This Week in DKE History April 12th - April 18th

April 12, 1901

We salute the contributions made to commerce and the transportation industry of the United States by Aldace F. Walker (Alpha Alpha-Middlebury College) who died this day at age 59..  Brother Walker was one of the original members of the Interstate Commerce Commission when that organization was created in 1887.  In 1889, Brother Walker resigned his position to become Chairman of the Interstate Commerce Railway Association.  On August 8, 1894, Brother Walker became the 13th President of the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.  During the Civil War, Brother Walked enlisted in Company B, First Artillery, 11th Vermont Volunteers.  He subsequently became a Major and Lieutenant Colonel in the Regiment.  He was brevetted Lieutenant Colonel for gallantry at the battles of Opequan, Fisher’s Hill and Cedar Creek.

April 13, 1955

We salute the contributions made to the Army of the United States by Peyton C. March (Rho-Lafayette College) who died this day at age 92.  During World War I, Brother March was promoted to Brigadier General and commanded the First Field Artillery Brigade, First Infantry Division, American Expeditionary Forces.  He was later promoted to Major General and commanded the artillery units of the U.S. First Army.  On March 4, 1918, Brother March became acting Army Chief of Staff and, on May 20, 1918, the Army Chief of Staff.  Brother March served in that capacity until June 30, 1921.  As Chief of Staff, Brother March reorganized the Army structure and abolished the distinctions between the Regular Army, the Army Reserves, and the Army National Guard during war time.  He also created the U.S. Army Air Corp, the Chemical Warfare Corps, the Transportation Corps, and the Tank Corps.  After the war ended, Brother March supervised the demobilization of the Army.  Brother March retired as a Major General in 1921, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, and the Legion of Honor (France).

April 13, 1985

Theta Upsilon is chartered at Arizona State University.  The possibility of a chapter at the University is first reflected in the Minutes of the August 15, 1984 meeting of the Board of Directors when the Board considered a petition for colony status received from a group of undergraduates.  The October 18, 1984 Minutes reflect the report from Brother Duncan Andrews (Rho-Lafayette College) and his recommendation that the group be approved as a Colony.  The Board voted unanimously to install the group as the newest colony of the Fraternity. The date of April 13, 1985 was selected as the initiation date and Brother Andrews and Brother Franklin attended on behalf of the Board along with representatives of the Theta Zeta-Berkeley Chapter and local area Deke alumni from Phoenix.  Theta Upsilon Chapter obtained IFC recognition in the Fall of 1986, winning that recognition over two rivals.

April 13, 1987

We salute the significant contributions made to commerce and the credit card industry by William H. Morton (Pi-Dartmouth College) who died this day at age 77.  Brother Morton became the Vice President of American Express in 1966 and became the President in 1968.  While at Dartmouth, Brother Morton was twice named an All-American in ice hockey and once in football.  After graduation from Dartmouth, Brother Morton chaired the Dartmouth Athletic Council and was later a Trustee of the College.  He received an Honorary Doctor of Law from Dartmouth in 1982.  The National Football Foundation awarded him its Gold Medal in 1986.  In 1987, a dormitory at Dartmouth was named in his honor.  Brother Morton is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

April 14, 1850

Chi Chapter is chartered at the University of Mississippi as the first Greek letter fraternity at the University.  Prior to the Chapter being inactive between 1861 and 1865, a total of 125 members were initiated in the first 13 years of the Chapter.  The last meeting held was on April 26, 1861, and the next meeting after that was on January 6, 1866.  The following resolution was passed at the June 20, 1866 Convention held at the Omicron Chapter:

That we view with extreme pleasure and gratification the termination of the late national conflict which temporarily separated the States of our Federal Union and as a consequence severed the relations between the Northern and Southern Chapters of our Fraternity, and that we heartily rejoice in the return of peace which enables our Southern brethren to resume their place in brotherhood, and to again be represented on the floor of our General Convention.

That we extend our cordial welcome to those Chapters which have reorganized and that we recommend for re-establishment, as hereinafter provided, of the other suspended chapters so soon as they may be enabled so to do, assuring them that they will be affectionately received in the golden bonds of our Brotherhood.

That the Southern suspended chapters be considered reestablished upon the procural of their old charters, and that the Phi Chapter be instructed to issue duplicate charters to the old members upon satisfactory evidence of the original charters having been lost or destroyed.

That a committee of one be appointed to open correspondence with the suspended chapters in regard to organization and report to the 21st Convention.

That as an evidence of our feeling toward the Southern Chapters, a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to such as have already organized, and others as they may from time to time resume their relations with the Fraternity.

