TAMUK Greek Life

The First Fraternity

The First Sorority

Fraternity life at TAMUK was destined to be an early success with the formation of Kappa Sigma Nu local fraternity prior to World War II when the university was known as Texas College of Arts and Industries following a name change in 1929. Kappa Sigma Nu would remain active as a local fraternity through the war and continue to thrive on campus. They became an affiliate member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and received their charter in 1965, making them the first national fraternity on campus.

 As student enrollment increased, Kappa Sigma Nu would not be alone in our Greek community. Alpha Sigma local sorority was founded in 1927 and the two would prove to pave the way for our university’s Greek Life system when higher education became desirable for households.

1960’s Brings Enrollment Increases And Greek Membership Growth

Local fraternity Beta Sigma Lambda formed in 1963 as a group of men who wanted to expand our university’s Greek Life under the national organization, Delta Tau Delta Fraternity and on January 24, 1966 they received their charter. Following them, Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity was chartered on April 30, 1966. As more interest in fraternities continued we welcomed the Zeta Pi Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity on March 19, 1967.

Soon after, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity created a local colony in 1968, receiving their charter in 1970 as the Beta Epsilon Zeta Chapter. Another local fraternity, Gamma Delta Chi was formed in 1968 to later form as an affiliate of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, chartering in 1969. Father Casimir Jarzombok, Newman Club Director, recruited men to create local fraternity, Theta Delta Phi on May 5, 1969. Theta Delta Phi earned Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity colony status on March 4, 1970. They were then officially chartered as the Kappa Tau Chapter on May 5, 1973.

It was also during this time that our institution welcomed our first National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) organization. Omega Psi Chi formed as a local fraternity in 1971 and would later become an affiliate member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Rho Delta Chapter in 1972.

The Greek system now had the most fraternities in school history with eight. The 1960's proved to be a growing opportunity for our university.

Anti-Establishment Era and 90’s

Our university’s rapid growth of fraternities reached a stop during the rest of the 1970’s, mirroring other college campuses nationwide which saw a dramatic drop in participation as political unrest spread and a mood of anti-establishment prevailed.

The Greek system at TAMUK remained strong until the eighties/early nineties when membership became stagnant or declined. Our only NPHC organization, Omega Psi Phi closed its chapter in 1981 after almost 10 years. Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity was the next chapter to close due to a decline in membership on October 8, 1984.

Our oldest fraternity, Kappa Sigma Fraternity and Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity both closed their chapters in 1992 due to decreasing numbers. After being on our campus for more than 30 years, Delta Tau Delta Fraternity was able to keep their numbers above a few more years, before closing in 1996.

Sigma Chi and Lambda Chi Alpha were the only two chapters from the original run of our university’s Greek system to remain and battle the Greek system decline. Each falling to one member at times, both chapters were able to stay alive and remain active today.

The university became a member of the Texas A&M University System in 1989 and changed its name to Texas A&M University – Kingsville in 1993.

The Last Fifteen Years

As the Greek system on TAMUK’s campus was still recovering from the loss of almost every organization, the 2000s proved to be something of resurgence in Greek-letter interest. Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Incorporated was our first fraternity to gain enough interest on campus to receive their charter in 2002. Following them, an interest group formed a local fraternity in 2005 that would later become Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity, Incorporated in 2010.

After being gone for more than 20 years, Kappa Sigma Fraternity returned to our campus, reactivating their chapter in 2013. Expansion of the Greek system became a priority as the university has seen record-breaking enrollment numbers.  Delta Chi Fraternity was then welcomed to colonize in Fall 2016, followed by a planned expansion for Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity in Spring 2018.

The Greek system began when the university was still South Texas State Teachers College, when a group of women formed Alpha Sigma Sorority in 1927. This local sorority was able to continue and flourish independently even with the university broadening their mission and name change to Texas College of Arts and Industries in 1929.

An Influx in 1960’s

Two local sororities were formed in 1960 that would eventually become affiliate members of Chi Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha. The Beta Gamma sorority started in 1960 and in 1964 would gain recognition as the Upsilon Theta Chapter of Chi Omega Fraternity. Zeta Tau Alpha began in 1960 as the Delta Theta sorority becoming the Zeta Epsilon chapter in 1964.

Following Chi Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha, our campuses oldest and only local sorority Alpha Sigma would become an affiliate of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority in 1965. That same year on October 30, we would charter the Delta Phi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority.

A Growth in NPHC & The Decline of the 80’s

After losing our only NPHC organization, Omega Psi Phi in 1981, that same year brought two other NPHC organizations to our campus. Sororities Delta Sigma Theta and Zeta Phi Beta each established chapters in 1981. Local sorority, Alpha Nu Beta was also established in 1988.

As our Greek system continued to grow and appeared to have no signs of stopping, membership in fraternities and sororities nationwide plummeted as an anti-establishment movement speared across campuses as demonstrations against the war and other contentious political issues caught the focus of many in college. TAMUK would not escape unscathed, as every sorority on campus would fold.

Alpha Chi Omega Sorority would be the first to close its doors on March 9, 1978. The others tried to hold out as long as they could but the active members of Chi Omega Fraternity would vote to relinquish their charter at the end of the 1985 school year. Following Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi and Zeta Phi Beta would each stop operations in 1986. Local sorority, Alpha Nu Beta would only survive their first year as an organization, folding in 1989. That same year proved to be the end of sororities on our campus with Zeta Tau Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta both ceasing operations.

An Attempt in the 90’s

Local sorority, Kappa Delta Alpha would create a group for women in 1990, unfortunately folding by 1992. The little sisters of the local fraternity, Gamma Phi Rho would decide to form their own organization and in 1994, local sorority, Beta Chi Alpha created the Alpha Chapter. However, our Greek system never prevailed to what it earlier was and the sorority folded in 1996.

A New Growth Period

With Sigma Chi and Lambda Chi Alpha prevailing the downward spiral of our Greek system, and Omega Delta Phi chartering in 2002, it appeared Greek Life for our university was on the rise. In 2003, our campus chartered its first Multicultural Greek Sorority, Kappa Delta Chi and our first NPC sorority in more than 10 years, Theta Phi Alpha. Just that next year, we welcomed Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority.

Later we would have local sorority, Psi Theta Upsilon form who would then become an affiliate of Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority in 2009.

This page was last updated on: June 29, 2016