Alpha Tau's origin on the campus of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln dates back to September 13, 1888. Located on 1515 R St., the Alpha Tau chapter of Beta Theta Pi has been the home to over 2,600 collegiate young men at one time in their lives.
The success of the brothers of Alpha Tau, from roll number 1 to our current 2,600 plus, has been very evident on campus as Beta has been the best and most impressive fraternity on campus since our inception in 1888: more semesters as the top academic fraternity on campus, more members of Mortar Board and the Innocents Society (Chancellor's Senior Honorary Society), and continued student involvement as well as community service has made Beta the exemplary fraternity at Nebraska for well over 100 years.
In August of 1998, Alpha Tau also added another distinction to its rich history: it became the birthplace of the Men of Principle initiative. The initiative has given Alpha Tau an innovative direction and model as to how we will lead and mold our chapter well into the twenty-first century.
Most recently, the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) honored Beta Theta Pi’s Alpha Tau Chapter with the 2005 Undergraduate Chapter Award of Distinction. The award, which will was presented at the 166th General Fraternity Convention in Scottsdale, Arizona, recognizes the overall leadership, scholarship and excellence in the advancement of fraternity ideals. The Alpha Tau chapter at Nebraska was one of five NIC fraternity chapters in the nation to win this award based on academic and recruitment success and active alumni involvement.
In 2017, the chapter was again honored with a second NIC Undergraduate Chapter Award of Distinction. The award, presented at the 178th General Fraternity Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, was one of seven NIC fraternity chapters in the nation recognized in 2017.
The Alpha Tau of Beta Theta Pi was originated under the direction of William B. McArthur, a member of the Ohio Wesleyan chapter. After consideration of a number of conventions (3) the petition for the formation of the chapter at Nebraska was granted. Seven members composed the Alpha Tau chapter in 1888. They were: Oscar Van Pelt Stout, Frank Austin Manley, Ralph Platt, Conrad Frederick Scharmann, Harry Allen Reese, James Boyd McDonald, and Edward Everett Nicholson. These seven founders of the Alpha Tau chapter were student of the University of Nebraska who were living in the same rooming house, and who joined together in a common bond of fellowship. Since 1888 the Beta house has been located in numerous localities in Lincoln before it reached its present location in 1926 (The Cornhusker 1934).
Founded: September 13, 1888 (3rd on Nebraska’s Campus)
Originally compiled by Todd Mattox '99