Hazing Has No Place. STOP. Period. End of Sentence.

Today marks the beginning of National Hazing Prevention Week™ (NHPW) sponsored by hazingprevention.org. Each year, the organization also honors those who speak out against hazing with the Hank Nuwer Anti-Hazing Hero Award. For the current and past winners of the award, please visit hazingprevention.org.   

Hank Nuwer is a Franklin College journalism professor and  he has authored  Hazing: Destroying Young Lives, The Hazing Reader, Wrongs of Passage and many other books. He has also provided a guest blog for today. I find it very difficult to write about hazing. It is abhorrent to everything Greek-Letter Organizations say they believe in. Hazing has no place in any organization that claims to help men and women become their best selves. Hazing destroys lives. My heart breaks for every family that is left to pick up the pieces of a hazing incident. As we start the week, I appreciate Mr. Nuwer’s generosity in allowing me to post his article.


Hazing, the weed in the Garden of Eden that suffocates us all

By Hank Nuwer

The present database has come a long way from the database I published in my 1990 book, “Broken Pledges,” using Lexis-Nexis data. Up to now, most major media outlets have cited my database of hazing deaths that showed the U.S. experienced at least one hazing death per year 1969 to 2017.  

As of this column, that figure is out of date thanks to research performed for my Indiana University Press investigative book, “Hazing: Destroying Young Lives,” now at the printer for early 2018 publication, as well as research for yet another hazing book begun with a small seed- money grant generously provided by Franklin College.  

The new database at http:hanknuwer.com now shows one death per year in U.S. colleges, secondary and elementary schools from 1961 to 2017.  Think of 1961. JFK was inaugurated. Cuba’s Castro was cuddling with the Soviet Union. The Beatles were the mop-top rage of Liverpool. 

If Canada is included, the death figure is one per year from 1959 to 2017. Although there were no U.S. deaths recorded in 1958, there was an annual death from 1954 to 1957.   

In addition, I counted a relatively small, though disturbing, number of hazing deaths over the years in Boy Scouts, Masonic organizations, the Knights of Columbus, and the U.S. Armed Forces. The story of how Benjamin Franklin in 1737 momentarily tarnished his reputation by failing to stop a dangerous hazing prank is the first incident in this database.  

Behind every death is a family torn apart by the loss of a loved one who was strangled by alcohol, beaten to death, struck by a car while blindfolded, drowned, and so on. The first fraternity death, that of Mortimer Leggett, son of a famed Civil War general with the same name, occurred at spanking new Cornell University in 1873. Young Leggett felloff a cliff on a required midnight walkabout while wearing a blindfold in gorge country.   

Then there is the proctor who got sick and tired of being hazed at Swarthmore College and grabbed a flashlight and rifle to slay one tormentor as he slept. The hazer escaped the electric chair with an insanity plea.  

There was the recent death of Clemson pledge Tucker Hipps. Hipps died when he fell from a bridge at Lake Hartwell. His was the second Clemson fraternity death at that lake. No reporter, including me, reported that fact until a new keyword search came up with another tragedy at Clemson in 1961—the first year of what would become 56 consecutive years with a hazing death. 

Stashed among thousands of news clippings about hazing are earnest appeals from educators, grieving parents, activists and earnest students to do away with this “weed in the garden of academe” as one pundit called it in an 1860 speech at Harvard.  

But the problems of hazing in 1860 are the same now, but the perpetrators are a lot more careful to hide their tracks, to lie or to stonewall investigators, and to intimidate anyone threatening to come forward with the truth.   

Dead ahead is a trial of more than a dozen Penn State Beta Theta Pi members. They urged pledge Tim Piazza to swallow enough booze to kill him in a fall, and they left him either unattended or abused him as he lay dying.   

Just in the last week we’ve seen Louisiana State University student Max Gruver, a pledge for Phi Delta Theta, a staunch advocate for dry houses, die from an overdose. Local police are scrambling to find out what happened to him, but the members have clammed up tight as oysters and are talking only to defense lawyers.  

The database shows three fraternity hazing deaths at LSU before Gruver.  

I’ve met dozens of the hazed and hazers alike, the families of the dead, the dedicated Greek professionals, a lot of jaded alums, and activists from HazingPrevention.org, Stophazing,org, the AHA Movement and so on. Many parents who gave years of service to the cause have quit, so disillusioned by the continuing string of deaths that they no longer can even utter the word “hazing.”  

Everything possible has been tried. Bystander training. Help Weeks instead of Hell Weeks. Associate memberships instead of pledges. Delayed rush. Yanking charters.  

But still the deaths continue. I want to assure you there will be no more dangerous hazing when my friend John’s son goes to college in a year or, closer to home, my grandson in a couple more years.  

But I can’t.  

My list of deaths gets longer, longer and still longer.  

Stopping hazing is easy, I tell students. “Just don’t do it.”  

But too many don’t listen.  

These lyrics from the musical “Hamilton,” written by Lin-Manual Miranda, seemed appropriate for this post.  (Calligraphy by Simone Becque)

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Congratulations Cara Mund, Kappa Delta and P.E.O.!

Cara Mund has been admitted to law school at the College of Notre Dame, but that will be put on hold for at least a year as she has another commitment. She will be touring the country in her capacity of Miss America 2018. Mund was crowned on Sunday night.

She has an impressive resume. She’s the first Miss North Dakota to wear the crown and only the third Miss Dakota to make it to the Top Ten. In the competition, she was a First runner-up of the Jean Bartel Quality of Life Award which comes with an additional $4,000 Scholarship.

