Sigma Delta Rho
Sigma Delta Rho pin, from Ohio State Athena, 1930.jpg
FoundedJanuary 8, 1921; 101 years ago (1921-01-08)
Miami University of Ohio
AffiliationNIC (former)
Colors  Silver,   Purple and   Gold
Chapters9 (all dormant)
Merged withAlpha Kappa Pi (1935), or scattered

Sigma Delta Rho (ΣΔΡ) was a small national men's fraternity founded on January 8, 1921 at Miami University of Ohio, the fifth general social fraternity to be formed at that school. It "disintegrated" in the spring of 1935 due to pressures of the Great Depression and "absence of strong leadership." About half its chapters were absorbed into other fraternities.[1]


Sigma Delta Rho was founded at Miami University on January 8, 1921 under the name of Delta Sigma Rho, and had received recognition from the university as a new local fraternity under that name. However, it was discovered that there was a previously existing national recognition (~honor) society of the same name, thus after several months, when plans were made for expansion into a national organization the chapter changed its own name, switching the order of the first two letters, to avoid confusion.[1][2]

Incorporated then as Sigma Delta Rho under the laws of the State of Ohio, the chapter was the fifth social fraternity to be founded at Miami.[3] Sigma Delta Rho honored five founders:

The Fraternity joined the NIC as a junior member in 1930.

Five of its eventual nine chapters were placed in Ohio.


The official badge of the society was a cross paté formé purpure (formed of purple) with edges or (gold), connected by four chains of five links each; this was superimposed with a mascle (a lozenge-shaped device), or (also gold), enclosing the letters Σ, Δ and Ρ on a field of argent (silver).[1][4]


According to Baird's, disagreement developed among its chapters as to the policies of the fraternity. Additionally, financial problems caused by the Great Depression and a lack of strong leadership all led to a downfall in the spring of 1935.[1]

Fellow national fraternity Alpha Kappa Pi gained the chapters at Franklin and Marshall, Toledo, and Cincinnati. This national later merged with Alpha Sigma Phi. The Illinois chapter banded together with a faltering chapter of Beta Psi[5] to form a new chapter of Pi Kappa Phi. The Tri-State (Trine) chapter eventually joined Sigma Phi Epsilon. The others "gradually disappeared."[1][4]


Baird's Manual lists an eventual nine chapters formed between 1921 and 1934.[4] Dates for disbanding are from collegiate yearbooks and from the Baird's Manual Archive Online. Active chapters that either merged into Alpha Kappa Pi, or withdrew to another successor organization at the time of dissolution are noted in bold, inactive chapters (dormant) or those that appear to have disbanded rather than merge are in italics.:

Name Chartered Institution Location Status Notes Reference
Alpha January 8, 19211935 Miami University Oxford, OH Disbanded [6][a]
Beta 19221932 Ohio State University Columbus, OH Dormant
Gamma 19241935 University of Toledo Toledo, OH Merged, (ΑΣΦ) [b]
Delta 19261935 University of Illinois Urbana, IL Withdrew, (ΠΚΦ) [c][7]
Epsilon 19261935 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH Merged, (ΑΣΦ) [d][8]
Zeta 19281943 Ohio University Athens, OH Withdrew, (local) [e]
Eta 19291935 Franklin & Marshall College Lancaster, PA Merged, (ΑΣΦ) [f]
Theta 19341935 Hillsdale College Hillsdale, MI Disbanded [g]
Iota 19341936 Tri-State College (Trine) Angola, IN Withdrew, (local)
   (later, to ΣΦΕ)


  1. ^ Alpha chapter may have formed at the end of 1920; Baird's notes that year for the Fraternity's predecessor organization, while accepting the date January 8, 1921 for its establishment under the latter name. Upon ΣΔΡ's dissolution in the midst of the Great Depression, there was no apparent successor for this chapter.
  2. ^ This chapter originated as Zeta Omicron (local) in 1921. After the dissolution of ΣΔΡ, became the Alpha Delta chapter of Alpha Kappa Pi in 1937, and eventually Alpha Sigma Phi's Beta Rho chapter.
  3. ^ This chapter originated as the Oneoga Club (local) in 1922. After the dissolution of ΣΔΡ, it revived the Upsilon chapter of Pi Kappa Phi in 1935, taking that name.
  4. ^ This chapter originated as Kappa Alpha Chi (local) in 1925. After the dissolution of ΣΔΡ, became the Alpha Epsilon chapter of Alpha Kappa Pi in 1937, and eventually Alpha Sigma Phi's Beta Sigma chapter.
  5. ^ Zeta chapter originated as Delta Chi Alpha (local) in 1927. This chapter closed a decade after national dissolution, in the midst of WWII; no apparent successor.
  6. ^ Eta chapter originated as the Torch Club (local) in 1927. It later absorbed another local group called Alpha Pi. After the dissolution of ΣΔΡ, became Alpha Gamma chapter of Alpha Kappa Pi in 1936, eventually Alpha Sigma Phi's Beta Pi chapter.
  7. ^ Theta chapter originated as Beta Alpha Delta (local) in 1924. Upon ΣΔΡ's dissolution, no apparent successor.
  8. ^ This chapter originated as Phi Sigma Chi (local) in 1927. After the dissolution of ΣΔΡ, reverted to their local name of ΦΣΧ between 19361949. A decade later the group then renamed itself again, becoming ΑΓΥ between 19491968. In 1968 they chartered as ΣΦΕ to become the Indiana Theta chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon.


  1. ^ a b c d e Anson, Jack L.; Marchenasi, Robert F., eds. (1991) [1879]. Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (20th ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Baird's Manual Foundation, Inc. p. VIII–21. ISBN 978-0963715906.
  2. ^ See Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha for the recognition society whose name was in conflict.
  3. ^ See the Miami Triad for further information.
  4. ^ a b c William Raimond Baird; Carroll Lurding (eds.). "Almanac of Fraternities and Sororities (Baird's Manual Online Archive), page showing Sigma Delta Rho". Student Life and Culture Archives. University of Illinois: University of Illinois Archives. Retrieved 2 Aug 2022. The main archive URL is The Baird's Manual Online Archive homepage.
  5. ^ Baird's says "Beta Psi". Could this be have been the Alpha chapter of Beta Sigma Psi, which closed in 1940?
  6. ^ Athena. 1930.
  7. ^ Illio (PDF). 1930.
  8. ^ This University page lists Sigma Delta Rho among past and current Greek chapters, accessed 17 Jun 2019.