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The History of the Michigan Alpha Chapter of Phi Delta Theta

The Michigan Alpha chapter of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity was established at the University of Michigan (U of M) on November 28, 1864. It was the first chapter of Phi Delta Theta in the State of Michigan and the 16th chapter in the nation. Phi Delta Theta was the 7th fraternity established on the U of M campus.

Rise to Prominence and Leadership in the U of M Greek System

Despite a strong start, the chapter dissolved in 1869. During 1887, Michigan Alpha was refounded and went on to enjoy 112 years of continuous operation.

By the early 1900s, Phi Delta Theta was regarded as one of the top fraternities on campus boasting membership of campus leaders, star athletes and students who aspired to high standards of achievement.

Between 1902 and 1903, the chapter acquired land at the corner of Washtenaw and South University to build a new chapter house. Renowned architect Albert Kahn oversaw the designing of a Georgian Revival style red brick mansion that became known as 1437 Washtenaw Avenue. The structure was first occupied by members in the fall of 1903 and currently is the oldest fraternity house on campus still owned by the entity that built it.

Prominent students such as 1940 Heisman Trophy winner, all-time Michigan football great Tom Harmon, early 1940s track star Bob Ufer (who later became the legendary voice of Michigan football as an announcer for 36 years), All-America halfback of the 1947 National Championship football team Bob Chappuis put Michigan Alpha in the spotlight.

Both Harmon and Chappuis appeared on the cover of Time Magazine while they were students and members of the fraternity. Numerous other outstanding Wolverine scholar-athletes contributed to the fame of the chapter on campus. Phi Delt Theta's members were also known for their dominance in intramural sports and the Mud Bowl.

The annual Mud Bowl tradition was started in the fall of 1934 when Phi Delt member E. Reed Low '37 challenged the "house across the street" (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) to a spirited match of football. Phi Delta Theta went on to win the balance of the 65 annual Mud Bowl battles with SAE from 1934 to 1998 when the rivalry matches ended. During this time period, the Mud Bowl rivalry between Phi Delta Theta and SAE became one of the most revered U of M homecoming traditions.

Throughout the balance of the 20th Century, Phi Delta Theta was a pillar of the U of M Greek System. The fraternity maintained a reputation for strong brotherhood, competitiveness in intramural athletics, robust social activities and philanthropic contributions in the community.

The Second Refounding and Return to Excellence

Despite its long record of achievements and position as one of the largest houses on campus, the Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters suspended Michigan Alpha's charter in the fall of 1998 for violations of various policies of the national fraternity.

Shortly after this action, the Phi Delt Headquarters leadership and the Michigan Alpha Alumni Association Board of Directors developed a plan to refocus the chapter on the fraternity's best traditional values while placing new emphasis on leadership development. The Alumni Association decided to take advantage of this brief closure period by investing approximately $500,000 to completely renovate the historic chapter house.

After four years of careful planning and hard work by Michigan Alpha alumni, the Phi Delt Headquarters granted the chapter status as a colony on November 9, 2002. The colony status made the chapter eligible for reactivation once stringent standards were achieved.

During the next two years, the membership of the colony struggled to attract students who were willing to commit to the vision of restoring the fraternity to greatness while abiding by the Phi Delt Headquarter's new "Alcohol-Free Housing Policy" that banned alcoholic beverages from all chapter houses of the fraternity across the country.

By the spring of 2003, the colony was granted full voting membership in the U of M Interfraternity Council. The colony spent the next 18 months building the organizational structure of the fraternity while recruiting new members to reach the total number required for the chapter to be reactivated by the Phi Delt Headquarters.

After a strong rush during the fall of 2004, the colony achieved the membership requirements and completed other steps that led the Phi Delt Headquarters to reactive Michigan Alpha's charter. On December 10, 2004, the 34 members of the colony became Michigan Alpha initiates of Phi Delta Theta. This men responsible for the second refounding of Michigan Alpha are the Third Founding Fathers of the chapter.

Once re-established, Michigan Alpha enjoyed steady growth as the chapter restored its tradition of leading in the U of M Greek System, competing vigorously in intramural sports and accomplishing meaningful philanthropy projects as well as engaging in responsible social activities.

Today, Michigan Alpha is proud to remember its rich heritage while striving to ensure that the best years of the fraternity are yet to come.

