50 Tompkins

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50 Tompkins plaque at Alumni House
At the Sunday morning breakfast during the 2014 Reunion weekend, 
Mike Stoll from the Alumni House showed a number of brothers the cornerstone from 50 Tompkins St.  
This stone is located in the circular drive of the 1890 House next door to the Alumni House. 
After seeing the stone, it was the unanimous feeling that we should commemorate the 50 Tompkins St. 
address in some manner.  A group of brothers worked with Mike and the 1890 House to get this done.
It was agreed that the additional funds collected for the Hospitality room at the hotel during the 2014 Kappa 
Reunion weekend would be used to purchase a plaque which would be mounted on the Cornerstone. 
The plaque was struck during the winter months and was recently mounted in time for the
 2015 Reunion weekend. I have attached photos of the cornerstone and plaque.
This endeavor serves as another example of the positive legacy of Delta Kappa Beta and Cortland.
Thanks to everyone involved for seeing this to completion.    All the best.    
Fraternally.....Ralph Shortell             

Delta Kappa Beta was an active, recognized and very successful fraternity at 
SUNY College at Cortland beginning in 1925.*   After World War II, the brothers, 
many of whom were returning veterans, purchased the house at 50 Tompkins 
Street.  Kappa brothers were known as campus leaders, and many of our alumni 
have received recognition from the College.  
* At its founding, the fraternity was called Kappa Kappa Kappa, later changed 
 to Delta Kappa Beta to avoid any association to the Ku Klux Klan. 

At some point, our reputation began to decline with more discipline and some criminal issues.  
That history and subsequent decline is described on the The Decline and on the Photos link.  
The College officially withdrew its recognition in 1989, although as one brother put it "what's this 
mean?  we can't be in Hellenic Sing?"  The fraternity survived and continued to exist although 
maintenance and upkeep  of the house suffered.  It was purchased by a former brother who 
continued to operate it as the fraternity house, charging rent from those brothers living there.  

In May of 2000, the College took the much stronger and extreme step of banning the fraternity, and 
threatening to expel any student associated with it. 
In July of 2001, the landlord evicted the brothers remaining in the house, and agreed to lease the 
house to a new fraternity.  In August of 2001, one of the evicted brothers returned and torched the 
house, making it uninhabitable. 

It is unknown if anything remains of the fraternity,  but if so, it is as an underground organization. 

"Those were the days, my friends.  We'd thought they'd never end."

Many alumni continue to treasure Delta Kappa Beta.  This site is designed to assist in maintaining 
our brotherhood.

In July 2014, the College recognized the history of the fraternity by inviting brothers who graduated 
before 1991 to the first Kappa reunion.   We had approximately 150 brothers attend (some did not officially 
register but came to Cortland).  See the photos link.   As announced at the banquet, Kappa brothers
and supporters donated $58,000 to support Cortland. 

For the full and sad history of Kappa's demise, click here. Below is a picture of 50 Tompkins St. 
after the fire that destroyed the house, and the removal of the rubble.  The carriage house at the 
rear still stood, but was not being maintained.   

And from October 2010, a photo of the current state of 50 Tompkins Street, courtesy of  Bill Toner.


This site is designed to be viewed after a few beers. 

DK survives at other campuses.  
Delta Kappa Tau- Geneseo   http://www.geneseo.edu/~dkt/
  Delta Kappa Kappa- Oswego   http://deltakappakappa.org/
Delta Kappa Theta- Potsdam http://www.deltakappatheta.com/
Delta Kappa Omnicron-Fredonia   http://www.fredonia.edu/sa/dko/brothers.shtml
Delta Kappa- Ithaca   http://www.delta-kappa.com/

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The church is the place where are prayers and sermons are delivered,
but The Tavern is where they are to take effect, and if the former
are good, the latter cannot be bad.
-- Henry David Thoreau

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