National History
Kettering-B Chapter History

National History 

The Founding of The Delta Chi Fraternity
Since at least 1929, Delta Chi has recognized the following eleven men as the Founders of The Delta Chi Fraternity: Albert Sullard Barnes, Myron McKee Crandall, John Milton Gorham, Peter Schermerhorn Johnson, Edward Richard O'Malley, Owen Lincoln Potter, Alphonse Derwin Stillman, Thomas A. J. Sullivan, Monroe Marsh Sweetland, Thomas David Watkins, Frederick Moore Whitney.

This list has not always been the accepted one. Even those on the list had differing opinions as to who deserved such recognition. To more fully understand the confusion, let us go back to the school year of 1889-90 and "set the stage" for the inception of the second law fraternity at Cornell. The school year of 1889-90 began with conversations of starting a new law fraternity, but, as school work increased, the idea was put off until the spring semester. Two incidents have been credited with providing the impetus for renewed interest in the founding of what was to become Delta Chi. One was the election of a Phi Delta Phi as the Law School Editor of the Cornell Daily Sun (the student newspaper) and the second was the election of the law school junior class president. in the case of the class presidency, Alphonse Derwin Stillman had done some campaigning for a student named Irving G. Hubbard and was unaware of any effort being made in anyone else's behalf. When the voting results were in, Charles Frenkel, a Phi Delta Phi, was declared the winner. That caused Stillman to start "asking around." It appears that what he found was a law school which was dominated by one small, closely knit group -- Phi Delta Phi.

The question of who first conceived the idea of a new fraternity will probably never be answered. According to Frederick Moore Whitney there were probably two or three groups working on the idea that spring.

Monroe Marsh Sweetland (who was also a member of Delta Tau Delta from Cornell) claimed the idea was his alone; Myron McKee Crandall claimed the fraternity was started in his and Frank Edward Thomas's apartment at 126 E. Seneca Street; Stillman remembered being approached by "one of the boys" after the class election but couldn't remember who.

In any case, there were meetings held in Crandall's apartment as well as in Sweetland's law office on Wilgus Street. It is not clear how these two groups came together, or even in which month, though there seems to have been some individuals who had attended both groups. Crandall did remember approaching Sweetland about the concept of the new fraternity and how excited he was, and how he had joined right in. Sweetland said he always had considered the founding of Delta Chi to date back to when he had unfolded the whole idea to Crandall.

While the class officer elections and the Law School Editorship incidents may have provided the initial incentives for organization, it soon became clear that those involved were looking for much more. Realizing a common desire for fellowship and intellectual association, they sought to enrich their college experiences by creating among themselves a common bond; a bond that would materially assist each in the acquisition of a sound education; a bond that would provide each enduring value. As with any important commitment, there must be time for contemplation and planning.

Over the summer, many of the details of the organization were worked out by Crandall, who had stayed in Ithaca until after school opened. There was additional work accomplished by Sweetland, John Milton Gorham and Stillman.

In regards to the adoption of the constitution, Albert Sullard Barnes wrote the following in his 1907 Quarterly article:
"As I recall it, after refreshing my recollection from the original minutes now in my possession, on the evening of October 13, 1890, six students in the Law School, brothers John M. Gorham, Thomas J. Sullivan, F. K. Stephens, A.D. Stillman and the writer, together with Myron Crandall and O. L. Potter, graduate students, and Monroe Sweetland, a former student in the Law School, met in a brother's room and adopted the constitution and by-laws, and organized the Delta Chi Fraternity."
The minutes from that meeting state "Charter granted to Cornell Chapter" (Note: While it is only supposition, it is believed that the Founders chose to name their chapter and, therefore, all chapters to follow, after the school in which they had so much pride in hopes that some of the prestige of the school would "rub off" on their fraternity. The naming of chapters varies from fraternity to fraternity with school names, Greek alphabet, Greek alphabet within state and Greek alphabet and numbers being the most common.) indicating from the beginning the intent to start a national fraternity. From the spring semester of 1890 until October 13, 1890, there existed, in effect, a fraternity which had no chapters.

In the fall of 1890 the names of Fred Kingsbury Stephens, Martin Joseph Flannery and Frank Edward Thomas appeared on the agreement to share the cost of purchasing a sample badge for the fraternity, and the signatures of both Flannery and Stephens appeared on the pledge "... to form a Greek letter fraternity...." Since both Flannery and Stephens dropped out of the organization early, they have not been included as Founders.

Original Constitution
Click on the image for a larger version.

