Greek Life Timeline

1853 Amphicyton Literary Society forms four days after Cornell College was founded
1857 Philomathean Literary Society forms for women
1859 Adelphian Literary Society forms
  “The Club,” Cornell’s first underground group, disbands
1869 The Collegian, the first student newspaper, is founded by literary society members
1870s Literary society libraries are a major source of literature on campus
1871 Miltonian Literary Society forms
1872 Aesthesian Literary Society forms at the Academy
1876 Star Literary Society forms at the Academy
1878 Star and Aesthian societies merge
1880 The Collegian becomes The Cornellian
1886 Grover Cleveland accepts honorary Adelphian membership
1888 Academy societies move to college
  Alethean Literary Society forms at the Academy
1891 Aletheans move to college
1898 Secret societies form, including Delta Phi Rho (Delts); some, ignoring institutional policies, eventually affiliate with national Greek organizations
1900s Literary societies lose control of The Cornellian
1901 Aonian Literary Society forms
1913 About 70 students are suspended after announcing their affiliation with national Greek organizations; they are allowed to resume school after renouncing (publicly, anyway) their affiliation 
1914 Star-Aesthian Society changes its name to Zetagathean Literary Society
1916 Promethean and Parmenian Societies form
1920s Literary societies decay
1927 Secret societies again declare existence and seek recognition from the college
  Literary societies reluctantly disband
1928 Professor Thomas McConnell assists students in researching the underground Greek system
  Student research reveals 52% of students affiliated
1929 Faculty votes to recognize 6 female and 7 male groups, including the Milts, Arrows, Delts, Axes, Gammas and Owls
1933 Delta Phi (Delphis) breaks off from Alpha Sigma Pi (Arrows)
1940s Delt alumni/actives unsuccessfully petition for national chapters
  Owls rechartered after suspension of unknown length
1944/45 Panthers (Gammas) and Thalians disband
1946 Aletheans disband; 1/3 go independent and 2/3 affiliate again
1947 Chi Theta, Kappa Psi Omega and Omega Xi Lambda chartered
1949/50 Omega Xi Lambda disbands and Gamma Tau (Gammas) chartered
1951 Gamma Tau (Gammas) add Pi, now resembles the old Panthers
  Tri Phi chartered, Kappa Psi Omega and Theta Chi disbanded
1954 Kappa Theta (Thetas) chartered
1957 Kappa Delta Chi (K-D-Chis) chartered
1960 Tri Phi disbands
1962 Phi Omega (Phi Os) chartered
1964 Delta Phi (Delphis) disbands
1966 Psi Sigma Psi chartered
1970s Descendent of the literary societies, Alpha Theta Alpha, disbands
1971 Psi Sigma Psi disbands
1975 Phi Kappa Nu (Newts) chartered
1980s Increasing enrollment contributes to increased interest in the Greek system
1982 Kappa Delta Chi rechartered, now called the K-Delts
1983 Chi Chi Chi (Tri Chis) chartered
1985 Underground group Sigma Proifera Omega (Sponges) forms
1986 Delta Phi (Delphis) rechartered, has 32 members by 1991
1989 Sigma Tau (Taus), offshoot of Phi Kappa Nu (Newts), chartered
  Alpha Sigma chartered
1990 Chi Chi Chi disbands
  Phi Lambda Xi (Phi Lambs) chartered
1994 Alpha Sigma disbands
  Five K-Delts deactivate and remaining three members revitalize the group, calling themselves the K-D-Chis once again
1999 Rho Zeta Omicron (Rhozes) chartered
2003 Delta Phi (Delphis) changes letters to Delta Phi Delta
2005 Sigma Kappa Psi (Skys) chartered
2006 Social groups become fraternities and sororities
2010 Sigma Tau (Taus) disbands     
2011 Kappa Delta Chi (K-D-Chis) disbands
2012 Beta Psi Eta (Betas) chartered
2013 Kappa Delta Chi (K-D0Chis) chartered