Recent Chapter History

External Improvements to the Chapter Lodge Now Complete

Over the last couple of years, the DKE Lodge at 13 South Avenue has undergone a series of projects to seal up the exterior of the house. Projects including the rebuilding of the front porch, repairs to the external wood surfaces on the north, east and south faces of the house, and improvements to water drainage systems away from the house have been completed in the past couple of years. Efforts to repair, repoint, and repaint wood and stone surfaces on the western face of the house, as well as address needed masonry and chimney repairs were completed shortly after Thanksgiving 2022.

With the completion of these projects, DKE has reached a major milestone in maintaining its 129-year-old grey stone castle. The learn more about where we’ve been and where we’re going, please read the email summaries here and here.

President of DKE International Welcomes 6 New Members

DKE International President Doug Lanpher made a brief visit to the Delta Chi chapter following his presentation of the Lion Trophy to the Syracuse University chapter in mid-November. President Lanpher spent time discussing the current fraternity environment at Cornell and around the country with Alumni President Mike Furman ’79, OFSL Director Kara Miller McCarty, and many of the undergraduate brothers. Doug made sure to welcome our 6 newest brothers who joined in October of 2022. Biographic information about these new members can be found here.

Dekes Gather in Ithaca for Reunion 2022

On Saturday June 11th, the DKE lodge at 13 South Ave hosted its first Delta Chi Association Annual Meeting/ Cornell Reunion celebration since the summer of 2018! Over 25 brothers stopped by to explore their cherished fraternity house, tell their favorite stories over Glenora wine and cheese, and participate in the annual meeting of the Delta Chi Association. The annual meeting agenda covered the latest updates from campus, our plans to improve the house in the months and years to come, and to elect DXA Board Members and Officers for the coming year. To learn more about the newly elected brothers, please see biographies for the elected Board Members here, and Officers here.

Giving Day 2022 an Outstanding Success for DKE!

Generous Deke undergraduates, alumni, friends, and family once again outperformed all Cornell Greek institutions on Cornell’s Annual Giving Day, raising just short of $60,000 for the DKE Group Housing Fund. Spurred by the chapter’s numerous recent successes and the availability of $25,000 in matching gifts, 127 donors participated in this one-day Cornell sponsored fundraising event held on March 16th. These funds, as well as funds raised through dues payments to the Delta Chi Association, will be used by the chapter to fund house improvements as outlined in the article below. Many thanks to all of those dedicated Deke’s that contributed to the cause!

22 New DKEs Added to brotherhood in 2021-22 School Year

The Delta Chi Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon add 22 new brothers over the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters! Biographic information about these new members can be found here for the Fall semester and here for the Spring.

2021 Cornell Giving Day

On March 11, 2021, a record number 118 individual Dekes gave $20,836 in direct gifts to the DKE Group Housing Fund on Cornell’s Annual Giving Day. A number of Deke alums matched this incredible total with an additional $25,000 in matching gifts for a total one day amount of $45,836. These dollars will be used by the chapter to fund house improvements as outlined in our ten-year plan. Many thanks to all of those dedicated Deke alumni that contributed to the cause.

Online Rush Yields 17 New Members

The Delta Chi Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon is thrilled to announce that our undergraduate brothers, led by President Jared Hirsch ’21 and Rush Chair Adam Bleustein ’23, successfully recruited 17 new DKE members to join our brotherhood!  A top five recruitment class amongst Cornell fraternities, these 15 freshmen and 2 sophomores represent a significant leap forward in our efforts to attain full chapter recognition by DKE International.

This incredible achievement came during a Spring Rush season that was highly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent health and safety provisions mandated by Cornell.  No in-person events were allowed under university rules, forcing nearly all recruitment efforts to social media and online communications channels like Zoom and Instagram.  In addition, the formal rush period started after the start of classes this semester, forcing brothers and rushes to balance the requirements of fraternity rush and the kickoff of spring classes. 

Recent Deke Graduates Establishing Themselves Off Campus

Commencement in May 2020 saw a large graduating class of brothers, including the last of our original 11 young men who set out re-colonize Deke at Cornell. They committed to Deke to build a new version of a storied organization, steeped in tradition, despite having not even seen the inside of their future home. Despite the extra attention paid to them by University officials, DKE International, and Delta Chi chapter alumni, these men succeeded in replanting the DKE seed in the well worn paths of prior generations of their brothers. We wish our most recent alums the best as they take on the next challenges in life.

