|St. Anthony Hall (Delta Psi)|
|Founded||January 17, 1847|
|Type||Literary and Social|
|Member badge||St. Anthony's cross|
|Colors||Azure blue & Old gold|
|Patron saint||Anthony the Great|
|Philanthropy||St. Anthony Educational Foundation, Inc.|
The Number Six Club
The Tea Company
The Order of St. Anthony
St. Anthony Club
|Headquarters||P. O. Box 876|
Ithaca, New York 14851
St. Anthony Hall or the Fraternity of Delta Psi is an American fraternity and literary society. Its first chapter was founded at Columbia University on January 17, 1847, the feast day of Saint Anthony the Great. The fraternity is a non–religious, nonsectarian organization.
In 1879, William Raimond Baird's American College Fraternities characterized the fraternity as having "the reputation of being the most secret of all the college societies." A modern writer says the fraternity is "a cross between Skull and Bones and a Princeton eating club, with a large heaping of Society and more than a dash of Animal House." Nearly all chapters of St. Anthony Hall are coed.
References to St. Anthony Hall have appeared in the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, John O'Hara, and Tom Wolfe.
According to Baird's, the Alpha chapter of the Fraternity of Delta Psi was founded at Columbia University in January 17, 1847 by John Hone Anthon, Sam. F. Barger, Charles Arms Budd, and William Myn Van Wagener. In The Review magazine, the fraternity says Anthon was a founder, the first leader, and an important Mason. Another source says the fraternity was started by the fifteen-year-old Edward Forbes Travis who came to Columbia University from England "with an odd fascination for St. Anthony the Great, the gnarled fourth-century mystic." In this scenario, Travis shared "certain rituals" with a Charles Arms Budd on the Saint's feast day, creating "a sacred bond that was soon extended to others."
According to its national website, Delta Psi was founded on the feast day of Saint Anthony the Great as a "fraternity dedicated to the love of education and the well-being of its members." The fraternity developed "a literary flavor: members would spend hours reading essays to one another for general critique or amusement." By 1853, it was holding an Annual Literary Festival and Dinner. It also held evenings featuring orators and poets, often publishing the poems or speeches.
A Beta chapter was formed at New York University on January 17, 1847. However Beta was short-lived; the Columbia College's Record lists the New York University founders alongside its own students. In 1879, Baird's listed seventeen chapters opening throughout the Northeast and South during the mid 19th-century.
During the Civil War, formal contact ended between the Northern and Southern chapters, and all of the Southern chapters closed. In fact, 25% of the fraternity's membership died in the Civil War, with 90 of the 109 deaths coming from the Southern chapters. In December 1865, the fraternity held its annual convention in New York City. The New York Times reported, "Attendance from all the Northern chapters was large, and measures were taken to give the most cordial assistance in response to applications for the rehabilitation of the Southern chapters in such of their colleges are again in operation."
Three of the Southern chapters resumed operations: the University of Virginia, the University of Mississippi, and Washington and Lee. In April 1867, eleven members of the Williams College chapter commissioned a life-sized portrait of a fallen brother; the portrait was displayed at the Schwabe Gallery of Fallen Heroes in Boston, along with the portraits of four other Delta Psi brothers. Members from many Southern chapters attended a commemorative dinner in New York City in December 1871.
In 1894, Yale's Sigma chapter built a dormitory building and named it St. Anthony Hall, apparently the first use of that name. The Fraternity of Delta Psi also became known as the Order of St. Anthony and St. Anthony Hall.
In accordance with the respective traditions of each chapter, St. Anthony Hall is now self-described and referred to on its various campuses as a fraternity or coed fraternity, a secret society or literary society, or a private club. A former Yale chapter president said, "Chapters have a range of degrees of secrecy." In 2006, a Yale member said, "Our secret aspects are truly secret, and our non-secret aspects are truly non–secret"
The 1879 edition of Baird's describes the fraternity's badge as a "Saint Anthony's cross, with curved sides. The cross bears a shield in blue enamel displaying the letters ΔΨ. On the bar of the cross are engraved four Hebrew letters, and beneath the shield the skull and bones." The badge was designed by fraternity member Henry Steel Olcott in 1850.
