This Week in DKE History February 16th - February 22nd

February 16, 1952

Kappa Delta Chapter is installed at the University of Maryland.  An application to create a chapter at the University of Maryland had been explored as early as 1897 but the application from students at the University had been denied by the Deke Council at the time.  There was “significant discussion” at the 1949 Convention in Boston regarding the possibility of a chapter.  A group had been formed under the name “Delta Epsilon Kappa” with the support of Brother George Smith (Omega Chi-University of Texas) and the Rho-Lafayette College Chapter. The Minutes of the 1951 Convention held at Atlantic City in New Jersey reflect that representatives from the University of Maryland were “granted permission to take the floor on behalf of Delta Epsilon Kappa’s petition to Delta Kappa Epsilon”.  After discussion, a vote to grant a Charter to the University of Maryland was passed by a vote of 40 in favor and one opposed.

February 16, 1991

Phi Rho Chapter is installed at Pennsylvania State University.  The Minutes of the 1913 Convention, the 1920 Convention and the 1930 Convention state that applications were received from Pennsylvania State but were refused.  At the same conventions, applications from the University of Montana, Carnegie Technical Institute at Pittsburgh, University of Missouri, the University of Indiana, Johns Hopkins University, Ohio State University and Iowa State College were also refused.  During the 1990-1991 academic years, two groups of men who aspired to become members of the Greek system rushed many fraternities at Penn State, but decided that they wanted something better for themselves.  They inquired at the Greek Life Office about starting their own fraternity on campus and then met with representatives of the Fraternity.  Duncan Andrews (Rho-Lafayette College), the Executive Director of the International at the time met with both groups and suggested that they meet each other and decide if they wanted to merge and establish a Deke Chapter together.  They met, combined, and were later initiated.  Since its founding, Phi Rho Chapter has occupied at least seven different houses and, for a period of time, even operated out of apartments.  The Chapter is now housed at 328 East Foster Avenue.

Chi Rho Chapter is installed at Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.  The 15 Charter members were initiated on the same date the Charter members of Phi Rho Chapter at Pennsylvania State University were initiated.  The Founding Fathers of Chi Rho Chapter were Joseph NaHas Jr., Sean Madden, Tim Seitz, Jay Gallagher, Joe Pinto, David Maxwell, Kevin Rokuski, Steve Eldred, Steve Laudenslager, Mark Lamb, Jeff Ulinoski, Dave Roney, Craig Dammon, Carol Edwards, and Chris Pagotto.

Barry W. Ridings (Mu-Colgate University) is awarded the Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement by Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal.  Brother Riders joined Lazard Freres & Co. LLC in July 1999 to co-head its Restructuring advisory practice.  Mr. Ridings is Chairman of LFCM Holdings, which includes the operations of Lazard Capital Markets and Lazard Alternative Investments.  He is also Chairman of Lazard Middle Market LLC, a subsidiary of Lazard focusing on middle market mergers and acquisitions.  Brother Ridings  was involved in the restructuring of a number of troubled companies, including Lehman Brothers, Madoff Securities, Calpine, Collins & Aikman, and Owens Corning.  Brother Ridings has been a Managing Director of Lazard Freres since July 1999 and previously served as Managing Director of Deutsche Bank Alex (March 1990-June 1999) and Drexel Burnham Lambert, Investment Bankers (June 1986-March 1990).

February 17, 1884

Dr. Lewis M. Dunton (Phi Gamma-Syracuse University) is appointed as the President of Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina.  Claflin University was founded in 1869 and is the oldest historically black college or university in the state of South Carolina.  The University was founded after the Civil War by Methodist missionaries from Massachusetts.  Brother Dunton  was the former Vice President and Development Officer before becoming President.  After he retired, he deeded his personal residence and six acres of land to the University.  Brother Dunton served the University for 47 years and for 30 years as President.

February 17, 1906

In a lavish East Room wedding at the White House, Alice Roosevelt, daughter of Theodore Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard University), married Nicholas Longworth (Alpha-Harvard University), who, at the time, was an Ohio Congressman.  Brother Longworth later served as the 43rd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.  Brothers Roosevelt and Longworth are shown in the accompanying photograph along with Alice Roosevelt Longworth.

