Clarkson University is founded as the "Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial School of Technology."
Clarkson's fraternal history began on November 9, 1903, when the idea of starting a fraternity on campus was considered by a group of students. There was no other sign of this possible group until the next February when at an 8:15 am chapel service the members of Omicron Pi Omicron showed up proudly wearing their fraternity badges.
After Omicron Pi Omicron began to become more visible on campus another group of men decided to form their own fraternity, thus Clarkson's second fraternity, Sigma Delta was formed.
Clarkson's third fraternity, Lambda Iota, was established by 30 men, on October 23, 1919.
Theta Pi Epsilon was founded on November 21, 1921.
A large Victorian house at 30 Elm Street was purchased by Lambda Iota fraternity, where they still reside today.
Karma, Clarkson's fourth fraternity began on November 20, 1929, and was later incorporated under New York State law in 1937.
The fraternity, Chi Tau Sigma we founded but dissolved soon after due to a lack of interest.
Clarkson's fifth fraternity, Kappa Kappa Tau was founded, and soon became a chapter of the national fraternity, Theta Chi.
Omega Epsilon, Clarkson's sixth fraternity emerged during the 1954-55 school year. Their meetings were held in Lewis House, one of the buildings in the old campus. They later purchased a house at 77 Elm St. where they still reside today.
On February 18, 1956 Omega Epsilon became the Zeta Phi chapter of the national social fraternity Alpha Chi Rho. They are also known as "Crow".
The seventh fraternity at Clarkson, Zeta Nu, a local fraternity, was established on February 23, 1956. The 31 founding members moved into the house at 74 Elm Street soon after.
The national fraternity, Triangle began it's Clarkson chapter in March 1956 and became Clarkson's eighth fraternity.
A group of 25 men started the Nu Phi colony of Theta Xi, a national social fraternity. The ninth fraternity at Clarkson received it charter during May 1958, thus became known as the Beta Kappa chapter of Theta Xi.
A new local fraternity Beta Tau was founded on September 29, 1957
The fraternity known as Karma became a chapter of the national social fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi on Nov 3, 1957.
The home known as Reynold's Hall at 27 Main Street, was purchased by Zeta Nu fraternity. The building and its adjacent garage were the oldest standing wooden structures in the town of Potsdam, and was once home to a funeral parlor. The fraternity still resides there today.
Local fraternity Lambda Iota begins petitioning the national fraternity Delta Upsilon on March 26, 1959, and during a ceremony on March 18, 1961, all active, alumni and honorary members of Lambda Iota became brothers of Delta Upsilon. This was the 88th chapter of the national organization.
A new local fraternity, Phi Delta, was established.
Alpha Gamma Phi (AGO) is a Potsdam State sorority, and once a year they hold an auction fund raiser, in which they rent themselves out to do chores. The annual AGO Auction in February 1962 brought brothers from many local fraternities both from Clarkson and Potsdam State together in hopes of renting pairs of AGO sisters to do their chores. The final tally from the fund raiser was as follows: Alpha Chi Rho - 1, Pi Kappa Phi - 5, Sigma Delta - 2, Delta Upsilon - 4, Theta Chi - 4, Omicron Pi Omicron - 1, Theta Xi - 1, Phi Delta - 1, Zeta Nu - 6, Alpha Zeta - 1.
In place of a young Korean girl whom Delta Upsilon had "adopted" a few years earlier, but who no longer needed the financial help, the fraternity financially "adopted" Le Van Luyen, a 14-year-old Vietnamese boy, through the Foster Parent's Plan. This was Delta Upsilons 4th such adoption.
Local fraternity Phi Delta became a chapter of the national social fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) on April 28, 1963. The ceremony was attended by brothers from the TKE chapter at RPI and the Grand Chaplin of the national organization.
The brothers of Pi Kappa Phi dissolved their relationship with their national to became known as Karma once again, when a dispute began over the fact that there had been a Jew pledged in during the fall semester. They wanted to no longer be associated with a group who practiced discrimination so blatantly.
Clarkson's 12th fraternity Lambda Phi Epsilon was established.
On December 6, Kappa Gamma, a new local fraternity began with 18 founding members.
For the second time in its history local fraternity Karma associated themselves with a national fraternity. In 1967 they became the Epsilon Zeta Chapter of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity.