The Michigan Alpha Alumni Association and Michigan Alpha Alumni

The foundation of Michigan Alpha is a brotherhood shared by an alumni body that totals more than 1,800 members -- approximately 1,100 living alums found in almost every state and many countries across the world.

Michigan Alpha alums have distinguished themselves in a wide range of endeavors including business, law, medicine, engineering, technology, academics/education, government, politics, military, professional sports, music, science, etc...

Established in 1895, the Michigan Alpha Alumni Association keeps these far afield alums in contact with each other as well as the active chapter membership. The Alumni Association also plays the key role of owner and landlord of the historic chapter house at 1437 Washtenaw.

Distinguished Michigan Alpha Alumni

*  General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Roger B. Smith '47

*  1940 Heisman Trophy Winner and Sports Broadcaster Tom Harmon '41

*  Legendary U of M Football Announcer and Insurance Company Founder Bob Ufer '43 (voice of Michigan football from 1945 to 1981)

*  U.S. Commerce Secretary and Hudson Motor Car President Secretary Roy D. Chapin '03

*  U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Judge Baily Brown '39

*  Valassis Communications, Inc. founder George E. Valassis '51

*  U.S. Air Force Major General John T. Buck '54

*  Florida Lieutenant Governor Thomas Burton Adams, Jr. '40 (also served as Florida Secretary of State and a State Senator)

*  U of M Head Football Coach Harry G. Kipke '24 (coached the Wolverines to two National Championships)

*  U of M School of Music Dean Earl Moore '12 (co-writer of the U of M classic "Varsity")

*  Renown sculptor Bill Barrett '50 (represented in numerous private and public collections nationwide including more than 9 museums.  Works in front of the U of M Dental School and U of M School of Social Work)

*  Jazz Musician Bob James '61 (writer of the instrumental theme for the sitcom Taxi)

*  1947 Heisman Trophy Runner-up and Pro Football Player Bob Chappuis '48

*  Professional Baseball Player and U of M Baseball Coach Don Lund '45(coach of the U of M College World Series Championship Team of 1962)

*  Dr. Rudy Reichert '43, Director of Cardiology at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital 1955 to 1989 ("Reichert Health Building" at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital was named in his honor)

*  St. Louis Cardinals Football Team Head Coach Robert "Bob" Hollway '50

*  University of Delaware Head Football Coach Harold R. "Tubby" Raymond '50

Michigan Alpha Alums Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice to the Nation During Military Service

*  Philip C. Craig '63, U.S. Navy (fighter pilot killed in action over North Vietnam in 1967)

Scott "Harv" Waldinger '86, U.S. Navy (fighter plane navigator killed during a training mission in 1992, combat veteran of the first Gulf War)

The History of Michigan Alpha Alumni Association

1895:  Michigan Alpha alums living in Ann Arbor establish the Alumni Association of the Michigan Alpha Chapter of Phi Delta Theta.

1930:  Alumni Association begins the publication of the Sword & Shield newsletter to keep alumni connected to each other and report on the accomplishments of the active chapter membership.

1986 (summer):  Alumni Association funds a major renovation of the basement that includes building a new chapter meeting room and upgrading the dinning room.  Work includes the installation of oak bench seating in the chapter room and oak paneling on the walls throughout the basement.

Early 2000s:  Alumni Association funds a $500,000 renovation of the historic chapter house at 1437 Washtenaw.

2005 (Fall):  First Web site (www.pdtma.com) established for the Alumni Association.

2008 (Summer):  Alumni Association funds approximately $40,000 of rennovations and major maintenance in the chapter house.  Work is performed on all three floors and in the basement.

2008 (August 31):  Annual Fund contributions reach an all-time high amount of $28,035.

2008 (Fall):  Second Web site (www.pdtumich.com) established for the Alumni Association.  The Alumni Association produced its first e-newsletter version of the Sword & Shield.

2009 (Spring):  North Porch renovation project begins.  Dick Young '51, John Buck '54, Doug Roby '56,  Bob Leland '58 and Bernie Rinella '58 donated a total of $12,750 to enable the Alumni Association to reconstruct the old north porch of the chapter house.

2009 (September 26):  North Porch is opened during a dedication ceremony held on the morning of Homecoming.

2010:  The Alumni Association established pages on Facebook and YouTube that were linked with the main web page.

2010 Fall:  The Alumni Association had the old asphalt rear driveway replaced with a new concrete driveway.

2010 (September 1):  The Alumni Association published a 10 page special edition of the Sword & Shield to comemorate the 5 year anniversary of the re-founding of Michigan Alpha (the 5 year anniversary was December 11, 2009).