February 17, 1945

We salute the significant contributions to education made by Alfred H. Upham (Kappa-Miami of Ohio) who died this day at age 68.  Brother Upham served as the President of the University of Idaho (1920-1928) and as the President of Miami University (1928-1945).  Upham Hall which is named in his honor is home to many different departments at the University. In his book “Old Miami – The Yale of the Early West” (Republican Publishing Co. – Hamilton, Ohio) (1909), Brother Upham describes the dispute which led to the formation of Sigma Chi Fraternity.  It was clear that the Chief Orator for Erodelphian Society for 1856 would be Brother Whitelaw Reid.  Brothers Runkle and Caldwell walked into the Erodelphian Hall and votd for a “rank outsider” to be Poet.  Brother Upham then describes the conflict as follows:

“Charges and counter charges were flung about recklessly, that night after the election, and when the chapter adjourned, somewhere in the morning hours, it seemed hopelessly divided.  Two or three later meetings failed to patch up the rent, although alumni members were constantly insisting on a reconciliation.  One night in the heat of the contention, a commanding presence strode into the room.  With it came an equally commanding voice that said:  “Gentlemen, some of the younger of you do not know me.  I am Minor Millikin of Hamilton [Ohio], and I demand, on behalf of the alumni of the chapter, that you abide by the rulings of the society.”  In a second the doughty Runkle was on his feet.  “I”, he declared, “am the Sultan of Turkey and Grand Llama of Beloochistan.  I didn’t join the society to be anybody’s tool.  There is my answer!”  He flung his badge jinglingly on the table, and with his fellow liberals stalked from the room.  Soon this refractory half-dozen raised up their new standard, the white cross of Sigma Phi, and stood ready to defend it against all comers.  One fellow jeered at their badges the first morning at chapel, or at least Runkle thought he did.  Promptly after prayers, the future generalissimo mixed things up with him in a masterly manner and fellow Greeks had no little trouble in pulling them apart.  Then somebody made away with the ritual and sacred stage-properties of the new Sigs.  They looked large black holes of suspicion through Delta Kappa Epsilon, and immediately went to work training a new goat.  This time they called themselves Sigma Chi and busily took up the problem of chapter extension.  Fortunately this was highly successful, for by some local mismanagement the Alpha chapter became inactive in a short while.

Upon the death of Brother Upham, Alpheus K. Morris (Kappa-Miami of Ohio) was appointed as acting President.  Brother Morris served in that capacity until late 1946.  Morris Residence Hall on campus was dedicated in his honor on November 1, 1969.

February 17, 1965

Simon & Shuster publishes “Portrait of the Assassin” written by Gerald R. Ford (Omicron-University of Michigan) and Jack Stiles (Omicron-University of Michigan).  Brother Ford had served as a member of the Warren Commission and this book, with the assistance of Brother Stiles, was written while Brother Ford was still a member of Congress.  In the Fall of 1947, when Brother Ford was making a decision as to whether he would run against an incumbent Congressman, he chose Jack Stiles, his Michigan fraternity brother, to be his campaign manager.  Brother Ford was successful in defeating the incumbent and went on to be elected as Congressman.  As a member of the Warren Commission, Brother Ford supported the conclusion that no evidence of a conspiracy existed and then called upon his first campaign manager to author the book detailing the Commission’s findings.

February 18, 1911

The Annual Banquet of the Northwestern Association of Delta Kappa Epsilon was held at The Blackstone Hotel in Chicago.  Brother Robert E. Peary (Theta-Bowdoin College) was the chief speaker and guest of honor.  At the Banquet, Brother Peary cleared up the controversy of which DKE flag had actually been photographed at the North Pole.  One Deke flag had been given to Brother Peary by the New York Association and, while it was carried to the North Pole, it was not actually flown at the North Pole.  Rather, the flag that had been provided by the Northwestern Association was the one that is shown in the famous photograph.  At the Banquet, Brother Peary brought the flag which was then draped over the speakers table.  The tables at the Banquet were decorated with wide ribbons of crimson, blue and gold, and the flowers in vases were also of the same colors.  Cigarettes had been specially made for the occasion, with each stamped with the Greek letters and the box embossed with the title of the Banquet.  The menu featured “appropriate” dishes for the occasion, including Siberian caviar, puree of Iceland moss, Alaska celery, Hudson Bay olives, scallops of Labrador, salmon, tenderloin of polar bear, with pemmican sauce, breast of ptarmigan on hard tack, reindeer milk cheese and assorted ship biscuits. 

