Lambda Tau Delta (LTD) was founded at Fenn College in Cleveland, Ohio on January 31th, 1929 by nine Fenn undergraduates and their Faculty Adviser, becoming the fourth fraternity on the Fenn campus. LTD had the distinction of being the first honorary fraternity at Fenn College. LTD later became a local social fraternity, still maintaining high scholastic achievements as a key objective.
During the 1930-1939 Depression years, LTD grew in manpower, as Fenn College grew. These years saw the acquisitions of the Town & Country Men’s Club, that eventually became known as Fenn Tower and the eventual central focus point of Fenn College.
As with most Fenn College School Fraternities, Lambda Tau Delta became inactive during most of the 1941-1945 World War II years, as many Fenn College men entered into active military service, which depleted the male student population. In July 1946, Lambda Tau Delta reactivated. In October of 1946, nineteen new members were initiated, most were WWII veterans attending Fenn College on the G.I. Bill; this group formed the core for the second fraternity start-up as well as the base for growth well into the 1960’s.
The 1960’s saw positive growth of the group, and firmly established the LTDs as the fraternity to beat for the Fenn College All-Sports Trophy. Winning the All-Sports Trophy became an annual tradition for Lambda Tau Delta, a tradition that continued into the 1980’s.
By the early 1960’s, the major Fenn local fraternities, except LTD, had elected to join national fraternities. In 1963, an LTD committee was formed to explore this option. After evaluating nearly 50 “nationals”, a match was made between LTD and Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity (SPE or SigEp), a national fraternity founded in 1901 at Richmond College, and headquarters in Richmond, Virginia.
On November 21st, 1964, 41 Lambda Tau Delta Brothers became the Chapter members of SigEp Chapter #184, forming Ohio Nu Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. Ohio Nu Initiate #184-0001 was Faculty Advisor and LTD Emil Perout ’42, head of the Fenn Metallurgy Department at the time. The then co-Faculty Advisor for the Chapter was Dr. William A. “Doc” Patterson, who became the first Provost of Cleveland State University. Doc Patterson was a long-time advisor for Lambda Tau Delta, and an Honorary LTD.
Also, in the Fall of 1964, Fenn College became Cleveland State University, bringing a building program that would drastically re-shape the 24th& Euclid Avenue area of Cleveland for many years, and significantly increase the number of students enrolled.
With the onset of Cleveland State University, the CSU Greek System initially grew along with the student population. During the late 1960’s, three CSU Fraternities, including Sigma Phi Epsilon, boasted 100-man chapters, all supported by their national fraternity headquarters staffs, as well as their area CSU-Fenn Alumni Associations. During this period, the SigEp chapter acquired its’ first fraternity house, a 100-year-old mansion located at 2074 East 36thStreet, next to private Tavern Club.
The top Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter is awarded the “Buchanan Cup”, awarded to chapters rated top on their individual campuses. In 1979, Ohio Nu became the first NE-Ohio Chapter to receive the Buchanan Cup. Since then, only one other NE-Ohio Buchanan Cup has been presented … to the Ohio Sigma Chapter at Case Western University in 2001.
In the 1980’s Cleveland State became primary a commuter school, decreasing student interest in fraternities and sororities. The CSU Greek System became less of a priority and deteriorated. After years of attempts by Sigma Phi Epsilon to contribute financial and manpower recourses to shore up the Ohio Nu Chapter, the Decision was made to close Ohio Nu on May 19th, 1990. The Fraternity house was sold, and later town down by the new owner. Ohio Nu at Cleveland State then remained dormant for over 20 years.
During the 2012-2013 school year, Cleveland State University made major commitments to improve the CSU Greek System, and the decision was made to re-open Sigma Phi Epsilon as a “Sigma Epsilon Chapter” (SEC) in the fall of 2013. SigEp undergraduates and alumni worked really hard over the next few years and finally brought Sigma Phi Epsilon back to Cleveland State University on April 8th, 2017. Sigma Phi Epsilon: Ohio Nu is officially back.
Since that triumphant day, Ohio Nu has received many accolades as a premier organization on the Cleveland State University campus. We consistently have the highest grades of any Greek organization and we have continued to be the largest fraternity in terms of manpower. Intramurals have also proved to be an enormous strength of the chapter, winning the last five flag football championships and taking the title in four of the past five basketball seasons. Regardless of whatever activity the Ohio Nu brothers are participating in, we will always strive to achieve our goal of becoming true balanced men.
SigEp: Ohio Nu History Summary | Compiled 08/06/19 by
David L. Huiett, Cleveland State ‘66
Ohio Nu AVC
Zachary Stewart, Cleveland State ‘22
Ohio Nu VPC