Chapter Advisor of 35 Years Signs Off One Last Time
Dear Chi Alumni:
My exposure to Chi actually dates to the summer of 1980 when I first met “Doc” Burns at the Pittsburgh Karnea soon after my freshman year ended. Although Bethany and Kenyon are different in many ways, the small liberal arts college connection gave us an affinity from the start, and Doc welcomed “co-patriots” of small schools in a land of many giant universities.
The ties were strengthened at the 1982 Karnea in St. Louis when Doc invited me and the other Bethany delegate to join his “Famous Delt Dinner” as we had none of our own alumni present. That in turn led to Jack Emens ’83 (my class year also) getting in touch to put together a Chi initiation at the Bethany Founders House – one of three which has now occurred.
Close to law school graduation, I attended the Lexington Karnea in 1986, and ask the “powers that be” which chapters nearby me perhaps could use some additional involvement. As one might expect, Ohio State, Ohio Wesleyan, and Kenyon were discussed. After meeting Chris Obetz and Kent Karosen, the choice was made – by them I think! Although I’m pretty sure I’d have come to the same decision. So beginning in the fall of 1986, I started making the 22-mile late-night journey to Gambier; something that would be repeated hundreds of times thereafter, many times in less-than-wonderful winter road conditions.
I could write quite a bit on the Chi I’ve seen since but won’t at this point except to note perhaps the greatest accomplishment, that the chapter is no longer
|Drew McFarland being presented with an engraved Jefferson Cup in 2018 by then-Chapter President, Rad Savage ’19.|
dividing itself, nor being divided from the greater fraternity. I think Chi gets its due and appreciates that DTD need not be the same thing at all schools which have a chapter.
When my daughters were born eight years ago, naturally my time for Delt things was taxed. As many of you know, in more recent years I served Chi not only as Advisor but as Division Vice President as well. Although that extra role didn’t have any practical difference at Chi, having the DVP role of Ohio Wesleyan as well added yet another dimension and more obligations. Then in October of 2020, I was invited to join a Delt oversight board that manages relations with Bethany College related to our Delt Founders House. Not a large time commitment but a project I have long wanted to be involved with, and an opportunity to once again work with my own alma mater.
Still, after 35 years as Advisor, both as an assistant to Doc Burns and on my own, it pained me to leave Chi, especially with so few alumni close enough to Gambier to be able to lend a hand. (It’s extraordinary to look at the difference in “hands-on” alumni participation at OWU versus Kenyon, caused by nothing more than that additional 30 miles farther from Columbus). That being said, I realistically can’t say I have confidence in the direction Kenyon’s administration is taking, nor Delta Tau Delta “national” itself in some ways, and as such can no longer feel comfortable being associated with them by giving tacit support via the roles I held.
If there is one thing I would most hope to motivate one of you Chi alumni to do, it’s to preserve Chi history. As you may know, there’s a book entitled The First Sixty Years of Chi Chapter. We are now into the third sixty years and no one has updated what’s come since that first work. Undoubtedly more is lost every time an alumnus passes away. I very much hope one of you can pick up that challenge. Without it, the “Lone Delt” may survive in history, but everything since may be lost.
Yours in Chi,
Drew McFarland (Bethany ’83)