The original 15 founders of the Delta Colony of Phi Gamma Delta at Tennessee Tech.
Seated: Dan Crunk, Jeff Garr, Doug Roberts, Lee Wray.
Standing: Travis Claud, Mickey Williams, Carl Martin, Russ Bradley, Matt Graves, Randy Wilmore, Jack Southerland, Bobby Rice, Scott Wolfe, Cory Garyotis, Tony Locke
It was the Spring of 1979 when the hopes and dreams of 15 young like-minded men came to fruition in the forming of Delta Theta Chi. So how did the founders of Delta Theta Chi meet?
Russ Bradley and Carl Martin were roommates at Tech and knew one another from OvertonHigh School. Russ and Carl knew Randy Wilmore as well as Jeff Garr, from Father Ryan, and Jack Sutherland. Much like many of us today, several of these men were all friends before forming the fraternity. Lee Wray was from Cookeville and had a class with 2 girls who were a part of the Baptist Student Union. It was through these girls Lee met Russ and became friends with them as well. The founders, as many will recall, ate lunch every day at the table by the exit doors of the cafeteria. Apparently our founders were good at meeting ladies as well, because they ate lunch with many Kappa Deltas (my how things never change). Some of the KDs jokingly told this group of non-affiliated men to start their own fraternity. What started as a somewhat serious off-hand comment would start the ball rolling in what would become Delta Theta Chi.
There was much discussion concerning the founding of a local fraternity, but nothing materialized until the founders met in Carl and Russ’ room to form their new fraternity: Much like the Immortal Six meeting in John Templeton McCarty’s dorm room to establish what would become one of the premier Greek letter societies, the Theta Tau founders met in Carl and Russ’ room to form what would become one of the most respected Fiji chapters in the nation. The first order of business was to select Greek letters by which they would be known. After writing several ideas down, Delta Theta Chi became their choice. As seen on thes campus and on the international level, came from the dorm room of men like the rest of us.
They formed this chapter with the following statement:
“We the charter members of the Delta Theta Chi Fraternity, recognizing the advantages of fraternity life, have unified our various individual interests with the purpose of achieving a common goal which is sought by many, but attained by few. This goal which consists of many facets, entails academic an athletic achievement; a willingness to serve the University and community; and a desire to instill among its members a spirit of brotherhood, which shall be passed on to all those who shall follow.”
On September 8, 1979, the founding brothers of Delta Theta Chi became pledges of the Delta Colony of Phi Gamma Delta.
The first house was located at 421 N Walnut Avenue an and was obtained in September of 1979. On February 28, 1981, the Delta Colony of Phi Gamma Delta received its charter and then became known as the Theta Tau Chapter of Phi Gamma Delta. The Chapter later moved into the current house located at 527 N Peachtree Avenue in August of 1985, and purchased the house in 1988. In the spring of 1998, the Brothers of the Theta Tau chapter voted to become one of the Fraternity’s first Alcohol Free Housing chapters.
First Theta Tau Sweetheart
Elizabeth Goetz, with Carl Martin on her right, and Tom Carter on her left.
The first TTU Kazoo Band
In the photo: Carl Martin, Sanders Watson, Tom Carter, Steve Wilson, David Wheeler, and Kenny Perry.
The first Pig Dinner
while we were still a Colony, Todd Arrants, Kell Stott on the left; Mickey Williams and Tom Carter on the Right.
On the left, Jeff Garr, Randy Willmore and on the right Jack Sutherland and David Wheeler
Below: Jeff Garr, Lee Wray, Randy Wilmore, Daniel Ray, Carl Martin, and Rex Welch
From Steve Wilson: As for fraternity I think Cyndi was the first Fiji lavaliere for the Theta Tau chapter. TTU did not sell them since we were new, so Lee Workman picked one up for me in Knoxville (thanks Lee!). That would have been spring or summer of 1980 since we were engaged by August 1980. She remembers well the chapter visiting the dorm to sing for her after the engagement. Her room was 2nd floor right above the breezeway across from the UC. Probably was the first engagement sing also.