DKE House Renovation Progress (Photo Credit) Chuck Zovko / Zovko Photographic llc

DKE House Renovation Progress (Photo Credit) Chuck Zovko / Zovko Photographic llc


Check out the photos of progress at the DKE House renovation at Lafayette College’s flickr page.

Construction is still on track for completion this summer. Todd Wiltshire ’86, who received a recent tour, reports that the kitchen is a huge upgrade and the light that now comes into the 3rd floor from the new cupola is amazing. The Rho House Association is investigating the possibility of tours for alumni during reunion on June 6th, 2015.

If you haven’t already lent your support towards this exciting campaign commemorating our 160th anniversary, please make a gift today!

 

“A new chapter for Greek life” by Editor-in-Chief William Gordon appeared in last week’s edition of The Lafayette. The article addresses the new process the College is implementing to allow Greek organizations to apply to be recognized.

The new three-part application process is an extension of the President Alison Byerly’s Connected Communities program, according to co-chair of the committee that developed the application process Connor Heinlein ‘15, in which all student organizations are viewed on the same platform by the college.

Heinlein said by confirming Greek life as a part of the Connected Communities program, the college is showing they are open to these organizations.

Richard S. Gilbert ’62, former President of Chi Phi, commented on the article:

I am very much pleased to see that the College has finally made official the process by which Greek organizations may return to the campus. As a 55 year plus member of the Chi Phi Fraternity and having lived as an undergraduate student in Vallamont, the home of the Rho Chapter of Chi Phi on Lafayette’s campus, I do believe that the unique experiences of undergraduate membership in a fraternity or sorority can have life long benefits which help the graduate succeed in life. I look forward to Rho Chapter’s return to Vallamont and again becoming a positive contributor to the mission and objectives of Lafayette College.

We at DKE certainly support this initiative by the College and look forward to assisting organizations applying for membership to the existing Greek community.

 

It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of Rho DKE Brother Donald Engesser. Brother Engesser passed away peacefully on February 12th at the Morristown Medical Center. He was 87 years old.

Brother Donald Engesser

Brother Donald Engesser

Following his graduation from Lafayette, Brother Engesser accepted a position at Esso (now ExxonMobil) and worked there until he retired in 1982. His legacy will not be forgotten.

From the New Jersey Star Ledger obituary:

Don will be remembered for his relentless optimism, enthusiasm and love of life, his thirst for adventures large and small, his kindness, his tenderness, his humility, and his bravery and strength. A man of seemingly endless energy and generosity, Don was a loyal friend and supporter to all who knew him. His ready laugh and lively spirit will never be forgotten.

Please find the full obituary here.

 

In case you just crawled out from under a rock, the 150th meeting of The Rivalry between Lafayette & Lehigh will take place this Saturday, November 22, at Yankee Stadium (game time 3:30PM). You can spot Rho Dekes around NYC at the following events:

Friday

3pm @ McSorleys, 15 East 7th Street: Informal gathering led by the 80’s-90’s Rho Dekes.

6-11pm @ American Museum of Natural History, Campaign Kickoff Celebration (By Invitation), Central Park West & 79th Street: Rho Dekes supporting the public launch of the College’s comprehensive campaign announcing the exciting vision for the future of Lafayette!

6-9pm @ Refinery Rooftop, 63 W 38th Street: Lafayette event that requires no RSVP, so a lot of people are meeting there as a starting point. One idea is to move on to Brewery Authority, right next to the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 300 W 40th Street, about a 10 minute walk. They have 90 taps, so plenty to choose from. http://www.beerauthoritynyc.com/home

Saturday

    Noon – 2:30pm @ Yankee Tavern, 72 E 161st St, Bronx, NY 10451: Steps from Yankee Stadium, we have a room reserved for a DKE “tailgate” before the game. $60 per person includes beers on tap (Yeungling, PBR, Bud and Bud Light); Buffet of garden salad with chicken, penne vodka, sliders and hot dogs.

    3:30pm The Game:

    Section 116 – 60 Young Alumni Rho Deke tickets

    Section 219 – Delta Sky Suite

    1 Section of the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar

    Lafayette College has a lot of information about events, transportation, game information, history of the rivalry, etc. available at http://www.lafayette.edu/lafayette-in-nyc/

 

Allentown, Pennsylvania was once a thriving economic hub for retail in the 1970s but fell victim to decades of economic decline. Businesses and people fled the downtown area for the suburbs and the results were predictably poor.

Those tough times are finally over. Allentown is a revitalized city home to flourishing new businesses and is currently the fastest growing city in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

DKE Brother J.B. Reilly ’83 is a driving force behind that revitalization. Reilly was featured in a recent article titled ‘Allentown bets big to shed its former image’ by Tommy Andres on Marketplace.org.

Reilly and his company, The City Center Management Company, are building the new arena for the Philadelphia Flyers’ minor league team, the Phantoms. The PPL Center also features a membership gym and a new Marriot Renaissance hotel.

Photo courtesy of The Morning Call

Photo courtesy of The Morning Call

“Not only did we see a financial opportunity,” Reilly said, “We saw a community development opportunity.”

“There will be 3,000 more people working here [in September] than there were a year ago. And for a city like Allentown, that’s just extraordinary.”

