Open Motto Adopted


From October 14-18, 1889, Phi Delta Theta met in Bloomington, Illinois, for the National Convention. At this convention, Εἰς ἀνὴρ οὐδεις ἀνήρ was made the open motto of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, which translates to “One Man Is No Man.”*

The cultivation of friendship among its members, the acquirement individually of a high degree of mental culture, and the attainment personally of a high standard of morality, the three pillars created by the Immortal Six, inspired this new open motto. Brothers interpret this motto as, “We enjoy life by the help and society of others.” Phis continue to live out this motto through their growing fellowships and service.

*These Greek words appear on page 535 of A Dictionary of Latin Quotations, Proverbs, Maxims and Mottos, Classical and Mediaeval; with a Selection of Greek Quotations, edited by H. T. Riley, B. A. London, Henry G. Bohn. 1856. Following the Greek words are, “Prov.” a literal translation. “One man (is) no man,” and the free translation, “We enjoy life by the help and society of others.” I well remember consulting this book in the Tennessee State Library, 1880. It occurred to me to look for a quotation in Greek suitable for an open motto for ΦΔΘ. I found this proverb, and it was displayed on one of the banners which I designed. The ritual adopted on probation, 1889, and finally, 1891, made these words the open motto of the Fraternity. — W. B. P.