The inclusion of Thomas' name as a Founder has been hotly debated since the beginning, and Carl Peterson, Union '22, who had researched the founding of Delta Chi during the 20s and was largely responsible for the recognition of Crandall as a Founder, maintained that Thomas was equally deserving. This was confirmed in conversations with Barnes, Crandall and Thomas, but met with opposition from some of the remaining Founders. The prime reason for denying his recognition seems to be the fact that the did not return to Ithaca in the fall of 1890, even though he was actively involved in the inception of the fraternity during the 1889-90 school year when it, at least on an informal basis, actually came into existence. The possible role he played in the birth of Delta Chi is re-counted in Peterson's article "New Version of Our Founding," in the September 1930 Quarterly. The authenticity of this role was strongly supported by Crandall. It is interesting to note that Crandall also did not return to school in the fall of 1890, although he did work in Ithaca until early in the fall semester when he left for Utica, N.Y. and Sweetland, having graduated the previous spring, was practicing law in Ithaca. Despite this, Crandall was listed as an active charter member of the Cornell Chapter on October 13, 1890. It was at his insistence, with it is assumed, the support of the majority of the members present, that Frank Thomas was listed as an honorary member. Sweetland was listed as an honorary charter member. Several of the Founders were working on their masters of Law degrees when the Fraternity was being organized.

Up until the publishing of the 1929 Directory the list of our Founders did not include the name of Crandall. The inclusion of his name at that time was largely due to a replica of the original historical work of Peterson, even though as early as August 14, 1924, Crandall's name was recommended by Whitney for such recognition.

In the same letter, Whitney recommended that Peter Schermerhorn Johnson not be recognized as a Founder since he wasn't initiated until December 1890 or March 1891. Johnson was, however, responsible for a large portion of the secrets of the Fraternity, writing "Foven's Mater" and drawing the first emblem for Delta Chi.

In the hearts and minds of every Delta Chi, October 13, 1890
is a date to be remembered.

The Name of the Fraternity and Badge
The choosing of the name for the new fraternity is difficult to credit to any one person. In a letter dated November 7, 1919, Crandall claimed remembering having a conference with Sweetland during the summer of 1890 concerning the naming of the fraternity. He also stated that Barnes may have "had something to do about it." In the same letter he recounted enlisting George Hoxie, a student in the University, but not a law student, to help make a drawing of the Delta Chi badge that same summer. Hoxie's involvement was confirmed by Whitney and Thomas. Sweetland claimed he, and he alone, picked the name of "Delta Chi" and that he liked the way the two words sounded together. Sweetland further said that he submitted the design and drawing for the first badge which was made by Heggie, an Ithaca jeweler. We do know that "Delta Tau Omega" was considered, and that they may have considered "Omega Chi."

There seems to be no doubt that Barnes obtained the first badge (which he lost at a class reunion 25 years later) and that the second badge was made for Whitney but purchased by Sweetland.

In an article published in Volume 5 Number 1 of the Quarterly, Barnes stated that he had in his possession at that time, 1907, "... no less than seventeen designs ..." for the badge. Barnes also claimed to be the chairman of a committee on designing the badge. The badge that Barnes owned had gold letters and a diamond in the center. This badge was worn by the Founders and frequently borrowed by the other members for special occasions, and while having their pictures taken.

The first departure from this, according to Johnson, came when Richard Lonergan, Cornell '92, had his made retaining the diamond in the center, but had the Delta mounted in black enamel. An early description of the badge stated that the Delta was jeweled or enameled to suit the owner with a diamond usually surmounting the center. The Chi was jeweled with one garnet on each arm.

Shown here is a replica of the original badge worn by the Founders

The Ritual
The main work of composing the Ritual was done by Stillman, either during the summer or early fall of 1890. Supposedly the Ritual was read at a meeting when it was still incomplete and was submitted shortly thereafter at a meeting on October 20, 1890, where it was adopted. Since a committee on the Ritual composed of Stillman, Barnes, and Stephens was appointed on October 13, 1890, it seems probable that it was originally read at that meeting, and that Stillman was given some help in completing the Ritual. In Stillman's own words, "I looked upon that Ritual as temporary and that (it) would serve until some genius could devise something entirely original. The ritual contained many phrases that were not original and which, as I '(Stillman) remember, I did not take the trouble to mark as quotations. The principal ideas are almost as old as civilization, and it was my idea that an entirely new ritual would be prepared." The original Ritual was written on both sides of some sheets of old style legal cap, and was signed by each new initiate. A rehearsal was held on November 14, 1890, and on November 26, 1890, Albert T. Wilkinson (who later introduced Kimball to the Fraternity), Frank Bowman, and George Wilcox were initiated in short form. It was not until December 3, 1890, when Frederick Bagley was initiated, that the full initiation was used. At the November 14, 1890 meeting, Gorham, Stillman, and Sullivan presented the grip and passwords for adoption.

