Harvard Trophy Introduced1924
From an editorial in the May 1925 edition of The Scroll.
The Harvard Alumni Club of Phi Delta Theta takes pleasure in announcing the presentation to the Fraternity of a perpetual silver trophy to be awarded annually to the chapter attaining the highest efficiency in scholarship and all-around campus activity, based upon a system of point award.
The gift comes as the culmination of an idea originated several years ago by Brother Tom Peterson, Knox 1923, to increase competition among the chapters of the Fraternity. The Harvard Alumni Club, composed of more than fifty Phis doing graduate work at Harvard, holds monthly meetings. At this time, the brothers discuss the problems arising from time to time in the individual chapters. In this way, a splendid idea is gained of the progress the Fraternity is making. Brother George Lupton Jr., California 1922, the guiding chief this year, has ably carried on the club work.
The plan of the award was drafted with a consideration of the various college activities with respect to their importance in the majority of the colleges and universities and the light of their importance from the standpoint of the aims of the Fraternity. The Trophy Committee realizes the impossibility of determining accurately the most representative chapter in the Fraternity.
It is also admitted that any system of point awards will be open to criticism. Yet it is believed that the plan finally adopted, after several months’ study of existing conditions, will operate fairly in the majority of cases. Provisions in section nine of the plan should avoid possible discrimination.
At first blush, the plan might seem to discriminate in favor of the larger college or university chapter. Still, the committee wishes to point out that the chapter in the smaller college usually has greater possibilities for placing men on varsity teams, etc., than a chapter in a larger college.
The initial award, to be made by the General Council or by a committee of three to be appointed by it, will be announced by August 1 based on the achievements during the scholastic year 1924–25.
Score sheets and a detailed explanation of the plan are now in the bands of the chapter presidents.
The trophy is an attractive cup of Colonial design, more than sixteen inches in height, and suitably inscribed, with space for engraving the names of the winning chapters.
The committee is grateful for the cooperation of the L . G. Balfour Co., Attleboro, Massachusetts, official Fraternity jewelers, who took care of the designing and engraving.
As far as the committee has been able to ascertain, no similar competition has been held by our Fraternity since its inception. And among the other Greek-letter fraternities, the only award approaching the present one is the Cheney Efficiency Cup competition held among the chapters of Phi Gamma Delta.
The first award of the Harvard Trophy, in 1925, was to Washington Beta at Whitman College, where the chapter was “first in scholarship and strong in every line of activity.”
The Harvard Trophy was renamed the Oxford Trophy and first presented in 2019 at the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute in Oxford, Ohio, to commemorate the birthplace of our Fraternity and home of our General Headquarters. It recognizes the most outstanding Phi Delta Theta chapter at a large institution of over 20,000 students.