Welcome
We hope you enjoy, and continue to enjoy, visiting this site for archival information on the Nu Beta chapter of Phi Gamma Delta, at Rutgers University. We wish to thank those brothers who have contributed, and look forward to more contributions of photos and stories in the years to come.

Good News from National, conveyed by recolonization champ Dave Cucchiara on Friday, June 24 2011:

"The news that we've all been waiting for has finally arrived. Phi Gamma Delta has been approved by Rutgers to return as a colony beginning in the Spring 2012 semester. As for the Fall 2011 semester, we will be known simply as the Silver Fox Club. For those of you Nu Beta history buffs (Bill Nigh), October 11th, 1909 was the date the original Silver Fox Club was created. Two years later the club became part of the National Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta and the rest was history. We decided to name our organization after the original one as a tribute to Nu Beta's long history.

A great deal of work needs to be accomplished before the Spring 2012 semester. We need the support of the graduate brothers to propel our organization to the top in as little time as possible. I know some of you are anxious to meet the guys, so Dr. Schneider and I are in the process of organizing a BBQ meet and greet on the campus. Right now August 19th is the date set. The BBQ will double as a meet and greet and a meeting to discuss interest group requirements just to make sure everyone is on the same page. I'll have more information for you at a later date."

The Norris Pig Dinner was held again in 2011, at New Jersey Museum of Agriculture. Here is a speech given by H. Kenneth Fish at that event. Seeking photos or any reports from that event.

The Norris Pig Dinner was held, as part of the effort to recolonize Nu Beta, on May 8, 2010, at New Jersey Museum of Agriculture, Cook Campus, 6-10PM. Guest speaker was Josh Laufenberg, Director of Expansion, who informed us of the recolonization process. This recolonization campaign is covered here and here. Many more pictures of the Pig Dinner will be posted in the next few days.

New!! Through approval of the Rutgers Oral History Archives, we are able to provide some wonderful detail about daily life for some of the Brothers who have gone before, namely from the World War II era. Check the 30s and 40s pages. Good stuff!! Brother Bill Nigh, a veteran from the Cold War era, has also been interviewed, the first in his age cohort, occasioned by his at one time busy connection with the Archives.

There is a Google Group for those Nu Beta Fiji Alumni who want to get back in touch. Click on it and check it out!

"Very Proud"
As we used to say in the Sixties (for different reasons), "Wow". We are always interested in how  many visitors this web site has garnered over the years. Here's a heartening and we feel impressive statistic, given the fact that we have not advertised for the site, other than using word of mouth and email. In any event, since its launch in 2004, this site (meaning all of its pages), has had almost 40,000 'page views', which is defined as 'A request to the web server by a visitor's browser for any single web page'. Due to limitations of the statistics service, we are not able to ascertain how many visitors that equates to, but in any event it ranks in the thousands (this includes repeat visitors).We're gratified to think that this corner of the World Wide Web is providing some entertainment to the Brotherhood. Thanks for visiting.

Chapter History - Nu Beta
Nu Beta's history began about October 11th, 1909, when a group of men from the Class of 1912 convened at 43 Winants Hall and formed an organization called the Rutgers Silver Fox Club. At this point in Rutgers' history, there was a demand for more housing and social outlets. One month later, its formal constitution was written, and the new club was launched, headed by president Fred Glender. In 1910, the name of the group was changed to the Scarlet Society Club. In 1911, the new club leased a house at 524 George St., and began to consider joining Phi Gamma Delta. The members then adopted the motto "Phi Gamma Delta or NOTHING." 

Our Story at Rutgers - Early Growth and Renown
During the period 1912 to 1917, the group pursued the requirements of becoming a chapter and its work was rewarded in December 29th, 1917, when the charter was granted. At that time, Nu Beta had 54 members. However, the onset of World War I brought the chapter's activities to a standstill until 1919, as students were participating in Army Corps training.

In 1920, Nu Beta held its first Pig Dinner and in 1922, the chapter moved to 586 George St., where Clothier residence hall now stands. This location is directly across the street from our current house. The Chapter was always able to boast of young men of breeding and attainment during those early decades of the twentieth century. The Second World War left its mark on the Chapter. Nu Beta remained at this house until 1943. In 1946, the chapter house moved to 15 Union St., but this was only a temporary home for the Phi Gams, as it was too small. In 1949, the fraternity bought the property at 78 Easton Avenue for $40,000. This would be the chapter's home for 40 years. The fraternity saw many great years on Easton Ave---if you were there at the time, you may remember the little 'pool' which was the center of outdoor activities during Fiji Island, or the stone fireplace, or the panelling, the crew area with the scarfers and spritzers, or maybe the TV room and 'lounge' downstairs.

