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Rho Lambda Newsletter

Greetings, Brothers.

Did you watch OU’s Women’s Softball team win their back-to-back World Series? They played some Texas team while setting a ton of records. Venables invited his team to attend, too, to watch how great teams win when everything’s on the line. Jocelyn Alo was the MVP, of course.


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       TWO DEKES DUKE IT OUT (Episode 2)

Deke vs Deke – The Republican Primary of 1876 – Terry Miller ‘69
In an interesting bit of DEKE History, two Dekes squared off against each other in a Republican Primary. (Read Episode 1 here). The Primary field was rounded out by Pennsylvania Governor John F. Hartranft with 58 votes, who, as a Union Army Major General, had signed the death warrants for the Lincoln assassination conspirators; Marshall Jewell with 11 votes, former Governor of Connecticut and current U.S. Postmaster General; William A. Wheeler with 3 votes, who was a Congressman from New York; and Elihu B. Washburne with no votes, former Secretary of State and current Minister to France.

Prompted by fears that Blaine might not be able to defeat the probable Democrat nominee, New York Governor Samuel J. Tilden, Blaine’s candidacy couldn’t gain support. He garnered 296 votes on the second ballot, but he didn’t poll much higher in the remaining ballot votes. Hayes gained only 3 votes but no one else did much better.

On the third ballot, Blaine slipped 3 votes while Hayes gained 3 but Bristow gained 7 more, bringing his total to 121. By the fifth ballot, Blaine was down to 286 but Hayes picked up 36 for a total of 104. Bristow lost a dozen votes, and the others faded appreciably. Jewell lost all 11 of his votes on the second ballot and never regained another vote. Wheeler and Washburn never had more than 3 and 4 votes, respectively… (Read the Final Episode next month!)

Dekes LionFrom The ΔKE ΡΛ Literary Association

My input this month is a sincere thanks to Ron, George, Fred, and the entire board for uniting behind The Randy Morrison Award and Scholarship initiative. Read on to learn more about Roy Overbeck and the presentation by Fred Streb in Durham, NC, this month.

Since launching the campaign to fund the Randy Morrison Scholarship through the OU Foundation, we are closing on $10,000.00 towards our goal of $25,000.00 by 2025. I urge all our brothers to donate what they can to ensure a lasting memory as our legacy.

Kerothen, Bob Tierno, Chairman of the Board

Brother of the Month – ROY OVERBECK

Heroism on the battlefield comes in many forms. While some actions are so extraordinary that they receive wide publication and acclaim, thousands of others are more subtle, being remembered by a few and fading from all memory with the passage of time.  

But it is those small, nearly forgotten acts of heroic kindness that provide the actual glue that holds nations, communities, and humanity together.

The men of the Rho Lambda Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon were unwilling to let the memory of their brother, Randy S. Morrison, fade.

On June 8, 2022, Fred Streb arrived at a retirement center in Durham, North Carolina, representing OU’s Rho Lambda alumni. He joined Neilson Brown from Deke’s Board of Directors, James A. Gray III of the Deke Foundation, and Turner Spears from Deke’s International headquarters, and awarded Roy Overbeck the Randy S. Morrison Award.

Deke alums, many of whom are veterans, who’d read the story of Randy and Roy, (see it here) were struck by the similitude to one of the fraternity’s cherished poems, “Brothers in DKE,” an authentic Civil War story about two soldiers, one a Yankee and the other a Confederate, who were both members of our fraternity.

The poem describes how the Rebel comforted the dying Yankee soldier through his final hours and, after the war, returned the dead Union soldier’s Deke pin to his family in Maine, as promised.      George Otey

Long ago, I was honored to be the Brother who recited that poem to Rho Lambda neophytes, and I’ve always had a deep connection to it. I was happy to learn recently the name of the poem’s Union Brother from Bowdoin, Maine. Edwin S. Rogers, shown here, died in the horrific battle of Cold Harbor, just outside the Confederate capitol of Richmond, Virginia, in June, 1864. “It was the final battle of General Grant’s ‘Overland Campaign,’ a frontal assault on Confederate lines that cost nearly 7,000 Union casualties in less than an hour, some say in less than 10 minutes. It was one of the most brutal confrontations of the war.” (Wikipedia)

The Deke pin mentioned in the poem, which the Rebel returned to Edwin’s family, is now in the DKE National archives.

One last thing about Fred Streb: In 1970, he surprised me in my Army hospital ward with a stash of scotch hidden in two rubber baby bottles, which I hid in my Kleenex box. In 2022, he presented Randy’s Award to Roy Overbeck. He’s the only guy who’s met both recipients of that award, for what that’s worth. Thanks, Fred, the scotch was swell. 

 Ron Sorter 

Leave a comment if you wish, or contact us here. Keep an eye out for July’s Newsletter and raise a flag on the 4th! Thanks again to everyone who donated to Randy’s Scholarship Fund.

RIP, Randy


The ΡΛ Commo Crew