An honors graduate of Brown University, she was a charter member of the Kappa Delta chapter. She served as VP of Community Service and Chapter President. She was named as a Corre Anding Stegall Collegiate Leadership Award winner. It’s Kappa Delta’s highest collegiate individual award.

May 2012 edition of the North Dakota P.E.O. State Chapter Daisy newsletter.

In addition, in 2012, as a senior at Century High School in Bismarck, North Dakota, she was one of three North Dakota seniors to win a P.E.O. STAR Scholarship. She also became a member of P.E.O., Nebraska Chapter BF.

September 2012 issue of the Nebraska State Chapter Daisy newsletter

Mund, who started her trek to Miss America as the Miss Northern Lights contestant in the Miss North Dakota pageant, is the second Kappa Delta to wear the Miss America crown. The first was Miss America 1983, Debra Maffett, an initiate of the Kappa Delta chapter at Sam Houston State University.

I believe Mund is the first member of P.E.O. to be crowned Miss America.

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The West Point “Chapter” of ATO, Circa 1917

On September 11, 1865, Alpha Tau Omega was founded by three young Virginia Military Institute cadets – Otis Allan Glazebrook, Alfred Marshall, and Erskine Mayo Ross.

As VMI cadets, the three, along with most of their classmates aged 15 to 25, took part in the Battle of New Market. Ten cadets died. Another 45 were wounded. The three had seen the carnage and in founding Alpha Tau Omega they sought to reunite men in the aftermath of the Civil War.

In reading through a 1917 issue of The Palm of Alpha Tau Omega, I came across an article titled The West Point Chapter. I found it interesting that an organization founded at a southern military academy had, at one brief time, a gathering at a northern military academy. Myrl Miller, an initiate of the Wittenberg College chapter wrote:

The West Point chapter greets you! Perhaps most of you were not aware that you had a chapter at West Point, and are much surprised. This surprise is excusable, for officially there is no chapter of Alpha Tau, or of any other fraternity, at West Point. But unofficially we, seven of us, gathered together here at the Military Academy, have made so bold as to call ourselves  the “West Point Chapter.” Greek-letter designation we have none.

At the beginning of the year there were four Alpha Taus enrolled as cadets at the United States Military Academy. Already this was quite a large representation for one fraternity. But in June of this year three “plebes” entered the academy, and now we are proud to say that, so far as we have been able to discover, Alpha Tau Omega has the largest representation at Uncle Sam’s Military School of any fraternity in the country.

The seven Alpha Tau Omegas were:

George Hatton Weems, Southwestern Presbyterian University. Weems retired from the Army in 1951 with the rank of Brigadier General. He served in both World Wars. (http://1-22infantry.org/commanders/weemspers.htm)

Carroll Payne Tye,  Georgia Institute of Technology. (From a 1920 PalmCaptain Carroll P. Tye, U. S. Army, has been assigned to Pomona College, Los Angeles, California, as instructor in military science. Captain Tye, who is a native of Atlanta, Ga., recently visited his parents and while there attended a meeting of the Atlanta Alumni Association at which he gave an account of his interesting experience in Siberia.) The 1940 census has him listed as a real estate broker, living in Beverly Hills, California.

Joseph J. Twitty, Georgia Institute of Technology. Twitty retired as a Brigadier General and he served in World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

Elmer Hugo Almquist, University of Nebraska. He was still an Army man when he died in 1939 while stationed in Columbia, Missouri. (https://externalapps.westpointaog.org/Memorials/Article/5814/)

Basil H. Perry, Brown University. Perry retired from the Army in 1953 with the rank of Brigadier General. He served in both World Wars.

Charles R. Gildart, Sr., Albion College. He retired as a Colonel in 1951. (http://apps.westpointaog.org/Memorials/Article/6125/)

Myrl Miller, M.D. He died in 1981 in Akron, Ohio

Miller finished his article by noting that West Point regulations prohibited meetings of any secret organizations. He reported that free time was scarce, “but in spite of these disadvantages the spirit of fellowship among us is strong.” Moreover, he wrote, “In case there are any more A. T. O.’s who contemplate coming to West Point, we want to assure them that they will find a hearty welcome from their brothers, who will do all they can to help them through the trials which always befall the ‘plebe.'”


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September 11th, the Fraternity and Sorority Members Who Perished

It seems like a long time ago and 2001 was a long time ago, especially to someone who is in college today. A newborn then likely now has a driver’s license. Fashions that were spot on then seem a little outdated. The 2001 composite in any random fraternity or sorority house probably has been rotated into the basement or the back hallway. Do today’s college freshman have any sense of how earth shattering that day was? In the blink of an eye, lives were cut short and hearts were broken. Plans were crushed and futures changed.

I put together a list of the members of Greek-letter organizations who perished in the events of September 11, 2001 with some help from others. I cross-checked information and determine the proper spelling of names; I noted college affiliations when they were available. If there are additional names, corrections, etc., please let me know.

Let us not forget their names. As Oscar Hammerstein wrote in Carousel “As long as there is one person on earth who remembers you, it isn’t over.” Let us not forget their names.

I’ve listed the men’s social organizations alphabetically by fraternity name. The women’s organizations follow after that. The list closes with honorary and professional Greek-letter organizations and local fraternities.

