This Week in DKE History May 3rd - May 9th

May 3, 1907

His Excellency Liang Tun-Yen (Phi-Yale University) is appointed as the Minister to the United States.  That appointment did not proceed as Brother Liang remained in China to become the Vice President of Waiwupu which controlled China’s foreign relations.  In 1909, Brother Liang was appointed as President of Waiwupu.  This was the highest post ever held by a foreign-educated citizen of China.  Brother Liang was subsequently appointed to the position of President of the Foreign Board, a position similar to the U.S. Secretary of State.  Brother Liang was the last Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Qing Dynasty.

May 3, 2002

We salute the military accomplishments and record of George Bowman Jr. (Zeta Zeta-Louisiana State University) who  died this day at age 91.  At L.S.U. and despite his 144 lb. weight, Brother Bowman played varsity football and captained the L.S.U. team in the 1936 Sugar Bowl.  Brother Bowman became a naval aviator in 1939 beginning a military career that spanned more than three decades and included three wars.  At the end of World War II, Lieutenant Colonel Bowman chaired the committee which developed specifications, requirements, employment doctrine and training requirements for the use of helicopters in amphibious warfare.  In Korea in 1952, Colonel Bowman commanded the Marine Aircraft Group 12, First Marine Aircraft Wing.  Brother Bowman was promoted to Brigadier General in July 1960 while serving as Assistant Chief of Staff in Hawaii.  In 1964, Brother Bowman assumed command of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing, Cherry Point, North Carolina.  Brother Bowman was promoted to Major General in 1965 and served as Deputy Commander of the Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic from 1966 until 1968.  Brother Bowman then spent a year as the Marine Corps liaison officer to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington D.C.  Ordered to Vietnam in July 1969, Brother Bowman was Deputy Commander of the Marine Amphibious Force, as well as Deputy Commander of the 24th Army Corps.  In 1970, Brother Bowman became Commanding General of the Marine Corps base in Camp Pendleton, California, the largest Marine base in the world.  In 1972, Brother Bowman retired from the Marine Corps to become Superintendent of the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas.  Brother Bowman stepped down in that capacity in 1978 when he was then named Vice President for Development of the Academy.  His work resulted in a new physical education center and an adjoining football field which eventually was dedicated in his name.

May 4, 1974

The U.S. Postal Service issues a stamp to commemorate the 100th running of the Kentucky Derby.  The artwork for the stamp was by Henry Koehler (Phi-Yale University) whose graphic designs and illustrations have appeared in Town & Country, Vogue, Sports Illustrated, and Ladies Home Journal.  Brother Koehler’s long association with the “sporting life” began soon after his graduation from Yale.  His first art exhibition was in 1961 and since that time he has shown 58 times in places as diverse as London, Paris, Dublin, Johannesburg, and throughout the United States.  Brother Koehler offers behind the scenes looks at jockeys, horses, dogs and the “special accoutrements” of the sport.  Brother Koehler has painted several commissioned portraits of well-known thoroughbreds but prefers genre pieces depicting horse-racing, polo games, and hunting in the field with horses.  He also does studies of jockey figures before and after their race.  His works can be seen in the National Racing Museum in Saratoga and the National Horse Racing Museum at Newmarket in Great Britain.

May 4, 1982

Alpha Mu Chapter is founded at Glassboro State College, Glassboro, New Jersey ( Rowan College of New Jersey after 1992). The initiation of the Charter Members took place at the Delta Kappa (University of Pennsylvania) Chapter House with the actives of Delta Kappa and of Phi Chi Chapter (Rutgers University) presiding.  The pledge sessions had been supervised by the actives of the Phi Chi Chapter in cooperation with the Fraternity Headquarters.  The “schooling” was conducted by Brother Bill Diana of the Phi Chi Chapter.

