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August 24, 1965 - Image 23

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-08-24

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Interfraternity Council

Celebrates Golden Anniversary

One hundred-twenty years ago, a member of the
University of Michigan faculty was strolling through
the Black Forest (or what is now Forest Hill Ceme-
tery) and happened to stumble across a log cabin,
conspicuous only by its isolation. Upon investigating,
he was refused admittance.
On, an average day this year an executive or ad-
ministrator of the University can walk into a modern,
well-lighted office of the Student Activities Building-
the initials on the window are IFC. Inside are a dozen
or more college students working on any number of
projects, talking about FPA, FBA, the Administra-
tive Board, the Executive Committee, District Meet-
ings, the Alumni IFC and a score of other organiza-
tions unheard of a century or more ago.
What the administrator didn't know back in 1845
while taking his leisurely hike through the trees was
that he had discovered what would later become the
Michigan fraternity system-a system which would
three times during the coming years be selected as the
best system of its kind in the United States or Canada.
This year marks the Golden Anniversary of the

Interfraternity Council of the University of Michigan.
The record indicates "Fifty Years of Progress."
When Beta Theta Pi and Chi Psi became the first
fraternities to appear on the Michigan campus in
1845, the University had only been in Ann Arbor eight
years. The college department had been open only
since 1841, and the enrollment was well under a hun-
dred. Social life on campus had few organized outlets,
with only an occasional reception being sponsored by
the faculty. At the same time the strongly paternal-
istic and puritanical philosophy held by educators of
those early days greatly inhibited student life and
channeled it into purely academic veins. Many of the
more mature students chaffed at the restrictions, as
students at campuses in the East had been doing for
decades. The restless and undirected energies of these
young men were attracted by the arrival of the Greek-
letter societies on the campus in 1845, when the Chi
Psi log cabin was built near what is today the Forest
Hill Cemetery. Beta Theta Pi and Chi Psi preceded
Alpha' Delta Phi, which appeared in the summer of
1846 and was the third fraternity to be established on
this campus.

Before the Civil War, fraternity men included two-
thirds of the students at the University of Michigan.
In 1897, as a result of the rate of increase in enroll-
ment, the 265 fraternity men represented only a
fourth of the male enrollment at the University, not a
large fraternity system but a beginning. The decades
of the '80's and '90's witnessed a rapid growth in the
number of fraternity chapters and members. With
greater numbers of students being admitted and a
disproportionate increase in the number of men, the
fraternity system began to prosper. The University
of Michigan was ranked along with Cornell as the
strongest fraternity school in the country.
As the University proceeded in its second decade
of the new century, with the students now numbering
well in the thousands and the coeds becoming an ac-
cepted sight, an increasing number of new fraternities
found their way into the stream of campus life. In
1914, the Interfraternity Council was founded by rec-
ommendation of the Committee on Student Affairs.

By 1922 there were 1500 fraternity men on the
Michigan campus. The average house had 30 members.
Fraternity men continued to remain prominent in
all phases of University life, and a greater conscious-
ness of fraternity responsibility, together with im-
proved and broadened relations with University offi-
cials were the results of the establishment of the
Interfraternity Council. When the campus government
was overhauled in 1955, the new Student Government
Council significantly included the president of the
IFC among its ex-officio members.
The two first prizes won by Michigan in the
last decade, 1953-54 and 1954-55, in the national
competition among collegiate fraternity systems fur-
ther attests to the remarkable strides which the
University and her fraternities, working together, have
made. Critics of the fraternity system are still many,
as college education falls more and more into the
public spotlight and more people become aware of
this phenomenon, unique to American colleges and

winner of the "Iron Man Trophy" for the best sys-
tem in the nation.






What are the Enduring Values in the College Fraternity?

This four-page section is
paid for in full by the Univer-
sity of Michigan's Interfra-
ternity Council.