Men’s Social Organizations

Alpha Delta Phi

Jeremy Glick, University of Rochester

Alpha Epsilon Pi

Morton H. Frank, Syracuse University

Barry Glick, Randolph Macon College

Steven Goldstein, University of Michigan

Joshua Rosenblum

Andrew Zucker

Alpha Phi Delta

Christopher Mozzillo, St. John’s University

Robert Tipaldi

Alpha Tau Omega

Robert “Rob” Lenoir, Duke University

Craig Lilore, Muhlenberg College

Donald Peterson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Beta Theta Pi

Ryan A. Kohart, University of North Carolina

Frederick Kuo, Jr., Carnegie Mellon University

Jon A. Perconti, Rutgers University

Lt. Colonel Karl W. Teepe, University of Illinois

Todd Weaver, Miami University 

Chi Phi

Michael Horn, Binghamton University

Chi Psi

Mark Bingham, University of California – Berkeley

Robert Schlegel, Washington and Lee University

Michael Tanner, Cornell University

Adam White, University of Colorado

Delta Chi

Jaycery M. DeChavez, Rutgers University

M. Blake Wallens, Cornell University

Delta Sigma Phi

Bart Ruggiere, University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh

Delta Kappa Epsilon

David O. Campbell, Rutgers University

Delta Phi

Edward R. Pykon, Lehigh University

Delta Tau Delta

Brian Cummins, University of Colorado

Kevin D. Marlo, University of Pittsburgh

Christopher Todd Pitman, Duke University

Delta Upsilon

Thomas Duffy, Union College

Ron Fazio

Aaron Jeremy Jacobs, Colgate University

Charles Zion

Kappa Alpha Order

Robert Maxwell, University of Texas at Arlington

Christopher D. Mello, Princeton University

David Suarez, Pennsylvania State University

Kappa Alpha Psi

James D. Debeuneure, Johnson C. Smith College

Eddie Dillard

Kappa Delta Rho

Bradley Fetchet, Bucknell University

Mark Ryan McGinley, Bucknell University

Kappa Sigma

Fredric Gabler, Cornell University

Jeffrey Brian Gardner, Rutgers University

Andrew H. Golkin, Hobart College

Richard B. Madden, Denison University

James Robert Paul, University of Kentucky

William P. Tselepis, Jr., University of Illinois

Lambda Chi Alpha

Donald A. Delapenha, Baldwin-Wallace College

Chris Dincuff, Villanova University

Robert Higley II, University of Connecticut

Todd R. Hill, University of Massachusetts

Robert Hymel, University of Louisiana, Lafayette

Justin J. Molisani, Jr., Lycoming College

Jarrold Paskins, University of Nebraska – Omaha

Dean Thomas, University of Pittsburgh

Ken Walsh, Bloomsberg University of Pennsylvania

Phi Delta Theta

Swede Chevalier, Cornell University

Thomas R. Clark, University of Richmond

Terence Gazzani, Bentley College

Donald T. Jones, University of Richmond

Mike LaForte, Syracuse University

Edward “Ted” H. Luckett, Ohio Wesleyan University

Sean P. Lynch, Cornell University

A. Todd Rancke, Duke University

Robert  Andrew “Andy” Spencer, University of Maryland

Phi Gamma Delta

Steve Glick, Northwestern University

William Godshalk, University of Alabama 

Rajesh Mirpuri, University of Vermont 

Charles Murphy, Syracuse University

Michael Pescherine, Penn State University 

Michael San Phillip, University of Pennsylvania

Phi Kappa Psi

Douglas M. Cherry, Ohio Wesleyan University

Michael “Desi” McCarthy, University of Buffalo

Phi Kappa Sigma

Kevin Reilly, SUNY Oneonta

Stephen G. Ward, University of Maine

Brent Woodall, University of California – Berkeley

Phi Kappa Tau

Peter Mardikian, Ohio State University

Philip Parker, Muhlenberg College

Phi Kappa Theta

Robert J. Ferris, Ohio State University

Phi Mu Delta

Robert LeBlanc, University of New Hampshire

Phi Sigma Kappa

Andrew Fredericks, Union College

Pi Kappa Alpha

John Grazioso, Florida Institute of Technology

James Brian Reilly, College of William and Mary

Joshua Rosenblum, University of Colorado

Davis G. “Deeg” Sezna Jr., Vanderbilt University

John “Eddie” Willett, University of Missouri

Pi Kappa Phi

Joseph Peter Anchundia

Peter Apollo

Edward Thomas Keane

Leo Russell Keene, III

Pi Lambda Phi

James Lee “Jimmy” Connor, II, College of William and Mary

Michael Hardy Edwards, College of William and Mary

Mark Ludvigsen, College of William and Mary

John A. Ogonowski, Lowell Technical Institute

Scott Vassel, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Psi Upsilon

Lee Adler, Kenyon College

Brandon Dolan, University of Rochester

Alexander Steinman, Union College

Richard Woodwell, Dartmouth College

Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Dennis Cook, Villanova University

Michael Davidson, Rutgers University

Michael B. Finnegan, University of Richmond

Major Wallace C. Hogan, Valdosta State University

Eamon McEneaney, Cornell University

James Andrew O’Grady, University of California – Los Angeles

Robert A. Rasmussen, North Dakota State University

Sigma Alpha Mu

Nicholas C. Lassman

Laurance M. Polatsch, University of Michigan

Gregory D. Richards, University of Michigan

Scott H. Saber, SUNY Lehigh

Brian J. Terrenzi, SUNY Oneonta

Scott J. Weingard, University of Michigan

Brian P. Williams, Columbia University

Sigma Chi

Don Adams, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Terence E. “Ted” Adderley, Jr.,  Vanderbilt University

Kevin Cleary, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Keith Eugene Coleman, Bucknell University

John Hart, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Aram Iskenderian, Jr., University of Rochester

