Less than five years after the celebrated founding of Pi Kappa Phi in 1904, the state of South Carolina was filled with interest in the new fraternal order that sought to redefine brotherhood and build better men.
In the early spring of 1909, a group of students founded Delta Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, making it the fourth oldest chapter in the United States. Today Delta Chapter is among the largest fraternity chapters present at Furman and has been both locally and nationally recognized for its remarkable contributions to leadership, service, and scholarship both at Furman and throughout the nation. The road to prominence has not been without difficulties. The history of Furman University and Delta Chapter are intertwined with a history of sacrifice and secrecy amidst a careful balance of autonomy and church control.
For many years, Delta Chapter operated sub rosa (in secrecy), because the South Carolina Baptist State Convention prevented the presence of societies on campus. Operating under the monikers of Star and Lamp and the PiKapps, Delta Chapter persisted despite the struggles that were defining the ever-challenging relationship between Southern Baptist leadership and the university administration.
In 1993, the retirement of John E. Johns as President brought David E. Shi to the helm of Furman University following the public split from the Baptist State Convention. With Shi’s tenure came a welcoming back of Greek letter societies, allowing Delta Chapter to once again operate above the ground. As the end of the decade approached, however, Delta found itself in an unlikely position. Struggling to retain numbers and fulfill the highest standards of the fraternity, the Chapter needed a change. Alumni and leaders on campus were determined to make it happen.
In March of 2000, Mac McArthur and a group of other prominent campus leaders converged to reinitiate Delta under the auspices of the national organization, with a new charter and a renewed vision of excellence. Immediately the chapter regained its position as a union of leaders, building a brotherhood unencumbered by the challenges of the sub rosa past and moved forward by the potential of being the best fraternity chapter in America.
In 2009, Delta Chapter received the coveted Mixson Award, an award given annually to the best Pi Kappa Phi chapter in the nation. Today Delta Chapter is committed to the highest ideals found in the esoteric ritual of Pi Kappa Phi and challenged to redefine fraternity as a lifelong brotherhood of leaders.