The structure of the Delta Chi's initiation ritual
has remained virtually unchanged since it was used on
november 26, 1890.

The Emblem
The emblem of the fraternity changed greatly in the early years. At one time it was a rock wall with ∆X on a scroll in the center, with the hand of humanity reaching for the key of knowledge above the wall. This was adopted prior to the N.Y.U. installation. Stillman was probably responsible for the battle axe and scimitar which were included in an early design. The rock wall design was submitted by Johnson.

The hand of humanity reaching for the key of knowledge.

In explanation, he wrote the following poem:
In the city of Grenada,
In that quaint old Moorish town,
Where Alhambras noble palace,
From the lofty height looks down:
O'er the portal to the courtyard,
Where each passer by may see:
Graved by subtile Mooreish sculpter,
Are the mystic hand and key.
On the symbol rests a legend,
Brought from far Araby's sands,
By the Saracenic warriors,
When they conquered Gothic lands:
And the meaning of that emblem,
As has oft been told to me:
Is that wisdom's rarest treasures,
Fill the hand that grasps the key.

We have placed that ancient emblem on the banner that we love,
Golden key of golden promise, with the open hand above:
Aid our Masters strength, my brother, that our own fraternity:
In the coming years yet distant, have the hand that grasps the key.

The earliest know emblem of the fraternity is now worn at official functions on a special medallion by past and present International officers as well as members of the Order of the White carnation.

The owl, interlocking Delta and Chi, and the oil lamp, which appears on some of the early charters, may have been the work of the committee on charters which was formed in the spring of 1891.

It wasn't until the Easter vacation of 1899 that Fraser Brown and Roy V. Rhodes decided to design a coat of arms for the young fraternity. The design they developed involved the "marriage" or union of two "families": that of Sir Edward Coke, one of the towering figures in the establishment of law as the instrument of justice, and that of the knight-errant, the feudal Delta Chi predecessor of law in enforcing justice, as symbolized by his weapons. In regards to the alterations made on their original design, Roy V. Rhodes had this to say:

"Some slight changes were made a few years later by whom I do not know. I had nothing to do with it and I don'tthink Fraser Brown had either. One of these changes was the addition of a lot of what appear to be rivets around the edges of the shield and which do not, in my opinion, improve the appearance. Another change was the placing of the martlets in profile instead of from a front view in flight. I believe we adopted the front view because that is the way they are shown on the arms of Sir Edward. For practical reasons we omitted the usual helmet and united the crest and helmet in one great insignia of the fraternity-the Greek letters, Delta and Chi, with the torso between the shield and the crest instead of in its usual position above the helmet."


An early version of the coat of arms

The coat of arms involves the "marriage" or union of two "families";
that of Sir Edward Coke and that of the knight-errant.

On October 13,1890, "Founders Crandall, Potter, and Sweetland were placed on the Supreme Council and authorized to proceed with expansion plans." At that same meeting, Barnes was appointed to work "Buffalo Law School" for possible expansion due to his association with a student there. The lack of enrollment at the school and the fact that the Phi Delta Phi Chapter there was doing poorly, delayed expansion to that school until later. Building Delta Chi into a true national fraternity began during the spring of 1891.

On April 14, 1891, John Francis Tucker, of New York University, went to Ithaca and earned the confidence and regard of the Cornell Chapter. He was initiated into Delta Chi that night and was sent back to prepare his associates for induction.

Although Stillman remembers Tucker (who was a member of Delta Upsilon) coming to find out about Delta Chi, Wilkinson tells the story with more confidence:

"At first the chapter and the fraternity were the same thing, and there were not separate officers. But in the spring of 1891, in the month of May, I think, we received a visit from John Francis Tucker of New York. We put up a big bluff, and treated him with great formality and instructed him to return to the place whence he came, and make formal application in writing for a charter from our ancient and honorable body. As soon as he departed, there was a hurry call for a meeting to organize a body to which he could apply and it was then that the first general officers of the fraternity, as distinct from the chapter, were elected. I cannot remember for the life of me who they were, except that I was Treasurer."

Wilkinson's contention that the general fraternity wasn't formed until later seems, at least in part, to be verified by the minutes of the April 15, and May 23, 1891, meetings. At the April 15, 1891 meeting, the constitution and ritual were adopted as read, the committee on charters was appointed, and the men traditionally considered the first set of officers ("AA" Owen Lincoln Potter, "BB" John Mil ton Gorham, "CC" George A. Nall, and "DD" Albert T. Wilkinson) were elected. It is interesting to note, in light of Wilkinson's statement about "a hurry call for a meeting to organize a body to which he (Tucker) could apply" is the fact that this April 15 meeting occurred the night after Tucker's initiation. At tha may 23 meeting, the motto, grip, challenge, and the colors were adopted by the fraternity.

