By Frank Festa
The small, square purple tent outside of the Brower Student Center with suit-clad men seated and shaded underneath caused students to raise their eyebrows, as most weren’t aware of who they were, why they were there day after day or what the big golden letters ‘DTD’ embroidered across all sides of the canopy signified. But these men represented the Delta Tau Delta (DTD) fraternity, seeking to create a presence and raise awareness here at the College.
It’s safe to say they were successful, as DTD is set to be the largest Greek organization on campus, with 93 undergraduate pledges recently becoming the founding fathers.
DTD brother Bishoy Fanous, a junior chemistry major, believes it may have been the prospect of being involved from the inception that drew such record-breaking numbers.
“When I heard about DTD, I just thought, ‘why not?’” Fanous said. “Fraternities are a great way to make connections, both social and professional. Plus, it’s cool to say that you’re a founding father of a fraternity.”
President of DTD Chris Flannery, a junior interactive multimedia major, believes the new fraternity’s volume may have more to do with simple supply and demand.
“The two most recent classes at TCNJ had taken 300 plus more students than the 2016 class — it should be no wonder that there is a need for more Greek organizations on campus,” Flannery said. “The demand was there, and the school recognized that demand. Ninety-three men were chosen for the fall founding class of Delta Tau Delta.”
DTD was founded in 1858 at Bethany College, located in Bethany, W.V., by a group of eight men who intended to create an honorable organization for students amidst academic scandal. The fraternity now boasts 125 chapters nationwide. Notable brothers of DTD include actors Will Ferrell and Matthew McConaughey, as well as NFL Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway.
Despite becoming president himself, however, even Flannery was hesitant to join at first.
“I was actually one of the last guys to be formally recruited,” Flannery said. “I wanted to see the caliber of the other brothers, and once I did, it’s safe to say I was impressed. We currently boast a 3.3 cumulative GPA, and each member is actively involved in at least one or (more) on-campus organization. Now, as president, I have a lot on my plate. That being said, I’m very excited to be a part of this, and the TCNJ community should be as well.”
On Thursday, Oct. 23, DTD took its first step into the campus community, when all 93 members and several officials gathered in the library auditorium for their initiation ceremony.
“The President of DTD’s Eastern Division, Anthony Albanese, came to the initiation to supervise, and he seemed very excited about our potential,” Fanous said. “Now as a colony, we have a number of things to accomplish, such as member training and figuring out budgets, before we are recognized as an official chapter. This usually takes a minimum of 83 days.”
Until then, DTD is focused on establishing itself as a household name while respectfully assimilating into the community without creating friction with any active Greek organization.
“We know we’re the new guys in town, and we’re not here to step on any toes or create enemies. We hope to heavily focus on academics, philanthropy and involvement in the Ewing community,” Flannery said. “That being said, we have some events in the works which we believe will blow everyone’s expectations out of the water. DTD and its founding fathers are here to leave a legacy.”