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Sigma Pi Fraternity - Delta-Zeta Chapter
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Sigma Pi Clock Tower
Clock Tower

"It ain't over till it's over," is a one of the many quotes by Yogi Berra, and it applies to the gift Sigma Pi Fraternity gave to Vincennes University for our 100th anniversary. Although the Centennial Clock Tower was dedicated on September 6, 2000, there are still 300 bricks available. This means YOU still have the opportunity to become a part of history by purchasing a commemorative brick engraved with your personal inscription which will be a record of your part in Sigma Pi history!

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National History

On January 26, 1897, Miss Charlotte N. Malotte, the professor of Latin and French, spoke to a student group at the chapel hour. She spoke on the subject of College Fraternities which sparked the interest of several students. Then, on the afternoon of February 26, a new fraternity had its first meeting. When, after a long session, the meeting adjourned, a literary society had been born, though it was yet unnamed. 
The founders of the Fraternity, all cadets at Vincennes University, were William Raper Kennedy, James Thompson Kingsbury, George Martin Patterson, and Rolin Rosco James. The first three were seniors; James was a freshman. 
Samuel and Maurice Bayard were the first initiates. They were made members of the Fraternity before a name was selected or a constitution adopted. Many of the first meetings of the Fraternity were held at the old Bayard home. At the Bayard house, the constitution was written and the first ritual was developed and used in the loft of the family's carriage house. 
According to history, the mother of the first two initiates, Mrs. Bayard, took a deep interest in the organization and used her influence to steer Tau Phi Delta in the right direction. On one occasion she entered the library of her home to find a meeting of the Fraternity in progress. The business of the hour was the adoption of an appropriate motto. No satisfactory agreement on the subject had been reached. Taking a volume of Robert Browning's poems from a shelf, she turned to A Death In The Desert, and read:

Progress, mans distinctive mark alone,
Not Gods, and not the beasts;
God is, they are.
Man partly is and wholly hopes to be.

That, Mrs. Bayard said, would make an excellent motto for your organization. With this remark she left the room, and her suggestion had accomplished its purpose. A motto had been found. 
It would be appropriate to say Tau Phi Delta was hardly a fraternity chapter, as that term is now understood. Rather, it was a combination of the fraternity idea and the old style literary society, the like of which flourished in almost every college in the United States in the 19th century. However, in all its outward aspects, Tau Phi Delta possessed the characteristics of a fraternity chapter. It was strictly secret and possessed a password and a grip and included an initiation ritual. Its badge was a simple black shield, with a border of gold, upon which were displayed the Greek letters TFD. The colors were black and gold, and the red clover was the official flower. 
In the winter of 1903-04 the Fraternity ceased to meet in the college building and rented a small cottage at 110 South Third Street in Vincennes. This building was occupied until the end of the college year and is considered the first chapter house occupied by the Fraternity. 
Tau Phi Delta first began to show signs of expansion in about 1904-05. The beginning of the college year found three members of the Fraternity attending the University of Illinois and seven at Indiana University. In May, 1905, the members at Indiana effected an organization and petitioned the Vincennes chapter for authority to establish a second chapter there. The petition was denied. The members felt the proposed chapter would be unable to compete with the fraternities on the state university campus. During that year also, the organization first began to officially call itself a fraternity, and steps were taken toward incorporation under the laws of Indiana. A proposal of one of the members to expand the Fraternity into a national organization with chapters in junior colleges was also considered. Suitable material was not found, and the project was abandoned without formal action. 
February 11, 1907, is a significant date in the Fraternity's history. It was then the members last assembled as Tau Phi Delta and first assumed the name of Sigma Pi Fraternity of the United States. Tau Phi Delta had had limited ambitions for expansion. Soon after the name change, Sigma Pi embarked on a program of establishing chapters on other campuses. 
In 1984, the Fraternity again changed its name. At the 37th Biennial Convocation, Sigma Pi became an international fraternity by accepting its first Canadian chapter. This international status required the Fraternity to become Sigma Pi Fraternity, International. Today, Sigma Pi is comprised of 118 active chapters, 15 colonies, over 86,000 alumni.
Local History
The history of the Delta Zeta Chapter started with a local fraternity founded at Meramac Community College in September 1964. Donald Occhi and Glen Pauli founded Sigma Kappa Phi (Crest on Right) for the express purpose of expansion. Under the leadership of president Michael Summers, the young fraternity expanded to the University of Missouri St. Louis (Beta Chapter), Forest Park Community College (Gamma Chapter), and Florissant Valley Junior College (Delta Chapter). In 1966, the fraternity was chartered by the State of Missouri as Sigma Kappa Phi Alpha Fraternity. 
The Beta Chapter of Sigma Kappa Phi, founded in October of 1965, became a strong organization in itself. In 1966, the Ballwin Party Palace at #35 Castlewood Drive off of New Ballwin Road was purchased for $2500 and became the Beta Chapter house. Despite the purchase of a house and a rapidly growing membership, there were going to be great troubles ahead. Sigma Kappa Phi was the only local fraternity at UMSL and there was little hope of surviving against the strong national organizations. So, the search was on to find a national fraternity to affiliate with.
Fred Bondurant (AP) approached the men of Sigma Kappa Phi about Sigma Pi. On February 25, 1968, the Beta Chapter of Sigma Kappa Phi Alpha ceased to exist and the University of Missouri – St. Louis Colony of Sigma Pi Fraternity of the United States was born.

The colony officers were:
President, Gene Grindler
Vice President, Mike Rutherford
Treasurer, James Issler
Secretary, Nick White
Sergeant at Arms, Art Lafser

In December 1968, the Colony petitioned the Grand Council for Sigma Pi for their Charter and on April 12, 1969, they became the 101st Chartered Chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity of the United States with 27 colony members initiated as Charter Members.

The original Delta Zeta Executive council were:
Sage, Mike Rutherford
2nd Counselor, Jim Rede
3rd Counselor, Bill Thomas
4th Counselor, Gary Younce
1st Counselor, Art Lafser
Herald, Gerry Grindler.

Past President Gene Grindler became the Chapters first Alumnus.
In October 1978, the Ballwin Party Palace burnt down. The House at 8645 Natural Bridge Road was purchased in February 1979 for $40,000 on a 15-year note and was paid off in 1993. The House at 8645 served us well! In September 2012, a new chapter began at UMSL, life at the new chapter house began. Our new address is right across from the University at 8224 Natural Bridge Road.
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