Kappa Tet History


January 2002,

The following pages are the history of Kappa Tetarton Chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity in the years prior to becoming a Phi Sigma Kappa chapter. Though parts of the history to many may seem to be trivial or mundane, it formed the strong bond of brotherhood. It is what cemented life long friendships and what made Kappa Tetarton second to none on campus.

This history depicts the growth from October 18, 1955 with the 8 original Founders of ALPHA SIGMA, to the induction of ALPHA SIGMA EPSILON, and it’s 35 Underclassmen and Alumni, along with 7 Honorary members, on November 24th, 1957 as the 63rd Chapter into the Brotherhood of PHI SIGMA KAPPA.

The achievement of growth and stature on campus, in only 25 months, can be attributed to the high ideals set and maintained by the those 35 original Founding Fathers of Kappa Tetarton. It was the founding of a heritage and bond for the future that the founding members hoped would be passed down thru the years to future Brothers of our great Chapter.

I wish to thank to my Founding, Brothers, Al Stocker # 34 KT, & Roger Bush # 1 KT, for their memory, archives, and consultation in reconstructing this original history.

Larry Strickert # 13 KT

Founding President, Alpha Sigma, 1955

The Beginning

On October 18, 1955, eight men, being brought together by the three founders, Lawrence F. Strickert, John A. Birchler & Donald R. Jordan, held their first meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to establish another fraternity on the campus of Southern Illinois University. The principal reason for the desire to establish a new local fraternity was the dissatisfaction with the fraternities already in existence on campus. At the first meeting Lawrence Frederick Strickert was elected president, Donald Ralph Jordan was elected vice-president, and John Alexander Birchler was elected sergeant-at-arms. At the time of the first meeting all members were underclassmen. Strickert, from Lombard, Illinois, a student of the Design Department, also was in Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity and had served on various campus committees. Birchler, from Chester, Illinois, a music student who played in dance bands in neighboring towns and also served as athletic chairman in his hall in the Men’s Residence Halls.

Jordan, from Chicago, Illinois, a student of the Psychology Department, was a member of the Social Senate and the Men’s Residence Council. The other members present at the first meeting were Allan Stocker, James Whitmore, Eugene Malone, Robert Katien, and Sherwin Adelman.

The purpose of the new fraternity was to promote scholarship and brotherhood, to develop character, and to stimulate interest in the University.


The following statement of principle of “IDEALS” was formulated at the first meeting, October 18, 1955:

“Any person applying for membership to our Fraternity shall be judged ONLY on his individual qualities and what he can contribute to furthering our traditions and to the growth of our Fraternity. He shall NOT be judged in ANY way on race, color, religion, or any stereotyped classification.”

At the time of the founding, there were no enforced study hours maintained by the Men’s Residence Halls, and because of this, the academic work of most of the members was below their potential. Furthermore, the students living in the University Residence Halls did not seem to show much interest in the University sponsored activities.

Although the group chose to be known as Delta Phi at its first meeting, Alpha Sigma was selected when it was learned that a national fraternity of the former name was already in existence.

Lt. Marion Thornsberry, of the AFROTC Department, was chosen as the faculty advisor on November 2, 1955. Lt. Thornsberry, a graduate of Southern Illinois University, was a member of a local fraternity while in his undergraduate years. After leaving school he enlisted in the United States Air Force and after completing Officer Candidate School, he was activated as a commissioned officer. He was later sent to Southern Illinois University in the Department of Air Science.

A petition for recognition as a social fraternity was submitted to the Student Council and the Inter-Fraternity Council on December 5, 1955. Alpha Sigma was recognized as a social fraternity on February 14, 1956 and was granted probationary status by the local Interfraternity Council. Probationary status enabled the group to participate in any all-Greek activities.

Correspondence was begun with several national fraternities in December of 1955. Field representatives from various national organizations visited Southern’s campus and Alpha Sigma. The principles and objectives of these national fraternities were explained.

During the spring of 1956, Alpha Sigma entered into various group activities on the campus. A booth was entered on Southern’s Spring Festival Midway and placed second in ticket sales.

At the Annual Honors Day ceremony, the Chapter initiated the Underclassmen Service to Southern Award, was initiated by the Chapter. The award was presented to the freshman or sophomore male non-greek student who was judged an outstanding leader on Southern’s campus.

In the latter part of May, new officers were elected: Ronald Goldsmith, President; Roger Bush, Vice-President; Lawrence Strickert, Comptroller; Gaylord Rybolt, Secretary; and Donald Jordan, Historian. After the elections, the committee chairmen were appointed for the following year. Also at this time an extensive rushing program was begun. When the school year ended in June, there were 23 active members. Alpha Sigma was ranked first scholastically for the spring term under the category of “pledges” because of the fraternity’s probationary status.

