Delta Pi Chapter
University of Ottawa
Formal 1997, 1998
Sigma Alpha Mu, Delta Pi Chapter was founded at The University of Ottawa in 1989. Not only was Sigma Alpha Mu the first national fraternity on campus, but was and still is, the strongest fraternity on campus! The SAM house is located at 95 Henderson, Ottawa, just steps away from campus.
History of SAM
The Fraternity Story
It can be said that the American college fraternity is as old as the United States, for in 1776 Phi Beta Kappa was founded at the College of William and Mary. From that time until the Civil War, no appreciable changes occurred in the fraternity system, however, starting in 1865, fraternities became more and more popular, and today Greek letter fraternities are recognized as an integral part of the American educational system.
Today fraternity traditions, dating back half a century or more, are stamped with the circumstance and atmosphere in which they thrived many years ago. The college of today, however, has far outgrown those times, yet a resemblance to the halls of classical learning for the privileged few which existed remains. Stories of those college days have come to us clothed in romance and largely in fictional form.
The time came when the fraternity world expanded to allow into its midst greater numbers and not just an exclusive few. At this time, the broader thought of the university was included in the ideas of fraternity. Fraternity chapters then became self-governing campus units aiding in faculty administration, later, as a result, fraternities earned the respect of the university and surrounding community.
At the start of the twentieth century, a number of older fraternities modified their policies and admitted larger numbers, moreover, with the growth of these fraternities, new fraternities came into being. They came unhampered by tradition, unimpeded by caste, and sponsored by leaders of great foresight, indomitable zeal, and high ideals; and like many other organizations, Sigma Alpha Mu owes its founding to a mere chance. Indeed, even the meeting at which it was founded was called with no thought of permanent organization at all.
In the fall of 1909 the Sophomore Class at the College of the City of New York had found itself embarrassed by a lowly freshman group. At a school where "warfare" between freshman and sophomore classes is still a tradition, the Sophomores found it necessary to regain their fallen honor. Class Marshal, Lester Cohen, thereupon called a meeting of Sophomore leaders on November 26, 1909, to decide on a plan for redemption. Only eight appeared - Cohen, Hyman Jacobson, Adolph I. Fabis, Samuel Ginsburg, Abraham N. Kerner, Jacob Kaplan, Ira N. Lind and David D. Levinson, who are now known as the Founding Fathers..
It is interesting to note that while there were many friends among the eight, none of them knew all the others. During the discussion which took place, much loftier ideals were expressed than the mere formulation of plans for asserting sophomore honor. The men discovered that they held many ideals in common, and the inspiration for the formation of a new fraternity came to them. During this meeting, it was suggested that the Greek letters "Kappa Phi Omega" be used to symbolize the words "Cosmic Fraternal Order" as the new name for the fraternity. This proposal was accepted and the meeting was adjourned.
A second meeting was held a week later. It was found necessary to revise the name of the fraternity because several members had already inadvertently made public the chosen name. Ginsburg then suggested a motto which was unanimously adopted and which has since remained the Fraternity motto. From that time the Fraternity was known as Sigma Alpha Mu.
The new Fraternity settled down to the accomplishment of the ideals which had prompted it's creation. It was its aim to prove to the outside world that criticism and objectives leveled against fraternities in general - specious though many of those arguments may be - were not applicable to Sigma Alpha Mu. The founders decided to plan and grow along lines different from those of existing fraternities.
Two years after the founding Sigma Alpha Mu began to grow. To a small group of five at Cornell University, the Founders imparted their ideas and inculcated their ideals, and then guided them, watched and aided them-- their brothers in far off Ithaca. Little wonder that Beta chapter patterned its growth as Alpha had and the two Chapters, in bond of brotherhood, were as one. After this, slowly but surely, Sigma Alpha Mu expanded North, South, East and West. Sigma Alpha Mu maintains its commitment to growth, and attends and assists both the old and new chapters.
The eight Founders of Sigma Alpha Mu were all of Jewish faith, and it naturally followed that they attracted to their brotherhood men of similar background. They believed in Fraternalism among Jewish college men, convinced that without it, a large number of Jewish students would be deprived of the pleasant associations and companionships they now find in most colleges.
|Taken from Sigma Alpha Mu's "Candidate
Handbook" and the official Sigma Alpha Mu Home Page, www.sam.org.
"...to foster and maintain among its sons a spirit of fraternity, a spirit of mutual moral aid and support; to instill and maintain in the hearts of its sons love for and loyalty to Alma mater and its ideals; to inculcate among its sons such ideals as will result in actions worthy of the highest precepts of true manhood, democracy, and humanity."
The Purple and White Aster is the official Fraternity flower.
Purple and white.
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