Dedication of the Phi Delta Theta Gates at Miami


At the 1972 Convention in Montreal, Executive Officer Bob Miller announced plans for celebrating Phi Delta Theta’s 125th birthday throughout the biennium. One observance of the anniversary was the publication in the eight issues of The Scroll of this condensed history of Phi Delta Theta’s first 125 years. A more tangible recognition was the Fraternity’s commemorative gift to Miami University of the Campus Gates immediately across from the Phi Delta Theta Headquarters.

The handsome gateway at the head of the historic slant walk, which in 1848 led to the Old North Dorm and the Founders’ Room, was dedicated on the afternoon of December 26, 1973, precisely 125 years after the first meeting of the original six members of Phi Delta Theta. Under the chairmanship of Don Mason, Miami ’35, with the collaboration of Fraternity and university officers, publicity was developed, funds were secured, and a brick-and-stone design was chosen in harmony with the campus architecture and that of the Phi Delta Theta Headquarters building.

To a gathering of invited guests, including officials of Miami University and general officers of several other fraternities, General Council President John D. Millett stated: “This Fraternity was founded as a means of meeting a very distinct need on the campus of that day, 125 years past. It is equally true that fraternities are still meeting a social need on college campuses today. With a sense of the strong Phi Delta Theta ties to Miami University, the Fraternity is delighted to have this opportunity to present this gateway.” The gift was gratefully accepted by Miami President Phillip R. Shriver, a member of Delta Upsilon.

Robert J. Miller, standing in a thin, chill rain just across the street from his comfortable Headquarters office, read a fragment of Fraternity history that linked December 26, 1848, to December 26, 1973. “It was a wet day with mud underfoot as the persistent drizzle turned into a moist snowfall that quickly melted; and it was this kind of forbidding weather, flooding rivers, and the quagmire of roads that discouraged students . . . from attempting the long journey home for the holidays.”

The guests then trooped across the street to the Fraternity offices for a reception in the ground-floor Alumni Room.