This Week in DKE History May 10th - May 16th

May 10, 1932

As the Deke Club at 5 East 51st Street had gone into foreclosure by the Bowery Savings Bank, arrangements were made to move the Deke Club to the Yale Club at 50 Vanderbilt Avenue.  The Council of the Fraternity arranged to occupy a sitting room and connecting office on the 14th floor of the Yale Club and that office was occupied by the Council until the late 1970s.  The DKE Club continues to operate at 50 Vanderbilt Avenue. Membership in the Club and the services in the Club, including hotel facilities, are available to all members of the Fraternity.  More details of the Club can be found on the Deke Website.

May 10, 1965

The Born Loser newspaper comic strip first appears.  The comic strip was created by Art Sansom, and he is now assisted by his son, Chip Sansom (Lambda-Kenyon College).  The comic strip is distributed by United Features Syndicate  and won the 1987 National Cartoonist Society Humor Comic Strip Award and the 1990 Newspaper Comic Strip Award.

May 10, 1976

Donald F. Hunter (Alpha Phi-University of Toronto) sold 42% of his 49% share of Canadian Publisher and Communication Company, Maclean Hunter, so that for the first time in the 85 year history of Maclean Hunter Ltd., no Maclean or Hunter controlled the company.  The Donald F. Hunter Charitable Foundation was established in his name and, in 2011, disbursed $300,576 to other charitable organizations “to assist them in meeting their goals”.  The Donald F. Hunter Professorship of International Business was established at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in recognition of the critical need in Canada for managers who are able to compete effectively in an increasingly global economic arena.

May 10, 1987

Charles Allerton Coolidge (Alpha-Harvard University) dies at age 78 and is buried at Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts in a mausoleum protected by a winged sun disc.  Brother Coolidge practiced architecture in Chicago where he designed such structures as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Public Library, and various buildings for the University of Chicago.  In 1916, Brother Coolidge was sent to China by the Rockefeller Foundation to prepare for the building of what became the Rockefeller Medical Union in what is now Beijing.  Brother Coolidge also designed the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in the Cornell Medical Center in New York and the medical school buildings  of Vanderbilt University, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Chicago.  He also designed the Sprague Music Building at Yale University, the John Nicholas Brown Library at Brown University, and the Law and Medical Schools at Harvard University.  The greatest commission for Brother Coolidge was that for Stanford University’s Quadrangle and a number of buildings at Stanford, including the Encina Hall, the Main Quadrangle Memorial Arch, and the Main Quadrangle.  While at Harvard, Brother Coolidge was one of the founders of the Harvard Lampoon.

May 11, 2004

Robert Speca (Delta Kappa-University of Pennsylvania) published his book “Championship Domino Toppling”.  Brother Speca originated a category of Domino Toppling in the Guinness Book of World Records and has held the world record five times.  Brother Speca has appeared on The Tonight Show twice. Host, Johnny Carson called his work “an art form in motion”.  Brother Speca has also performed on The Late Show with David Letterman and on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.  Brother Speca has created many domino displays to raise money for charities, as well as publicity events for shopping malls, corporate meetings, colleges and high schools.  He has also filmed advertisements for Kellogg’s, General Electric, Domino’s Pizza and IBM.  It is said that he has set up and toppled well over one million dominos in his career!  At Penn, Brother Speca was a competitive swimmer. After graduation, he has trained for and competed in 14 Ironman triathlons. He has competed in Hawaii and other locations and has appeared on the Wide World of Sports.  Brother Speca has competed in over 150 marathons and has even completed the torturous Western States 100 Mile Trail Run. A model of endurance and athleticism, Brother Speca began his 31st summer as a member of the Ocean City Beach Patrol in 2004.  His web site is

May 12, 1998

Peter Redman (Alpha Alpha-Middlebury College) is appointed as President of Cessna Finance Corporation. Cessna Finance is one of the largest financing companies in general aviation, offering financing and leasing on a full range of aircraft from high performance single engines to corporate jets.  It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Financial Corporation, a division of Textron Inc.

May 13, 1873

A resolution is passed at the 26th Convention calling for the halt of the election of Honorary members. Despite that resolution, the initiation of Honorary members was continued until at least the early 1900s.

