“Spiritualization of Matter”
Louis Sullivan considered architecture as the “spiritualization of matter.” I have always taken his statement to mean that good architecture is hallowing in that it creates an enduring atmosphere that is heart-raising, and living in the house enriched our lives. I could not agree more. I have always believed that matter and spirit are one. Yes, I do love Spinoza and panentheism. And, in the case of the graduate and undergraduate brothers in ’24-’25, that belief is well-founded. Their spiritual sweat equity was real; it permeates every inch of our grand home.That spirit was evident, literally and intuitively, in The Castle when it was completed in 1925, and it has remained so for 120 years now. The compositional union of the grounds and the house give a sense of well-being, and it continues to resonate that very quality now. It safe to say that assert that our Omega Mu brotherhood wanted to create the preeminent architectural fraternity house at the University of Maine, and it still is. The Castle created, and continues to create, a sense of connection and compassion that cuts deep into our collective fraternal heart, mind, soul, and memory to lasting effect that will never wither and fade.
The Castle has been a gift to each of us and our fraternal life since 1899, and we are thankful that we were all on the receiving end of such a gift. What could have been a lament in 1924 became a covenantal commitment of recovery to move forward and becoming even stronger because the wheel of time only goes forward and never back. The cross-generation chain of events that occurred was extraordinary. They did not exhibit the despairing outlook like Eliot’s “Hollow men” in spiritedly addressing what needed done and then doing to. None of them had clay feet. Maybe all of them had read and been inspired by this statement in the 1917 Prism:
With unequalled fraternal energy and devotion, they went from destruction to renewal. We can thank the humble yet daring leadership commitment of graduate brothers C.W. Mullen, Hosea B. Buck, Joseph F. Gould, George H. Hamlin, Charles E. Mullin, and all the undergraduate brothers, for guiding the transition to 79 College Avenue with their discriminative and discerning eyes set on our fraternal future. After the graduate brothers donated the land for upon which our Castle would be built, significant financial contributions were raised from the brotherhood, and then bold and meticulous architectural plans were drawn up the architectural firm of Crowell and Lancaster. They were superbly intelligent architects, and they knew they wanted to make a building that was beautifully proportioned in exhibiting the classic architectural cohesion of an English Tudor style home without excessive ornamentation, just clean sweeping vertical and horizontal lines that are visually pleasing to the eye.
Construction commenced with acute coordination and attention to detail to build our splendid fraternal home. As fraternal providence would have it, our esteemed brother, George Hamlin, surveyed the property upon which The Castle would be built, and then he supervised the construction of the Castle to its successful completion. The undergraduate brothers were consistently present from start to finish in participating in the process, and in doing so they established our Omega Mu paradigm of commitment: “Hundred Up.” The superior craftsmanship of The Castle shows that in the darker, thornier times of our fraternal history, when whirlwind changes occur, fluid fraternal lines and precise vision and transformative intentions have always moved us tirelessly forward by unyielding fraternal common consent, with guiding power and purpose. Our graduate and undergraduate brothers certainly succeeded, splendidly so. It was hard-won, but it was done collectively like an orchestra creating the most harmonically attractive, emotionally affecting, fraternity house on College Avenue, and it remains an affecting sight today. The effect of the finished architectural space of The Castle on all the brothers who have lived in The Castle since its completion is incalculable in terms of fraternal well-being, joy, contentment, and happiness, and that is the overriding triumph of any great building. From every generational point of view, the fraternal good of Omega Mu is no secret, and with our fine-tuned fraternal focus, the preservation of The Castle, and the perpetuation of our Omega Mu brotherhood into the future, is assured. We have always been a spirited, hopeful, industrious brotherhood, and that wealth is immeasurable. To use the spirit of Colonel Strong Vincent’s order to Colonel Joshua Chamberlain at Little Round Top on July 2nd, 1863, at Gettysburg, “Hazard all costs and hold this ground.” We will do the same for the future of our brotherhood and The Castle, and that is assured.
