Alpha Delta



Case Western Reserve University (Originally chartered before school merger at Case School of Applied Sciences, then Case Institute of Technology) [Erie Domain]



Phi Kappa Tau - Alpha Delta chapter
1596 East 115th Street
Clarke Tower 6th Floor
Cleveland, Ohio 44106



Founded as Iroquois Club - 1919
Changed name to Tau Gamma Psi - Fall of 1922
Chartered as 28th chapter, Alpha Delta of Phi Kappa Tau - January 30, 1925
Ceased operations - 1992
Recolonized by Phi Kappa Tau - October 9, 1998
Rechartered as 28th chapter, Alpha Delta of Phi Kappa Tau - May 12, 2000


Iroquois Club and Tau Gamma Psi

After the Student Army Training Corps program ended with the cessation of hostilities in World War I, an organization was formed on the rain soaked campus of Case School of Applied Sciences that was called the Iroquois Club. For several years the club lived in complete secrecy until firmly established. In the autumn of 1922 a modest house was rented at 2085 Cornell Road, Southeast, and the name of the society became Tau Gamma Psi, a local fraternity no longer operating in secret so that it could petition the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity for membership; that same year, the petition was rejected. Negotiations with Phi Kappa Tau extended over the course of three years. For most of this period there was a feeling within the national fraternity that expansion should exclude any additional chapters in Ohio. However, after rapid growth and intense lobbying from supporters in the Cleveland alumni association and on the Case faculty, the 1924, Detroit, Michigan, Fourteenth Annual Convention unanimously granted the petition of Tau Gamma Psi on August 29, 1924.

Alpha Delta Installed


Alpha Delta was to be installed and become the twenty-eighth chapter (and the fifth Ohio chapter) to be granted a charter by the national fraternity between January 29 and 31, 1925. Alpha Delta chapter had thirty-nine charter members who were initiated by officiating members Grand President John V. Cotton, Grand Secretary Ralph K. Bowers, and other members of the degree team on January 30, 1925. Also present were Doctor Henry E. Hoagland of the grand council, O. M. Stone, E. G. Gossett, and C. C. Goddard of the Cleveland alumni association. The following afternoon, Alpha Delta chapter was presented its charter and the ceremonies were concluded that evening with a formal banquet and dance at Fenway Hall Hotel, at which Guy R. Pratt was the toastmaster. The initiated president of Alpha Delta chapter was Harry Yates George and the initiated secretary was Ernest A. McLeod. Alpha Delta's graduate council president was Stanley T. Gridley and the secretary was Jasper W. Avery.