May 13, 2014

The Board of Trustees of Lafayette College approve spending up to a total of $4,300,000 to renovate the Deke House on March Field.  The ground breaking with President Byerly was held during the June 7, 2014 reunion.  The renovation called for donations of $1,200,000 from Dekes and, although $800,000 had already been committed, the Board approval of the full $4,300,000 and the beginning of construction shows significant good faith from the College.  Rho Chapter, as part of its 160th Anniversary Campaign, was endowing a scholarship and a faculty award to commemorate the Anniversary.  Both gifts are above and beyond the $1,200,000 required for the renovation.  March Field is named after Peyton C. March (Rho-Lafayette College), who served as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army during World War I, and was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, and the Legion of Honour (France).

May 14, 1935

We salute the outstanding contribution made to astronomy by Edwin B. Frost (Pi-Dartmouth College) who died this day at age 70.  Brother Frost joined the staff of Yerkes Observatory in 1898, became Director in 1905, and served in that capacity until 1932.  Yerkes Observatory is the astronomical observatory operated by the University of Chicago and is located in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. The Observatory once contained the world’s largest telescope.  The research of Brother Frost focused on the  “determination of radial velocity using stellar spectroscopy and spectroscopic binaries”.  Brother Frost was the Editor of Astrophysical Journal from 1902 to 1932.  In 1915, Brother Frost lost the use of his right eye and, in 1921, his left eye.  Despite his blindness, Brother Frost continued working until 1932.  Asteroid 854 Frostia is named in his honor.

May 15, 1905

Belmont Park Racetrack was opened by August Belmont Jr. (Alpha-Harvard University).  Brother Belmont served as the first President of The Jockey Club and was the Chair of the New York State Racing Commission.  In 1895, he was one of the 9 founding members of the National Steeplechase Association.   Brother Belmont developed an important stud farm in Kentucky.  One of the greatest horses that was bred on the farm was Man o’ War.  The Belmont Stakes were transferred to Belmont Park. Horses from the stable of Brother Belmont won the Belmont Stakes in 1902, 1916 and 1917.  In 1888, Brother Belmont became the American Kennel Club’s 4th President.  Brother Belmont was a sprinter at Harvard and is said to have introduced spiked track shoes to the United States.  Brother Belmont founded and was President and Chair of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company in 1902 which helped finance the construction of and operate New York City’s first underground rapid transit line.  It is said that Brother Belmont held the distinction of owning the world’s only purpose-built private subway car which he named “Mineola”.  The car was used by him to give tours of the I.R.T. system.

May 15, 1907

George Otis Smith (Xi-Colby College) is appointed as the Director of the United States Geological Survey.  Brother Smith served in that capacity until 1922 and again between 1923 and 1930.  Brother Smith also served as the first Chairman of the Federal Power Commission (1930‑33).  Brother Smith had joined the Survey after receiving his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in 1896 and was barely 36 years old when he was appointed Director.  After the Great Coal Strike in 1922, a Coal Commission was established to study the problems and Brother Smith was a member of the Commission.  Brother Smith also served as Chairman of a three-man commission appointed by President Coolidge in March 1924 after the Teapot Dome Scandal to study the efficient management of the naval petroleum reserves.  Brother Smith also served as the Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the Federal Oil Conservation Board established in December 1924 to reappraise Federal oil policies.  Brother Smith died on January 10, 1944 at age 73.

May 15, 2014

The Board of Directors of the Fraternity approved a Charter for Phi Mu Chapter at Manhattan College.  The College is a private, independent Roman Catholic liberal arts college located in the Bronx, New York.  It was founded in 1853 and has approximately 3,200 undergraduates in attendance.  U.S. News & World Report lists the College as one of the top 20 colleges in the Regional Universities North category.  The College offers a degree in five undergraduate schools: arts, business, education and health, engineering and science.  Delta Kappa Epsilon is the first Fraternity to be established at Manhattan College. The Founding Fathers initiated on April 21, 2012 were:  Kevin Farrell Britton; Ian Alexander Ferrara; Michael Vincent Gallo; Frank Bryan Giordano; William James Kobetitsch; Eric Charles Krudner; Sean Shankar Patel; Christopher Manzin Poulos; Jon-Paul Francis Pullo, and Tyler Carey Travis.