April 14, 1909

We salute the contributions made to public service by Matthew C. Butler (Delta-South Carolina College) who died this day at age 73.  Brother Butler was the highest-ranking Deke combat officer in the Confederate Army, serving as a Major General.  After the Civil War, Brother Butler was elected to the South Carolina State House of Representatives in 1861 and in 1866, and to the U.S. Senate where he served between 1877 and 1895.  Brother Butler was appointed Major General in the U.S. Volunteers during the Spanish-American War.  Brother Butler was one of only a handful of former Confederate officers to serve in the U.S. Army during that campaign.  After the American victory in 1898, Brother Butler supervised the evacuation of Spanish troops from Cuba.  The Matthew C. Butler Camp No. 12 of the South Carolina Society of the Military Order of the Stars and Bars is named in his honor.

April 15, 1904

The newly formed DKE Association of New York held a dinner at Delmonico’s.  One of the guest speakers was Robert E. Peary (Theta-Bowdoin College) who five years later would reach the geographic North Pole.  A similar dinner was tendered at the Waldorf-Astoria on February 14, 1905 by the Association for Whitelaw Reid (Kappa-Miami University) to honor Brother Reid who had recently been appointed the Ambassador to England.

April 15, 1959

We salute the public service and business accomplishments of Pierrepont B. Noyes (Mu-Colgate University) who died this day at age 89.  Under his leadership, Oneida Limited became the world’s largest producer of silverware and stainless steel flatware.  After World War I, Brother Noyes served as the U.S. Representative on the Allied Commission that administered the Rhineland after the defeat of Germany.  Brother Noyes was an unsuccessful Democratic Party candidate for Congress in 1928. In 1933, Brother Noyes was appointed President of the Saratoga Springs Authority which oversaw the construction of a resort at the famous spa as part of a state-sponsored redevelopment plan.

April 16, 1853

A letter was sent out to the Chapters indicating that a meeting of the Upsilon Chapter (Brown University) was held and it was decided to publish a “Delta Kappa Epsilon waltz or polka or something of the sort, provided sufficient encouragement should be given out by the other chapters”.  The chapters asked how many copies would be taken up by their members and the following was also added:  “The music will of course be got up in the best style but probably will not cost more than 17₵ a copy.”  The Polka was then published and was deposited with the Library of Congress on July 25, 1853.  The publication page and the score for the Polka is available on the Library of Congress website. The Greek letters of the various chapters then in existence are set out but the alternating order appears to be Phi, Theta, Xi, Sigma, Gamma, Xi, Upsilon, Beta, Chi, Delta, Alpha, Omega, Kappa, Zeta, Eta and Lambda. It appears that either the traditional dating of the formation of Chapters has been incorrect or that the understanding of the Upsilon chapter at the time was incorrect.

April 16, 1862

Captain Samuel E. Pingree (Pi-Dartmouth College) was severely wounded at the Battle at Lees’ Mills when  he led his company across a wide creek and drove the opposing forces from rifle pits on the opposite bank.  Subsequently, Brother Pingree spent ten weeks recuperating in a Philadelphia hospital. Brother Pingree was later placed in command of the 2nd Vermont Infantry since all of the field officers of that unit had been killed or wounded.  As such, Brother Pingree participated in the Battles of Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and Weldon Railroad.  Brother Pingree’s final military action occurred at Fort Stevens on July 11-12, 1864.  His actions at Lees’ Mills on April 16, 1862 resulted in Brother Pingree receiving the Medal of Honor on August 17, 1891.  Brother Pingree was the first of 15 Brothers to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Brothers of Delta Kappa Epsilon have received the most Medals of Honor of all Fraternities. The Medal of Honor citation of brother Pingree reads:  “Gallantly led his company across a wide, deep creek, drove the enemy from the rifle pits, which were within 2 yards of the farther bank, and remained at the head of his men until a second time severely wounded” After the War, Brother Pingree returned to Hartford, Vermont and his law practice.  In 1882, Brother Pingree was elected Lieutenant Governor of Vermont and, in 1884, the Governor of Vermont.

April 16, 1874

We salute the military and diplomatic contributions made by John Croxton (Phi-Yale University) who died this day at age 38.  After graduation, Brother Croxton was admitted to the Bar in Mississippi and Kentucky.  In October 1861, President Lincoln appointed Brother Croxton as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 4th Kentucky Mounted Infantry.  In 1852, Brother Croxton became a Colonel and in 1864 was promoted to Brigadier General at the age of 27, leading a cavalry brigade in the Army of the Cumberland during the Atlanta campaign.  His cavalry was active in Alabama during the final months of the war.  On April 4, 1865, his force of 1,500 men seized Tuscaloosa.  In the process, most of the buildings at the University of Alabama were burned as was  much of the town’s industry and warehouses.  In the promotions which followed the cessation of hostilities, Brother Croxton was brevetted as a Major General.  He was appointed to command the District of Southwest Georgia as provincial governor until he resigned on December 26, 1865.  After his resignation, Brother Croxton returned to his Kentucky law practice.  In 1872, he was appointed by President Grant as the U.S. Minister to Bolivia.  He died in office.