One solution to the confusion is the possibility that Delta Chi was originally founded as a national fraternity, but with the pressures of school work and the chapter at Cornell to keep them busy, the Founders allowed the national organization to take a back seat. When Tucker appeared the next spring, the national organization had to be reorganized in order to accommodate the applicant from N.Y.U.

As it turned out, Tucker played a significant role in the development of the Fraternity. In a letter to Johnson dated February 22, 1892, he stated:

"As to Dickinson Law School, I have been at work at that school since last August and I think I now have six more pledges, I have worked up a chapter of 25 men at the Albany Law School and another 12 men at the University of Minnesota."

The debt which Delta Chi owes Tucker would appear to be larger than previously recognized. In 1892 four more chapters were established, three of which exist today (the fourth -- Albany Law School -- had its charter transferred in 1901 to Union College; the Union Chapter existed until 1994). Twelve chapters were founded within the first decade and on February 13, 1897, Delta Chi became an international fraternity with the installation of the Osgoode Hall Chapter in Toronto, Canada. Delta Chi's first convention was held in 1894 at the Michigan Chapter. By the turn of the century, Delta Chi had grown to ten chapters. The initial years of the new century saw conservative growth and the 1902 Convention (where the White Carnation was selected as the fraternity's flower) authorized the Delta Chi Quarterly. The convention had misgivings. Everybody wanted it, some thought it was an unwarranted risk; no one had the slightest idea how to go about it. Harold White, Chicago-Kent '01 became the first editor and Edward Nettles, Chicago-Kent '00 was the first business manager. In an article in the May 1929 Quarterly, White had this to say:

"No doubt in our innocence, we felt the honor compensated for all the work. That's the marvel of being young and enthusiastic. There was no plan, no adequate appropriation for necessary expenses, no business or editorial policy .... There was not even a list of alumni members. We had to start from a point below zero and from the beginning the jobs of editor and business manager so interwove and over-lapped that it was difficult to say who did what. When it came to all the endless worries and sleepless nights that accompany the launching of a frail bark in unknown waters by two inexperienced mariners it was a joint enterprise and the punishment was inflicted equally."

April, 1903 saw the first issue of the Delta Chi Quarterly published for a fraternity of fourteen chapters and fewer than 3,000 alumni.

On February 13, 1897, Delta Chi became an international fraternity.

Artwork used on early chapters

Delta Chi Goes Single Membership
At the time Delta Chi was first conceived, men coming to college could begin law studies immediately upon entry to the University. In fact, some schools did not even require a high school diploma as a prerequisite for entry. Many of the law schools, Harvard being the first in 1899, began requiring two years of liberal arts training before eligibility for law.

Founded as a professional law fraternity, Delta Chi was initiating members of Delta Tau Delta, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Tau Omega and the other general fraternities. As time passed, several chapters which had voluntarily refrained from initiating members of other fraternities began pushing for a change in the Constitution to prevent dual memberships.

Delta Chi stood out as a law fraternity, not an honorary or club, but yet something special. As the Fraternity expanded, a divergent policy grew, contoured by the different chapters. The metropolitan law school chapters wanted to continue the practice of initiating members from the general fraternities. The campus chapters which had voluntarily refrained from such practice, though it was then still allowable, were agitating for a change in the constitution to prevent future initiation of such men. For some years, the single standard men had been slightly in the majority but were not numerically strong enough to change the constitution.

The limelight focused on the issue as early as 1903 and was personified by the man elected as "CC" that year. Floyd Carlisle, Cornell '03, was awarded that office while still an undergraduate. The election is indicative of the impression this man made on a group. He was class president in both his sophomore and senior years at Cornell. Determined to resolve the question in favor of the single membership standard, he championed a change in the Fraternity's form of government. Up to that point, with only five executive officers to be elected by the convention, the older, more experienced and attractive personalities of the graduate double-fraternity men (who were usually the alumni delegates from the metropolitan law chapters) held the stage and the attention of the delegates during the two or three days of convention acquaintance. As a result, they almost always succeeded in being elected. Carlisle planned to break up this habit. By proposing the election of a fifteen-man "XX" (which then elected its own officers: "AA", "CC" and "DD"), the eighteen chapters of the day would concentrate on trying to get one of their own elected to the governing board. By combining their votes against a double fraternity candidate, the single membership chapters were able to elect an overwhelmingly predominate single-standard "XX". This principal question of dual membership was debated for about five years. The arguments of "a man can be both a good Mason and a good Elk" and "no man can serve two masters" were heard time and time again. Finally, after unseating four "dual membership" chapters on alleged violations, the 1909 Cornell Convention adopted an amendment to the constitution prohibiting dual membership. he "guilty" chapters were then reseated. The issue and ultimate decision cost the Fraternity the New York Law (1905), West Virginia (1908), Northwestern (1909) and Washington University (in St. Louis)(1909) Chapters. All were dual membership chapters. But the tide of change had only begun to engulf Delta Chi. During the next dozen years, another undertow would build to turn the fraternal ship.

