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Theta Tau

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Apr 23rd, 1995

Founding Date

The journey to installation came to an exciting close in April 1995 for the Alpha Phis at Rensselaer in Troy, New York. They not only celebrated the founding of their chapter, they also walked away with top prizes at the university’s annual awards ceremony for Greeks. On April 22, their group was named Most Outstanding Chapter among the sororities and won the Scholarship Award of Excellence for posting the highest cumulative GPA among 35 Greek groups. On April 23, the Fraternity proudly initiated them as charter members of Theta Tau chapter.


The new Alpha Phi chapter originated from the local sorority, Phi Alpha Sigma, which was organized in 1986. 


Installation activities began with the Court of Ivy ceremony, conducted by members of the Albany (Eta Nu) chapter. Initiation and the reception took place Sunday at the Heffner Alumni House. The Fraternity’s installation team included: Vice President-Extension Laura Malley-Schmitt (Zeta Phi-MIT), New Chapter Supervisor Heidi Claus Perry (Delta-Cornell), Assistant to the Vice President-College Operations Margie Markson Johnson (Beta Delta-UCLA), Assistant to the Vice President-Finance Carol Ellis (Epsilon Beta-Butler), Field Consultants Cynthia Zuckerman (Epsilon Phi-NC State) and Pamela Courtright (Epsilon Rho-UC Davis), and Chapter Adviser Sheri Rufo Iodice (Zeta Rho-Bentley).


Representing the Alpha Phi Foundation, Margie presented the scholarship badge to Harnisha Dalwadi. She also introduced Patricia Soules Cumiskey, who accepted a check for $1,000 on behalf of the division of cardiology at Albany Medical College.


Chapter President Dawn Belanger accepted the president’s badge from the Knickerbocker alumnae chapter of Albany. Initiation equipment was received from Boston, Buffalo, Hartford, Mid-Fairfield County, Portland and Princeton alumnae chapters. Heidi and Laura gave the chapter an engraved silver platter. Sarah Rotgin (Eta Omicron-Virginia Tech), the new chapter’s former field consultant, sent a linen tablecloth, and alumnae initiate Alizabeth Olhasso surprised the chapter with a cross-stitch keepsake. 


The highlight of the reception program was the charter ceremony. Laura and Heidi presented the charter to Dawn and Liz Lowe, chapter president in 1994.