Sphinx, junior men's honorary society, was founded by members of the junior Literary Class of 1906. The purpose of the founders was to establish a junior society which would be devoted to furthering class spirit and good fellowship and which would lead in the activities of the junior Literary Class.
Since its founding many well-known athletes and men who have been active in the student publications, the Union, and so on, have passed through its ranks. Among its members have been Dean Walter Rea, Bennie Oosterbaan, Tom Harmon, and Ron Kramer. About the middle of the 1920's Sphinx disappeared from the campus for a short time, but returned again in 1926.
The Sphinx signifies an Egyptian group headed by the pharaoh, and the members meet in the temple of the pharaoh. Each member has an Egyptian name.
Originally, the organization was composed of members of the junior class of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, but as the University expanded all colleges of the University, except the College of Engineering, came to be represented in its ranks. The court of the Sphinx serves to maintain a source of leadership service to the University.
In 1956 Sphinx had twenty-eight members. A room for Sphinx is provided in the Michigan Union Tower. This is its first permanent home. The society in 1956 began a campaign to raise money to decorate the room so that it might be available for Sphinx alumni returning to the University.
The colorful initiation ceremony of Sphinx takes place in the spring in front of the Library, when the neophytes, covered with brick dust, bow before the temple of the pharaoh and wade around in the Cooley Fountain pool — "looking for the River Nile."