This Week in DKE History October 11th - October 17th

October 11, 1877

Rutherford Birchard Hayes, the 19th President of the United States, was made an Honorary Deke at the Delta Chi Chapter (Cornell University).  Brother Hayes had been educated at Kenyon College and had graduated in 1842 prior to the founding of the Fraternity and the Lambda Chapter.  Joining Brother Hayes at the Delta Chi Chapter were his sons, Birchard Austin Hayes (1874), Webb Cook Hayes (1876), Rutherford Platt Hayes (1880) and Scott Russell Hayes (1892).  Brother Hayes served as President between March 4, 1877 and March 4, 1881, so that he had been in office for approximately 7 months before he became an Honorary Member.

October 11, 1885

We honor the memory and the considerable contributions made to education of Burwell Boykin Lewis (Psi-University of Alabama) who died this day at age 47.  Brother Lewis served in the 2nd Alabama Calvary, attaining the rank of Captain.  He then served in the Alabama House of Representatives (1870-1872) and in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1875 and 1876, and again between March 1879 until October 1880, when he resigned to become the President of the University of Alabama.  Brother Lewis served as President until his death.Lewis Hall on campus is named in his honor. 

October 11, 1928

Clarence Barbour (Upsilon-Brown University) is elected as the President of Brown University.   Starting in 1915, Brother Barbour had previously served as President of the Rochester Theological Seminary. Brother Barbour began his duties after the retirement of the previous president in 1929.  Brother Barbour was to be the last of a long line of Baptist ministers to occupy the Presidency of Brown.  Two weeks after Brother Barbour took office, the stock market crash brought the advent of the Great Depression and an end to his plans for an ambitious capital campaign. .  The Clarence A. Barbour Elementary School in Hartford, Connecticut is named in his honor.  On the Brown campus, Barbour Hall Apartments are named in his honor.

October 11, 1910

President Teddy Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard University) took a four minute flight in a plane built by the Wright Brothers, making him the first President to fly in an airplane.

October 12, 1847

Henry Ilsley Ware (Theta-Bowdoin College) became the first initiated member of the Fraternity to die. Out of respect, all brothers in the Fraternity were told to wear black on their badges for a period of 30 days.

October 12, 1971

We honor the memory and significant world-wide contributions made by Dean Acheson (Phi-Yale University) who died this day at age 78.  Brother Acheson served as the 51st United States Secretary of State (January 21, 1949-January 20, 1953).  In that position, Brother Acheson played a central role in defining American foreign policy during the Cold War, helped design the Marshall Plan, played a central role in the development of the Truman Doctrine, and played a central role in the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  Brother Acheson is known as the advisor who convinced President Truman to intervene in the Korean War in June 1950.  Brother Acheson is also said to have persuaded President Truman to dispatch aid and advisors to French forces in Indochina.  After law school at Harvard, Brother Acheson clerked at the U.S. Supreme Court under Supreme Court Justice Brandeis.  In 1964, Brother Acheson received a Presidential Medal of Freedom.  In 1970, Brother Acheson won the Pulitzer Prize for History for his memoirs, “Present at the Creation:  My Years in the State Department”.  In 1993, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 29 cent postage stamp to honor the 100th anniversary of his birth.

October 12, 1990

The film Memphis Belle was released.  The film was a fictionalized version of the plane that flew 25 combat missions over Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and France between November 7, 1942 and May 17, 1943.  Robert K. Morgan (Delta Kappa-University of Pennsylvania) was the commander of the B‑17 Flying Fortress Memphis Belle.  The airplane was named after one of the girlfriends of Brother Morgan.  The Memphis Belle was one of the first heavy bombers in the Eighth Air Force to complete 25 combat missions and was first to return to the U.S. as part of a publicity campaign to sell war bonds.  Brother Morgan was promoted to Major and flew a second combat tour in the Pacific theatre commanding the 869th Bomb Squadron.  On November 24, 1944, Brother Morgan led the first mission of the XXI Bomber Command to bomb Japan.  His B‑29 was nicknamed “Dauntless Dotty” after his wife.  Brother Morgan received a Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters and the Air Medal with ten oak leaf clusters.  In 2001, Brother Morgan published his autobiography, The Man Who Flew the Memphis Belle:  Memoir of a WWII Bomber Pilot.  Brother Morgan died on May 15, 2004 at the age of 86.

