This Week in DKE History February 2nd - February 8th

February 2, 1856

In the meeting Minutes of February 2, 1856 of the Mother Chapter, the following was noted:  “Information was rec’d from sources that the secret signs of recognition and the ritual of the Fraternity had become known in some manner to Outsiders and letters from other chapters express concern at that fact.  To remedy this and also to convey out the provisions of the General Convention, a Committee was formed.  The Society noted that a Committee be appointed by the Chair to devise new signs.”

Shown is the Crest for the Fraternity which was used in the 1850s.


February 2, 1856

Nathaniel Prentice Banks (Sigma-Amherst College) (Honorary) became the 25th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.  Brother Banks served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1849-1853) and was its Speaker (1851-1852).  In 1853, Brother Banks was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a coalition candidate of Democrats and Free-Soilers.  In 1854, Brother Banks was reelected as a “Know Nothing”.  At the opening of the 34th Congress, men from several parties opposed to slavery’s spread gradually united in supporting Brother Banks for Speaker and, after the longest and one of the most bitter speakership contests ever, Brother Banks was chosen on the 133rd ballot.  This has been called the “First National Victory of the Republican Party”.  Reelected in 1856 as a Republican, Brother Banks resigned his seat in December 1857 and became Governor of Massachusetts (1858-1860).  Brother Banks was unsuccessful in his attempt to gain the Republican presidential nomination in 1860.  On May 16, 1861, President Lincoln appointed him as one of the first Major Generals of Volunteers.  After extensive service in the Civil War, Brother Banks was again elected to Congress (1865-1873), holding the positions of Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Chair of the Republican caucus.  Brother Banks played key roles in the final passage of the Alaska Purchase legislation, in supporting women’s suffrage, and as one of the strongest early advocates of Manifest Destiny.  It is said that his financial records strongly suggest that he received a large gratuity from the Russian Minister after the Alaska legislation passed.  It was the view of Brother Banks that the United States should acquire Canada and the Caribbean Islands to reduce European influence in the region.  Brother Banks returned to Congress from 1874 to 1879 and from 1889 to 1891.  Fort Banks in Winthrop, Massachusetts, built in the late 1890s was named in his honor.  Brother Banks died on September 1, 1894 at age 78.

February 2, 1906

David Graham Phillips (Psi Phi-Asbury College, now DePauw University) writes a series of articles that appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine exposing campaign contributions rewarding certain members of the United States Senate.  The story launched a scathing attack on Rhode Island Senator Nelson W. Aldrich.  This and other similar articles helped lead to the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution establishing the direct election of United States Senators by popular vote rather than by election by state legislatures.  After graduation, Brother Phillips worked as a newspaper reporter in Cincinnati and New York City.  In 1901, he published a novel “The Great God Success” and then used the royalties from that publication to work as a freelance journalist while continuing to write fiction.  Brother Phillips is known for producing one of the most important investigations exposing details of the corruption by big businesses of the Senate.  He was among a few writers during that time that prompted President Theodore Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard University) to use the term “muckrakers”.  As a result of a number of articles written for Cosmopolitan Magazine (which was then owned by William Randolph Hearst (Alpha-Harvard University)), only four of the 21 senators that Brother Phillips wrote about were still in office.  His reputation as a muckraker caused Brother Phillips to lose his life.  He was shot outside the Princeton Club in New York City by a deranged individual who believed that a novel written by Brother Phillips (“The Fashionable Adventures of Joshua Craigs”) had cast literary aspersions on the family of the man who shot Brother Phillips.  A novel published posthumously, “Susan Lenox:  Her Fall and Rise”, was subsequently made into a movie starring Greta Garbo and Clark Gable.  In total, Brother Phillips wrote a one-act play, a four-act play, and 23 novels.