On July 21, 1956, the first summer meeting was held, which was the custom of the fraternities and sororities on campus. After the Inter-Fraternity and Inter-Greek meetings, the Chapter held a business meeting. At this meeting a constitution, which several of the members had worked on earlier during the summer was adopted. Also, a Householding Corporation Charter was drawn up at this time.

When school resumed in September, Alpha Sigma moved into the first Chapter House at 306 W. College.

Note: Picture was taken after the name change from Alpha Sigma

Twenty men lived in the house with 3 living outside the house in private homes.

At this time Alpha Sigma received full recognition from the Inter-Fraternity Council and the Inter-Greek Council and became the ninth fraternity and the fifteenth Greek organization on campus.

The fraternities included:

  • Theta Xi
  • Sigma Pi
  • Delta Chi
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon
  • Sigma Tau Gamma
  • Alpha Phi Alpha
  • Kappa Alpha Psi
  • Phi Kappa Tau

The sororities included:

  • Sigma Sigma Sigma
  • Pi Kappa Sigma
  • Sigma Kappa
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha
  • Delta Zeta
  • Alpha Gamma Delta


During the formal rush period, the first thirteen men were pledged. The size of the pledge class ranked fourth in comparison with the other fraternities. During the school year 1956-57 the Chapter was actively engaged in all intramural programs, finishing the football season in fourth place, taking third in the basketball tournament, and finishing the second half of the bowling league in first place.

House decorations were entered in the Homecoming festivals and a float in the parade. Miss Ann Hughes, the Chapter Dolphin Queen candidate, rode on the float. The float was later used that night for dance decorations at the Homecoming Dance. A few weeks after Homecoming, a car caravan of fraternities, including Alpha Sigma, went to the Washington University to attend the Southern football game in St. Louis, Missouri. Southern had a reasonably good team that year and during the year the fraternities backed them all the way.

On December 15, 1956, Alpha Sigma initiated the Annual Pledge-Active Football Game. The pledges won the opener 26-21 and received a medium-sized traveling trophy for their accomplishment.

Scholastically, Alpha Sigma ranked third among the fraternities for the fall term of 1956.

On January 6, 1957, it was decided to change the name of the fraternity. The name chosen was, ALPHA SIGMA EPSILON. Also on that day, it was decided to order a fraternity pin and pledge pin. The pin selected was diamond shaped, having an upraised, black enameled center against yellow gold, with vertical Greek letters for Alpha Sigma Epsilon encrusted in gold on the black enameling. On January 7, the fraternity colors of green and ivory were adopted. The fraternity crest, which was designed by Larry Strickert, was also adopted at that meeting.


On January 6, 1957, it was decided to change the name of the fraternity. The name chosen was, ALPHA SIGMA EPSILON. Also on that day, it was decided to order a fraternity pin and pledge pin. The pin selected was diamond shaped, having an upraised, black enameled center against yellow gold, with vertical Greek letters for Alpha Sigma Epsilon encrusted in gold on the black enameling. On January 7, the fraternity colors of green and ivory were adopted. The fraternity crest, which was designed by Larry Strickert, was also adopted at that meeting.


The symbols on the “CREST” were explained as follows. The Griffon on the very top stands for and symbolizes the courage aspired by the head, claws, and the wings of an eagle. The body of the lion symbolizes speed and courage. The Laurel on the edges stands for victory, leadership, and the achievement of ideals. The Skull in the upper right hand corner represents death and admonishes all to live well so as to be well thought of after death. The Sword represents willingness to fight for ideals, for the penalty of the obligation, for the militant spirit, for bravery, for achievement, and for discipline. The Lamp symbolizes the lamp of knowledge and represents the leadership, scholarship and the enlightenment of Fraternity life.

At the next meeting, on January 13, the fraternity flag, which was also designed by Larry Strickert and made by Ronald Goldsmith’s mother, was adopted. It was green, gold and ivory, with the Greek letters for Alpha Sigma Epsilon in black on the gold center band.

The beginning of 1957 was a dark period for Alpha Sigma Epsilon. In the Chapter’s quest to become a local chapter of a national fraternity, inquiries were made to many national fraternities. Field representatives visited the Chapter and the campus. Finally, after much deliberation, one was chosen: Sigma Phi Epsilon. Paperwork was completed and plans began for the induction ceremony and banquet. During the induction, the installation procedure was stopped and the inductors from Sigma Phi Epsilon requested a meeting with the officers. The inductors explained that one brother could not be installed because of the questions in the creed. The officers responded that the Chapter was founded on the principle that the Brothers who were chosen for membership, was based on who “THEY WERE” and what they could contribute to the Chapters tradition and were not to be judged on any issues of race, color, creed, or any stereotyped classification. The membership refused to let the induction continue if that one brother could not be inducted. It had to be, “ALL OR NONE”. The entire induction stopped since Sigma Phi Epsilon could not comply. Dr. George H. Hand, Vice-President of the University, was attending the induction as an Alumni of Sigma Phi Epsilon and subsequently resigned from Sigma Phi Epsilon in support of this decision. That was the end of the Sigma Phi Epsilon experience. However, the Initiation Banquet was held that night and it turned out to be a “CELEBRATION OF OUR IDEALS” where it was vowed to find a national fraternity that did not discriminate against membership in any way.