February 18, 1928

 Geoffrey Mason (Theta-Bowdoin College), Richard Parke (Delta Chi - Cornell University) and Nion Tucker (Theta Zeta-Berkeley) were part of the five  man bobsleigh at the 1928 Winter Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland that won the Gold Medal for the United States.  Their collective careers in the bobsled event were one month long.  In the Winter of 1927-1928, each had been visiting Europe. After graduating from Bowdoin in 1923, Brother Mason was doing graduate work in literature at the University of Freiburg in Germany. Brother Tucker was a 45-year old businessman on a trip to Paris and Brother Parke was also visiting in Europe.  An article in the Paris edition of The New York Herald Tribune asking for Americans in Europe to try out for the U.S. bobsled team had caught their eyes and, after applying, they each received letters from the U.S. Olympic team organizers inviting them to join the team “sight unseen”.  In a Sports Illustrated interview, Brother Mason described what happened as follows:  “I was reading the Paris edition of The New York Herald Tribune, and on the sports page, Sparrow Robertson mentioned in his column that the U.S. was organizing a bobsled team for the 1928 Winter Games.  He noted that they had the necessary drivers and brakemen, but they still needed a few men to fill out the middle of the sleighs.  Robertson indicated that any Americans interested could write to him, and he would pass enquiries on to the team organizers.  I’d never thought about being on an Olympic team, but when I saw this I figured I had nothing to lose, so why not try.”  The bobsled track in St. Moritz was the first ever built, having been constructed in 1903.  There were no bobsled tracks in the United States and the sport did not exist as a competitive event in North America.  For the only time in Olympic history, the bobsled event – normally a four-man event – was conducted with five man teams.  While the U.S.A. 1 team was considered the favorite, the U.S.A. 2 team prevailed.  The team had an average time of 3:2.5, beating out U.S.A. 1 by 0.5 seconds.  The picture is taken from a film taken of the race.

Brother Mason never again slid after the Olympics. He returned to the United States and taught Latin and German, first at Bowdoin and then primarily in secondary schools.  Brother Mason died on January 5, 1987 at age 85. After graduating from Berkeley in 1909, Brother Tucker went to work at San Francisco brokerage firm where he became an expert on mergers and acquisitions.  After winning his Olympic Gold Medal, Brother Tucker returned to his life as a San Francisco businessman.  He eventually became the senior partner of his own brokerage firm where, among other things, he was instrumental in merging a number of small airlines to create United Airlines.  For a number of years, Brother Tucker served on the Board of Directors of The San Francisco Chronicle.  Brother Tucker is the only Winter Olympics Gold Medalist from Berkeley which boasts 159 Summer Olympic medals won by its students, alumni and coaches. Brother Parke also never slid again He died on August 23, 1950 at the age of 57.

February 18, 1937

The United States Postal Service issued a 3-cent stamp depicting three principal Union generals in the Civil War, Philip Henry Sheridan, Ulysses S. Grant, and William Tecumseh Sherman (Pi-Dartmouth College) (Honorary).  Previously, postage stamps honoring Brother Sherman were issued by the United States Postal Service in 1890, 1894, and 1895.

February 19, 1998

The Deke Website which had been designed by Gaylen Duncan (Alpha Phi-Toronto) had already received 891 “hits”.  The development of a website had been approved at the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Fraternity on January 15, 1997.

February 20, 1861

Robert Pickard (Mu-Colgate University) became the first Canadian and first non-United States citizen initiated into the Fraternity.  Brother Pickard later became a clergyman in Hanover and Toronto, Ontario.

February 20, 1935

Douglas Z. Doty (Gamma Beta-Columbia University) died this day at age 61.  Brother Doty wrote the screenplays for 63 films between 1920 and 1938, together with his co-writers Harry d’Abbadie d’Arrast and Donald Ogden Stewart (Phi-Yale University), was nominated for the 1931 Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Story) for the film “Laughter”.  

February 20, 2003

Arthur R.A. Scace, Q.C., C.M. (Alpha Phi-University of Toronto), received the Osgoode Award of Excellence and the Robinette Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the legal profession in Canada.  The award is the highest honor that Osgoode Hall Law School can give to recognize exceptional alumni who have brought distinction to  the profession and the Law School.  Brother Scace is the former national Chairman of the largest law firm in Canada, McCarthy Tétrault LLP.  Brother Scace is the coauthor of The Income Tax Law of Canada and is acknowledged as the leading tax law expert in Canada.  Brother Scace served as the Treasurer (President) of the  Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario).  Brother Scace is the Past Chairman of The Bank of Nova Scotia, and has served on a number of boards of numerous public companies, including The Canada Life Assurance Company and WestJet.  Additionally, Brother Scace is the Past President and Chairman of the Canadian Opera Company.  In 2002, a graduate fellowship in tax law was established in his name at the Osgoode Faculty of Law.  Brother Scace, Brother Gerald Godsoe and Brother Tim Reed, all of Alpha Phi Chapter, were Rhodes Scholars during the period 1959-1964.  Three Rhodes Scholars in six years probably represents a record for any chapter of any Fraternity.

