"We are mighty glad to enter Alpha Sigma Phi and are going to do all in our power to make ourselves worthy Brothers. Let us impress upon everyone that our house is open to the Brotherhood at all times. Just look us up and we will look to the rest."
A group of eight men, who were students in The Pennsylvania State College, discovered that they had the same ideas in regard to many things. Naturally, as is the way of all men they became bonded more and more by this common point of view and in the fall of 1912 decided to organize a club. A few furnished rooms were rented, and thus the club in a measure was officially organized November 25th, 1912.
The choosing of a name and the designing of a badge and handshake were problems which required a great deal of thought and discussion. However, after much deliberation the name Viking was finally chosen and a handshake and a badge adopted. A constitution and a set of by-laws were drawn up and plans for the future laid. At regular intervals meetings were held, the membership was increased, and with the coming of spring arrangements for a house were made.
The Fall of 1914 marked the turning point in the career of the Vikings. The members started in with a will and filled all the vacant ranks. Again the membership was doubled. More system was established in both the financial and legislative ends and success for the future was assured. The unity of purpose and fraternal spirit began to be realities instead of goals and progress was the inevitable result.
The year of 1915-16 was a year of achievement for many of the Viking veterans. It witnessed the final realization of a fraternity successful on the three sides necessary to make the perfect fraternal triangle—fraternal spirit, social attainment, and financial success.
The collegiate year of 1916-17 was a successful one, although we started out with few men. It was not long, however, until the former chapter strength had again been established, due to the efforts of the members still remaining in College. An event of great moment took place within the year. A decision had been made by the Viking Club to apply to Alpha Sigma Phi for a charter. The petition was prepared and submitted on February 1, 1917.
On a cold, dreary day in December, 1917, the telephone bell rang through the empty house of the Viking Club—most of us were attending classes. Upon our return to the house at noon, we learned the glad tidings: “Charter granted. Advise when you are ready for initiation and installation.” Signed by Wayne M. Musgrave, G.J.P.
We immediately got in touch with Brother Musgrave, and February 8th and 9th of 1918 were the dates set for our initiation and installation. The chosen scene for this event was Philadelphia, and the setting Omicron Chapter House.
A committee of ten Vikings assembled at Hotel Normandie in Philadelphia on the afternoon of February 8, 1918, there to await further instructions. A survey showed several full dress suits and some old togs—we were determined to place at least two men in the finals. While awaiting further instructions theater parties, dinner parties et al. were arranged. Little did we realize how entirely occupied would be our time. Omicron had certainly prepared fur us. Soon our instructions were forthcoming, along with generous offers for the very necessary old clothes. We then dispersed and betook ourselves to various parts of the city to purchase those articles so essential to the success of a well-conducted initiation.
Having purchased the necessary articles, and after disposing of everything of value from a twenty-dollar bill to a gold collar button, each member of our committee presented himself at the appointed second at the rear portal of Omicron’s Chapter House. There we were received and conducted inward to follow the same road traveled by so many “Sigs” prior to our advent. After a night tense with excitement and warm receptions we were permitted to wend our way back to our hotel for a day’s rest.
The evening of February 9th found us again received at Omicron’s Chapter House, this time at the front portal. Then followed a most beautiful and impressive ceremony, after which Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi was duly installed. Following this Upsilon members were given instructions and advice as to the proper manner of conducting a chapter of our fraternity.
The following day, February 10th, we were honored by Omicron with a reception long to be remembered by those who attended. Our entertainment continued until evening, when we were compelled to entrain for State College. Our leave was taken with a felling that we were fully capable of properly conduction the initiation which was to link our brothers into the Mystic Circle of Alpha Sigma Phi.
After the delegates sent to Philadelphia to be initiated into Alpha Sigma Phi returned to State College, there was much worry and anxiety concerning the arrival of the paraphernalia necessary to initiate the remaining Vikings and pledges. Finally arrangements had arrived at such a high state of perfection that February 28th, 1918 was decided upon as a day, not for college work, but more but more for the purpose of welding links into the chain of Alpha Sigma Phi. Twenty-one links were shaped, welded and perfected by 6 A. M., March 1st, 1918.
March 1st had been set for the smoker to the other campus fraternities (local and national) announcing our installation as Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi. It was a great success, and soon news came that our petition to the local Pan-hellenic Council had been granted.
With the ceremony of installation still fresh in our memory, Upsilon Chapter sends its first greetings to the Brotherhood of Alpha Sigma Phi. The Charter members will long remember the trip we had to the Philadelphia and the royal time that Omicron showed us. Ten strong we entered the Mystic Circle.
As a celebration and an informal method of announcing the granting of Upsilon a Charter, we are going to give a reception and smoker to all Fraternities on March 1st. On March 9th we will give our first Sig Dance.
Due to the fact that Penn State closes the present college year on April 24th with a Commencement program more that cut in half, there will not be so much going on, but we intend to have dances on the 23rd and 24th as well as some doings on the evening of the 22nd.
As we close this letter, we leave Omicron House to return to that of Upsilon, there to take up the new duties that we have assumed. We are mighty glad to enter Alpha Sigma Phi and are going to do all in our power to make ourselves worthy Brothers. Let us impress upon everyone that our house is open to the Brotherhood at all times. Just look us up and we will look to the rest.
Important Early Dates in Our History
o February 1, 1917-The Viking Club petitions Alpha Sigma Phi for a charter.
o February 9, 1918-the 20th chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi is installed in ceremonies at Omicron at the University of Pennsylvania by G.J.P. Wayne M. Musgrave, designated the Upsilon chapter.
o 1920-Upsilon chapter publishes their newsletter, first called ‘the Pinnacle.’
o Fall 1920-Delta Sigma Chi fraternity founded at Penn State by John Harting, Paul Andrews, and Martin Bare. Nine other charter members were added and I.F.C. recognition was obtained on December 8, 1920.
o 1921-Phi Delta Zeta, a local fraternity, is established at New Jersey Institute of Technology.
o 1922-Alpha Gamma Upsilon Fraternity is founded at Anthony Wayne University.
o 1926-The local fraternity at NJIT combines with Alpha Kappa Pi at Wagner College to become a national fraternity-Alpha Kappa Pi.
o April 15, 1929-Delta Sigma Chi breaks ground on a new house at 328 East Fairmount Avenue.
o June 30, 1930-Delta Sigma Chi becomes the Omicron chapter of Alpha Kappa Pi, initiating 47 brothers, the largest to that date for a chartering in Alpha Kappa Pi.
o 1935-Alpha Sigma Phi moves into the house at 288 East Prospect Avenue.
o 1935-W. Robins Young ’18, is the first Upsilon brother awarded Delta Beta Xi.
o 1942-1946-The houses at 288 East Prospect as well as the Alpha Kappa Pi house are almost completely vacated and brothers are in service in World War II. Branches of the military in training occupy both houses.
o July 3, 1944-William R. McCullom ’35, becomes the first Upsilon brother to give his life in military service in France.
o September 6, 1946-Alpha Sigma Phi and Alpha Kappa Pi merge.
o November 1947-Upsilon moves into the house at 328 East Fairmount Avenue.