Maryland Beta History

Initially chartered on October 24, 1943, by ESA Fred H. Turner (Eminent Supreme Archon / National President), Maryland Beta was one of only three chapters established during World War II. It had a long and storied history until it was removed from campus in October of 2004. Efforts to return this old chapter to the University and SAE's active chapter roll began in the summer of 2009 when five University of Maryland students began the re-building process under the tutelage of several local and area alumni, with Charlie Seymour, Maryland 1982, leading the charge.

Phoenix Founding fathers Steven Ballen, Nicholas Caine, Steven Margolies, Sean McGurn and Tom Seymour began a journey that culminated in the return of Maryland Beta to College Park on the eve of its 67th birthday (October 23, 2010). 39 members were initiated during the Phoenix Chartering ceremony held at the Marriott Inn and Conference Center (formerly the Center for Adult Education) on the northwest end of campus, part of the UMUC complex.

A grand re-chartering banquet was held in Heritage Hall in the Xfinity Center (formerly Comcast Center) overlooking Gary Williams court and the Maryland Terrapin's basketball arena. A social hour preceded dinner, followed by a program with remarks from university administration, national and regional fraternity officers & representatives and prominent area alumni. The evening culminated with the presentation of the Phoenix Charter and a facsimile of the original 1943 Charter which is said to have been destroyed by water damage in the former house at #4 Fraternity Row.

One interesting fact about SAE at the University of Maryland is that six university buildings are named after prominent Maryland SAE alumni. Most men were initiated as a "Special Initiate" during the chapter's original chartering on October 24, 1943. The campus buildings include:
  • Byrd (now Maryland) Stadium (original stadium built in 1923 where Fraternity Row now stands; current stadium built in 1950) both named after Harry Clifton "Curley" Byrd (the namesake for Beta in Maryland Beta's chapter name)
  • Holzapfel Hall (building named in 1954) after Henry Holzapfel, Jr., Chairman of the UMD Board of Regents 1941-1943 (recently razed for the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center; family of Trey St. John, Maryland 1987)
  • J. M. Patterson Building (building named in 1954) after J. Milton Patterson, Member of the UMD Board of Regents 1935-1953; this building is home to the Office of Advanced Engineering Education
  • Reckord Armory (building named in 1961) after Major General Milton A. Reckord, State of Maryland Adjutant General; this building houses the Intramural Sports Office and is home to the Maryland Student Officials Association
  • Tydings Hall (building named in 1969) after State of Maryland Senator Millard E. Tydings; this building is home to the College of Behavioral and Social Arts and Sciences
  • Van Munching Hall (building named in 1992) after Leo Van Munching Jr., former Heineken Brewing Company CEO (initiated on March 15, 1947); this building is home to the Robert H. Smith School of Business
The chapter is now in its eighth year of existence since re-chartering. It has a great record in intramural sports participation and an exemplary, diverse and strong involvement in extracurricular activities, service and volunteerism, both on and off the University of Maryland campus.

Extracurricular Activities, Service and Volunteerism
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Phoenix Charter Members 10-23-2010
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Maryland Beta Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity
4423 Lehigh Road, #188
College Park, MD 20740-3127