Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE or Deke)
On June 22, 1844, in room number 12 of the Old South Hall at Yale College, fifteen men of the sophomore class gathered together to establish a new fellowship. Some of these men had not been invited to join the two existing societies on campus, while the others were not impressed with the standards by which membership to these societies was granted, and so, based upon the ideal of a Brother who was of equal proportion “the gentleman, the scholar, and the jolly good fellow,” was founded Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE or Deke).
Since its founding, DKE has grown from a gathering of fifteen, to an international fraternity with 52 collegiate chapters, 1,400 undergraduate members, and 35,000 alumni. While all Dekes hold themselves to high standards, the organization has proved to be a launch pad for success for many of its Brothers, including five United States Presidents (Rutherford B. Hayes, Theodore Roosevelt, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, & George W. Bush), William Randolph Hearst (Newspaper Publishing Magnate), Cole Porter (Composer & Songwriter), and George Steinbrenner (MLB Owner, New York Yankees). DKE flags were also carried to the North Pole by its discoverer, Admiral Robert Peary, and to the moon by astronaut Alan Bean. With Brothers like these, it is no surprise many men want to wear the Deke azure, or, and gules (blue, gold, and crimson).
In line with the desire for every Deke to be “a gentleman, a scholar, and a jolly good fellow,” each member gladly gives back to its philanthropy, The Rampant Lion Foundation. As a qualified section 501© (3) charitable organization, The Rampant Lion Foundation was created to fund scholarships for worthy members of the fraternity, to make grants to assist in providing safer housing through installation of smoke and fire alarms, study facilities, and the like, in DKE houses, and can invest its funds in loans to assist in the purchase or improvement of local Deke houses.
The Rampant Lion, present in the DKE coat-of-arms, is an accurate symbol of the courage and determination displayed by all the gentlemen of Delta Kappa Epsilon. As stated by Brother Gerald Ford, “It is no coincidence that five presidents of the United States have been Dekes – more than any other fraternity – that our flag was flown on the first expedition to the North Pole and again on a manned landing to the moon. The individual qualities that DKE seeks have certainly withstood the test of time and served us all in good stead. It is that unique blend of leadership, brotherhood, and tradition that fuels this fraternity.”