George H.W. Bush (Phi-Yale University) receives a Profile in Courage Award.  The Award was created in 1989 by members of the family of President John F. Kennedy to honor him and to recognize and celebrate the quality of political courage.  The Award recognizes a public official at the federal, state or local level whose actions demonstrate the qualities of politically courageous leadership in the spirit of Profiles in Courage, President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, which recounts the stories of eight U.S. Senators who risked their careers by embracing unpopular positions for the greater good.  The Award is represented by a sterling silver lantern, modelled after the lantern on the U.S.S. Constitution, the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy.  In 1990, Brother Bush negotiated with Congressional Democrats to enact a budget deal within included spending cuts and tax increases aimed at reducing the deficit by approximately $500 million over the next five years.  In order to reach the deal, Brother Bush agreed to tax increases as part of the compromise, and he was pilloried by conservatives for doing so.  Although he recognized the 1990 budget deal might doom his prospects for reelection, he did what he thought was best for the country and has since been credited with helping to lay the foundation of the economic growth of the 1990s that followed.  The Award was presented to Brother Bush by Jack Schlossberg, the grandson of President Kennedy on September 30, 2014.  At the ceremony, Mr. Schlossberg stated:  “America’s gain was President Bush’s loss and his decision to put country above party and political prospects made him an example of a modern profile in courage that is all too rare.”

Delta Chapter is founded at South Carolina College. While this is the traditional date given for the founding of the Chapter, it appears that this date may not be accurate as the Theta Chapter (Bowdoin College) had December 29, 1851 correspondence from the Chapter giving the names of the Chapter officers and discussing the proposed Convention.  The Chapter became inactive in 1861 after only 89 members were initiated.  A resolution was made at the 1883 Convention “to look … toward the re-establishment of our former chapter at that institution”.  The 1884 Convention saw the presentation from the Eta (University of Virginia) Chapter of a petition from students at the College of South Carolina requesting a reinstatement of the Delta Chapter.  At the 1885 Convention, the Chair of the Committee on the Status and Prospects of Southern Colleges reported that The University of South Carolina, along with Tulane University, The University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee, The University of Alabama and The University of North Carolina were described as deserving “special and favorable consideration”.  However, authorization was only given for the revival of the North Carolina and Alabama Chapters.  The report given to the January 1887 Convention held in Washington D.C. indicated that there was “little doubt” as to the eligibility of the institution, but

… partly by reasons of discouragement at the failure of a former effort, and partly through lack of acquaintance with modern Greek conditions and methods, the Alumni have so far failed to render the Committee such effective assistance as to justify immediate action.

The efforts did not come to fruition and, accordingly, the Delta Chapter was never revived.  The original Charter of the Delta Chapter can be viewed at Fraternity Headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

May 5, 1855

The Minutes of Phi Chapter record the following:  “Miami then came in for a share of the discussion and a motion was made and passed that the charter be demanded back.” The withdrawal of the Charter flowed from the split in the Chapter which saw 6  brothers leave the Chapter to form Sigma Phi which eventually became Sigma Chi Fraternity. Benjamin Piatt Runkle led the “rebels” and Whitelaw Reid led the loyalists. Kappa Chapter remained somewhat dormant until 1859 when the Convention held in Columbus, Ohio granted permission to resume activity with the initiation of eight new brothers.  This action was secured through the efforts of Brother Whitelaw Reid, who later became United States Ambassador to England.

May 5, 1879 
Alpha Chi Chapter is founded at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut.  At the time of the founding of the Chapter, only Delta Psi, Alpha Delta Phi, and Psi Upsilon were represented on campus.  By the Fall of 1877, there was a comparatively large number of undergraduates who were not members of any fraternity.  The Clio Literary Society was formed with six members from the Class of ’80 and six members from the Class of ’81.  A fourth storey room in a building on Main Street in Hartford was secured and members began to hold meetings regularly every Wednesday evening when the routine business would be transacted and a “literary scheduled” carried out.  It was decided to petition Delta Kappa Epsilon for a Charter.  A Petition was presented to the 32nd Annual Convention held in New York in 1878, the Petition was accepted and a Charter granted.

May 5, 1894

John Patton Jr. ([_________]) takes office as a United States Senator from Michigan.  Brother Patton served in that capacity until January 14, 1895.  In 1895, Brother Patton was an unsuccessful candidate for election to that office.  After his service in the Senate, Brother Patton became a banker and a member and later President of the Board of Library Commissioners in Grade Rapids, Michigan.  Brother Patton died in Grand Rapids on May 24, 1907 at age 56.

