A Brief History: The Beginning

Drake SigEp began as a local fraternity known as Chi Delta at the end of the 19th Century. Chi Delta was originally established as The Dirk's Club in 1898 because, at the time, Greek-letter fraternities were banned at Drake. Despite the ban, the club was secretly known as Delta Chi. When it was discovered that a national fraternity was already using the Delta Chi letters, the name was changed to Chi Delta.

Chi Delta thrived during the first half of the 20th Century and was the oldest fraternity on the Drake campus. Chi Delta members who left the fraternity to serve their country during World War II returned to the Drake campus after the war to re-establish the chapter. At the time, it was felt that in order to be competitive as a fraternity, the chapter should seek a charter from a national fraternity.

SigEp Comes to Drake University

Sigma Phi Epsilon colonized at Drake University in the late 1940s and the Iowa Delta chapter received its charter in April, 1948. The 1950s and 1960s brought high times for the fraternity, and it grew to be Drake's most prominent fraternity. The chapter continued to thrive through the 1970s and 1980s, but following national trends, the chapter suffered from the losses in Greek numbers in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Shut Down

In May, 1996, Sigma Phi Epsilon's Iowa Delta Chapter closed its doors. However, local alumni kept active in Drake events, and after four years, worked with the national fraternity to re-colonize at Drake. On February 14, 2000, 15 men re-colonized Drake University as the new Sigma Phi Epsilon Iowa Delta SEC Colony. Growth has been substantial since the colony's founding, and with a new chapter house at 1243 34th Street, SigEp re-established itself as one of Drake's premier fraternities.


The Iowa Delta Chapter of The Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity was rechartered at The Renaissance Savery Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa on November 9, 2002 with 64 members. In attendance were representatives of Drake University, Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity headquarters, alumni of the Iowa Delta Chapter, undergraduate members of the Chapter, representatives from other Chapters in the region as well as parents of undergraduate members and other guests.

The Future

Drake SigEp's motto is "On Beyond Zebra," taken from the book by legendary author, and SigEp brother, Dr. Seuss (Dartmouth `32). This motto means that SigEp will go beyond the typical stereotypes associated with fraternities to establish a brotherhood based on Virtue, Diligence, and Brotherly Love. We hope to attain these ideals while continually striving for personal and academic excellence.