Brother Reilly is a shining example of the true impact Rho Dekes can make in the community. We are proud of the leadership he displays both as a Trustee for the College and as a key figure in the turnaround of Allentown.

 

We are happy to announce that we placed second in the Lion Trophy Competition from DKE International.

An application based process, the award is the highest honor given to the chapter with best overall performance from the previous year. Rho came in second place overall behind the Alpha Phi chapter from the University of Toronto.

Brothers Rob Pollastro ’16 and Henry Boozan ’16 accepted the prestigious award at the 2014 DKE convention at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. The announcement was made following a banquet held at the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs. Former astronaut Brother Alan Bean was on hand as the keynote speaker at the event.

Broken up into four sections, Chapter Operations, Philanthropy and Service, Scholarship, and Leadership, individual awards are also given to the chapters who shined in those areas. As well as winning first runner-up overall, Rho won third place for the individual Chapter Operations section.

The brothers of Rho are extremely proud to accept this award and look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence at Lafayette College and in DKE International.

 

Check out photos of the demolition progress in the DKE House this summer. Click each image to view full size versions, especially the first one, which is a panoramic view.

 

President Alison Byerly and DKE brothers Michael De Lisi ’03 and Trustee J.B. Reilly ’83 led a groundbreaking ceremony during Reunion Weekend 2014 to renovate the DKE House. DKE announced that the renovation will include all alternates under consideration including key additions of a solarium and a cupola, thanks to the College keeping their investment in DKE fixed, passing all project cost savings on to DKE, and a recent generous gift putting DKE fundraising over a million dollars to date with $250k more to go to fully fund the renovation.

Scores of Rho Dekes from the ‘50s through 2015 were joined by many friends of DKE including family, fellow alumni, trustees, campus administrators, and a representative from DKE International. This event capped a beautiful reunion weekend.

Check out pictures of the event at the College’s flickr page.

Thank you to all supporters of this project, which marks a watershed moment in DKE and Lafayette College history. If you haven’t lent your support towards this cause, make a gift or multi-year pledge today!

Lafayette College featured this event on their Facebook page, embedded below:

 

During the May 2014 Board of Trustees meeting, the Board approved spending up to a total of $4.3 million in total project cost to renovate the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) House on March Field. The groundbreaking with President Byerly is scheduled during reunion on Saturday June 7th at 2PM. Brother JB Reilly ’83 will be introducing President Byerly for her remarks.

Over 30 Rho Dekes across all generations already confirmed they will attend this momentous occasion. We expect many walk-ons, so please join us in celebrating this occasion for DKE. Kevin MacDonald from DKE HQ will also be joining us for the groundbreaking.

The renovation calls for donations of $1.2 million from DKE fundraising. The only exclusion at $1.2 million in DKE funds would be the cupola topped by a Rampant Lion weather-vane. We are currently at only $800k funds committed to date, so Board approval of the full $4.3 million and beginning construction now shows significant good faith from the College.

This project reflects the significant commitment of Lafayette College to DKE, and vice versa. Together we are breathing new life into one of the most effective living learning laboratories on Lafayette’s campus – the DKE House.

This project is the centerpiece of the Rho DKE 160th Anniversary Campaign. We are also endowing a scholarship and a faculty award to commemorate our 160th Anniversary. Both gifts are above and beyond the $1.2 million required for the renovation, which the Rho House Association has been prioritizing.

We hope you’ll join us to kickoff this exciting project at the DKE House on June 7th at 2PM. All are invited and welcome!

 

My big fat Greek renovation: DKE fraternity house undergoes major renovations” by Ian Morse ‘17 appears in this week’s edition of The Lafayette. The topic is the planned renovation of the DKE House, which is one part of the plans to commemorate DKE’s 160th Anniversary at Lafayette College along with endowing a scholarship and faculty award.

This project reflects the significant commitment of Lafayette College to DKE, and vice versa. Together we are breathing new life into one of the most effective living learning laboratories on Lafayette’s campus – the DKE House.

“The interior of the 1st thru [sic] 3rd floors will be completely demolished and replaced with all new construction, including finishes, mechanical, electrical, fire protection and plumbing fixtures,” Director of Facilities Planning and Construction Mary Wilford-Hunt wrote in an email.

Renovations will cost over $4 million, according to Wilford-Hunt. The college will pay the base cost of the entire renovation and trust that DKE contribution quotas will be filled, according the Rho DKE 160th Anniversary Campaign’s website.

DKE could not ask for better partners at the College. We’ve worked with all levels of the administration, members of the faculty, trustees, and of course our students. The outpouring of support from folks at the College as well as the brothers, families, and friends of DKE has been tremendous.

In addition to covering the thoughts of Rho Deke alumni, the article also highlights our collegian brothers’ perspective:

“We’ve been working with our alumni advisor and the other alumni, as well as with the undergraduates to help raise money…to fund the project as best as possible,” DKE President Brett Lederer ’15 said. Members of the fraternity have held “phone-athons” whereby they inform alumni since the Class of 1960 of the chapter’s plans.

The administration is presenting this project to the Board of Trustees for their review and approval at the upcoming meeting (May 23-24). Pending that approval, we will host a ground breaking ceremony at the DKE House on June 7th at 2PM with President Byerly. This is during reunion, so register today!

Please post any questions or comments.

 
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