The tide of change had only begun to engulf Delta Chi.

Shall we become a general fraternity?
The years after the 1909 decision were years of great change and unrest. The United States became involved in World War I with a majority of the members of the active chapters dropping their college courses and enlisting in the armed forces. Chapter houses became almost deserted and a convention in August 1917 became unthinkable. At the end of the war, the college men returned to the universities to complete their courses. The chapter finances were generally in bad condition as were the houses. Attempting to rebuild, many chapters stretched the recruiting restrictions by initiating men who had no intention of studying law.

Although the debate over whether Delta Chi should be a law or a general fraternity had received some press as early as 1916, notice was served in the May, 1919 issue of the Quarterly in the editorial "Shall We Go On a General Fraternity?" that a torchbearer had taken up the cause of Delta Chi becoming a general fraternity. The editor, Roger Steffan, Ohio State '13, claimed a majority of the chapters were "no longer even predominantly legal in their membership."

As editor of the fraternity Roger Steffan, Ohio State '13 was certainly a major force behind the general membership movement. A Phi Beta Kappa student, Steffan assumed the editorship of the Quarterly in 1916. In the May 1929 issue of the Quarterly, he recalled his May 1919 editorial effort:

"I remember the night well. The magazine was practically ready to print and I was completing the editorials. Suddenly it struck me like a dazzling light: 'Why Delta Chi's a humbug. We're posing before the world as a law fraternity and we haven't been a law fraternity for seven or eight years. True, a few chapters remain true to the law tradition but most of them are general.' And there upon I decided to lift my piping voice in behalf of making Delta Chi an honest woman..."

In short order, the Fraternity's magazine became filled with comments from all interested, each expressing their exact and often colorful opinions on the subject.

The "general" supporters felt that Delta Chi had long ceased to be strictly a law fraternity. The first step toward this was the 1909 decision to bar members of other fraternities. In order to compete successfully, given the requirements now needed for entry to law schools, there had to be a wider field from which to choose members. So the fraternity began allowing the initiation of men who "intended" to study law. A number of these men eventually failed to study law thus giving Delta Chi more of a general character. Several chapters then claimed that it was becoming increasingly difficult to identify exactly which men were eligible for recruitment (those who intended to study law) soon enough to effectively compete with the general fraternities. Besides being hard to identify, the number of eligible men was further being reduced by the increasing requirements for law school admission as well as the increasing interest in the new and popular Colleges of Business Administration.

As with any battle, there are men who seem to stand out on both sides. On the side of remaining a law fraternity was John J. Kuhn, "AA", Cornell '98. He and others felt that Steffan's reports of chapters being already general in character were erroneous and that any move toward making Delta Chi a general fraternity would destroy the alumni strength that currently existed. The law advocates pointed out that the legal qualifications gave the chapters an added feature in rush and the fraternity had a definite purpose, and this attracted the type of freshmen who did things in college and made the "all around man." Appearing in Quarterly articles by the law advocates were such statements as: "...Delta Chi cannot hope to compete as strongly in the old fraternity world as a general fraternity. She would be lost in the shuffle."

With the issues clearly stated, the Fraternity held its first convention in four years. For the larger part of four days, delegates to the 1919 Minneapolis Convention grappled with the problem. Discussion began after Brother Steffan introduced a motion to repeal restrictions in the constitution limiting membership to law students or pre-law students. A. Frank John, Dickinson '00, who had attended every convention since 1898, declared the debate to be the finest ever heard at any convention. After

nearly six hours of debate, a vote was taken on the resolution favoring Delta Chi becoming a straight-out general fraternity. The result was 35 votes against the resolution and 26 for it, thus the resolution was lost.

In order to get a test of strength on the other side of the matter, whether Delta Chi should retain its law membership and instruct the "XX" to enforce this in the chapters, a resolution to that effect was voted upon and likewise defeated.

With both sides of the matter going to defeat, Billie Bride urged the convention to accept a compromise position. Several compromise proposals ultimately met with defeat with the pro-law men feeling they changed the character of the fraternity and the general advocates claiming they offered no real relief for the conditions faced by a number of chapters.

