PHI BETA SIGMA Theta Delta Directory


History of the Theta Delta Chapter at the University of Alabama

During the Fall Semester of 1975, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity began consideration to establish a new chapter at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL. On September 12, 1975, the local alumni chapter of Phi Beta Sigma, the Beta Pi Sigma Chapter of Tuscaloosa/Northport sponsored an informational program (a "smoker"), and several UA students attended it and expressed interest in Sigma. A series of subsequent meetings were held through the fall, and the selections for the candidates for membership in Phi Beta Sigma were Carl Cook, Kambeya wa Kambeya, Alfred Page, and Benjamin Thomas, Jr. On November 16, 1975, these four were quietly initiated into the Crescent Club.

In order for a charter to be granted by the Fraternity, it was necessary to meet the requirement of five charter members, and so Billy Henderson was recruited and accepted to become initiated into the Crescent Club on November 23, 1975. It was at this meeting that the Five Crescent Members received their crescent medallions to wear, thereupon which the Fraternity's pledge club was visibly introduced to the University campus and student body. A sixth member, Jeffrey Holsey, was initiated into the Crescent Club on November 26, 1975, and thus a solid foundation for a new chapter was in place.

On December 2, 1975, the six Crescent Club members attended a meeting, and were given Crescent Club information, and a schedule of activities and assignments. Also during this meeting, the six Crescents and their Advisor, Brother Walton, set forth a date for the Initiation into the Fraternity, and the date selected was January 9, 1976, a significant date, as the Fraternity itself had been founded on January 9, 1914. Other objectives for this date were to allow focus on academics as the fall semester was winding down, and to bring greater excitement to the traditional Annual Founders' Day Celebration Program with the addition of new Brothers as members and the birth of the Chapter at UA.

The next day following this Crescent Club Meeting, Brother Walton, in behalf of the six Crescents, submitted a formal petition to the University's Office of Student Life and the Interfraternity Council for a charter for a recognized Greek-letter student organization. In addition to the names of the six Crescents, the petition included three members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity who were in graduate school at the University of Alabama: Brother Charles McPherson, Brother Larry Ruby, and Brother Lonzell Wilson, whose inclusion enabled the Interfraternity Council to recognize the petition as meeting its required numbers.

On December 5, 1975, a letter from the Office of the National Executive Secretary of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. at the National Headquarters Building in Washington, DC, reached the Dean of Student Life at the University of Alabama, to notify the University of its approval of the establishment of a new chapter at the University. The new chapter came into official existence in January 1976, as five of the six Crescent were initiated in the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Crescent Benjamin Thomas was the lone exception due to his transfer to the University of Alabama at Birmingham following the Fall Semester of 1975. The Charter for the Chapter was dated March 23, 1976, signed by Brother John E. Westberry, the National President, and by Brother William E. Doar, National Executive Secretary, included the names of the five Charter Members, and annointed the chapter as the THETA DELTA CHAPTER.