The History of Our Fraternity

It was in the autumn of 1906 that the history of Delta Sigma Pi began. In the academic world at that time, the formation of schools of business was relatively new. There were only a handful of such schools in the United States in 1906 and one such school, known as the School of Commerce, Accounts, and Finance existed at New York University. There were approximately 300 students in attendance at this school at that time, including 70 freshmen representing the Class of 1909. Four members of that Class of 1909, previously unknown to each other, soon were to start an association that would become what is known today as the International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi.

These four young men met in their classes and were drawn closer together as they shared the same subway route on their way home every evening. Occasionally, other classmates came along, but the four were regularly together and it was this time together that gave them the opportunity to get to know one another, to become friends, and to discuss topics of mutual interest.

One such topic was school affairs, and the domination of one organization on campus. In the opinion of these four men, the overwhelming majority of students at New York University were ignored by this organization and, as a result, restricted from membership. Alexander F. Makay, Alfred Moysello, H. Albert Tienken, and Harold V. Jacobs decided they should do something for the benefit of the student body at large. They decided to form a fraternity that would be open to all business students, regardless of any religious affiliations.

The response to their idea of a new type of business fraternity was very positive and, somewhat to their dismay, they found students who wanted to be initiated immediately into the proposed fraternity which was not yet organized. After adopting a Constitution and creating a set of bylaws in 1907, the four men elected Makay as their president. 

The year of 1908 was notable for the establishment of many aspects of the Fraternity which are still in existence today. However, the Fraternity still lacked a name. The name of the organization had a high priority and the four founders agreed upon the three words that best expressed the meaning of their Fraternity and had a friend of Moysello translate them into Greek with the resulting designation: Delta Sigma Pi.

The Preamble, adopted in 1915, read as follows:

“A fraternity organized to foster the study of business in universities; to encourage scholarship and the association of students for their mutual advancement by research and practice; to promote closer affiliation between the commercial world and students of commerce, and to further a higher standard of commercial ethics and culture and the civic and commercial welfare of the community.”

It was during the the early years of the 1920s that the Fraternity began an unprecedented level of expansion, installing seven chapters in 1921 and eight in 1922. By the mid 1920s, over 3,000 students of business had been initiated by Delta Sigma Pi and the roll of chapters was approaching 40. With a greatly expanded chapter roll, the Eighth Congress of Chapters in 1926 again set a record of having the largest attendance of any congress held up to that time. The official registration totaled 167.

In 1928, the Professional Inter fraternity Conference was organized with Delta Sigma Pi as one of the charter members. The organization flourishes today as the Professional Fraternity Association, of which Delta Sigma Pi is a charter member. By 1964, Delta Sigma Pi had grown to a Fraternity with more than 130 chapters and the membership had grown beyond the 50,000 member level.

Perhaps the most significant issue within Delta Sigma Pi during the early 1970s however, was the question of coeducational membership. At the 30th Grand Chapter Congress in 1975, the Grand Chapter directed the Board of Directors authorized the chapters to immediately initiate qualified female business students on November 7, 1975. 

Today, Delta Sigma Pi has over 250 chapters and over 275,000 members and has truly become a leader in the development of professional young men and women.