The only amendment agreed upon in Minneapolis made brothers and sons of Delta Chis, regardless of course of study, eligible for membership. This was agreed on without opposition from either side. The Fraternity left Minneapolis without resolving the membership question.

As expected, the discussion of becoming a general fraternity continued. Chapters reported recruiting problems, Steffan's editorial comments appeared in each Quarterly issue, and John Kuhn told the chapters to believe in their product and sell it.

In an effort to enforce the constitutional requirements of the Fraternity, John Kuhn suspend the Ohio State Chapter for openly admitting to initiating men who never intended to study law. A majority of the "XX" voted against the suspension.

The "XX" was tireless in working to solve the membership question. Two separate attempts to change the constitution by mail balloting proved unsuccessful. By the summer of 1920 the general advocates were pushing for a special convention to once and for all solve the membership issue. The generalists pointed to the great expansion that was going on in the fraternity world and leaving Delta Chi without a single new chapter since the chartering of Kentucky in 1914. However, slow communication prevented a special convention from becoming a reality.

The "CC", Billie Bride, stood squarely between the pro-law advocates and the generalists. He was certain that a compromise could be reached. Bride wrote: "We have a serious issue before us and it will settle itself if we don't tear our hair and lose our tempers. We are all Delta Chi whatever may be our views on the question of our becoming a general fraternity. With a little give and take, the right side will win."

To assure everyone the generalists were firm on their commitment, Roger Steffan made his views on a compromise solution clear in this editorial comment:

"The time when a compromise was possible between the general fraternity and the law group in Delta Chi, passed at the Minneapolis Convention. Since then the general fraternity sentiment has increased so rapidly that to attempt a settlement on any basis short of that would be folly. At best, any of the compromises proposed were merely red-eyed, wobbly kneed, weak-mouthed proposals that accomplished nothing. Practically all of the general chapters for years have been initiating engineer and arts and commerce men beyond the limits proposed in the compromises. A compromise would not help the crying need for expansion. Delta Chi can not add ONE SINGLE CHAPTER to its roll till it becomes a general fraternity. A fifty-fifty, willy-nilly sort of fraternity would no more be able to get new chapters than a law fraternity. It must be general or nothing, or rather, general or death."

In 1921, no closer to a solution, the fraternity representatives met once again hoping to solve the controversy. Only two proposals were submitted with the pro law advocates deciding to support a more liberal compromise instead of the straight law stand. The second proposal submitted for vote was the straight general amendment.

After lengthy debate of both positions, voting began. After six ballots the general amendment had obtained 47 of the 53 1/4 votes necessary for adoption. The phrase "General 47, Compromise 25" was heard until 2:00 a.m. Thursday morning, looking as if no end was in sight.

Balloting began again Friday morning with both sides trying feverishly to sway votes or to bring arguments to bear that would change the result. The generalists secured as many as 51 votes before the tide turned against their effort. Somewhere around midnight on the forty-second ballot, the compromise vote actually exceeded the general vote. For the second straight night, no solution seemed in sight. Finally, Billie Bride proposed "that a committee of five, consisting of two from the general side, two from the compromise side, and the Stanford delegate, be appointed to prepare a proposition solving the membership question to report at 9:30 a.m. Saturday." The motion carried and the committee met from 2 until 5:30: Saturday morning struggling to find common ground. Again, with neither side willing to accept compromise, the neutral, Harry Wadsworth, Stanford '20, wrote out the amendment which was to carry the Convention. Wadsworth presented the following amendment with the two general representatives on the committee voting in favor:

"Male white students in any university or college having a chapter of the Delta Chi Fraternity, who are pursuing studies in law, liberal arts, journalism, commerce, or finance, by whatever name such courses may be known, who have paid the "XX" per capita tax, Delta Chi Quarterly tax and one dollar for the Fraternity shingle, are eligible for membership in the Delta Chi Fraternity; provided such persons are not candidates for any degree in any subject other than those above named; and provided further, that a chapter having 25% of its active members in law or bona-fide pre-legal courses, may initiate students into the fraternity who are not eligible as above, to the extent that such members shall not, at any time exceed 25% of the entire membership of the chapter." (The "white clause" was removed at the 1954 Convention).

Voting was once again resumed. After 52 ballots, the representative of the Buffalo alumni changed his vote giving the Wadsworth amendment victory.

In the months following the convention, it became evident many chapters were finding it impossible to live up to the provisions of the constitution. It was also clear that administering the membership eligibility requirements would be extremely difficult. Finally, at their April 29 and 30, 1922, meeting in Chicago, the "XX" adopted and submitted to the chapters for ratification, a constitutional change that would allow any white male student registered at a college or university where there was a chapter of Delta Chi to be eligible for membership. Citing conditions in the chapters and in the expansion work, "AA" Henry V. McGurren said: "I am convinced that it not only is desirable at this time to adopt the general fraternity amendment without delay, but that it is absolutely necessary for the unity and welfare of Delta Chi." And so it stood, Delta Chi had become completely "general ."

