Department: Financial & Housing
On January 14, 1911, a local fraternity at Millikin University named Alpha Sigma Theta merged with Sigma Alpha Epsilon to create our fourth chapter in Illinois and the 100th chapter in the Realm. The addition of Illinois Delta marked a significant milestone in the Fraternity’s history, and its designation of Delta comes from its location in Decatur, Illinois. Well-known leader Billy Levere attended the installation to welcome the young men to the bond of brotherhood.
Over the past 100 years, brothers from Illinois Delta lived in several different homes on Millikin’s campus. The first house stood at 185 North Fairview Avenue until 1924, when a new residence took shape at the current location at 1165 West Main Street. But the journey from one home to another was a windy road. When the effects of the depression hit Millikin in 1932, the chapter made the strategic decision to merge with a strong local fraternity at the time named Kappa Delta Chi. Keeping the SAE name following the merger, the men moved into the Kappa Delta Chi house at 1310 West Wood Street.
In 1935, Illinois Delta returned to its original home on Fairview. Then, in the winter of 1952, brothers moved back to West Main. Over the course of their history, more than 800 brothers have lived at the Main Street home. Guarded by its stately lions and located directly across the street from the iconic administration building, Shilling Hall, the house sits on a prime location on campus.
This past October, more than 150 alumni from 32 states, spanning 68 years of graduation, converged at Millikin for Illinois Delta’s centennial celebration. They shared countless stories and memories for the reunion – many of them involving themes about living in the various homes throughout Decatur and recanting laughs and fraternal camaraderie.
Illinois Delta’s current structure is now nearly 100 years old and has been a fraternity house for more than six decades. As safety and capacity concerns have increased in recent years, the Illinois Delta Housing Corporation has started working with the SAE Financial & Housing Corporation to preserve the legacy known as 1165 West Main. The two groups will be working together by launching a major fundraising campaign over the next year to provide competitive, safe housing for future generations of brothers. For more information on Illinois Delta’s alumni activities, including how to get involved with and support the fundraising campaign, visit www.ILDelta.org. To learn more about how the SAE Financial & Housing Corporation can benefit your chapter house with services, visit www.SAEFandH.com.
Illinois Delta is currently working with Pennington and Company, the recognized leader in fraternity/sorority fundraising, to get feedback from a group of alumni regarding the proposed plans for the new chapter house. Pennington specializes in this niche market and has been leading the way for nearly 20 years. All the information collected will help the house corporation make the best decision possible for Illinois Delta’s future.