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Sigma Delta Psi

sdpSigma Delta Psi is an honorary athletic fraternity which promotes the ideal of the whole man with an emphasis on physical fitness.

In 1911, Dr. William Lowe Bryan, the President of Indiana University, developed the idea of establishing an honorary athletic fraternity in colleges and universities across the United States, after a presentation to the University Press Club by journalist and author George Fitch. Fitch spoke of a national system of physical education he had seen in Sweden and expressed the hope that something similar might be developed in America. Dr. Bryan secured complete information from the Swedish government and asked Dr. Charles P. Hutchins, who was then Director of Physical Education for Men at Indiana University, to establish rules suitable for American universities. Dr. Hutchins, in consultation with J. L. Cooke of the University of Minnesota and Dr. W. G. Anderson of Yale University, organized the fraternity in 1912 to be named Sigma Delta Psi (the body is the servant of the mind). The character of Sigma Delta Psi honorary athletic fraternity is to promote physical, mental, and moral development of college students.

In 1937 Sigma Delta Psi celebrated its 25th anniversary by holding a national championship event. At the time, 500 colleges from the United States and Canada had chapters and were invited to participate. In 2009 a national organization for Sigma Delta Psi did not exist. Colleges and universities that may continue to run Sigma Delta Psi testing do so similarly to the Citadel, on their own.

The Citadel became a charter member on February 1, 1960 as the Epsilon Beta chapter. Cadets have from matriculation until graduation to achieve passing marks in the Sigma Delta Psi events and earn a place in the Citadel’s Sigma Delta Psi Fraternity. Cadets may test through a Required Physical Education Course (RPED 140), Intramural Athletics or under supervision of any Health, Exercise and Sport Science faculty member or Sigma Delta Psi member.

All male students in college that have active Sigma Delta Psi chapters shall be eligible for membership. A candidate may attempt to qualify in Sigma delta Psi any time while a student or alumnus from his institution. There are no restrictions with regard to race, color or creed.

The only type of membership available to gradutates of non-Sigma Delta Psi institutions is an honorary membership and it is granted on the basis of approval from the National Executive Council. Faculty advisers may submit names of candidates for honorary memberships. These are usually distinguished members of the faculty or other persons who are interested in the objectives of Sigma Delta Psi. Among the most notable honorary members are the late President John F. Kennedy; Bud Wilkinson, famous football coach and physical fitness consultant; and the Crown Prince of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus. There are no test requirements for honorary members.

Physical Requirements For Sigma Delta Psi

Candidates for membership must successfully pass fifteen tests. Alternate tests may be completed for three of the requirements. A candidate who has won a collegiate varsity letter or an intramural championship may substitute the award for any requirement in Sigma Delta Psi with the exception of swimming. Substitutions may be used only once and the total number of substitutions is limited to three - one intramural championship and two varsity letters representing different sports.

Sigma Delta Psi Events
100 Yard Run Football Punt
120 Yard Hurdles 100 Yard Swim
Running High Jump One Mile Run
Running Broad Jump Front Handspring
Shot Put Handstand
Rope Climb Bowling
Golf Shot Fence Vault
Baseball Throw Posture
Javelin Throw Eligibility and Scholarship


Cadets may test through a Required Physical Education Course (RPED 140), Intramural Athletics or under supervision of any Health, Exercise and Sport Science faculty member or Sigma Delta Psi member. For recording marks, candidates should use a Sigma Delta Psi Scorecard.

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