Kappa Gamma chartered into national Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi). The fraternity resided at 29 Elm St., which had begun as a stagecoach station, then a distillery, and at one time the home of Alpha Delta, a Potsdam State sorority.
Local fraternity Lambda Phi Epsilon became a chapter of the national fraternity Tau Epsilon Phi.
The Clarkson chapter of Triangle disassociated themselves from the national fraternity, and became a local fraternity, Tau Delta Kappa.
On December 12, 1975, a heat sensor system sounded the fire alarm at the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity house. The fire became too much for the fire department at one point and the fire spread to a nearby house. The house was leveled from the fire, but with strong alumni support, a new house was built.
During the time between 4 & 4:30 AM on September 3, 1977, a fire broke out on the third floor of Delta Sigma Phi house at 20 Pleasant Street. The majority of the house was saved, and no one was hurt. Repairs were made and the house was ready again before Christmas break.
After 76 years there were a number of different fraternities for men to join, but there still were no sororities. This changed in 1979 when the Gamma Mu chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma was founded.
Emerging from a chapter at Potsdam State, Clarkson's colony of Phi Kappa Sigma began on April 12, 1981. The Clarkson, Potsdam State, and St. Lawrence University chapters later combined to make the North Country Triad, the largest of the national fraternity's 85 chapters.
Clarkson's second sorority began when the Beta Iota chapter of the national Phi Mu, was established.
One of the largest national sororities, Delta Zeta, granted a charter to Clarkson. "Dee Zee" was the third sorority in Clarkson's history.
Clarkson's 15th fraternity was formed when Iota Zeta, the 205th chapter of the national fraternity Sigma Chi was granted its charter on April 17, 1988.
On July 23, 1990, 109 Maple St. became the home of Delta Zeta. In 1995, the house was closed and renovated.
Local fraternity Lambda Chi received its Clarkson recognition during the 1991-92 school year.
During the fall 1992 semester Phi Kappa Sigma returns after a short period of inactivity.
In January 1994 local fraternity Lambda Chi became recognized as a colony of the national fraternity, Chi Phi. However they soon died out due to lack of activity.
On February 17, 1996, a major fire broke out at the Zeta Nu fraternity house. Starting in the chimney and spreading quickly through the walls, a majority of the two top floors and the back of the house was destroyed. Ironically the chimney had just been inspected and cleaned two weeks prior. But with a large insurance settlement and strong alumni support, the house was rebuilt and ready for brothers to move back in during November 1996.
The fraternity Theta Chi dissolves during the Spring 1997 semester.
Local sorority Chi Delta Sigma founded.
Alpha Epsilon Pi dissolved due to lack of interest.
Clarkson's second fraternity, Sigma Delta ceases operations when their charter is revoked due to disciplinary actions.
The Epsilon Zeta chapter of Delta Sigma Phi officially disassociated themselves with their national organization, and thus Karma became a local fraternity once again.
Beta Tau fraternity loses their Clarkson recognition due to lack of activity.
On August 14, 2000, the Iota Kappa chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon lost its recognition as a functioning fraternity from Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity.
The Beta Iota chapter of Phi Mu dissolved due to lack of interest.
In response to the September 11th Terrorist Attacks, the members of Zeta Nu fraternity raised $2,600 for the NYC Relief Fund. The money was raised through individual donations from active and alumni brothers. The total was then matched 3 times by the Verizon Corporation to bring the total donation to $10,400.
On April 4, 2002, Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity declared Iota Kappa a colony to be chartered when all requirements were met. Normally, the international fraternity will not consider recolonization without at least a five-year hiatus. However, due to strong alumni support and undergraduate dedication, the Iota Kappa chapter has come back to Clarkson after only a brief 1.5-year dormancy.
On April 6, 2002, after almost two years of work the Clarkson chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon received its national charter.
Clarkson's colony of Theta Phi Alpha began on January 8, 2005.
The Gamma Mu chapter of Theta Phi Alpha is installed on May 20, 2006.
2011 Clarkson's colony of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority began in April of 2011
2012 Clarkson's second oldest Fraternity Sigma Delta gains re-recognition and initiates a new member class in March of 2012