February 2, 1927

We salute the significant contribution made to transportation by Fairfax Harrison (Phi-Yale University) who died this day at age 69.  Brother Harrison became President of the Southern Railway on December 1, 1913 and served in that capacity until 1937.  By 1916, Southern Railway track totaled more than 8,000 miles covering 13 states.  Following the entry of the United States into World War I, the United States government took control of the railroads (December 1917), running them through the United States Railroad Administration, on which Brother Harrison served.

February 2, 1948

We salute the significant contribution made to commerce and banking by Thomas W. Lamont Jr. (Alpha-Harvard University) who died this day at age 78.  Brother Lamont was the Founding Secretary and Treasurer of the Bankers’ Trust Company of New York in 1903.  In 1910, Brother Lamont became a partner of J.P. Morgan & Co. and served as a United States financial advisor abroad in the 1920s and 1930s.  During the 1919 Paris negotiations leading up to the Treaty of Versailles, Brother Lamont was selected as one of two representatives of the United States Department of the Treasury. In 1943, Brother Lamont was elected as the Chair of the Board of Directors of J.P. Morgan & Co.   His widow donated their property Torrey Cliff, overlooking the Hudson River in Palisades, New York, to Columbia University, and it is now the site of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.  Brother Lamont was featured on the November 11, 1929 cover of Time Magazine.

February 3, 1897

John Addison Porter (Phi-Yale University) was appointed as the first “Secretary to the President”, serving President McKinley.  Brother Porter served as Secretary to the President until May 1, 1900 when he resigned because of ill health.  In 1886, Brother Porter had purchased an interest in the Hartford Evening Post which he sold in 1899.  In 1886, Brother Porter had organized and ran the Oregon Publishing Company which took over the publication of the Portland Telegram Newspaper.

February 3, 1927

The Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Council of the Fraternity reflect a report from Secretary James Anderson Hawes (Phi-Yale University) regarding the Chi Chapter.  As a result of Mississippi state law forbidding the existence of Greek letter fraternities at state institutions, the Charter granted to Chi Chapter by Phi Chapter in 1852 had been surrendered at the 1911 Convention.  The 1911 Convention Minutes contained a Resolution which concluded:  “Resolved that the surrender of the “Chi” Charter under the compliance of political necessity recalls the loyalty of the Chapter to the Fraternity in the times that stir men's souls as expressed in the famous words of the Chapter letter to “Phi” on January 8, 1861:  “though Mississippi has seceded from the union of states “Chi” Chapter will never secede her glorious Union of sound heads, stout hearts and kindred interests; that we will always cherish among our dearest sentiments our memories of “Chi”, her alumni will always be our brothers in the future as in the past, they will be always welcome to our Chapter Halls; and be it further resolved that a copy of this preamble and of these resolutions attested by the Secretary of this Convention under the great seal of this Fraternity be transmitted to the members of “Chi” Chapter.”

On the repeal of the anti-fraternity legislation and upon a vote of the Chapters, the revival of the Charter at the University of Mississippi was approved and the installation proceedings occurred on March 23 and 24, 1928 at Oxford, Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee.

February 3, 1935

We honor the memory and the considerable contributions of Cuthbert W. Pound (Delta Chi-Cornell University), who died at age 71. Brother Pound was a member of the New York State Senate (1894-1895), a Law Professor at Cornell University (1895-1900), appointed as a member of the New York State Civil Service Commission in 1900 by then-Governor Theodore Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard University), President of the New York State Civil Service Commission (1902-1904), appointed as a Justice of the New York Supreme Court (May 1906), elected to a 14-year term as a Justice of the New York Supreme Court (November 1906), designated a judge of the New York Court of Appeals (August 3, 1915), elected on the Republican and Progressive tickets to a 14-year term on the Court of Appeals (November 1916), re-elected to that position (1930), and appointed by Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 8, 1932 as the Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals to succeed Benjamin N. Cardozo who had been appointed to the United States Supreme Court.  Brother Pound retired from the Bench at the end of 1934 when he reached the constitutional age limit of 70 years.  Brother Pound was a member of the Board of Trustees of Cornell from 1913 until his death in 1935.