The 1873 University of Pennsylvania yearbook illustration (see infobox above) shows a tau cross or Saint Anthony's cross, a flat topped shield with the letters ΔΨ, a skull, a sword, a key, a floating triangle, and four Hebrew letters. The sword and the key are crossed, with the skull on top.
In 1860 when the Civil War seemed inevitable, fraternal medallions were made for the brothers to attach to their uniforms so they would be recognized as a member of Delta Psi on the battlefield. A photograph of a medallion in the fraternity's archives shows a round, gold coin with a skull as its central figure. Beneath the skull is a crossed sword and key. Encircling the outer edge of the medallion is a list of each chapter's Greek letter and date of founding.
There are eleven active chapters of Delta Psi, including the following active chapters noted in bold. Dormant chapters are noted in italics. Note that the now-dormant Delta Psi local fraternity at the University of Vermont (1850–2004) was never affiliated.
|Alpha||1847||Columbia University||New York, New York||Active||coed||residential, off-campus|||
|Beta (Prime)||1847–1853||New York University||New York, New York||Moved,
|Gamma||1848–1850||Rutgers College||New Brunswick, New Jersey||Dormant||male|||
|Delta (Prime)||1849–1854||Burlington College [b]||Burlington, New Jersey||Moved||male||See UPenn chapter|||
|Epsilon||1850||Trinity College||Hartford, Connecticut||Active||coed||residential, on campus|||
|Eta||1850–1861||South Carolina College||Columbia, South Carolina||Dormant||male|||
|Theta||1851–1853, 1986||Princeton University||Princeton, New Jersey||Active||coed|||
|Iota||1851–1895, 2010||University of Rochester||Rochester, New York||Active||coed||off-campus|||
|Kappa||1852–1853, 1983||Brown University||Providence, Rhode Island||Active||coed||residential, on campus|||
|Lambda||1853–1970 ?||Williams College||Williamstown, Massachusetts||Dormant||male||[c]|
|Sigma (Prime)||1853–1861||Randolph-Macon College||Ashland, Virginia||Dormant,
|Delta||1854||University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Active||male||residential, on campus||[b]|
|Xi||1854–1861, 1926||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, North Carolina||Active||coed||residential, off-campus|||
|Phi||1855–1861, 1870–1912, 1926||University of Mississippi||Oxford, Mississippi||Active||male||residential, on campus|||
|Psi||1858–1861||Cumberland University||Lebanon, Tennessee||Dormant||male|||
|Upsilon||1860–1861, 1866||University of Virginia||Charlottesville, Virginia||Active||male||residential, on campus|||
|Beta||1860–1888||Washington and Lee University||Lexington, Virginia||Dormant||male|||
|Sigma||1868||Yale University||New Haven, Connecticut||Active||coed||nonresidential, on campus||[d]|
|Tau||1889||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Cambridge, Massachusetts||Active||coed||residential, off campus.
Known as Number 6 Club
There have been rumors that the Lambda chapter operates underground; Williams College banned all fraternities in the 1960s, phasing them out by 1970. In 2003, The Williams Record reported that the fraternity began operating as the coed Vermont Literary Society as early as 1973. At that time, the Vermont Literary Society was meeting outside of Williamstown at a place in Vermont referred to as "The Barn". The college offered amnesty to any students who came forward; however, none took advantage of the offer. Again in 2020, there were reports that the Vermont Literary Society was still active as the underground Lambda chapter. The Williams Record's investigation noted that Williams College graduates from 2016 were serving on the board of the Lambda chapter's alumni association. However, the paper later reported that the group disbanded in August 2020.
Main article: List of St. Anthony Hall Members
Members of St. Anthony Hall call each other "Brother", "Sister", or "Sibling" according to individual preference. In 1961, the Yale chapter was the first fraternity on campus to admit a person of color. The University of North Carolina chapter was the first fraternity at its campus to admit African-American members in 1967, followed by the University of Mississippi chapter. In recent times, the fraternity's membership has become more multicultural.