2011 Spring-Summer:  The Alumni Association had the old asphalt front driveway replaced with a new concrete driveway.

Phi Delta Theta Michigan Alpha's Chapter House
Circa Fall 1891 to Spring 1903

Chapter History

This is drawing of the Phi Delta Theta chapter house circa fall of 1891 to early 1903. The drawing is from a book of images of the University of Michigan published during this time period.  It is believed that this is a drawing of the "Morton House" (owned by Hudson Morton and rented by the chapter) which was located on South Forest.

It was decided that this house was not large enough for the fraternity, so active chapter and the Alumni Association leaders worked together to purchase the land at the corner of South University and Washtenaw -- 1437 Washtenaw -- where construction of the present chapter house began in early 1903. The active chapter moved into its present house during the fall of 1903 for the 1903-1904 school year.

Roster of Phi Delta Theta Michigan Alpha's
Distinguished Athletes

***  This roster is NOT complete.  We are aware that numerous
men should be added to this list.  Please contact us at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to recommend additions and corrections to the roster.

Chapter History

The PDT Michigan Alpha 1938-1950 sports composite displayed in the Trophy Room of the chapter house.

Members of the Michigan Hall of Honor
The U of M Hall of Honor was established in 1978 to recognize those who have made significant contributions as athletes, coaches, and, or, administrators to the tradition of Wolverine athletics while enhancing the image and reputation of the University.

Bob Ufer '43 (inducted 1978, Track)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Ufer

Tom Harmon '41 (inducted 1978, Football)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Harmon

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0808/campus.michigan.top10/content.9.html

Harry G. Kipke '24  (inducted 1981, Football, Coaching Football)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Michigan_Athletic_Hall_of_Honor

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/magazine/features/si50/states/michigan/greatest/

Alvin Wistert '50 (inducted 1981, Football)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_Wistert

Albert Wistert '42 (inducted 1981,Football)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Wistert

Francis Wistert '34 (inducted 1981,Football)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitey_Wistert

Don Lund '45 (inducted 1984, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Baseball Coach)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Lund

Bob Chappuis '48 (inducted 1984, Football, Baseball) (1947 Heisman Trophy Runner-up, highest vote winner in the Midwest)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Chappuis

Doug Roby, Sr. '23  (inducted 1984, Football, Baseball, Baseball Coach)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Roby

Ben Smith '43 (inducted 1985, Golf )

John Greene '44 (inducted 1989, Wrestling, Football)

Dick Kempthorn '50  (inducted 1992, Football)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Kempthorn

Jack Weisenburger '48  (inducted 1992, Football, Baseball)

Dominic Tomasi '49  (inducted 1994, Football, Baseball)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominic_Tomasi

Bill Mogk '53 (inducted in 2002, Baseball)

Bill McFarland '56 (Inducted 2009, Hockey)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_MacFarland_(ice_hockey)

Bob Ufer Award Winners
Established during 1981 in memory of legendary U of M athlete and long-time football announcer Bob Ufer '43 ("the voice of Michigan football"), the M Club's Ufer Award is annually presented to an individual for his or her outstanding service to the U of M Athletic Department.

Douglas F. Roby '23

Don Lund '45

Woodward A. "Chip" Warrick, Jr. '47  (2007 award winner)

Michigan Football All-Americans

Harry Kipke '24 (1922)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Kipke

Francis Wistert '34 (1933)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Wistert

Tom Harmon '41  (1939, 1940) (1940 Heisman Trophy Winner)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Harmon

Albert Wistert '42  (1942)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Wistert

Bob Chappuis '48  (1947)  (1947 Heisman Trophy Runner-up, highest vote winner in the Midwest)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Chappuis

Alvin Wistert '50 (1948, 1949)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_Wistert

Mike Hammerstein '86  (1985)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Hammerstein

Members of the College Football Hall of Fame

Harry Kipke '24
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Kipke

Francis Wistert '34
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Wistert

Tom Harmon '41  (1940 Heisman Trophy Winner)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Harmon

Albert Wistert '42
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Wistert

Bob Chappuis '48  (1947 Heisman Trophy Runner-up, highest vote winner in the Midwest)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Chappuis

Alvin Wistert '50
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_Wistert

Harold R. "Tubby" Raymond '50
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_%22Tubby%22_Raymond

Francis Wistert '34  (# 11)