February 3, 1955

Fred H. Brown (Pi-Dartmouth College) dies at age 76.  Prior to a term as Governor of New Hampshire (1923-25), Brother Brown was the Mayor of Somersworth and a United States Attorney for New Hampshire.  Brother Brown also served as United States Senator from New Hampshire (March 4, 1933-January 3, 1939).  Brother Brown served as the second Comptroller General of the United States (1939‑40) and, although he had been appointed for a 15‑year term, he was only able to serve one year due to illness.  Brother Brown also served as a member of in the United States Tariff Commission (1940‑41).  Brother Brown an accomplished athlete who had played parts of two seasons in Major League Baseball for the Boston Beaneaters (1901‑02).  The Fred H. Brown Building at the State Hospital in Concord, New Hampshire is named in his honor.

February 3, 1998

The United States Postal Service, in its “Celebrate the Century” series, issued a 32₵ stamp to honor President Theodore Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard University).

February 4, 1947

Dan Quayle (Psi Phi-DePauw University) is born.  As no baby photos of Brother Quayle are available, this photograph is substituted.

February 4, 1974

The William M. Henderson Alumni Award was established to honor alumni who have given exceptional service to a chapter of the Fraternity.  The award was named to honor the long-time Executive Director of the Fraternity, William M. Henderson (Zeta Zeta-Louisiana State University).  The photograph shows Brother Henderson receiving the Award named in his honor.

February 4, 2012

At 8:20 P.M. on Saturday, February 4, 2012, the founding members of Delta Kappa Epsilon's Colony at Saint Joseph's College were initiated.  In all, 31 new links were formed in the golden chain :Alexander Fier; Ryan Garofalo; Rob Vetter; Alex DeRidder; Jeff Behounek; Mark Eimer; Tommy Matthews; Karol Radomski; Pete Valerio; Kevin Smith; Stephen Bello; Chris DeSimone; Earl Campbell; Johnny Mannino; Dominic Florian; Kevin Deutsch; Joseph Aguila; Brian Barber; Giuseppe Carrieri; Anthony DeMasi; Eric Mace; Mike Clark; Matt Dennis; Joey Macellaro; Michael Dougherty; Tommy DiBernardo; William DeSimone; Charles Essig; Paul DeSimone; Chris Manzello; and Tom Valerio. The Charter members were initiated by a diverse and dedicated core of Deke Alumni:  Fernando Leal (Iota Mu-Fordham University); Joseph McDonald, (Iota Mu-Fordham University); Emrah Artukmac (Beta Gamma-New York University); Steven Frank (Rho-Lafayette College); Stephan Spilkowitz (Delta Chi-Cornell University); and Kamaljeet Singh (Delta Chi-Cornell University).

February 5, 1970

The Constitution of the Fraternity was amended to insert under Section 2 of Article V:  “No Chapter shall consider the race, creed, or color of the individual and pledging and initiating into membership in Delta Kappa Epsilon.”  That resolution had passed at the 1969 San Francisco convention as well as by a subsequent written vote of the Chapters.

February 5, 1995

Terry Stewart (Phi Chi-Rutgers University) is appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.  After a career in banking, Brother Stewart joined Marvel Entertainment Group, a leader in the fields of publishing, merchandising, advertising, trading cards, toys, software and children’s television.  Marvel is better known for its comic book characters, including Spiderman, The X‑Men, The Incredible Hulk, Blade, Silver Surfer, and 3,000 other superheroes.  In 1991, Marvel went public and Brother Stewart was named as CNBC Marketing Executive of the Year.  While at Marvel, Brother Stewart later served as President, Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman.  Brother Stewart currently serves on the Board of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in Philadelphia and as an advisor for the annual Summer Stage Concert Series in Central Park in association with the City Parks Foundation of New York City.  Brother Stewart has received a number of distinctions, including the 48th Annual Business Executive of the Year by the Sales & Marketing Executive Association of Cleveland (2008), election into the Rutgers University Hall of Distinguished Alumni (2010), and being named as one of “The Power 100” by Inside Business Magazine.  Brother Stewart is now serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Fraternity.

