, an ad hoc committee recommended to President Plane that the IFC be dissolved and its powers be allocated to a new Student Life Committee, with the dean of student life in charge. The recommendation was not implemented, and the IFC and Pan-Hellenic Council remained, but a new Recognition Policy mandated certain requirements to be met by each Greek social organization. Among them were the application of the same rules to Greeks living in fraternities and sororities that applied to dormitory residents. One of the strengths of this new policy lay in the financial management of the Greek houses: collecting bills, receiving loans, and taking care of emergency funding. This new policy outlined how the fraternities and sororities were obligated to Clarkson, and what the University's obligations were in return. Each Greek organization is given 12 months to achieve full recognition status.
  • The New York Legislature raised the drinking age from 19 to 21, effective December 1, 1985.
  • The last of the "old style" beer blasts are held (where the host provides the beer).
  • Lambda Phi Delta Sorority is founded at SUNY Potsdam on February 9th.
  • Delta Zeta is the third sorority founded at Clarkson, installed as the Xi Rho chapter on November 15th.
  • Effective in spring 1986, Clarkson fraternities operated under a new rushing system. Instead of just inviting potential members to the fraternity houses for smokers, fraternities hold open houses from Tuesday through Thursday late in January. These "open houses" consist of 20-minute informational tours of all fraternities. Five houses are covered each evening so that by the last day, all the houses would have been visited by curious students. One problem emerged: by the last evening, the number of visitors had dropped considerably as not many students could afford to give up three successive evenings. The system was changed in the fall semester with tours held on consecutive Mondays, and the smokers spread throughout the semester.
  • With a smaller than usual freshman class expected in fall 1986, Clarkson tightens its off-campus permissions policy. This impacts University housing regulations which stipulated that dorms had to be kept at approximately 95 percent capacity. Sophomores are required to live on campus unless they are married or living in a recognized fraternity house. Dropouts between semesters made the pressure even greater to keep the dorms full, so exceptions were cancelled, much to the displeasure of many students.
  • A colony of Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority is started at SUNY Potsdam.
  • Clarkson stops recognizing the local sororities. Clarkson students are allowed to pledge the locals (and do) but the Clarkson sororities have their own rush and students who join the local sororities cannot move into their houses any earlier than other off-campus housing.
  • Clarkson pulls recognition of Theta Xi Fraternity after a pledging policy violation. The following semester, fraternity sophomores and juniors are required to return to on-campus housing (due to Clarkson's recognition policy). The fraternity is eligible for re-colonization by their national organization the following fall, but do not re-colonize.
  • Clarkson's 15th fraternity is formed when Iota Zeta, the 205th chapter of the national fraternity Sigma Chi is granted its charter on April 17th.
  • Around this time the fraternities end their "interest groups" (aka affiliate programs) due to legal issues with women suing for full membership. Phi Kap (State) had Little Sisters, Psi Phi had Friends of Psi Phi (ended March 27), Phi Chi had Little Chi's, and Sigma Pi had The Emeralds.
  • The Gamma Epsilon chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority is chartered at SUNY Potsdam on January 23rd .
  • The Iota chapter of Sigma Gamma Phi (Arethusa) Sorority is founded at SUNY Potsdam by both State and Clarkson women on October 14th.
  • The new state alcohol consumption law make it illegal for anyone under 21 to drink alcohol unless provided by a parent or legal guardian. Clarkson's dormitory officials amend their residence life policy to include sanctions for under-age students caught drinking. Alcohol is outlawed in any public areas, hallways, lounges, cafeterias, regardless of age unless first approved by the University. Dorm officials do not plan to "spy" on dorm residents to see if they are drinking unless noise levels make inspection necessary. Fraternities and sororities houses fall under the jurisdiction of the local police. Police may not enter a private dwelling, including a fraternity or sorority, unless they have proper cause or are responding to a complaint. Even then, the police are expected to handle each case as it arises. One possible solution is to arrest the hosts of the party, but that is not made the standard response.
  • 30% of males and 35% of females at Clarkson are in a fraternity or sorority.
  • On July 23, 1990, 109 Maple St. becomes the home of Delta Zeta.
  • With Potsdam zoning allowing fewer and fewer new group dwellings, fraternities and sororities face a dilemma. They either build outside the village limits or not at all. Clarkson Dean Michael Cooper offers a proposal to those fraternities and sororities who did not have a house already, or who were interested in building a new one. Clarkson land west of Cheel Center on the undeveloped portions of the campus might be designated as a "fraternity row," with access by a road from Route 11 just past the tennis courts. 
Clarkson opens the Cheel Center and the Delta Sigma Phi bell is moved and installed there.
During the fall 1992 semester, Phi Kappa Sigma returns to Clarkson after a short period of inactivity.
  • The Town of Potsdam votes to no longer allow beer blasts, limiting this social and fund raising event to Houses located on commercially zoned property or outside town limits (TEP).  Clarkson does not allow their recognized Houses to hold beer blasts, so I think that leaves Zeta Gamma Sigma as the only House that can host a blast.
  • Ice Carnival is on the decline due to the expense and decreasing sorority and fraternity membership. It seems to have ended completely by 2001.
Delta Lambda Nu Sorority is re-founded at SUNY Potsdam by the daughter of a founding member.
  • On February 17th, a major fire breaks out at the Zeta Nu fraternity house. Starting in the chimney and spreading quickly through the walls, a majority of the two top floors and the back of the house is destroyed. Ironically the chimney had just been inspected and cleaned two weeks prior. With a large insurance settlement and strong alumni support, the house is rebuilt and ready for brothers to move back in November 1996.
  • The colleges stagger Spring Break so both schools are not in session on St. Patrick's Day.
  • On February 10th, Binaya Oja, a 17-year-old freshman at Clarkson, dies on bid night at Theta Chi Fraternity. The fraternity dissolves.
  • Local sorority Chi Delta Sigma is founded at Clarkson on October 22nd.
  • Sigma Pi purchases the house at 18 Elm Street, formerly owned by Theta Chi.
  • Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity dissolves due to lack of interest. Their house at 29 Elm Street is sold and demolished. A police and fire station is built on the property.
  • Sometime between 1996-1998 the last "traditional" Ice Carnival is held (both schools, two weeks long and a full range of events). After this date it turns into a Clarkson-only event with fewer events, lasting a week or less.
Clarkson's second fraternity, Sigma Delta, ceases operations when Clarkson drops recognition.

