May 18, 1854
Yung Wing, the first Chinese student to graduate from a United States university, was initiated as a member of Phi Chapter at Yale University. A public elementary school in New York City is named in his honor.
May 19, 1954
We salute the groundbreaking contributions to music composition made by Charles Ives (Phi-Yale University) who died this day at age 80. Brother Ives was one of the first American composers of International renown and was one of the first composers to engage in a systematic program of experimental music, with musical techniques including polytonality, polyrhythmic, tone clusters, aleuronic elements, and quarter tones. At Yale, Brother Ives participated in a number of performances put on for the diversion of his fellow Fraternity brothers. The first, on June 14, 1896, was described as a “diverting trifle” for clarinet and piano. This piece, with words added in 1921, became “The Side Show – No. 32 of 114 Songs”. Music to the show include the words and the chorus: “DKE, DKE; You’re the heart we’ve always sought; For thee our battles will be fought; We have thee for our own. DKE, DKE; in Phi will blue throne; as years go by we’ll stand by thee; praise thee in every tone.” On May 28, 1897, Brother Ives prepared an initiation play, “Hell’s Bells”. There was this notation in the program: “Mr. C.E. Ives has furnished much original music for this play; his latest masterpiece will be sung at the close of the 3rd Act. The words were written by F.G. Hinsdale. You are all requested to join in the chorus, but kindly wait until it sounds familiar.” Included in the program were his words to “Hail to Phi”:
All of our labors over now,
Times of parting come to all;
Come they must
Strengthen here the vow,
Phi the brotherhood,
Alter of our faith and trust;
Some of our brothers moving on,
Forth to face the restless world light’s stern fight,
All their sorrows, cares and troubles gone;
Gone, alas: their days in Phi so bright.
Hail to Phi, its blaze of glory,
Never will grow old,
Dear to all they children’s hearts,
Ever faithful as of old.
All our days we’ll love thee, never fail,
When we feel in after life
Chill fortune round us fold,
Then we’ll hasten back to Phi and Yale.
Hail to Phi! Hail to Phi!
Strong the bond. Strong the bond.
Likewise Yale the alma mater.
In various of his later works, songs of the Fraternity are incorporated. For instances, in his Calcium Light Night (1907), he incorporated the DKE song “When in After Years We Take our Children on our Knee ...”, and the DKE marching song “A Band of Brothers in DKE”.
The words to “Pass the Can Along” include the following: “Fill, fill, fill-O, fill the flowing bowl; crown its jungle tied with mirth and glee. Drink, drink, drink – drink with all your soul; a health to me, a health to thee and DKE, come, come; a-drink, a-drink with you; a madly, wildly quaff long and free; to damn, damn, damn the shade of Psi Epsilon; then drink with me a health to thee and DKE”, with the chorus being: “So pass, pass, pass the can along; pass, pass, pass the can along; and drain it with an old Phi song.”
In the book “Charles Ives: My Father’s Song” (Yale University Press), the selection process for membership when Brother Ives was at Yale was described as follows:
This in itself was a distinction since the three junior societies at Yale each accepted only twenty-five of the three hundred sophomore men. Each society had its own distinctive building on campus; Delta Kappa Epsilon’s was a Moorish temple on York Street. Elections of new members to the junior societies were held a week before Senior Tap Day, in a ceremony replete with pseudo-medieval pageantry. The occasion delineated provisional boundaries of social lines during the course of junior year in anticipation of the climatic last year of Yale. The final establishment was accompanied during senior year with the elections of the elite secret societies. On the day of the junior societies’ elections, members of each society robed themselves in their official colors: Delta Kappa Epsilon in red, Psi Upsilon in white and Alpha Delta Phi in green. After dark, a procession formed. Hundreds gathered on the campus to watch the groups, each lustily singing its fraternity songs, converging, intersecting, and at length aligning behind a large calcium light, march two abreast, each man supplied with sparklers and other hand-held fireworks to add to the spectacle. Each group attempted to out-sing the others. Before joining the central procession, small groups from each fraternity proceeded to the dormitory rooms where the new juniors were waiting to find out who would be invited into their ranks. Thus was Charlie chosen for Delta Kappa Epsilon, an event significant enough for him to incorporate it later into a complex musical memoir, Calcium Light Night.
