The Beta Delta Theta Fraternity
On November 9, 1963, several young men met to start a local fraternity on the campus of Eastern Washington State College. At the time Eastern, had 3 Fraternities and 3 Sororitiesand things looked promising for the Greeks. The new Fraternity would call itself Beta Delta Theta. They agreed that 'fraternity' meant a brotherhood working for the betterment oftheir school, community and country. They chose the Greek designation, Beta Delta Theta to signify Brotherhood and Thoughts of Fellow men. Over three decades later, the legacy ofthose men continues in the Theta Lambda Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity.
SIGMA NU Re-established
The Betas were leaders on the campus of Eastern Washington and membership was growing swiftly. As the Fraternity grew, the need for a house became pressing. Each member of theBeta's, took at $100 loan, they pooled the money, and they were able to purchase a house., The Beta's purchased a house at '6th and G' . At that time the other Greek houses werespread around town and the Beta's had a central location to campus. Things were looking up. Their next attention would turn to focus on affiliating with a National fraternity.
After considering thirty-five nationals, the Beta's unanimously chose Sigma Nu. Their petition was granted by the High Council. On May 15, 1966, Beta Delta Theta became onofficial colony of Sigma Nu. Growth continued to be strong and a charter would soon follow on November 22, 1970. Theta Lambda Chapter #172 of Sigma Nu was officially established.In the early seventies, things were not calm in America. War protests and anti-establishment was widespread. This had an enormous impact on the Greek System at E.W.U. Eastern hada new University President who felt that the Greeks had no place on campus. Stripped of official recognition by the university, the Greek houses began to fold. The Sigma Nu chapter wasofficially declared In-Active in 1973, but it was agreed that Sigma Nu would return to campus. Sigma Nu, had sent a delegation to Eastern, in the late 1970's to inquire aboutre-establishing the Chapter, but anti-Greek feelings were strong and the University refused to meet with Sigma Nu. Eastern Washington University would be without a single Greek houseby 1980, but they would soon return.
SIGMA NU Re-established
In 1985, a local fraternity called Phi Beta Nu, had established contact with Sigma Nu, and was interested in re-establishing the Charter. On the local Greek scene in the 1980's,many Fraternities came and then disbanded Over summer break, Phi Beta Nu folded, and left Sigma Nu without a local Fraternity on campus. At the same time, Todd Wiggen and a friendformed a local fraternity with the help of Ben Storms, a member of the then defunct Phi Beta Nu Fraternity. Not looking to be known as a local fraternity, their attention immediatelyfocused on becoming affiliated with Sigma Nu. The Theta Lambda Chapter was re-colonized on April 16, 1986. The Chapter experienced some growing pains very early, adjusting to thenational's rules and objectives was difficult for some. However, those men who would return in the Fall of 1986 would soon be joined by others. By the end of the 1986-87 school year,Sigma Nu had quickly become a leader on campus and was in need for a colony house. An older white house with a front porch, similar to the Sigma Nu house of the 70's, would be theirnew home for the 1987-88 school year. On the corner of 5th and B, it would house 6 members.
SIGMA NU RE-CHARTERS 1988
At a ceremony that was held in a bottom floor classroom of Patterson Hall, members of the Gamma Phi Chapter (Montana) initiated 24 members into Sigma Nu. The Theta Lambda Chapterwas officially re-chartered on April 16, 1988. Sigma Nu had outgrown its house and already needed a bigger home. In the summer of 1988, they signed a lease on the apartment complexat 1010 Second Street. This would be the home of Sigma Nu for the next five years, 1988-1993. Seeing the need for a chapter house of their own, and a possible Greek row in the heartof Cheney, the chapter purchased some land. With monies that had been deposited into a national account from the sale of the chapter home in the 70's, the chapter purchased a double-lotjust a couple of blocks from campus. This property would play a crucial part in the events to come.
At the time that Sigma Nu was re-establishing the Chapter, EWU had no real sororities. The Fraternity members realized that if they wanted to have a true Greek System, they neededsororities. The members recruited girls and help start the Kappa Gamma Beta, KGB Sorority (which later became AOII) and they helped start the Zeta Theta Nu, ZON (which became A-Phi)It was also at this time that Sigma Nu controlled the Inter-Greek council and made decisions that would affect the future of the Greek System for decades to come. They chose only thebest Fraternities and Sororities to come onto campus, and they helped create Greek Row.
SIGMA NU THE 90'S
Meanwhile on campus, other national fraternities and sororities were springing up. EWU now had 7 Fraternities and 5 Sororities. The Greek system at Eastern was once again an importantpart of the campus. Eventhough only 4% of Eastern's population was Greek, 75% of the elected positions of Eastern's ASEWU were held by Greeks. Sigma Nu played a vital part of thisshift, holding 45% of the student council positions alone, and the Inter-Greek Council President for three consecutive years. The Theta Lambda Chapter of Sigma Nu made repeated attemptsto again lead the campus in accomplishments. To be the first fraternity to build their own chapter home, on the land that they had purchased. However, they encountered severe oppositionfrom the residents of Cheney, and were unable to secure the necessary funding. At the same time, the apartment complex at 1010 Second was no longer meeting the needs of the chapter andwas becoming a financial pitfall. The decision was made to go without a chapter home until a reasonable situation could be found. Throughout these adverse times, there was no shortageof brotherhood, and Sigma Nu continued to thrive even without a chapter home for the 1993-94 school year.
SIGMA 'NEW' HOME
In the Spring of '94, a house with a great location went up for sale. It was located on College St., which was to become Greek Row of EWU. The Alumni met and discussed the house,The Active members met and discussed the house. They all agreed to sell the land and purchase the house. With an additional loan from National, the older home and the two cottageapartments on its lot were remodeled. Theta Lambda Chapter once again had a place to call home. Throughout the mid-1990's the Chapter continued to grow and initiated its 200th memberin 1998. All alumni are encouraged to return to Cheney to see the new home.