The 1960s were an interesting and turbulent time in America, but at the University of Georgia – life was good. This was especially true in 1963 when men from that great university came together around their common academic, religious, and social ideals to form the Delta Rho brotherhood of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity. The new members were made up of not only bothers from the state, but also many Northerners who came to Georgia to learn more about agriculture from one of the best schools in the South. These men formed a constitution and executive council.
They purchased Delta Rho’s first house on Lumpkin Street, across from where the UGA football practice fields are today. Many parties and good times were had by all in that old house, and while it no longer stands, it’s presence was an important mile stone in Delta Rho history. It was also during this time, that the new UGA football coach was invited over to met the fellas and was initiated into the brotherhood. Vince Dooley has been a loyal brother, and a great friend to Delta Rho, and these first true Founders are to be thanked for that. These first Founders and brothers, among them Rick Maggoire and Art Dambrosio , laid the foundation for many good years to come.
Phi Kappa Theta represents the union of two older fraternities: Phi Kappa and Theta Kappa Phi. The two fraternities had 63 chapters between them when they joined forces to form Phi Kappa Theta on April 29, 1959, the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the original Phi Kappa Fraternity.Both Phi Kappa and Theta Kappa Phi were founded upon the unifying principle of a Fellowship of Faith. The two fraternities drew their members from among Catholic university students. History shows that the two fraternities had extensive interaction before the creation of Phi Kappa Theta.
In 1921, Phi Kappa sought to merge with a newly formed Theta Kappa Phi. But the latter house instead joined with Kappa Theta at Penn State in 1922, when it went national for the first time. Afterward, a period of intense rivalry began between the two houses that would eventually bond to form Phi Kappa Theta, which lasted until 1938, when the first joint committee of the two fraternities met to discuss the possibility of a merger. The minutes of a Theta Kappa Phi National Council meeting in 1939 records ‘cautious approaches’ between the fraternities. Was the true intent ‘marriage’? This is what the conventions of 1937, 1939, and 1941 tried to find out. But it was not until the Penn State Conclave of 1955 that definite authorization was given to explore union further. Finally, at Ohio State in 1957, the two fraternities approved negotiations toward a possible merger. Prior to the opening of school in the fall 1958 separate national conventions of Phi Kappa and Theta Kappa Phi took place simultaneously at Ohio State University in Columbus. On September 8 the two fraternities reached an agreement. Each national convention ratified the unification and authorized their respective national councils to implement the terms of the consolidation agreement. The next eight months were busy ones indeed: the drafting of the unified ritual, the designing of the new insignia, the consolidation of alumni supervisory boards, the planning of Charter Day celebrations, and the adoption of new procedures.
Finally on April 29, on the 70th anniversary of Phi Kappa’s founding in 1889, all was ready for the nationwide celebration of Charter Day: the day in which all Theta Kap and Phi Kap chapters officially became chapters of the consolidated Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. New charters for each chapter were not issued. Transition documents, which amended the original charter, were presented. Each chapter now dates its foundation from the day it originally chartered by either of the parent fraternities of Phi Kappa Theta.