The History of the South Dakota Alpha Chapter of Phi Delta Theta.

Greek life at the University of South Dakota began over one hundred years ago, when thirteen young women, popularly called the Baker's Dozen, organized a society called "TBD" in 1897.

The University's first fraternity, organized in December 1899 with eighteen members, was known as Tridentia. It was created for the purpose of establishing a Greek letter fraternity at USD. Tridentia interests included literary, athletic and social. After becoming familiar with several national fraternities and after thorough consideration, the members of Tridentia chose to petition Phi Delta Theta for a charter. Their initial request was turned down, but the men persisted. Finally, in 1904 Walter B. Palmer, Emory-Vanderbilt 1877, wrote:

"All the members of Phi Delta Theta who have visited the applicants at Vermillion, and all who have met them individually elsewhere, have declared that they are worthy of admission to the fraternity. They have shown great perseverance in their efforts to secure a charter, and they have exhibited commendable enterprise in renting a house for two years and in building a house this year. The University of South Dakota is firmly established, well endowed, liberally supported by the State and is developing rapidly. I firmly believe Phi Delta Theta needs a chapter in South Dakota, and I trust that it will be the first to enter this University. I am confident that within five years the institution will be great field for fraternities."

The General Council of Phi Delta Theta granted a charter to Tridentia on November 6, 1906, making South Dakota Alpha the 95th chapter of the Fraternity. Installation ceremonies were held on December 18, 1906 when twenty members of Tridentia were formally inducted.

The ceremony was held under the direction of C.F. Lamkin, Westminster 1899. He was assisted by members of the Sioux City Alumni Club and actives from Washington Alpha. The new members were the finest members on campus, involved in athletics, student government, the Volante, and dozens of other activities.

Tridentia has the record of building the first structure for the purpose of housing Greeks when it bought a lot and erected a house in 1904. In 1992, the same house was remodeled and expanded. Since 1906, there have been over 1500 men that have accepted the challenge of being a Phi Delt at USD.