Beta Delta


The University of Miami [Citrus Domain]


Founded and Chartered as 52nd chapter, Beta Delta of Phi Kappa Tau - February 29, 1948
Ceased operations - 1963


A colony at the University of Miami, Florida, became the fifty-second chapter of Phi Kappa Tau when Beta Delta chapter was installed on February 29, 1948, at the southernmost university in the United States at Coral Gables, Florida. Beta Delta was formed at the relatively newborn but rapidly growing University of Miami campus by a core group of transfer students who were members of the Alpha Eta chapter at the University of Florida in 1947. Among these were William Kapp, who became Beta Delta’s first president; John Council, the first historian; H. Booth, the first pledgemaster; T. Harris, the second secretary; T. Brumlik, Beta Delta’s first secretary, and Forrest Bell, the first athletic chairman. These six men joined in signing Beta Delta’s charter with Randall Christmas, who became the mayor of Miami, A. Cisek, J. Crooks, S. English, B. Hawthorne, H. Johnson, R. Ludder, R. MacMillan, R. Meissner, B. Novak, and L. Ross. They were installed along with these outstanding men of the community: Wirt Peters, University of Miami law school professor and Beta Delta’s first faculty advisor; Tom Kelly, who became sheriff of Dade County, Florida; Ben Cooper, well known local contractor; Doctors and Brothers David and Oliver Bosworth, local dentists; and Robert Little, architect, who designed many of the new modern University of Miami buildings. Installation activities began on Saturday, February 28, when a twelve-man degree team from Alpha Eta at the University of Florida conducted initiation ceremonies for the charter members of Beta Delta at the Elks’ Club in Coral Gables. Saturday night there was a swim-dance for members, pledges, alumni, and friends of Phi Kappa Tau at the International Cabana Club on Miami Beach. The Garden Restaurant in Miami was the appropriate setting for the Miami, Florida, Alumni Association including Dean Edgar Ewing Brandon, Miami, the degree team from Alpha Eta, representatives from the other twelve fraternities on campus and the deans of all the schools of the university were present when Secretary Richard Young presented the charter of Beta Delta chapter to President William Kapp Sunday afternoon.
The officers who led Beta Delta through the 1948-1949 year were R. Ludder, president, charter member and also a brother of a member of Eta chapter; R. MacMillan, vice president, charter member, and honor student; Tom Harris, secretary, Alpha Eta transfer, founder of Beta Delta and charter member; and P. Distelhurst, treasurer, a member of the first pledge class. This was the year of Beta Delta’s Second Carnation Ball held at the International Cabana Club, on Miami Beach.
The school year 1949-1950 found three members of the first pledge class at the helm: E. Horner, president; R. Munley, vice president; P. Distelhurst, reelected as treasurer; and B. Marvin as secretary. Later C. Groves was elected to take the place of vice president vacated by Munley who married that year and elected to join the ranks of the graduate council. The third Carnation Ball was held at the Floridan Hotel, Miami Beach.
Beta Delta’s fourth set of officers were B. Teeter, president, later replaced by M. Hart when he entered the service; M. Hart, vice president, replaced by A. Roine when he became president; Treasurer Roine, replaced by J. Kazarian; and Secretary R. Warner.
The 1951-1952 year started off with B. Garvey at the helm, to be replaced by A. Roine when he entered the service; K. Gike, vice president; B. Butler, secretary; and first M. Doggett, then B. Poeth, treasurer. The Carnation Ball was held at the Colony Club.
The officers for the 1952-1953 academic year were: F. Alders, president; Vice President P. Distelhurst, then B. Fitzpatrick; Secretary J. Cantisano; and Treasurer Dave Barron. The Carnation Ball was held at Miami Beach’s Cadillac Hotel.
Nineteen fifty-three will go down as Beta Delta’s first success at setting up housekeeping. This is the first year they had any specific area to call their own, even temporarily, large enough to meet all their needs. This all came about largely due to the efforts of President Steve Fisher and his fellow officers: John Cantisano, vice president, Secretaries Browning and R. Eurione, and Treasurer Sam Kennedy.
The next leaders of Beta Delta were John Cantisano, president; A. Marchol and G. Vasu, vice presidents, Richard Eurione, secretary, and D. Hounsell and B. Osking, treasurers. This was the first and only year Beta Delta was able to have the Carnation Ball at “Home.” It was a beautiful setting on the bay with a full moon overhead.
The officers for the 1955-1956 academic school year were: Ben Osking, president; George Vasu, vice president; Richard Eurione, secretary; and George Cholakis, treasurer. The chapter moved into a smaller but less expensive house next door to the first house and still on Biscayne Bay, so it is holding to that foothold of having a central meeting place and social activities spot.
Among those known to have reached places of prominence of the Beta Delta alumni are: Tom Brunlik, who headed an asphalt tile manufacturing concern in Alabama; Randy Christmas, who became mayor of Miami; Al Cisek, who became an executive with G.E. in New York; John Council, who headed one of the largest plumbing concerns in Florida; Mal Hart, who was an executive in a large financial concern in Chicago; Rod Ludder, who was one of the top engineers of a nationally known paper products corporation; Dick MacMillan, who was a successful and well known physician practicing in Philadelphia; Dave Smock, who was with the foreign service in India; and Harold Janes, who was the personnel director of the Elgin Watch Case Corporation of Cincinnati.
One of the most notable achievements of the Beta Delta chapter was that they were given top place of approximately fifteen fraternities on the University of Miami campus for the 1948-1949 school year. Collectively, they had no undesirable marks, moral or social, against them and lived up to the covenants of brotherhood. Beta Delta became inactive in 1963.

Present Status

No longer in operation

Hall of Fame Members

Kenneth Ryskamp, UM '54, Judge, United States District Court, Florida


Phi Kappa Tau Centennial Opening -
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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
Phi Kappa Tau Membership Manual: Centennial Edition

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