In 1923 the old "XX" was abolished and replaced with an Executive Committee of seven. This board, comprised of the "AA", "CC", "DD", "EE", and three members-at-large, was the governing body of the fraternity between conventions. A new "XX" was created as an advisory body to the Executive Committee; its membership consisted of the "BB"s elected by each chapter.

There were other internal improvements during the period between the World Wars. The position of Executive Secretary was created in 1923 and provision made for a permanent central office which was finally established in 1929. The position of Director of Scholarship came into being in 1925 to lead the drive for general scholastic excellence. In 1927, one full-time Field Secretary was placed in direct contact with the chapters and, in 1935 a second one was added to the staff. By 1930, Delta Chi had grown to 36 chapters and, in 1934, the Headquarters began publishing the Quarterly.

During this era Delta Chi made two noteworthy contributions to the Greek letter fraternity world. The first of these was the Tutorial Advisor Plan--members of the faculty (preferably not members of the Fraternity) living in the house where they acted as tutors, advisors, and counselors.

In yet another way Delta Chi took the lead among Greek letter organizations. At the 1929, Estes Park Convention, Delta Chi unanimously voted to abolish "Hell Week." (The following day another national organization, meet-ing in convention, also abolished hazing.)

The position of "EE" was also abolished at the 1929 convention and, at the 1935 convention, the Executive Board was increased to nine. Without realizing the full significance of what it was starting, the Pennsylvania State Chapter in 1937 invited six chapters in neighboring states to meet with them. Dean C. M. Thompson, who was then the "AA", saw the great potential of such gatherings and promptly asked the Indiana Chapter to be host for the first Midwest Regional Conference. After that the Regional Conference plan blossomed. But with World War II and the temporary suspension of many chapter operations, much about the mechanics of the Regional Conferences was forgotten. But the need, desire, and concept were not forgotten. After the war, Delta Chi saw its conference program expand and become more purposeful.

Today the Regional Conferences play an important role in the affairs of the fraternity. The conferences are the vehicle for the election of each Regent for a two-year term. More important, each conference is designed to accomplish specific purposes, including the development of new approaches to the solution of Fraternity problems; fostering a better understanding of the operation of the various programs of the general Fraternity and the Headquarters; promoting good will in university-fraternity relations; and bringing together large numbers of Delta Chis for information, inspiration, and plain good fun.

After the Great Depression and on the verge of the United States entering World War II, the Fraternity celebrated its 50th Anniversary with 35 chapters. Once again our young men went off to war and many of the chapter houses were taken over by the military as was done during the first world war. It was the alumni dues program, started in 1935, that provided the main source of revenue to the Fraternity while the chapters were not in operation.

The war ended and the chapters resumed normal operations. By 1950, Delta Chi had 39 chapters. 1951 saw the retirement of O.K. Patton from the position of Executive Secretary which, while he was a professor of Law at Iowa, he had held part-time since 1929 on an official basis. Prior to that time he had effectively operated the central office since his election as "CC".

Prior to 1929, the membership records of the fraternity would follow the election of the "CC" and the financiall records would follow the election of the "dd". When O. K. Patton was elected "CC" in 1923 he put the records in one room of a downtown Iowa City building and hired one part-time secretary. After the "general" membership question was resolved, Delta Chi grew from 21 to 36 chapters in four 1929 and the records and related activities had expanded to four rooms and four secretaries. Effectively after the fact, Delta Chi established its Headquarters in Iowa City where it has stayed.

Modern Developments
In 1954, the Delta Chi Educational Foundation was established:

"To aid, encourage, promote and contribute to the education of deserving persons enrolled as students in any school, college or university in the United States or Canada; to provide educational opportunities for such students; and to assist such students financially or otherwise in the improvement of their physical, mental or moral education."

To help secure funds, the Foundation gained recognition as a charitable and educational organization from the I.R.S. in 1958. In 1988, the Foundation took over the general fraternity's fundraising activities and now supports many of Delta Chi Fraternity's educational and leadership programming.

A further change was made in the Fraternity's Executive Board in 1958 when the size was increased to include the "AA", "CC", "DD", the immediate past "AA", and Regional Representatives. More important than the increased size was the method to be employed in selecting its members. As before, the "AA", "CC", and "DD" were chosen by the convention. Included in the change was the adoption of a plan whereby regions were established and a Board member selected from each region. Prior to the adoption of this plan, every member of the Board could possibly have come from the same community or geographical area. The new plan made this impossible; the entire Board benefits from the geographical diversity.

