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SIHBITDIS: The Real Story

An AD brother from way back when reports:

In 1967 signs with block letter reading “sickness is health, blackness is truth, drinking is strength” appeared on bulletin boards around campus. They were posted by students writing for the Jacko, including one brother from AD. No one really knew what these signs meant, and in fact, they meant nothing. Just an Orwellian joke by the Jacko, but they resulted in some interesting conversations around campus for a few days. Within a week, the entire issue, and it wasn’t much of an issue, had died.

Two years later AD had broken its ties with our national, Alpha Delta Phi, and become a local fraternity. The brothers were creating symbols and a crest for the fraternity. The crest included a “star and eagle” and they were looking for a motto to put on/under the crest. Someone suggested taking the first letters of each word in the “sickness is health…” sign, translating those letters into their Greek equivalent and came up with SIHBITDIS. That is the origin of the word. Remember, this was the late ’60s when students were rebelling against authority and challenging the establishment. There was no serious meaning behind the development of the motto. Was not then. Is not now.

He was there!


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