Gamma Kappa Information and History
The Gamma Kappa Chapter of Beta Theta Pi actually originated as another Greek Letter Society, Delta Sigma. As a local fraternity founded in 1911, Delta Sigma did not have a national organization from which to draw resources and long-established principles. The members of Delta Sigma desired to become a part of a larger national fraternity but there were many in existence, as was not the case during Beta’s Founding in 1839. At the urging of the then President of Phi Delta Theta, one of the fraternal organizations that exists today on our campus, the men of Delta Sigma petitioned Beta Theta Pi for membership in 1919.
With the assistance and support of the University of Minnesota (Beta Pi) and University of South Dakota (Gamma Alpha) Chapters, the Gamma Kappa Chapter at the University of North Dakota was granted its Beta Theta Pi Charter in 1922. Our Chapters precise founding date is November 17, 1922.
Our Chapter has existed in times of prosperity and despair, both in the world at large and within the walls of our Chapter House. Over 1200 men have been admitted to the rolls, with Adolf T. Banik being the first.
In the 1980s membership had grown significantly enough to require an addition to the Chapter House. The Glenn Lee Addition was completed in 1983 and added 14 rooms to accommodate the men who wished to live with their brothers. Today we generally refer to this addition as “New Side” and the existing structure as “Old Side”.
The greatest threat to our Chapter House came during the spring of 1997. After many months of heavy snowfall during the winter of 1996 the Red River of the North, which divides North Dakota and Minnesota as well as Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, swelled beyond its banks and caused the levy system protecting the cities to fail. The resulting flood devastated the Grand Cities and the waters reached the University of North Dakota campus.
The house of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity was completely destroyed and had to be condemned and demolished. The Gamma Kappa House survived the flood as a whole, but much of the lower floors was lost. The waters destroyed our original roll books and many historical documents and one room remains condemned. However, in the years since the flood our brothers have restored much of what was lost and have improved our Chapter House in many respects.
The Gamma Kappa Chapter is nearing its 85th anniversary as a chapter of Beta Theta Pi. As prospective members seeking active membership you must come to understand that once you have proved your worth to the brothers here you will be charged with the care and proper guidance of all that the men before you have created. Your respect and devotion to this chapter will ensure that it lives on to celebrate its 100th anniversary and many more beyond that.
Just as Beta Theta Pi has its own history and lore, so too does the Gamma Kappa Chapter. Our own unique past is as important as that of our entire fraternity. As a prospective member of this chapter you will come to know our stories and the signs and symbols that represent us.
- Gamma Kappa Founding Date: November 17, 1922
- Original Greek Letter Society: Delta Sigma
- Gamma Kappa Motto: “Profit by Stillness”
- Gamma Kappa Heraldic Device: The Bow and Arrows
- Gamma Kappa Roll 001: Adolf T. Banik
- Gamma Kappa First President: Paul Samuelson
- Beta Theta Pi District: 25
- District 25 Chapters:
- District 25 Chief: Peter Wagner
- Senior Leadership Consultant: Rory Curren
- Gamma Kappa Address: 2600 University Avenue, Grand Forks, ND 58203
- Gamma Kappa Website: www.undbeta.org
- Flood Years: 1979, 1997
Gamma Kappa Coat of Arms
Each chapter has a Coat of Arms, which is unique to them. Here is the Gamma Kappa Chapter’s:
Gamma Kappa Constitution, Bylaws, and Risk Management Policy
The constitution, bylaws, and risk management policy of the Gamma Kappa chapter are available online in PDF format.
Gamma Kappa Academic Assistance Plan
The academic assistance plan of the Gamma Kappa chapter is available in PDF format.