April 16, 1901

Alexander C. McClurg (Kappa-Miami University) dies at age 69.During the Civil War, Brother McClurg enlisted as a private soldier, but later became Captain of the 88th Illinois Volunteers before being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and being brevetted as a Colonel and Brigadier General.  Brother McClurg was Chief of Staff of the 14th Army Corps and participated in the battles of Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge.  Brother McClurg also accompanied William Tecumseh Sherman (Pi-Dartmouth College) (Honorary) “to the sea”.  His company A.C. McClurg & Co. became one of the largest book distributing companies in the United States.  His business was burned out in 1899, but the company was reorganized with a capital of $600,000, Brother McClurg was made its President, and much of the stock was distributed gratis among employees who were also permitted to buy shares on “easy terms”.  His company is best known for the publication of “Tarzan of the Apes” by Edgar Rice Burroughs, as well as ten other Tarzan titles.

April 16, 1908

President Theodore Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard University) signs Proclamation No. 804, setting aside Natural Bridges in the State of Utah as a National Monument.  Located about 50 miles northwest of the boundary of southeast Utah at the junction of White Canyon and Armstrong Canyon, the National Monument features the second largest natural bridge in the world.

April 16, 1917

Lieutenant Commander Morgan Adams (Sigma Rho-Stanford University) entered Federal Service as Commanding Officer of the Torpedo Boat Farragut.  Brother Adams was the first officer of the Navy militia to be placed in command of a U.S. Navy vessel.  Brother Adams advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1918 and was later placed in command of the Pacific terminal of the Panama Canal.  Brother Adams also holds a distinction as a yachtsman, having paid the first toll received by the U.S. Government for the use of the Panama Canal by a pleasure boat.  His boat, The Lasata passed through the Zone on August 14, 1914.  The crossing occurred during a 6,000 mile voyage from Jacksonville, Florida to Los Angeles.  In World War II, Brother Adams was called to Washington as an advisor to Secretary of the Navy,  Forrestal, serving as his personal representative in organizing a construction system for the vast flotilla of navy vessels that were to be built.  For his efforts, Brother Adams received the highest civilian award from the Navy, the Distinguished Civil Service Certificate.  Brother Adams died on August 6, 1951 at the age of 65.  At the time, Brother Adams was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

April 16, 1937

Alfred Swayne (Phi-Yale University) dies at age 67.  Brother Swayne was the Vice President of General Motors Corporation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of General Motors Acceptance Corporation.  Brother Swayne was one of the founders of the Yale Club of New York (1897).  He was sent to Cuba in 1898 by the North American Trust Company to organize a modern banking system.  His work was completed in two years, resulting in the formation of the National Bank of Cuba.  On his return from Cuba, Brother Swayne became Treasurer of the Atlantic Trust Company.  Brother Swayne also was the Chairman of the General Motors Institutional Advertising Committee.  Brother Swayne was the brother of Wager Swayne (Phi-Yale University), the Military Governor of Alabama from March 2, 1867 to July 14, 1868, and the recipient of a Medal of Honor. Brother Swayne died in 1937 at age 67.

April 16, 1983

Epsilon Rho Chapter is founded at Duke University. In a March 4, 1983 Memorandum to the Board of Directors of the Fraternity, it was noted that : “ the Colony, when it becomes a Chapter, will be called “Epsilon Rho”.  I believe such means “knowledge and religion” – such are the words within the Duke University crest, and the Colony wants this.  They now have housing on East Campus along with Sigma Chi, KA, Phi Kappa Psi. 

While they can’t rush until September–83, several independents are already seeking membership and will “wait”.  They estimate 35 members by next Fall.  A big campus party is planned by the Colony at the end of this term!” It was not until February 1983 that the Colony was approved by the IFC and the administration of the University.  A possibility of a chapter at Duke University arose as early as 1970 when a group there expressed interest, but the Minutes of the Council of the Fraternity stated:  “It was ... [the] recommendation that the group at Duke University, which had expressed interest in affiliation, not be given further consideration at this time.” The acceptance of the Chapter at Duke was assisted greatly by the intervention provided by Angier Biddle Duke (Phi - Yale University) whose family had provided the funding for Duke.

