Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Georgia Eta Chapter ǀ EST. 1859

Sigma Alpha Epsilon - Georgia Eta Chapter

Oglethorpe University

3000 Woodrow Way NE

Box No. 446

Atlanta, Georgia 30319

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Above: Georgia Eta Alumni and Actives at the 40th Re Charter Anniversary Celebration Weekend, October 1-2, 2011. Honorable mention Anthony “Rick” Melillo, a founding member of Phi Alpha Fraternity and Georgia Eta, was initiated October 2, 2011, pin #299035.

Below: Phi Alpha Fraternity Brothers and Sweetheart’s at the Chapter Fraternity House, 3683 Peachtree Rd. Chapter House was acquired December 15, 1968, Photo is from our 1970 Yearbook.

GA Eta Chapter was the 11th chapter of SAE, founded on January 23, 1859 by a young undergraduate named Grigsby Thomas. However, shortly after being chartered the Chapter was forced to close due to the casualties of the Civil War.

However, Dr. William Hauser, Dean of Academics, spoke to a group of about 60 interested students on November 2, 1967.  The purpose of Hauser’s speech was to inform the group of the procedures for chartering fraternities and sororities at the then Oglethorpe College.  On January 23, 1968, exactly 109 years after Georgia Eta was originally founded, Phi Alpha Fraternity was created and was one of the first, newly formed, Greek organizations to be recognized on the Oglethorpe campus.

Phi Alpha Fraternity was founded by alumni of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, with aspiration’s to re-charter Georgia Eta, the 11th chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.  Phi Alpha was proud of its lofty goal and had as its objectives, the development in individual lives of character, scholarship and personality.  The fraternity placed its first loyalty to Oglethorpe College and sought to conduct its activities in the manner of the “True Gentleman.” To be sure, Georgia Eta would never have been re-established but for the vision, foresight and dedication to purpose given so unselfishly by its Founding Fathers who were the driving force to all future efforts of Phi Alpha Fraternity and its brothers to seek the re-charter of Georgia Eta

On November 23, 1970 Phi Alpha Fraternity respectfully submitted to Province Epsilon a petition to Sigma Alpha Epsilon.  It was accepted by the Province and on June 20–23, 1971 several Phi Alpha Brothers traveled to Richmond, VA to the 115th Anniversary Convention. The petition was approved and Georgia Eta was re-activated as the 11th chapter of SAE.

On October 2, 1971, 35 brothers of Phi Alpha Fraternity were initiated on campus at the then Oglethorpe University, thus marking the first initiation of Georgia Eta brothers since 1863.  Thus, in 1973, the Fraternity reported 184 active chapters, 30 inactive chapters, and a total initiated membership of 153,978. It took the brothers of Phi Alpha Fraternity four years, but they had succeeded in obtaining their singular goal, and had re-established the Georgia Eta chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. The brotherhood marked the occasion with a formal, dinner and dance that evening after the initiation at the nearby Ansley Country Club.  The new Georgia Eta brothers, also, proudly installed the Greek symbols on the archway above the front door of their fraternity house.

The History of Georgia Eta

The 11th Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon