History of the University of Toronto Chapter


The Toronto Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon, designated by the name Alpha Phi, grew out of the Caduceus Club , a society of eighteen University of Toronto students who were dissatisfied with the fraternities already present on campus.   Following the presentation of a request for membership at the Detroit convention of Delta Kappa Epsilon, the Alpha Phi chapter was founded by the Beta Phi chapter of Rochester and received its charter on November 17th , 1898.

Early Years

The first residence of the Alpha Phi chapter was a series of rooms near the University, with all meetings being held in a room kept on the 7 th floor of the Forester's building located at the corner of Richmond and Bay Streets.   This first chapter room was furnished by the newspaper enterprise of Brothers McIntee and Mitchell, who founded the paper College Topics  which competed so successfully with the established Varsity  that the University was forced to merge the two, granting a sum of money to the brotherhood.

Following this first year, the Alpha Phi chapter moved into its first residence at 42 Murray Street.   It was a bold move as it was a across the street from the long established Alpha Delta Phi house.   It was the close proximity to such a competitor that fired this chapter of the fraternity to grow at an incredible pace.   Having outgrown this house, the Alpha Phi chapter moved in 1904 to 598 Huron Street.   It was in this year that the Ontario Legislature recognized the Alpha Phi chapter of DKE as a legal club entity.


The Alpha Phi chapter prospered and in 1906 the chapter acquired a house, which was large enough to accommodate its tremendous growth.   Located at 91 Wellesley Street and housing 20 brothers, it was larger than many of today's fraternity chapter houses.   The Alpha Phi chapter then moved right on campus to 80 St. George Street where now stand such University of Toronto landmarks as Sidney Smith Hall, Lash Miller Chemical Laboratories, Ramsay Wright Zoological Laboratories: and Robarts Library.   This house was taken away in 1960 as part of a University land-grab, which saw almost every fraternity lose their house.

Recent History

In true Deke fashion, the Alpha Phi chapter weathered the storm and acquired a modest house at 44 Bedford Road, where the Taddle Creek Park is now located. The Alpha Phi chapter finally found the perfect house in 1964 when a fortunate land deal allowed them to acquire the property located at 157 St. George Street for one Canadian Dollar.   The house had been a property of the Eaton family and a seminary before the fraternity moved in.   Since that time, the Alpha Phi chapter has continued to grow in popularity, spirit, and size.

Important Moments in Alpha Phi History

Nov. 1898          Foundation by Beta Phi

Oct. 1899           First chapter house

Spring 1904       Second chapter house

Spring 1906       Third chapter house

1914-1918          World War I

      o 104 members (87 percent) of the Alpha Phi chapter enlist in the Canadian

      Armed Forces

      o 18 brothers received important military honours

      o 9 brothers were killed in action

1934    Maurice Darling (Alpha Phi 1903) is elected President of DKE International

1935    Fourth chapter house

1940-1945    World War II

      o Delta Kappa Epsilon's top ranking officer in WWII was Lieutenant General

       Price J. Montague (Alpha Phi 1904)

      o 14 members were killed in action

      o 1 member died of wounds

1940       William Middleboro is killed in action.   He wrote the squadron theme used by

               Canadian Airmen during WWII

1943       George Drew (Alpha Phi 1917) is elected Premier of Ontario

1960       Fifth chapter house

1960       Dr. Andrew Montgomery dies; he was the last founding member alive

1964       Sixth chapter house

1964       Mr. and Mrs. Tada began their 22 years of service as a cook and cleaning

               woman for Alpha Phi

               The Tadas are honourary Dekes

1966       Price J. Montague dies

1970       Lawren Harris (Alpha Phi 1907) member of the Group of Seven dies

1972       Alpha Phi founded the Phi Delta chapter at the University of Western


1973       George Drew Dies

1986       The Tadas retire from their positions

2001       Gunji Tada dies

Alpha Phi Chapter Roll of Honour

George A. Drew

      Former Premier of Ontario (1943-1948), Former Leader of the Progressive

      Conservative Party, and Ambassador to Great Britain

Donald S. MacDonald

      Former Minister of Finance, and former Ambassador to the United Kingdom

George A. Gale

      Former Chief Justice of Ontario

H. Maurice Darling

      President of Delta Kappa Epsilon International in 1935

Dr. Charles Snelling

      Former Canadian Men's Skating Champion and Olympic competitor

James Elder

      Former Captain of the Canadian Equestrian Team, Olympic Gold Medalist for

      Team Equestrian Jumping, 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico; Bronze Medalist

      for Team Equestrian Eventing, 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne-Stockholm

Patrick Turner

      Olympic Gold Medalist for 8-man Rowing, 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles

Michael Eben

      C.F.L. Football Player with the Toronto Argonauts

Hagood Hardy

      Pianist and Composer

Some Famous Dekes

If there is anything the general public knows about DKE, it is the names of some of the Fraternity's members. DKE is a small fraternity as fraternities go. What is exceptional about prominent DKE alumni is not that there are so many of them, but that they represent such a large percentage of the membership. Here are just a few...