April 17, 1907

Regis Henri Post (Alpha-Harvard University) is appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt (Alpha-Harvard University) as Governor of Puerto Rico.  Brother Post served in that capacity to November 6, 1909.  His frequent disagreements with the Puerto Rico Legislature led to the failure of the Legislature to pass any budget in 1909.  The resulting political crisis on the Island resulted in the passage of the Olmstead Amendment at the request of President Taft.  The Amendment became law on July 16, 1909 and stated that, whenever the Puerto Rican Legislature adjourned without consensus about appropriations for the support of the government, the sums appropriated from the previous year would be considered appropriate.  The Act also placed the supervision of Puerto Rican affairs in the jurisdiction of an executive department to be designated by the President.

April 17, 1975

Peter Burwash (Alpha Phi, University of Toronto) establishes Peter Burwash International, which has  grown into the world’s largest international tennis program management organization with operations at 50 resorts, clubs and hotels in 32 countries.  After playing both tennis and ice hockey at the University of Toronto, Brother Burwash graduated with a Bachelor of Physical Education degree before playing tennis as an amateur and a professional.  Brother Burwash is a United States Professional Tennis Association Master Professional, and has coached many tennis players, including Venus Williams and Serena Williams, Greg Rusedski and Sebastien Lareau, who won a Gold Medal in doubles with Canadian Daniel Nestor at the 2000 Olympics.  Brother Burwash is the author of ten books on topics such as nutrition, exercise, personal development, teenagers, service and leadership, and currently tours the world giving motivational speeches.  Brother Burwash is instructional editor for Tennis Magazine and his latest book, Becoming the Master of Your D-A-S-H was released in May 2007.  Brother Burwash has been a tennis television commentator on The Sports Network and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation when those networks covered the Rogers Cup.  Brother Burwash was awarded the Educational Merit Award by the International Tennis Hall of Fame for his mentoring and teaching of tennis and was inducted into the University of Toronto Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.  In 2006, Brother Burwash was named the winner of the Tennis News – Tennis Person of the Year.

April 18, 2014

The Board of Directors of the Fraternity gave Colony status to a group of 18 men keen to reestablish the Delta Pi Chapter that had been founded at the school in 1904.

April 18, 1996

C. Rede Petersmeyer (Zeta Zeta-Berkeley), died this day at age 77.  After graduation, Brother Petersmeyer went to work for the country’s venture capital firm, J.H. Whitney & Company, the founders of which were John Hay Whitney (Phi-Yale University) and Benno Schmidt (Phi-Yale University).  Brother Petersmeyer soon became a partner in the firm and, seeing the great potential in the new technology of television, convinced the firm to invest in the new medium.  Brother Petersmeyer founded and became the Chairman of the Corinthian Broadcasting Corporation which owned television stations in Tulsa, Houston, Sacramento, Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Indiana, and two radio stations.  In 1971, Corinthian merged with Dun & Bradstreet Corporation with Brother Petersmeyer remaining as a Director of the merged firm.  Brother Petersmeyer was a Trustee of the Committee for Economic Development, a Trustee of Sarah Lawrence College, and a member of the Executive Council of the Harvard Business School Association, and on the Boards of Directors of the Television Information Office, the Association of Maximum Service Telecasters, and on the National Association of Broadcasters.  For a number of years, Brother Petersmeyer served as a representative on the DKE Council for his Chapter.  Brother Petersmeyer also served as a Director of the Carte Blanche Corporation, the  service affiliate of the First National City Bank.  Brother Petersmeyer helped found the Tulsa Opera and was an Advisory Director of the Metropolitan Opera Association.  In the photograph, Brother Petersmeyer is shown presenting President Kennedy with a gold Radio and Television Executive Society Medal in response to President Kennedy’s innovation of holding live, televised press conferences.

April 18, 2009

We salute the contributions made to the newspaper industry of Whitelaw Reid (Phi-Yale University) who died this day at age 96.  Brother Reid was named after his grandfather, Whitelaw Reid (Kappa-Miami University), who published the New York Herald and later served as U.S. ambassador to both France and the United Kingdom as well as being the Republican Vice Presidential nominee with incumbent President Benjamin Harrison.  Brother Reid served as Editor, President and Chairman of the family-owned New York Herald Tribune.  Brother Reid was an avid sportsman throughout his life and won a tennis national singles title in his age group at age 85 and a national doubles title at age 90.  In 1958, the parent company for the newspaper was purchased by John Hay Whitney (Phi-Yale University). The Reid family estate in Purchase, New York, is now the site of Manhattanville College, a private coeducational liberal arts college offering undergraduate and graduate degrees.

April 18, 2012

Dick Clark (Phi Gamma-Syracuse University) died this day at age 82.  A loyal Deke throughout his career, the Estate of Brother Clark has now gifted $1 million to his Phi Gamma Chapter.