Glenn D. Kirwin, University of Virginia

Stephen LaMantia, Roanoke College

Todd Douglas Pelino, Colgate University

David Eliot Retik, Colgate University

Sigma Nu

Peter Christopher Frank, University of Delaware

James Andrew Gadiel, Washington and Lee University

Michael Scott Lamana, Louisiana State University

Karl Trumbull Smith, University of Delaware

Sigma Phi

Ceasar Augusto Murillo, University of Vermont

Sigma Phi Epsilon

Paul Acquaviva, Rutgers University

Daniel Afflitto, St. Joseph’s University

Thomas W. Hohlweck, Jr., Kentucky Wesleyan College

Monty Hord, University of Nebraska

Christopher Larabee, University of Arizona

Terry M Lynch, Youngstown State University

Gregory Malone, Lehigh University

Gregory Milanowyicz, St. Joseph’s University

Joshua S. Reiss, University of South Carolina

Tau Delta Phi

George John Stauch

Tau Epsilon Phi

Todd Reubin

Tau Kappa Epsilon

Douglas A. Gowell, University of Lowell

Steven D. Jacoby, Shippensburg University

Michael J. Mullin, SUNY Oneonta

Sgt. Major Larry L. Strickland, University of Washington

John C. Willett, Rockhurst University

Theta Chi

Craig M. Blass, James Madison University

Mark A. Brisman, SUNY Albany

Scott Coleman, Colgate University

John Farrell, West Virginia Wesleyan College

J. Nicholas Humber, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Gary Lutnick, Rider University

Mark E. Schurmeier, Wake Forest University

William C. Sugra, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Jon C. Vandevander, Lycoming College

Patrick A. Versage, Wagner College

Theta Delta Chi

James Brian Reilly, College of William and Mary

Michael J. Simon, Hobart College


Alok Metha, Colorado State University

Zeta Beta Tau

Joseph Aron

Joseph A. Della Pietra

Jason Jacobs, Syracuse University

Zeta Psi

Dennis Cook, Villanova University

Michael Davidson, Rutgers University

Gopal Varadhan, New York University


At each Chi Psi Convention, there is a Mark Bingham Memorial 5k. It honors the memory of Bingham, passenger onboard United Airlines flight 93 on September 11, 2001. He and three other passengers attempted to retake the plane from the hijackers which resulted in the plane crashing into a field near Shanksville, PA, thwarting the hijackers plan to crash the plane into a building in Washington D.C.

This bench near Murkland Hall at the University of New Hampshire where Robert LeBlanc, Phi Mu Delta, taught geography.


 Women’s Social Organizations

Alpha Chi Omega

Kathy Nicosia, Bowling Green State University

Alpha Kappa Alpha

Sarah Clark

Alpha Delta Pi

Lynn Edwards Angell, Auburn University

Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, University of Texas

Cathy Salter, University of Cincinnati

Alpha Phi

Kristy Irvine Ryan, University of Dayton

Delta Delta Delta

Alysia Burton Basmajian, College of William and Mary

Kirsten Thompson Christophe, Michigan State University

Jeannine Damiani-Jones, Villanova University

Mary Lou Hague, University of North Carolina

Ann Campana Judge, Ohio Wesleyan University

Bonnie Shihadeh Smithwick, Bucknell University

Delta Gamma

Melissa Candida Doi, Northwestern University

Delta Phi Epsilon

Shari Kandell, Syracuse University

Gabriela Waisman, Queens College

Delta Sigma Theta

LTC Karen Wagner

Delta Zeta

Alicia Titus, Miami University

Melissa Vincent, SUNY Oswego

Kappa Delta

Kelly Booms, Miami University

Colleen Supinski, Susquehanna University

Kappa Kappa Gamma

Jen Kane, Villanova University

Jean Roger, Penn State University

Kaleen Pezzutti, Cornell University

Norma Lang Steurle, Carnegie Mellon University

Phi Mu

Sneha Philip, Johns Hopkins University

Pi Beta Phi

Melissa Harrington Hughes, Dickinson College

Catherine MacRae, Princeton University

Mary Alice Shehan Wahlstrom, Ohio State University

Sigma Delta Tau

Michelle Renee Bratton, SUNY Oswego

Sigma Sigma Sigma

Alisha Levin, Hofstra University

Photo by Ann Dahne. The quatrefoil was placed there for the picture and is not part of the memorial.

Honorary, Service and Professional Fraternities

I am almost certain there are more than these few who belonged to these organizations. These are the ones I found while looking for other information. If you have knowledge of others, please let me know.

Alpha Phi Omega

Shawn E. Bowman, Jr. SUNY Albany

Delta Sigma Pi  (Coeducational Business Fraternity)

Kelly Booms, Miami University (Ohio)

Marni Pont-O’Doherty, New York University

Sandra Teague, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Amy Toyen, Bentley College

Omicron Delta Kappa Society

Paul Ambrose, Marshall University

Phi Beta Kappa

Christopher Ciafardini, University of Colorado

Local fraternities

James Patrick Berger, Zeta Rho, Villanova University. Zeta Rho became the Kappa Zeta Chapter of Sigma Nu.

James J. Kelly, Delta Kappa Tau, SUNY Geneseo

Jeff LeVeen, Phoenix House, Dartmouth. Phoenix House had been Phi Gamma Delta.

David Pruim, Emersonian, Hope College

Francis J. Skidmore, Jr., Kappa Sigma Phi, Duquesne University

(This list was cobbled together using the lists of September 11, 2001 victims information as well as the information on Hank Nuwer’s www.stophazing.org website which was compiled in the days immediately after the tragedy,  Jon Williamson’s list published in the Summer 2002 Kleos of Alpha Phi Delta, and the list currently on the NIC website. I thank them all.)


