The college fraternity community is as old as the republic it serves: it was in 1776 that the first secret Greek letter society came into existence. It was the custom for students at the College of William and Mary to gather in the Apollo Room of Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, Va., to discuss the affairs of the day. On the night of Dec. 5, 1776, five close companions stayed after others had left. When they finally arose to go, Phi Beta Kappa had been born. A secret motto, grip, badge and a ritual were later adopted. Fraternity, morality and literature were symbolized by stars on the silver membership medal.