October 13, 2002

Julian Porter, Q.C. (Alpha Phi-The University of Toronto), received an Honorary L.L.D. from Queen’s University.  Brother Porter was called to the bar in 1964, appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1976, and is acknowledged as one of Canada’s legal experts in the area of defamation.  Brother Porter is the co-author of the text, Canadian Libel Practice, and has been Bencher (Director) of the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario) since 1999.  Brother Porter was appointed as a Commissioner to the Toronto Transit Commission 1977 and elected as Chairman of the Commission in 1979.  Brother Porter served as Chairman of the Toronto Transit Commission until 1987.  Brother Porter also served as the President of the Canadian National Exhibition and was the youngest person at the time to hold that position.  Brother Porter represented Canada at the UNESCO Copyright Convention in Paris (1971).  Brother Porter has been a director of the Stratford Festival and is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

October 13, 2012

We honor the business career and philanthropy of George S. Pillsbury (Phi-Yale University) who died this day at age 91.  Brother Pillsbury served as a Republican State Senator from 1971 to 1982 and served as a Director of Pillsbury Company which had been founded by his great-grandfather who created the largest flour mill in the world.  Its flour was marketed under the logo, “Pillsbury’s Best Flour”.  Brother Pillsbury and his wife, Sally, were very active contributors to many groups, including the Guthrie Theatre, Planned Parenthood, and Pillsbury United Communities which had been set up by his father and his uncle.  On hearing of his death, former Vice President Walter Mondale stated:  “George Pillsbury was one of Minnesota’s remarkable human beings.  He had along and effective public career, and worked at nudging Minnesota towards a more moderate, sensible course.  He was a Class A example of a moderate Republican in Minnesota and helped bring us together.”

October 14, 1874

The first “Dixie” Convention and the 28th Convention was hosted by the Eta-University of Virginia Chapter in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Nineteen Chapters were represented.  One of the delegates was Frank S. Black (Pi-Dartmouth College) who was later a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1895-1897) and the 32nd Governor of New York (1897-1898).  In that latter capacity, Brother Black was succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard University) who won the Republican nomination after defeating Brother Black for it.

October 14, 1916

The Deke Club and Headquarters was opened when the former Yale Club building at 30 West 44 Street in New York was remodeled, equipped and furnished for the Dekes  The 1916 Annual Message from the Council of the Fraternity contained the following information:  “There are both single rooms and suites.  The rates will enable even our younger members to live in the central location at a cost far lower than is possible for equal advantages elsewhere in such a section.  Rooms and suites may be had at prices ranging from $17.00 to $55.00 per month for one person, if leased by the year, or for shorter periods at slightly increased rates.”  It was necessary to raise $125,000 through the issuance of 5% bonds to purchase the property which was a 12-story building containing about 36 bedrooms and situated on a 50’ x 100’ lot. By 1919, the property was worth $500,000 with a mortgage against it of $200,000 and indebtedness for bonds of $150,000.  In 1925, the building was sold to the Army & Navy Club and a property at 5 East 51 Street was purchased.  The building at 30 West 44th Street is now occupied by the Penn Club.

October 14, 1938

Vincent Hall of the University of Minnesota is dedicated and named to honor George Vincent (Phi-Yale University) who served as the President of the University between 1911 and 1917.  The building houses the School of Mathematics as well as the Mathematics Library.

October 14, 1958

Potter Stewart (Phi-Yale University) replaces Brother Harold H. Burton (Theta-Bowdoin College) as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Brother Stewart had previously served as a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.  Brother Stewart served as an Associate Justice until July 3, 1981.

