News & Events
Did you know...?
...That the Sigma Nu Building Corporation that is responsible for the Delta Eta Chapter House was incorporated in Nebraska on June 10, 1926 by Arthur A. Dobson Delta Eta 5, Ralph Moseley Delta Eta 13, Ernest Kenny Delta Eta 33, George H. Turner Delta Eta 153 & R.L. Holyoke Delta Eta 72?
Spring Game Celebration: April 6th
Alum vs. Actives Flag Football 10a - 11a
Open House, bbq, drinks 11a - 2p (kickoff)
Delta Eta Chapter:
A Proud Tradition
The long tradition of Delta Eta chapter began many years ago by a daring group of young men who sparked a series of events, the results of which would span a century and affect the lives of thousands. It was then, in the early years of the University of Nebraska, that our chapter was forged.
On June 16, 1909, the High Council of Sigma Nu Fraternity, meeting at Richmond, Kentucky, granted its 77th charter to the Delta Eta Chapter at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Eleven founding members became the first class of Delta Eta Sigma Nu:
- Lois Christian Hummel, ΔH 1
- Orville Hugh Pierce, ΔH 2
- Vern Wallace Gittings, ΔH 3
- John Cicero Watson, ΔH 4
- Arthur Allan Dobson, ΔH 5
- Hugh Henderson Drake, ΔH 6
- Roy Almond Brownell, ΔH 7
- Frederick Augustus Crites, ΔH 8
- Robert Daniel Hawley, ΔH 9
- Vincent Bartling Elseffer, ΔH 10
- Earl Cleveland McKee, ΔH 11
The HouseIn 1911, those founding members moved into the first of what would be several chapter homes. That first chapter home was located at 1527 M Street. Subsequent chapter homes were located at:
- 517 South 11 Street (1914)
- 2530 O Street (1918)
- 1615 F Street (1926)
In 1929, construction was completed on the current fraternity house at 625 North 16th Street. Inspired by Mediterranean colonial design, the house stood out among all others at the University. It was a grand structure, embedded with the iconography of Sigma Nu.
By 1959, Delta Eta expanded to the point where new construction was necessary. A new addition was built on the west side of the fraternity, doubling the occupancy of the house. Besides additional member rooms, this construction also included the addition of a dedicated chapter room, a new house parent’s apartment and a new library.
The chapter house included many features which have been lost through the years. The wide-open central stairwell where one could look from the top of the house to the bottom was enclosed to ensure greater fire safety. The old chapter room in the basement at the bottom of the stars opened up and turned into the current game room. The basement laundry room was once the coal room and for years served as the adventurous entrance into the Gold Rush parties of old. The house mother once had her apartment on the front of the house where the ladies’ head is now.
The intricate panel design ceiling of the living room was lost when the house expanded in 1959, making way for plumbing needs. The elegant arch over the driveway on the north side of the house eventually gave way to neighboring expansion. Even the much desired, yet short-lived attic rooms, which spawned legends across campus, now have been cleared to make way for a spacious recreation area. Who could forget the great white elephant in the parking lot- the stone storage shed which was torn down to make room for better parking. And how many remember the dumb-waiter which moved between the kitchen and the first floor? Now it is just a nook for the mailbox.
Current renovations are moving toward reviving some of the lost elements. The living room has been renovated to accentuate the long-ago era of the house. The old carpeting has been removed and the wood floors have been refinished. Future plans look to refinishing the ceiling to its previous grandeur. Architectural elements which have been ravaged by time are being steadily repaired.
The Delta Eta chapterhouse, already noted as a national historic landmark, was made a local historic landmark by order of the Lincoln City Council in June, 2002.
Of course the men of Delta Eta make up the true history of the fraternity. Currently, Delta Eta chapter has initiated 1858 men into the fraternity since its founding.
Along the way, the chapter reached several initiation milestones:
- 1917, Glen Weeden Rodwell, ΔH 100 was initiated
- 1943, Donald Eugene Chapin, ΔH 500 was initiated.
- 1967, Richard Harrison Barnica, ΔH 1000 was initiated.
- 2013, Delta Eta anticipates initiating ΔH 2000…
Over the years, the men of Delta Eta chapter garnered special recognitions. Sigma Nu National Fraternity bestows upon its finest chapters the high distinction of the Rock Chapter Award. The award is presented at Grand Chapter gatherings which convene every two years. It is meant to honor collegiate chapters that have achieved excellence in all areas of chapter operations. To be granted the award, a chapter should be expected to attain the ideals, or nearly perfect state on a broad range of areas of fraternity operations. To give the actual award special distinction, walnut from the hills surrounding V.M.I. is used, implanted with a piece of the original Rock upon which the Legion of Honor was founded. Delta Eta Chapter earned this award in 1986, 2002, 2004, and 2006.
Delta Eta has yet to make the best part of its history. The future holds great promise for our fraternity and for the gentlemen who walk its halls. Major renovation efforts will completely modernize the home and create a truly safe haven for our brothers. But we must always look to our past to build our future.
And as our creed reminds us, that as we look back on the days of our active years at Delta Eta and in the fraternity that bound us, that we are
To believe in the life of love; to win in the fresh morning of our youth the loyal love of faithful friends, who will go with us unmoved into the darkening shadows of life’s closing day; and so to seek and to find, to have and to hold the friendships that will abide.