SCHOLASTIC EgCELLENCE: The basic purpose of college-to
obtain an education-demands at least "passing" grades. Modern fra-
ternities seek ,not merely minimum scholastic requirements, but
achievement above the average. With counsel and guidance from older
members, an environment that encourages diligent study, and special
incentives for superior scholarship, the chapter makes perhaps its
most vital contribution to the individual student.
EXPERIENCES IN EDUCATION: A valuable supplement to
4 formal classroom teaching is provided by the fraternities of America. A
man becomes fully educated only through learning to play an im-
portant role in life with other men. The fraternity supplies such
THE ROAD TO MATURITY: Since its earliest days, the fra-
ternity system has taught and exemplified the idea that each member
is a man, not a boy, and must assume adult responsibilities. In his
chapter house-his "home away from home"-the young student
grows to maturity, an invaluable prelude to any successful career.
BUILDING AND SHAPING: A great institution, it has been
often said, it but the lengthened shadow of a great man. Many great
men have left their indelible marks -on the history and traditions of
fraternities. The meaningfulness of their lives is translated into the
building and shaping of young men as the Nation's future leaders.
BONDS OF FELLOWSHIP: Beyand all else a fraternity offers
close,,warm friendship. This means much to the incoming freshman,
who iay know few if any other students. The bonds of fellowship gain
deeper meaning-with shared efforts in college and expand to all mem-
bers in later years.
moniously, men must strive together. Each man in a chapter benefits
by the encouragement and guidance of his brothers, and enthusiastic-
ally supports their efforts-as individuals and as a team-whenever
the opportunity arises.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: A man is known by his traits of
character. The time when these reach final development is that event-
ful period between boyhood and manhood. In those formative years,
the fraternity can inspire sound living habits through example and
constructive direction.
lief that superior rank demands honorable conduct-is the mark of a
truly educated man. The right to budget one's time, the acceptance of
responsibility, the ability to rise above distractions, all require disci-
pline, self-imposed. These are lessons the fraternity teaches.

TRAINING IN LEADERSHIP: Within the chapter, men gain
valuable experience in leadership, as they learn to make decisions and
carry out worthwhile programs through careful planning and dynamic
the multitude of voluntary organizations formed for purposes of mu-
tual helpfulness, as the French writer Alexis de Tocqueville noted
125 years ago. Even then, college fraternities were a factor in higher
education. They have gained strength through the association of men
with kindred interests and ideals.
HUMAN RELATIONS: Man's meteoric progress in science, due
to intense research, calls for equal progress in human understanding.
A fraternity is'a research laboratory in human relations: distilling
men's views, precipitating joint action, catalyzing thought, evaporat-
ing prejudice, and blending effort.
BROADENING INTERESTS: As the world shrinks, men can no
longer live insulated from the problems of peoples in other lands. A
fraternity builds unity out of diversity, broadening the interests of
its members in the world at large.
COMPATIBILITY AND STANDARDS: That which elevates man
is to be encouraged always. Fraternities believe that standards of con-
duct, responsibility and attainment, voluntarily accepted by men
who have chosen one another for compatibility and common purpose,
provide a positive incentive that enhances the college curriculum.
CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS: Group effort succeeds only
in an atmosphere of cooperation and consideration for the rightsof
others. In a fraternity the members learn that each must beahis full
share acccvding to his talents.
FRATERNITY IDEALS: The founders of every college fraternity
were moved by the same spirit of idealism. They decried the desire to
get without giving, to achieve without working. They challenged men,
at a young and impressionable age to pledge themselves to support a
code of ideals of enduring value. The same challenge exists today.
THE BASIC TRUTHS: The American way of life stands as the
great bastion of freedom in a world of unrest. The basic truths of
democracy were drafted -into our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Supporting and living according to these truths is a solemn obligation
every fraternity man assumes on initiation.
THE ENRICHING YEARS: Bright college days soon pass, but
their memory remains for a lifetime..And those campus memories are
enriched by the unique adventure in brotherhood that is fraternity

"The genius of education is that
it equips one for successful living.
After forty-two years as a frater-
nity member 1 submit that as a
partner of higher education it con-
tributes much to education's ulti-a
mate goal."
Former AttQrney General
of the United States
Delta Tau.Delta

RUSH-The first step toward Fraternity Membership

_. . .

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