First Alumni Club Developed1876
An alumni chapter was organized at the Convention in Indianapolis, in the fall of 1871, and meetings were held during a part of the winter. The Convention, May, 1872, decided that alumni chapters were impracticable. The Convention of 1874, however, adopted a preamble and resolution declaring that such chapters would be beneficial to the Fraternity, and urging alumni in the larger cities to establish them. The first alumni chapter established after this was organized at the town of Franklin, Indiana, by George Banta, of Indiana Delta and Alpha.
The minutes of the National Grand (Wooster) Chapter for October 7, 1876, say: “Brother Taylor read a letter from Brother Banta, of Indiana Alpha, concerning the establishment of an alumni chapter at Franklin.” November 7, 1876: “On motion, a charter was granted to the petitioners for an alumni chapter at Franklin, Indiana” The charter members were: D. D. Banta, Indiana, ’55, and the following members of the Franklin chapter: C. H. Hall, ’72; J. W. Moncrief, ’73; S. L. Overstreet, ’75; George Banta, ’76; T. C. Donnell, ’76; L. U. Downey, ‘78; O. F. Lambertson, ’79; J. C. Smith, ’79.
The Constitution of Alumni Chapters, as ratified by the National Grand contained the following provisions: The alumni chapter at Franklin was made the Alumni National Grand, with power to grant a charter to the first alumni chapter in each State, which should be the Alumni State Grand. Each Alumni State Grand should have power to charter other alumni chapters in that State. An alumni chapter might be organized upon application of six or more members of Phi Delta Theta who had been graduated or had withdrawn from college, and resided in the same vicinity.
Alumni chapters were to be entitled in the same manner as college chapters, the word “Alumni” being added to the Greek letter in each case. Any member of Phi Delta Theta who had been graduated or had withdrawn from college, and who resided in a city where there was an alumni chapter, might be admitted to membership therein, but no alumni chapter should admit any person who was not already a member of the Fraternity. Each alumni chapter should have power to censure, suspend, or expel any of its members for violation of the Bond, the trial proceedings to be conducted as provided in the Constitution of Chapters. An appeal might be taken to the National Grand at Wooster. The officers of each alumni chapter should be a President, a Recorder, a Warden, and an Historian. The Historian was required to send reports to The Scroll. Meetings should be held at least once every four weeks. Each chapter should have such literary or other exercises as it might determine, and should have power to adopt by-laws, provided they did not conflict with the laws of the Fraternity. Each alumni chapter should send a delegate to each National Convention, and he should be allowed one vote. His expenses should be paid by a pro rata assessment on the members of the chapter. An outline of this Constitution appeared in The Scroll, February, 1879.