Our graduate and undergraduate brothers certainly succeeded, splendidly so. It was hard-won, but it was accomplished collectively like an orchestra creating the most harmonically attractive, emotionally affecting, fraternity house on College Avenue, and it remains an affecting sight to this day. Le Corbusier was right, architecture can help change the life of people, and in 1925 our brothers moved into the new house and did not look back. They were filled, no doubt, with estate joy to walk through the front door of our beautiful home. That were happily home! The life-threatening dashes into our flame-consumed house were a distant memory as they walked into the historic dignity of the new home in 1925 with the same down-to-earth fraternal good that had guided Omega Mu since 1899. Our graduate and undergraduate brothers clearly understood the truth of I. M. Pei's statement about historic memory: “I believe one owes it to one’s own existence to leave something behind that will last.” Our Castle has lasted in its service to our brotherhood for the last 120 years, an everlasting classic.
The emerging social, cultural, and political harmonies and rhythms of the nineteen-twenties were charming and liberating, as well as forbiddingly scary and apocalyptically destructive, and the impact of each would be felt by our Omega Mu brothers who moved into The Castle in 1925. Because they had each participated in the construction process, it must have deeply rewarding to walk in and sit loose and casual in the leather chairs and couches in the living room and library, light a briar pipe, and sigh with satisfaction at their collective accomplishment that they had persevered and not been weak-willed in creating their-our-graceful, attractive home. “Whew!” they must thought. Just another testimony of our enduring fraternal chain of visionary response.
Like the historically rich, interwoven variables that shaped, moved, rocked, and changed and challenged the nineteen-sixties, the twenties were a decade of equal visceral excitement, and penetrating and sweeping evolutionary growth and change, and deep joy and pain. As our brothers sat in The Castle, they probably listened to the new technological marvel that entered the world in 1920, the radio. They would have heard the election returns of the 1924 election when Calvin Coolidge beat Robert LaFollette and John Davis for the presidency,
and they very well might have listened to each and every radio broadcast of the Scopes Monkey Trial that was occurring in Dayton, Tennessee, in the summer of 1925, and Dayton was called “The Buckle of the Bible-Belt.” Although they probably did not know it, a Rutger’s Fiji, Dr. J. G. Lipman, was called by Clarence Darrow for the defense to give pertinent evidence on the evident truth of evolution, but Judge John Raulston from Fiery Gizzard, Tennessee, prohibited all such witnesses for the defense.
Just as Willett Barrett liked to sing songs in the house before serving our country in World War I, most assuredly the brothers in the twenties and thirties sang the new songs by Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, and Irving Berlin. Porter’s “I Get a Kick out of You” would have been one of those lyrically easy songs to be sung with particular intensity, just as it is today with all of us:
“I get no kick from champagne.
Mere alcohol doesn’t thrill me at all.
So tell me why should it be true
That I get a kick out of you.”
Unforgettable books were written the 20’s: The Great Gatsby, Babbitt, Farewell to Arms, and The Sound and the Fury. Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic in “The Spirit of St. Louis” and landed outside of Paris in 1927. Notre Dame’s “Four Horsemen” played their last game together in the 1925 Rose Bowl. The 1927 Yankees had a stellar 110-44 season, and Babe Ruth had a record setting home-run season. The Harlem Globetrotters were formed by Abe Saperstein in 1927. The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 1929. Alphonse “Scarface” Capone reigned supreme in Chicago and “Lucky” Luciano was top boss in New York. The Klan politically controlled seven states, but the creative spark of the Harlem Renaissance would start the counter-narrative that would lead to social, artistic, and political equality in the following decades. Jazz music spread from New Orleans to Chicago, Washington, and New York. Jazz influenced clothing styles, broke racial barriers in clubs like the Cotton Club and the Apollo where patrons sat together to hear Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and Duke Ellington, and it influenced the new dance styles like the "Charleston," the "Foxtrot," and the "Lindy Hop.”
