Colonization Became a Term and Process for New Chapters


Phi Delta Theta installed its 125th chapter on September 13, 1963, at the University of Tennessee. This group, Tennessee Gamma, was the first chapter to materialize through the procedure of colonization.

‘Colonization’ had been legislated at the Convention of 1956. This action empowered the General Council to grant charters from petitioners in institutions approved by the Survey Commission “as a college or university at which Phi Delta Theta should have a chapter.”

The door was not as wide as that wording suggested. The petition must be signed by fifteen or more students of the institution, approved by three-fourths of the chapters in the province where the proposed chapter would be located, and recommended by the province president. The General Council was further empowered to take appropriate steps in organizing a group of petitioners (a colony) at any approved institution. The legislation would become increasingly important in the years ahead.

Tennessee Gamma made history as the first chapter to be established in this way. Seventeen other chapters came by colonization between 1965 and 1973.

Today, the word colonization is not used in the Fraternity’s expansion process. Colonies are now referred to as emerging chapters and colonizations are now known as inductions.