October 15, 1851

Alpha Chapter is founded at Harvard College. The Chapter was formed as a Sophomore Society so it was possible for members to join DKE in that year and then other societies including Alpha Delta Phi in their Junior year. This problem eventually led to the removal of the Charter in 1891. On April 19, 1991, an attempt was made to revive the Chapter when a number of men were initiated. The attempt was short lived with less than 30 members initiated.

October 15, 1855

Rho Chapter is chartered at Lafayette College as the second fraternity there.  Joshua Williams Kerr and Andrew Cross Trippe were sent to Mother Phi in New Haven to apply for a Charter. The Charter was granted October 15, 1855 and, on the evening of October 21, 1855, the new members were initiated. The initiation took place at the Lenni Lenape Hotel in Phillipsburg, New Jersey in the second floor parlor facing the street.  There were ten Charter members, eight were members of the Washington Literary Society and two were members of the Franklin Literary Society, being the two literary societies on the campus.  At the meeting, the Greek letter “Omega” was taken by the new Chapter but, two weeks later, finding that there was already a chapter designated by that letter, the designation was changed to Rho.  The designation Rho had became available when the Charter that had been granted to the University of Indiana was returned when the Chapter there failed.  Brother John Calhoun Wilhelm designed a diagram which was always posted before a meeting telling the day, hour and place of Chapter meetings.  In this regard, the 1910 Catalogue of the Fraternity noted that the diagram were “. . .  so mysterious that only the brightest of the members could make it out.  It was posted on the various bulletin boards throughout the College.”  The diagram was described as being a large Delta (“Δ”)with a “KE” in the center, the angles marked off and enclosing certain numerals which, when added together in a certain manner, gave the day and hour of the meeting.

October 15, 1874

Beta Chapter is chartered as the 9th fraternity at Columbia University, New York.  About 1865, a local society known as the Alpha Chapter of Psi Phi was founded at what was then called Columbia College. It was this organization that nine years later merged into Delta Kappa Epsilon.  The name was changed to Gamma Beta at the 1888 Convention, after the revival of Beta Chapter at the University of North Carolina.  It was largely due to the efforts of Thomas S. Ormiston (Nu-C.C.N.Y.) that the Chapter was formed.  In the initial years, rooms on Broadway, Union Square, Fourth Avenue, Fifth Avenue and 14th Street were used for meetings.

October 15, 1964

Emory Wendel Clark II (Phi-Yale University) (third from the left) was a member and the Captain of the United States Men’s Coxed Eight team that won the Gold Medal at the Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics.  While at Yale, Brother Clark was the captain of the Yale heavyweight crew.  Brother Clark obtained a law degree at the University of Michigan in 1971 and now practices law in Lapeer, Michigan.

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October 15, 1964

We salute the music icon Cole Porter (Phi-Yale University) who died this day at age 73.  In the 1930s, Brother Porter was one of the major song writers for the Broadway musical stage.  At Yale, Brother Porter sang in both the Yale Glee Club of which he was elected President in his senior year and in the Whiffenpoofs.  While at Yale, Brother Porter wrote a number of student songs, including the football fight songs “Bulldog Bulldog” and “Bingo Eli Yale”.  Brother Porter also wrote and performed in a number of Deke performances while at Yale.  In a “Home Play” in two acts, with music and lyrics by Brother Porter, the following musical number was included:  “I want to be married (to a Delta Kappa Epsilon man)”.  There was one performance of the Play on November 26, 1912 at the Deke House and one on December 4, 1912 at the Hotel Taft in New Haven.  That music was adapted by Brother Porter in his 1912 “A Football King” (“If I Were Only a Football Man”).  A revision was sung by the Yale Glee Club during Brother Porter’s senior year when he served as the Club’s President. The musical “Cora” was performed once on November 28, 1911 at the Deke House with the music and lyrics by Brother Porter.  The musical numbers included “Hello, Miss Chapel Street” and “Mother Phi”.  The words and music to “Miss Chapel Street” are available but those to “Mother Phi” have been lost.  The words and music to “I Want to be Married” feature a “woman” rejecting “Harry” who was a member of Psi Upsilon with the following chorus:

I want to be married
To a Delta Kappa Epsilon man.
I never have varied
From the Delta Kappa Epsilon clan.
I’ve a friend or two in A.D. Phi,
And my mother’s second cousin was a Beta Theta Pi,
But I want to be married
To a Delta Kappa, Delta Kappa, Delta Kappa, Delta Kappa, Delta Kappa Epsilon man.
For they always are so jolly, oh so jolly,
Oh so jolly.
So I want to be married
To a Delta Kappa Epsilon man.