In 1960, the Fraternity employed its first, full-time executive, Harold "Buc" Buchanan, Wisconsin '35. Up to this time the Fraternity was run by volunteers or part-time employees. At the 1960 Convention, a "Building Loan Fund" was created. The original level of assessment proved too low and, in 1962, the Delta Chi Housing Fund was established to assume the function of the "Building Loan Fund." Today, the Housing Fund has loans outstanding to chapters and colonies across the country.

Also at the 1962 Convention, the Regional Representatives were re-designated as Regents and the Executive Board was renamed the Board of Regents.

In 1969, the Fraternity moved out of rented space into its first permanent facility. The property is wholly owned by Delta Chi and houses the archives of the Fraternity and a staff of three directors, five traveling consultants and three clerical employees.

At the 1975 Chicago Convention, the Order of the White Carnation was created to honor alumni who give outstanding service to the Fraternity in a meritorious but inconspicuous way. The first inductee into the Order was Victor T. Johnson, Purdue '32. In 1983, Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, Washington '34 was selected as the first Delta Chi of the Year in honor of his achievements in his chosen profession.

While there have been a variety of changes that have strengthened Delta Chi within the last decade, the 80s will most probably be remembered for the growth in chapters. Starting with 78 chapters and colonies in 1980, the Fraternity celebrated at its Centennial Convention with 120 chapters and colonies on the rolls.

An Interesting Piece of History

The Delta Chi Headquarters office established in 1969 at:
314 Church Street
Iowa City, Iowa 52244.
Is the first permanent facility owned by the Fraternity.


Kettering-B Chapter History


In the early months of 1996, a relatively small group of men at once upon a time used to be GMI Engineering & Management Institute located in Flint, MI came together to form what would be a great tradition: the Kettering-B Chapter of the Delta Chi Fraternity.  While it might be considered small compared to todayís one hundred man chapters, the chapter has always been a close group of men and a driving force on campus...


The Birth of a Chapter

On June 1st, 1996, a relatively small group of men began a legacy and the 170th? chapter of the Delta Chi Fraternity was formed at Kettering University.

About the Charter

Since Kettering University is such a unique school with two sections, A and B, both chapters were presented a charter.  The charters were presented on October 24th, 1998 at the chartering banquet by Bill Williams (AA).  The picture below shows from left to right: past A Jason Cregan (B-section), past regent Jeff Schoenherr (U of M alum), past AA Paul Bohlman, current AA Bill Williams, and past A Mark Kenworthy (A-section).


The House

The house is located at 1421 West Third Avenue in Flint, MI just a few blocks north of the main campus of Kettering University.  However unusual for a fraternity house, the house is an apartment house which allows two (perhaps three) members to an apartment 

Other Achievements



Founding Fathers

Jason Bernard

Christian Boe Harter


Keiran A.D. Butterfield

Michael M. McCleary


Scott M. Doudna 

Randall Utt


James Elterman

Marcus C. Wild


Robert Flores 

Dean E. Weimer



Jim Chisholm Ryan Lemay


Adam Benjamin VanNuck Anthony Vergel Dela Cruz Basilio


Beta Jason Richard Cregan Amol Ashutosh Riswadkar
Jared Tod Harvey Joel Tantzer
Christopher Michael Jeruzal
Gamma Kevin Beardsley Ryan Edward Grimes
Benjamin Dale Bidwell David Mathew Kelly
Phillip Alan Brooks Andrew Paul Kukuk
Newell Francis Bentley III Jason Allen McMahon
Andrew Richard Cifranic Michael James Miller
Bradley Degnan Adam Christopher Szymanski
Armando Diaz Anthony Edward Terenzi
David Earl Gaylord
Delta Matt Anderson Rene Conrad Owczarski
Jeffrey Davis Michael Wickham

Each of these men deserves his rightful place in history as one who helped shape and found the Kettering-B Chapter of Delta Chi.

On October 24th, 1998, a chartering banquet was held to celebrate the culmination of two years of hard work.  Almost everyone involved with the new chapter attended.

  Colony officers: Chartering officers:
A Michael M. McCleary Jason Richard Cregan
B Scott M. Doudna Christopher Michael Jeruzal
C Dean E. Weimer Andrew Richard Cifranic
D Christian Boe Harter Dean E. Weimer
E Keiran A.D. Butterfield Phillip Alan Brooks
F James Elterman Adam Benjamin VanNuck

Many things could be said about the Kettering-B chapter, but two words that sum up its experience are dedication and brotherhood.  These two words can be defined in many different ways, but only the feeling that comes with them can explain the experience of being a Kettering Delta Chi.