This Week in DKE History January 26th - January 31st

January 26, 1866

By a 5 to 1 vote (with Lambda-Kenyon College voting against), the June 20-21, 1866 Convention approved the granting of a Charter to Genesee College, Lima, New York.  Even though the Convention Minutes reflect a resolution that the Phi Chapter be requested “at the earliest moment” to forward the application “of the Genesee Coll. applicants to Beta Phi “ (The University of Rochester), the Charter was not issued by Mother Phi. In the 1910 Catalogue, the authors state that a formal application for a Charter was refused in 1866 as the: “Affairs of Genesee College were in too dubious a condition to permit a charter being entrusted to its students. The institution was tottering, and none knew what its fate would be.” At a Special Convention of the Fraternity held at Yale on January 8-9, 1867, the Committee on Genesee College reported and recommended that the action of the Phi Chapter be sustained and that the Charter granted by the last Convention to Genesee College be withdrawn.  After a lengthy debate, the Convention dealt with a motion “To refuse granting a charter to Genesee College.” That motion passed by a 8 to 3 vote, with only Beta Phi-Rochester, Tau-Hamilton College, and Epsilon- Williams College opposed.  Genesee College had been founded in 1832 as the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary by the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1850, it was resolved to enlarge the institution from a seminary into a college.  At the same time that Genesee College began looking for a new location, Syracuse, which was 90 miles to the east, was engaged in an attempt to establish a college.  In 1869, Genesee College obtained New York State approval to move to Syracuse but the City of Lima obtained a court injunction to block the move. On March 24, 1870, the State granted a charter independent of Genesee College and the new university at Syracuse opened in September 1871.  The Phi Gamma Chapter at Syracuse University was chartered on November 17, 1871 as the first fraternity at Syracuse.  It is not clear whether all of the petitioners from Genesee College were actually initiated into the Fraternity.  At least two members of the Genesee group were initiated, one at Gamma Phi-Wesleyan University and one at Phi Gamma-Syracuse University. Genesee  College did fail (1875). The former site of the College is now occupied by the campus of Elim Bible Institute.  The Genesee Wesleyan Seminary and Genesee College Hall were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

January 26, 1935

We salute the athletic accomplishments of Jay Gould II (Gamma Beta-Columbia University) who died this day at age 47.  Brother Gould was the grandson of the railroad magnate, Jay Gould, and was the world champion amateur tennis player (1914-1916), and the Olympic gold medalist in 1908.  Brother Gould held the United States Amateur Championship tennis title between 1906 and 1925, during which time he never lost a set to an amateur player from the United States and lost only one singles match to the English champion.  The Gould Estate in Lakewood, New Jersey, is now the site of Georgian Court University.  A tennis court built for Brother Gould by his father at the family estate was restored in 2005 by the University.

January 26, 1991

Phi Sigma Chapter is founded at Bryant College (Bryant University after 2004) in Smithfield, Rhode Island.  The petitioning group had been Phi Sigma Nu Local Fraternity and the Chapter continues to bear both that name and Delta Kappa Epsilon on campus. The Chapter has retained many of the traditions of Phi Sigma Nu. The World Trade Center on campus is named in honor of John Chafee (Phi - Yale University), the 60th Governor of the State and the 59th Secretary of the Navy.

January 27, 1909

Robert Bacon (Alpha-Harvard University) is appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard University) to serve as the 39th United States Secretary of State.  Brother Bacon later served as United States Ambassador to France between 1909 and 1912.  During WWI, Brother Bacon served as Chief of the American Military Mission at British General Headquarters.  Prior to becoming Assistant Secretary of State on September 5, 1905, Brother Bacon acted as the chief lieutenant of J.P. Morgan and participated in the formation of the United States Steel Corporation and the Northern Securities Company.

January 28, 1969

Calvin Hill (Phi-Yale University) is chosen in the first round of the NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys, becoming the first player from an Ivy League school to have the distinction of being drafted in the first round.  Brother Hill played in Dallas for six seasons under Coach Tom Landry (Omega Chi - University of Texas). Brother Hill helped the Cowboys win one Superbowl and two NFC Championship games.  Brother Hill played in the 1969, 1972, 1973 and 1974 Pro Bowl games and was named All-Pro in 1969 and 1973.  The Calvin Hill Day Care Centre in New Haven, Connecticut, is named after him to honor his work with children.