February 6, 1885

To the tune of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Grand March, 225 Dekes took possession of Delmonico’s in New York City where a 10-course dinner awaited them.  President Julian Hawthorne (Alpha-Harvard University) led the brothers in song.  It was suggested at the dinner that a “social club” be organized in New York City and the suggestion was warmly applauded.  The April 1885 edition of the Deke Quarterly noted:

“The festivities lasted till past the thirteenth hour, were concluded with the “mystic chain”, and the banqueters filed out of the building singing to the tune of “There’s Music in the Air”:  “And in joy thou’rt ever true, our beloved DKE”. As might be expected, the New York banquet had a sequel.  So boundless was the DKE enthusiasm manifested, so warmly was the suggestion of a DKE Club received, that the Council felt bound to ascertain the strength of the club movement and sent out circulars to the New York DKEs calling for three year’s subscriptions to a proposed DKE club.  The response was prompt and enthusiastic.  By April 1st, some two hundred had subscribed, and the success of the movement was assured.  The committee has rented and are now fitting up a commodious club-house, with reading-rooms and café, at No. 36 West 34th Street, and DKE has a cozy alumni home in the metropolis.”

February 6, 1971

Sigma Alpha Chapter is founded at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.  The June 15, 1970 meeting of the Executive Committee of the Fraternity approved Delta Kappa Sigma Local Fraternity, founded in 1941, as a Colony of the Fraternity.  The report of the Expansion Committee to the 126th Convention at Cornell in 1970 contained the following advice:  “Delta Kappa Sigma was the oldest and strongest local fraternity at V.P.I., and it is the hope of the Expansion Committee that this group can be installed early in 1971.  On October 1, 2011, the Chapter celebrated the “40-70-100 Anniversary Reunion Weekend” to celebrate the founding of the Chapter, the founding of Delta Kappa Sigma, and the founding of V.P.I.

February 6, 1992

We salute the significant contributions to journalism and public service made by Harding F. Bancroft (Epsilon-Williams College) who died this day at age 81.  Brother Bancroft was the retired Vice Chair of The New York Times.  In 1971, Brother Bancroft received a telephone call in which the Justice Department warned that it was prepared to go to Court if the New York Times published the Pentagon Papers.  In consultation with Brother Bancroft, the New York Times began to publish the documents on June 13, 1971.  In September 1971, Brother Bancroft testified before a Congressional Committee stating:  “Although the Supreme Court ultimately denied the Government’s request for a prior restraint, the hard fact remains that for the first time in the history of our nation, the Government has sought and obtained a direct suppression of news.  Even though the restraint lasted only fifteen days, an extremely unfortunate precedent, we submit, has been established.”  Brother Bancroft also served as Chief of the Division of United Nations Political Affairs for the Department of State and as the Director, Office of United Nations Political and Security Affairs and as the United States Deputy Representative, United Nations Collective Measures Committee.

February 6, 2008

On this day, Oscar L. Tang (Phi-Yale University) made a $25 million donation to Philips Academy, bringing his total donations to the Academy to $41 million.  The gift supported “need-blind admission” for students across the economic spectrum.  Brother Tang was born in Shanghai, China, and fled with his family when the Communist revolution took over in 1949.  Brother Tang enrolled at Philips Academy in Andover as a grade 10 student.  In 1970, Brother Tang founded his investment firm, Reich and Tang, in New York City, which he headed until 1993.  Brother Tang served as on the Board of Trustees of Philips Academy and as the President of the Board until July 2012.  Brother Tang is a member of the Board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and, in 1997, made a gift of $14 million to the Museum for the purchase of rare and valuable Chinese paintings.  In 2000, Brother Tang gave $10.2 million for the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College.  In addition to being a Trustee at Skidmore College, Brother Tang is also a Trustee at the China Institute in America, a non-profit educational and cultural institution in New York City with the goal of achieving a deeper understanding of China through programs in education, culture, business and art.

