This Week in DKE History June 1st - June 7th

June 2, 1983

Dr. James F. Glenn (Beta Phi-University of Rochester) is appointed as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mount Sinai Medical Centre, New York City.  Brother Glenn previously served as a resident in urology at Duke Medical Center and as a Fellow at Yale School of Medicine.  Between 1963 and 1980, Brother Glenn served as a Professor and Chief of Department of Urology at Duke Medical Center, Dean of Emory University School of Medicine (1980-1983), Director of the Markey Cancer Centre at the University of Kentucky (1989-1993), Chief of Staff at UK Hospital (1993-1996), and the Acting Chairman of Surgery at UK Medical Centre (1996-1998).  The Glenn Building on the Transylvania University campus was funded by him and his named in his honor.  A past President of the Société Internationale d’Urologie, Brother Glenn received that organization’s highest honor in 2007.  In 1994, Brother Glenn received the AUA Lifetime Achievement Award.

June 3, 2000

We salute the outstanding contributions to society made by William E. Simon (Rho-Lafayette College) who died this day at age 73.  Brother Simon served as the 63rd U.S. Secretary of the Treasury between May 9, 1974 and January 22, 1977 under Presidents Nixon and Ford.  On April 8, 1975, President Ford (Omicron-University of Michigan) also named Brother Simon as the Chair of the newly created East-West Foreign Trade Board.  Previously, Brother Simon simultaneously launched and administered the Federal Energy Administration at the height of the oil embargo, becoming known as the high profile “Energy Czar”.  In 1977, Brother Simon received the Alexander Hamilton Award, the highest honor of the Treasury Department.  In 1976, Brother Simon was presented with the Collar of the Republic/Order of the Nile by President Anwar Sadat of Egypt.  After leaving government service, Brother Simon was the Vice Chair of Blyth Eastman Dillon for three years and later cofounded Wesray Capital Corporation.  In 1988, together with his two sons, Brother Simon, founded William E. Simon & Sons, a global merchant bank with offices in New Jersey, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.  Brother Simon was an active member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, serving as Treasurer (1977-1981) and as President (1981-1985).  He Chaired the U.S. Olympic Foundation (1985-1997) and was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1991.  Brother Simon served as either an officer or a member of the Boards of the Jesse Owens Foundation, the Basketball Hall of Fame, the National Tennis Foundation and Hall of Fame, the U.S. Amateur Boxing Foundation, the Women’s Sports Foundation, and the World Cup-94 Organizing and Executive Committees.  At the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Brother Simon established the William E. Simon Centre for the Professional Ethic.  At the U.S. Air Force Academy, Brother Simon established the William E. Simon Centre for Strategic Studies.  In 2004, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute dedicated a $40,000 cash prize to honor Brother Simon. Each year, the William E. Simon Fellowship for Noble Purpose has been awarded to a college senior desiring to live a life dedicated to serving humanity.  Since 2001, the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership has been awarded to recipients to “highlight the power of philanthropy to promote positive change and to inspire others to support charities that achieve genuine results”.  The Prize is given to living donors who have “shown exemplary leadership through their own charitable giving, either directly or through foundations they have created”.  The prize carries a $250,000 award which is provided to the charity or charities of the recipient’s choice.  Brother Simon was a loyal Deke.  Along with President Ford, Brother Simon served as Honorary Chairman of the Rampant Lion Foundation from his inception in 1982 until the time of his death.

June 4, 1867

Eta Alpha Chapter is founded at Washington College (after March 16, 1871 Washington & Lee University).In its 11 year history, the Chapter initiated only 50 members. It became inactive after the 1878 Convention resolved that the Charter be removed.  At the 1881 Convention, a committee had been appointed to look into the Charter of the Chapter and, at the 1883 Convention, it was moved that the Council of the Fraternity had discretionary power to establish “temporary societies” at Washington and Lee University “looking towards the re-establishment of our former Chapters”.  That motion was opposed by the University of Virginia Chapter.  At the 40th Convention held in Washington, D.C. in January 1887, the following comment was made regarding Washington & Lee University:  “This institution, the site of our old Eta Alpha Chapter, has been put of late years on a somewhat better financial basis than formerly, is destined to receive a fine class of students, and has fair prospects of honorable provenance.  The prospects, however, do not seem to the Committee as yet so assured as to justify more than this recommendation, viz – that generous consideration be given that institution whenever the revival of our Eta Alpha theirs shall be favored by.”  An 1892 message from the Council acknowledged receipt of an application for a charter at Washington & Lee University and communications from various alumni, but the conclusion reached was that:  “… the time was not yet ripe, nor the circumstances entirely favorable for the revival of this Chapter, and therefore makes no recommendation to the Convention on the subject.”  The 1907 Annual Message from the Council indicated that formal applications for charters had been received from a number of schools, including Polytechnic Institute at Worchester, Massachusetts, the University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University at Columbus, Ohio, the University of Indiana at Bloomington, Indiana, and Washington & Lee University at Lexington, Virginia.  The 1907 Annual Message from the Council referred to the application from Washington and Lee  as follows: 

It is not an application from a body of students at an institution which have never had a chapter, but comes as an attempt to revive a chapter which has been inactive for about thirty years.  The circumstances under which the Eta Alpha Chapter became inactive were such as to deserve commendation.  When the members of the Chapter felt that the institution was not at that time in a position to support a strong and worthy Chapter of DKE, they voluntarily surrendered their Charter.  Now, after many years now, after many years, Washington and Lee University appears to be coming to the front again, and the body of students there hopes for a revival of the old Chapter.