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The Excitement Builds for the Sorority Women Competing in Miss America 2018

On Sunday, September 10, Miss America 2018 will be chosen from among the 2017 state winners. My friend Lyn Harris, Chi Omega’s Archivist, will be in the audience cheering on her four Chi Omega sisters as they compete for the crown. The show is on ABC at 9 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Central.

I will be live blogging the events at http://wp.me/P20I1i-3ER, the same place you can find the list of sorority women who are competing. (Please let me know if I am missing anyone. I try my darndest to uncover the connections, but sometimes one slips by me!)

The preliminary rounds have started and finalists have been chosen for some of the awards. 

Miss Texas, Margana Wood, Zeta Tau Alpha, University of Texas, Winner of Lifestyle and Fitness.

Miss Louisiana, Laryssa Bonacquisti, Chi Omega, Louisiana State University, Winner of Lifestyle and Fitness AND Talent competitions.

Miss Florida, Sara Zeng, Alpha Chi Omega, Florida State University, Winner of Lifestyle.

The finalists for the Jean Bartel Quality of Life Award are:

Miss Alabama Jessica Procter, Alpha Gamma Delta, University of Alabama – WINNER $6,000 Scholarship

Miss District of Columbia Briana Kinsey

Miss Kansas Krystian Fish

Miss Minnesota Brianna Drevlow

Miss Mississippi Anne Elizabeth Buys, Chi Omega, Mississippi State University

Miss North Dakota Cara Mund, Cara Mund, Kappa Delta, Brown University, First Runner-Up, $4,000 Scholarship

Miss South Carolina Suzi Roberts, Delta Gamma, University of Texas, Second Runner-Up, $2,000 Scholarship

The finalists for the 2018 STEM Scholarships are:

Miss District of Columbia Briana Kinsey (Winner)

Miss Kentucky Molly Matney (Winner)

Miss Massachusetts Jillian Zucco (Winner)

Miss Nebraska Allison Tietjen, Alpha Phi, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Miss Nevada Andrea Martinez


Miracle Maker Awards

Miss South Carolina Suzi Roberts, Delta Gamma, University of Texas, National and Local Miracle Maker winner 

Miss Alabama, Jessica Procter, Alpha Gamma Delta, University of Alabama, Third place Local Miracle Maker

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And Friendship’s Chain of Golden Hue Will Link Eternally

Sometime, at dusk when the sun sinks low, / The flight of my arrow shall end. / Through the silent hush of the evening glow, / I shall slip away my friend. / But the silken tie of the wine and blue / Will bind through eternity / And friendship’s chain of golden hue / Will link eternally.

These words of Pi Beta Phi’s Memorial Hymn have been running through my head all weekend. I learned that a dear Pi Phi friend (and P.E.O. sister) passed away. She was a charter member of the Southern Illinois Alumnae Club and  a 1950s initiate of the chapter at Kansas State University. When I spoke at her chapter’s Centennial in 2015, I volunteered to drive her there, but she was too ill to make the trek. I made sure to send her the 100-year history which the committee compiled. That made her very happy.

Last week I was with the Butler University Pi Phis as they celebrated 120 years. I had been in the chapter’s archives several years ago and I had a good collection of photos to show as I spoke. There were early pictures and those women are all gone. The pictures of the pledge classes of the 1940s and 1950s show young smiling faces in pencil skirts and sweaters. Those young women are now in their 80s and 90s. One woman, whose granddaughter was an active chapter member, started naming the women in a 1950-something picture. What a precious moment that was and I could tell some chapter members caught the subtle significance of this. She was once sitting where they sit today. 

While Pi Phi performs a memorial service at each convention, to honor the women whose lives ended during the time between conventions, it does not have a special designation for those women no longer with us. 


Chapter Eternal is the designation used by some organizations to signify departed members. These organizations include: Alpha Delta Phi; Alpha Tau Omega; Alpha Xi Delta; Chi Phi; Delta Phi Epsilon; Delta Tau Delta; Kappa Delta; Phi Kappa Psi; Phi Kappa Tau; Pi Kappa Alpha; Pi Kappa Phi; Pi Lambda Phi; Phi Mu; Phi Sigma Sigma; Sigma Alpha Epsilon; Sigma Alpha Mu; Sigma Chi; Sigma Nu; Sigma Phi Epsilon; Sigma Tau Gamma; Tau Kappa Epsilon; Theta Chi; and Theta Xi.

Ad Astra, “to the stars,” is used by Phi Gamma Delta to signify those members who have died. The complete quote is “Fratres qui fuerunt sed nunc ad astra,” meaning “Brothers who were, but are now with the stars.” 

Chapter Celestial is the designation given to Kappa Sigma’s deceased members.

Omega Chapter is used by Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Sigma Phi, Chi Omega, Phi Beta Sigma, Omega Delta Phi, Omega Psi Phi, Sigma Lambda Beta, Sigma Lambda Gamma, and Sigma Sigma Sigma.

Omega Rho is Sigma Gamma Rho’s  designation for deceased members.

Mystic Circle is Delta Kappa Epsilon’s term for deceased members.

Silent Chapter has been used by Alpha Phi and Zeta Tau Alpha.

Chapter Invisible is the designation used by Kappa Alpha Psi.

Chapter Grand is the term used by Alpha Gamma Delta and Phi Delta Theta.