The words were sung by Brother Porter in his role as “Lawrence Thorne, Nephew of General Harrison”.After graduating from Yale, Brother Porter studied at Harvard Law School where he roomed with Dean Acheson (Phi-Yale University) who later served as the U.S. Secretary of State in the administration of President Truman.  In 1948, Kiss Me, Kate began its run of 1,077 performances on Broadway.  The production won the Tony Award for the best musical (the first time a Tony award was made in that category), and Brother Porter won for best composer and lyricist.  The most famous of Brother Porter’s shows include Dubarry was a Lady (1939), Panama Hattie (1940), Kiss Me, Kate (1948), Can Can (1953), Silk Stockings (1954) and the film High Society (1955).  The Cole Porter Collection is housed at the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library at Yale.

October 15, 1971

The Fraternity headquarters were moved to the 29th floor at 155 E. 44th St., New York, after being located for 39 years at the Yale Club, 50 Vanderbilt Ave.

October 16, 1844

The Mother Chapter at Yale College decided to take the Greek designation Phi.  There is no record available as to why that designation was adopted rather than a designation such as “Alpha” indicating the first letter in the Greek alphabet.  The Bowdoin Chapter went without a Greek letter designation for about six months after it was founded.  The Chapter designations appear to have been left to the Chapters, with little guidance from Mother Phi or the Council of the Fraternity once it was formed.  When all of the single Greek letters had been assigned with the chartering of the Nu Chapter at the College of the City of New York (C.C.N.Y.), the next Chapter was designated as Beta Phi when that Chapter was established at the University of Rochester on November 1, 1856.  It is not known whether the designation came as a result of being the “Beta” (or second) Phi Chapter.

October 16, 1882

In a notice to all Chapters, the Advisory Council of the Fraternity noted that the only full collection of songs of the Fraternity was the one published by the Upsilon Chapter, “Some Years Since”.  It was noted:  “Song books have become so rare in Chapter Halls, that in most cases great inconvenience is felt and in several cases has become practically impossible to keep up Chapter custom and initiation rituals from the fact that Fraternity music has left the Chapter with the old members, who used and owned the song books.  Council believes that, after consultation with the chapters, it can collate and publish a collection, which shall comprise fifty or more of those songs, which have been generally approved and, without expense to the Chapters, furnish them with a number sufficient for the use of their active members to be kept by the Chapters.”  In a November 15, 1882 message from the Council to all Chapters, the Council requested that the names of the 25 Fraternity songs “you would especially like to see in a collection, referring to them by name and pages they occur in the present Fraternity Song Book, published by Upsilon some ten years ago” be forwarded.  As a result, the “Songs of Δ.Κ.Ε.” was published by the Council in 1885.  The 48‑page book included “We Hail The Holy Goddess”, “The Peeler’s Defeat” and “Viva La Δ.Κ.Ε.”  The Song Book proved to be so popular that it was reprinted in 1887.  A small pamphlet containing 42 songs was published in 1890 and a new edition was published in 1900 which contained 100 songs.  This was reprinted in 1907, 1917 and 1926.

October 17, 1889

At the 43rd Convention, a Charter was granted to Phi Epsilon Chapter at the University of Minnesota.  Discussion of the possibility of granting a Chapter to Massachusetts Institute of Technology was postponed.  The revival of the Kappa (Miami of Ohio) and Gamma (Vanderbilt University) Chapters was approved. At the Convention, applications for chapters at Northwestern University, Swarthmore College, and Wabash University were denied. At the time, Edward H. Magill (Upsilon - Brown University) was the President of Swarthmore.