Guide to the Rho Epsilon Radio Fraternity Alpha Chapter Records 1924-1975
Cage 321

Summary Information

Repository
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Creator
Rho Epsilon Radio Fraternity: Alpha Chapter
Title
Rho Epsilon Radio Fraternity, Alpha Chapter Records
ID
Cage 321
Date [inclusive]
1924-1975
Extent
1300.0 items.
General Physical Description note
2 linear feet of shelf space.
Language
English
Abstract
Correspondence, documents, licensing and financial records, minutes, membership lists, logs, and technical materials relating to a Washington State University amateur radio group and some information concerning the national fraternity which it founded.

Preferred Citation note

[Item Description]. Cage 321, Rho Epsilon Radio Fraternity, Alpha Chapter Records. Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

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Biographical/Historical note

The first amateur radio group in the United States was organized in 1910 on the State College of Washington (now Washington State University) campus. In December 1911, this organization, the WSC Radio Club, founded Rho Epsilon as a national radio fraternity and became Alpha Chapter of that group. Although Rho Epsilon was incorporated in 1925, other chapters were not formed until the late 1930s, with the University of Washington's Beta Chapter receiving its charter in 1936. The remaining five chapters: Gamma, University of Idaho; Delta, University of Virginia; Epsilon, Illinois Institute of Technology; Zeta, Montana State College; and Eta, Tri-State College (Indiana), were established shortly after Beta Chapter, and all seven chapters continued in operation until the onset of World War II.

In December 1947 Homer J. Dana, one of the early members of the radio fraternity on the WSU campus and a research engineer, called a meeting for all those interested in reactivating Alpha Chapter. Alpha Chapter succeeded in regrouping late in 1948 and at that time corresponded with the other six chapters with the intention of reestablishing the national organization. Letters were exchanged on this topic, new groups wrote asking for information about Rho Epsilon, but the reactivation of the national fraternity did not take place.

The present location and even the existence of the national fraternity records is in doubt. Soon after the University of Washington's chapter was chartered, members of Beta Chapter were elected national fraternity officers and subsequently requested that all national records and materials be transferred from Pullman to the Seattle area. Apparently this transfer took place, for after the war the president of the reactivated Alpha Chapter wrote to Beta Chapter asking that these records be returned to Pullman. He was informed that Beta Chapter was defunct and that the records were no longer available.

According to the fraternity's constitution, the purpose of Rho Epsilon is "to encourage experimental radio activity among American college students; to foster orderly operation of radio stations; and to endeavor to obtain legislative protection for radio as an experimental science. Secondarily, to establish branches in American educational institutions under suitable conditions."

As of 1978, Alpha Chapter of Rho Epsilon remains an active student organization on the Washington State University campus.

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Arrangement note

The records of Rho Epsilon, Alpha Chapter are arranged in nine series: Correspondence, Documents, Licensing Records, Financial Records, Minutes, Membership, Logs, Technical Materials, and Other Records. Where possible, records have been arranged chronologically within the series.

A tenth series has been added, consisting of a later donation of early materials from the founding of the club, circa 1924, to records of the present, ca. 1976. These are topically arranged, in a chronological order whenever possible, divided into Correspondence, Organizational Documents, Membership, Minutes, Technical Materials and Other Items.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 1978

http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/masc
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610
509-335-6691
mascref@wsu.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The records of Rho Epsilon Radio Fraternity, Alpha Chapter, were deposited in the Washington State University Library in two installments, on April 4, 1976 and June 3, 1976 by Rick Maricle. These records were arranged and described by Roberta Stokes in August 1976. An addition to previous Rho Epsilon Radio Fraternity, Alpha Chapter, was donated to Washington State University Library in June, 1977 (77-21) and February, 1978 (77-21a) and described here by Catherine Feher in 1978.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Rho Epsilon Radio Fraternity. Alpha Chapter--Archives

Subject(s)

  • Colleges and Universities
  • Greek letter societies--Records and correspondence
  • Radio--Washington (State)--Pullman--Societies, etc.
  • Washington (State)

