Sigma Phi Epsilon - Iowa Beta

228 Gray Ave
Ames, IA 50014

Iowa Beta originated on campus as the "Aristoclub." The chapter became formally chartered from the Sigma Phi Epsilon National fraternity on April 20, 1916, becoming the fortieth local chapter of the fraternity - which today, has over 290. Soon afterwards, Iowa Beta acquired its first house; the location of which was on Welch Avenue, where Pi Kappa Phi fraternity resides today. The number of SigEps on campus was fairly small for the first few years of its existence. There were not more than 20 active members until much later in Iowa Beta's existence. In 1929, the house that Iowa State SigEp occupies today was designed by Amos Emory - the same architect who designed Sigma Kappa's sorority house. This final, grand house is a fitting testament to Iowa Beta's great fraternity. With the Great Depression of the 30's, Iowa Beta, as well as other houses on campus began to go into debt. To keep the banks from closing down Iowa Beta, the Alumni Board had to give almost all of its land to the bank. There wasn't any money for fuel oil bills the first few winters of the depression, so the men lived in the living room only. Of all the pledge duties during this period, the most important was to acquire wood for the fireplace. New members are still asked to get the firewood to remember this event. In the fall of 1932 Sigma Phi Epsilon was only 20 strong. Funds were low at this time. Just as the building weathered the storm, so to did its residents. The next few years brought hope for the struggling SigEps. In 1935 the house was nearly full with 30 men living in (the house at this time consisted of only two-man study rooms). The men of Iowa Beta started becoming more and more involved on campus. The house size continued to increase until World War II when there were roughly 75-80 men. During the fall of 1942, two-thirds of the men of Sigma Phi Epsilon left for World War II. There were not enough SigEps left to keep the house going. To solve the problem, the Alumni Board made rental arrangements with the college to provide housing for women. Adding to this burden, a fire broke out on the third floor of the house in the Spring of 1943, during finals week. During the war, there were more women enrolled at Iowa State than it had room for. 228 Gray ave provided housing for undergraduate women until the end of the war. After the war, Iowa States enrollment reached a record high, Sigma Phi Epsilon quickly grew in size to a 100 man roster. Many SigEps, to their dissatisfaction, had to live in apartments. Arguments were constant over who was going to get to live in the fraternity house the next semester. During the summer of 1952, Sigma Phi Epsilon added on to its kitchen and expanded, adding the housemothers quarters. During the late 50's carpenters began remodeling our study rooms from the original two man rooms to four man rooms. Rumor has it, although she denies it, that Mom McKone had the remodeling stopped single-handedly, because she saw that four man rooms would be far too crowded. The construction crew changed their plans and resumed remodeling the three man rooms that exist today. Between the years of 1957 and 1962 Sigma Phi Epsilon was very strong internally and externally. The house size grew to about 120 men. Iowa Beta controlled many campus activities and almost every member was involved. Diligence in the face of adversity had in the past, and did once again, bring Sigma Phi Epsilon back to the standing it has always deserved. Throughout the seventies and eighties Sigma Phi Epsilon maintained and improved its role as a leader on the Iowa State campus. All was going well until the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 in the Spring of 2020. The SigEps of Iowa State were faced with numerous challenges in recruitment, finances, and operations. With significant perseverance, the fraternity prevailed while many other chapters struggled. Iowa Beta led as an example in the Fall of 2020 for other Greek Houses in managing and preventing the spread of COVID-19, while still having a successful semester. The Fall of 2020 was however significant for another reason. By national decree, Iowa Beta and all other Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter houses were to be transitioned to a dry chapter facility. The chapter has since made this transition and maintained its standing as a top social and academic chapter at Iowa State University. Today's SigEps are known as fine and diverse men who appreciated their differences and enjoy their unity. With your help as undergraduates and alumni, the Iowa Beta chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon will embark upon its next 75 years with virtue in its character, diligence in its pursuit, and brotherly love as its message.

Nickname SigEp
Philanthropy Big Brothers Big Sisters and Live Your Oath (joint with Alpha Delta Pi)
Colors Red and Purple
Symbols Heart, Skull & Crossbones
Chapter Founded April 19th, 1916
Chapter Website
Chapter Phone 515-326-2747
National Founded November 1st, 1901
National Website
National Phone 804-353-1901
Sigma Phi Epsilon - Iowa Beta
228 Gray Ave


  • Dues: $4,850 in house
  • Style of living: 3 person rooms w/ cold airs, and suites
  • Maximum capacity: 46
  • Internet: Ethernet in rooms + new wireless system
  • Cable: cable in common areas + big screen TVs
  • Other Information: - Spring 2022 Chapter GPA: 3.19
    - Spring 2022 New Member GPA: 3.18
    - Full facility renovation complete (August 2011)
    - 23 parking spots
    - 9 meals per week prepared by house cook
    - Home to the 'largest table in Iowa' - seats 40 persons
    - Big screen T.V. and projector in public viewing areas
    - Iconic 'crow's nest' overlooking the property
    - On-site brand new laundry facilities free of use for in-house members
    - Computer lab/study area with academic resources
    - 24 hours of kitchen operation
    - Basketball court
    - Grill
    - Balanced Man Scholarships for Iowa State freshman males
    - Dare to Be Different Scholarship for senior members
  • Freshmen: Live-In or Out