The musical quotations in Calcium Light Night refer to the events of “Tap Day” and the procession associated with the selection to the junior fraternities. The following words were included:
When in after years we take our children on our knee
We’ll teach them at the alphabet begins with DKE
for we always are so jolly-o, jolly-o, jolly-o
for we always are so jolly-o, jolly-o, jolly-o DKE.
as well as the first two lines of the DKE Marching Song:
A band of brothers in DKE we march along tonight.
Two by two with arms locked close & tight.
The Charles Ives Society, Inc. was formed in 1973 to advance the preparation and publication of critical editions of music by Brother Ives.
May 19, 1864
The most famous Deke author, Nathanial Hawthorne (Theta-Bowdoin College) (Honorary) died this day at age 60. Brother Hawthorne was initiated as an Honorary Brother on July 16, 1846. Brother Hawthorne is best known for his novels, Fanshawe (published anonymously in 1828), The Scarlet Letter (1850), The House of the Seven Gables (1851), and Dr. Grimshawe’s Secret, A Romance, unfinished, with Preface and Notes (1882)by his son, Julian Hawthorne (Alpha-Harvard University). The Scarlet Letter was one of the first mass produced books in the U.S., selling 2,500 volumes within ten days. A statue of Brother Hawthorne is in Salem, Massachusetts.
May 19, 1984
Alpha Omega Chapter is founded at Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana when the Charter members of the Chapter were initiated and Alpha Omega became to the third Deke Chapter in the state of Louisiana along with Zeta Zeta (LSU) and Tau Lambda (Tulane). DKE President Henry "Mike" Michaels (Rho - Lafayette College)presided over the installation of the Chapter, conducted by the Brothers of Tau Lambda on the second floor of the mathematics building on the campus. After a long discussion with his uncle, Brother Allen Turpin (Gamma – Vanderbilt University), Chapter founding member Charles L. "Chip" Campbell contacted President Michaels in February of 1982 about the possibility of DKE on the campus. In the December 15, 1982 Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Fraternity , the following was noted: “In concluding his Expansion Report, Brother Payne stated that a full-scale colony program was underway at Louisiana Tech.” In March 1983, the IFC and the Student Government Association notified the Fraternity of their acceptance of the Colony as a campus organization. Brothers Allen Turpin(Zeta Zeta - L.S.U.), Harlem Sager (Zeta Zeta – L.S.U.), Joey Haddad (Zeta Zeta – L.S.U.), and Bill Brown (Chi – The University of Mississippi) worked with the undergraduates to bring about the dream. Following a two year "colonization" period, eleven new Brothers were duly and properly inducted into the halls of DKE. Brother Campbell remembers vividly President Michaels' statement to the new Chapter Brethren at the conclusion of the ceremony that brought tears to his eyes..."Brothers, I am honored by your presence."
May 20, 1913
Mario Garcia Menocal (Delta Chi-Cornell University) is elected as the third President of Cuba. Brother Menocal served in that capacity until May 20, 1921.
May 21, 1932
Theodore Roosevelt Island is dedicated at the memory of the 26th United States President, Theodore Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard University) as the Theodore Roosevelt Island National Memorial. The 88.5 acre island is located in the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. and is maintained as a natural park with various trails and a memorial plaza featuring a statue of Brother Roosevelt. The island is reached by a footbridge from Arlington, Virginia, on the west bank of the Potomac. The 17 foot centerpiece statue of Brother Roosevelt by sculptor Paul Manship features some of the more famous quotations from Brother Roosevelt.
