Second Chapter, Indiana Alpha


Expanding Phi Delta Theta beyond the campus of Old Miami was on the founders’ minds from the beginning. In the Articles of Union, voted on at that third meeting, December 30, 1848, provision was made for “the organization of colleges,” which meant chapters in current terminology.

The second chapter was Indiana Alpha at Indiana University in Bloomington, some one hundred miles west of Oxford. It was organized and chartered in October of 1849, a mere ten months into the life of Phi Delta Theta.

The founders were Robert Gaston Elliott and his brother, Samuel Steele Elliott, who lived just across the state line, eight miles west of Oxford.

The Elliotts had attended Miami for two years and were close friends of Morrison and Wilson. They had learned that the Indiana legislature had just passed an act to provide two scholarships from each county in the state to attend the state school. They applied for those scholarships from Union County and were accepted. They contacted Morrison and suggested the possibility of setting up Phi Delta Theta at their new school.

They signed The Bond under the watchful eyes of all Ohio Alpha members and headed west to plant the seed in a new state less than a year into the Fraternity’s history.