World leadership changed ominously in the 20’s: Joseph Stalin defeated Trotsky and became the new leader of Russia; Benito Mussolini established totalitarian control over Italy in 1925; and Adolph Hitler became head of the Nazis party in 1921. And, then, on October 29th, 1929, “Black Thursday” hit Wall Street, and the decade ended unquietly with a long-running economic shadow that would sweep across the nation and around the world and saturate the lives of people with souless despair. On this shattering historic note, the nineteen-twenties came to a close. Through it all, our Omega Mu brothers lived, grew, and enjoyed the benefits of brotherhood in the new Castle by persisting and persevering in giving their all for the house, each other, and the University of Maine. Certainly, the Ancient Glittering Eyes” of our Q.T.V. brothers’ were smiling in pride because of their continuing efforts. That is the spirit of fraternal union that generates fraternal good will and uncommon loyalty.
Devotional and steadfast are just two words that come to my mind when I think about Omega Mu. Brother-to-brother, generation-to-generation, decade-to-decade, century-to-century-to-century, these words have always defined us a brotherhood in movement toward our future with no shifting affection in essence, form, and historic meaning. This home of ours is filled with all of our memories, remembrances, and conversations since 1925. We are one unmatched brotherhood and fraternal home, in spirit and material fact, literally, at 79 College Avenue. But it’s more, much more, when we are all there together.
Chip Chapman, ’82
Omega Mu Athletes
There is no fraternal brotherhood quite like Omega Mu at the University of Maine, and there is no fraternity house that is as bracingly beautiful as ours. We are proud of the beauty of The Castle and our fraternal excellence. We aim high. And I believe that it is safe to say that the stars seem to align fairly regularly throughout our combined Q.T.V. - Fiji fraternal history for good things to happen socially, academically, and athletically. Just as it took teamwork, commitment, and consummate skill to plan and construct the architectural charm of our house on College Ave, our brothers have achieved tremendous success in the aforementioned because of their determination, commitment, character, and a desire to win. Success in anything is grounded in the grace of individual and team discipline, and our Omega Mu athletes have exemplified that level of unswerving workmanship and zeal for success throughout our fraternal history. The sacrifice of time was worth the effort for them and the student at the University of Maine who watched them play. They created many warm memories through all the years. It is a heady athletic legacy that started within a few ears of the founding of the University of Maine on 1865. For the eminence of their athletic success; and, above all, for being our Omega Mu brothers, we are all proud.
So we must remember these QTV and Omega Mu brothers with fraternal amplitude because these brothers, with sound unflinching desire and instinct, are part of the heritage of athletic excellence at the University of Maine. With consummate skill and attentiveness, they understood that being on an athletic team, like our fraternal life in The Castle, was a communal responsibility in acting in concert with their teammates to achieve success. The key points to note for each of these brothers was their willingness to join, to belong, and to work with genuine commitment in order to deepen their individual athletic skills in order to achieve team success. These brothers understood that the basis of any action in athletics was to deepen the collective root of work in the fun and creative expression of participating in varsity athletics, as well as in their Omega Mu fraternity life. And this is what is meant by community, fraternally and athletically, because the tonal and rhythmical patterns of successful engagement are the same for both, and this is as it should be because “Men of character are the conscience of society to which they belong.” Their considerable accomplishments claim our fraternal attention and respect, and they show us something fundamental about character and life. Therefore, in the linked soul and spirit of our long fraternal history, we gratefully remember and celebrate our QTV and Omega Mu brothers who participated on many varsity athletic teams at the University of Maine. Our scorecard is deep, and this is our proud cheer: Gimme an O, gimme an M, gimme an E, gimme a G, gimme an A, and so on. Then Omega Mu Fiji athletes! Omega Mu Fiji athletes! Omega Mu Fiji athletes! We are proud of all of our Omega Mu Fiji athlete brothers’.
