“A hidden room behind the walls with limited access for secret rituals,” is only one of the amenities that will be in the new $800,000, two-story, 8,000 sq. ft., Delta Tau Delta house, located at 287 Bearkat Blvd, behind the prison cemetery.
“The university told us that they wanted us to come in closer to the campus,” said James Fewell, Delta Tau Delta President. The fraternity was the “first national recognized fraternity,” on our campus. “We were the first ones here, under the name of the ‘Esquires’,” said Fewell. The old Delta Tau Delta house was located about three miles out of town, and was lived in since the late 70’s.
“This will be the best fraternity house in Texas,” said Dr. Robert Roush, Immediate Past President of Delta Tau Delta International. “It is so uniquely designed. Each room will be comparable to Bearkat Village I and II and priced a little cheaper.” There will be recreational courts, big screen TVs in the wall and plenty of parking for the members of the fraternity. “All of the chapter can come and enjoy the house,” said Roush.
Delta Tau Delta’s new home is apart of the reemergence of the “Fraternity Row,” that stood on our campus from the 60’s through the 80’s, located by present day Pritchett Field. “We are hoping to have a ‘Fraternity Row,’ just like the quadrangle that I lived in when I was here in the 60’s.” It was a wonderful experience to live amongst fellow fraternities, said Roush. “We would love to have that atmosphere again.”
Various fundraisers and a capital campaign are the chief resources for funding the housing project. “The capitol campaign asked over 800 members of our chapter and alumni from 1960, to donate $1,000 a year for 2 years.” Delta Tau Delta’s “Housing Corporation,” had been in negotiations with the architect (David D. Foster & Associates) designing the blueprint for about a year. “We signed a contract over the summer with the architect and have raised $200,000 since then.”
“Many members of the members of the ‘Housing Corporation,’ are architects, lawyers, accountants and business men. So we really trusted their advising when it came time to choose an architectural firm to go with,” said Roush. The 1992 president of Delta Tau Delta, Omar Mallouf, was actually the one who selected the architect.
The city of Huntsville already approved the new ‘Fraternity Row’ and divided it into five plots, said Fewell. “We bought the first plot of over 2 acres of land, and it is already paid for in full.” The house is scheduled to be built and ready to move in by 2005.
The new house will give us a chance to experience more of the campus atmosphere and it will help the campus grow more, said Fewell. “It’s a defiant positive for us.” The fraternity’s old house could only accommodate nine people, while the new house is expected to be able to house up 20 members, including a computer lab, meeting room and media room. “More people could live in the fraternity house and in return do more for the fraternity.”
Though this will be the largest fraternity house on campus, Delta Tau Delta has no intentions of parading this accomplishment in the manner of discrediting the other fraternities on our campus. “We are not building a bigger house to rub it in anybody’s face,” said Fewell. “We want to set an example of how big we see the campus growing.”
The building of this house will help us provide all the young men who want to pledge, with the finest housing, programming, scholarship, leadership and character so they can have the opportunity to become better individuals, said Roush.
“Truth, Courage, Faith and Power,” are the fundamentals that the Delta Tau Delta members try to live by, while being “committed to lives of excellence,” said Fewell. “Dr. Gaetner is really supporting the reemergence of ‘Fraternity Row’ back on campus,” said Roush.