By Cara Lee
Around 40 Delta Kappa Delta fraternity alumni returned to campus this September to give back to their alma mater and to establish a permanent memorial to their brothers.
The ceremony took place on a rainy afternoon beside Hawkins Pond, where the group’s memorial will one day stand. There, members reminisced, lit candles in remembrance of brothers who have died and spoke of the history of the college’s first fraternity.
Established in 1927, Delta Kappa Delta was originally the Delta chapter of Kappa Kappa Kappa. The Great Depression took a toll on the group, and in 1932 the chapter was forced to deactivate. In 1953, it was reactivated by 35 students and remained active until the late 1970s. Although the chapter has since disbanded, the brothers have remained in touch over the decades.
Delta Kappa Delta brothers look over memorabilia at a recent ceremony honoring members who have died and recognizing members' gifts to the college.
The recent death of brother George Sotille, a commander in the U.S. Navy and top gun fighter pilot, motivated the members to establish the memorial and a scholarship endowment to benefit current and future students.
So far, 39 DKD brothers have joined these efforts, making gifts totaling close to $40,000. Their goal is to raise $50,000 by Dec. 1.
Paul McCadam, a brother from the Class of 1970, said he remembered how difficult paying for college was and that is why creating the scholarship was so important. “The purpose was to support deserving students,” he said.
Plattsburgh College Council Member Martin Mannix Jr. ’64 credited the atmosphere at his alma mater as a reason for giving to the DKD memorial project.
“In retrospect, this was absolutely the perfect place for me to go to school,” Mannix said. “I met people here, fraternity brothers, who I have lifelong friendships with.”
Plattsburgh College Council President Daniel Burke ’74 agreed.
“The kids fit right in here,” Burke said. “This place is special.”
DKD members hope the memorial will provide a place of beauty and reflection — one that might inspire SUNY Plattsburgh students to give back to their alma mater as alumni, McCadam said.
“We are standing on hallowed ground,” he said. “This is the site of the Delta Kappa Delta memorial.”
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