True Blue brotherhood: Meet MTSU’s fraternities

By Destiny Mizell | Lifestyles Editor Date: January 31, 2024

Featured photo by Max Smith

Story by Taylor Bentley

Fraternities have been an integral part of the college experience in the U.S. for centuries. As social organizations, they play a significant role in shaping campus culture, fostering personal growth and providing lifelong connections for their members.

There are over 100 active fraternities with thousands of chapters at colleges nationwide – including the 13 here at Middle Tennessee State University.

Alpha Gamma Rho

Alpha Gamma Rho is a social-professional, agricultural-focused fraternity that was founded at Ohio State University on Oct. 10, 1904. In 1974, MTSU founded its chapter and has been committed to its purpose, “To Make Better Men.” Over the years, Alpha Gamma Rho has held many fundraising events for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the chapter’s leading philanthropic cause.

Alpha Phi Alpha

Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate fraternity established for black students, was founded at Cornell University on Dec. 4, 1906. MTSU’s chapter, Kappa Xi, was founded nearly seven decades later on March 25, 1975. Alpha Phi Alpha’s aims are “Manly Deeds, Scholarship, and Love For All Mankind,” which members can accomplish through philanthropic endeavors such as Project Alpha, Go to High School, Go to College, Brother’s Keeper and more.

Alpha Sigma Phi

MTSU’s chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi was first chartered on Feb. 28, 1997 – over a century after the fraternity was founded at Yale in 1845. The chapter was inactive for many years; however – much like the fraternity’s symbol, the phoenix – it rose from the ashes when it was re-established in the spring of 2016.

Alpha Sigma Phi promotes five values of character: Silence, charity, purity, honor and patriotism. Members live by these values, in part, by supporting several national organizations, including RAINN, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Homes for Our Troops, Aware Awake Alive and The Humane Society.

“When I rushed Alpha Sig, I felt compelled to them because they treated me like one of the brothers right off the bat,” said Hunter Rodgers, a senior psychology major. “I love the guys I’m surrounded by now, and I found a place that feels like home.”

Alpha Tau Omega

Alpha Tau Omega, commonly known as ATO, is a leadership development fraternity founded at Virginia Military Institute in 1865. MTSU’s chapter, Eta Nu, was officially rechartered on Sep. 11, 1998, and since then, it has grown to be one of the largest fraternities on campus.

As part of a leadership-oriented fraternity, members are well-known for their on-campus involvement as Student Government senators, Student Ambassadors, Blue Elite campus tour guides, club and organization executives and more. MTSU’s ATO chapter has raised over $40,000 for various causes and donated their time to community service projects like Operation Enduring Warrior and Real Men Wear Pink.

“I always felt welcomed when I went to their events,” said Ayush Patel, a freshman and newly inducted ATO member. “I’d say to anyone who wants to join to give it a chance.”

Kappa Alpha Order

MTSU’s Kappa Alpha Order chapter, Delta Lambda, was founded on Valentine’s Day, 1969 – making it one of the oldest fraternities on campus. Originally founded at Washington and Lee University in 1865, KA is known for its values of reverence, gentility, knowledge, leadership, brotherhood and excellence. MTSU’s chapter supports the Muscular Dystrophy Association and The Independence Fund, a non-profit dedicated to helping wounded veterans and their families.

“The Delta Lambda Advisory Committee could not ask for a better group of men to start the next era of our chapter at Middle Tennessee State University,” said Jeremy Duke, a Delta Lambda alumni and former chapter president.

Omega Psi Phi

Omega Psi Phi is a historically African-American fraternity founded at Howard University on Nov. 17, 1911. MTSU chartered its chapter, Mu Zeta, on Sep. 21, 1973. Omega Psi Phi has four cardinal principles: manhood, scholarship, perseverance and uplift, with the motto, “Friendship is essential to the soul.”

The fraternity is known for programs like Brother, You’re On My Mind, a mental health support program for African-American men, and Project 1911, a community service initiative that educates African Americans on how to conduct themselves when stopped by law enforcement.

