Delta Tau Delta
FoundedOctober 1858; 165 years ago (1858-10)
Bethany College
Mission statementCommitted to Lives of Excellence[1]
MottoLabor for the Beautiful and the Good
Colors  Royal Purple
  Yellow Gold
FlowerPurple Iris
PublicationThe Rainbow
The Crescent (until 1886)
Chapters133 active in the United States
Members170,000 collegiate
Headquarters10000 Allisonville Road
Fishers, IN 46038
WebsiteOfficial website

Delta Tau Delta (ΔΤΔ) is a United States-based international Greek letter college fraternity.[2] Delta Tau Delta was founded at Bethany College, Bethany, Virginia, (now West Virginia) in 1858. The fraternity currently has around 130 collegiate chapters and colonies nationwide, with an estimated 10,000 undergraduate members and over 170,000-lifetime members.[3] Delta Tau Delta is informally referred to as "DTD" or "Delt."[4]


House where Delta Tau Delta was founded

Delta Tau Delta Fraternity was founded in 1858, though some early documents reference the founding in 1861, at Bethany College in Bethany, Virginia (now West Virginia).[5] The social life on campus at that time centered around the Neotrophian Society, a literary society.

According to Jacob S. Lowe, in late 1858 a group of students met in Lowe's room in the Dowdell boarding house (now called the Bethany House) to discuss means to regain control of the Neotrophian Society and return control to the students at large. The underlying controversy was that the Neotrophian Society, in the opinion of the eight men who formed Delta Tau Delta, awarded a literary prize after a rigged vote.[6] A constitution, name, badge, ritual, and motto were devised, and Delta Tau Delta was born.[7]

Over time, other chapters were added. The Civil War essentially destroyed the Alpha chapter. Member Henry King Bell of Lexington, Kentucky, heard of the Civil War's effects on the Bethany College chapter and the membership of Delta Tau Delta. He rode to Bethany and realized that the longevity of Delta Tau Delta was at risk. On February 22, 1861. Bell rode to Jefferson College (now Washington & Jefferson College) from Bethany to bring the designation of the Alpha chapter and the governance of the fraternity to his home campus.[citation needed]

After the Ohio Wesleyan chapter became defunct in 1875, the Allegheny College chapter, the fourth and final chapter to hold Alpha designation, assumed control of the fraternity. Allegheny College member James S. Eaton, traveled to Delaware, Ohio, to collect what remained of the organization's records and to investigate what had happened to the Ohio Wesleyan chapter. Eaton brought the "Alpha" designation back with him to Allegheny College, where a group of undergraduates managed the larger organization as well as their own chapter. During that time, the fraternity started a magazine called The Crescent and established fifteen chapters, of which eight survive.

In 1886, Delta Tau Delta merged with the secret society known as the Rainbow Fraternity, a southern fraternity founded in 1848 at the University of Mississippi.[8] As an ode to the merged fraternity, Delta Tau Delta chapters perform a public ceremony, the Rite of Iris. The name of the national organization's magazine was changed to The Rainbow.

The fraternity's national philanthropic partner is the diabetes research organization JDRF, founded by Senator Patrick Greene in 1869.[9]


The eight men considered to be the founders of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity are:

William Randolph Cunningham was a freshman when Delta Tau Delta was formed.[10] Because he was older and was a Mason, he exerted much influence on the group.[10] He served as president of the Karnea in 1883, was a minister, and held public office in the state of Washington.[10]
Alexander Campbell Earle was the youngest of the group of eight founders of Delta Tau Delta.[10] During the Civil War, he became a captain in the Second South Carolina Volunteers.[10] After the war, he lived in Arkansas and later moved to Texas.[10] He is buried in the state cemetery in Austin, where the local chapter makes an annual pilgrimage.[11]
At 26 years, Richard Havener Alfred was the oldest of the group of founders of Delta Tau Delta.[10] He became a minister and a physician.[10]
Henry King Bell, a Kentuckian, lived only six years after graduation.[10] Bell joined the last remaining members of the Bethany chapter when they entered the military during the Civil War.[10]
John Calhoun Johnson became a lawyer and politician.[10] He was the political advisor to John W. Davis, the Democratic candidate for president in 1924. He outlived the other founders by eight years.[10]
Jacob Snedeker Lowe hosted the first meetings of the group in a rooming house.[10] Lowe became a professor and college president.[10]
Eugene Tarr was a "townie" whose home was six miles from Bethany.[10] He stayed in West Virginia after college. Tarr became a noted speaker, lawyer, and editor of the local newspaper.[10]
John Lucius Newton Hunt was the scholar of the group.[10] Hunt was the valedictorian of his class at New York University's School of Law.[10] He then served as New York's Commissioner of Education.[10]


