History of Iota Delta at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
In the spring of 1984, rush on the campus of Rose-Hulman was considered a wet rush. Each of the existing fraternities participated in this idea to persuade the new freshmen that they were the best choice, because they threw the best parties. This idea of a wet rush turned many quality freshmen with high potential away from fraternities. After bid day, these freshmen saw their classmates change. Besides the constant state of drunkenness, the most dramatic change that was seen was that instead of the fraternity developing the man, the fraternity was bringing the man down to its level.
During the next summer three of the chapter’s founding fathers met with Indiana Senator Ed Pease (Indiana University, ΔΞ ’71), who had been a key figure in starting Indiana State University's ΘΟ chapter. The following fall quarter, the word spread across the campus of an eighth fraternity. This group of men believed that a fraternity really could help a man grow and felt they had a good idea of what it was that needed to be done. They laid down, with help from Senator Pease, the eight following precepts for a new fraternity:
In general, they wanted to ensure the environment for the attainment of academic excellence. The feeling was that the de-emphasis of alcohol was very important, however, they did feel that it is alright to drink, but in a responsible manner.
On November 18, 1985, the interest group received a message from the Supreme Council of Pi Kappa Alpha that the Rose-Hulman colony had been accepted unanimously. It was now up to the college to recognize the group. This soon proved to be easier said than done. Through much struggle through IFC, many other fraternities expressed concern of Rose-Hulman soon could go co-ed and would not have a large enough field of men to support eight fraternities. It was felt by many of the founders that the other fraternities did not want a successful fraternity coming in a making them work harder to hold positions of a higher social standard. The December 17, 1985 meeting let Mike Moreland (from Nationals) and Jeff Martin (Colony President) give a 20 minute presentation followed by an hour and ten minute question session. This consisted of almost entirely foul remarks, slams and crude commentary. They vote after lengthy deliberation 12-2 against, only Delta Sigma Phi returned a positive vote.
Though denied colonization by the Rose IFC, the interest group was determined to become a colony, despite much red tape from the Assistant Dean of Students, Tom Miller, and other members of the faculty. IFC then deferred the founders to an Ad Hoc committee composed of the advisors to each of the fraternities, Dean of Students (Jess Lucas), and Assistant Dean of Students (Tom Miller). This committee was created purely for this purpose, and was used for the intent of deterring the founders from starting a Pike chapter on campus. This Ad Hoc committee met in March of 1986, when the Pike interest group was only 16 members strong. The vote after this meeting was 5 for, 3 against, and 1 abstention. This confusion and frustration strengthened the membership of the interest group, which appealed the decision. The Student Affairs Committee would now hear the argument.
The SAC met on April 17, yet left without a conclusion, so another meeting was scheduled for April 24. Following an hour long, much heated debate the SAC was once again undecided an set a following meeting on the 30th. The committee also requested that all of the members of the interest group attend and draft letters as to why they thought Pi Kappa Alpha should be allowed to colonize. During the meeting on the 30th, a faculty member stepped forward and offered to be our faculty advisor, and would in-turn abstain from voting. Again a vote still could not be reached. A final meeting was set for May 5, 1986. The decision was approved 8 to 4. Thus, on May 14, the then school president sent a letter to Pike National President William LaForge indicating that the group had been officially recognized by the school. It had been a nine month battle whose victory laid the foundation for the beginning of the colony's plans to become a Pi Kappa Alpha chapter, and set new standards of excellence on the Rose-Hulman campus.
The 14 man group was officially colonized on September 3, 1986 by National Associate Director of Expansion, Earnest A. Cox. The ceremony pledged the fourteen into the colony on September 4th. The colony expanded through official IFC rush rules. We expanded our social network, both on our campus and on ISU. On December 5, 1987 the colony underwent inspection by Nationals. On January 29-30 the Rose-Human colony of Pi Kappa Alpha became the Iota Delta Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha. The initiation was done by four teams, from Purdue's ΒΦ and ISU's ΘΟ chapters, and took over three hours.
During the summer of 1987, a Housing Corporation was established to provide housing for the members (up until this time, meetings were held in the Union and all members lived on campus in the residence halls). By the end of the summer, the Housing Corp had secured a lease on the former Glenn Orphan's Home east of Campus. Brothers moved in that fall, albeit with some improvements needed.
Twelve Smythes later, starting in 1990, and winning several awards including scholarship, Delta Gamma's Anchor Splash, Rose's Greek Games, and the Overall Greek Intramural Championship, we still stand as a strong chapter with high standards for our Brothers.
The Iota Delta Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha has received various awards in its relatively short history at Rose-Hulman. Our list of awards can be found on our awards page.
For more information on Pi Kappa Alpha as a whole, see our international history.