The sheer numbers of brothers is an unalloyed triumph for the University of Maine and a testimony to the fraternal solidarity of our heart and soul for the good of the university since. It has been a splendid success for both, and that is good aesthetic order and historical consonance. That is Omega Mu, eminent and respectable. The inspiring evidence of our fraternal presence at the University of Maine will continue for the next 120 because the tradition of living a good life in communion with our brothers in The Castle, with the attendant fraternal responsibilities, grounding, fundamental decencies, joyous activities, participating on athletic teams, and then humbly pursuing our chosen academic passions, boldly and meticulously, is what being an Omen Mu brother is all about. And that is the beauty and pleasure of the life and life style of our brotherhood, the fraternal interconnectedness, that started in 1874. It is not imaginative speculation to assert that it will most assuredly continue for another 120 years, fraternally warm and historically grounded, and forever hopeful as young men continue to come through the single doorway of The Castle wishing to experience the uncommonly deep fostering good of our historically rich brotherhood that has fostered committed service to the University of Maine and each other from the very the very start in 1874. Regardless of the perceptions and wild imaginations and limited perspective of many naysayers of fraternity life, everything about our unified fraternal life in Omega Mu is compatible with the disciplined, interdependent expectations within society, convincingly so, period. What we have accomplished is of enduring human value for University of Maine, our brotherhood, and the integrity of The Castle.
And on we go, Omega Mu brothers, ready to move into the next 120 years of our fraternal life at 79 College Avenue, Orono, Maine, with clarity of meaning, purpose, and allegiance. I do believe that Thoreau said it best: “What a difference, whether in all your walks, you meet only strangers, or in one house is one who knows you, and whom you know. To have a brother…How rare these things are.” We are a great fraternal team.
“I'll say this, nothing is more important than family. We are brothers.” (Bill Soloby)
Chip Chapman "82
Omega Mu Athlete pictorial
“We were zobies in the middle of Hell Week ..... Down in the basement .... most of us were scared shitless...... Standing all in a line eating white bread from each others armpits .... Rodger Watson (USMC) was in line with us, fresh out of the military .... Big as a house ....6 ft 5 ...all muscle .......Then the brothers came out with their paddles ..... (that as tradition requires ....we had made for them ) any way.... The paddles being waved ...the screaming unbearable .... and there is Rodger standing up straight and laughing at all of them .................They left him alone that night! Smart move!”
When we walked into his office his six foot six or so lanky frame was slouched in one chair with one of his feet up on another chair and his hands were high-steepled in front of his non-smiling mouth. He managed to move just enough to shake hands with Barry, without rising.
Barry was filled with positivity and new-guy enthusiasm.The conversation, to the best of my memory went as follows:
Barry, "Hi President Libby it is a real honor to be visiting the U of Maine and its very historic chapter of Phi Gamma Delta. I am Barry Mees, Field Secretary for Phi Gamma Delta. I am a recent graduate of (I forget which school, but I believe it was the University of Western Ontario). So what do you think of Phi Gamma Delta at U Maine? Barry was as animated and leaning forward as Libby was leaning back and unresponsive in a manner that would do the Sphinx proud.
Libby, (through steepled hands and with no sign of warmth) "Well. Mistah Mees (pregnant pause)....... "That is a COMPLICATED question".......... pregnant pause as Barry leaned forward in positive anticipation)..........."On one hand, Mistah Mees".......... pregnant pause as Barry leans even more forward and Libby slumps even more backward........ as individuals, they ahhh the most TALENTED group of people I have ever seen on this campus…”
“Getting everyone and everything from the ferry to the shore was quite a feat because there was no pier and everything had to be shuttled from the ferry to the rocky shore of the island via the motor launch on the ferry. It took many trips and I think several folks ended up in the ocean but it was a sunny day and no one died. All the food and all the beer made it too. We spent the day cooking, eating, drinking, exploring, and farting around. We made driftwood fires over which we grilled the steaks, and set the metal tubs filled with seawater, seaweed, clams, lobsters, and
ears of corn in the husks. Tapped kegs and drained them quickly, too. It was an awesome day. I recall lying on my back in the sun with my head in my date’s lap, while she scooped the tamale out of a cooked lobster with her finger and placed it gently in my mouth.
When it came time to go, it was getting to be dusk and we were sun-baked and groggy with food and beer. We managed to reload all of our gear and debris, not drop our dates into the ocean, and get back on the ferry. As we motored back to Bar Harbor and the school buses, it was getting dark. We were motoring west, toward the setting sun, but there was this strange glow in the darkening sky behind us. Our fires were not completely extinguished and had flared up and spread to the woods on the island. We heard over the ferry’s radio that a fire suppression crew was heading out to the island to put out the fire.”