January 28, 2001

Max Weitzenhoffer Jr. (Rho Lambda-University of Oklahoma) purchases the Vaudeville Theatre on The Strand in London, England.  In September 2005, Brother Weitzenhoffer formed the Nimax Theatres Group which now owns four of London’s most historic and beautiful theatres, The Apollo Theatre, the Garrick Theatre, the Duchess Theatre and the Lyric Theatre.  In January 2006, along with his business partner, Nica Burns, Brother Weitzenhoffer was named as the “fifth most important person in British theatre”.  Brother Weitzenhoffer was also active in the New York theatre scene, having produced Dracula (1977), Harold and Maude (1980), Pump Boys and Dinettes (1982), Blood Knot (1985), Burn This (1987), Largely New York (1989), The Will Rogers Follies (1991), Medea (2002), A Moon For the Misbegotten (2007) and American Buffalo (2008).  Brother Weitzenhoffer twice received the Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award  : for Dracula – Best Revival (1978) and for The Will Rogers Follies – Best Musical (1991).  Brother Weitzenhoffer was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1994.  At the University of Oklahoma, the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts includes the Schools of Art and Art History, Dance, Drama, Music and the A. Max Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre.  Brother Weitzenhoffer and his wife have made a number of generous gifts to the University of Oklahoma, including their donation of French Impressionist art in 2000 which was the largest single gift in the University of Oklahoma history.  Brother Weitzenhoffer also endowed the Weitzenhoffer Scholarship for Technical Theatre and the Frances R. Weitzenhoffer Memorial Fellowship in Art History in honor of his first wife.  The contributions of Brother Weitzenhoffer to the University of Oklahoma were recognized by a Regents Alumni Award, a Distinguished Service Citation, and an honorary doctorate.  In 2003, Brother Weitzenhoffer was appointed to a seven-year term on the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma.  Brother Weitzenhoffer has also served as Chairman of the Board of Regents at the University. Brother Weitzenhoffer has also been a generous contributor to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City which features the A. Max Weitzenhoffer Collection of Fine American Firearms.  For many years, Brother Weitzenhoffer represented the Rho Lambda-University of Oklahoma Chapter on the Council of the Fraternity.

January 28, 2011

We salute the business career and the philanthropy of F. Peter Cundill (Tau Alpha-McGill University) who died this day at age 72.  Brother Cundill created the Cundill Value Fund in December 1974 which ultimately developed into IGMF Financial, Canada’s largest mutual fund seller.  In 2008, Brother Cundill donated $1.25 million to create the Peter Cundill Fellowships in History and to establish the Cundill International Prize in History at McGill University.  The fund allows a $75,000 prize to be available to the author of a book with a “profound literary, social and academic impact in the area of history”.  In 2001, Brother Cundill received an Analysts’ Choice Career Achievement Award for his outstanding lifetime achievements in the financial industry.  Over the years, Brother Cundill lived in Montreal, Vancouver and London, England as he carried on his investment career.  In 2006, Brother Cundill was diagnosed with Fragile X Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome, an as yet untreatable neurological condition.  The Cundill Foundation was created to support a wide range of charities, as well as research projects and educational and enterprise gifts to young people.  Brother Cundill was the author of the book, “There’s Always Something To Do – the Peter Cundill Investment Approach” which was published only several days before his death.  Brother Cundill was instrumental in arranging a reunion of McGill Dekes in 2009.

January 29, 1869

Francis A. Walker (Sigma-Amherst College) is appointed the Superintendent of the 1870 Census.  Brother Walker also served as the Superintendent of the 1880 Census, Commissioner of Indian Affairs (1871-1872) and President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1881-1897).  At M.I.T., the Walker Memorial Hall was dedicated to Brother Walker in 1916.  At Amherst, Brother Walker initially joined Alpha Sigma Phi, but withdrew from that fraternity on account of “rowdyism” before joining DKE.  As a member of the 15th Massachusetts Volunteers, Brother Walker injured his knee during the Battle of Cold Harbor, which is the same battle where Brother Edwin S. Rogers (Theta-Bowdoin University) was mortally wounded and whose memory is set out in the poem, “Brothers in DKE”.


