Pi Kappa Phi has found a home on the “Mother of Fraternities” campus

Since the chapter’s chartering in 1996, Eta Upsilon has leased a small 24-bed chapter house near campus from a local property management company. Now the 115 man chapter will have a permanent home on the campus, one that has a rich Fraternity history.

The Miami University campus is known as the “Mother of Fraternities”, as it is home to the founding chapters of national fraternities Beta Theta Pi, Phi Delta Theta, Sigma Chi and Phi Kappa Tau as well as the sorority Delta Zeta. Ownership of a permanent structure at such a storied institution has been a long process for Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and Eta Upsilon chapter.

In recent years, the Eta Upsilon Housing Corporation and Pi Kappa Phi Properties have pursued a number of opportunities to purchase fraternity houses with little success, until this summer’s acquisition, which will be the chapter home for many years to come. The chapter moved into the property this semester after some initial construction repair work over the summer.

According to the City of Oxford, the chapter’s new home comes with great history. Also known as the David Swing House No. 3, this brick residence with Italianate elements, was built by David Swing, a Miami University graduate who returned to Oxford to teach after studying theology in Cincinnati. The home was built in 1862 as a single family residence. The “No. 3” designation comes from the fact that it was the third residence Swing built on campus. Coincidentally, it was also located on lot #3 of Campus Avenue. This house was the grandest of the three. It was the home to the growing family of Elizabeth (Porter) and David Swing until the Swings moved to Chicago in 1866, where Rev. Swing became a nationally known minister.

For almost a decade it was a fraternity house before being purchased by geology professor William Shideler, who lived in the property until the late 1950’s. The university owned the property for a time and leased the land to Acacia Fraternity in the 1960’s. Soon after, Acacia Fraternity acquired the property and land and enlarged the house with a two-story addition to the rear of the building.

For more information about the property, please contact Pi Kappa Phi Properties by e-mailing them at properties@pikapp.org