  • The Epsilon Zeta chapter of Delta Sigma Phi officially disassociates themselves with their national organization, and KARMA becomes a local fraternity again.
  • On August 14th, the Iota Kappa chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon loses its recognition as a functioning fraternity from from their national organization.
  • In the Fall semester a group of Clarkson students start working to receive a charter from Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.
The Beta Iota chapter of Phi Mu Sorority dissolves due to lack of interest.

  • On April 4th, Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity declares Iota Kappa a colony to be chartered when all requirements are met. Normally, the international fraternity will not consider recolonization without at least a five-year hiatus. However, due to strong alumni support and undergraduate dedication, the Iota Kappa chapter comes back to Clarkson after only a brief 1.5-year dormancy.
  • On April 6th, after almost two years of work the Clarkson chapter, Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity receives its national charter as the New York Chi chapter.
  • Approximately 15% of Clarkson students are members of recognized Clarkson sororities/fraternities.

  • Local sorority Chi Delta Sigma at Clarkson becomes a colony of Theta Phi Alpha Sorority on January 8th.
  • The Iota Kappa chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity "declares their independence and evolves" into Delta Tau Tau Fraternity.
  • The Gamma Mu chapter of Theta Phi Alpha Sorority is installed at Clarkson on May 20th.
  • Sigma Pi is cited by the Town of Potsdam's code-enforcement department due to the condition of 18 Elm Street. This year they also lose their national charter and recognition from SUNY Potsdam after several legal and disciplinary issues.
  • The KARMA house on 20 Pleasant Street is substantially damaged by fire on March 31st, and then condemned. The fraternity does not make the town deadline to re-build on the property. In 2012 the building re-opens as The Emerald Bed & Breakfast.
Delta Upsilon loses their recognition due to violations of Clarkson’s recognition policy.