May 15, 2014

The Board of Directors of the Fraternity approved a Charter for Gamma Iota Chapter (Gannon University). Gannon University is a private, coeducational Catholic University in Erie, Pennsylvania, established in 1925, and it has approximately 3,000 full-time undergraduate students.  For the sixth year, U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” has ranked Gannon University as a Top Tier Master’s University in the northern section of the United States.  There are six other fraternities and five sororities on campus.  The Founding Fathers initiated on April 21, 2013 were Nicholas Joseph Botera, Scott Christopher Conrad, Gregory Joseph Facchine, Eric Jay Faust, Andrew David Fenstermacher, Robert Francis Fisher, Cory Paul Johnston, Nicholas Andrew King, Christopher Stephen Langford, Kyle Andrew Moore, Jerome Kevin O’Rourke, Matthew Alexander Reasinger, and Zachary Andrew Taylor.

May 15, 2014

The Board of Directors of the Fraternity approved a Charter for Chi Beta Chapter (University of North Carolina – Wilmington).  The University of North Carolina at Wilmington is a public, coeducational university located in Wilmington, North Carolina.  It was established in 1947 and has just under 13,000 undergraduate students enrolled.  We join 15 fraternities and nine sororities on the campus.  U.S. News & World Report ranked the University in the top ten for the Public Masters Universities in the South.  The University offers degrees in humanities, sciences, health, business and professional fields.  The Founding Fathers initiated on December 2, 2012 were Dewey Franklin Bennett, Trenton Chance Booth, Flynn Clemens Brydon-Corton, Nicholas John DeFalco, Zachary Scott Jordan, Joshua Philip Lanning, John David William McGee, Elvis Preston Mitropoulos, Brian Joseph Nasca, Omar Alexander Trauco, Spencer David Warren, and Jonathan Michael Reed Withers.

May 15, 2014

The Board of Directors approved Colony status for an interest group at Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York.  Ithaca College is a private institution founded in 1892 and has approximately 6,300 undergraduate students.  The College has been ranked among the top ten Master’s universities in the north by U.S. News & World Reports every year since 1996, and has also consistently been named among the best colleges in the United States by Princeton Review.  Due to a series of highly publicized hazing incidents in the 1980s, the College Administration removed recognition from the five social Fraternities that were established on campus.  Our Colony will join one other Colony which will not be affiliated with the College. 

May 15, 2014

The Board of Directors approved the University of Oxford as a Colony of the Fraternity.  The University is at least 900 years old and has consistently been ranked as one of the world’s leading academic institutions.  Located in Oxford, English, the University has approximately 12,000 undergraduate students and 9,500 post-graduate students.  Included with noted alumni are 27 Nobel Laureates and 26 British prime ministers.  The addition of the University of Oxford as a Colony of the Fraternity brings to four that have been approved for the United Kingdom.

May 16, 1911

The following notice was set out in the Delta Kappa Epsilon Quarterly relating to the pins of the Fraternity:  “The attention of the Fraternity, both the active chapters and graduate members, is called to the fact that, by the Convention rules, all pins must be ordered through the Council, which is only authorized to order the regulation pin as adopted by the Convention.  Exception was only made to this rule, passed several years ago, in the case of the Phi Chapter, which was allowed to retain the pin always used by them since the foundation of the Fraternity, including the name of the college, which only can be ordered through Ford & Co. of New Haven.  No pins larger or smaller than those made up, with any jewels or in any way different from the regulation pin adopted by this Fraternity, can or should be worn by any member, or ordered by anyone for his own use, or to give or dispose of in any way to any other.  While other firms in different parts of the country do make DKE pins, it is strictly against our rule, and it is a hope that every member of the Fraternity will not only observe the law established by his Fraternity, necessary in order to establish regularity of pin and some dignified method to control acts which have been injurious to the good name of our Fraternity in the past, but, by ordering all pins through the Council, will assist us financially under the above arrangement.  A high grade of pin is guaranteed, and, including the cost of postage or express, the price of each pin, with the name, chapter and class engraved thereon, is $3.00, payable to the order of the Council.  It is earnestly hoped that this notice will be kept in mind, for the above reasons.”

At that point, Messrs. Dieges & Clust of New York City was named as the Official Jeweler of the Fraternity. In the February 1912 edition of the DKE Quarterly, it was noted that the price of the pin was now $4.00 (including engraving and express charges).