In 1969, the Yale chapter was the first to go coed, also becoming the first Yale society to accept women. Additional chapters subsequently turned coed, including Columbia University, MIT in 1969, the University of North Carolina in 1971, and Trinity College in 1985. Other chapters were reestablished as coed including, Brown University in 1983, Princeton University in 1986, and the University of Rochester in 2010. The University of Pennsylvania, the University of Mississippi and the University of Virginia chapters remain all-male.
In 2016, Town & Country included the Columbia University chapter of St. Anthony Hall in its list of the "six most exclusive clubs of the Ivey League".
St. Anthony Hall members pursue their literary mandate through different programs at the various chapters. The Brown chapter publishes a literary and visual arts magazine called The Sketchbook and hosts bi-weekly literary readings. The UNC chapter hosts open mic nights, poetry readings, and art shows. The Delta chapter at the University of Pennsylvania hosts an annual lecture series with nationally significant speakers and also organizes a book drive and reading program for a local public school. The MIT chapter hosts a scholarly lecture series, coffee hours, and participates in charitable activities. The Yale chapter sponsors a public series of Sigma Seminars every two to three weeks on literature, poetry, art, and current affairs; a recent speaker was Pap Souleye Fall, a Senegalese–American interdisciplinary and comic artist. The Trinity chapter hosts its annual Clement Lectures. The Columbia chapter hosts writers to discuss their works at least once a semester and also engages in charitable fundraising.
The Trinity chapter endows a St. Anthony Professorship in Art History, several annual prizes for Trinity students, and the annual Martin W. Clement lecture. In 1970 when it went coed, the Yale chapter endowed a scholarship at Yale for women. The Yale chapter also offers the St. Anthony Hall Chase Coggins Fellowship.
Many of the St. Anthony Hall chapter houses were designed by well-known 19th and early 20th-century architects such as Henry Forbes Bigelow, J. Cleveland Cady, Cope and Stewardson, Wilson Eyre Jr., Heins & LaFarge, Charles C. Haight, Henry Hornbostel, J. Harleston Parker, William Hamilton Russell, and Stanford White.
In an 1891 newspaper feature article on American college societies, three Delta Psi chapter houses were illustrated—Trinity, Williams, and Yale—amongst the fifteen houses depicted.
Main article: Delta Psi, Alpha Chapter
The Alpha chapter originally met at the Simon DeWitt Bloodgood house. In 1879, a new building was constructed at 29 East 28th Street for the Alpha chapter and its alumni group, the St. Anthony Club of New York. According to the New-York Tribune, it was "the first of the Greek letter societies to establish in New York a club which presents many of the features of the other social clubs in the city." The Alpha chapter's Renaissance-inspired lodge in red and yellow brick was designed by William Hamilton Russell, a member of St. Anthony Hall and an architect with the firm of James Renwick, Jr. The Hartford Courant wrote, "The decorations of the interior are most elaborate, and altogether it is said to be one of the most beautiful college secret society buildings in the country."
In 1885, a small addition was added to the back of the building. The St. Louis Globe–Democrat wrote, "The lodge room on the Delta Psi fraternity in New York is magnificently furnished in Egyptian designs especially imported from Thebes for this purpose, at the cost of thousands of dollars..." In 1990, the New York Times wrote, "Old photographs show...the figure of an owl on the peaked [pyramid] roof and a plaque with the Greek letters Delta Psi over the windowless chapter room." Later alterations were made by J.A. Moore in 1899 and 1918, including adding 1.5 stories that replaced the original pyramid roof; the stone shield remains between the fourth-floor windows.
In 1895, Columbia University moved its campus north of the city to Morningside Heights. To be closer to the new campus, the Alpha chapter purchased land on 434 Riverside Drive on March 23, 1897. To design a new chapter house, they hired Henry Hornbostel and George Carnegie Palmer (a member of St. Anthony Hall) of the firm of Wood, Palmer and Hornbostel. The architects' plans were filed with the city on August 26, 1898, and the building was completed in 1898. The resulting five-story plus basement structure is a combination of Beaux Arts and French Renaissance revival styles. It is constructed of red brick, is trimmed liberally in limestone, and has dormers covered in copper. At the top of the building is a carved relief of the Greek letters ΔΨ. The interior included reception rooms, a billiard room, a dining room, a library, and bedrooms for twenty members. In 1996, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Delta Psi, Alpha chapter. The chapter house is also a contributing building to the Broadway-Riverside Drive National Register Historic District.
