Out of Illinois
When the Knights of Classic Lore was founded in 1899 there were no thoughts of ever leaving the bounds of Illinois. This feeling was still present during the initial expansion among several of the alumni and active members of the Fraternity. As a result, following the installation of Delta chapter in 1912, no new chapters were chartered for more than two-and-one-half years.
Voluminous correspondence was carried on with numerous prospects during this time, however, and a group at Iowa State College in Ames was determined, as early as 1913, to petition TKE for a charter as soon as faculty permission could be secured.
One of the first acts of the new Grand Prytanis, Lyle F. Straight, elected at the 7th Conclave in Galesburg, Illinois, April 16-17, 1915, was to receive a petition from this group, known as the Seminoles. The Seminoles were installed as Epsilon chapter on May 28, 1915, as the leadership of the fraternity overcame any desire for provincialism.
With this event, Tau Kappa Epsilon may be said to have acquired a truly national scope. With five chapters, TKE was eligible for membership in the National Interfraternity Council and was admitted as a senior member on November 27, 1915. Tau Kappa Epsilon had, for the first time, crossed the borders of Illinois, had been admitted into the councils of national fraternities, and had completed a period of slow development.
From 1909-1915, TKE had added just four chapters. In the next two years, however, five additional chapters were admitted into the fraternity. The chapters chartered were: Zeta at Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, May 12, 1916; Eta at the University of Chicago, February 17, 1917; Theta at the University of Minnesota, March 10, 1917; Iota at Eureka College, Eureka, Illinois, April 21, 1917; and Kappa at Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, May 12, 1917.
The 8th Conclave convened at Bloomington, April 28-29, 1916, and Frater Straight was re-elected as Grand Prytanis. On April 27-28, 1917, the month of America's entry into World War I, the 9th Conclave was held at Ames, Iowa. Oscar G. Hoose was chosen as Grand Prytanis. The minutes of the Conclave gave no mention of the approaching conflict other than a single resolution, "embodying the spirit of the fraternity with respect to the war situation."