History: Omega Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity
Albion College Albion, Michigan
Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity at Albion College has a long, rich history. The Omega Chapter of TKE was chartered at Albion on January 1, 1927. The chapter evolved from a local literary organization called the Zetalethian Society, later the Zetalethian Fraternity, which had been active on Albion's campus since 1903. Following its chartering, Omega Chapter called several locations in Albion home. Since 1966, the chapter house has been located at 1004 E. Porter Street, opposite Whitehouse Hall. Prior to that, the chapter house was located on Erie Street for many years and at other locations near campus.
As an Albion College undergraduate and member of Zetalethian, Frater Thomas I. Starr '27 played a significant part in petitioning Tau Kappa Epsilon to establish a new chapter of the fraternity on Albion's campus. With assistance from Dr. Samuel Goodrich, a Zetalethian alumnus and distinguished past president of the college, Frater Starr compiled an impressive charter application and wrote many letters on behalf of the dedicated group of men who expressed the desire to embrace the fraternal fundamentals and qualities established in 1899 by Tau Kappa Epsilon. Many of Frater Starr's volume of letters and a bound copy of the charter application from 1926 are still safely stored in the Omega Chapter History Room. Frater Starr was one of the first Albion College alums to be initiated into Phi Beta Kappa. In later life he became a highly-regarded scholar of Abraham Lincoln, having published many articles and essays on the 16th president of the United States. He counted famed author/poet/Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg as one of his personal friends, and participated in many national historic symposiums on the life and legacy of President Lincoln. Frater Starr lived in Royal Oak, Michigan for many years and remained an active and honored alumni volunteer of TKE until his death in 1964.
Two Albion College presidents have been initiated as Fraters of TKE/O : Dr. John L. Seaton (1873-1961) was initiated as an Honorary TKE in 1943. Dr. Seaton served as Albion College president from 1923-1945 and was instrumental in assisting the collegiate members of Zetalethian with their petition to establish a new chapter of TKE. In recent years, a chapter scholarship award was named in memory of Dr. Seaton which is given annually to a collegiate Frater who has excelled in academics and contributions to the fraternity and Albion College community. Dr. Bernard T. Lomas '46 was initiated into O Chapter as a collegiate Frater in 1943. He served as Albion College president from 1970-1983. Dr. Lomas is still active in alumni relations for the college and currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Lomas Fieldhouse on campus was named in his honor, and in 2013 he was the inaugural recipient of an eponymous award given by Omega Chapter to honor distinguished alumni.
Tau Kappa Epsilon, O Chapter Today: Better Men for a Better World
The brothers of TKE have always taken great pride in their campus leadership positions. Over the years, TKE brothers have served in various leadership capacities with several campus and fraternal organizations including: Albion Student Senate, International Fraternity Council (IFC), editorial positions with both The Albion Pleiad and Albionian, Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary Fraternity, The Order of Omega, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity, among others. Several Tekes have also participated in Albion Briton athletics and have played important roles in recent MIAA Conference athletic achievements. In addition to campus leadership roles, collegiate members of Omega Chapter have been selected to represent the chapter at several national leadership conferences and programs sponsored by the Office of the Grand Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity.
Teke Alumni members from O Chapter are scattered around the world in a variety of fields including law, medicine, public service, education, marketing, advertising, public relations, government, military, non-profit, financial, construction, real estate, technology, and media/entertainment, among others. Currently, three alumni Fraters of O Chapter serve on the Albion College Board of Trustees. As of 2016, a total of 1,825 Fraters have been initiated into the O Chapter of TKE. With the chapter's 90th anniversary around the corner, the fraternity is strenghtened by a very active alumni association and Board of Advisors that focuses on chapter guidance, mentoring of collegiate members, scholarship, finances, chapter house management and engaging alumni members in volunteerism to support the fraternity's motto... Better Men for a Better World.