By Dan Conboy
Special to the Arizona Daily Wildcat
Delta Tau Delta fraternity is flying high with an airplane scheduled to pull a banner over Saturday's game to commemorate the fraternity's 35th anniversary at the UA. The anniversary also means the fraternity is finally getting a home to call its own.
In fact, after years of struggle, the construction of two new fraternity houses is set to begin this month.
Both Delta Tau Delta and Kappa Sigma have been raising money for four years to build new houses.
The former DTD house was bought by University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in the spring of 1990 for about $700,000.
Chapter President Dan Divjak said that since then, resident DTD members have been living in the Billman House, 1550 N. Vine Ave., which was a dormitory for women graduates years ago.
After DTD moves out, the place may remain a fraternity house because others, including Sigma Alpha Mu, have already expressed interest.
Another possibility is that the university may decide to tear down the house along with other homes in the area to further expand the Health Sciences Center.
DTD is planning a ground-breaking ceremony Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. at the site of the new house, 1330 E. First St.
"We are all excited to move into the new house, and especially the alumni," Divjak said. "We were only supposed to live in the Billman House for two years at the most, and when that came and went, the guys' morale started to get low; but now that we will be moving in next fall, everyone is real excited and the brotherhood is very strong."
The DTD house will cost about $1.25 million to build and furnish. Fraternity members used the money they received from the Health Sciences Center and raised another $300,000 through alumni. Another $200,000 must still be raised and DTD will be looking to alumni and students' parents for help, Divjak said. Other homecoming events for DTD include a banquet Nov. 4 at the Ramada Inn. Jeff Heatherington, DTD international president and Dr. Kenneth "Rock" Clinton, western divisional president, are expected to attend.
DTD will also have a tent on the Mall throughout the weekend, Divjak said.
Kappa Sigma Fraternity also plans to move into a new house next fall.
The idea for a new house started seven years ago, but fund raising has only been in progress for the past four years because of delays in planning.
Matt Noble, Kappa Sigma alumnus and partner of Fraternity Management Group has volunteered his time since 1987 to help raise $800,000 for the new house.
"My group does work with fraternities and sororities around the country to help raise money, but I volunteered my time to help raise money for the Kappa Sigma house here because this is where I graduated and have been in most contact with," Noble said.
Noble sent out videos, brochures and three to four newsletters per year to alumni informing them of the new house. Other alumni chairmen sent out letters to graduates of their class to raise money.
"Over 50 percent of the donations came from alumni of the '50s and '60s," Noble said. "More will be raised every year by undergraduates because most are pledging $1,000, of which $25 is paid as undergraduates and then $150 a year after they graduate until the rest is paid."
In 1987, less than 10 alumni returned to the UA for homecoming, but since the newsletters and brochures have been sent out and more alumni have been in contact in the past few years, Kappa Sigma has had the No. 1 alumni program. This year, 157 alumni are expected to attend homecoming activities, Noble said.
Elsewhere, construction is to begin late this month for the Kappa Sigma house on First Street, just east of Highland Avenue. The total cost of the house is about $1.2 million, including furniture. Money is still being donated by alumni and students' parents.
Brad Tofel, president of Kappa Sigma at UA, said
the three-story, 15,000-square-foot house will sleep 42 fraternity brothers. It will include another room for a live-in alumni advisor, a game room, leadership room, computer room, chapter office, kitchen and chapter library.
"Having a live-in advisor will really help us out a lot," Tofel said. "He'll be able to help us with our financial decisions along with any other problems we have."
Tofel said his fraternity will not be the only one changing houses because the UA is trying to create a university village to bring most fraternity and sorority houses into one campus area.
The Kappa Sigma house will be named in honor of A.L. Slonaker and Lincoln Wilson. Slonaker was once Dean of Men at UA and spent many years advising the chapter. Wilson, who was initiated to Kappa Sigma in 1917, has spent more than 50 years volunteering his time to the chapter.
"The boys have always called on Linc for help and advising," said Wilson's wife, Lutie. "Kappa Sigma has always been a big part of his life."
Kappa Sigma Homecoming activities include a golf tournament Nov. 4 at 9 a.m., at the Randolph Golf Course to which all members, alumni and parents are invited. On Saturday, a noon tent party will be held on the Mall. Undergraduate and alumni awards will be presented with selections for Man of the Year and Hall of Fame inductees at a 10 a.m. brunch at the Doubletree Hotel Sunday.
Wilson is expected to appear at the brunch along with his son, Larry.
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