The Early Days


On the Case faculty were Oliver M. Stone, Ohio State, Lloyd W. Morris, Lawrence, and Fred L. Plummer, Ohio. A prominent Cleveland attorney, F. Scott Zimmerman, Ohio State, was very helpful in the early formative days of the chapter.
Although Case had a relatively small student body, a large number of national fraternities were represented on campus. From the very beginning the Alpha Delta membership was well represented in activities with certain men outstanding, especially: G. Ray Avery, William L. Aldrich, Robert N. Bennett, and Monroe J. Bahnsen (track), Elmer J. Kuhn and E. W. Drexler (football), Howard J. Rowe (Tau Beta Pi), William E. Hoehn (treasurer junior class, Board of Managers), Valant H. Berwick (college publications), Grant R. Rubly (Theta Tau), Jay W. Owings (football, Theta Tau, secretary senior class).
In the autumn of 1926 two Epsilon chapter transfers to Case from Mount Union College, Harry L. Ebert and Chester L. Buxton, were destined to play strong roles in the growth of Alpha Delta.
By the summer of 1928 the landlord had given notice to the chapter that the Cornell Road house was to be razed for a new apartment building site, so a larger property at 1949 East 93rd Street, across the street from the College Club, was leased. This was the beginning of many moves for Alpha Delta during the next twenty-five years. It was at the East 93rd Street location that the Cleveland Clinic disaster in the immediate neighborhood was witnessed by most of the members who were but a few hundred yards from one of Cleveland’s most horrible explosions and fires.
The next move was made May 11, 1929, to a much larger house at 2102 East 100th Street. By this time the chapter roll was becoming quite large. Now, with a house containing sixteen study rooms, the chapter was also becoming a political power on the campus and its scholarship was good. Members of Alpha Delta were vigorously active in many campus organizations. Especially helpful was the newly formed Mothers’ Club, the Nu chapter of Phi Eta, in the autumn of 1930.
Championships also were being brought back to the chapter. The basketball trophy for 1930-31 season was won in the twelve team Case Interfraternity League. The Interfraternity track trophy for spring 1931 was the next achievement. Various athletic awards were won by Frank Cerness, Kenneth Slater, Dan Rowland, Powell Schmauch, Lloyd Hicks, Donald Hicks, and Edward Mansfield. Walter Riley became captain of the Case fencing team and Edward Mansfield was reelected president of Gamma Phi, national gymnastic fraternity. George J. Rambo, Ohio, teaching in Cleveland, with his musical talents, aided the chapter in musical fields. J. Matthew Fenner was elected editor of the “Differential,” the Case annual. Through this period, Professor Fred L. Plummer, Ohio, was proving an excellent chapter advisor.
Big city growth next became a problem for the chapter. The neighborhood began to deteriorate rapidly and with it the condition of the property. By Thanksgiving vacation in 1931 the leased property was sold and again Alpha Delta was on the move, but, this time, back to the opposite side of the Case campus to 1709 East 115th Street.
During the summer of 1933 in an effort to better conditions another move was made to a more pleasant house at 11451 Euclid Avenue. The efforts of Phi Eta to help the chapter become established in its new location were greatly appreciated. The new home was in excellent condition but Alpha Delta continued to be plagued by scholarship deficiencies. By 1935 membership began to improve slowly and finances were on the upgrade again. Although membership had dropped from previous levels, scholarship was maintained at a better than men's average—fifth among the Case fraternities. The Interfraternity basketball trophy was lost by the slim margin of two one-point game losses. The track trophy also was lost but a second place was won. Donald J. Hicks, varsity wrestler, became Ohio collegiate champion in his class.
By spring of 1935 another move was made, this time to 2021 Cornell Road, only a block from where the chapter had originated. Scholarship began to improve and men were becoming more active in campus activities. William C. Ailes, Mount Union, attending Western Reserve University Law School, helped immensely with rushing. Scholarship surged to top rating on the campus.
With the arrival of 1941, a luxurious and beautiful private residence located on fraternity row, at 2032 Abington Road, was purchased under the direction of Irven B. Prettyman, president of Alpha Delta Alumni Corporation, and with generous assistance of the national fraternity. Howard E. Hendershott, Ohio, prominent Cleveland lawyer negotiated the acquisition. Anthony Poss, Miami, Cleveland banker, advised the group. Paneled rooms, ballroom, game room, and spacious study rooms once again provided Alpha Delta with one of the finest homes at Case.
Considering the many events in the chapter’s growth, the year 1941 probably saw the beginning of conditions that would soon provide Phi Kappa Tau with an outstanding chapter on a national rating.
Doctor Leonard O. Olsen, professor at Case, was initiated into Alpha Delta chapter in January, 1941, and served admirably as faculty advisor.
The formal Case chapter house dedication ceremonies, held December 12, 1941, were attended by 75 guests consisting of Case faculty, Phi Kappa Tau national officers, and alumni.

The War Years


No sooner had the chapter become established in its new home than a wartime era descended. World War II was going to depend heavily upon the talented engineers of Case.
Housemother Mrs. Grace Skillthorpe, known affectionately as “Cooky,” was of great service to the Alpha Delta men.
On May 16, 1942, the Alpha Delta chapter (along with Richard J. Young, national secretary, John V. Cotton, and Case alumnus Irven B. Prettyman, domain chief) initiated the actives and alumni of Zeta Kappa at Baldwin-Wallace into the Alpha Omega chapter of Phi Kappa Tau.
It is worthy of note that, throughout the years, Alpha Delta had always been very successful in Interfraternity decoration and float competition. Starting in 1942, classes were also held during the summer. Because normal activities, in spite of wartime conditions, were still possible at Case, the chapter was able to operate at full capacity. Under President Anton J. Eichmuller, financial conditions were kept sound and members in publications, musical organizations, athletics and honorary fraternities were tops. For example, six Phi Taus were members of Tau Beta Pi, which contained a total membership of twenty-five. Alpha Delta achieved top rank in scholarship with the highest point average at Case. The Navy V-12 Unit installed at Case from 1942 to 1945 permitted men to belong to fraternities and also maintain campus activities. Many were required to live in the Navy quarters on campus, however. The opening of the November, 1945, semester saw small numbers of veterans already returning to Case.
The war ended with Alpha Delta giving up three Gold Star Brothers to Chapter Eternal, namely Bruce Goff Anderson, John C. Feldmeyer, and Donald Earl Queer.
Alpha Delta was able to maintain good scholarship ratings through most of the war years and, by 1948, was still able to hold third place in eleven fraternities at Case. On a national basis, however, scholarship began to slip in all Phi Kappa Tau chapters. However, activities did flourish.
Early in 1948, a transfer from Alpha Delta named Don Clough, initiated six years earlier at Case, helped start the Phi Tau Club at Kent State University, which was chartered as the fourth fraternity on the Kent State campus, Beta Mu on May 20, 1949.

