Theta Delta Chi, the College’s oldest social fraternity, secures recharter

COURTESY PHOTO / Theta Delta Chi

Saturday, Jan. 27, the Theta Delta Chi social fraternity officially secured its recharter at the College of William and Mary, twelve years after it was dissolved.  

Theta Delta Chi, the College’s first and oldest social fraternity, was originally established on campus in 1853, until the fraternity lost its charter in the spring of 2012. Despite persistent efforts to keep the fraternity on campus, Theta Delta Chi lost its charter due to dwindling membership and monetary concerns.  

The Epsilon Charge chapter of Theta Delta Chi has several famous alumni, including former Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Powell ’85, Pulitzer Prize winner Walter Hickey ’12 and actor and singer-songwriter Chip Esten ’87, known for his television roles in “Outer Banks” and “Nashville.”

Theta Delta Chi president Andrew Finkelstein ’26 along with vice president Christian Troy Oetomo ’26 led the efforts to bring Theta Delta Chi back to the College after meeting Drew Johnson, a Charge consultant for Theta Delta Chi.  

Johnson was sent by Theta Delta Chi in September 2022 to find students at the College eager to restart the Epsilon chapter. Finkelstein and Oetomo met Johnson at the Student Recreation Center, where Johnson convinced the pair and other students to join. The group, none of whom had planned to join a fraternity, were sold by the organization’s values and the chance to restart the chapter from the ground up.  

“I learned that the fraternities’ values are perfectly in line with what I believe that people should strive to achieve,” Finkelstein said. “That is, improving the moral, social and intellectual being through friendship.”

Once Johnson convinced Finkelstein and Oetomo to lead the recharter of the Epsilon Charge chapter of Theta Delta Chi, the future president and vice president of the chapter recruited additional members from their freshman dorm hall, existing friend groups and other on-campus activities.  

“The people that join the organization are from very different walks of life and different niches at the school,” Finkelstein said. “So, there isn’t one specific path that people took to join the fraternity. There were some people that were from the same freshman hall, there were some people that were met at the Recreation Center playing basketball, there were some people that were met through religious organizations.”

With Johnson successfully recruiting several members in Fall 2022, the Epsilon Charge chapter of Theta Delta Chi was officially recognized as an interest group by the national organization.  

After petitioning the national organization in April 2023, the Epsilon chapter was promoted to an expansion group, with 15 official members.   

The members pride themselves on their unique fraternity culture, which is less focused on partying and more centered on the idea of developing a brotherhood through self-improvement.

The fraternity’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion chair, Hassan Khan ’26, shared his thoughts on the chapter’s identity.  

“We’re not really the standard fraternity,” Khan said. “We do dive deep into self-improvement by keeping each other accountable and making sure we are all set straight, basically. In terms of self-improvement, my favorite activity is the ice baths.”

Gaining more members enabled the fraternity to host additional events and promote their main tenet of self-improvement.

During the 2023 fall semester, Theta Delta Chi hosted a gaga-ball tournament, raising money for the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. This organization collects funds to help individuals and their loved ones affected by autism. Furthermore, Theta Delta Chi also hosted a cold-plunge philanthropy event raising money for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a free summer camp for children with serious illnesses and their families throughout northeastern America. 

The Epsilon Charge chapter applied and received approval for an official charter through the national organization during the 2023 winter break. The Epsilon chapter was officially promoted from an expansion group to an active chapter Jan. 27. The group is currently enjoying their TDX Exceptional Program, which helps to hold each member accountable as they work to improve their habits and work on their self-prescribed goals.  

“Another thing that we also do, which is pretty unique that I haven’t really heard of other fraternities really doing, is something we have called TDX Exceptional,” Khan said. “So basically it’s a Google Form that every single day we log three things that we’ve done.”

According to Khan, these logs include activities in self-improvement, such as spending an hour outside of school doing something a fraternity brother enjoys doing for himself, reading a book or going to the Student Recreation Center. The TDX Exceptional Program aligns with the fraternity’s values of self-improvement, as each member looks to hold each other accountable. The fraternity is currently planning additional future events that embrace Theta Delta Chi’s motto of improving the moral, social and intellectual being through friendship.


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