Chapter History

Building a Dynasty

It was on the 9th of February 1918 at Oregon Agricultural College that the Dean of Students, Dr. U. G. Dubach , founded the 55th chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon. Oregon Alpha quickly established itself as a premiere fraternity dedicated to scholarship. Guided by the wisdom of Dr. Dubach, Oregon Alpha took great pride in becoming the "Ideal Chapter" of any fraternity anywhere in America. Decade after decade Oregon Alpha demonstrated uncanny consistency to upholding the moral atmosphere that the chapter was founded on, and it's efforts did not go overlooked. Twenty three times Oregon Alpha has earned the Buchanan Cup for Outstanding Chapter Operations, far more than any SigEp Chapter in the nation. In 1979 a national consensus was conducted by College Survey Bureau, Inc. of Los Angeles, CA that reported the Oregon State SigEps were one of the top three best fraternities in the entire country based on their dominance in activities, achievement, and grades. After 61 years of success on the OSU campus, Oregon Alpha's presence was titled a "SPE dynasty", and ever since then Oregon Alpha has taken great pride in being a perennial powerhouse.
The Legacy of U. G. Dubach

If ever a man could be said to have been the conscience of Sigma Phi Epsilon, it was Ulysses Grant Dubach for his many years of chairman of the fraternity scholarship committee. Those who knew him describe Dr. Dubach as a cross between Billy Graham and Zig Ziglar. He was a principled man who was not ashamed to admit it. He had the rare facility to cut to the heart of the matter in clear, concise English.

"You Can't Carve rotten Wood"

More than thirty years after his death the legacy of Dr. Dubach still lingers throughout the chapter house. The men who have been a part of Oregon Alpha and Sigma Phi Epsilon will forever be in debt to Dr. Dubach for laying the foundation of a fraternity that could affect the lives of young men generation after generation. 

A Sampling of Vintage Dubach:

"Never pledge a fullback, never pledge a student body president, never pledge a big shot; but pledge good men. If they happen to be big shots, that's all to the good"

"Create a condition that not only makes success possible but failure difficult."

"A fraternity should be an island of refuge for the tempted instead of an agency to mislead."

(Info collected from Our Journey of Brotherhood: Sigma Phi Epsilon's First Hundred Years)

The 8 ideals of a fraternity:

A home away from home. An intellectual atmosphere. Moral atmosphere. True brotherhood. Recruit the right men. Induct them properly. Teach them well. Live the right way.
Oregon Alpha House History

The founders of Oregon Alpha began as the Oxford Club at the Oxford House. It was an OSU men's co-op. Transition to a chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon occurred on February 9, 1918 with the guidance of U.G. Dubach, with Uncle Billy Phillips presiding. The present house was built in 1925 for $27,000. The famous SigEp fireman's ball began in the 1930's. The original slide was much smaller and went through a window where the R.A. apartment is now located. The freshman used a Model T fire truck to pick up their dates.

In 1942, the house became a women's dormitory, until the war ended. Lloyd B. Gregg looked after the house during this time, and is recognized as one of the leading alumnus in terms of his contributions to the house. What is now the "old wing" and the den, was added from 1956-57. The original idea was to build it out of brick, but this was too expensive so wood was used. The old sleeping porch was where the basketball hoop is now, and it slept 85 men. The shed was built in the 1960's behind the house.

During this time, an engineering student was failing a class when he decided to build a new slide. His professor offered him an "A" in the class if he got the new slide to work.


Hazing was officially banned in 1958. In the 70's, 80's, and 90's the fraternity thrived at OSU winning grades almost every year. It is known as one of the most successful chapters of any type of fraternity in the nation. This tradition continues today as the fraternity is among the top at OSU in grades, sports, leadership, and community service year after year.