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Alumni share multitude of happy memories from Greek life

Dale Sutter in Capen

Illinois State alum Dale Sutter ’61 inside Capen Auditorium.

Alumni active in fraternities or sororities reached out in response to the August issue of Illinois State (“What it means to be Greek at ISU”). In addition to stories of treasured memories and lifelong friendships, members shared information that corrects the timeline of Greek life on campus.

Tau Kappa Epsilon was not the only fraternity to form in 1969, as Lambda Chi Alpha was established that same year. And while Alpha Delta Pi existed in 1973, it was Delta Zeta that secured the first national women’s sorority charter at ISU. The group organized that academic year.

Dale Sutter ’61 has memories that go back even further to when ISU was against fraternities and sororities. That stance changed in 1969, more than a decade after Sutter pledged the Kappa Lambda Chapter of the Blackfriar Fraternity.

“The chapter on campus had been established during 1934,” Sutter said, explaining it was allowed because activities contributed to the educational experience. “Each year we would present a stage play in Capen Auditorium.”

The men also performed at a weekly mandatory assembly and created the Blackfriar Band featured in Homecoming parades. Sutter, above in Capen, was drafted in 1956. He returned from the Army in 1958. By then members had a house known as the Blackfriar Co-op, where he lived.

“There were 14 guys living there and two bathrooms. Since it was a cooperative, we all had jobs to do,” Sutter recalled. “This added to the overall learning experience. It also provided many lifelong friends.”

An industrial education graduate, Sutter went on to a successful banking career. He credits the fraternity experience for increasing his confidence and skills.

“I am proud to be a graduate of Illinois State University. I am really happy to have had the opportunity to become a Blackfriar and value all the experiences during my college days that shaped my life.”

Do you have a story from your fraternity/sorority life? Share it at Alumni.IllinoisState.edu/Greek.

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