May 23, 2019  

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Phi Kappa Tau Celebrating 70 Years at Southern Miss

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The Beta Epsilon Chapter of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity at Southern Miss celebrated its 70th anniversary Oct. 15 (Submitted photo).

One of the oldest Greek Life organizations at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is marking its 70th anniversary during homecoming week at the school.

The Beta Epsilon Chapter of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity was chartered on the USM campus Oct. 15, 1948, when the university was known as Mississippi Southern College. With more than 2,000 members that include current students and alumni, the chapter has operated continuously for seven decades. Its primary charity beneficiary is the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which provides programming and support for seriously ill children and their families (

“The 70th anniversary of Phi Tau is a significant milestone for the chapter here at USM. Probably even more significant is that this has been continuous operation,” said USM Assistant Vice President for Student Life Dr. Denny Bubrig. “For the Phi Taus to have accomplished both of these is a testament to both their current undergraduate leaders, and those who have come before them. We’re certainly proud of them, and look forward to many more years of Phi Tau at USM.”

Current members, alumni, USM officials and friends of the chapter gathered this past Monday at the Phi Tau house to celebrate the occasion of more 70 years of brotherhood.

“Phi Tau has been a great opportunity for me to grow as a leader, and to experience so many events sponsored by our fraternity across the country that allowed me to meet with and learn from other Phi Taus,” said Beta Epsilon Chapter President Taylor Smith, a graduate student from Crystal Springs, Miss. “The chapter’s brotherhood has positively enhanced my experience at USM.”

Stephan Nelson, owner of S.M.N Properties in Biloxi, Miss., is an alumnus of the chapter and remains active with the fraternity at the local and national level. He served in a variety of offices with the fraternity as an undergraduate at USM, including as rush chairman, membership orientation officer and twice as president. He was also president of the USM Interfraternity Council (IFC).

Nelson was on the fraternity’s National Board of Directors from 2003-2010; served as national vice president from 2010-2012; as national president from 2012-2014; and as chairman of the board of directors from 2014-2016.

“Looking back over the last 40-plus years of my life, I never realized was kind of impact a simple decision joining a fraternity as an 18 year-old freshman at USM would have,” Nelson said. “It has had a far-reaching, positive effect on me to be associated with the thousands of Phi Tau brothers, both in my chapter and across the country, who are leading, learning and serving in every part of our society.”

For more information about the Beta Epsilon Chapter of Phi Kappa Tau at Southern Miss, visit On Facebook, visit