Sigma Alpha Tau sorority was started by six residence of Cochran Hall in 1910. The group was made up of three sets of roommates ranging from First to Third year students. The girls started meeting to share friendly discussions and were all members of the Cleiorhetea literary society. However, they later accepted members of both female literary societies at Otterbein. The girls tried to keep their group a secret, however many people that lived in Cochran at the time recall hearing about the social group.
In 1916, the Board of Trustees banned all social organizations due to recommendation from faculty. Sigma Alpha Tau went underground with their meetings and pledging activities.
It was not until 1921 that Sigma Alpha Tau was able to convince a faculty member to sponsor them as a social organization. The group was not allowed to be known by their Greek letters; instead they were known as Owl Club. In order to keep the tradition of Greek letters alive, the alumni organization was known as Sigma Alpha Tau (or, affectionately Sigma).
The Greek letters were again adopted by the active chapter in 1932, when Otterbein faculty approved to allow Greek organizations on campus. The term “Owl Club” had been used for so long that it stuck with the organization, even though Greek letters were allowed to be used.
The first known philanthropy was adopted by the chapter in 1918. The sisters sponsored a French orphan, each donating $1.