The History of Beta Delta
The Beta Delta Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon began as an idea. In the spring of 2019, two dozen men gathered in Rooker Hall’s Fireside Lounge to hold the first chapter meeting of what would become the fastest chartered chapter in DKE history. Those men, soon to be Beta Delta’s founding fathers, came from different backgrounds, creeds, and disciplines. They did not know each other well but had one crucial commonality: a desire to be the change they wanted to see in Greek Life. Some sought more diversity on the Interfraternity Council. Some wanted to surround themselves with like minded individuals who sought lifelong brotherhood. Above all, Beta Delta’s founding fathers wanted to create a values-based organization that would mold young men into better men.
Executing that idea was difficult. After receiving a colony charter from DKE International Headquarters on June 21, 2019, the founding fathers set themselves to recruiting the Alpha class of new members. With no prior experience in Greek life, the founding fathers treated their first rush cycle like they would come to treat many new challenges in the coming months. They started with fundamental principles and made the rest up as they went along. As a starting point, the founding fathers collectively decided that character was the most important trait they would look for in potential new members. The months and challenges ahead proved them right. Character and the quality of men in an organization are the only things that matter in starting a fraternity - just ask any founding father of Beta Delta.
Fate, good will, and plentiful hard work led to nine new brothers joining the Beta Delta ranks as new members in the fall of 2019. The Alpha class would go on to distinguish themselves as leaders and be retroactively recognized as founding fathers by chapter-wide vote. The addition of the Alpha class brought Beta Delta’s numbers to more than thirty men in September 2019. The challenges that lay before these men were many. They needed Bylaws, social events, a codified value system, philanthropy events, brotherhood events, and many other essential parts of the chapter machine. So, the executive board started working.
One of the first things the executive board did in fall 2019 was lock themselves in a room at the Miller Learning Center and codify the Beta Delta Chapter value system. Men of the Beta Delta Chapter, it was decided, would have Tolerance, Humility, Passion, Self-Discipline, and above all be men of Integrity. These five values define every Beta Delta member and are ingrained in new members from day one of new member education.
Then the executive board set out to write the chapter’s first set of bylaws and create the first social calendar. Though creating these items from scratch was difficult, it forced the founding fathers to ask themselves “why” they were doing things. Why, for example, was it important for the chapter to have a mandatory attendance policy for weekly chapter meetings? The answer is twofold. Well-attended weekly meetings foster brotherhood among the members, and, perhaps more importantly, fulfilling regular commitments is an excellent way to build the character of young men. The chapter attendance rule illustrates the way Beta Delta’s founding fathers approached building a fraternity. Every rule and function of the organization exists to make the chapter’s members into better men.
The founding fathers took this mindset and ran with it. In the fall of 2019, and every semester since, the chapter has had a full social and philanthropy event calendar. Within one year, the chapter had a house. Shortly thereafter, the chapter received its permanent chapter charter from DKE International Headquarters and recognition in the DKE Quarterly for being the fastest-chartered DKE chapter in living memory. Finally, less than two years after the first chapter meeting, the Beta Delta Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon proudly joined the University of Georgia Interfraternity Council.
The Beta Delta Chapter’s founding fathers created an institution from whole cloth based on one fundamental idea: making men into better men. By focusing on character and concrete values, Beta Delta hopes to foster positive change in the UGA Greek Life community, the Athens community, and the broader world.