February 7, 1903

Henry M. Hoyt (Phi-Yale University) is appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard University) as United States Solicitor General.  Brother Hoyt served in that capacity until 1909.  At the end of his term, Brother Hoyt became counselor to Secretary of State, Philander C. Knox.

February 7, 1953

Wilder Dwight Bancroft (Alpha-Harvard College) dies at age 86.  Brother Bancroft was one of the founders of the specialty of physical chemistry during the earlier 20th century.  He took a leading role in founding the Journal of Physical Chemistry, the first English language journal in its field. The Journal of Physical Chemistry appeared first in October 1896 and was published monthly at Cornell throughout the academic year. As its owner and editor from 1896 to 1933, he provided hundreds of reviews and review articles.  Brother Bancroft served two terms as President of the Electrochemical Society and was also elected President of the American Chemical Society (in 1910).  Brother Bancroft joined the Cornell Chemistry Department and, by 1900, had helped make Cornell an important American Center for Graduate Study in physical chemistry.   At one point, Time Magazine touted Brother Bancroft as a scientist who had found a cure for “alcoholism, insanity, and the drug habit”.  As a result of his research, the fellow chemists of Brother Bancroft in the New York section of the American Chemical Society voted to bestow on him the William H. Nichols Medal in recognition of his work on the colloid chemistry of the nervous system.  As a result of the reaction to the announcement that the award would be made, Brother Bancroft was approached and asked whether he would be prepared to accept the award for other reasons.  He declined and the awards committee announced that he had declined to accept the honor and that no award would be made in 1933.  Brother Bancroft taught at Cornell until his retirement in 1937 at age 70.  When Brother Bancroft died in 1953, he was remembered by former students and friends as a “gentleman-scholar” of somewhat eccentric but always stimulating ideas, an independent-minded critic of conventional wisdom, and a talented mediator between basic and industrial science, his enthusiasm of both virtue and vice.”

February 8, 1907

Harry Pratt Judson (Epsilon-Williams College) is appointed President of the University of Chicago.  Brother Judson served as President until 1923.  Brother Judson had been appointed the first Head of the Political Science Department and, in 1894, as the Dean of the Faculties.  On the death of his predecessor in early 1906, Brother Judson was named as the Acting President of the University.  Brother Judson later served as a Director of the Rockefeller Foundation and the General Education Board.  Brother Judson was instrumental in pressing for the acceptance of fraternities at the University of Chicago.  The Burton-Judson Courts of Residence on campus is named after him and Ernest Burton, his successor, as President of the University.  The Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professors at the University of Chicago are named in his honor.

February 8, 1908

President Theodore Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard College) signed proclamation Number 799 establishing Jewel Cave National Monument in South Dakota.  The Cave is currently the third longest cave in the world, with over 166 miles of mapped passageways.  The Monument is approximately 13 miles west of the town of Custer, in South Dakota’s Black Hills.

February 8, 2003

Tom Speckman (Iota-Centre College) and his wife, Mary Lee, established an endowed scholarship for “students who have demonstrated academic ability and are of good character” at Centre College.  Brother Speckman also served as a class reunion committee member, strategic planning focus group volunteer, a committee member for the Campaign for a More Perfect Centrce, and as the head of the Louisville Area Colonels Club.  Brother Speckman and his wife gave to Centre for over 52 years and their gifts totalled $764,000.

February 8, 1967

The Government of Canada issues a postage stamp recreating the painting of Bylot Island–Greenland Mountains, by Lauren Harris (Alpha Phi-University of Toronto).The stamp was issued as part of the Centennial celebrations of Canada. As part of the “Group of Seven”, Brother Harris is one of the most famous Canadian artists.  Relying on his personal wealth, Brother Harris provided the stimulus for the Group of Seven.  His paintings sell for record amounts, including a recent sale for $2,875,000.  Brother Harris died on January 29, 1970