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: Correspondence 

Box Folder

 1924-1926   5

1 1

 1933-1937   18

1 2

 1938   26

1 3

 1939   14

1 4

 1940-1941   14

1 5

 1947-1948   51

1 6

 1949   28

1 7

 1950-1951 1953-1954.   16

1 8

 1959-1966   33

1 9

 1973   6

1 10

correspondence from WSU administration and student organizations. undated   9

1 11

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Series 2: Documents 

Box Folder

Articles of incorporation, constitution and by-laws, related legal papers for Rho Epsilon; constitution and revisions for Alpha Chapter 1925-ca 1974   14

1 12

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Series 3: Licensing Records 

Box Folder

Correspondence, federal regulations and guidelines, applications for amateur radio station license filed with Federal Communications Commission and similar agencies 1924-1974   50

1 13

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Series 4: Financial Records 

Box Folder

Tax returns and related correspondence 1934-1965   50

1 14

Invoices, receipts, shipping orders, bank statements (2 only), dues receipts (October 1937-November 1939) 1928-1964   100

1 15

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Series 5: Minutes 

Box Folder

 January 1924-October 1931   1.0 volume

2 16

 January 1925-February 1925 1933-1934 October 1936-January 1937 (for Minutes of October 15, 1940, February 23, 1948, December 7, 1948, see stapled minutes beginning with April 1949) August 1949-October 1949 1961-1962 October 1963-1965.   100

2 17

 1966-1967   1

2 18

 1974-1975   3

2 19

 Undated   1.0 volume

2 20

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Series 6: Membership 

Box Folder

Pledge and initiation ceremonies, oath of pledgeship, lists of pledges, initiates, charter and other members, fraternity certificates. Undated   38

2 21

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Series 7: Logs 

Box Folder

 February 1922-April 1928   1.0 volume

2 22

 February 1926-April 1938 (only 7 entries before 1935)   1.0 volume

2 23

 October 1931-August 1932   1.0 volume

2 24

 August 1932-September 1932 bound with Minutes 1924-1931, pages 115-120. 

Box Folder

 November 1932-January 1935   1.0 volume

2 25

 April 1938-November 1939   1.0 volume

2 26

 November 1939-December 1941   1.0 volume

2 27

 May 1948-January 1949   1.0 volume

2 28

 January 1949-November 1949   1.0 volume

2 29

 November 1949-November 1953   1.0 volume

2 30

 November 1953-May 1958   1.0 volume

3 31

 November 1960-December 1962   1.0 volume

3 32

 January 1963-February 1965   1.0 volume

3 33

 February 1965-May 1970   100

3 34

 May 1970-December 1971   100

3 35

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Series 8: Technical Materials 

Box Folder

Technical drawings and information relating to local equipment and facilities.   31

3 36

Technical manuals and call book.   5

3 37

Advertising brochures for radio materials.   8

3 38

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Series 9: other Records 

Box Folder

Rho Epsilon information sheets, flyers for Alpha Chapter meetings and functions; and "Proposal for Relocation and Improvement of Rho Epsilon Amateur Radio Club Station.   8

3 39

Newspaper clippings concerning hams in general, WSU and Pullman hams.   5

3 40

Miscellaneous papers, award certificate, photographs of early members.   7

3 41

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Series 10: Additional Records 1924-1976 

Box Folder

Correspondence 1938-1976   63

4 1

Organizational Documents 1911-1975   5

4 2

Membership 1937-1976   50

4 3

Minutes 1925-1976   12

4 4

Financial 1936-1976   12

4 5

Newspaper Clippings 1976-1976   8

4 6

Proposals and Statement of Purpose 1975-1976   3

4 7

Technical Materials 1928-1976   50

4 8

Photographs 1975-1976   6

4 9

QSL Cards and Format of WSU QSL Card.   10

4 10

Radiogram Record Forms from 1964 Alaska Earthquake and Radiogram Form.   200

4 11

Field Day 1976   8

4 12

Programs, Sign-Up Sheets, Announcements and Other Papers ca 1960-1976   6

4 13

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