Presidents of the United States
o Rutherford B. Hayes, Delta Chi
o Theodore Roosevelt, Alpha
o Gerald R. Ford, Omicron
o George H. W. Bush, Phi
o George W. Bush, Phi

Vice Presidents of the United States
o Theodore Roosevelt, Alpha
o Gerald R. Ford, Omicron
o George H. W. Bush, Phi
o J. Danforth Quayle, Psi Phi

Sitting State Governors
o George Pataki, New York
o Mike Foster, Zeta Zeta, Louisiana
o Tony Knowles, Phi, Alaska
o Don Siegelman, Psi, Alabama

106th U. S. Congress
o Senator Ted Stevens, Theta Rho, Alaska
o Congressman Cass Ballenger, Sigma, North Carolina
o Congressman Pete Stark, Sigma Tau, California

Newspaper Publishers & Editors
o Whitelaw Reid, Kappa, Editor-in-chief, New York Tribune
o William Randolph Hearst, Alpha, Publisher, Hearst Newspapers
o Otis Chandler, Sigma Rho, Publisher, Los Angeles Times
o Richard J. V. Johnson, Omega Chi, Publisher, Houston

o Eugene Pulliam, Psi Phi, Publisher, Indianapolis Newspapers, Inc.
o Rance Craine, Psi Phi, Publisher, Crain Communications

Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court
o John Hessin Clarke, Beta Chi
o Harold H. Burton, Theta
o Potter Stuart, Phi

Agency heads
Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers, Kappa - first director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Sargent Shriver, Phi - First Director of the Peace Corps

Other Famous Dekes 
o William Simon, Rho - Former Secretary of the Treasury
o John F. Akers, Phi - Past President of I.B.M.
o Mario Garcia Menocal, Delta Chi - President of the Republic of Cuba
o Charles Ives, Phi - Pulitzer Prize winner in Music
o Yuan Schikau, Phi - Prime Minister of the Chinese Empire
o Henry Cabot Lodge, Alpha - Senate Majority Leader
o Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers, Kappa - first director of the C.I.A.
o Melvil Dewey, Sigma - devised the Dewey Decimal System
o Charles A. Ellis, Gamma Phi - designed the Golden Gate Bridge
o Robert A. Peary, Theta - first man to reach the North Pole
o Alan Bean, Omega Chi - Apollo astronaut, walked on the moon

Business Founders, Presidents, and Chairmen
o J. Pierpont Morgan, Alpha - financier
o Irving H. Chase, Phi - Chase Manhattan Bank
o Dean Witter, Jr., Phi - Dean Witter & Co.
o Edward Bausch, Beta Phi - Bausch & Lomb Opticals
o William W. Wrigley, Phi - Wrigley's Gum
o Howard Heinz, Phi - Heinz 57 Varieties
o Howard Johnson, Phi - Howard Johnson Motor Inns
o James M. Gamble, Lambda - Proctor and Gamble
o Herb Kelleher, Gamma Phi - Southwest Airlines
o Fred Smith, Phi - Federal Express

Prominent Sporting Figures 
o Paul Brown, Kappa - coach of Cleveland Browns and owner of Cincinnati Bengals
o Thomas W. Landry, Omega Chi - coach of Dallas Cowboys
o George Steinbrenner, Epsilon - owner of the New York Yankees
o Don Schollander, Phi - won four gold medals in swimming in 1964 Olympics
o Calvin Hill, Phi - Yale football star
o Hugh Culverhouse, Psi - owner of Tampa Bay Buccaneers
o A. Bartlett Giamatti, Phi - Commissioner of Major League Baseball

In the Entertainment World
o Dick Clark, Phi Gamma - hosted American Bandstand
o Harry Hamlin, Theta Zeta - actor
o Cole Porter, Phi - composer
o Jonathan Winters, Lambda - comedian and writer