This Week in DKE History March 29th - April 4th

March 29, 1858
In a March 29, 1858 letter from North Carolina to Mother Phi, the Chapter stated:  “… informing the parent chapter that the grip of the Society and portions of its Constitution were known to members of certain rival societies at that institution”.  The May 2, 1859 Minutes of Mother Phi reflected the following:  “Chapel Hill advised that the Constitution had been purloined.”

March 29, 1871

A Deke Song Book was published containing 154 songs with the music to most of them printed within the publication.  Originally, songbooks were issued by various chapters:

(1860-Nu Chapter; 1861-Mu Chapter; and 1871-Upsilon Chapter). In 1899, 1908, 1918 and 1945 new editions appeared which included a number of new songs that were written for the publications and 100 of the most popular songs that had appeared in the 1871 publication.

March 29, 1972

We salute the enormous contribution to the development of the Los Angeles area, including the property chosen for U.C.L.A. made by Harold Janss (Theta Zeta- Berkeley) who died this day at age 82.  Brother Janss and his brother Edwin developed Van Nuys, California.  In order to attract the University of California to Los Angeles, their investment company sold 375 acres to the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills for the price of $1.2 million in 1925.  While the campus of U.C.L.A. was being built, the company developed the Westwood Village commercial area and surrounding residential neighborhoods.  The headquarters “Janss Dome” was opened in 1929 and remains one of the most recognizable buildings in Westwood Village.  The Janss Steps at U.C.L.A. are named to honor Brother Janss and his brother.  Brother Janss, his brother and his father also created subdivisions in Boyle Heights, Monterey Park and Yorba Linda.  Brother Janss was a generous member of the Fraternity and set aside a large building lot for a house for what became the Theta Rho Chapter of the Fraternity.

March 30, 1857
The March 30, 1857 minutes of Mother Phi reflect the following:  “Also from S.C. [South Carolina] reporting that our Constitution, our recognitions were known to various societies in their neighborhood – resolve that we take no present action on the matter but defer it to the Convention next summer.”


March 30, 1904

William Boyd Jacobs (Phi-Yale University) the last living founder of DKE died in Windsor, Vermont, leaving his widow Abbie and no children. After his death, his family donated his pin to the Fraternity. It can be seen at the Fraternity Headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

March 30, 1987

Harry Hamlin (Theta Zeta-Berkeley) is named by People Magazine as the “Sexiest Man Alive”.  Brother Hamlin has had a long television and movie career.  His movie break was a starring role in the 1981 Greek mythology fantasy epic “Clash of the Titans”.  On television, Brother Hamlin is best known for his starring role in the NBC drama “LA Law”.  In 2010, Brother Hamlin published a book “Full Frontal Nudity:  The Making of An Accidental Actor”, where he shares stories of his career as an actor and sets out a number of stories about his Deke days at Berkeley, including his term as President in 1972.

March 30, 1993

We honor the art and the accomplishments of Richard Diebenkorn (Sigma Rho-Stanford University) who died this day at age 71.  Brother Diebenkorn was one of the best known 20th century American painters.  He was associated with abstract expressionist work.  In 1963-1964, Brother Diebenkorn left his teaching activity at the San Francisco Art Institute and accepted a position as artist-in-residence at Stanford University.  In 1966, Brother Diebenkorn accepted a teaching position at U.C.L.A. One of the official commissioned posters for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games was designed by Brother Diebenkorn.  In 1991, Brother Diebenkorn was awarded a National Medal of Arts by the National Endowment for the Arts.

March 31, 1863
Theta Chi Chapter (Union College) published the “Songs of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity” through the Albany publishing firm of J. Munsell.  The 52-page book included what was then entitled the “Drinking Song” sung to the air of “Viva L’Amour”.  In an October 23, 1862 letter to the Chapters, Brother John Wright of the Theta Chi Chapter stated a desire to set up a song book “which will be of general use among all the chapters.  We ask you to cooperate with us and forward such songs as you wish inserted.  Allow us to say, in the compositions of the songs, we think it better to omit all local allusions, for when they occur the song is of no use except to the Chapter to which it refers, and our object is to make every line of the book the property of all of the chapters.”  The song books were forwarded to the Chapters in February 1863 and the price was 25₵ a copy.

