Alpha Tau Omega (ΑΤΩ) is an American social fraternity founded at the Virginia Military Institute in 1865. The fraternity has around 250 active and inactive chapters and colonies in the United States and has initiated more than 250,000 members.[3] VMI Cadets are no longer associated with the fraternity. In 1885 the VMI Board of Visitors ruled that cadets could no longer join fraternities, based on the belief that allegiance to a fraternal group undermined the cohesiveness of and loyalty to the Corps of Cadets. [4]

Alpha Tau Omega represents one-third of the Lexington Triad, along with Kappa Alpha Order and Sigma Nu. The Fraternity does not have chapters or affiliations outside the United States. The fraternity's non-profit organization is The ATO Foundation, which provides scholarships to its members.


The Virginia Military Institute.

Alpha Tau Omega was founded at the Virginia Military Institute on September 11, 1865 by Otis Allan Glazebrook, Erskine Mayo Ross, and Alfred Marshall. Glazebrook's plan was to use Christian brotherly love as a way to help facilitate reconciliation between the North and South in the aftermath of the American Civil War.[5]

Following Glazebrook, Marshall and Ross, there are two others who are considered "second founders": Thomas Arkle Clark, the first Dean of education at the University of Illinois who served the national fraternity president for all or parts of four terms, and Joseph R. Anderson who was president during a membership crisis.[citation needed]


Alpha Tau Omega has three publications, The Palm, which is the fraternity's semi-annual general magazine; ATO Leader, which is a bimonthly newsletter for chapter presidents and other organization leaders;[5] and ATO Roadshow, which is a website designed to highlight individual chapter accomplishments and combat negative perceptions of fraternities.[6]

Membership programs

The fraternity holds several retreats and training conferences.

Altitude is a five-day leadership retreat in the Rocky Mountains.[7] Participants must be in good standing with their chapter in order to participate.

LeaderShape was started in 1986 by the fraternity, and was exclusive to members until 1988. LeaderShape was spun off into its own organization which holds week-long leadership and networking retreats for college-age students.[8]

The presidents retreat is held every January as training for incoming chapter presidents and vice presidents.[9]

The Emerging Leaders Conferences, formerly known as the Regional Leadership Conferences (RLC), is a leadership training conference.[10]


In 1935, Erskine Mayo Ross started the Alpha Tau Omega Foundation with a donation of $5000. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that provides educational opportunities and scholarships for the members of Alpha Tau Omega.[11]


In 2017, the fraternity at the University of Memphis was suspended for five years due to hazing pledges and not complying with other university rules.[12]

In 2017, the fraternity at Texas State University was suspended for three years after a student had an alcohol-related death at a party they co-hosted.[13]

In 2017, the fraternity at the University of Central Florida was suspended after a woman was raped by two men during one of their parties. The 2017 suspension was the fraternity's third suspension in five years.[14]

In 2015, the fraternity at Indiana University-Bloomington was shut down after a sex tape surfaced involving a fraternity member engaging in sex acts with a female stripper while his fraternity brothers watched and cheered him on.[15]

In 2013, the chapter at Cornell University was shut down for repeated alcohol and drugs violations.[16]

In 2012, the fraternity at the University of Central Florida was suspended for hazing pledges, including forcing one pledge to stand in a bucket of ice water while fraternity members beat him.[17]

In 2008, the chapter at University of Nevada, Reno was put on suspension following controversy over hazing practices. As many as eleven pledges were forced to seek medical attention following their forced consumption of raw chicken, and the branding of the Greek letter Omega on their buttocks using dry ice.[18]

List of chapters

List of Alpha Tau Omega brothers

See also


  1. ^ "Georgia Southern Greek life Alpha Tau Omega page". georgiasouthern.edu. Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  2. ^ "Alpha Tau Omega: Facts and Firsts". ato.org. 
  3. ^ a b c Where Can I Join? JoinATO.com - accessed February 2, 2015
  4. ^ "VMI History and Records FAQ - VMI Archives - Virginia Military Institute". www.vmi.edu. Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  5. ^ a b "Alpha Tau Omega: Expansion". ato.org. 
  6. ^ "WHAT IS ATO ROADSHOW". Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Alpha Tau Omega: Altitude". ato.org. 
  8. ^ "About". leadershape.org. 
  9. ^ "Alpha Tau Omega: Presidents Retreat". ato.org. 
  10. ^ "Alpha Tau Omega: Emerging Leaders Conference". ato.org. 
  11. ^ "Alpha Tau Omega Foundation". ato.org. 
  12. ^ "U of M fraternity suspended over hazing". wreg.com. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  13. ^ Bien, Calily (30 January 2017). "Four Texas State fraternities suspended for alcohol violations". kxan.com. Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  14. ^ Hayes, Christal. "UCF fraternity suspended after cops say woman was raped during party". orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  15. ^ "IU fraternity is shut down less than a day after sex video emerges". indystar.com. Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  16. ^ "Four Greek chapters sanctioned; two others closed - Cornell Chronicle". www.news.cornell.edu. Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  17. ^ "UCF hazing Alpha Tau Omega: UCF suspends Alpha Tau Omega fraternity amid hazing allegations". orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  18. ^ "Nevada's ATO Fraternity Suspended for Hazing". ktvn.com. Retrieved 18 March 2018. 

External links