Leading this small group of chapters into the formation of a new national fraternity were former Phi Sigma Epsilon alumni who were elected to serve as Phi Sigma Phi’s first National Council: Harry Parker (National President), Mark Helling (National Vice-President), Rick Facemire (National Vice-President), Dan Foster (National Vice-President), and George Perry (National Vice-President). David Prueher (Regional Director), John Lecco, and Ken Siverling (Chapter Consultants) also served as members of the National Staff. In addition, long time supporters and former Phi Sigma Epsilon National Presidents Dean Rockwell (1950-1958) and John Sandwell (1978-1984) added their advice and experience to all areas of Phi Sigma Phi’s new operations.
Although there was strong support for this new fraternity from many campuses and alumni, the first years of Phi Sigma Phi’s existence were difficult. During the years of 1988 through 1990, the National Fraternity struggled for survival, and expansion was nonexistent. Establishing new national programs, publications, visitations, and a new financial program were top priorities and took most of the new National Fraternity’s energy and efforts.
Phi Sigma Phi National Fraternity - Founded 1988
The history of Phi Sigma Phi begins not so much with an actual date, but rather with the evolution of ideals and dedication to independence and freedom of choice. On July 30, 1988, in South Bend, Indiana, Phi Sigma Phi National Fraternity was formally organized to serve as a national organization, uniting college men who wished to share in the spirit of true friendship and brotherhood. Years of fraternity experience and know-how laid the foundation of this new national fraternity.
The Founding Seven
The group of alumni and undergraduate college men who were the driving force behind the formation of Phi Sigma Phi were alumni and former chapter members of Phi Sigma Epsilon who elected not to participate in a merger between Phi Sigma Epsilon and Phi Sigma Kappa in 1985. Seven chapters and select alumni supported this new and independent organization. The undergraduate chapters which became “The Founding Seven” of Phi Sigma Phi were: Lambda Chapter, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan; Omega Chapter, University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin; Phi Beta Chapter, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Phi Iota Chapter, Northland College, Ashland, Wisconsin; Phi Kappa Chapter, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, West Virginia; Phi Mu Chapter, Concord College, Athens, West Virginia; and Sigma Zeta Chapter, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, River Falls, Wisconsin.
Epsilon Lambda Chapter History
The Epsilon Lambda chapter of Phi Sigma Phi fraternity was formed when Robert Barrett, who had previously associated at Eastern Michigan University's Lambda Chapter transferred over to the University of Michigan - Dearborn. He was unimpressed with the current status of fraternities and wanted to start an organization that would break the mold of traditional fraternities. Robert spent the Spring semester of 2007 gathering old high school friends, and leaders from other student organizations to rally around his cause. The National Fraternity chose to Colonize the group of students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn on October 20, 2007. The colony then started to attract the attention of various seniors and developing student leaders and held its first recruiting class and group philanthropy, Cards for Kids, the following semester. Phi Sigma Phi National Headquarters decided to Charter the group on January 10th, 2009, making it the fastest chartered chapter in the fraternity thus far.
(This is the shortened version of the Local Chapter history)