In 1952, there were eight men’s social groups on the Tech campus. They were Adelphi, College Club, Centaurs, Los Comarados, Silver Key, Kemas, Socii, and Wranglers. The Dean of Student Life, James G. Allen, was in charge of organizing these groups so that national Greek letter organizations might be notified to look the clubs over. Instead of the petition colonization process, Dean Allen utilized the group rush program. Each national Greek letter organization was notified of Tech’s intentions for fraternity and sorority admittance. There was a period of informal rush that followed. In the spring of 1953, all preferences were submitted and charter installation began.
Adelphi was a young social club on campus. The members were committed to brotherhood, service, scholarship, friendliness, and honor. Adelphi was derived from a Greek word meaning “Brotherhood”. Dean Allen, who was himself an SAE (Texas Delta ’22) encouraged Sigma Alpha Epsilon to choose the best social club at Tech to fit his affiliation. His wish prevailed and Adelphi was chosen to become the 160th chapter of SAE. Texas Alpha was the fourth SAE chapter in Texas, Others being at the University of Texas, Southern Methodist University, and Texas Western (UTEP).
Sigma Alpha Epsilon initiated 51 members on Saturday, October 3, 1953. Among those taken into the order was Marshall L. Pennington, who was vice-president for Business Affairs: Dr. Fred Norwood, Associate Professor of Accounting; and George Rogers, the supervisor of Gordon Hall. These men were part of the Tech Faculty and staff and were initiated because the fraternity had to have Faculty Advisors. Recorder and former president of the University of Nevada; Leo S. Cade Oklahoma real estate man and Province President; and John Baugh, Traveling Secretary for SAE.
Don Hammill was installed as the first Eminent Archon of Texas Alpha: George Hargrove as Eminent Deputy Archon; Ed Weyman as Eminent Recorder: Gregory Keys as Eminent Treasurer; Ralph Shelton as Eminent Chronicler; and Arthur Lancaster as Pledge Educator.
The Original member of the Adelphi Club were members of the Silver Key, but Harry Albough (a Korean War Veteran) and 21 others broke from Silver Key and formed Adelphi. The club was sponsored by William Yeardly, a Beta from Midwestern. He organized them as a fraternity and not a social club. It was designated as Texas Alpha because of the work of Dean Allen, Harry Albough, and Adelphi. Cooper Blout was the first initiate. The first meetings were held on the Second Floor, East Wing of the Administration Building. They were later moved to the basement of the Citizens National Bank Building. The first lodge was located on the 1500 block of Broadway. It was later torn down, and the Northwest Bank parking garage was built over it. The first lodge owned by the fraternity was located at 15th and Avenue X. It was sold to provide the seed money for the construction of the new lodge. The new lodge is located on Greek Circle at 1409 Orlando.