Main article: St. Anthony Hall House
Regarded as the first purpose-built fraternity house on the University of Pennsylvania campus, the original Delta Psi house was a Florentine or Renaissance Revival style design by Wilson Eyre Jr. It is located at 32 South 22nd Street, across the Schuykill from Penn's West Philadelphia campus. It opened in January 1889, and also housed the St. Anthony Club of Philadelphia. It served the fraternity from 1889 to 1908.
In 1907, Cope and Stewardson designed the chapter's next house in the Academic Gothic style. Saint Anthony is depicted in a stained glass window in the stairway landing of the first floor; as seen in the photo to the right, a stone tau cross is also above the second-story windows on the exterior. This brick and limestone three-story house was added to National Register of Historic Places in 2005 as St. Anthony Hall House. This chapter house is described and pictured in George E. Nitzsche's University of Pennsylvania: Its History, Traditions, Buildings and Memorials: Also a Brief Guide to Philadelphia.
The University of Virginia's brick chapter house with two-story tall columns and a spacious portico was the third fraternity house constructed on Grounds—although it was the first with residential use in mind. Built in 1902, this Colonial Revival or Jeffersonian style house is "beautifully situated on 'Page Hill'" and blends well with the campus architecture designed by Thomas Jefferson. The Upsilon chapter house was designed by J. Harleston Parker, founder of the Harleston Parker Medal. It cost $20,000 to build. The interior was "furnished with taste throughout", and included ten bedrooms, a library, a billiard room, and a 20 by 30 feet (6.1 by 9.1 m) reception room that was paneled in oak. There was also electric lighting, running hot and cold water, and steam heat. The house is included The Architecture of Jefferson Country: Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia" by K. Edward Lay.
Main article: Saint Anthony Hall (Hartford, Connecticut)
A gift of fraternity member and recent graduate Robert Habersham Coleman, the Trinity chapter's granite lodge was designed in the rusticated Richardsonian Romanesque style by J. Cleveland Cady in 1878. Cady was also a member of Trinity's Epsilon chapter of St. Anthony Hall. This was one of the most expensive fraternity houses in America at the time and was also a "radical departure from the customary tomb-like structures of the secret societies of other campuses". Added in 1985 to the National Register of Historic Places, as Saint Anthony Hall, the Epsilon chapter home is the oldest St. Anthony Hall building still in use by the fraternity. It is also the oldest fraternity house at Trinity, and one of the oldest buildings on campus.
The Brown University chapter house at 154 Hope Street in Providence, Rhode Island, was designed by Stone, Carpenter & Wilson in the Colonial Revival style in 1895. The house features ogee gables and a conservatory, as well as an addition added in 1961. Originally a private residence for Alice and Robert W. Taft, the brick building was later owned by Bryant University which called it Taft Hall and used it as its administration building from 1947 through 1969. When Brown acquired the building in 1969, it was renamed King House in 1974 in honor of Lida Shaw King, former dean of Pembroke College. Brown provides King House to the Kappa chapter as a residential student program house.
The former Williams College chapter house dates from 1886 and was designed by Stanford White of McKim, Mead and White. White had just designed a New York City townhouse for fraternity member Frederick Ferris Thompson, who provided White to create the Lamba chapter house. The chapter house was constructed in of blue freestone and combines early Norman and Old English styles. It has been described as "a witty paraphrase of a Dutch Colonial house, compact in silhouette and terminating in proud stepped gables. But no such Dutch house ever had such an audacious tower, tapered in the fashion of an Egyptian pylon." The interior has "an elaborate interplay of crossbeams on the ceiling combined with heroically oversized fireplaces..."
In 1905, an addition was added to the southwest end that had electricity and included nine bedrooms, a library, four studies, and three bathrooms. However, the addition was destroyed by a fire in May 1926, probably the result of faulty electrical wiring. Architect Roger Bullard and local contractors restored the wing. However, on January 21, 1927, another fire destroyed the new southwest wing, and the dining room ceiling collapsed, blowing out the windows on the first floor. Another addition was added to the south, but does not impact the main view of the house.
