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Iowa Gamma Celebrates 95 Years and Cuts Ribbon on Chapter House Renovations

Geoff Wood

I haven't written about my trip back to Ames for Homecoming yet (which was lots of fun and expensive). It was a long day, filled with lots of randomness, but the bulk of the pre-game afternoon was spent at the Phi Delt house and tailgating with other Phi Delts. I wrote a quick article for the fraternity's magazine about the events and submitted to some friends as Iowa State Alumni Association, in case they were interested, too. Enjoy:


On Saturday, October 25th the Iowa Gamma chapter of Phi Delta Theta held a combined 95th Anniversary celebration and ribbon-cutting for this summer's renovations on the chapter house during Iowa State University's Homecoming festivities in Ames, Iowa.

The celebration included a catered tailgate leading up to the football game with an estimated 175 guests from around the country. The ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception at the Sunset Drive chapter house coincided with the 10th anniversary of the move from the chapter's original residence of more than 80 years on Welch Avenue.

The renovations, marking the completion of phase two of a three-phase project begun when the current chapter house was purchased in 1998, totaled more than $130,000 and concentrated on the public areas of the house. Among them were the remodeling of the foyer, front stairs, living room, and (much to the delight of the many mothers, wives and girlfriends present) the guest restroom. In addition to the remodeled rooms was the creation of the "Alumni Room" featuring photos of Iowa Gamma over the past 95 years, an original drawing of the retired chapter house by Stewart Buck (Iowa Gamma '70), and plaques commemorating Iowa Gamma's 17 Harvard Trophy wins. When not hosting alumni, the room and its many tables are used as a quiet and clean place for the undergraduate chapter to study. Other new features are a work room for use in the preparation of the VEISHEA float and Homecoming lawn display competitions and a new "Tube Room" with updated electronics and stadium seating. These renovations were funded by an anonymous Iowa Gamma alumnus and the House Corporation Board. Comprehensive fund raising efforts for phase three will begin in the next few months. 

Thanks and appreciation from all Iowa Gamma Phis goes to the Brothers in the undergraduate chapter leadership, the Chapter Advisory Board, the Parents Association, and the House Corporation Board, for their hard work in leading and organizing the renovations and the celebration, especially Curt Lack (Iowa Gamma '70), Jay Longnecker (Iowa Gamma '92), Scott Groh (Iowa Gamma '04) and Toby Geiger (Iowa Gamma '91). To quote words from then President of the General Council, Charles F. Lamkin, in describing the installation of the chapter in an issue of The Scroll 95 years ago "There are all sorts of men in the Iowa Gamma at Ames except failures. They do not make that sort into Phis there".