January 12, 1917
The dedication and formal opening of the DKE General Fraternity Headquarters and Club in New York in the former Yale Club, was held in the presence of 500 members of the Club who enjoyed the presentation of the beautiful “masque” that Brother Arthur Farwell (Sigma Tau-MIT) had written for the occasion. After the presentation, a banquet followed in the Grill Room. At the entrance, there was carved and granted the letters “DKE”. At that point, the membership of the Club was in excess of 1,200. A full count of the masque can be found in the February 1917 edition of the Deke Quarterly. However, it featured an announcement that the aim of the Fraternity was to “bind in deathless brotherhood the sundered hearts of men”, “in every fair spot to weave the golden, magical web that blesses the hearts it binds”, “here shall you build a House of brotherhood, here ’neath one roof and at one hearth assemble, each serving each concordant with the law we keep in honor ‘friends from the heart forever’”. John Clair Minot (Theta-Bowdoin College) recited his poem “Brothers in DKE” which he had written twenty years previously.At the dinner afterwards, Rear Admiral Robert E. Peary (Theta-Bowdoin College) was introduced and received: “a tremendous ovation, which was renewed when Brother Peary referred in his opening remarks to the DKE flag that he planted at North Pole in 1909, and to the banquet that New York Dekes tendered him upon his return a few months later. Brother Peary spoke briefly of his Arctic experiences, dwelling with special emphasis on his satisfaction that the three great races, namely Caucasian, Ethiopian and Mongolian, were all represented in the party that reached the Pole, and that the achievement itself was the result of pluck and perseverance, sheer grit and human endurance, rather than anything that science or invention has given to the world. In closing, he dwelt eloquently upon the importance of aeronautics in the problem of national preparedness.”
Words of greeting were received from Brothers Mario G. Menocal (Delta Chi-Cornell University), who had just been elected President of Cuba for a second term, former President Theodore Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard College), John Hessin Clark (Beta Chi - Case Western Reserve), the successor of Mr. Justice Hughes to the Supreme Court of the United States, Arthur Twining Hadley (Phi-Yale University), the President of Yale, Richard I. Manning (Eta-University of Virginia), who had just been elected for a second term as Governor of South Carolina, United States Senators Brandegee (Phi-Yale University) of Connecticut and Wadsworth Jr. (Phi-Yale University) of New York, who was the youngest member of the Senate, Henry Cabot Lodge (Alpha-Harvard University) of Massachusetts, President Judson of the University of Chicago, Henry Carter Stuart (Eta-Virginia University), the Governor of Virginia, and Albert J. Beveridge (Psi Phi-DePauw University), the former Senator from Indiana.
January 12, 1981
Robert D. Orr (Phi-Yale University) takes office as the 45th Governor of Indiana. Brother Orr served in that capacity until January 9, 1989. Before becoming Governor, Brother Orr had been Lieutenant Governor of Indiana (1973-1980). In 1986, Brother Orr served as President of the Council of State Governments and as the Chairman of the Midwestern Governors Association in 1986. Brother Orr was appointed by President George H.W. Bush (Phi-Yale University) as United States Ambassador to Singapore and served in that capacity between 1989 and 1992. After he left the ambassadorship, Brother Orr established a consulting firm called the “Alliance for Global Commerce” which focused on international trade and export issues. Interstate 164 in Indiana is named the “Robert D. Orr Highway” in his honor. Brother Orr died on March 10, 2004 at age 86.
January 12, 1991
Zeta Upsilon Chapter is founded at University of California at Davis with the initiation of the Charter Class of 8. The colonization process was assisted immeasurably by Executive Director Emeritus William M Henderson( Zeta Zeta-L.S.U. and Bill Kavan (Theta Upsilon). The Chapter had a short life with the last of about 125 members graduating in 2008.
January 13, 1881
Harris Merrill Plaisted (Xi-Waterville College now Colby College) is sworn in as the 38th Governor of the State of Maine. During the Civil War, Brother Plaisted was promoted to Colonel on May 12, 1862 and led a regiment in several campaigns in the Eastern Theater. He commanded his regiment in the 1862 Peninsula Campaign and participated in the siege of Yorktown and the subsequent Battle of Williamsburg. Later, he fought at the Battle of Seven Pines and in the Seven Days Battles. In 1863, he and his men were involved in the Siege of Charleston and, in 1864, he participated in the Overland Campaign and the Siege of Petersburg. He was brevetted as Brigadier General on February 21, 1865, and as a Major General on March 13, 1865. Brother Plaisted was the Attorney General of Maine (1873-1875), appointed to the 44th United States Congress to fill a vacancy, and served in Congress from September 13, 1875 to March 3, 1877. Brother Plaisted broke with the Republican Party and allowed himself to be nominated for Governor in 1880 by the new Greenback Party. Elected by less than 200 votes, he served as Governor of Maine from 1881 to 1883.
January 13, 1917
The new Delta Kappa Epsilon Club had its first “ladies’ day” at its new home at 30 West 44th Street. The 12-story brick and stone building which formerly housed the Yale Club was remodeled at a cost of $75,000. In the residence part of the Club, there were 70 bedrooms with bath. The New York Times indicated that the “patronesses” included the wives of A. Barton Hepburn (Alpha Alpha-Middlebury College), the former United States Controller of the Currency and President of the Chase National Bank, Harold H. Swift (Delta Delta-The University of Chicago), President of Swift and Company Meatpackers), and James C. Colgate (Mu-Colgate University, member of the Stock Exchange firm of James B. Colgate & Co.). The New York Times article indicates attendance by Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Jr., Mrs. August Belmont (wife of Brother Belmont Alpha-Harvard College), Brother A. Barton Hepburn, and Brother Ogden M. Reid (Phi-Yale University), publisher of the New York Herald Tribune. The new headquarters had been purchased on July 11, 1916 and the total cost including renovations was approximately $500,000. The property was purchased by a syndicate of members in a company known as the D.K.E. Holding Company with that Company leasing the property to the Deke Club. The building is presently occupied by the Pennsylvania Club.
January 13, 1936
We salute the career and military accomplishments of John Biddle (Omicron-University of Michigan) who died this day at age 77. Brother Biddle was the chief engineer of volunteers during the Spanish-American War. He was the engineer-commissioner in charge of public works in Washington, D.C. (1901-1907) and the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point (1916-1917). When the United States entered World War I, Brother Biddle commanded a brigade of engineering regiments and later served as acting United States Army Chief of Staff in Washington.
January 13, 1983
We pay tribute to the contributions to science made by Carroll L. Wilson (Sigma Tau-M.I.T.) who died this day at age 72. Brother Wilson was the first General Manager at only 36 years old of the Atomic Energy Commission which was created in 1946 by President Truman. Brother Wilson was a Professor of Management at the Sloan School at M.I.T., and was the first Mitsui Professor in Problems of Contemporary Technology at M.I.T. Brother Wilson also served as Assistant to the President of M.I.T., Vice President and Director of National Research Corporation, President of Climax Uranium Company, and Vice President and General Manager of Metals and Controls Corporation. To honor Brother Wilson, each year, M.I.T. makes an award of up to $7,000 to graduate students in any M.I.T. department who wish to pursue “exciting and challenging opportunities abroad”.
January 14, 1861
In a letter from James H. Foster, T.R. McFerson and C.A. DeBuler of the Omicron Chapter, the following was directed to the “Gentlemen of the DKE Fraternity”:
“Wishing to have a good Fraternity drafted to this place [The University of Indiana], yours has been recommended to us. There are in connection with the University only three Fraternities at the present time and they are far from what they should be. They do not seek for the best students but strive to see which one of them. Being no honor to be a member of any of them, there are many of the best students that have nothing to do with them. Therefore we do petition you to have a chapter of your Fraternity drafted to this place. There are in connection with the University at the present time about two hundred and fifty students and we think there could be as good a chapter recognized at this place as there is anywhere else.”
The response received from the Omicron Chapter was that before any decision could be made,
“... we shall be obliged to lay a full statement of your claims before our sister Chapters. In order, then, to expedite matters, you will be obliged to bear the expenses of a committee of inquiry to your University. You may think these conditions hard; but you will at once see their necessity, when I inform you that we are constantly receiving similar applications, and that it is only desirable to found chapters in the best institutions in the country.”
The January 14, 1861 letter included the following:
“... that the expenses of a committee from your University to ours would be more than we care about devolving upon ourselves. When talking lately with several of our best students who are willing to go with us if we could get a chapter of your Fraternity drafted, but the expenses of committee would for the time being at least fall upon us three.” That was the end of that effort to establish a chapter at the university of Indiana
January 14, 1969
Louis F. Polk Jr. (Phi-Yale University) is appointed as the President of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. The tenure of Brother Polk was short-lived as he was replaced by new management on October 21, 1969. Previously, Brother Polk had served as a Vice President – Finance International and Development of General Mills. Brother Polk has now established Breteche Creek Ranch as a non-profit foundation to teach individuals and families about the environment. It is based on the Polk Ranch which is about 30 miles east of Yellowstone National Park.
January 14, 2002
Phi Beta Chapter is installed at Stephen F. Austin State University. The Chapter was short lived with the last of about 25 members graduating in 2008.
January 14, 2006
We acknowledge and salute the considerable contributions to journalism of Richard J.V. Johnson (Omega Chi-University of Texas) who died this day at age 75. In 1973, Brother Johnson became the youngest President of a major daily newspaper in the United States when he took over the Presidency of the Houston Chronicle. Following the sale of the Chronicle to the Hearst Corporation in 1987, Brother Johnson became the Chair and Publisher of the Houston Chronicle until his retirement on April 1, 2002. He was also the past Chair and President of the American Newspaper Publishers’ Association, a past Chair and member of the Board of Visitors of The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre, and the Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the Robert A. Welch Foundation. Brother Johnson was also named a distinguished alumnus by the University of Texas Ex-Students’ Association. Richard J.V. Johnson Avenue close to the Texas Medical Centre in Houston is named in his honor. The Richard J.V. Johnson-Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas on February 15, 1985 in his honor.
January 15, 1856
Tau Chapter is founded at Hamilton College, Clinton, New York, with 14 men constituting the Charter Members. For the first 18 months of its existence, the Chapter met in the rooms of the Masonic Lodge in Clinton, New York, and then, for the next ten years, in two rooms in South College assigned to the Chapter by the College. Later, when fraternity lodges were banished from college buildings, the Chapter had rooms in Clinton until the Spencer Homestead at the foot of College Hill was purchased for the Chapter House. This house was destroyed by fire on August 17, 1886. The present Chapter house, built on the site of the old Chapter house, was first occupied in the Spring of 1888. While it was being built, the Chapter rented a neighboring dwelling house.
January 15, 1861
The Minutes of Phi Chapter indicate that a charter was granted on this date to Rutgers College (now Rutgers – the State University). In 1860, a group of undergraduates not attracted to the then-existing fraternities, Zeta Psi and Delta Phi, formed into an association with the idea of obtaining a Charter from DKE. The case was made to Phi and, after investigation, the Charter was granted upon stipulation that the sum of $100 would be paid to Phi. Initiation of the Charter members took place on February 14, 1861, with brothers from the Nu Chapter (College of the City of New York) in charge of the initiation.
January 15, 1861
A charter was requested for LaGrange College (now the University of North Alabama). The charter was not granted by the Phi Chapter
January 15, 1907
George von Lengerke Meyer (Alpha-Harvard University) was appointed as the 43rd United States Postmaster General by President Theodore Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard University). He directed the introduction of the first stamp vending machines and the first coil stamps in the United States.
January 15, 1996
Scott Siman (Gamma-Vanderbilt University) was elected as President and Chairman of the Board of the Academy of Country Music Awards. Brother Siman served in that capacity until 2000. Brother Siman is a leading American country music entertainment executive based in Nashville. He is the President of RPM Management and co-owns RPM Music Group, a Nashville music publishing company. Brother Siman previously managed country music stars Tim McGraw and Julianne Hough. Brother Siman served as senior Vice President of Sony Music–Nashville, where he signed the Dixie Chicks, to their initial recording contract.
January 15, 2006
Ron Ottinger (Sigma-Amherst College) joins The Noyce Foundation as Executive Director. The Foundation was created by the Noyce Family in 1990 to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Robert M. Noyce, co-founder of Intel and inventor of the integrated circuit which fueled the personal computer revolution and gave Silicon Valley its name. The Foundation aims to help young people become “curious, thoughtful and engaging learners” by focussing on a few key areas, including improving the teaching of math, science and literacy in public schools, developing leadership and sports student achievement, education policy and research, and on expanding opportunities for students to experience hands-on science in out of school settings. Prior to serving as Executive Director of the Noyce Foundation, Brother Ottinger was the National Associate Director for the non-profit ABID Center, the college preparation program for low-income students.
January 15, 2008
Barton Biggs (Phi-Yale University) publishes Wealth, War and Wisdom. Brother Biggs is a money manager running Traxis Partners, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund based in New York City. Prior to forming Traxis Partners, Brother Biggs held the title of "Chief Global Strategist" for Morgan Stanley. Brother Biggs has appeared numerous times on CNBC and was a member of the Barron’s Roundtable. Brother Biggs has been named ten times to the “All-America Research Team” of Institutional Investor Magazine, and was voted the top global strategist and first in global asset allocation (1996-2000) by the “Investor Global Research Team” at the magazine. At the website of Smart Money Magazine, Brother Biggs is described as follows: "He's the ultimate big-picture man. As the global investment strategist for Morgan Stanley, Barton Biggs is without question the premier prognosticator on the international scene and a mover of markets from Argentina to Hong Kong. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Biggs wrote the book on emerging-market investing." Brother Biggs is the author of Hedgehogging (2006), as well as a novel about the stock market, A Hedge-Fund Tale (2010).
January 16, 1908
President Theodore Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard University) issued Proclamation No. 796 designating the volcanic rock formations in Central California as Pinnacles National Monument. The protected area is a mountainous area located east of the Salinas Valley in Central California, about five miles east of Soledad and 80 miles southeast of San José. The park features eroded leftovers of the western half of an extinct volcano. Prairie falcons breed in the area with some of the highest densities of anywhere in North America. Peregrine falcons have recently been returned to the park to breed also. The Pinnacles now manage a population of 32 free-flying condors. Pinnacles National Park was created by legislation passed by Congress in late 2012 and signed into law on January 10, 2013.
January 16, 1908
Commander Robert E. Peary (Theta-Bowdoin College) was presented with a Deke flag by the Northeastern Alumni Association at its annual dinner to the St. Regis Hotel. It was this Deke flag that Brother Peary took with him to the North Pole and which is shown in the famous photograph taken at the North Pole. The flag which is pictured is now available for viewing at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Nearly 200 members were present for the dinner and each member present was presented with a bronze bowl inscribed with the letters “D.K.E.”. Beside each plate stood a miniature Deke flag. Before Brother Peary spoke, he was greeted with a Fraternity song “adapted to the occasion” set to the tune of Tammany:
We hail Commander Peary. Theta’s gallant son and bold.
Who has carried to the farthest north the crimson, gold, and blue;
He comes from Maine and rides the main like a Viking, bold and free:
In Zero Land he’s a hero, and he’s a loyal D.K.E.
We salute the groundbreaking scientific accomplishments of Robert J. Van de Graaff (Psi-University of Alabama) who died this day at age 66. Brother Van de Graaff designed and constructed the high voltage generator that is named after him. His initial generator produced 80,000 volts and, by 1931, he had constructed a generator which produced 7 million volts. In 1936, Brother Van de Graaff was awarded the Elliott Cresson Gold Medal, being the highest award given by the Franklin Institute. In the 1950s, Brother Van de Graaff invented the insulating-core transformer which produced high voltage direct current. Brother Van de Graaff also developed tandem We generator technology. He worked and taught at Princeton University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1965, Brother Van de Graaff was awarded the Bonner Prize by the American Physical Society for the development of electrostatic accelerators. The largest air insulated Van de Graaff generator in the world is operational and is on display at the Boston Museum of Science.
January 16, 1989
W. Gaston Caperton III (Beta-University of North Carolina) was sworn in as the 31st Governor of West Virginia. Brother Caperton served in that capacity until January 13, 1997. While Governor, Brother Caperton emphasized education as his first priority and supported a school building program that led to $800 million invested in 58 new schools and 780 school renovations, which directly benefited approximately two-thirds of the public school students in West Virginia. His common refrain for “computers in every classroom” expanded the West Virginia Basic Schools Computer Program so that it now includes all grades of public school. In 1996, Brother Caperton received the Computerworld Smithsonian Award which cited him as a “visionary” who “fundamentally changed the education system in America”. Brother Caperton founded and now runs the Institute on Education and Government at Columbia University. Brother Caperton currently serves as the President of the College Board which administers the nationally recognized SAT and AP tests.
January 16, 2001
Four days before he left office, President Bill Clinton held a ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House when he presented the Medal of Honor to Tweed Roosevelt, the great-grandson of Teddy Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard University). The Medal of Honor citation read:
LIEUTENANT COLONEL THEODORE ROOSEVELT UNITED STATES ARMY
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.
Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt distinguished himself by acts of bravery on 1 July 1898, near Santiago de Cuba, Republic of Cuba, while leading a daring charge up San Juan Hill. Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt, in total disregard for his personal safety, and accompanied by only four or five men, led a desperate and gallant charge up San Juan Hill, encouraging his troops to continue the assault through withering enemy fire over open countryside. Facing the enemy's heavy fire, he displayed extraordinary bravery throughout the charge, and was the first to reach the enemy trenches, where he quickly killed one of the enemy with his pistol, allowing his men to continue the assault. His leadership and valor turned the tide in the Battle for San Juan Hill. Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Delta Kappa Epsilon has more Medal of Honor recipients than any other fraternity: George N. Bliss (Delta Chi-Cornell University); Deming Bronson (Kappa Epsilon-University of Washington); Allen Buchanan (Psi Phi-Depauw University); Richard E. Fleming (Phi Epsilon-University of Minnesota); George W. Ford (Zeta-Princeton University); Webb C. Hayes (Delta Chi-Cornell University); Ruel M. Johnson (Omicron-University of Michigan); Charles P. Mattocks (Theta-Bowdoin College); Samuel E. Pingree (Pi-Dartmouth College); Adolphus Statton (Beta-University of North Carolina); John W. Steele (Kappa-Miami University); Wager Swayne (Phi-Yale University ); Edward N. Whittier (Upsilon-Brown University); and Eri D. Woodbury (Sigma-Amherst College).
January 16, 2007
The United States Navy announced on this day that navy vessel CVN-78 would be named to honor Gerald Ford (Omicron-University of Michigan). On January 3, 2007, former Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld announced that the aircraft carrier would be named after Brother Ford during a eulogy for President Ford at Grace Episcopal Church in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. Later in the day, the Navy confirmed that the aircraft carrier would be named after the former President. The vessel is presently under construction at the Huntington Ingalls Industries Shipyard at a cost of $13.5 billion. It is estimated that it will be commissioned in 2015. The photograph indicates an artist’s rendered of the ship.
January 16, 2011
We salute the considerable contributions to culture and to the State of North Carolina of R. Philip Hanes Jr. (Phi-Yale University) who died this day at Winston-Salem at age 84. A founder of the American Arts Council, Brother Hanes served on the boards of more than fifty national, state, and local arts agencies, was a founding member of the National Council on the Arts, and was a founder and first Chairman of the North Carolina Arts Council. Brother Hanes was the recipient of three Presidential appointments, three honorary university degrees, and 24 arts awards, including the National Governor’s Association Award for the Distinguished Service to the Arts and the 1991 National Medal for the Arts. Brother Hanes donated more than 1000 acres to help establish Stone Mountain State Park in North Carolina. He and his wife personally acquired and protected thousands of acres of property along the New River in southwest Virginia from unwarranted development, including a hydroelectric dam in 1976 and a prison in 1997. Brother Hanes made significant contributions to Wake Forest University and, in 2003, received the Winston-Salem Foundation Award recognizing him for his financial and personal contributions enhancing the quality of life in Winston-Salem. His legacy to Winston-Salem includes the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Stevens Center for Performing Arts, the Winston-Salem Arts Council, the North Carolina Dance Theater, the Stouffer’s Plaza Hotel, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, the Piedmont Opera Theater, and the Trade Street Arts District.
January 16, 2013
The Board of Directors of the Fraternity approved Colony status for a group at Gannon University, located in Erie, Pennsylvania. The University has an alumni base of about 31,500 members and has a current enrolment of just over 4,200 students. For the sixth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” has ranked Gannon University as a Top Tier Master’s University in the northern section of the United States. Gannon also ranked as a Top Up-and-Coming School which is determined by a peer assessment of High-Ranking college officials who recognize institutions “that have recently made the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty, students, campus or facilities”. The private institution was established in 1925. There are seven fraternities and five sororities at Gannon. Approximately 7% of the men on campus join a fraternity and approximately 6% of the women on campus join a sorority.
January 17, 1893
Rutherford B. Hayes (Delta Chi-Cornell University) (Honorary), 19th President of the United States, died this day at age 71.
January 17, 1995
George W. Bush (Phi-Yale University) took office as the 46th Governor of Texas.
January 18, 1867
The 14 Charter members of Gamma Phi Chapter (Wesleyan University) were initiated by a delegation from the Phi-Yale University Chapter who came to Middletown, Connecticut for that purpose. In the Fall of 1864 a Petition signed by seven students was sent to the Phi Chapter for approval. A vote at the 1865 Rochester, New York, Convention turned down the application. During the next year, the petitioners travelled to many of the colleges within reach to form friendships. One of the petitioners, W.E. Lown, left Wesleyan and went to the University of Michigan where he became a member of the Fraternity there. The 1866 Convention was held in Ann Arbor. The petition for a Charter came within one vote of passing at that Convention. At the January 8-9, 1867 Special Convention held at Yale, it was unanimously voted to grant a charter to the Wesleyan petitioners. The 1910 Catalogue of the Fraternity contains the following description by Charter Member George Bushnell Martin regarding how the news of the installation of the Chapter was received by the College:
“The next morning we proceeded with our guests in a body to the Chapel, the shining diamond on our breasts. The Yale delegation took seats with our Senior members. It was a complete surprise – a profound sensation. Our secret, strange as it may seem, had been kept up to that culminating moment. We were congratulated on all sides. The Fraternity had conquered a great name before we had shifted, and no doubt we seem to have grown a little larger to our friends, now that we were fledglings of novo DKE. We were immediately recognized, at all events, as a strong power in the college world, exaggerated, perhaps, but unexpected”
At the time of the installation of the Chapter, none of the fraternities at Wesleyan owned houses. Because of the absense of houses, it was thought necessary to find some means of bringing the members of the fraternities together more often than the meetings would. As well, the cost of living was comparatively high for the times. To overcome these difficulties, the members of the different fraternities made arrangements with some family in town to prepare and serve meals. The Chapter furnished provisions and appointed one of its number to look after matters. Until a house was available, two small rooms on the third floor of one of the stores on Main Street were used for Chapter meetings. In 1883, a substantial stone house on High Street became available. It was leased and substantial improvements were made to the house. The “Kent Literary Club” was organized by members of the Chapter and the building and lot were purchased in 1888. The Kent Literary Club was organized under a special act of incorporation of the Connecticut Legislature.
January 18, 1871
Ozora P. Stearns (Omicron-University of Michigan) was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate from Minnesota to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Daniel S. Norton. Brother Stearns only served until March 4, 1871 in the 41st Congress. Subsequently, Brother Stearns was a judge of the 11th Judicial District of Minnesota (1874-1895). Brother Stearns also served as a Regent of the University of Minnesota (1890-1895). Brother Stearns died at age 65 on June 2, 1896.