This Week in DKE History November 22nd - November 28th

November 24, 1924

We honor the accomplishments and the contributions to society of Charles S. Fairchild (Alpha-Harvard University) who died this day at age 82.  Brother Fairchild served as Deputy Attorney General of New York, was elected as Attorney General of New York in 1875, and served in that office until 1877.  In 1885, Brother Fairchild was appointed Assistant U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and, on April 1, 1887, was appointed by President Cleveland as the 38th Secretary of the Treasury.  Brother Fairchild served in that capacity to March 6, 1889.  Brother Fairchild was President of the New York Security and Trust Company (1889-1904), and was later President of the Atlantic and Charlotte Air Line Railroad and a director of the Erie and Pittsburgh Railroad.


November 24, 1988

RJR Nabisco, Inc. which had been formed in 1985 by the merger of Nabisco Brands and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, was purchased in the largest leveraged buyout at the time.  At the time of the purchase , John E. Willett (Alpha Tau-University of Manitoba) was the Chair of International Nabisco Brands Inc.


November 25, 1856

Theta Chi Chapter is founded at Union College (Union University after 1873) at Schenectady, New York, as the ninth Fraternity there.  The charter was withdrawn in 1869 when it became apparent that the Chapter was too weak to compete on campus.  The resolution at the 1868 Convention read:  “Resolved that the Theta Chi Chapter of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity be requested to return their charter & records to the Phi Chapter.”  Edward Bellamy was a member of the last class initiated at Theta Chi.  In 1888, Brother Bellamy published “Looking Backward” which was described as a “socialist utopian novel set in the year 2000” At the 48th Convention held in New York in November 1894, a recommendation was made by the Council that the application of students at Union College for the revival of the Chapter not be granted.  At the November 16, 1894 session, it was unanimously voted to uphold the recommendation of the Council that the charter not be revived.


November 25, 1994

David C. Clapp (Phi-Yale University) retired as a partner from Goldman Sachs & Company where he had headed the firm’s Municipal Bond Department.  While at Goldman Sachs, Brother Clapp had been elected Chairman of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board for the fiscal year 1994.


November 26, 1852

Eta Chapter is chartered at the University of Virginia as the first fraternity there and as the 16th Deke Chapter.  There is some confusion regarding the founding date as a November 23, 1852 letter from Mother Phi to the Alpha - Harvard Chapter stated: “We have founded a chapter at the Univ. of Va.” In view of the use of the word “formed”, the traditional date for the founding of the Eta Chapter may be in error.  In a November 29, 1852 letter to the Alpha Chapter, William J. Abrahams of the Charter Class wrote that a charter “has been granted”.  Brother Abrahams concludes: “Our chapter has just been established, but we hope we long to raise it to our convenience at once honorable and conspicuous, and well worth the hope I will have from it.”  The Chapter grew rapidly from its 11 Charter members to a total of 21 members by its second year.

November 26, 1923

The 230 members of the Hasty Pudding Club and the Institute of 1770 (D.K.E.) voted to amalgamate the two clubs into one organization at a meeting held in the Hasty Pudding Club House.  Membership in the Institute of 1770 automatically meant membership in what was the Dickey Club which had been formed after the Alpha Chapter Charter had been surrendered by the Chapter to the Fraternity at the November 1891 Convention of the Fraternity held in Cleveland.  The move to amalgamation was accelerated with the fire that consumed the Dickey House at 6&8 Brattle Street, Cambridge House, on November 27, 1898.

November 26, 1927

Yale University Press publishes “Marching with Sherman – Passages from the Letters and Campaign Diaries of Henry Hitchcock, Major and Assistant Adjutant General of Volunteers” (November 1864-May 1865).  The publication features the works of Henry Hitchcock (Phi-Yale University), a member of the third class of Founding Members of the Fraternity at Yale.  Brother Hitchcock was an early president of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, was a co‑founder of the American Bar Association in 1878, and became the 12th President of the American Bar Association in 1889.  Brother Hitchcock died on March 18, 1902.

November 26, 1968

At the meeting of the Council of Delta Kappa Epsilon the following resolution was passed unanimously:  “Council of Delta Kappa Epsilon approve the application of Gamma Theta Local Fraternity at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, and that this application should be submitted by the Council to each of the Active Chapters for approval pursuant to the provisions of Article X of the Constitution of Delta Kappa Epsilon.”


November 26, 1982

We salute the extraordinary career in education and public service of Gordon Gray (Beta-University of North Carolina) who died this day at age 73.  Brother Gray was the second President of a consolidated University of North Carolina.  Brother Gray was also the 2nd U.S. Secretary of the Army, preceding Kenneth Claiborne Royall (Beta-University of North Carolina).  Brother Gray served as the President of the University of North Carolina between 1950 and 1955.  President Eisenhower appointed Brother Gray to head the Office of Defense Mobilization in 1957 and as his National Security Advisor in 1958.  Brother Gray served in that capacity until 1961. On January 18, 1961, President Eisenhower awarded Brother Gray the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Brother Gray also served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under Presidents’ Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford.

