Delta Kappa Epsilon

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Kerothen Philoi Aei

Delta Kappa Epsilon (ΔΚΕ; also pronounced D-K-E or "Deke") is a fraternity founded at Yale College in 1844 by 15 men of the sophomore class who had not been invited to join the two existing societies (Alpha Delta Phi and Psi Upsilon). They therefore formed their own fraternity to establish a fellowship "where the candidate most favored was he who combined in the most equal proportions the gentleman, the scholar, and the jolly good fellow."



The fraternity was founded June 22, 1844, in room number 12 Old South Hall, Yale College, New Haven, Connecticut. At this meeting, the Fraternity's secret and open Greek mottos were devised, as were the pin and secret handshake. The open motto is "Kerothen Philoi Aei" ("Friends from the Heart, Forever"). The DKE pin shows the Greek letters DΚΕ on a white scroll upon a black diamond with gold rope trim and a star in each corner. DKE's heraldic colours are azure (blue), or (gold), and gules (crimson). Its flag is a triband of those colours with a left-facing rampant lion in the middle.

The fifteen founders were: William Woodruff Atwater, Dr. Edward Griffin Bartlett, Frederic Peter Bellinger, Jr., Henry Case, Colonel George Foote Chester, John Butler Conyngham, Thomas Isaac Franklin, William Walter Horton, The Honorable William Boyd Jacobs, Professor Edward Van Schoonhoven Kingsley, Chester Newell Righter, Dr. Elisha Bacon Shapleigh, Thomas Du Bois Sherwood, Albert Everett Stetson, and Orson William Stow. This first Chapter was denoted Phi chapter and is the only fraternity at Yale that has never gone inactive.

The Objects of Delta Kappa Epsilon are:

Delta Kappa Epsilon administers a charitable organization called the Rampant Lion Foundation. DKE also has championed an organization call Restore Our Associational Rights ("ROAR") which campaigns for the freedom of fraternities and Greek organizations in general to operate without interference and discrimination from university administrations or others.


Within three years of the founding at Yale, chapters were founded at Bowdoin, Princeton University, Colby College, and Amherst College. DKE has grown to over 64 chapters and has initiated over 85,000 members across North America.

Traditionally an Eastern Seaboard fraternity, DKE's Yale chapter had an early reputation as a Southerner's fraternity. Two of the original founders were from the South and 13 out of 38 members of 1845 and 1846 were from the South. DKE's first chapter in the South was Gamma chapter founded in 1847 (Vanderbilt University) followed by Psi chapter at the University of Alabama in the same year.

Delta Kappa Epsilon's first West Coast chapter was founded at the University of California, Berkeley on Halloween night, 1876. The DKE chapter at Colgate University (Hamilton, NY) is one of the only DKE chapters having a Temple building, one which only can be entered by Mu DKE members. The Lambda Chapter at Kenyon College in 1854 built the first fraternity lodge in America. The DKE Club of New York was founded in 1885 and is currently in residence at the Yale Club of New York City.[1] Delta Kappa Epsilon became an international fraternity with the addition of the Alpha Phi chapter in 1898 at the University of Toronto, Canada.

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