A snippet from a 1904 Scroll of Phi Delta Theta

Sigma Chi’s mention of a deceased member is usually followed by “All honor to his name.”

As always, I appreciate addition, corrections, etc.

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GLO Members Doing Us Proud!

It’s the Friday before Labor Day. There are two things I’ve been meaning to write about all summer and two that fell into my lap yesterday.

Julie Crider Wisbrock became a member of Alpha Chi Omega while at the University of Kansas. After graduation, she became a chapter leadership consultant and then a chapter advisor while working in Chicago. For the past five years she has been a smiling face at Pi Beta Phi’s Headquarters. Julie is currently Pi Phi’s senior director of chapter support. Recently, Julie was named one of Alpha Chi Omega’s Real. Strong. Women of Distinction. Congratulations, Julie! (To see the list of women who were also honored along with Julie, see https://www.alphachiomega.org/meet-us/where-we-stand/real-strong-women/2017-real-strong-women-of-distinction-award-winner/)

Julie Wisbrock


Yesterday, I asked my Facebook friends for suggestions about where to donate funds for Hurricane Harvey flood relief efforts. A whole host of suggestions were made and I went down the list and made good use of my credit card. I suspect those of you who are able to do the same have already done that, too. (Those who read this blog regularly are very nice, generous and giving men and women who wear the badges of GLOs.) The devastation is heartbreaking. Maybe you’ve seen the coverage of “Mattress Mack,” Jim McIngvale, owner of Houston-based Gallery Furniture. McIngvale, a Pi Kappa Alpha, opened his furniture stores to Harvey evacuees because “It was the right thing to do.” 


The Southern Illinois University Alumni Magazine rarely, if ever, contains items relating to GLO membership, so this entry caught me by surprise. Congratulations, Thomas Marten!


And from the Treasures from the Archives file, I present to you this precious note from Phi Kappa Psi’s latest magazine.

Pickfair, the home in which Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. lived before she married “Buddy” Rogers.

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Two Sets of Sisters, a Catholic Priest, and Silver Award Winner?

Which NPC sorority founded on this date 105 years ago counts among its founders two sets of sisters and a Catholic priest? Hint, it is the same NPC sorority whose former National President was honored this year by National Interfraternity Conference with a Silver Medal. It’s Theta Phi Alpha, of course. Happy 105th Birthday!

On August 30, 1912, Theta Phi Alpha was founded at the University of Michigan. Although founded on August 30, Theta Phi Alpha celebrates Founders’ Day on April 30, the Feast Day of St. Catherine of Siena.* St. Catherine is the patroness of the organization and her motto, “Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring, ” is Theta Phi Alpha’s motto as well.

At that time Theta Phi Alpha was founded, Catholics were not always welcome in the other fraternal organizations on campus. Moreover, the University of Michigan is likely the only state university which can count a Catholic priest among its founders. In 1817, Father Gabriel Richard was a co-founder of the Catholepistemiad of Michigania which later became known as the University of Michigan. (The University celebrated its 200 birthday a few days ago!) He served as its Vice-President from 1817-21. In 1821 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees and served until his death in 1832. So, it is therefore interesting to note the Catholic connection between the Catholic sorority and the state university founded by a Catholic priest.  When Theta Phi Alpha was founded, the Catholic hierarchy was of the belief that Catholic women should be attending Catholic colleges and universities. Giving Catholic women the opportunity to join a Catholic sorority could provide an opportunity to keep them close to their Catholic roots at a secular institution.

In 1909, Father Edward D. Kelly, a Catholic priest and the pastor of the university’s student chapel organized Omega Upsilon. He believed that the Catholic women at the university should have the opportunity to belong to an organization  that “resembled the Catholic homes from which they came.”

After Father Kelly left campus and became the Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit, Omega Upsilon was struggling.  There were no alumnae to guide the organization. Bishop Kelly’s vision that the Catholic women at Michigan should have a place to call their own was still alive even though he was not on campus. He enlisted the assistance of Amelia McSweeney, a 1898 University of Michigan alumna. Together with seven Omega Upsilon alumnae, plans were made to establish a new organization, Theta Phi Alpha.

The Founders of Theta Phi Alpha

Theta Phi Alpha’s ten founders are Amelia McSweeney, Mildred M. Connely, May C. Ryan, Selma Gilday, Camilla Ryan Sutherland, Helen Ryan Quinlan, Katrina Caughey Ward, Dorothy Caughey Phalan, Otilia Leuchtweis O’Hara, and Eva Stroh Bauer.  Seven of them were Omega Upsilon alumnae and two were undergraduate members of Omega Upsilon.

According to the NIC press release:

Dr. Mari Ann Callais began her tenure in the fraternal movement as a fraternity/sorority life professional at both Mississippi State University and Southeastern Louisiana University. Throughout the 25 years that have followed, and counting, Dr. Callais has become a sought-after keynote speaker and facilitator for fraternity and sorority leadership events, a staff member of Delta Delta Delta Fraternity serving as Senior Director of Special Initiatives, and as national president of Theta Phi Alpha, among other notable roles serving the fraternal industry.

Congratulations Theta Phi Alpha and Mari Ann!

** Saint Catherine was canonized in 1461. From 1597 until 1628, the feast of Saint Catherine of Sienna was celebrated on April 29, the date she died. In 1628, due to a conflict with the feast of Saint Peter of Verona, hers was moved to April 30. In 1969, the Catholic Church reinstated her feast date as April 29. 
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Sisters Helping Sisters Takes on New Meaning After Harvey

This week THE Foundations Seminar is taking place in Indianapolis. Established in the 1990s, the Seminar has “provided fraternal foundation professionals and volunteers with a forum to collaborate on issues unique to advancing their organization’s missions.” Those meeting in Indy this week will have had the opportunity to hear three keynote speakers and take part in “36 educational sessions focused on working with data, digital fundraising, branding, engagement, donor retention, and many other key and emerging issues and trends affecting our organizations.”

