real time web
analytics

Rho Lambda & Oklahoma Dekes
Newsletter

May 2024

Your RLLA board’s quarterly meeting will be held on May 15th, and its minutes will be posted here as soon as they are available.

Morgan McElroy is DKE International’s Director of Organizational Growth, and our 2025 Executive Committee of Bob Tierno, George Otey, and Dennis Clowers is going gangbusters with Morgan, planning for next year’s reactivation.

They’re finalizing tasks and timelines now and coordinating all aspects of that with OU’s fraternity staff. If you want to see what it will take to accomplish this, view our latest roadmap in the five layouts at the top of Our Plans stack. Our Actions stack will start growing after our May 15 Board meeting.

This is a Brotherly undertaking. If you want to assist, please contact Bob Tierno. Donations will help immensely, and you can make them here.

The password we emailed to you opens any file. If you don’t have it, contact us. 

FROM THE DKE RL Board:

Our May newsletter brings you important updates regarding Rho Lambda’s return to the OU campus and The Randy S. Morrison Scholarship Fund. First, we want to thank all our brothers who’ve donated to the Randy S. Morrison Scholarship Fund.  Our campaign supporting OU Giving Day last month has resulted in a fund balance of $21,710! To activate the endowment process, we only need to raise $3,000.00 by July 1, 2024, which will enable the first scholarship to be awarded in Fall 2025.

Every dollar counts, whether it’s $50, $100, $250, or $1,000-plus, so please donate today through the OU Foundation. 

Kerothen, Bob Tierno

ΡΛ Brother of the Month
DUNLAP VANICE

It was great to meet Dunlap at the last Reunion. When I heard he’d been at the infamous ’56 OU-Texas game and the ’57 Notre Dame game, I knew I’d have to hear his story for this newsletter.

“I’m a native of Kansas City,” he told me, “and I had fun growing up there. I played tennis in high school. My dad was really into cars, and, from junkyard parts, he built me a ’50 Ford with a ’54 Pontiac grill, a shaved hood and trunk. He painted it black, and it had a white top and a manual tranny. What a great car.

“I knew a few K.C. guys who were going to OU. I didn’t want to go to Kansas or Mizzou, so I applied and finally told Dad, ‘I’m going to OU. They accepted me for some reason.’ I packed two suitcases and grabbed a Greyhound bus for Norman. It took all night since it stopped everywhere.

“We got in around 6 or 7 a.m. I asked for directions; somebody pointed and said, ‘The campus is that way.’ I picked up my suitcases and started walking. I eventually found my dorm, an old, two-story WWII barracks. I had a friend who lived there who’d been a Navy pilot in WWII. Norman was a big naval air training base then.

“I pledged Deke and loved it there. The house was right next to campus. Bob Ward lived next to me on the second floor of the Deke house. We played whiffle ball all the time in the backyard.” You can read here how Bob Ward coached his high school baseball team in Camargo, OK, to an Oklahoma Championship.

“I guess I like fast cars. I have a good friend in the Ozarks who builds hot rod roadsters. One of the guys in the Deke house was into sports car racing, and we went to a race at the old Navy runways. A birdcage Maserati was racing a Chaparral, a beast with a Chevy engine; the Maserati spun out where I was a flagman at one corner, flying backward into a hay bale not 20 feet from me. Naturally, I took his picture.

“A couple of the guys had sports cars. Max Weitzenhoffer had a Mercedes Gullwing, and another guy had a Morgan Plus Four (+4).

“I played tennis for OU and lettered for three years. I was eligible to become a member of the O Club, so one day, there were 30 of us in jockstraps on our knees in the stadium field. Bud Wilkinson and Gomer Jones were there to make sure nobody ruined the grass. Then somebody ran behind us, slapping our feet with cattle prods, making us jump three feet forward, and that meant we were initiated. We got a sweater, a jacket, and a ring. I still have the ring.

Rick Kingelin had a convertible. One night before Christmas, a bunch of us Dekes pulled onto the lawn of a sorority and sang them Christmas carols. In ’54, a group of us, Rich, Jim Matthews, and others, went to Dallas. I had the worst tickets in the Cotton Bowl, so I wandered around until I found an empty seat 30 rows up on the 50-yard line.

“I watched OU beat Texas 44-0. What a game. I didn’t see the guys tear down the goalpost, but we met up after the game. Rick had it in his room for a while, I think, and it was in the chapter room for a while. We talked about it and commented on it, but it wasn’t really a huge deal at the time. Getting out of school the next Monday for winning the game? That was a huge deal.

“I had a great time at the house and majored in finance. After graduating in ’61, I got a job at a bank in their so-called real estate department, and one day, the owner accused me of leaving the window open. I told him I hadn’t, and he fired me just like that. It may sound strange, but that was a blessing. It propelled me. I started working for FHA, doing appraisals for houses and multifamily buildings. Then, when Texans didn’t trust anybody but other Texans, I somehow got a job in Dallas selling commercial real estate loans.

“I finally went into business for myself, doing all kinds of real estate appraisals. Now I’m retired, and I’m in the leaf business. I throw ‘em, blow ‘em, and burn ‘em. I weld and build stuff. I had a garage built and wired it myself. That’s what retired guys do. I have chainsaws and a log splitter, and sometimes, I go to the Ozarks and use those with my kids. I babysat them, then their kids, and now I babysit their dogs.

“I get back to OU every now and then since I have a grandson going there. He worked at a bank once, and I told him about open windows and how they can teach us lessons about life. That’s how you learn, I guess. Bad things happen, but they don’t need to stop you.”

Then I asked Dunlap about that 1957 Notre Dame game…

NOVEMBER 16, 1957 – NORMAN, OKLAHOMA

“For those of you just tuning in to today’s game with Notre Dame, the Sooners are back-to-back national champions who’ve won a record 47 consecutive games and played a record 123 games without going scoreless. Last year, Paul Hornung was playing for Notre Dame when we DEMOLISHED them 40-0 in their own stadium! As you know, Hornung went on to win the Heisman Trophy, the only player from a losing team to do that, and it hasn’t set well with Bud’s players, two of whom had been on that list, too.

 

“Today, we’re favored by 19. Sure, the last team to beat us 47 games ago was Notre Dame, and yes, at the half, we were both scoreless. It’s been a defensive slugfest with epic goal-line stands. When there were 13 minutes left in this final quarter, Notre Dame had it on their own 20, and they’ve moved it down the field. Now there’s a quick pass taking them to Oklahoma’s 17. Here’s a fullback rush to the 3! It’s 4th down! Do they punt? Can the Sooners hold them one last time? They’re going to run it; wait, it’s a fake! Williams throws it to Lynch…!”

Dunlap said, “I was working the stands that day, selling Cokes to give me something to do. Oklahoma was dry then, so for a laugh, to get attention, I’d been yelling, ‘Ice-cold beer, get your ice-cold beer!’

“But now I was at the corner of the first row next to the end zone, everybody on their feet, me with a better view of him than anybody when he ran it in. It was a stunner. When we lost, the whole stadium went silent.”

Thanks, Dunlap, for one hell of a ride through an epic game. The Sooners are gonna win it all in 2024! Read a full description of that Notre Dame game here.

Kerothen,
Ron Sorter

If you’d like information about making a tax-deductible donation to Randy’s Scholarship fund, here are some FAQs to help you.

Please get in touch with Rich Burns if you know of any Brothers who’ve passed away or aren’t receiving our Newsletter.

RIP, Randy

Kerothen,
The ΡΛ Commo Crew