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Frat March Two-Step, 1910
The Frat March Two-Step, music from 1910

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Honor Society Phi Beta Kappa Was Founded
December 5, 1776

Organized by a group of enterprising undergraduates, Phi Beta Kappa was the nation's first Greek-letter society. Its name is formed from the initial letters of the Greek words for philosophia biou kubernetes, meaning "Philosophy, the Guide of Life." Members met regularly to write, debate, and socialize. They also planned to expand the organization. In doing so, they established the practices and symbols typical of American fraternities and sororities: an oath of secrecy, a code of laws, mottoes in Greek and Latin, and an elaborate initiation ritual. When the Revolutionary War forced William and Mary to close for a time, Harvard and Yale took over the new Phi Beta Kappa tradition.
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