March 31, 1972
Albert J. Hettinger (Sigma Rho-Stanford University) establishes five full-time scholarships for undergraduate Dekes attending Stanford.  The scholarships are not given on the basis of need but on excellence.  A total of $180,000 was donated by Brother Hettinger to establish these scholarships.

March 31, 2001
Peter Grauer (Beta-University of North Carolina) was appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Bloomberg L.P., succeeding Michael R. Bloomberg, who then ran for and became mayor of New York City.  In 2009, Brother Grauer was quoted as saying that he would like Bloomberg to become “the most influential source of news for the financial and business community”.  Brother Grauer is also the President of the Board of Trustees of the Inner City Scholarship Fund in New York City, Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors of The Big Apple Circus (a circus based in New York City which opened in 1977), Chairman of the External Advisory External Advisory Board of the Undergraduate Honors Program and of the Johnson Center for Undergraduate Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Brother Grauer is also a member of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill National Development Council, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Foundation Board, of the Board of the USA Cycling Development Foundation, of the Board of the Prostate Cancer Foundation , of the Business Council and Executive Committee of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and a  Trustee of Rockefeller University, .  Brother Grauer is a recipient of the Papal Order of Merit.

April 1, 1904

An article in the New York Times announced that a life insurance policy of $1,500,000 had been issued by Mutual Life to James C. Colgate (Mu-Colgate University) of the Stock Exchange firm of James B. Colgate & Co.  The largest previous life insurance policy was for $1,000,000.  Brother Colgate was the first alumnus selected for the Corporation of the University, now the Board of Trustees of Colgate University and was the President of the Board of Trustees for a number of years.  The James C. Colgate Student Union Building at Colgate University is named in his honor. 

April 1, 1909

Charles H. Sherrill (Phi-Yale University) is appointed as the Ambassador to Argentina.  Subsequently, Brother Sherrill was appointed as the Ambassador to Turkey (1932-1933).

During World War I, Brother Sherrill served as a Brigadier General.  At Yale, Brother Sherrill was a successful athlete, winning intercollegiate 100 yard dash titles four times in a row and 220 yard dash titles three times.  In 1888, Brother Sherrill used the “crouch start” for the first time in track and field sprints.  Between 1922 and his death on June 25, 1936, Brother Sherrill was an important member of the International Olympic Committee and played a vital role in organizing the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.  Brother Sherrill also was the author of 22 books dealing with such diverse topics as “Modernizing the Munroe Doctrine”, “French Memories of 18th Century America”, “Mosaics in Italy, Palestine, Syria, Turkey and Greece”, and “Bismarck & Mussolini”.

April 1, 1918

Henry Miller’s Theatre at 124 West 43rd Street, New York City opened.  The theatre was designed by Harry Creighton Ingalls (Sigma Tau-Massachusetts Institute of Technology).  The theatre remained open until 2004 when the interior was demolished and subsequently rebuilt to make way for the 57-storey Bank of America Tower which included a 1,055 seat theatre within the new structure.  Henry Miller’s Theatre was one of many theatres designed by Brother Ingalls.  They included the Plaza Theatre which opened in 1930 at 42 East 58th Street, New York, the Renaissance Theatre at the corner of 137th Street and 7th Avenue in Harlem, which Brother Ingalls said was “inspired by the Islamic architecture of North Africa”, and the Little Theatre, now known as the Helen Hayes Theatre, located at 240 West 44th Street which opened on March 12, 1912, which is known as the smallest theatre on Broadway, and which continues to feature Broadway shows.  Brother Ingalls also designed a number of well-known buildings including the Robert L. Dodge Residence in Mill Neck, Long Island, New York and the Union Theological Seminary at 120th Street and Claremont Avenue in New York City.  Brother Ingalls died on July 11, 1936.