The process began again to find a national, only this time, one, which did not have any restrictive clauses in either their constitution or their rituals. As a result, several field representatives visited us including Mr. Herb Sauerman of Phi Sigma Kappa visited the Chapter in February and talked with us extensively about the possibility of an affiliation with Phi Sigma Kappa. The group was impressed with both Mr. Sauerman and his fraternity.

On Tuesday, February 19, Mr. A.L. Atchison, immediate Past President of Phi Sigma Kappa, visited the Chapter House. He spoke of his chapter in Kentucky and after he had answered the many questions, which were asked of him, he was invited to witness a formal pledging ceremony at which time two more men were pledged.

On March 4, 1957, the Chapter initiated the "Ball-and Chain” tradition. When a brother pinned his sweetheart, the Chapter serenaded at the sweetheart's residence and burned the Greek letters on the sidewalk. The ceremony concluded with a ball and chain being locked to the ankle of each of the brother and the sweetheart. . Each had to carry their ball and chain to class, take it to bed with them and take it with them wherever they went for a week before it would be unlocked.

On March 11, Alpha Sigma Epsilon pledged 16 men, it’s largest pledge class with 23 active members and 3 alumni, bringing to total to over forty men.

After careful comparisons of the different national fraternities, the Brothers of Alpha Sigma Epsilon, unanimously voted in April 1957, to petition Phi Sigma Kappa National Fraternity for a chapter charter. The petition was approved on May 31, 1957 and formal pledging ceremonies were conducted by the officers of Alpha Deuteron, under the direction of Brother I. B. Brusletten, director at large, on September 21,1957.

By the time Alpha Sigma Epsilon was to become Kappa Tetarton, the 63rd Chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa, there were 28 Active Undergraduates, 7 Alumni, 7 Honorary Members and 13 Pledges, who were anxious to join the brotherhood of our choice. The pledges were ineligible for initiation on November 23 with the group because of University regulations and were to be initiated at a later date. Thus from the small beginning of eight dedicated founders, Alpha Sigma Epsilon was able to bring to Phi Sigma Kappa an active chapter of 28, supported by 14 Alumni and Honorary Members, with 13 brothers-to-be, waiting to be added to the ever- growing throng.


November 22, 23, 24 & 25th of 1957 was a festive time in the life of the new Phi Sigma Kappa Chapter, Kappa Tetarton. It began with the following proclamation:

“Whereas Southern Illinois University is an integral part of this community, and whereas the fraternity system is an important part of said university, be it resolved that the city of Carbondale hereby declares November 23, 1957, as Phi Sigma Kappa Day. It is so declared in honor of the induction of Alpha Sigma Epsilon as Kappa Tetarton, 63rd chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa, at Southern Illinois University.”

Signed: Mayor John I. Wright of Carbondale, Illinois


The proclamation appeared in the Friday, November 22, 1957 edition of The Egyptian, Southern Illinois University newspaper.

The big event actually started at the weird hour of 1:00 AM on November 23, 1957. At that time, the 28 Brothers-To-Be of Alpha Sigma Epsilon were conducted through the sequestration ceremonies at the chapter house, 306 West College. Brother Gail Thwing led a team from Alpha Deuteron assisted by Regional Director John K. Pfahl and National Secretary-Treasurer Herbert L. Brown.

With but a few hours of sleep, the induction team was ready for the final ceremonies in the Presbyterian Church in Carbondale at 9:30 am on November 24, 1957. It was a most impressive ceremony with several brothers from Pi Deuteron assisting. By 1:00 pm, the first part had been completed and inductors retreated to the chapter house for a light lunch.

At 2:00 pm, all were back at the church, ready for the final ceremony that was to add 42 new members to the Ever-Growing Throng. Fourteen of these were alumni, faculty members or townspeople who had been honorary members of Alpha Sigma Epsilon.

Having witnessed part one in the morning, these older men joined their younger brothers in the final consecration. The ceremony was most inspiring and well done and many were the comments from the brothers upon its impressiveness.

Of particular note was the initiation of Dr. George H. Hand, Vice-President of the university. Brother Hand, who, in his comments later, paid high tribute to Phi Sigma Kappa and to its Cardinal Principles.

Following the initiation ceremonies, the induction banquet was held at Engel’s Restaurant promptly at 6:00 pm. (The Kappa Tet Brothers showed they could teach other Phi Sig’s what promptness means).

