Delta Kappa Epsilon will host its international convention at Centre College, home of its award-winning Iota chapter, July 30 through Aug. 2.
The Iota chapter of DKE was founded in 1854, 10 years after the founding of the first chapter at Yale University. The chapter most recently received the Lion Trophy, the highest award in the fraternity, in 2013.
The chapter was selected to host the convention in 2013.
“This is a capstone event in the life of the Iota chapter, building upon our recognition as Chapter of Excellence at Centre College and the awarding of the Lion Trophy,” Iota chapter President Parker Lawson said. “We’re very excited to partner with Centre College to host an event of international importance. In the words of President John Roush, ‘Centre is a place where important conversations occur,’ and Delta Kappa Epsilon is pleased to make our mark in the history of the college.”
At any given time throughout the weekend, more than100 undergraduate delegates and alums of the fraternity will be on campus. Delegates will come from all over the nation as well as the United Kingdom and Canada, while alumni will come from as far as continental Europe to attend classes on risk management, leadership and other key topics to successful fraternity management.
The weekend will be filled with educational sessions focused on improving chapter operations throughout the world. Keynote speakers will include Colmon Elridge, executive assistant to Gov. Beshear, who will address the importance of civic engagement and public service, and President Roush, who will talk about leadership.
The Iota chapter hopes to support local businesses throughout the convention.
“The opportunity to host an international convention at Centre College inherently provides opportunities to support the local Danville and Boyle County economies,” Lawson said. “Our alumni will stay at a number of hotels, most notably the Hampton Inn. Delegates who serve as president of their home chapters will be treated to dinner at the Old Owl Tavern, and many attendees will take advantage of a private tour of the Wilderness Trace Distillery, just behind Centre’s campus.”
The convention will conclude with an awards banquet in the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs. Capt. Alan Bean, the lunar module pilot of Apollo 12, will be the keynote speaker.
At the end of the weekend, Lawson hopes delegates will take the opportunity to network and leave with a “renewed energy and commitment to working for good on behalf of Delta Kappa Epsilon in their local communities.”
“It is my sincere hope that our guests will leave with a positive impression of the Iota chapter and Centre College, having been embraced by the warmth of Danville and Boyle County,” he said.
Lawson also hopes the convention will energize the chapter to continue going above and beyond in their work next year.
“Last year, the chapter raised $12,000 for the Heart of Kentucky United Way, had the highest GPA of all fraternities each semester and won its fourth consecutive Greek Week trophy,” he said. “The potential for what this chapter can achieve is limitless. There has never been a better time to be a Deke at Centre College.”
by Hayley Hoffman ’16
originally published in The Advocate-Messenger