May 5, 1897

Stanford Newell (Phi-Yale University) was appointed to serve as the United States Ambassador to the Netherlands.  Brother Newell served in that capacity until 1906.  Brother Newell was also a member of the first Parks Board of St. Paul, Minnesota. Newell Park, which was dedicated in 1908 is one of the oldest parks in St. Paul and it is named in his honor. The beautiful pavilion space was built in 1929 and was the hub of community activity for many years. Newell Park's pavilion played host to a variety of large celebrations throughout the 1930's and would later become a part-time recreation center in the '70's and '80's. Nowadays, it is primarily used as a picnic pavilion space. Brother Newell died on April 7, 1907.

H. Roy Crabtree (Tau Alpha-McGill University) was granted an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Mount Allison University.  Brother Crabtree was the Chairman of the Board of the Fraser Companies, as well as the Chair and President of Wabasso Cotton Company of Montreal. Brother Crabtree served as the Chancellor of Mount Allison University (1968-1977).  Brother Crabtree received an honorary degree from Concordia University in May 1967, having served as a member of the Advisory Board of Governors and also a member of the Board of Governors of the University.

Middleton Place, South Carolina is added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  Middleton Place is a plantation in Dorchester County, directly across the Ashley River from North Charleston and about 15 miles northwest of Charleston.  Built in several phases throughout the 18th and 19th century, the plantation was the primary residence of several generations of the Middleton family.  The Middleton Place Gardens were described by the Garden Club of America in 1941 as the “most interesting and important garden in the United States”.  In 1971, the Middleton Place Foundation was established and Charles Doell (Phi-Yale University) was appointed as the first President. Brother Doell is the author of “Middleton Place:  A Phoenix Still Rising”, which features a history of Middleton Place from the colonial period into the 21st century.  Brother Doell is a Trustee of the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust, a Trustee Emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and serves on the Steering Committee for the International African American Museum in Charleston.

May 7, 1974

J. Lucian Smith (Chi-University of Mississippi) is elected President of Coca-Cola Company.  Brother Smith served in that capacity through 1979. Brother Smith had previously served as President of Coca-Cola USA. In his honor, the J. Lucian Smith Jr. Memorial Scholarship was endowed at the University of Mississippi in 1992. The scholarship for $1,000 per semester is available for any incoming freshman from the Greater Atlanta, Georgia area.


May 8, 1940

Students at Harvard University rioted when Eddie Anderson, who was the “Rochester” of the Jack Benny radio program, reported he had been “kidnapped” by students of “another college” and that this had caused him to be late for an appearance at a Harvard freshman “smoker”.  As a result, a battle between Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology students occurred and seven Harvard students were arrested for disturbing the peace and were fined $5 each in District Court.  Mr. Anderson had been met at the Providence, Rhode Island Airport by a number of MIT students who said they were the Harvard reception committee.  Instead of taking Mr. Anderson to the Harvard smoker, they took him to the Deke House at MIT where he was entertained until late at night and finally taken by automobile caravan to the Harvard smoker at Memorial Hall.  More than 2,000 students from both institutions battled and then “set upon” fifty Cambridge policemen who were summoned by a riot call.

May 9, 1885

Charlton T. Lewis, President of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Club, presided over the housewarming of the new clubhouse at 36 West 34th Street.  The New York Times reported that:  “The clubhouse is handsomely furnished, and is fully equipped with all desirable clubbable conveniences, including an excellent restaurant.  It is a broad 4-story building and the Committee of Arrangements apparently found little difficulty in adapting it to club purposes.”  Those in attendance include Julian Hawthorne (Alpha-Harvard University), noted author and son of Nathanial Hawthorne (Theta-Bowdoin College) (Honorary), Melville Dewey (Sigma-Amherst College), originator of the Dewey System of Cataloguing for Libraries, and George A. Plimpton (Sigma-Amherst), later President of the publishing house, Ginn and Company.  Two of the five surviving Founders of the Fraternity were also present – Drs. E.G. Bartlett and E.B. Shapleigh. The Club was formerly opened on May 28th, 1885.  This photographs shows the building now.