May 21, 2008
Herb Kelleher (Gamma Phi-Wesleyan University) steps down as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Southwest Airlines. Brother Kelleher founded Southwest Airlines in 1971 and, since that time, Southwest has succeeded by offering low fares to its passengers by eliminating unnecessary services and avoiding the “hub and spoke” scheduling system used by other airlines in favor of building traffic in such secondary airports such as Albany, Chicago-Midway and Orange County. Southwest is consistently named among the top five “Most Admired Corporations in America” in the annual poll conducted by Fortune Magazine. Fortune Magazine called Brother Kelleher “perhaps the best CEO in America”. In 1993, Brother Kelleher received the Tony Jannus Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Commercial Aviation Industry. In 2003 he received the Bower Award for Business Leadership and in 2005 he received the L. Welch Pogue Award for Lifetime Achievement in Aviation. Brother Kelleher was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 2004. In July 1010, Brother Kelleher was appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
May 21, 2012
The Dale Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum is opened at the Seattle Centre. The Exhibition Hall, a garden installation and a glass house was designed by Dale Chihuly (Kappa Epsilon-University of Washington) and contains a comprehensive collection of his work as an internationally famous artist. Brother Chihuly has received eleven honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
May 22, 1870
Delta Chapter is founded at the University of Chicago. The existence of the Delta Chapter was comparatively short. In 1885, the University closed its doors and the Chapter suffered a sudden death. In October 1890, the new University of Chicago opened its doors. The first class at the new institution contained three Dekes: E.L. Tupper of Mu (Colgate University); Howard Prescott of Beta Chi (Western Reserve University); and Henry Speer of Epsilon (Williams College). An application for a Charter was made in 1892 and the installation of the new Chapter was performed by the Northwestern Alumni Association in December 1893. The Chapter was designated Delta Delta, rather than just Delta, to reflect the fact that the Delta designation had previously been given to South Carolina College and the sole designation of the University of Chicago as the Delta Chapter was thought to be inappropriate.
May 22, 1898
We salute the authorship of Edward Bellamy (Theta Chi-Union College) who died this day at age 48. Brother Bellamy was best known for his utopian novel, Looking Backward which was published in 1887. The novel featured Julian West who awoke from a hypnotic trance in the year 2000 to find himself in a “socialist utopia”. After the publication of the book, “Bellamy Clubs” sprang up all over the U.S. to discuss and propagate the ideas set out in the book.
May 23, 1959
2,500 copies of “The Songs of DKE” were published and made available. The record was reprinted a number of times and has now been re-mastered in a CD format.
May 24, 1931
Famed gold course architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr. (Delta Chi-Cornell University) designed and built from start to finish the Midvale Country Club Course in Penfield, New York. This was the first course designed and built from start to finish by Brother Jones. However, while at Cornell, Brother Jones designed the back nine of the course which is now named the Cornell Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. The course was not used until 1941 and Brother Jones returned in 1954 to complete the front nine of the course. After receiving his degree, Brother Jones formed a partnership with Canadian architect, Stanley Thompson and helped design several courses in Canada, including the Capilano Golf Course in Vancouver and the Banff Springs Golf Course. The courses designed by Brother Jones are noted for their artistic landscaping, innovative use of bunkers, liberal use of water hazards, and placement of greens and hazards that encourage a high level of strategy. He believed that golf should be a “no risk, no reward sport”.Brother Jones was a founding member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1987. Brother Jones built or rebuilt over 400 courses in 45 states in the United States and in 35 countries. When there was criticism of his remodeling of the Baltusrol’s Lower Course in 1952 and, in particular, a par 3 194-yard hole over water, Brother Jones grabbed a club, marched his critic and a few bystanders to the tee and took a swing, The ball took one hop and went into the hole. Brother Jones then turned and said: “Gentlemen, I think the hole is eminently fair.”Towards the end of his life, he was awakened in his hospital bed to see his two sons at his bedside. Brother Jones asked: “What are you doing here?” He was told by one of his sons: “You had a little setback.” “You had a stroke.” Brother Jones replied: “Do I have to count it?”