Most Nu Beta Chapter honors on the national stage were mostly garnered during the 1940s and 1950s, when Fijis were prominent in University functions and organizations, FOUR Brothers gained Phi Beta Kappa membership in ONE YEAR, Bill Austin was an All-America halfback, and many other honors were bestowed. In 1957, Nu Beta won the Cheney Cup and in its long, proud history, has won the Keller Cup competition 29 times (more than any other fraternity at Rutgers), and according to the record repeated in these pages, we were pretty good singers as well.

The 1960s and '70s were times of significant change on the national level. The ritual started to lose relevance to the questioning temperament of that time, but Phi Gam was still one of the strongest houses during those sometimes turbulent years, character still counted, and friendship persisted beyond the undergraduate years, once again proving that fraternity was not for college days alone. Nu Beta became racially integrated in those years, starting a trend toward inclusiveness which has continued to this day.

(Seeking comparable overview information from knowledgeable brothers for 80's and 90's; sorry, this is largely a personal effort from an alumnus, who was not involved in those decades).

On June 18th, 1990, the house at 78 Easton Ave. was tragically the victim of arson; thankfully nobody was injured. The house was gutted by the fire and torn down in September. The loss of the fraternity's home was devastating to both the graduates and undergraduates. Plans were continually reviewed either to rebuild on the property or relocate to another location. The high cost of building a new structure, estimated at over one million dollars, and the lack of another appropriate house, forced Nu Beta undergraduates to maintain the chapter in off-campus facilities. Morale and membership hit an all-time low and a brotherhood review of the chapter was instituted.

Our Story at Rutgers - Rebirth
In 1991, a core group of undergraduates, led by then chapter president Jason Clark-Christie and Purple Legionnaire Sheldon Thorpe, began the task of rebuilding the chapter and recruiting new members. In 1994, undergraduate president, later Purple Legionnaire, Glenn Jenkins and Purple Legionnaire Bill Parker signed a five-year lease for the fraternity house at 40 Union St., formerly owned by Delta Sigma Phi. The undergraduate chapter slowly built back its membership reputation, and relationship with the graduate brothers. As reward and affirmation, Phi Gamma Delta was voted the most improved chapter at Rutgers University, and received numerous other awards for programming excellence.

In March 1998, with our Union Street lease set for termination in only 15 months, the Alumni Association heard of Sigma Phi Epsilon's intent to sell their chapter house. The Alumni Association convened for a special meeting on March 25th, 1998 to review this opportunity, and voted unanimously to purchase the Sig Ep house. On April 25th, 1998, a purchase contract was signed for $845,000 and the Nu Beta Alumni Association took the title to the property on August 5th, 1998.

The nature of membership in a university organization of any kind is naturally characterized by over 90% membership turnover, within say, 5 years. The quality of participation and participants is also subject to that membership cycle, and there have been some bad years, as many of us know. As often happens, therefore, after the rebirth, we again see a bit of a nadir, as a February 7, 2005 letter from the National attests, where a Graduate Trusteeship was recommended as necessary to restore the chapter's then-suspended status to active status, due to lack of involvement and shrinking membership. This situation has been cleared up, but the point is that our fraternity is a living entity, and it needs care sometimes.

Our Story at Rutgers - Recolonization
The Chapter lost its charter in the last few years, and the IHQ is keen to re-establish Nu Beta, with a goal of Fall 2011 semester or later. See more detail here.

Graduate Brothers: Maybe the memories recalled by browsing the pages will inspire in you a moment of magnanimity. Think about it, and respond generously, if only with personal accounts and photos. Help make this an even more worthwhile destination.

About this site:
This is a web site originally created to give the Nu Beta Educational Foundation an internet presence, and to promote Fiji Day 1974. The love of Phi Gam reignited by those events has resulted in a continued growth of this site. In an effort to make the site a desirable, diverting destination, we seek to make this a useful compendium of all things Fiji. An ambitious goal, granted, but doable when you are involved in a labor of love.
Nu Beta of Phi Gamma Delta at Rutgers University
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