Because fraternities were banned at Williams in the 1960s, Lambda chapter sold its building to the college in 1970. The still-named Saint Anthony Hall now houses the college's Center for Developmental Economics. The 17,540 square feet (1,630 m2)building was renovated and refurbished in 1996. It still includes a bronze relief memorial to fraternity member Frederick Ferris Thompson, designed in 1906 by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
A former Phi chapter house was subsequently a childhood home Nobel Laureate William Faulkner. The Faulkner famlily lived there from 1912 to 1922 when fraternities were outlawed at the University of Mississippi. Sited where the Alumni Center Hotel now stands, this late 19th-century brick turreted house was the first building of note that incoming freshmen saw when they walked from the train station to campus.
The original Sigma chapter house was built in 1879 and no longer exists. This five-story building was said to be "the finest thing of the kind in any university in the country". In 1885, the chapter built a new house, also no longer in existence, that was designed by Harrison W. Lindsley who was a member of the Yale chapter. It was a Richardsonian Romanesque style structure built of red sandstone. In 1894, the chapter started construction of a dormitory building designed by George Lewis Heins and Christopher Grant LaFarge of the firm Heins & LaFarge. Located at 133 College Street, the dormitory housed 26 men and was named St. Anthony Hall—perhaps the first use of that name. It was built of East Haven sandstone to match the nearby chapter house and featured large parlors, a 20 by 30 feet (6.1 by 9.1 m) library filled with books, a porch with carved stone decorations, and servants quarters.
Around 1903, fraternity member Frederick William Vanderbilt commissioned a gift of two limestone residential halls adjacent to the chapter house. These were constructed between 1903 and 1906. Next, Vanderbilt hired Charles C. Haight to create a matching Neo-Gothic style chapter house which was completed in 1913 at 483 College Street. The ornamental iron gates from the second chapter house were re-used at the corner entrance of the new octagonal tower. It is believed that Rafael Guastavino Jr. built the domed ceiling in a basement room called The Crypt; Guastavino previously worked on Biltmore Estate for Vanderbilt's younger brother. The Crypt "has a wonderful sound parabola, where someone standing in one corner can whisper and be heard across the room by someone standing in the opposite corner". The New York Times called it "the most expensive and elaborate secret society building in the United States".
The flanking residential halls are now part of Silliman College; St. Anthony Hall donated them to the university when Yale started a campus residential system in the 1930s.
The first Tau chapter house was designed by J.P. Fuller and built circa 1834–37 in the Greek Revival style. It was located at 6 Louisburg Square in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood. The building also housed the St. Anthony Club of Boston. This address is the origin of the nickname for the Tau chapter—the Number Six Club. The chapter's current multi-stored structure at 428 Memorial Drive was first occupied in 1916. It was designed by Boston architect Henry Forbes Bigelow, an alumnus of the Tau chapter.
Designed by architect S.E. Gage, the former St. Anthony Club of New York was located at 16 East 64th Street in New York City. Originally built between 1878 and 1879, Gage redesigned the building between 1902 and 1904 in the Neo-Federal style. The five-story brownstone includes limestone columns, a detailed, wrought-iron front door and gate, a limestone and marble entry foyer, and a bronze and wrought-iron main staircase. In addition, the townhouse boasted ornate moldings, high ceilings, skylights, oak Versailles parquet floors, and six wood-burning fireplaces. The building is on a historically distinguished residential street and is included in the walking tour of 64th Street.
Beginning in 1951, St. Anthony Hall used this building as an alumni city club and as headquarters for its national offices; the fraternity (Delta Psi, Inc.) purchased the building in 1952. In the early 1970s, the Barnard College Club leased space in the St. Anthony Club building. The fraternity closed its club and sold the building in 1990; the former club is now a private residence.
Yale chapter member and benefactor Henry Prentiss Becton donated the Becton Center to Yale. Designed by Marcel Breuer, the Becton Center opened in 1970. Located at 15 Prospect Street in New Haven, the building's most distinctive feature is an arcade of monumental tau cross-shaped concrete columns.
