The Indiana Epsilon Chapter of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity has reached the milestone of 150 years of continuous operations and involvement at Hanover College. The campus celebration was held on Nov 3, 2018 with the dedication of a commemorative plaque on campus, along with an evening banquet held in Madison. The plaque was installed in front of the current Faculty Office Building (FOB) as it served as the chapter house from 1931 through 1970, at which time the current chapter house was relocated at the top of the Scenic Drive.
The evening gathering of 160 people included: President Lambert and his wife; Associate Dean, Casey Heckler; Faculty Advisor, Bill Kubik; current Hanover students; President of the Phi Delta Theta General Council, Dr. Chris Brussalis, Chairman of the Phi Delta Theta Foundation, Ed Whipple, Past President of the Phi Delta Theta General Council, Tony Ambrose, and other key Phi Delta Theta officers, volunteers, and Hanover alumni from every decade since 1940. Various presentations and acknowledgements were made, and the original 1868 charter was on display.
Originally proposed in 1861 at Hanover, the Phi Delt chapter was not chartered officially until December 14, 1868, once the Civil War had ended and men returned back to campus. Approximately 2,000 initiates over the years have remained an active part of the Hanover community. Men from Indiana Epsilon had a hand in carrying Phi Delta Theta to the University of Missouri (1870), Monmouth College (1871), Wooster College, and Cornell University (both 1872).
In 1881, the chapter pushed for sororities on campus with Delta Gamma being the first. For the first two years, Delta Gamma meetings were held in the Phi Delta Theta Hall. In the early morning on December 19, 1941, a devastating fire destroyed Old Classic Hall on campus, where brothers of Indiana Epsilon helped rescue many students. In the 1960s, the chapter helped lead efforts for radical change in the General Fraternity’s membership requirements, standing on the side of inclusivity. Indiana Epsilon has a proud history of involvement with the General Fraternity at all levels.
These 150 years of joint partnership have been filled with many successes – the Phi Delta Theta motto of “To become the greatest version of yourself” has fit so well with Hanover’s mission which states “Hanover College is a challenging and supportive community whose members take responsibility for lifelong inquiry, transformative learning and meaningful service.”