September 11, 1865 – Alpha Tau Omega Founded
Alpha Tau Omega was founded at the Virginia Military Institute by Otis Allan Glazebrook, Erskine Mayo Ross, and Alfred Marshall. The American Civil War had just ended and Glazebrook believed that the country needed to be emotionally reunited, more than just politically. With that in mind, he contacted his friends Ross and Marshall and founded ATO. It became the first fraternity founded upon Christian principles, rather than Greek ones. ATO was also the first fraternity that aimed to be national in scope, rather than simply local, following Glazebrook's goal of reuniting the U.S. in the wake of its bloodiest conflict. The fraternity slowly expanded over the decade, leading up to a time when the fraternity seemed to stagnate until...
1878-1880 – ATO Reconstructed
After a series of ATO National Congresses lacked vigor, the fraternity refocused in 1878 at the University of Maryland. Much of this was thanks to ATO's "Second Founder" Joseph R. Anderson who, upon recognizing this lethargy, reached out to every ATO chapter and recovered lost archives to help remind the fraternity of its roots. By 1880, the ritual was revised, a member directory was created, and – perhaps most importantly – the Alpha Tau Omega Creed was rewritten by Otis Allen Glazebrook himself. This led to a time of rapid expansion for ATO, helping establish the fraternity as a leader amongst Greek life nationwide.
1881 – DRAKE UNIVERSITY ESTABLISHED
Drake University was founded in 1881 when most of the staff of Oskaloosa College – led by Francis Marion Drake, our school's namesake – left that college to establish Drake University. Drake was originally affiliated with the Christian Church - Disciples of Christ, although it holds no particular religious affiliation today. The first classes convened in 1881 with only 77 students and only one building to serve as the campus: Student’s Home.
February 21, 1921 – Kappa Lambda Local Fraternity starts At Drake
Seven men bound themselves together and founded the Kappa Lambda fraternity with the idea that a fraternity should be founded on moral and democratic ideals as well as along social lines. Not long before Kλ was founded, Drake University still did not allow its Greek Life organizations affiliate with national fraternities and sororities. It was not until 1920 that petitioning national fraternities was approved by the faculty and board of trustees at Drake. With the change, Kappa Lambda decided to petition Alpha Tau Omega in 1922, feeling that ATO best aligned with the ideals that Kappa Lambda had been founded upon. Official word telling of the acceptance of Kappa Lambda by Alpha Tau Omega came in February of 1923.
March 3, 1923 – Chartering Of The Delta Omicron Chapter
At our chapter's initial chartering nearly 100 years ago, Dean Thomas Arkle Clark served as Worthy Grand Chief and initiated 29 men, the entirety of the active chapter at the time, converting Kappa Lambda into Alpha Tau Omega – Delta Omicron. (Clark's signature can still be seen on our charter today.) Kappa Lambda’s success in gaining a charter may be attributed, in great measure, to the members of the Des Moines Alumni Association of Alpha Tau Omega. The loyalty of alumni members of the old local fraternity to the active chapter was noticeable throughout the entire program. About half of all 98 alumni members were present for initiation at the time of installation. A total number of 72 initiates into Delta Omicron was the largest that had ever been initiated into Alpha Tau Omega at any one time. The fraternity remained active and on campus until 1986 when the charter was unfortunately revoked. Of course, the suspension was not permanent and Delta Omicron is alive and well back on campus today! Keep reading below to find out more about what went into bringing ATO back to Drake.
1966 – ATO Constitution Revised
On the brink of entering its second century since being founded, Alpha Tau Omega was again reinvigorated as the sweeping social changes of the time guided our fraternity to improve its constitution. After a formal proposal was made in 1964, the ATO Constitution was reworked at the 1966 National Congress. One of the most significant changes and impactful sentences within the current Constitution now reads as such: "Alpha Tau Omega does not discriminate in its membership requirement against any person on the basis of race, color, creed or national origin; its individual chapters are free to select members without regard to race, color creed or national origin, and without interference on these grounds, directly or indirectly, from any source outside the local undergraduate chapter."
NOVEMBER 17, 2012 – DRAKE CHAPTER RECOLONIZES
Recruiters from ATO Nationals came to Drake looking for a quality group of men that would have what it takes to start up the Delta Omicron chapter again after being off campus for over 25 years. After numerous talks and meetings and bid signings, a group of 12 men bound themselves together and colonized, beginning the long and arduous process of building a standout social fraternity revolved around leadership development, true merit, service, and brotherhood. Most of these original founding fathers have now graduated from Drake University, but are still forever bonded as brothers in ATO.
APRIL 25, 2015 – BRINGING THE CHARTER BACK TO DELTA OMICRON
After hearing the big news from Jordan Fischette the week before – the colony’s national consultant at the time – brothers rejoiced knowing that Delta Omicron would become a full-fledged chapter of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity once again after two-and-a-half years of hard work and determination. The 42 founding fathers were initiated at the re-installation of the Delta Omicron chapter at United Grace Methodist Church in Des Moines. ATO National CEO Wynn Smiley and his staff conducted the ceremony, and the original Delta Omicron charter was restored. The rechartering events brought together brothers, alumni and Board of Trustee members and friends for a very memorable weekend amid the Drake Relays.
DECEMBER 5, 2015 – ALPHA CLASS INITIATED
Five young men (Derek Mattson, Andrew Pierson, AJ Treiber, Taylor Ihm, Jordan Lundquist) were initiated into the fraternity as the very first pledge class of the Delta Omicron chapter following its rechartering. The ceremony took place at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Des Moines. Their initiation helped solidify the fact that ATO is back and is going to stay at Drake University.