We carefully scouted out Buddy's activities for that Friday and decided the place to take him was the Student Union. We positioned ourselves such that when he got to a particular location, we could take him with the least amount of commotion. We were literally about to rush him, when another brother came out of nowhere and they stopped to talk. Chance foiled us.
Seconds later, Dave came rushing upstairs. Peter Berg had just entered the bookstore. Not allowing chance to deny us of a prize, we raced to the entrance of the bookstore and tried mightily to look innocent.
Peter came out of the bookstore and we overwhelmed him in a rush right out of the door to the rear parking lot. I don't think Pete knew what was happening until we starting stuffing him into the rear of Steve's Corolla. He begged us to let him go. He had a field geology prelim test the next day for a critical grade he required. We could have cared less.”
A few nights before the big Halloween party a group us piled into cars and went up Stillwater Avenue hunting for a pumpkin to bag. I remember Sean ‘Father’ Flathers, Richard ‘Buckwheat’ Banks and Joe ‘Mama’ Colluci were involved but there were a few others for sure. Sean had his pickup truck.
We passed up several candidate pumpkins until eventually we came up to a house on the right-hand side with a long drive way and there under a light on the porch was a pumpkin about three feet high. A couple of us ran up the drive way to grab it while others readied the pickup tailgate. But that plan was not happening so easily - this thing was a monster - and it took everybody to lumber it down the driveway and into the truck. Laughing our asses off we made it back to the house and delivered the pumpkin to Boo-Boo for carving. He did an amazing job getting it ready for the party - especially considering that at the time there was no such thing as a tracing template. We all thought it was great.”
General Lee ordered General Early to march up the Shenandoah Valley into Maryland and march south and capture Washington, D.C. The Union forces were caught off-guard, but after receiving some verifiable information that Early was closing in from the west and was going to cross the Potomac River at Shepherdstown into Maryland, General Lew Wallace headed west from Baltimore with his troops and arrived in Frederick in time to meet Early’s 15,000 troops. Although outnumbered 3 to 1, Wallace’s troops fought resiliently until they were forced to retreat eastward. However, the battle slowed Early’s advance toward the capital just enough for Grant to send troops back to Washington from Petersburg to defend it from being captured by the Confederate forces. Although Wallace was defeated at the Battle of Monocacy Junction, the short battle has been called the “Battle that Saved Washington”. After the war, Lew Wallace became the National President of Phi Gamma Delta, and he also wrote the book, Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ. He was a proud Fiji.
“Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and to find.”
With a conscious and sustained effort, a firm knowledge of the facts and truth of their fraternal history, our Omega Mu brothers entered the twentieth century with the same ambitious goals and objectives of success as in 1874, and with fraternal determination we are now approaching our 120th anniversary in full confidence of continued success for another 120 years. We know who we are and from whence we have come. We remember our past, and we have repeated it quite well, and we intend to continue to remember our successful past as we push successfully forward into the future.
The looming, world - consuming crisis of World War I was years away, and the brief Spanish-American War was over. However, for the brothers in house, they were deeply sad at the death of Charles C. Scott, who would have been with them in the new house in 1899. To honor him and three other men, the University of Maine administration placed a plaque in Coburn Hall, and, no doubt, our brothers went there often to read it often, to reflect upon and remember and embrace their brother again because our brotherhood is always time-transcending, in our undergraduate and graduate years, in life and in death. The gift and burden of life and those you love and care for through life, and that is our deep fraternal conviction. His death would be the first of many of our brothers who would die in future wars; may their sacrifice never be in vain.
The two and a half decades that the brothers would live in the house were not dry and tedious years of inactivity. Young men continued to seek membership in our brotherhood, and once pledged were duly nicknamed with impishly humors names like Hardpan, Froggy, Doc, Midget, Fish, Wisey, Ding-Dong, Sphinx, Bangor Browser, Brick, Scrapper, Deak, Sister, Humpy, and, yes, Hog and Spike. With fraternal purpose, motivation, and creative imagination they responsibly carried out their day-to-day mundane responsibilities in caring for the house and performing their ceremonial responsibilities, showing character in each and all with our collective heart, hands, and heads. With eagerness, they met all obligations and responsibilities with a mature eye of success, wholeheartedly.
