Little Bits of History

Deke

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 22, 2010

Original fraternity crest

June 22, 1844: Delta Kappa Epsilon [DKE or Deke], an influential North American fraternity is founded at Yale University by fifteen sophomores. The fifteen men had applied to Alpha Delta Phi and Psi Upsilon and some of them had been accepted. However the fifteen chose to form a new fraternity where all of them were welcome. They were looking for a candidate who was equal parts of each: “gentleman, the scholar, and the jolly good fellow.” The open motto of the fraternity is “Friends from the Heart Forever.”

Within three years, chapters were founded at four other institutions. To date, there are 63 chapters with more than 85,000 members in the US and another 6 chapters in Canada. Deke became an international fraternity in 1889 with the founding of the Alpha Phi chapter at the University of Toronto.

DKE’s influence is interwoven into American history. Five presidents have been part of the fraternity, the latest being George W. Bush [his father is a member, too]. Franklin D. Roosevelt held memberships in two fraternities and DKE revoked his status in the 1890s. The first Union officer killed in the Civil War was a Deke.

Vice Presidents, Governors, Justices of the US Supreme Court, other politicians, newspaper publishers, powerful businessmen, sports and entertainment figures, and other high achievers have all been members of this influential fraternity.

“Our main purpose is to make sure fraternities are cooperating and making sure the Greek community is healthy.” – Jeff Jenkins

“It’s just fun to go home and watch your old school. I still got some guys that I played with that are still there. Plus, I’m a fraternity guy. I go back and see the guys.” – Kevin Jones

“It’s rush for fraternities and it’s rush for bookstores too.” – Robert Hall

“We always prided ourselves in being a fraternity that did not take just one kind of kids.” – Jason Kassoy

“Grab a brew, don’t cost nuthin’.” – John Belushi in Animal House

Also on this day:
In 1918, the
Heganbeck-Wallace train disaster occurred.
In 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio caught fire.

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