Albert Wistert '42  (# 11)

Alvin Wistert '50  (# 11)

Tom Harmon '41  (# 98)

Michigan Football Team Captains

Harry G. Kipke '24  (Captain of the 1923 team)

James O. H. Simrall '31 (Captain of the 1930 team)

Dominic Tomasi '49  (Captain of the 1948 team.  1948 MVP)

Alvin Wistert '50  (Captain of the 1949 team)

Michigan Sports Team Captains

Harry G. Kipke '24  (Captain of the 1923 Football team)

James O. H. Simrall '31 (Captain of the 1930 Football team)

Charley Ross '41 (Captain of the 1941 Hockey team)

Benjamin Sandipher Smith '43  (Captain of the 1943 Golf team)

Don Lund '45  (Captain of the 1945 Baseball team)

Bliss Bowman '46  (Captain of the 1946 Baseball team)

Dominic Tomasi '49  (Captain of the 1948 Football team.  1948 MVP of the Football team)

Harold Raymond '50  (Captain of the 1949 Baseball team)

Alvin Wistert '50  (Captain of the 1949 Football team)

Bill Mogk '53  (Captain of the 1953 Baseball team)

Bill MacFarland '56 (Captain of the 1955 and 1956 Hockey teams.  National Champions in 1955 and 1956)

Michigan Varsity Athletic Team All-Americans
in Sports Other than Football

Bob Ufer '43  (All-America in Track, 1943)

Bill McFarland '56 (All-America in Hockey, 1954, 1955 and 1956.  Team captain 1955 and 1956)

Fred DeJesus '76  (All-America in Tennis, 1974)

Chris Brewster '86  (All-America in Cross Country, 1985 and 1986 plus Track, 1985 and 1986)

Dan Reddan '94 (All-America in Track, 1991)

Michigan Varsity Sports Head Coaches

Harry Kipke '24 (football, 1929-1937.  National Champions 1932 and 1933)

Don Lund '45  (baseball, 1959 - 1962.  National Champions 1962)

Professional Sports Players
(partial list -- please contact us to add/correct names:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Doug Roby '23  (Football, Cleveland Indians)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Roby

Francis Wistert '34  (Baseball, Cincinnati Reds)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Wistert

Tom Harmon '41  (Football, Los Angeles Rams)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Harmon

Don Lund '45  (Baseball, Brooklyn Dodgers, St. Louis Browns and Detroit Tigers)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Lund

Bob Chappuis '48  (Baseball, Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Rockets)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Chappuis

Alvin Wistert '50  (Football, Philadelphia Eagles)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_Wistert

Bill MacFarland '56 (Hockey, Edmonton Flyers, Seattle Totems)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_MacFarland_(ice_hockey)

Mike Hammerstein '86  (Football, Cincinnati Bengals)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Hammerstein

Michigan Football Team Members
(partial list -- please contact us to add/correct names:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Charles P. Barton '14

Doug Roby, Sr. '23

Harry Kipke '24

James O. H. Simrall '31 (Captain of the 1930 team)

Francis Wistert '34

Russell Fuog '35

Robert Cooper '38

John Smithers '38

Tom Harmon '41

Albert Wistert '42

John Greene '43

George Hildebrandt '43

Bob Kolesar '43

Ralph Amstutz '44

Don Lund '45

Bill Culligan '46

John Lintol '47

Bob Chappuis '48

Joe Soboleski '48

Jack Weisenburger '48

Bob Callahan '49

Dominic Tomasi '49  (Captain of the 1948 team)

Stu Wilkins '49

Bill Bartlett '50

John Ghindia '50

Bob Hollway '50

Dick Kempthorn '50

Harold Raymond '50

Alvin Wistert '50  (Captain of the 1949 team)

Chuck Lentz '51

John Powers '51

Tom Kelsey '52

Ted Kress '54

Fred Baer '55

Jim Bates '55

Jerry Goebel '57

Ed Shannon '57

Jim Maddock '57

Dave Bowers '58

James S. VanPelt '58

Tony Rio '59

Maynard Stetten '59

Willard Hildebrand '61

Gary Kane '61

John Walker '61

Mike Hammerstein '86

Brad Burrows '88

Dave Mandel '88

Michigan Baseball Team Members
(partial list -- please contact us to add/correct names:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Doug Roby, Sr. '23

Don Brewer '38

Don Lund '45  (Captain of the 1945 team)