April 1, 1960

Adrian R. Fisher (Phi Chi-Rutgers University) stepped down as Chairman of the Board of Johns-Manville Corporation.

April 1, 1981

Kenneth Dye (Phi Alpha-The University of British Columbia) was appointed as the Auditor General of Canada.  The Auditor General conducts independent audits of federal government operations.  Brother Dye served as the Auditor General of Canada until 1994. The Auditor General reports to the Canadian House of Commons.  During his term as Auditor General, Brother Dye reorganized the office to take advantage of new technologies and assisted the governments of China, Australia and Russia in developing their own government auditing bodies.  After leaving office in 1991, Brother Dye served as President of the Workers Compensation Board of British Columbia.  Since 2004, Brother Dye has served as Senior Vice President of Coldwater Accountability Group and has also served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Council on Smoking and Health.  Brother Dye has honorary doctorates from Simon Fraser University, the University of Ontario and the University of Waterloo.

April 2, 1935
We salute the contribution to service of Edwin Sweet (Phi-Yale University) who died this day at age 88.  Brother Sweet served as Mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan (1904-1906), and was later elected as a Democrat from the Fifth Congressional District of Michigan to the 62nd United States Congress serving from March 4, 1911 to March 3, 1913.  In 1913, Brother Sweet was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce, where he served until 1921.  In 1916, Brother Sweet was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Michigan.

April 2, 2001
Eric C. Fast (Beta-University of North Carolina) was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of Crane Co.  Brother Fast previously served as the President of Crane Canada Co., was President of Crane Co. after September 1999 and was Interim Chief Financial Officer (November 2007-July 2008).  In addition to manufacturing precision aircraft products, wells, pump systems and components in the aerospace industry, Crane Co. is perhaps best known for industrial fluid control and bathroom fixtures, as well as vending machines.

April 3, 2000

Anchorage International Airport is renamed Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to honor Ted Stevens (Theta Rho-University of California at Los Angeles), who was the United States Senator from Alaska (1968-2009).

April 3, 2009

We salute the significant contributions to aeronautics of H. Carl Munson Jr. (Sigma Rho-Stanford University) who died this day at age 79.  Brother Munson had a 25-year career with Boeing Company where he was instrumental in the conceptual development and launch of the 747 airline program.  Brother Munson retired in 1985 as Vice President of Strategic Planning for Boeing.

April 4, 2012

Colony status was awarded to a group at Oklahoma State University.

April 4, 2012

The Board of Directors approved Colony status of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

April 4, 2013

The book “Young Jerry Ford – Athlete and Citizen” is published by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. of Grand Rapids Michigan.  The book is authored by Hendrik Booraem V.  The book chronicles the early years of Gerald Ford (Omicron-University of Michigan). A book on his college years will follow.  However, at page 129 of the book, the author states: “The intellectual part of college life was not a big factor in Ford’s Ann Arbor experience.  He studied hard and maintained a B average, with some C’s and the occasional A.  The concepts and the vocabulary of his courses may have made a useful impression as preparation for law school, but no evidence suggests that he learned anything that interested or affected him deeply.  Probably the most meaningful part of his years at Michigan, in terms of maturity and growth, was his membership in the campus chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon, where he joined in the spring of his freshman year.  At Michigan, as elsewhere, the Dekes had the reputation of a party house, hospitable to athletes and wild escapades.  It was very different from his home life and values, but Jerry found he liked it.  He lived in the house on Geddes Road all three of his remaining years, becoming the house manager in his senior year, with the income and responsibility that position entailed.  The brothers were young, midwestern men from sophisticated urban backgrounds and income levels slightly above his own.  From them he learned the standard rights of manhood – the smoking, drinking, and sex – that had not been part of his home experience.  He also acquired a self-confidence and smoothness that were to stand him in good stead for years to come.  The friendships he made in DKE were among the closest and most durable of his life.”