Fifty Years of Phi Tau


By 1950, the fraternity house at 2032 Abington had fallen into a general state of disrepair, overcrowded conditions, and gradual suffocation by the rapid expansion of University Hospital and Western Reserve University. Along with the physical decline of the house, there seemed to be a general lax attitude on the part of the members toward fraternity activities, which are necessary to the life of a fraternity.
It was at this time that the alumni organization worked actively toward acquiring a new home for the chapter on what was rapidly becoming a new “fraternity row,” Bellflower Road. Active negotiations with University Hospital finally, in 1952, netted one of the finest deals any group could desire. In exchange for the old property, which was to be razed to permit erection of the Psychiatric and Mental Division of Western Reserve University, a brick, old English, eighteen room mansion was acquired. Walled in on two sides, the new site provided parking for forty cars and contained a large ballroom, roomy study space, five bathrooms with ample “morning space,” and a beautiful paneled library. The alumni were again aided in the negotiations by Howard E. Hendershott, Ohio, their most generous legal advisor. It was the answer to many dreams and unquestionably the finest house on the campus. Because negotiations and remodeling were lengthy, the chapter was unable to move into the new house prior to the start of the 1952 autumn semester. This presented a complex rushing problem. Noon hours during the rushing period were ones of hectic activity between both properties.
October 5, 1952, rolled around, and every little corner of the old residence gave away its most treasured secret as Alpha Delta prepared to shift headquarters to 11318 Bellflower Road. There were many anxious moments as the members tried to fill so much space with so little furniture.
The end of the semester revealed the bitter fact that out of a pledge class of twenty-five, only eight could become active, chiefly due to academic reasons. The problem of building up chapter membership became increasingly obvious. The state of lethargy that had existed over recent years was now being thoroughly felt. Scholarship plummeted to last place on campus by 1952-53.
The March elections brought to the fore a small senior class, but one which was destined to start the climb upward for the chapter. Headed by Ron Spetrino, a rebuilding program had begun. One of the first steps in this direction was the acceptance by Doctor John Culver to be the chapter’s faculty advisor. “Doc” was one of the greatest things to happen to the group in years.
As elections rolled around in March, 1954, no seniors were able to take over the presidency of the chapter. To breach the gap, it was necessary to reach into the junior class; Ray Bender was elected president. The trophies for first place in the annual Stunt Night Contest and Alumni Weekend decorations took their place in the chapter’s rapidly growing trophy collection. Don Hersch and Jerry Stein were elected to the presidency of the junior and sophomore classes respectively. The cycle of improvement had finally returned. In fact, in 1960 Alpha Delta brother Colin A. Heath became a Shideler Award recipient.

End of an Era


After cleaning out and giving up the Bellflower residence to Case’s Sigma Chi chapter, Alpha Delta moved into a modern, four-story house built on the south side of the campus of the newly merged Case Western Reserve University in 1968. Unfortunately, after some years of gradual deterioration in scholarship and the building of monetary problems within the chapter, Alpha Delta ceased operations on the Case Western Reserve campus in 1992. The official reasoning was "squatting" by members of the chapter, brothers living in the house without making payments for their stay.