February 21, 1954

Rho Lambda Chapter is installed at the University of Oklahoma.  The 1921 Annual Message from the Council of the Fraternity indicated that an application for a charter had been received from the University of Oklahoma but it had been denied.  At the same time, applications by Ohio Wesleyan University, Indiana University, Purdue University, the University of Oregon, Johns Hopkins University and Louisiana State University were also denied.  A 1952 petition for a Charter was dedicated to Dan C. Kenan (Gamma Phi-Wesleyan University) for his “active interest in the establishment of the Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon at the University of Oklahoma”.  It was noted that the Faculty Sponsor was Donnell M. Owings (Psi Phi-DePauw University).  The background of the Petition was described as follows:

At the beginning of the Spring semester of 1951, after a group of independent men from Whitehead Hall won the University Sing, the motivating desire of our group began.  This group of men went on to make a fine showing in the Varsity Show and to win the Sooner Scandals in the same year.  This was the first time that any independent group had placed in this type of activity.  Witnessing what the group had accomplished, led us to cast off the hindrances of being a part of a dormitory organization.  This was when the idea of establishing ourselves as a social fraternity began to grow.

Another group was organizing on campus and after recognizing each other, the two groups merged and formed the Charter Club.  A petition was made to the Interfraternity Council which represented the 24 national fraternities on campus:  After being recognized by this body, our next move was to have our Constitution approved by the Student Senate.  This was not easy either because the University does not generally recognize a local group.  But then it was learned that Rho Lambda sought recognition for the sole purpose of petitioning Delta Kappa Epsilon, the local charter was granted.

In the course of the semester, the Rho Lambda group visited the Texas Chapter several times, and also visited the chapter at SMU.  The approval of the petitioning group was sought but not received until October of 1953.  In the Spring of 1953, a commodious house on campus was acquired.

February 22, 1941

Charles A. Harwood (Tau-Hamilton College) is appointed by President Roosevelt as the Governor of the United States Virgin Islands.  Brother Harwood served in that capacity until January of 1946.  The highway from the Harry S. Truman Airport to the capital was named the “Charles Harwood Highway”.  The Charles Harwood Memorial Hospital in Christiansted on St. Croix remains named for Brother Harwood, despite the fact that the former hospital is now an administrative office.  Previously, Brother Harwood had been appointed as a Special Assistant to the United States Attorney General to help prosecute mail fraud cases.  In 1937 and 1938, Brother Harwood was the United States District Court Judge in the Panama Canal Zone.

February 22, 1969

Tau Delta Chapter is installed at the University of the South, Sewanee Tennessee.  At the 1885 Convention, the Chair of the Committee on the Status and Prospect of Southern Colleges reported that the University had deserved “especial and favorable consideration”.  The 1886 Message from the DKE Council was that:  “This institution should be kept in mind and fast hold secured there for DKE establishment whenever possible.”  The Minutes of the 40th Convention held at Washington, D.C. in January 1887 reflected the following discussion regarding the University of the South:

... Your Committee recommends that it or some other Committee in its stead, be authorized to secure if possible the reorganization of a local body of students at … [the University of South], to the end first of securing an honorable place as a local organization, and, second, of then applying for a DKE Charter.  They may do so with fair hope of success.

The 1891 Message from the DKE Council contained an indication that an “overture” had been received from Sewanee University regarding the possibility of a chapter there.  However, the message was as follows:

The Council has however encouraged none of these, believing that the present sentiment of the fraternity is opposed to extension except under unusually favorable conditions.

The idea of establishing a chapter at the University of the South then lay dormant until November 23, 1965 when the Executive Committee of the Deke Council passed a resolution favoring establishment of a chapter there.  The possibility was delayed for two years as it was the view of the University that enrolment had to move from 850 students to 1,000 students before another fraternity could be added.  The November 28, 1968 meeting of the Council of the Fraternity approved the application of the Gamma Theta Local Fraternity for a Charter.  The Tau Delta designation had originally been given to the Chapter at Union University at Murfreesborough, Tennessee.  However, that Chapter had been inactive since 1862 so the Tau Delta designation was given to the new Chapter.The installation of the chapter was undertaken with the assistance of Brothers William Henderson (Zeta Zeta-Louisiana State University), the Executive Secretary of the Fraternity and Brother Grant Burnyeat (Phi Alpha-University of British Columbia), the Assistant Secretary of the Fraternity.