The 1908 Convention voted that the Theta Chi Society of Washington & Lee University not be granted a Chapter.  The Trident Club at Washington & Lee University applied in 1916 and 1917 and the Minutes of the 1918 Convention reflect that the Trident Club had withdrawn its application and had accepted a charter from another Fraternity. Since 1918, no further attempts have been made to revive the Chapter.

June 4, 1964

We honor the memory and accomplishments of Adolphus Staton (Beta-University of North Carolina) who died this day at age 85.  Brother Staton received the Medal of Honor for actions at the United States occupation of Vera Cruz in 1914, and was awarded the Navy Cross in World War I for his actions when his ship, the Mount Vernon, was torpedoed.  Brother Staton served in World War II and retired from the miliitary in 1947.  Before retiring, Brother Staton attained the rank of Rear Admiral.

June 5, 1852

Lambda Chapter is founded at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio.  While the papers from Phi were received on that date, the Charter was not officially drawn until January 17, 1853.  The 1910 Catalogue contains the following:  “The first chapter of any fraternity founded at Kenyon, the first Dekes had to contend with the feeling against secret societies which pervaded all college faculties in the early and precarious days of fraternities.”  “In 1852, through the medium of Gibson Atherton, who was a student at Miami University which had just become a Chapter of the Fraternity and Homer Thrall, a junior at Kenyon, several students made application for a Charter.”  “By the time the necessary papers had been procured, in those days of slow communication, only W.J. Boardman and William Kinney were left at Kenyon.  At the first real meeting after organization, fourteen new members were initiated.”  “At that time, a law existed at Kenyon against secret fraternities and certain expulsion awaited all who should be discovered connected with them.  This very fact only rendered membership more desirable.”  “The meetings were held sometimes in the old College belfry, sometimes in an unused log hut, a mile east of the College, sometimes in the house of a friendly farmer who was in on the secret.  For more than a year, this secrecy was maintained and not until the class of 1854 graduated with their pins prominently displayed for the first time, did the faculty have a suspicion of what was going on.  The authorities finding the Chapter so firmly entrenched decided to recognize it, but only on the condition that a faculty members should attend the meetings.”  “After the ban of secrecy was removed, the members of the Chapter determined to erect a building and at length selected a site in a deep and unused ravine surrounded by dark and gloomy woods.  It was then a mile distant from any dwelling.  The College authorities now encouraged the idea and even deeded to the Chapter the lot on which the new building was located.  With no alumni to fall back upon and viewed with suspicion by the townspeople, the erection of even the unpretentious log cabin was a task.  Some little money was contributed by the members from their own pockets, but the work was done almost entirely by the boys themselves.  The entire cost of this first humble home of the great DKE Fraternity was only $50!  That ‘Log Cabin Lodge’ was the first building in North America ever used exclusively for fraternity purposes.  In 1871, owing to its decayed condition, the old log cabin was abandoned, and the present lodge house built."

June 5, 1925

William DeWitt Mitchell (Phi Epsilon-University of Minnesota) was appointed by President Coolidge as the 18th U.S. Solicitor General.  Brother Mitchell later served as the Chief Counsel of the Joint Congressional Committee investigating the attack on Pearl Harbor.

June 5, 1940

We applaud the contributions to medicine made by Dr. Ben Witt Key (Gamma-Vanderbilt University) who died this day at age 57.  Brother Key was one of the first ophthalmologists to perform the transplantation of the cornea of the human eye.

June 5, 1953

We salute the great tennis player Bill Tilden (Delta Kappa-University of Pennsylvania) who died this day at age 60.  Brother Tilden was the #1 world tennis player for seven years, winning 14 major tournaments including ten Grand Slams and four Pro Slams.  In his 18‑year amateur period (1912-1930), Brother Tilden won 138 of 192 tournaments, and had a match record of 907-62.  Between 1920 and 1926, Brother Tilden led the U.S. team to seven consecutive Davis Cup victories, a record that is still unequalled.  He won the U.S. National Championship six times in succession and seven times altogether.  He won the doubles championship five times and the mixed doubles four times.  He won the Wimbledon singles competition three times.  In 1931, his serve was timed at 163.3 mph.  In 1931, Brother Tilden turned professional and joined the fledgling pro tour.  In his 1979 autobiography, Jack Kramer included Brother Tilden in his list of the six greatest players of all time.  Brother Tilden was named as the world’s best player for seven years, second only to Pancho Gonzales, who had eight #1 ratings.  In 1950, an Associated Press poll named Brother Tilden as the greatest tennis player of the half century.  Brother Tilden was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island in 1959.