Delta Tau Delta badge from Baird's 2nd edition, 1883

The Delta Tau Delta badge is square with deeply concave sides.[12] Its background is black enamel and is decorated with symbols and the letters ΔΤΔ in gold. Above the letters is an eye rayed in glory.[12][13] Below the letters is a crescent moon. There is a five-pointed star in each corner.[12] The pledge badge has the same shape and stars but has just the outlines of a square in the center.[13] An older version of the badge featured the same symbols on a star with six points, along with an anchor and clasped hands.[12] This version was discontinued at the 1878 national convention.[12] Historically, the fraternity also had a monogrammed badge for alumni.[12]

The fraternity's flower is the purple iris.[13] Its colors are gold, royal purple, and white.[13] These colors are featured on the fraternity's flag which has a field of purple, with a gold center, and a canton of white letters ΔΤΔ that are outlined in purple.[13]

The fraternity's coat of arms includes a shield, a charge, a torse, the crest, and the motto.[13] The shield is decorated with the charge which includes a white seven-pointed star on a black background, a gold lyre on a green background, five six-pointed white stars arranged in a shape on a purple background, and a white chevron on a red background.[13] Above the shield is the torse which is a twisted rope in the official colors of gold, royal purple, and white.[13] The crest consist of an eye rayed in glory, located above the torse. The motto consists of a ribbon beneath the shield with the fraternity's name in English.[13]

The shield is used on the fraternity's Arch Chapter Jewel and is suspended by a purple ribbon.[13] Fraternity members may add gold and white enameled bars above the shield to signify their office.[13] The Arch Chapter Jewel is used for formal events and is worn by division presidents.[13]

Delta Tau Delta Fraternity House at Oklahoma State University.[14]

Chapter houses

The Delta Tau Delta Founders House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.[15]


Main article: List of Delta Tau Delta chapters

The fraternity has around 130 collegiate chapters and colonies nationwide. The fraternity has chartered eight regional alumni chapters, including the Columbus, Ohio Area chapter; the Delts Northwest Chapter; the Hammond, Louisiana chapter; the New England Delts; the National Capital chapter; the Phoenix, Arizona chapter; the Portland, Oregon chapter, and the Seattle, Washington chapter.[16]

