Phi Kappa Tau

Indiana University


The History of Our Chapter

Phi Kappa Tau at Indiana University was originally founded as The Garnet Club, a group of students that were opposed to the hazing and antics of many fraternities but still desiring to form bonds of brotherhood. Several national fraternities approached the Garnet Club to affiliate with them, and the members determined that the values of Phi Kappa Tau were most similar to their own. They became an official Phi Kappa Tau colony in 1948. After a short time in a rented house, the chapter made arrangements to purchase the limestone Showers home at 520 N. Walnut St. The colony was installed on May 18th, 1949, and became the 59th chapter of Phi Kappa Tau. National President Roland Maxwell conducted the installation, and National Secretary Richard Young presented the Beta Lambda chapter. After Walnut Street, the chapter leased a house in an excellent location in the center of campus on Tenth and Jordan. As the chapter grew and prospered, it neared its goal of building its own home on the row, and ground was broken in the late 60's. Unfortunately, chapter membership declined and ran up a debt with the university, losing the house in the early 1970's. We currently reside at the intersection of 9th Street and Fess Avenue.

The History of Our Organization

Phi Kappa Tau was founded on March 17, 1906, in the Union Literary Society Hall of Miami University's Old Main Building in Oxford, Ohio. The 21 men who attended the first meeting hoped to establish themselves on campus by unifying. They agreed on the name Non-Fraternity Association because according to Founder Shideler, “A political combination of fraternities had taken charge of essentially all activities within the reach of the student body.”

On March 9, 1916, the Miami chapter withdrew from the National Phrenocon in order to become a Greek-letter fraternity. They adopted the name Phi Kappa Tau, and the remaining five Phrenocon chapters agreed to the name change in December of that year. The Miami chapter was then invited to return to the national organization as the Alpha chapter of Phi Kappa Tau.


Thanks to the generosity of many Phi Kappa Tau alumni, parents and friends, the Phi Kappa Tau Foundation is able to award a number of scholarships and educational grants each year. As tuition and associated costs continue to rise, the growth of our scholarship program is critically important. If you are interested in establishing an endowed scholarship, please contact the Foundation office and let us help you as you generously invest in the future of our young men.

All scholarship applicants are reviewed by a committee of Phi Tau alumni volunteers. Scholarship recipients are carefully chosen based upon their academic success, commitment to the ideals of Phi Kappa Tau and service to their campus, community and Fraternity. Undergraduate and graduate members are eligible for scholarships and grants.