June 5, 2006

Michael M. Wood (Phi-Yale University) took office as the United States Ambassador to Sweden.  Brother Wood was appointed by President George W. Bush (Phi-Yale University).  Brother Wood was the cofounder and CEO of Hanley Wood LLC, the leading media company in the housing and construction industry and one of the ten largest business-to-business media companies in the United States.  On June 16, 2005, Brother Wood was the recipient of the Top Executive of the Year Award from Media Business Magazine.  Brother Wood served as Ambasssador until June 20, 2009.  In recognition of his work as Swedish Ambassador, His Majesty The King of Sweden made Brother Wood a Commander Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Polar Star, an order of merit given by the Cabinet of Sweden to foreign citizens who have made significant contributions to Sweden.  On February 6, 2009, Brother Wood was presented with the William Wachtmeister Award for advancing Swedish-American relations.  On October 22, 2008, Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Maud Olofsson presented Brother Wood the ESBRI Award for the person who has done the most for entrepreneurship in Sweden.  Brother Wood is presently the Chairman of Redwood Investments LLC, a Washington D.C. investment company concentrating in media, real estate, and alternate energy.

June 6, 1884

James G. Blaine (Theta-Bowdoin College) (Honorary) was selected as the Presidential candidate for the Republican Party, defeating Chester A. Arthur, who later became the 21st United States President after the assassination of President James A. Garfield.  Brother Blaine later served as Secretary of State in the cabinets of James Garfield and Chester A. Arthur.  Also on the Republican ballot on June 6 was Robert Todd Lincoln (Alpha-Harvard University), the son of President Lincoln, and William Tecumseh Sherman (Pi-Dartmouth College) (Honorary).  Brother Lincoln subsequently served in the cabinet of President Garfield as the Secretary of War.

June 6, 2001

Donald B. Ensenat (Phi-Yale University) is appointed by President George W. Bush (Phi-Yale University) as the United States Chief of Protocol at the United States Department of State.  Brother Ensenat served in that capacity until February 18, 2007.  Brother Ensenat was also a graduate of Tulane University Law School.  Brothers Ensenat and Bush lived together in a Texas apartment after they both graduated from Yale.  When he retired, Brother Ensenat was the second-longest serving Protocol Chief in history.  Brother Bush referred to Brother Ensenat as “Enzo”.  Not long after Brother Bush took office in 2001, the two fraternity brothers found themselves standing next to each other awaiting the first meeting with Russian President Putin.  Brother Bush leaned over to Brother Ensenat and whispered:  “Enzo, this is a long way from the Deke House, isn’t it?”  Brother Ensenat also served as Legislative Assistant to Congressman Hale Boggs, the Majority Whip, and later the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives (1969-70), as the Assistant Attorney General of Louisiana in charge of Federal Court and of Louisana Supreme Court litigation (1975-80), the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (1989-92), U.S. Ambassador to Brunei (1992-93), President and Chairman of the 2,200 member World Trade Centre of New Orleans, President of the Yale Alumni Association of Louisiana (1985-87), Chair of the Yale Admissions Committee (1988-2001) and Chair of President George W. Bush’s Presidential Election Campaign in Louisiana (2000).

June 7, 1969

Chambers House on the River Campus of the University of Rochester is opened and named to honor Victor John Chambers (Beta Phi-University of Rochester) who was the head of the Chemistry Department (1908-1939) and the Dean of Graduate Studies (1934-1940 of the University ).  Chambers House provides upper class housing for students at the University.  It is located as part of the Hill Court Residence Halls which are adjacent to Joseph C. Wilson Boulevard which was named after Brother Wilson (Beta Phi-University of Rochester), the founder of Xerox Corporation.

June 7, 1972

We salute the writing accomplishments of Ken Purdy (Rho Delta-University of Wisconsin) who died this day at age 59.  Brother Purdy is considered by some as one of America’s greatest automotive writers and editors.  He was an associate editor of Look Magazine, the editor of Victory Magazine during World War II, the editor at Parade, Car and Driver, Argosy and True Magazines (late 1940s-mid 1950s).  Brother Purdy produced 35 short stories for Playboy and won Playboy’s annual writer’s award three times.  The International Motor Press Association annually presents the Ken W. Purdy Award to a writer for an outstanding body of work or a specific piece of work that deals with the automotive world.

June 7, 1984

Duncan Andrews (Rho-Lafayette College) was named Executive Director of the Fraternity as well as Editor of the Deke Quarterly.  Brother Andrews served in that capacity until December 31, 1989.  Brother Andrews then served as the Editor of the Deke Quarterly until December 31, 1998.