Mar 15, 2021

Why is Phi Delta Theta’s Founders Day on March 15?

Why is Phi Delta Theta’s Founders Day on March 15?

From The Phikeia Manual

IV. History of Phi Delta Theta

Robert Morrison’s birthday, March 15, was established in 1910 as Founders Day.

We believe March 15 became Founders Day because the fateful first meeting of the Immortal Six in Elliott Hall, December 26, was too close to the holidays for a convenient annual celebration. Robert Morrison is the original Bond No. 1. Therefore, his birthday is the annual Founders date of celebration.

Many alumni clubs and chapters meet on this date to honor the founders and celebrate the occasion with special ceremonies.

Silver, Golden, and Diamond Legionnaires

Members who have been Phis for 25 years are inducted into the Silver Legion. Members who have been Phis for 50 years are honored as Golden Legionnaires. Ceremonies inducting these alumni into the legions can be performed at Founders Day celebrations. Each legionnaire is given a lapel pin acknowledging his years of devotion to the Fraternity.

Every five years after becoming a Golden Legionnaire, members are also honored as “Palladians.” Palladians receive a pin inscribed with years since initiation, 55, 60, 65, or 70. Members who have been Phis for 75 or more years are Diamond Legionnaires.

Phi Delt Fact

From Miller’s Meanderings

The first fraternity founded at Miami was Beta Theta Pi in1839, followed by Phi Delta Theta in 1848, and Sigma Chi in 1855. (Actually, Sigma Chi’s founding name was Sigma Phi until the members learned that a fraternity by that name had been established at Union College in 1827.) The three became widely known as the “Miami Triad” just as the first three fraternities founded at Union College became the “Union Triad.”

From Walter B. Palmer’s, The History of Phi Delta Theta,

“Phi Delta Theta was the first fraternity to enter the States of Texas, Wisconsin, and Nebraska. In entering Texas, it was the first fraternity to cross the Mississippi River. When Phi Delta Theta entered Indiana University and Centre College, Kentucky, there were no other fraternities in those states, the chapter of Beta Theta Pi there being suspended. Phi Delta Theta was the pioneer fraternity at Wisconsin, Northwestern, Indianapolis, Franklin, Nebraska, Vanderbilt, Texas, and Stanford; and in point of continuous existence, it has the senior chapters at Miami, Indiana, Central (formerly Centre), Wabash, Missouri, Knox, Mercer, Alabama, Lombard, Auburn, and Washington.

Support the Heritage Fund!

Take the opportunity to honor the Phi Delta Theta heritage this month by making a contribution in support of our General Headquarters building in Oxford, Ohio. Donate at one of our five levels to receive your Founders Day gift!

Support the Heritage Fund

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