Phi Beta Sigma

Phi Beta Sigma is another historically African-American fraternity founded at Howard University. Established on Jan. 9, 1914 – less than three years after Omega Psi Phi – Phi Beta Sigma has been committed to its motto, “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity,” for over a century. MTSU’s chapter, Iota Mu, was founded in 1978 and follows this motto by supporting organizations such as the American Cancer Society and March of Dimes, a non-profit that works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

Phi Delta Theta

Phi Delta Theta, also known as Phi Delt, was founded at Miami University on Dec. 26, 1848, on its three cardinal principles: friendship, sound learning and rectitude. MTSU’s chapter, Tennessee Eta, was founded just over a decade ago on Dec. 13, 2013. The chapter is known for its fundraising efforts benefiting ALS and the LiveLikeLou Foundation – named after famous baseball player Lou Gehrig, a distinguished Phi Delta Theta member.

Phi Kappa Tau

Phi Kappa Tau was founded at Miami University on March 17, 1906 – nearly six decades after Phi Delta Theta. MTSU chartered its Phi Kappa Tau chapter, Zeta Lambda, on Nov. 23, 2013. The fraternity’s mission is to “champion a lifelong commitment to brotherhood, learning, ethical leadership and exemplary character.” SeriousFun Children’s Network, a community of camps and programs for seriously ill children founded by former Phi Kappa Tau member Paul Newman, is the fraternity’s leading philanthropic cause.

Phi Mu Alpha

Phi Mu Alpha, founded at the New England Conservatory of Music in 1898, is unique as it is the oldest and largest fraternal society in music. MTSU founded its chapter on May 21, 1966, making it the oldest standing Greek letter organization on campus. Members do not need to be music majors to join; They just need a love for music.

Phi Mu Alpha is known for its music-related philanthropy, including The Mills Music Mission, a musical community outreach program, and Boropalooza, a yearly benefit concert for local school music programs.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Sigma Alpha Epsilon was founded March 9, 1856, at the University of Alabama. The Tennessee Beta chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon was first chartered on Dec. 13, 1969. The fraternity is known for believing in “True Gentlemen,” or selfless and sincere men who will try their best to improve the world around them.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon is also known for its philanthropy, benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital.

“When I went to Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s rush events, I instantly made connections with everyone there,” Aidan Totherow, a sophomore finance major, said. “I’d highly recommend everyone to give it a chance. I’ve had so much fun, and it’s a great way to make close friends and meet new people.”

Sigma Chi

Sigma Chi is one of the largest social fraternities in the U.S., first founded at Miami University on June 28, 1855. On March 8, 1969, MTSU founded its chapter and has held many fundraising events over the years benefitting the Children’s Miracle Network and the Huntsman Cancer Institute. The fraternity believes in its three great aims: friendship, justice and learning.

“From the moment I got there, the guys were so welcoming,” Gabe McCarthy, a junior finance major, said. “Sigma Chi is a true home away from home filled with some really great guys, some of which will be my best men at my wedding one day.”

Sigma Pi

Sigma Pi was founded at Vincennes University on Feb. 26, 1897, with the mission to “inspire, promote and support the lifelong development” of its members. MTSU founded its chapter, Theta Omega, on April 21, 2007, and has raised thousands of dollars for its many philanthropic endeavors, including Donate Life, Habitat for Humanity and Stop Soldier Suicide.

“The guys I’ve met at Sigma Pi were and still are some of the most genuine, down-to-earth men I’ve ever met,” said Brennan Wagner, a junior music industry major. “I’ve been lucky to meet some of my best friends that I know are going to be there with me every step of the way and push me to be my best.”

“If you’re thinking about joining a fraternity, do it. It’s a no-brainer.”

To contact Lifestyles Editor Destiny Mizell and Assistant Lifestyles Editor Shamani Salahuddin, email For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on X at @MTSUSidelines.