  • Alex Gelfond – Legal Assistant at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in NYC. 
  • Jacob Eisner – Post-Baccalaureate student at Columbia University in NYC.
  • Abass Ajiboye – Civil Engineer at Clark Construction in Washington D.C.
  • Cameron Rumsey – Cannabis Cultivator in the NorCal portion of the Emerald Triangle
  • Daniel Adayev – Data Analyst at Feedvisor in NYC.
  • Josue Sanchez – Sales Associate at Google in NYC.
  • Kirill Chernyshov – Software Engineer at Google in SF.
  • Russell Feinman – 1L at Harvard Law School.
  • Matt Fooksman – 1L at Boston College Law School.
  • Nikhil Dhingra – National security consultant at Guidehouse in Washington D.C.
  • Rong Tan – Software Engineer at Microsoft in Seattle.
  • Will Pascocello – Financial Analyst at Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick NJ.
  • John Fang – Baringa Partners in NYC. 

Dekes Return to Campus Amid Pandemic

Following a premature departure from Campus in March of 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 across the United States and across the world, Deke actives have returned to campus for the Fall 2020 semester. Cornell University has released a Behavioral Compact that outlines a series of health and safety protocols that all students must meet to ensure the successful return to an on campus learning environment. These obligations include maintaining strict guidelines for residences including the Lodge at 13 South Avenue.  A team of undergraduate and alumni leaders including President Jared Hirsch, Pandemic Practices / Health Liaison Officer Ben Nace, and Dr. Jeff “JC” Cullen MD ‘76 developed a residence living plan that will balance the need to meet local, state, and University health and safety rules with the needs of students living, dining, and studying in a multi-habitant living space. The plan includes:

  • Limiting the seating capacity in the dining room to only 12 people.
  • Limiting the seating in other common rooms such as the living room, library, and bar area.
  • Establishing a temperature checking and sign in station as visitors to the house will need to be recorded for contact tracing purposes.
  • Ensuring that all rooms in the house are set up for single occupancy.

2020 Cornell Giving Day

On March 12, 2020, Dekes gave $6,084 in direct gifts and $2,700 in matching gifts, for a total of $8,784. This year’s Giving Day donations will be used to fund our house improvements. Many thanks for your generous contributions.

Dekes Celebrate 150 Year Anniversary in NYC

Many generations of Cornell Deke’s gathered this February in New York City to celebrate 150 years of DKE at Cornell. Lead by Alumni President Bob Platt and DKE International President Doug Lanpher, members of the Delta Chi Association joined to kick off what looks to be a year’s worth of celebrations in recognition of the incredible legacy of DKE at Cornell.

Long Awaited Front Porch Project Completed

At long last, the full scale restoration of the front porch of the Lodge of 13 South Avenue is now complete. Over the past year, workers have disassembled and reassembled the historic front porch, front staircase, gutters, downspouts, handrails, and lighting fixtures to complete the refurbishment of an area of the house that had become unusable due to water and structural damage several years ago. These necessary repairs will enable the house to once again utilize the front entrance to the house and increase the capacity limits that had been reduced given the loss of the official entranceway. This project could not have been completed without the close collaboration between DKE and Cornell project leaders, nor the incredibly generous financial support of Deke alumni hoping to see their beloved Stone Grey Castle last another 125 years on the hill.

DKE Celebrates 125th Anniversary of the Grey Stone Castle

The ΔΚΕ time capsule.

The Lodge at 13 South Avenue reached its 125th anniversary in 2018. This milestone was celebrated in two ways. Brothers gathered Reunion Weekend 2018 to dedicate a time capsule to be opened in 2068. Second, a commemorative Dogwood tree was planted on the front lawn on Homecoming Weekend 2018.

The undergraduates selected many items of current interest that will give brothers 50 years from now the flavor of our current culture. Elaine Engst, University Archivist Emerita, discussed the history of the house and the impact of time capsules as we dedicated the time capsule at the 2018 Reunion.

The Board Members of the Delta Chi Association joined actives to celebrate the planting of the Dogwood tree on Homecoming Weekend below.

We are pleased to present the chapter’s narrative history from 1870 to 1949 by Brother H. William Fogle Jr. ’70:
The Deke House at Cornell: A Concise History of the Delta Chi Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon, 1870-1949