Charters, Constitutions, and Bylaws

These documents are critical to the creation and founding of your student organization and to understanding your organization’s goals and leadership.

Transfer to University Archives: Annually

Phi Delta Theta charter, May 20, 1926

Phi Delta Theta is Duke’s second-oldest still-extant social fraternity—so old that it was established when Duke was simply Trinity College, based in Randolph County, North Carolina.

Its original charter was signed on May 23, 1878. As the handwritten note on this second charter indicates, the original fraternity was “killed” by Trinity College administrators in June 1879 over concerns about their “evil influences” (the institution is associated with the Methodist Church, after all). This second charter re-established the fraternity on May 20, 1926.

Why is this historically important?

  • With this charter, we have the exact dates of Phi Delta Theta’s founding and reestablishment. Now we know when to celebrate Phi Delta Theta’s anniversaries!
  • This second charter lists the names of all of the fraternity’s original charter members and the charter members responsible for the fraternity’s reestablishment.

Phi Delta Theta charter, May 20, 1926. From the Phi Delta Theta North Carolina Alpha Records, 1878, 1985-2000. Duke University Archives.

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