A New Beginning

In the autumn of 1998, national expansion consultants Jeff Anderson (of Alpha Kappa chapter) and Carlos Salazar (of Alpha Pi chapter) set about to reestablish a colony on Case Western Reserve's campus. They enlisted the help of the fraternity's former advisor, Doctor Ignacio Ocasio, and a Beta Chapter alumnus, Doug Brown, to advise the colony that was forming. Eleven male students, primarily freshmen, were associated on the eve of the colonization, October 8, 1998. Shortly after the ceremony, nearly fifty people attended the colonization banquet. The banquet was an affair which well exceeded the allotted budget, but introduced the Alpha Delta colony in a style to be remembered. The colony was officially recognized by the campus Inter Fraternity Congress on February 26, 1999, when it presented itself to the Inter Fraternity Congress and representatives from the Pan-Hellenic Council and was conferred colony status by an Inter Fraternity Congress vote. During the spring of 2000, the national fraternity accepted the colony's petition to be inducted as a full chapter. As a result, on May 11, 2000, staff from the national fraternity along with brothers from the Baldwin-Wallace Chapter initiated twenty-three of the associate members over the course of six hours. The next day, May 12, 2000, the group was ceremoniously inducted as the Alpha Delta chapter of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity at a large banquet, attended by nearly the entire staff of the national fraternity, parents, friends, and important Case Western Reserve staff, all who came to witness two years of effort come to fruition.

Present Status


Resident council of forty-seven active brothers

Hall of Fame Members

Doctor Paul Lauterbur, CIT '48, Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine
Frank Rudy, CIT '48, Inventor, Nike Airsole
Russ Warren, CIT '57, President, The Transaction Group

National Awards and Distinctions


1968 Administrative Excellence
1969 Maxwell - Division II
1991 Administrative Excellence
1999 Administrative Excellence
2000 Administrative Excellence
2001 Scholarship Award
2002 Academic Excellence
2003 Order of the Star
2003 Administrative Excellence
2003 Academic Excellence
2004 Order of the Star
2004 Administrative Excellence
2004 Community Service Award
2004 Administrative Excellence
2006 Hole In The Wall Camp Award
2006 Jason Crawford Award
2006 Academic Excellence
2006 Maxwell Scroll Winner
2007 Hole In The Wall Camp Award
2007 Academic Excellence Award
2007 Maxwell Award - Overall
2007 Maxwell Scroll Winner
2008 Philanthropy Award
2008 Scholarship Award
2008 Administrative Excellence
2008 Academic Excellence
2008 Maxwell Scroll Winner

Major Philanthropy Events


Fall Semester: Phi-K 5k
Spring Semester: Phi Tau's Casino Night



Alpha Delta Home Page -
Old Home -
Flash Calendar -
Facebook Page -
Doctor Ignacio Ocasio, former chapter advisor, tribute -
2009 Greek Sing -
2009 Variety Show -
2008 Greek Sing -
2008 Variety Show -
2007 Variety Show -
2004 Variety Show -
2004 Greek Sing -
2004 Raft Race -
2004 Beach Ball Relay -
2004 Obstacle Course -
DDR Phi Tau Mix 1 -
DDR Phi Tau Mix 2 -
Phi Tau Salsa Fest -
Phi Kappa Tau Centennial Opening -
Phi Kappa Tau History (1 of 3) -
Phi Kappa Tau History (2 of 3) -
Phi Kappa Tau History (3 of 3) -
Phi Kappa Tau History Show -
Phi Kappa Tau Home Page -
Phi Kappa Tau Wikipedia Page -

Notes of Interest


Alpha Delta brothers Eugene Naegele '44 and Harold Blum '46 composed the song "Phi Kappa Tau Toast," to the tune of "Finlandia," by Jean Sirrlius:

Phi Kappa Tau, a toast to you we offer.
The brothers one, together, staunch and true
Proclaim thy praises from hearts o'er flowing,
With mem'ries dear incased in you.
Thy glorious star thru darkest ways is gleaming
To guide us on the pathway to you.



From Old Main to a New Century, Charles T. Ball
The Golden Jubilee History of Phi Kappa Tau: Fifty Years of Fellowship, Jack L. Anson
The Phi Kappa Tau Songbook (3rd and 6th Editions)
Phi Kappa Tau Membership Manual: Centennial Edition
Phi Kappa Tau - Alpha Delta Records
The Case Differential (1922~1927)

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