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The National Federation of Commons Clubs

Phi Mu Delta traces its roots to the National Federation of Commons Clubs. The Commons Club was founded at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1899. The Commons Club grew to an impressive 19 chapters from Washington state to Maine prior to the formation of Phi Mu Delta.

The First Years

The formation of the new fraternity met with some early resistance when the alumni of the Union chapter refused to join Phi Mu Delta. So, the Universities of Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut went on to become the founding chapters. Chapter designations were determined by lottery.

Depression and War Years

Both the Depression and World War II hit Phi Mu Delta chapters hard. They merged with Delta Alpha Pi in 1934, acquiring three chapters, but these chapters were short-lived due to the Depression. The University of Vermont chapter closed its doors for 21 years beginning in 1936.

The Golden Age

Expansion began to take off during the “Golden Age” of fraternities of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Several new chapters were started in New England. Nu Zeta at UMass-Amherst was founded from a local organization known as Zeta Zeta Zeta. The Nu Epsilon Chapter at the University of Maine helped to establish a new chapter at The University of Southern Maine from a very old local called Alpha Lambda Beta.

Decline and rebirth

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, fraternity membership began to decline all around the United States, a trend which did not spare Phi Mu Delta. They had begun to prosper in the 1960s and even opened their first National Headquarters in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. There was a complete professional staff and traveling consultant. However, with the declining membership, it was getting harder and harder to maintain the office. While several new chapters were started in the 1970s, they all died due to a lack of support and membership.

A New Millennium

Phi Mu Delta was the first fraternity to form at the Pennsylvania College of Technology, a Penn State affiliate campus, in 2001. The fraternity was invited to colonize at SUNY Plattsburgh. Phi Mu Delta was sought after by a group of men at Frostburg State University and in 2006, the Mu Omicron colony was formed. On April 15, 2009 the Mu Omicron chapter at Frostburg State University became a full chartered member of Phi Mu Delta.

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