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Spring 2015

Epsilon Triton History

ShieldThe Founding and Growth of Epsilon Triton Epsilon Triton began as the Delta Delta Colony of Theta Delta Chi when the Convention of 1959 commissioned the Arizona Graduate Association of ΘΔΧ to embark upon the creation of a new Charge at Arizona State University. As they built from two undergraduate transfers hailing from UCLA and the University of Virginia, they made an immediate splash on campus. The quality of men is well documented as each of the initial twenty two initiates was a heavily involved campus leader. This strong base no doubt fueled the 34 years of strong campus presence.

Founding Fathers 

"It is the feeling of the Interfraternity Council that the Delta Delta Colony is a definite asset to our fraternity system" - Jon Flach, IFC President, 1961

"Theta Delta Chi promises to be one of the finest fraternities on our campus. Great care has been used in selecting the members of the Colony. There seems to have been a conscious and persistent effort that Theta Delta Chi should possess real character and not be just another fraternity" - W.P. Shofstall, Dean of Students, 1961

"One thing which impressed me highly was the conviction on the part of each member that membership in the colony means high standards of personal conduct, appearance, and sense of responsibility to the group" - Ray Howe, Theta Delta Chi Executive Secretary, 1961-1969

The Charge rose steadily into the ranks of Theta Delta Chi's strongest and most successful as well as one of the foremost Fraternity's on Arizona State Campus. The Epsilon Triton volleyball tournament became one of the most successful Philanthropy events in the nation and ET members influenced the International Fraternity with Jeff Swenson ET '84 serving as the 54th President of the Grand Lodge (ΘΔΧ's highest office) and Tom Czyz ET '92 working to re-colonize Eta Deuteron (Stanford) in 1993, continuing their over 100 years of history.

Theta Delta Chi on Wikipedia

The Hiatus

The reason for Theta Delta Chi leaving Arizona State unfortunately stemmed from primarily from finances. Around 1992, the Charge found itself in great financial difficulty as men altogether ceased paying their initiation fees and other expenses both to the International Fraternity and to local vendors. At one point in early 1993, their debt had climbed well over $2,000. As they worked to pay down their debt, they eventually reached a wall and expelled nine members in order to have their personal debt forgiven. This had paid off some of the debt, but it continued to climb to over $7,000 by 1994. Asked by the university to remove the substance from the old 612 Alpha House, the alumni of Epsilon Triton came together and offered a package of over $250,000 over a series of years for renovations, asbestos removal, and payment of back debt. Recent years had resulted in a series of miscommunications between the actives and the university and a tumultuous relationship had developed. The university had become tired of the dealings of the Charge and they declined the offer and kicked the men out of the old 612 Alpha House. The Charge managed to persist for a year or two but things were not the same. Many very dedicated alumni worked to raise money for a new Charge house off campus after the University made it clear that the undergraduates could not return.

The Resurgence

As we are entering a new era of Theta Delt expansion, Epsilon Triton was always perceived as one of the great Charges to which the fraternity would like to return. The catalyst however, came from an extraordinary demonstration of the true meaning of brotherhood. From the Fall 2004 version of The Shield:

"A more unusual initiation took place on Saturday [of the 2004 Las Vegas Convention]. Bro. Greg Eagleburger, ET '66 lead a group from the now inactive Charge (Tony DePrima '63, Mark Dobson '64, Timothy Tyler '66, Randy Wood '66, Gary Alver '67 and Ron Saienni '68) and joined by younger Et's Keith Jacobs '89, Doug Johnson '89, and Thomas Czyz '92, for the belated initiation of Reginald "Tony" Burns '66."

"Tony had left school and not been initiated with his pledge group some four decades ago, but had maintained ties with the Epsilon Tritons of his period. After properly petitioning the PGL and following statutory requirements for exceptional initiations, Bro. Eagleburger was able to make this a reality. The ceremony took place Saturday, August 7th, and Brother Tony Burns was the guest of honor of the Grand Lodge at the Grand Banquet."

"Although this particular chicken is still unhatched, plans are afoot to recolonize at Epsilon Triton. The Tempe, Arizona campus of Arizona State University has invited former fraternity chapters to apply for reinstatement. Recolonization is generally not a quick or easy procedure, but if this becomes a reality, the events at Las Vegas will be remembered as the good-luck charm that helped make it happen."

The CFO and Grand Lodge of ΘΔΧ took this inspiration and made plans to make the initial push towards the reopening of the Charge in the fall of 2006. Although we experienced some problems with membership retention, it looks as though 10-12 colonists, all freshmen, will be helping two Charge Consultants in a massive recruitment effort in the fall of 2007. This should put Epsilon Triton back on the map, once and for all. The period that Epsilon Triton has laid dormant will be remembered not as an end to her history, but a brief chapter.

The 2008 Rebirth and New Fathers

2008 New Fathers