January 29, 1888

Long Beach, California, is incorporated as a City with George H. Bixby (Phi-Yale University) selected as one of five trustees. Long Beach had been developed by Brother Bixby and his father. Brother Bixby also served as Director of the Los Angeles Dock and Terminal Company which developed the Long Beach Inner Harbor, Director of the Seaside Investment Company which owned and operated the Hotel Virginia, the Vice President of the National Bank of Long Beach, and the President of the Long Beach Savings Bank & Trust Company.  Brother Bixby was the Chair of the Los Angeles County Highway Commission up until August 1911 and also served as the Highway Commissioner for four years.

January 29, 1902

John F. Dryden (Phi-Yale University) was elected as a United States Senator from New Jersey.  He served in that capacity until March 4, 1907.Brother Dryden is better known for founding Prudential Financial in 1875.  Brother Dryden was also one of the founders of Fidelity Trust Company.

January 29, 1938

We salute the artistic contributions of Troy Kinney (Phi-Yale University) who died this day at age 67.  As an artist and etcher, Brother Kinney was most notable for his works portraying dance performers and classically styled nudes.  His works are part of the collections of the Chicago Art Institute, the Cleveland Museum, and the New York Public Library.  With his wife, he authored the books “Social Dancing of Today” and “The Dance: Its Place in Art and Life”, for which he travelled throughout the world to study various dance styles. The couple were also the premier illustrators of the early 20th century, creating works under the joint name “The Kinneys”, including a number of books and covers for Harper’s Bazaar magazine.  His intaglio prints featured dancers and dance performances representing dancers such as Nijinski and Anna Pavlova.

January 29, 1970

We salute the art and the support given to Canadian art by Lawren Harris (Alpha Phi-University  of Toronto) who died this day at age 85.  Brother Harris was one of the best known Canadian artists, being a founding member of the Group of Seven who pioneered a distinctly Canadian painting style in the early 20th century. One of the other members of the Group of Seven was quoted as saying the Brother Harris provided “a stimulus for the Group of Seven”.  Brother Harris was an heir to the Massey-Harris Industrial firm and consistently provided financial support for the Group of Seven as their art developed. In 1969, Brother Harris was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.  On May 23, 2007, one of his paintings sold for a record-breaking $2,875,000.

January 29, 2012

The dramatic television series “Luck” premiered on HBO.  The series was created by David Milch (Phi-Yale University).  The series was immediately renewed for a second season of ten episodes scheduled to begin airing in January 2013; however the series was cancelled on March 14, 2012 after PETA criticized the series over the injury and euthanization of two horses during the filming for the pilot episode and the 7th episode.  Brother Milch worked five seasons on “Hill Street Blues” as executive story editor and then as executive producer and won an Emmy for his work on that show.  He created “NYPD Blue” serving as its executive producer for seven seasons, co-created “Brooklyn South” in 1997, created the CBS series “Big Apple”, and produced “Deadwood” (2002-2006) for HBO.  In November 2011, HBO announced that it had entered into a contract with the production company of Brother Milch to produce films and television series based on the literary works of William Faulkner.  In July 2013, HBO announced that Brother Milch was developing a new series for the cable network tentatively entitled “The Money” which would depict a dynastic New York media family.  Brother Milch owns a number of race horses, including Val Royal who captured the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Mile.  He is also co-owner of a colt, Gilded Time, which won the 1992 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

January 30, 1858

Zeta Chapter was founded at Centenary College, Jackson, Louisiana. The original Zeta Chapter had been founded at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) but had become inactive by 1857.  The Chapter designation “Zeta” was then transferred to Centenary College when the Chapter was formed. A total of 49 members were initiated at the Chapter before it became inactive as a result of the Civil War.  The Charter was later re-established at Louisiana State University in 1923. In order to avoid a duplication of designations, the Chapter was renamed Zeta Zeta despite the fact that the Zeta Chapter at Princeton had not been reactivated by 1923. 

January 30, 1904

At a meeting held at the University Club in New York, the DKE Association of New York was organized to take the place of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Club which had become inactive in 1903. 

January 30, 1904

Whitelaw Reid (Kappa-Miami University) takes office as the 35th United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom.  Brother Reid served in that capacity until December 15, 1912.  Brother Reid previously had served as a United States Ambassador to France (1889-1892).  In 1892, Brother Reid was the Republican Vice Presidential nominee on a ticket headed by incumbent President Benjamin Harrison, who had dropped Vice President Levi P. Morton from the ticket.  Brother Reid and President Harrison were defeated by Grover Cleveland who had been defeated by President Harrison in the previous election. Brother Reid was given a spot on the peace commission following the Spanish-American War. Manhattanville College in Purchase, Westchester County in New York is located on the former estate of Brother Reid.  As an undergraduate at Miami University, Brother Reid led the loyalists at Kappa Chapter when a dissident group broke away from Delta Kappa Epsilon to form what later became Sigma Chi Fraternity.