The Delta Upsilon house at 30 Elm Street is sold by the DU Alumni Association, at the objection of some alumni members. 

  • Clarkson purchases Sigma Delta's former house at 6 Prospect Place for $79,000.
  • On April 14th SUNY Potsdam withdraws recognition of Phi Chi Epsilon fraternity for "violating law and College policy." 
The town of Potsdam purchases the house at 18 Elm Street, formerly occupied by Theta Chi and then Sigma Pi, for $61,781, with the intent to turn it into a courthouse. The 1890s home is later demolished and a new town hall is built on the property and occupied in early 2013.

  • Clarkson's colony of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority begins in April.
  • Psi Phi Delta is permanently disbanded by SUNY Potsdam on April 15th due "multiple violations of college policy, state law and fraternity standards and expectations."
  • Psi Phi Epsilon Fraternity is founded in the fall.
  • Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity is voted in as part of SUNY Potsdam All Greek Council, officially becoming a social fraternity.
  • Clarkson's second oldest fraternity, Sigma Delta, gains re-recognition and initiates a new member class in March.
  • Theta Omega Phi (Prometheus) loses it's recognition from SUNY Potsdam.
  • Tau Delta Kappa loses recognition from Clarkson due to repeated incidents of serving alcohol to minors.
  • A microburst storm hits Potsdam on July 12th.  Damage includes a large tree on the roof of Delta Zeta (photo), wires ripped from Omega Delta Phi and the roof of Sergi's Pizza is ripped off. news story
  • The Order of Omega Greek honor society is founded at SUNY Potsdam in October.
  • Construction begins on new on-campus Greek housing at Clarkson University. Sigma Chi moves into their house in the Fall. Houses for Sigma Delta are Sigma Phi Epsilon are under construction and a house for Delta Upsilon is planned.
  • A second Greek Task Force is established at SUNY Potsdam, and Spring 2013 pledging is restricted to two weeks with all pledging activities held on campus during specific hours.  During Fall 2013 pledges are allowed some time at the house for bid night, then all the houses gather on campus for a dinner and slide show.
  • The Village of Potsdam considers a proposed zoning law that would change the definition of fraternities and sororities so only groups recognized by either of the local colleges could live as a group in dwellings zoned for one- or two-family homes. The law would not affect existing organizations that stay put, only those who want to occupy a vacant house. The board voted to table the law and work with the colleges to create more definitive wording before bringing it for a vote. article
  • Omicron Pi Omicron's home at 16 Leroy Street is recommended for inclusion on the state and national Registers of Historic Places.
  • Kappa Delta Chi Sorority receives their charter as the Beta Beta chapter in the summer.
  • Delta Upsilon Fraternity is re-colonized with 21 new Founding Fathers on September 26th.
  • Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity (Clarkson) rents the former Delta Upsilon house at 30 Elm Street for the 2013-14 school year.
  • A new Iota Kappa colony of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity begins in the fall semester at Clarkson.
  • Alpha Delta Kappa and Alpha Kappa Phi (Agonian) Sororities are temporarily unrecognized by SUNY Potsdam starting in the fall semester. Both plan to recolonize.
  • Phi Kappa Sigma (State) seems to have folded.
  • Delta Lambda Nu sorority is temporarily unrecognized by SUNY Potsdam.
  • The brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon move into their on-campus house in the Spring semester and Delta Upsilon and Sigma Delta move into theirs in the Fall semester.
  • The brothers of Delta Sigma Phi sign a two-year lease with Alpha Delta Kappa to rent their house at 46 Elm Street.
  • The Iota Kappa Colony of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity signs a letter of intent to build an on-campus House at Clarkson. 
  • The Equitatas chapter of Lambda Sigma Upsilon Fraternity is chartered at SUNY Potsdam on November 1st.  The new fraternity is disbanded shortly thereafter due to pledging practices.
  • The SUNY Potsdam Greek Task Force (formed in early 2013) publishes their final report of findings.
  • The new on-campus house for Delta Upsilon is dedicated at Clarkson on April 18th, and the chapter is officially re-chartered.
  • In April, Sigma Delta loses their on-campus house and their recognition after issues with their compliance of Clarkson's CORE Program rules.
  • 6 Prospect Place, home of Sigma Delta Fraternity from 1921-1999, is demolished in October to make way for a parking lot. It was purchased by Clarkson in 2009. 
  • In November, six women start a colony of Latina-based Sigma Lambda Gamma national sorority at SUNY Potsdam. They are referred to as "The Gammas."
  • Phi Kappa Sigma signs a letter of intent to build an on-campus house at Clarkson.
  • SUNY Potsdam permanently bans Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority in January, "after being found responsible for multiple violations of College policies and Greek Life Expectations...Over the past nine years, the sorority has been found responsible for numerous serious violations, leading to a temporary loss of recognition in 2013. The organization was found to have violated the condition of its administrative agreement with the College, which temporarily prohibited the group from any activities."
  • A Clarkson student falls down the cellar stairs of Omicron Pi Omicron Fraternity in January and hits his head on the concrete floor and wall (he was three steps from the bottom). He is hospitalized and falls into a coma, but recovers. An investigation determines it was an accident and the fraternity does not lose recognition.
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon is officially re-chartered as the Iota Kappa chapter on April 9th.
  • The Order of Omega Greek leadership honor society is re-activated at Clarkson.
  • On October 29, 2016 Alpha Kappa Phi Agonian Sorority is recolonized at SUNY Potsdam with 15 new members.
  • In February, the brothers of Delta Sigma/KARMA become a colony of Alpha Delta Gamma Fraternity. They received their charter as the Alpha Lambda chapter on August 17.
  • The colony of Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority at SUNY Potsdam closes in the spring semester "due to personal reasons."
  • The sisters of Theta Phi Alpha move into 30 Elm Street in the fall, home to Lambda Iota/Delta Upsilon Fraternity from 1922-2008.
  • A group at SUNY Potsdam began the process to start a chapter of Kappa Sigma fraternity during the fall semester.


