TKE Story

The History of Beta-Rho Chapter

By William F. Fulop, Histor '49

As written in The Golden Book of Tau Kappa Epsilon

With A. Richard Brindley, an active Teke transfer from Ohio State, taking the initiative, 20 men from the University of Akron assembled in April , 1947, to meet Field Secretary Robert Geran.

Favorably impressed by energetic Geran’s comments on the principles and organization of TKE, the 20 men, within a week, drew up a Constitution and set of By-laws, and submitted to the administration and the Interfraternity Council of the University of Akron a petition requesting their approval to form a Teke Colony. Approval was granted, with the provision, however, that the initial membership be limited to 16 men.

At the first formal meeting in May, 1947, the Constitution was adopted and officers elected. Under the leadership of Prytanis Hugo D. Brown, the group won recognition as TKE Colony and within less than a year achieved a size of 65 actives. The Colony took an active part in Intramural activities and maintained a well-rounded social calendar.

In May, 1948, XΓ Colony petitioned TKE; the petition was granted but because of difficulty in setting a date acceptable to all concerned, the Colony was not installed until September 19, 1948. During the warm week and days of September 18-19, 1948, 37 Colony men were initialed in Akron’s beautiful YMCA and installed by an Omicron Chapter (Ohio State) team as TKE’s sixty-second Chapter – Beta Rho!

Headed by Grand Crysophylos Howard C. Kuhnle, (O ’21), 14 Omicron fraters journeyed from Columbus to compose the installation team, began proceedings Saturday morning September 18. On hand to assist the Grand Crysophylos was Walter Cooke (AP ’48), Field Secretary.

Lectures and demonstrations presented in the Akron YMCA all helped ground the initiates. The Y’s entire second floor was set aside for preparatory and ritualistic activities. Saturday night was spent informally at a private club where Prytanis Charles L. Earlenbaugh (BP ’49), served as host to the men of the two Chapters.

Promptly at 9 a.m., Sunday, September 19, Grand Crysophylos Kuhnle began the impressive initiation ceremonies at the YMC’s main dining room for the Beta Rho’s first ceremonial dinner. Unusual was the buffet style dinner served by Beta-Rho fraters themselves, and the large number of University speakers who lauded Beta Rho’s personnel and past records. Highlight was the announcement of the Louth Scholarship Awards. Financial assistance has been arranged by Frater Edwin Vernon Louth (BP ’48), whereby the one Beta-Rho Freshman Pledge with the highest Fall semester scholastic record is given his University tuition, books and fees for the Spring semester. In addition Frater Louth announced and displayed the Louth Scholarship Cup, an 18-inch slender silver cup awarded annually to the Beta-Rho pledge attaining the highest scholarship award. Eminent Fraternity and Akron University persons who spoke to the assembled fraters included James McClain, Instructor in Economics and Beta Rho’s Faculty Advisor; Frater Kirk; Howard R. Evans, Dean of the College of Education; Frater Kuhnle; and Hezzleton E. Simmons, University President. Others speakers were Phillip Sherman, Assistant Dean of Students; Charles Earlenbaugh; and Frater Sinclair, Beta-Rho’s Chapter Advisor. Speaker for the occasion was Akron University’s newly arrived Dean of the Liberal Arts College, Ernest H. Cherrington. Dean Charrington told of his wartime flying and educational experiences as they related to fraternity life.

There is a fine spirit between all the social organizations and the Teke group is well known and well liked by the Fraternities and the Sororities. Social events have been held jointly by several of the organizations and the Tekes.

Since our initiation we have been hard at work building up Beta-Rho. We have acquired a fine group of pledges and have initiated several of them. On October 7, 1948, Beta-Rho moved into its Chapter House at 160 Fir Hill. Furniture was acquired through purchases and through collections and donations. The Mother’s Club was formed on December 4, 1948, under the direction of Mrs. Earlenbaugh, Mrs. Heiser and Mrs. McIntrye.

During the first semester on Akron University campus, this young Chapter won the Scholarship Cup. This cup is presented to the Fraternity on campus with the highest over-all average. Beta-Rho was in competition with the seven other Fraternities.

A dance, held last Valentine’s Day, was so successful that it will become a tradition with Beta-Rho. It was called the “Sweetheart Hoppe” and although a queen was not chosen at the first dance, one will be chosen this year and every year hereafter.