January 30, 1976

George H.W. Bush (Phi-Yale University) is appointed as the 11th Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

January 30, 2007

We salute the significant contributions to education and Amherst College of Calvin Plimpton (Sigma-Amherst College) who died this day at age 89.  Brother Plimpton was the President of Amherst College between 1960 and 1971, having succeeded Charles W. Cole (Sigma-Amherst College) who had been preceded by Stanley King (Sigma-Amherst College).  As a physician, Brother Plimpton also served as the President of Downstate Medical Centre, Brooklyn, New York, Division of the State University of New York from 1971 to 1979.  Brother Plimpton was the President of the American University of Beirut from 1984 to 1987.  Brother Plimpton was known for appointing a commission in 1970 whose findings resulted in the admission of women to Amherst College in 1975.

January 30, 2010

Kappa Epsilon Chapter at the University of Washington celebrated its 100th anniversary with a dinner, an open bar, and dancing at The Burke Museum on the campus.  The black-tie “welcome but not required” event was attended by 125 Dekes and their guests.

January 31, 1921

Percival Proctor Baxter (Theta-Bowdoin College) takes office as the 53rd Governor of Maine.  Brother Baxter held that office until January 7, 1925.  While at Bowdoin, Brother Baxter founded the School’s literary magazine, The Quill.  While Governor, Brother Baxter donated a large parcel of forest land to the people of Maine which became Baxter State Park.  Brother Baxter also served in the Maine State Senate (1909-1910; 1919-1921), and the Maine House of Representatives (1916-1919).  In 1926, Brother Baxter was unsuccessful in his run for election to the United States Senate.  In 1953, Brother Baxter donated Mackworth Island to the State of Maine.  He also deeded his summer home in Fairmouth to create the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf.  Brother Baxter was known for his passionate devotion to animals and for his commitment to the humane treatment of animals.  When his dog, Garry, died while Brother Baxter was Governor, he ordered the flag of the State House lowered to half-staff which angered some veterans’ groups.  Brother Baxter was succeeded in office by Ralph Owen Brewster (Theta-Bowdoin College).  Brother Baxter died June 12, 1969 at age 92.

January 31, 1969

John Chafee (Phi-Yale University) is appointed by President Nixon as the 59th Secretary of the Navy of the United States.  Brother Chaffee served in that capacity until May 4, 1972.  Brother Chafee was also the 60th Governor of Rhode Island (January 1, 1963-January 7, 1969) and United States Senator from Rhode Island (December 28, 1976-October 24, 1999).  In 1968, Brother Chafee served as the Chair of the Republican Governors Association.  Between January 4, 1995 and October 24, 1999, Brother Chafee served as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works.  As a member of the Senate, Brother Chafee fostered the Clean Water Act of 1986 and the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act.  Brother Chafee sponsored legislation that increased funding to states to assist youth in making the transition from foster care to independent living, recognizing the need for special health for youths ages 18-21 who had left foster care, offering states greater flexibility in designing their independent living programs, and establishing accountability for states in implementing independent living programs.  As a testimonial, the program is now entitled the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program.  In 2000, Brother Chafee was posthumously awarded the President Medal of Freedom.  The John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge are named in his honor.  Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, is named its world trade center after Brother Chafee for his continuing support for global trade and his association with the University.  The Chafee Social Science Centre at The University of Rhode Island is named in his honor.  USS Chafee (DDG/90) was launched November 2, 2002 in his honor.

January 31, 2006

James D. Weddle (Psi Phi-DePauw University) becomes managing partner of Edward Jones Investments.  As at 2012, the firm as 35,000 employees through its branch network at more than 11,000 locations.  The firm has nearly 7,000,000 clients worldwide and had revenue of $4.9 billion in 2012.  Brother Weddle is a member of the University of Missouri Chancellor’s Council, the Washington University Olin School of Business National Council, the Webster University Board of Trustees, President of the Board of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, a member of the Board of Governors for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and a past board member of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.  The St. Louis Business Journal reported that Brother Weddle collected compensation of $9,810,000 in 2011.