Our History

The Fletcher Street House

The Fletcher Street House circa 1975

In the fall of 1898, a group of five students at the Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science began to hold informal meetings in their rooms desiring good fellowship and the opportunity to intellectually discuss the problems of their chosen careers. As the group grew, they became more organized and moved the meetings to the Old Rathskeller on Broad Street in Philadelphia. In less than one year; the group had grown to 16 members. Refused admission into a large national fraternity; they decided to start their own. their group into Delta Kappa Phi Fraternity in 1899.

Founded in 1899, Delta Kappa Phi, Inc. is the oldest textile fraternity in America

A second chapter was formed in 1902; at Lowell Textile School. The chapter grew through multiple name changes of the school, first through the Lowell Textile Institute and Lowell Technological Institute years, later the University of Lowell; and finally University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

Early in 1905 Delta Kappa Phi was officially incorporated into a National Fraternity with Lowell become Beta Chapter. The House was located on Powell Street in Lowell.

In the 1940’s the national charter was amended at a National Conference changing the Fraternity from a professional to a social organization. There were six chapters.

The Beta chapter has also called 523 Fletcher St. home through the 1970’s and since 1977 has been at it’s current location the “big red house” at 9 Mt. Hope Street.

Big Red | 9 Mt Hope St

Big Red | 9 Mt Hope St

The University of Lowell decertified the Greek system in 1987, no longer recognizing fraternities or sororities on campus. At the time, Delta Kappa Phi decided to form the Community Service Organization and the Brothers reached out to the Lowell community at large doing community service projects while being independent of the University system. UMass Lowell maintained a Greek free environment until 2011.

Many fraternities and sororities closed during this period. We’re proud to say that Delta Kappa Phi survived this challenging period and in fact, it likely made us stronger as we bonded together and were assisted by the alumni perhaps more than any other time in our history.

The purposes of our fraternity are numerous. For the University, Delta Kappa Phi is a service organization. We hope to continually strive to advance the aims and interests of the University through various charitable works, engaging in a wide variety of activities and athletics, as well as providing social options for students.

For the Brothers, we try to inspire high scholastic achievements and strong personal ideals. The Fraternity encourages participation in all school activities; clubs, government, athletic and others. We truly believe in well-rounded character development. The Brotherhood ideals, both social and professional, form lifelong bonds.

3 Comments

  1. Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences ’65.

    Is this still an active fraternity?

  2. A life shaping experience. I am who I am today because of my brothers!

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