The St. Anthony Educational Foundation Inc. is a charitable entity that supports the educational and cultural programs and activities of the fraternity through grants and scholarships to its chapters.
St. Anthony Hall has several incorporated graduate chapter associations that exist to support its chapters and/or their buildings. The Anthony Trust association was chartered in Connecticut in 1874. Known graduate chapters include:
Historically, there were several alumni social clubs associated with the fraternity—the 1890 edition of Baird's credits the Delta Psi with being "a pioneer in the development of this form of social life". These clubs usually adopted the name St. Anthony Club because the fraternity's badge was a St. Anthony's cross.
Founded in 1879, the St. Anthony Club of New York was the first and longest-running of these establishments. It was the first fraternity-related club in New York City and was "flourishing" at 29 East 28th Street; a location it shared with the undergraduate chapter, by 1883.
In 1885, the club added an addition to the rear of the building, and The New York Times gave its readers a rare peek inside the club:
The front room is a parlor with tables for cards. In cases on the mantlepiece are "Goodwood Cups," trophies of which the club is justly proud. The furniture and fittings here are in cherry, with harmonious upholstery and walls. Several fine prints are to be seen, including views of buildings of the Delta Psi at Yale, Trinity, and other colleges. A passageway, richly decorated in the baronial style of the twelfth century, leads from the office past the buffet, in a crypt under the stairs, to a large room, which, with a noble open fireplace, offers, in cosy [sic] leather cushions, in stalls in the corners and more spacious chairs, a quiet retreat. The fantastic and unique latticework of the windows attracts attention, with the bold and artistic studding of the ceiling, and ornate chandeliers especially manufactured emit their jets of gas from imitation candles...This is the smoking and lounging room.
The club also included a billiard room with high oak wainscotting and walls of a blueish-green with hints of gold, an entire floor dedicated to its library, and a national fraternity office decorated with illustrations of the temptations of St. Anthony. It was also noted that the membership and dues were low, "so as to prevent no one who is eligible from joining". Membership was limited to alumni of the Delta Psi fraternity, and no others could gain entry. In 1893, St. Anthony Hall was referred to by the New-York Tribune as "the most exclusive organization of the kind in the United States".
On July 4, 1912, the St. Anthony Club purchased the house of Edith S. Logan, widow of John A. Logan, located at 17 West 56th Street in New York City. The club used its 1879 Alpha chapter house as a partial payment to Logan. In 1929, the club purchased the Junior League's five-story clubhouse at 133–35 61st Street, selling 17 West 56th Street in 1931. In 1936, the club and the fraternity's office were jointly housed in a penthouse of the Berkshire Hotel at 21 East 52nd Street. The club relocated to an apartment at 270 Park Avenue in 1944. However, by the early 1980s, the club was located in a brownstone at 16 East 64th Street and was no longer financially sustainable. With the city's property boom, by 1988 the brownstone was worth $3.5 million versus $1 million in 1984. The fraternity decided to close the club and liquidate the asset to free funds for other projects. In 1989, the fraternity borrowed money to fix structural problems and other issues with the building. The St Anthony Club of New York building sold in 1990 for $3,250,000, although the net to the organization was significantly less because of debts, stockholder payouts, and taxes.
Known as the St. Andrews Club, the alumni group in Detroit, Michigan, started meeting annually in 1883. The St. Anthony Club in Philadelphia was established before 1888 when it shared a new building with the undergraduate chapter. There was also a St. Anthony Club in Rochester, New York prior to 1890. The St. Anthony Club in Boston was established before 1898 and shared a building in Beacon Hill with the undergraduate chapter at MIT. The St. Anthony Club of the Northwest was organized in 1890 after having semi-annual dinner gatherings. In 1904, the St. Anthony Club of Bar Harbor, Maine gathered for its annual dinner. There was also a St. Anthony Club of Bermuda.
Known modern alumni social groups include the Paris St. Anthony Hall Association, the St. Anthony Association of New Jersey, the St. Anthony Association of Nova Scotia, the St. Anthony Association of Rhode Island, the St. Anthony Association of Southern Arizona, the St. Anthony Association of Washington, D.C., and the St. Anthony Club of Philadelphia.