I’d venture to say that almost all, if not all, GLO Foundations offer academic scholarships. During the 2015-16 academic year, the 26 National Panhellenic Conference member groups (and/or their foundations) provided more than $5 million dollars in academic scholarships to their members to pursue undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. In addition, most of the groups fund emergency grants to members. The recent flooding in Texas bring this kind of philanthropy to the forefront.

In the early 1900s, many of the NPC groups established Loan Funds to help their members pay for schooling, in a time when loan options were very limited. Additionally, other funds to help members in need were created.

Since 1922, the Rose McGill Aid has helped Kappa Kappa Gamma members in need. The same can be said for Kappa Alpha Theta’s Friendship Fund, established in 1926. Pi Beta Phi’s Emma Harper Turner Fund began in 1946 as a way for Pi Phis to help other Pi Phis confidentially and anonymously. 

Rose McGill, for whom Kappa Kappa Gamma’s assistance fund is named, is third from the right in the back row in this 1920 picture of the University of Toronto Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter.

Among the programs available for collegians and alumnae members in need are:

Alpha Chi Omega’s Member Assistance Grants

Alpha Delta Pi’s Abigail Davis Emergency Grants (for collegiate members) and Clasped Hands Fund Grants (for alumnae)

Alpha Epsilon Phi’s Cheryl Kraff Cooper, M.D, Giraffe Fund

Alpha Gamma Delta’s SIS Grant Program

Alpha Omicron Pi’s Ruby Fund

Alpha Phi’s Forget Me Not Fund

Alpha Sigma Alpha’s Janice Adams Membership Assistance Fund

Alpha Xi Delta’s Heart Fund Grants

Chi Omega’s Sisterhood Fund

Delta Delta Delta’s Crescent Fund

Delta Gamma’s Anchor Grants 

Delta Phi Epsilon’s Harriette Hirsch Sisterhood Fund

Delta Zeta’s Elizabeth Coulter Stephenson Grants (providing financial help for sorority expenses)

Gamma Phi Beta’s Grant-In-Aid

Kappa Alpha Theta’s Friendship Fund

Kappa Delta’s Alumnae Crisis Fund

Kappa Kappa Gamma Rose McGill Fund

Phi Mu’s Leona Hughes Hughes Heart & Hand Fund and the Betty Nell Wilkinson Emergency Scholarship

Pi Beta Phi’s Emma Harper Turner Fund

Sigma Kappa’s Alumnae Heart Fund

I hope those living through the torment of Hurricane Harvey will avail themselves of any aid for which they are eligible, especially any of these specialized programs targeting initiated members of their respective organizations. This is the time for sisters to help sisters in any way they can.

(I have tried my best to cobble the information together. If I have misrepresented any of these funds or have forgotten others, please send me a message and I will revise. Any errors and omissions are unintentional.)

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On the University of Michigan’s 200th Anniversary, the Beginnings of Its Sorority System

Women’s fraternities provided the early college woman with a support system. There were several campuses where, by 1902, there were or had been chapters of each of the seven founding NPC members. The University of Michigan is one of these campuses.*

The University of Michigan, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was founded on August 26, 1817.  Coeducation was a topic that had been discussed for many years.  In the late 1850s, the Board of Regents was notified that 12 women would apply for the fall 1858 class.  A few followed through on the application.  A committee was formed and several college presidents were consulted about the question of coeducation:

President Hopkins of Williams College was in favor of trying the experiment.  Dr. Nott, of Union College, was undecided, and, though he would not wish to make such an innovation on his own responsibility, was yet evidently willing that some institution should be compelled by public opinion to undertake it.  President Walker, of Harvard, and President Woolsey, of Yale, were decidedly opposed to co-education.  Horace Mann, President of Antioch College, and C. G. Finney, President of Oberlin College, were both in favor of the joint education of the sexes, but under such restrictions and surveillance as could not possibly be practiced in Ann Arbor.  President Tappan and the entire faculty of the University of Michigan were opposed to it.  (Farrand, 1885, p. 188)

Ultimately it was decided to reject the applications that the women had put forth and coeducation remained an unfulfilled idea on the Michigan campus.  The faculty were, by and large, against the idea as were many of the male students.  The main objection was that the buildings were overcrowded and there was not room for the women.  Moreover, the university was operating in a deficit and the funds to make the campus suitable for women were not available.

In 1867, in the aftermath of the Civil War, the Michigan legislature recommended that women be admitted into the institution (Peckham, 1994).  Erastus O. Haven, who was then the President of the University, along with the Board of Regents, vetoed the idea of women attending the university.  There is evidence, however, that Haven may have been agreeable to the women having their own separate college (Bordin, 1999).

Erastus Otis Haven, father of Gamma Phi Beta founder Frances Haven Moss. (For more about him see http://wp.me/p20I1i-e5)

Madelon Stockwell, a student from Kalamazoo, was the first woman admitted to the University of Michigan.  Her admittance to the university took much maneuvering on the part of her mentors, the Stones, a husband and wife who were Stockwell’s teachers at Kalamazoo College.  The Stones researched the laws governing the University of Michigan and appealed to an Episcopal bishop who was also a member of the Board of Regents.  Haven left Michigan in 1869 for a similar position at Northwestern University and Henry Simmons Frieze became the president pro tem of the university.  The Board of Regents at a meeting in early 1870 voted that the university would be open to any person possessing the required literary and moral qualifications.  After passing an entrance examination, one reportedly more difficult than the exam given the male applicants, Stockwell began her studies in the spring of 1870 (Bordin, 1999).