Bliss Bowman '46  (Captain of the 1946 team)

Cliff Wise '47

Bob Chappuis '48

Jack Weisenburger '48

Dominic Tomasi '49

Harold Raymond '50  (Captain of the 1949 team)

Bill Mogk '53  (Captain of the 1953 team)

Dick Peterjohn '57

Dean Finkbeiner '58

Barry Marshall '61

Derek Kerr '86

Michigan Basketball Team Members
(partial list -- please contact us to add/correct names:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Tom Harmon '41

Don Lund '45

Jim Barron '56

Tom Jorgenson '56  (later an assistant coach)

Bob Sullivan '58

Randy Tarrier '58

Pete Tillotson '58

Jack Lewis '59

Terry Miller '60

Michigan Hockey Team Members
(partial list -- please contact us to add/correct names:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Charley Ross '41 (Captain of the 1941 team)

Dr. Rudy Reichert '43

Bill MacFarland '56 (Captain of the 1955 and 1956 teams.  National Champions in 1955 and 1956)

Gary Mattson '60

Pat Cushing '61

Tom Wilson '61

Michigan Wrestling Team Members
(partial list -- please contact us to add/correct names:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

John Greene '44

Woodward A. "Chip" Warrick, Jr. '47

Michigan Golf Team Members
(partial list -- please contact us to add/correct names:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Benjamin Sandipher Smith '43  (Captain of the 1943 team)

Ken Myers '57

Michigan Tennis Team Members
(partial list -- please contact us to add/correct names:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

John Wiley '60

Fred DeJesus '76  (All-America in Tennis, 1974)

Michigan Swimming Team Members
(partial list -- please contact us to add/correct names:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Paul Keeler '37

John O'Reilly '56

Harry Huffaker '61

Michigan Track Team Members
(partial list -- please contact us to add/correct names:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Bob Ufer '43

Bill Michaels '54

Dan Reddan '94 (All-America in Track, 1991)

Michigan Gynastics Team Members
(partial list -- please contact us to add/correct names:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Chuck Clarkson '59

State of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame

Tom Harmon '41 (inducted 1962)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Harmon

Harry G. Kipke '24  (inducted 1968)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Michigan_Athletic_Hall_of_Honor

Bob Ufer '43 (inducted 1982)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Ufer

Don Lund '45 (inducted 1987)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Lund

Michigan Alpha Members' Other Noteworthy
Accomplishments in Athletics
(partial list -- please contact us to add/correct names:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Doug Roby '23
*  Member of the Michigan football team.
*  From 1951 to 1953, he was the president of the Amateur Athletic Union, then America's governing body for many amateur sports.
*  He was vice president (1953–65) and president (1965–68) of the United States Olympic Committee and one of two American members of the International Olympic Committee (1952–84).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Roby

Tom Harmon '41
* 1940 Heisman Trophy winner and star member of the Michigan football team.
*  Tom Harmon's 10-minute broadcasts were a staple of the ABC and (later) American Information radio networks. He
was seen on KTLA, Channel 5, Los Angeles.
*  The Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters established the Harmon-Rice Award in his honor (the Rice name in the award honored Grantland Rice) that is presented each year to the most outstanding Phi Delt collegiate athlete in the nation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Harmon

Robert "Bob" Hollway '50
*  Member of the Michigan football team.
*  College and professional coach.
*  Head coach of the St. Louis Cardinals.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Hollway

Harold R. "Tubby" Raymond '50
*  Member of the Michigan football team.
*  University of Delaware head football coach (1966-2001) with 300 wins.
* College Football Hall of Fame inductee (2003).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_%22Tubby%22_Raymond

Charlie Green '58
*  40+ year working within the University of Michigan Department of Intercollegiate Athletics program. Since 1960, Charlie has been associated with the U of M Golf Course in both part-time and full-time roles. He is the current full-time Club House manager. In 1967, Charlie began working in the Michigan Press Box as a statistician and most recently as game clock operator. More than 222 consecutive games without a miss.  He also started working at the scorers table for Men's Basketball in 1967 as a statistician, scoreboard operator and official timer.  For the more than 8 years, Charlie has been the official timer for Women's Basketball.  He taught Algebra and Geometry for 33 years in the Willow Run and Taylor Public Schools retiring in 1993.

Chris Brewster '86
*  Winner of the 1987 Harmon-Rice Award.
*  All-America in Cross Country, 1985 and 1986 plus Track, 1985 and 1986.