Centennial Celebration Program – September 14, 2013
Finest and Most Rewarding Event
"The 100th Delta Delta house celebration was the finest and most rewarding event I have ever attended of this type,” noted Mic Mead ’55 in an email updating his brother on the Centennial Celebration weekend. Brother Mead stated, “The Great Hall and west end of the Dining Room were cleared and filled with 170 chairs facing the podium which was in front of the Game Room. There were a few standing plus the balcony was filled with underclassmen. The speakers were inspiring and FUNNY and reflected on their time in the house. They clearly enjoyed their rolls --much more than in my time."
Brothers from the 1940’s through the 2000’s returned to 202 Littleton Street to celebrate two more significant milestones in the long and storied history of the Delta Delta Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity. Led by master of ceremonies, Keith Krach ’79, this grand gathering of brothers captured the spirit of the past and the hope for Delta Delta’s next 100 years and beyond.
100th Anniversary of Delta Delta Chapter House
It looked like a cool, dreary day in April 1912 when George Ade and others of his era broke ground on what was to become the first fraternity house at Purdue – the Delta Delta Chapter House. 100 years later on the anniversary of the formal dedication of the chapter house in 1913, over 200 Sigs and their guests gathered to hear brothers of different eras tell stories of their days at Delta Delta. Al Menke ’43, who was Consul in 1943, stood before the audience and relived his days at Purdue when the Sigs had to move out of the chapter house to make room for Army personnel who came to Purdue for training. Other brothers shared their often hilarious stories to the enthusiastic crowd. These included Scott Haynes ’47, Doug Streff ’58, Bob Kaley ’68, J.B. Carson ’78, Marc Carlson ’83 and Jay Andrew ’98.
Presentation of 1920 Purdue Seal
Mic Mead ’55 took this occasion to present Delta Delta with a Purdue University seal that had been owned by his father, Ray Mead ‘21. The brass seal mounted on an oak base had hung in the chapter house in 1920 when Ray Mead ’21 was an undergraduate. Mic recounted the history of the seal and how he and his father had kept in their possession for over 90 years. The seal will be placed on display in the chapter library.
Silver Sigma Chis
The Class of ’73 continued to exemplify the true spirit of youth as they gathered for their 40th reunion. As part of their celebration Harold Force ’73 composed the next classic Sigma Chi song titled “Silver Sigma Chis”. Performed for the first time ever, the Class of ’73 crooned of their sweethearts - blond, brunette and red head – who had captured their hearts many years ago. With the entire crowd joining in on the final stanza, they sang, “We stand together arm and arm, the Silver Sigma Chis.” To a standing ovation, and a tear in their eye, the Class of ’73 took their seats.
Renovation Campaign Concludes
On the 100th Anniversary of the Delta Delta Chapter House what could be more fitting than closing out the 10 year long campaign to “Secure the Future of Delta Delta”. This campaign to renovate the chapter house became the largest and most successful fund raising and building campaign ever accomplished by a Greek organization.
Campaign chairmen Bernie Sergesketter ’58, Jim Dora ’58 and Harold Force ’73 each spoke to the crowd about the challenges of the campaign and the incredible support they received. Each of the over 800 contributors was recognized in the program brochure as Bernie exclaimed with a heartfelt, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."
With the successful conclusion of the campaign and the raising of $7.4 million, it was time for Bernie, Jim, Harold and Tom Leslie ’68 to burn the mortgage in the Great Hall fireplace. As each page of the mortgage went up in flames, the crowd cheered.
The Delta Delta House Corporation also took this opportunity to present Bernie, Jim and Harold with a print of an original water color painting done of the renovated chapter house. The large original painting will hang in the Library above the fireplace.
A Song To Get Us Out of Here
To the rousing strains of "Who Am I Sir, I'm a Sigma Chi" the brothers concluded the program and wrote one more memorable chapter in Delta Delta’s history.