Jim Higley recounts in a HuffPo piece “New Friends, Lost Friends, Found Friends, Old Friends” how more than thirty years after pledging his fraternity helped him gain a deeper understanding of human relationships, and explain friendship to his children:
For me, I found that bucket of friends a few weeks ago when a group of 50-year-old men had a joint birthday party at a little VFW Hall near the wooded shores of Lake Washington in Seattle. I was one of those men. And collectively — about 30 years ago — we were a bunch of young fraternity brothers sharing a few, quick years along the journey called life.
I never intended to be a fraternity guy. I was a naive kid from the Midwest heading out West to a big school and content to live in the dorms. But, a funny thing happened on the way to dorm move-in day. I stopped by the Sigma Chi house as a courtesy to a family friend. I was only going to stay 30 minutes. That was the deal I made with my dad who waited patiently in a parking lot for me. But I never left. Ever. I never moved into the dorm. I stayed at the fraternity and I was happy to let them squeeze me into a closet they swore was a legitimate room.
Many Rho Dekes tell of similar experiences of our times in the DKE House at Lafayette College.
I received the note below from the Chairman of DKE International:
Dear Brother De Lisi,
Today is June 22nd.
It was 168 years ago today that 15 Yale sophomores held a meeting at #12 Old South Hall on Yale’s campus, and founded the Brotherhood of Delta Kappa Epsilon. From Yale the Fraternity quickly spread, and its influence has been felt far and wide across the collegiate landscape all across the North American continent. I am sure you are proud of the day you were initiated at the Rho Chapter at Lafayette College.
The founding principles of those 15 men were embodied in The Objects of Delta Kappa Epsilon, and I repeat them here:
“The cultivation of general literature and social culture, the advancement and encouragement of intellectual excellence, the promotion of honorable friendship and useful citizenship, the development of a spirit of tolerance and respect for the rights and views of others, the maintenance of gentlemanly dignity, self-respect, and morality in all circumstances, and the union of stout hearts and kindred interests to secure, to merit its due reward.”
Their founding principles remain with us today – we are a society of Gentlemen, Scholars, and Jolly Good Fellows.
DKE has been such a positive factor in the lives of so many men in the 168 years since that auspicious beginning. Please take just a moment today to reflect on what DKE has meant to you in your lifetime, and if you’d like, even if only symbolically, please “raise a cup of ruby wine to the health of DKE.”
Best wishes to you, as all Dekes celebrate this meaningful day in the history of our great Fraternity.
In the Bonds,
Chairman of the Board
P.S. If you’d like to publicly state what Deke has meant to you, please visit our Facebook page and enter your thoughts there.
On Saturday June 2nd the inaugural Rho DKE x10 Challenge was dedicated at the DKE Chapter house and enjoyed by all in attendance at Lafayette’s Reunion Weekend. The x10 Challenge successfully raised the funds to install a multi-zone sound system for the house. Many thanks to all of those in the classes of 2002, 2011, and 2012 who donated to this project, and to MediaCraft and Current Concepts for their exemplary work designing and installing the system respectively.
This system includes Pro Audio quality speakers and amplifiers that will serve the house spectacularly for years to come. The two zones installed are the brothers bar which has 2 wall mounted speakers in each room, and the front porch which has a port outside the front door to connect two large, weatherproof speakers capable of filling all of March Field with DKE approved music. These speakers will be permanently installed when we complete the full house renovation, complete with a new expanded front porch, in time for our 160th anniversary.
We’re looking forward to another successful x10 Challenge kicking off in the fall for the classes of 2003 and 2013. The initial plan is to provide the house with new furnishings for the living room on the first floor.
The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life published the Spring 2012 Greek Life Academic Performance report this week. You can access it from Lafayette College’s website at this link. In brief, the all-sorority/all-unaffiliated women term GPAs are 3.45/3.42 and the all-fraternity/all-unaffiliated men GPAs are 3.24/3.26
In an e-mail to advisors, the Director of FS Life included the following explanatory note to provide context for this academic report, which we reformatted to fit with WordPress:
- Class of 2015 is not included in any of the averages. Class of 2015 (FYI):
i. Women SP2012: Term 3.31 (301) Cum 3.29 (301)
ii. Men SP2012: Term 3.10 (336) Cum 3.13 (336)
Academic Performance of New Members will be critical for the Men’s Fraternities and anyone who is dipping the ‘non-affiliated students” averages.
- All Study Abroad FS Members or Non-Affiliated Students Study Abroad are excluded in this report.
- Comparison is displayed Spring 2012 with Spring 2011. Fall 2012 will be compared to Fall 2011.
- Some Data is showing “blank”. They will eventually be filled in as tracking is set for the future. This data was not tracked prior.
- Individual FS Groups Reports will be provided next week to each of you. If you have direct concerns about any certain members, I would ask that you have your Student Academic Officer/President see me to get that data out.
In addition, our Scholarship Director received recognition for the analysis work he’s doing on behalf of DKE.
DEKE’s Academic Advisor (Scott Harris ‘95) has already taken this step. He may be able to provide us with some ‘best practices” at a future Advisory Drive-In in the future. He tasked his advisee (Fraternity Academic Officer) to get the forms completed in correct form and signature from all the members in advance as to make sure they could get academic data. He is organizing a data projection/analysis process.
Scott will continue to work with the students to ensure we meet DKE’s academic standards.