On Friday morning of Reunion weekend, members of the former Phi Phi Delta fraternity came together and sang the words of their official fraternity song from memory, “Our hearts are filled with true devotion…the bonds of Phi shall never die.”
Returning Phi Phi Delta brothers gathered in Geneva to place a plaque on their former fraternity house, the current home of Dave and Cindy Turrell, in commemoration of their legacy at the Colleges and sustained brotherhood over the years.
“We are a band of brothers who truly love each other,” said fraternity brother and Honorary Trustee Richard M. Rosenbaum ’52, P ’86. He and other alums helped to establish the Phi Phi Delta Scholarship Award to benefit an outstanding Hobart student in order to continue the memory of Phi Phi Delta.
Jarrid Blades ’12 is the two-time recipient of the Scholar award. During the dedication Blades thanked alums and reflected on how grateful he is for their generosity. “Thank you for helping to make possible my education here at Hobart and William Smith,” he said. While at HWS, Blades was a member of the Statesmen football team, acted in a Bartlett Theatre production, and volunteered in the Geneva community, being named the 2012 Happiness House Volunteer of the Year. He has been accepted to the law and business school program at Syracuse University.
Phi Phi Delta is the oldest local college fraternity in the United States and this year marks the 110th anniversary of its founding. The fraternity is remembered as having been an all-encompassing community of leaders, athletes and scholars.
“Phi Phi Delta opened it’s doors to anyone; we were very diverse,” said Peter W. Chamberlain ’62, of Rockport, Texas, who returned to see his friends for the dedication and stayed for Reunion weekend.
Geneva native Len De Francesco ’56 also spoke with pride about the fraternity’s legacy. “My years in Phi Phi Delta were very significant ones for me,” he said. De Francesco recalled that Phi Phi Delta brothers were known to be “great in academics, outstanding athletes on the field and leaders across campus.”
The Blessing Trophy, for both best academics and athletics, was awarded to Phi Phi Delta for many years. “We won it all four years from 1952 to when we graduated in 1956,” said Jerry W. Angell ’56, of Redlands, Calif., and Stanley W. Cohen ’56, of Canton, N.Y., former roommates, lacrosse teammates and football and basketball athletes respectively.
“It was a wonderful group and it still is a great community of people who come together as often as they can,” said Jaclyn Savits ’57, P ’82, P ’87, P ’90, GP ‘16. Her husband, Joel M. Savits ’56, P ’82, P ’87, P ’90, GP ’16, was a member of the fraternity and recalled the leadership that it brought to campus. “In my senior year all of our class officers were Phi Phi Delta brothers.”