Henry Engel, proprietor of the restaurant, was an honorary member of Alpha Sigma Epsilon, who would later be initiated into Phi Sigma Kappa. The banquet was a notable success attended by 28 active brothers, 13 pledges and 15 alumni, including several from Alpha Deuteron and one from Delta Chapter. In addition, 11 active brothers from Alpha Deuteron and three from Pi Deuteron were present.

With President Roger Bush acting as Master of Ceremonies, the program included remarks from Dr. George Hand, Vice-President of the University, Dean of Men Dr. I. Clark Davis, Regional Director John K. Pfahl, President Dale Cozad of the Inter-Fraternity Council and Brother Bush for the chapter. Brother Herbert L. Brown, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, who spoke inspiringly on the subject of fraternalism, gave the principal address. The banquet was concluded at 9:00 pm with the singing of “Hail the Ever-Growing Throng”

However, this was not the end of the evening because most of the active group picked up dates and hurried off to nearby Herrin for a memorable dance and party.

The chapter installation ceremonies were held at the Chapter House at 9:00 am on Sunday, November 25, with Brother Brown conducting, assisted by Brother Pfahl and Brother Thwing from Alpha Deuteron. Thus another step in building our great fraternity was completed.

Much credit was given to the brothers from Alpha Deuteron and especially to Regional Director John K. Pfahl, together with the Chapter Committee for a smooth-running induction event.

BUT, this was not quite all, for on Sunday afternoon the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority entertained the new Chapter at an Installation Tea at the sorority house at 2:30 pm.

Yes, after the long weekend of November 22, 23 24, & 25th, all were very proud to sing, “Hail the Ever-Growing Throng” and mean every word of it.

The list of Active and Alumni Brothers who were inducted on November 24, 1957:

Roger Bush - President
Sherwin Adelman – Vice-president
George Hand - Secretary
Jerry Feezel - Treasurer
John McAteer – Sentinel
Lawrence Strickert - Inductor
William Mead
Ronnie Karraker
Eugene Malone
Robert Katine
John Birchler
Robert Midgett
Walter Carl
Donald Jordan
George Holtzscher
Frank Mance
Carl Safarik
Carroll Downen

Original founders of Alpha Sigma
Ronald Goldsmith
Don Schroeder
Walter Steinman
Robert Yuill
Theodore Moske
Gary Stoltz
John Drone
Ralph Long
Allan Stocker
James Whitmore
Willard Duncan
Gaylord Rybolt Jr
Paul Jones
Billy Tutt
Rodney Reid
Terry Watson
Kenneth Butterfield

  • The list of Honorary Brothers inducted on November 23, 1957

  • Dr. George Hand - Vice-President, Southern Illinois University

  • Dr. Randall Nelson - Professor, Government Department

  • Charles Craggs - Harrisburg Business man

  • Alvy Smit - House Father

  • Dr. Robert Resnick - Professor, Music Department

  • Dr. John Hopkins - Professor, Geography Department

  • Henry Bruinsma - Chairman, Music Department


It was decreed by the Brothers, on November 24, 1957, that lest we forget our heritage, henceforth the Honorary Degree of an “Alpha Sigma Epsilon” would be conferred on future outstanding pledges of Kappa Tetarton Chapter as they are inducted into Phi Sigma Kappa.

40 Brothers of Alpha Sigma Epsilon received this honor.*

*(On October 26, 2002 seven Kappa Tetarton alumni were elected to receive this honor by the Founding Fathers )


The Brothers of Kappa Tetarton as they appeared in the 1958 “OBELISK”



  • Lawrence Strickert
  • John Birchler
  • Donald Jordan
  • Allan Stocker
  • James Whitmore
  • Eugene Malone
  • Robert Katine
  • Sherwin Adelman
  • Roger Bush
  • Terry Watson
  • Wayne Otten
  • Gaylord Rybolt
  • Ronald Goldsmith
  • Robert Midgett
  • Carroll Downen
  • George Holtzscher
  • Frank Mance
  • Donald Schroeder
  • Ralph Long
  • Walter Steinmann
  • Robert Yuill
  • Theodore Moske
  • Jack Drone
  • Paul Jones
  • Jerry Feezel
  • John McAteer
  • Willard Duncan
  • William Mead
  • Gary Stoltz
  • Ronnie Karraker
  • Billy Tutt
  • Rodney Reid
  • Frank Lucash
  • William Warren
  • Byron Butterfield
  • Norman Moore
  • Carl Safarik
  • George Hand
  • Walter Carl
  • John Causey

The Brother’s names shown in italics were not installed on November 24, 1957

A grateful thank you to Brothers Larry Strickert, KT 13, Alan Stocker, KT 34, Roger Bush, KT 1, and all others who assisted them with their memories and efforts in bringing to our Association this timeless and priceless historic record. Thank You.