This New Year’s Day the brothers of Gamma Theta Chapter mark the one hundredth anniversary of their founding charter, issued to the original local membership on January 1, 1920, by the then young and growing Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity. Founded in Marion, Indiana in 1902, Phi Delta Kappa was established by seven young men with the shared vision of, “a Brotherhood of business and professional men, conceived in fellowship, based on ethics and faith in the Supreme Being, and dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of the American Way of Life.” The national fraternity now has over nine hundred members spread among eleven chapters, located in Indiana, Florida and Mississippi.
While few organizations can match the “Phi Delts” at being quintessentially “Danville”, the original chapter house was actually located in Clayton, moving to the first of several Danville locations later that decade. The current home of Gamma Theta, acquired and built in 1964, features of sixty-six hundred square foot chapter house which includes a community room, commercial kitchen, bar room and rec room set on three beautifully wooded acres with outdoor cooking facilities and a playground for the kids and grandkids.
From its beginning a century ago, Danville’s Phi Delt membership has included a broad cross section of local businessmen, civic and agricultural leaders, professional men and hundreds of hard-working men who have wanted to give back to their community. The current roster numbers one hundred eighty-two and includes several third-generation members as well as twenty-two new initiates from just the last year.
The membership, along with their Sweethearts, families and guests enjoy a full schedule of club activities including regular Friday night dinners, bi-weekly steak dinners, golf outings, cooking contests, holiday events, formal dinner-dances and several national fraternity events. Philanthropic efforts include the Relay for Life, Sheltering Wings, Family Promise and six annual college scholarships.
A Grand Centennial Celebration is planned for this June to usher in the next century of good works, brotherhood and fellowship at the Gamma Theta Chapter of the Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity, here in the community we’ve been proud to serve for the past one hundred years.