Notable members

Main article: List of Delta Tau Delta members

Controversies and misconduct

See also


  1. ^ "Delta Tau Delta Homepage". Delta Tau Delta. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  2. ^ "Two Secret Societies United.; Delta Tau Delta And The Rainbow Society Join Hands" (PDF). The New York Times. 1885-03-28.
  3. ^ "History - Delta Tau Delta". Delta Tau Delta. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  4. ^ Tropp, Gabrielle (2016-11-11). "Delta Tau Delta chapter officially returns". The Lafayette. Retrieved 2022-10-23.
  5. ^ "History - Delta Tau Delta". Delta Tau Delta. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  6. ^ "University of Pittsburgh Delta Tau Delta website". Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  7. ^ Albion College Delta Tau Delta website Archived 2009-02-02 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Two Secret Societies United: Delta Tau Delta and the Rainbow Society Join Hands" (PDF). The News York Times. 1885-03-28.
  9. ^ "Delta Tau Delta, JDRF Form National Philanthropic Partnership | Delta Tau Delta". Archived from the original on 2013-06-27. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Our Founders". Epsilon Mu Chapter | Delta Tau Delta | Ball State University. Retrieved 2022-10-23.
  11. ^ "Alexander Campbell Earle [1091]".
  12. ^ a b c d e f Baird, W. Raimond (William Raimond) American College Fraternities 2nd edition. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1883. pp. 78. via Hathi Trust.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Insignia". The Delts at Arizona State. Retrieved 2022-10-18.
  14. ^ "Your OSU Fraternity Experience Starts Here - Delta Tau Delta". Delta Tau Delta Fraternity - Oklahoma State University. Retrieved 2023-08-24.
  15. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  16. ^ "Alumni Clubs". Retrieved 2022-10-06.
  17. ^ Mount, Bob; Lyttle, Richard (October 8, 1957). "Oxnard college student Max Caulk dies in fraternity hazing at Santa Barbara". Oxnard Press-Courier. p. 1. via
  18. ^ a b c Marino, Jim (February 27, 1968). "Delt House Gutted". The B-G News: 1 – via JSTOR.
  19. ^ a b "Campus Life: Oklahoma; War Is Theme For Annual Party And Donations". The New York Times. 1989-11-19. pp. 52 and 54. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-10-21.
  20. ^ Staggs, Brooke (2020-07-19). "Coronavirus backlash triggers wave of progressive activism from Asian Americans in Orange County". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2022-10-21.
  21. ^ Johnson, Dirk (2008-11-28). "Rift on Indiana Campus After Student Dies". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-10-22.
  22. ^ Thomas, Derrick (Nov 26, 2008). "Frat Where Freshman Died Was 'Out Of Control,' Family Says". ABC 6 The Indy Channel.
  23. ^ Oddi, Marcia (May 12, 2013). "Ind. Decisions - "COA OKs parents' suit against the fraternity in Wabash College alcohol death". Indiana Law.
  24. ^ "Freshman from Tucson found dead at Wabash College frat". Arizona Daily Star. October 6, 2008. Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  25. ^ "Smith v. Beta Psi Chapter of Delta Tau Delta, Wabash College and Marcus Manges, Defendants. Court of Appeals of Indiana". Findlaw. May 8, 2013. Retrieved 2022-10-20.
  26. ^ "Ohio University fraternity kicked off campus for hazing". Columbus Dispatch. January 22, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  27. ^ Behrens, Cole (August 19, 2022). "Delta Tau Delta fraternity suspended from Ohio University". The Athens Messenger. Retrieved 2022-10-06.
  28. ^ a b Franko, Kantele (July 14, 2021). "Ohio University Suspends Frat After Anti-Hazing Law Enacted". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  29. ^ a b Etters, Karl (April 1, 2016). "Police reports detail campus group antics". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  30. ^ Etters, Karl (April 1, 2016). "FSU leads SUS in hazing reports". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  31. ^ Etters, Karl (December 10, 2019). "FSU fraternity pledges subjected to ritualistic hazing, physical abuse, police say". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  32. ^ "Two stabbed at Tufts University frat house". The Columbian. June 1, 2015. Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  33. ^ Cloutier, Catherine; Schworm, Peter Schworm (June 1, 2015). "Two hurt, one seriously, in stabbing at Tufts fraternity - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  34. ^ a b Samuels, Alexandra (June 1, 2015). "Two people stabbed at Tufts University fraternity house". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  35. ^ Karasin, Reena (2015-09-25). "DTD brothers navigate probation amid ongoing criminal investigation". The Tufts Daily. Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  36. ^ "WVU fraternity suspended over member's 'Real World' audition video". Charleston Gazette-Mail. April 5, 2016. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  37. ^ Koman, Tess (2016-04-07). "Watch the "Real World" Audition Tape That Got an Entire Fraternity Suspended". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  38. ^ a b c Costello, Becca (2016-06-28). "IU, Delta Tau Delta Sued For Negligence In Enochs Rape Case". WFYI Public Media. Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  39. ^ Petit, Stephanie (June 28, 2016). "John Enochs' Rape Victim Sues Indiana University and Fraternity". People magazine. Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  40. ^ Mettler, Katie (June 28, 2016). "Prosecutor drops rape charges against former Indiana University student and, unusually, explains why". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  41. ^ Covington, Olivia (July 12, 2018). "Judge rules against IU frat in sexual assault negligence case". The Indiana Lawyer. Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  42. ^ "Organization Judicial History | Fraternity and Sorority LIfe | Student Life - Miami University". Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  43. ^ Clark, Michael (March 25, 2019). "Miami fraternity pledge claims he was beaten, kicked, hospitalized". Journal-News. Oxford, OH. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  44. ^ Messer, Olivia (2019-08-29). "'I Feel Like I'm Going to Die': Miami University Suspends Frat Until 2034 Over Spiked-Paddle Hazing". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  45. ^ Miller, Joshua Rhett (2019-03-26). "Frat suspended after pledge reports hazing ritual with 'scary music,' spike-covered paddle". New York Post. Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  46. ^ Fink, Jenni (2019-05-01). "Swarthmore Fraternities Disband After Outrage Over Alleged 'Rape Attic'". Newsweek. Retrieved 2022-10-23.
  47. ^ WKRC, David Winter (2020-02-25). "Half of those accused in Miami University fraternity hazing case plead guilty". WKRC. Retrieved 2022-10-19.