  1. 1998
    Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity is dissolved due to lack of interest. Their house at 29 Elm Street is sold and demolished with a fire station is built on the property.

    Where is there a fire station on Elm Street?

    1. This site says it's a Volunteer Rescue Squad - so maybe not exactly a fire station. http://potsdampolice.com/links.asp

  2. Replies
    1. An unrecognized fraternity, same colors as Sigma Pi, which was the Epsilon Omega chapter before they lost recognition.

  3. In 1906, the Roger Baconian Society (which traces its origin back to 1870) at SUNY Potsdam was incorporated as the original theta chapter of The Delphic Fraternity. Locally the group continued to operate as a college literary society but was known as the Roger Baconian chapter of the organization. The group was named after an English scientist and philosopher. Potsdam is considered the "newfound" chapter of Delphic because the organization only became aware of the chapter's historical association in 2003. The Baconian chapter of Delphic at Potsdam ceased to exist around the early to mid-1920s.

  4. Greek fraternity history at SUNY Potsdam (the former Potsdam Normal School) begins in 1906 when the Roger Baconian Society (founded in 1870) became a chapter of the statewide Delphic Fraternity (founded in Geneseo in 1871.)

  5. Here is a link to a page of the Normal Magazine of the Potsdam Normal School (today SUNY Potsdam) from May 1909 that mentions the Delphic Fraternity at Potsdam: http://nyheritage.nnyln.org/digital/collection/sunypotsdam/id/20291/