Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau is one of the oldest independent fraternities in the country. It traces its origins to the Delphic Society, which was founded on October 13, 1871 at the Geneseo Normal School in upstate New York. With affiliations at other normal schools, the college literary society became known as The Delphic Fraternity. By the early 20th century, Delphic became a regional fraternity with chapters at Oneonta, Jamaica, Cortland, New Paltz, Plattsburgh, Potsdam, and Mansfield. By the late 1930s, however, only the Zeta Chapter at New Paltz remained officially active.
The historic Zeta Chapter of Delphic was founded at the New Paltz Normal School in 1899. In the 1950s, the chapter had a brief affiliation with a large national organization. In 1962 the organization became a legal not-for-profit membership entity by initially incorporating as The Delphic Fraternity of New Paltz, Inc. In the early 1970s, because of turbulent times and the decline of student interest in Greek life, the chapter became inactive.
In the fall of 1986, twelve young men became interested in re-establishing the Delphic Fraternity. They were also interested in creating the first multicultural Greek-letter organization at SUNY-New Paltz. At the time, only predominantly White and Black Greek organizations existed on campus. Of the twelve men interested in re-establishing Delphic, five were White, five where Latino, one was Black, and one was Asian. With hard work and determination, this group reactivated a historic organization and created the most culturally diverse fraternity at New Paltz. On March 11, 1987, the State University of New York’s College at New Paltz fully recognized Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau Fraternity, Inc., and Delphic became the first official multicultural fraternity formed on the East Coast.
Since 1987, the fraternity has promoted multiculturalism by participating in community events, hosting workshops and forums, and fostering relationships with culturally diverse student and Greek letter organizations. We have also incorporated multicultural themes into our membership process and actively recruit members of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Since the 1960s, Delphic brothers have culturally been of African, Asian, Caribbean, Eurasian, European, Latino, and Middle Eastern descent. We are pioneers in the concept of multicultural Greek life and will continue to promote our Delphic history and the idea of multiculturalism well into the 21st century.
In 2003, the Theta Chapter at Binghamton University was founded, becoming the first Delphic chapter established in the 21st century. In 2009, the Kappa Chapter was formed at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, making it the first chapter to be chartered outside the northeast region. In 2014, the Tau Alpha and Tau Beta graduate chapters were formed in New York City and Washington, DC, respectively. Most recently in 2016, two associate chapters were founded at Lincoln University in Oxford, PA and SUNY-Delhi in Delhi, NY, followed by the establishment of the Tau Gamma graduate chapter in Charlotte, NC in 2019.
For an in-depth historical perspective of the fraternity, visit its history page.