50th Anniversary Celebration

Brian Booth and Dan Loving

Brian Booth accepting the 50th Anniversary proclamation from Dan Loving, the current Western Plains Division President

This year we had the 50th homecoming at the shelter. The build up to this huge event finally came through and led to an amazing weekend for all Delts young and old. The gathering was the biggest the shelter has ever had. We had close to 150 Delts, and including guests there was well over 200 people at the shelter for the weekend.

This event was a work in progress for over a year by members of the Kappa Phi Building Corporation and active members of the house. It was something that seemed too incredible to work out, but with the hard work put in both in planning and making sure the weekend went well it ran very well and was a good time for all involved.

The event was scheduled to start Friday, but as usual people started showing up during the week with alumni coming by Wednesday and Thursday as well to see the shelter and hang out with familiar and sometimes unfamiliar faces. It was crazy as the event drew closer, and we worked hard to be ready for the massive celebration that was upon us. We hurried to finish last minute repairs and duties to make sure the shelter was in the best condition for the people who built up our chapter and helped us flourish.

Ron Smith Signing 50th Paddle

First President and first member, Ron Smith, signing the 50th Anniversary paddle.

Then along came Friday finally, and our expectations for the weekend were greatly exceeded. Alumni started arriving in large numbers, and the shelter was quickly filled with a lively and fun atmosphere as men of all ages gathered to celebrate 50 years of brotherhood. One alumni printed out the big brother trees and they were hung in the Great Room. It quickly became a thing for everyone to find their name and sign next to it. It was incredible meeting the men who started the Fraternity, including both the first president of the Kappa Phi colony and the first president of the house when we became Delta Tau Delta. It was absolutely amazing being able to hear stories from when the house started up until the house came to where it is now. That night was all about talking as the new members did paddle signing and everyone else chatted around the house and outside around the fire. As the night ended, homecoming was just started, but it was already better than expected.

Many Alumni at Homecoming

From left: Keith Danduran, Preston Kramer, Matt Wolken, Eric McDaniel, Alex Carnes, James Matthews, and Chris Smith

Saturday morning came and breakfast was served early in the morning before the annual alumni vs active football game. The game started at 10:00 AM as the teams faced off. This year as always, the alumni beat the actives good as we put up our best fight. After playing hard at the football game, it was time for lunch, and as tradition we had Lee’s Chicken and the shelter overflowed with people as all the seating in the shelter was quickly occupied. Following lunch everyone gathered in the front for a massive group picture to remind us just how many people made it to this event. This was just the start of what would be a very exciting day.

After the picture, Alumni were free to hang out at the shelter or have a bit of free time as us actives quickly packed everything for the ritual and brought it up to the Havener Center to set up for the performance of ritual at 3:00. We quickly did the setup and some last-minute practice to make sure we had it down. Following that we performed ritual, and for many Delts it was their first time seeing it since they graduated. It was an incredibly moving experience to be able to be a part of the performance of ritual for many who hadn’t seen it in some time.

Active members at homecoming

From Left: Alex Bowman, Tyler Stahlheber, Gavin Martin, Kyle Hake, and Ian McLean

That night we had the banquet at Locker Room, and following that we returned to the shelter for another night of hanging out and socializing. Somehow through all this, there were no major mishaps and the weekend flowed smoothly.

For this weekend, thanks are in order. First to all those who worked so hard in planning it. Thank you for an event that brought the house together to remind us where we can from, and how it led to who we are now. Thank you to all the actives who worked so hard to prepare the shelter for this celebration. Most importantly thank you to the men who created and sustained this shelter for 50 years. And last, but not least thank you to everyone who made it for coming back and sharing your experiences and joys of being a Delt. It was great getting to meet you all, and we at the shelter hope to see as many of you as possible back here again in the coming years.

Photos in this article were taken by Brother Alex Kramer (BΛ 360). These pictures and many others can be found online at:

http://kramerphotoworks.pixieset.com/50thanniversaryhomecoming2016/