The 40's


During the summer of 1942 Phi Theta Tau, a local fraternity was established at the University of Texas in order to petition Phi Kappa Tau for acceptance as a chapter. Phi Theta Tau was chosen as the name of the fraternity by James B. Arant, a brother of Alpha Psi chapter of Phi Kappa Tau at what was then Texas College of Mines at El Paso. The first meeting was held the evening of June 9, 1942, in the Wine Cellar of the "Old Seville", now El Toro Restaurant. James B. Arant, Glen P. Wilson, Joseph V. West, Redford D. Sears, Egon Powell, Frank Babcock, and Norman Weaver were present. James Arant and Norman Weaver were elected acting president and secretary respectively until permanent officers could be elected at a later meeting. By June 17, the local fraternity was accepted as a colony of Phi Kappa Tau. On the 17th, a second meeting was held at "Old Seville", the traditional meeting place.

Several meetings later, on July 15, the first chapter house at 2306 Sabine was obtained. A committee to write a ritual for Phi Theta Tau was appointed and the chapter began to participate in Sing-Song and intramural sports. Rush was run in the fall of 1942 from the 2306 Sabine address where 18 brothers and pledges lived. By November of 1942, the only requirement the colony did not meet in order to receive a charter was a membership of 35. Rau Sponberg was elected president of the first pledge class and Kimy Canarela was elected secretary. In December, social events were started with the Zeta Tau Alphas and the Phi Mus. On February 6, 1943, Phi Theta Tau, as a colony of Phi Kappa Tau, met the requirements for initiation into Phi Kappa Tau. National President Roland Maxwell, National Secretary Richard Young, and an initiation team from Alpha Chi Chapter at Mississippi State and Alpha Psi Chapter at Texas Western College formally initiated 29 members and faculty advisers of the local- fraternity into the brotherhood of The Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity.

In the fall of 1948, William M. Biddison of Houston was named president. Although rushing activities were fairly successful, it was becoming apparent that the physical facilities of the chapter were a detriment to pledging. Although the active members were interested in improving the facilities and there were many ideas as to the solution, no alumni support existed at this time since there were no alumni. In January, 1949, and again in spring, 1949, Charles E. Trimble was elected president. By the summer a small brick colonial home, suitable for fraternity activities and for the housing of 18 men, was located at 2100 Rlo Grande. The move to the new quarters was made in June of 1949 and by the end of the summer the house had been completely redecorated.