History of Phi Kappa Phi at Colorado State University


by R.J. Theodoratus, ret.


On Friday March 11, 1927 this, the 40th chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, was formally organized at what was then the Colorado Agricultural College. This event was the result of several years’ preparatory work and the formal application in 1926 by several faculty members who were already members of Phi Kappa Phi. Several major hurdles had been cleared. These included the formal approval of the college administration, the approval of the nearest pre-existing chapter which was at the University of Wyoming, and finally, approval by written ballot that was sent to all chapters. It was unanimous! The 30 founding chapter members of this chapter included President Charles M. Lory, Viginia Corbett (the dean of Women), and professors Allison, Coffin, Durell, Johnson, Glover, Newsom and Shepardson. A student writer in the Rocky Mountain Collegian commented that we finally had one organization on campus in which membership was not based upon student politics. On Thursday May 12, 1927, 14 seniors and one graduate student were initiated into membership of this new chapter. In 1931, 16 were initiated. During the depths of the great depression, difficult times prevailed for both students and faculty and the initiation numbers dropped as low as 5 or 6. This occurred again during World War II. But during the 1950s and 60s the numbers rapidly increased. Today Phi Kappa Phi is an important component of our university. Phi Kappa Phi has hopefully achieved the promise that our chapter founders had in mind.


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