By the fall of 1870, there were 34 women studying at the University of Michigan.  The first woman to receive a degree was Amanda Sanford who obtained a M.D. in 1871 (Farrand, 1885).  With perhaps a bit of prejudice, Sagendorph (1948) labeled these pioneering female students as “Souls with a Purpose:”

“It was said the women tended toward the ‘medical missionary’ sort.  Class pictures show us the most awesome collection of stony-faced females ever seen outside an old maids’ home.  Probably they didn’t intend to look like that, but in spite of the stiff styles of the period those co-eds must have been sour by nature.  Perhaps that’s why coeducation at Michigan was not popular until after the turn of the century. . . . They encountered a prejudice against nice girls being at college at all, and reacted to it by becoming overserious and so prim that even in class pictures they seem to have come straight from a Salvation Army meeting.” (pp. 111-112)

Kappa Alpha Theta was the first women’s fraternity to appear on the University of Michigan campus.  In October, 1879, the members of the Kappa Alpha Theta chapter at Indiana Asbury College (now DePauw University) asked that a member contact one of five Michigan students who had written asking about the fraternity.  On December 10, 1879, a member of the Alpha chapter arrived in Ann Arbor and initiated six Michigan students into Kappa Alpha Theta (Wilson, 1956).  The campus publications, all run by men, lampooned the establishment of the first women’s fraternity chapter (Sangendorph, 1948).

Gamma Phi Beta was the second women’s fraternity to appear on the Michigan campus.  Frances Haven, one of the fraternity’s founders, was the daughter of the former university president, Erastus O. Haven.  A member of the Alpha chapter at Syracuse University wrote to a friend at Michigan asking if there were women interested in starting a chapter of Gamma Phi Beta.  Two of the Syracuse University Gamma Phi Beta members were sent to Ann Arbor to investigate the conditions.  On June 7, 1882, the Beta Chapter of Gamma Phi Beta was installed (Cook, 1911). This second chapter of Gamma Phi Beta led to the coining of the word “sorority” by Syracuse University professor Frank Smalley.

In 1885, two Delta Gamma sisters from the chapter at Buchtel  College in Akron, Ohio, chapter transferred to the University of Michigan.  It was their intention to establish a Delta Gamma chapter.  A Michigan student who was a friend of the sisters from Akron traveled to the 1885 Madison, Wisconsin, convention and was initiated into Delta Gamma there.  The three went back to Ann Arbor in the fall and were joined by four others who all became charter members of the Delta Gamma chapter (Stevenson, Carvill & Shepard, 1973).

The women who comprised the Kappa Alpha Theta chapter were strong minded and came into conflict with Kappa Alpha Theta policies.  The chapter’s charter was withdrawn due to a convention vote at a specially called meeting of Kappa Alpha Theta, held at Wooster, Ohio, on February 25, 1886.  With the assistance of the Emma Winner Rogers, wife of the Dean of the Law School Henry Wade Rogers, herself an alumna of Kappa Alpha Theta, and the efforts of three former members of Kappa Alpha Theta, the 15 Ex-Thetas became known as Collegiate Sorosis.  The group took on the name of Collegiate Sorosis on May 14, 1886.  It was the only collegiate chapter of the New York Sorosis Club (Robson, 1968; Collegiate Sorosis, 1936).

Charter members of Collegiate Sorosis

Two Pi Beta Phi members from Iowa chapters were attending the University of Michigan and they selected three other women to be charter members of the Michigan Beta chapter.  On April 7, 1888, the Pi Beta Phi chapter was installed (Helmick, 1915).

Kappa Kappa Gamma was installed on October 2, 1890.  Two separate groups of women had petitioned Kappa Kappa Gamma for a charter.  Both groups were equally worthy and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Grand Council chose 9 of the 13 applicants from the two groups to be charter members (Burton-Roth & Whiting-Westermann, 1932).

In 1892, two Alpha Phi alumnae living in Chicago went to the campus and invited women whom they felt were congenial to Alpha Phi to help start a chapter.  Ten women were initiated.  In 1893, the 12 members moved into their first rented chapter house (McElroy, 1913).

Although the former active chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta had become Collegiate Sorosis, a local organization, when the Kappa Alpha Theta charter was revoked, a group of alumnae remained loyal to Kappa Alpha Theta.  These alumnae sought the opportunity to reestablish the chapter.  On June 29, 1893, the Eta chapter was rechartered (Wilson, 1956).  One of its competitors on the Michigan campus continued to be Collegiate Sorosis, the local organization founded by some of the former members of the defunct chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta.

The Delta Delta Delta chapter was installed on November 1, 1894.  Four Michigan students who had a friend belonging to the Delta Delta Delta chapter at Adrian College wrote to the fraternity about the possibility of establishing a chapter.  The chapter did not last long and the charter was returned in 1900 (Haller, 1988).

According to Sagendorf (1948), the fraternity system flourished at the University of Michigan due to “the absence of dormitories, the squalid conditions of some student rooming houses, and the growing spirit of clannishness among student groups as the attendance soared” (p. 160)

*From – Coeducation and the History of Women’s Fraternities 1867-1902, by Frances DeSimone Becque, Dissertation, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 2002, pp. 99-104  All rights reserved.


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