Tau Epsilon Phi (TEΦ, commonly pronounced TEP) is an American fraternity with 13 active chapters and 1 active colony, chiefly located at universities and colleges on the East Coast. The national headquarters is located in the New Jersey township of Voorhees and the official colors of the organization are lavender and white (although most chapters use purple instead of lavender).
The organization’s creed asserts its governing ideals as “friendship, chivalry, service” TEP attracts and accepts brothers of all religions and ethnicities who agree to be bound by these ideals. Chapters uphold these ideals through participation in various social, academic, athletic and charity events.
The organization was founded on October 10, 1910 by ten Jewish men at Columbia University, as a response to the existence of similar organizations which would not admit Jewish members. The first pledge, Maximillian Nemser, was initiated in 1911 and, in 1912, the first new chapter was founded at New York University. Continued expansion led to the adoption of a national constitution in 1916.
In 1920, the opening of a chapter at McGill University in Canada’s then-largest city, Montreal, made TEΦ an international fraternity. The McGill chapter has since been disbanded. The oldest remaining chapter, as of 2014, is the Delta chapter at Cornell University. Beginning in 1923, the organization has published a nationally distributed magazine, The Plume.
TEΦ was initially exclusively Jewish, but began admitting non-Jewish members (predominantly Catholics) in the 1950s. President Eisenhower was inducted as an honorary member during his administration. Washington DC mayor Vincent C. Gray was the first black member of Tau Epsilon Phi and was elected president of his local chapter for two consecutive terms.
In 1986, Sidney Suntag, who served as Executive Secretary from 1946 to 1979, published the book The History of Tau Epsilon Phi: 75 Years of Friendship 1910–1985 recounting the national history of the fraternity.
In September 2010, a group of fraternity members filed a civil lawsuit against the national Tau Epsilon Phi organization. The plaintiffs alleged that the board of directors and national executive director had been operating the fraternity for personal financial gain and that they drove chapters away by making unreasonable financial demands on them. They further argued that the executive director failed to hold elections for the position for over 10 years, even though the fraternity’s constitution required it biannually. The executive director stated that elections could not take place because none of the chapters were in good standing due to failure to pay dues, and thus there was no one who could legitimately vote. While the judge in the case ordered a new election overseen by an independent party, that order was automatically stayed after the national organization filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January 2011. In May 2011, all allegations were rescinded, the parties settled all outstanding cases and the fraternity agreed to hold new national elections.
Main Wikipedia Article: Full List of Tau Epsilon Phi Chapters
As of October 25, 1997, the Constitution of Tau Epsilon Phi required that a Grand Chapter meeting be held every 2 years. The Grand Chapter consists of delegates from each local undergraduate and alumni chapter. The Grand Chapter serves as the supreme legislature with sole responsibility for electing the Grand Council. The Grand Chapter, while in session, also serves as TEP’s Board of Directors, authorizing or approving all fraternity business, including any modifications to the Constitution and Statutory Code.
— Read More History on Tau Epsilon Phi on Wikipedia
Tau Epsilon Phi (TEΦ)
- Founded On: October 10, 1910 – Columbia University
- Type: Social Fraternity
- Colors: Lavender and White
- Flower: Lily of the Mountain
- Nicknames: TEP-Tau-Epsilon-Phi
- Chapters: 13 Chapters
- Website: www.tep.org
- Motto: Φιλία, ιπποτικό, Υπηρεσία — “Friendship, Chivalry, Service”