November 26, 2002

J. David Grissom (Iota-Centre College) is appointed as a Director of YUM! Brands Inc., the world’s largest operator of restaurants, with 38,000 locations in over 110 countries.  The company owns KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell. Long John Silver’s and A&W All-American Food locations.  Brother Grissom also serves as the Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Company.  Brother Grissom served as the Executive Vice President of Humana Inc. from 1969 to 1973.  Between 1973 and 1989, Brother Grissom served in various senior positions including Chairman and CEO of Citizens Fidelity Bank & Trust.  Brother Grissom is the Chairman of Mayfair Capital, a private investment firm, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Churchill Downs Inc., and a member of the Board of Directors of YUM!  Brother Grissom served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees as Centre College for more than 20 years and is presently  a Life Trustee of the College.  Along with a number of other Brothers, Brother Grissom was responsible for the reestablishment of the Iota Chapter at Centre College.

November 27, 1898

A fire burned the building at 6&8 Brattle Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, causing a loss of approximately $30,000.  The building housed the Dickey Club of Harvard University which was the successor to the Alpha Chapter after the Charter of Alpha Chapter was removed by the Fraternity in 1890.  The New York Times reported that:  “The building was occupied by more than a dozen tenants, prominent among them being the famous Dickey Club of Harvard University.  The club lost everything in its apartments the value of which can only be estimated.  They had many valuable paintings and pieces of bric-a-brac, which had been presented and collected by the members of the club in years gone by.”  As a result of the fire, most of the records of the Alpha Chapter were destroyed.  Also destroyed were the records of the Dickey Club so that the graduates of Harvard University who were initiated using the initiation of Delta Kappa Epsilon are not all known.  It is known that future President, Franklin Roosevelt, future Senator from Massachusetts, Leverett A. Saltonstall and Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., the father of United States President John F. Kennedy, were initiated into the Dickey Club using the Deke initiation.


November 27, 1915

Charles Blaisdell (Pi-Dartmouth College) is born.  Brother Blaisdell is the only Deke to have served as President of the Deke Club of New York, President of the Fraternity, and the Honorary President of the Fraternity.  The Charles Blaisdell Award is made every year to the most outstanding Deke undergraduate.  Going into his 99th year, Brother Blaisdell continues to attend numerous Deke events that are held in New York and almost always leads the Lion March.

November 27, 1989

We honor the accomplishments and contributions to marketing and business of Walter Hoving (Upsilon-Brown University) who died this day at age 92.  In 1936, Brother Hoving became President of Lord & Taylor, a position he held until 1946.  In 1946, Brother Hoving founded the Hoving Corporation, which held properties including Bonwit Teller, the department store.  In 1955, Brother Hoving bought control of Tiffany & Company.  Under his guidance, the sales of the company grew from $6 million to $100 million.  In 1967, Walter Hoving Home was founded as a non-profit, faith-based rehabilitation center serving women 18 years and older who have been involved in drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution and other life-controlling problems.  The Home was named in honor of Brother Hoving who helped raise money to buy the first facility in Garrison, New York.  Brother Hoving was a cofounder of the Salvation Army Association of New York and was also involved in the United Negro College Fund and the United Service Organization’s USO.

November 28, 1902

A number of Dekes formed the “Jolly Eight” drinking club at Yale University.  The Jolly Eight sent temperance crusader Carrie Nation a tongue-in-cheek letter describing the group as a “party of Yale men who have banded together to promote the cause of total temperance”.  The letter writer praised her efforts to stamp out the use of alcohol and tobacco and asked her for her advice and support.  Mrs. Nation visited the Yale campus a few months later and addressed a small gathering of students who tried to keep straight faces while she lectured them.  On that occasion, she was serenaded by the campus glee club and their rendition of the temperance anthem “Down With King Alcohol” was accompanied by chugging gestures.  After her speech, a group of students appeared at her hotel room to talk with her further and, at one point, they asked if she would pose for a photograph with them.  The photographic process used required not only a flash as the photo was taken, but also darkness in the room before and after.  The lights in the room were turned out and two photographs were taken that day.  The first shows Mrs. Nation seated on her bed with students gathered around her.  In the darkness, the students have produced a beer stein, a tumbler, a cigarette and a pipe to make the setting look exactly like the sort of party that Carrie Nation so strongly disapproved of.  Later the photograph was altered to make it look like Mrs. Nation herself was not just drinking but also holding a cigarette and entertaining the men around her by blowing smoke rings.  The second photograph has Mrs. Nation surrounded by a group of men, one of whom is drinking from a flask, and one of whom is smoking a cigarette.  Three students are seated at her feet pretending to be drunk.  Another is standing behind her holding a coiled rope as if prepared to slip it around her neck.  What was accomplished by the Dekes has been described in a number of places as one of the World’s Greatest Hoaxes

November 28, 1917

The Minutes of the Convention reflected the first time that the initials “DKE” should appear without periods between the letters.  Previously, all references had appeared as “D.K.E.”


November 28, 1920

The possibility of a small charm or pendant that could be attached to a watch chain was discussed and approved.  The General Secretary reported at the 1921 Convention that:  “… the small Alumni charm or pendants for the watch chain had proved a great success and that the Council had already s sold over four hundred”.


November 28, 1967

In a report of the Expansion Committee relating to Delta Gamma Epsilon Local Fraternity at Boston University, it was noted that the group had been admitted to the inter-fraternity Council on October 6, 1967, that the group was founded in September 1967 with the specific purpose of petitioning Delta Kappa Epsilon, and that a visit to the group on October 15, 1967 by Messrs. Henderson and Kelly found them being favorably impressed with the group:  “Its officers are quite polite, intelligent and good-looking.” While the decision was taken to grant the group Colony status, that status was subsequently withdrawn.