Sigma Delta Chi (Delta Chapter) Records
Collection contains materials from the Delta chapter of Sigma Delta Chi, men's professional fraternity for journalism, at the University of Denver from 1910 until roughly 1924. Also contains materials from later Colorado state chapter and the national Sigma Delta Chi organization. Sigma Delta Chi later became the Society of Professional Journalists and transitioned to state-wide professional chapters in addition to student chapters on college campuses.
Biographical / Historical
Sigma Delta Chi, professional journalism fraternity for men, was established on April 17, 1909 at DePauw University. The University of Denver chapter, Delta, was the fourth collegiate chapter and at the time the only chapter installed in the West. Delta Chapter was chartered in 1910 from the local organization known as "The Writers Club." The charter was installed November 25, 1910 through the efforts of its founding members: James L. Gartland (head of the department of Journalism), Walter A. Koch (editor for The Denver Times), Franklin D. Cogswell (Editor in Chief of The Clarion), Lawyer W. Bowen and Homer McKittrick (artist for Clarion and Kywnewisbok). The chapter published its own publication called, The Scoop, starting in 1911 and made the first proposal for a national convention. By 1914, the chapter had lapsed into inactivity and was being threatened with suspension by the national secretary. By late 1910s, the chapter managed to re-bound with more membership but only lasted until 1924.
According to the 1920-1 D Book student handbook, membership to the DU Delta Chapter of Sigma Delta Chi was only available by invitation to Juniors and Seniors with College or City journalism experience, fifteen hours of College English and those expected to work in journalism after graduation. The Colorado professional chapter of Sigma Delta Chi began in 1949 and is still active for working journalists.
Sigma Delta Chi became a professional "society" rather than fraternity in 1960, but didn't start admitting women until 1969. In 1973, the name changed to "Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi," and then in 1988, Sigma Delta Chi was fully dropped from name to just Society of Professional Journalists.
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