Superlatives filled the campus newspapers and the Prism about the successes of our brothers as scholars and athletes, and their extensive involvement in every club and organization at the University of Maine. They had Sophomore Hops that lasted until the early morning hours. Brothers Pond, ’11; Scales, ’10; Waite, ’11; Robie Mitchell, ’07; were quite successful on their respective University of Maine athletic teams. Other brothers participated in a variety of clubs, committees, and organizations on campus: Ivy Day Committee, Musical Club, Mandolin Club, Glee Club, Banjo Club, Maine Masque, the Military Ball Committee, the Junior Prom, Military Hop Committee, Commencement Ball Committee, the Prism yearbook, and the Campus newspaper. And, not to be overlooked, brother Ballard Keith, ’08, was given a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University. The list of our successes goes on and on.
To fittingly use Thoreau’s description, these brothers consistently, with lightness and seriousness, intensity and depth, increased the “broad margin” of our Omega Mu fraternal life, in a civically responsible manner, at the University of Maine. By their own words, these brothers always wanted Omega Mu to be “on top.” They never compromised in wanting to be the best. The collective actions of these Omega Mu brothers created a coherent, committed, and vigorous Omega Mu brotherhood. These brothers laid a resilient foundation during an extraordinary phase of our fraternal history, and they consistently used the phrase “nearer to you” in asking the Q.T.V. graduate brothers to stay connected, and they did stay connected to the new, yet the same, brotherhood. Our unswerving focus as graduate brothers remains the same: connection, commitment and compassion. Our spirit refuses to quit, and we continue to strive to do our best in all ways for Omega Mu. Taken altogether, our brothers were doing quite well, and then the tenor of the world changed dramatically in 1914.
But, again, the will-to-power politics led to the start of the human folly of World War I, and it would soon impact many of our Omega Mu brothers. Guided by a sense of patriotic commitment and responsibility, eighteen of our brothers would serve our country and play a significant role in winning the war, and four of them died doing so. They went to war with pure motives, and they each knew the ultimate risk; they each were willing to take the risk. Our Omega Mu brothers embraced it just as they embraced every aspect of fraternity and university life, with passion and commitment, resilience and grit, and we embrace them in our fraternal memory. We are proud of our brothers who served or died in World War I.
By way of closing, the brothers must have been deeply dispirited that four of their own would not be returning from the war to rejoin them in the house. The brothers must have been consoled by the memorializing letter that they received from Willett C. Barrett’s mother after he was killed in action 1918 in stopping the heaviest German attack at Chateau Thierry, near Sergy, on July 27th, 1918, and saving Paris from being captured by German army. She writes:
“He was girdled about by his fraternal friends. There lay before him the promise of a glorious future. Yet from all these friends he turned away and went. And he made the supreme sacrifice. His was an irreproachable character. His conversations, his gestures, his very look was persuasive and irresistible. He was possessed of a splendid voice, which often filled the house with songs of Phi Gamma Delta. He went to war cheerfully , and his letters, written in the trenches, though showing plainly between the lines that he did not expect to return, were cheerful.”
Historically, the Q.T.V.-Omega Mu brotherhood had always confronted exigent challenges with resilient pride from the beginning. First, would our young fraternal brotherhood survive after the founding Q.T.V. seven brothers graduated and moved on into their respective careers? They did. Would their vision of brotherhood, grounded in its key existential object: “Enjoyment, sociability, and the best interest of its member through life” remain? We know what happened, our fraternal story did not end. With calm intention, the next generation of brothers kept the vision and mission of our fraternity alive and well. In the 1880’s, when the Q.T.V. brotherhood was asked if they wished to merge with A.T.O., they had a simple declarative answer for them: No. Would the transition for the Q.T.V. brothers who became Omega Mu Fijis during the 1899-1900 academic year be a smooth transition or filled with unexpected hardship? It was not. Similarly, when a fire destroyed our first chapter house, would we be forced to shut our fraternal doors forever? Would we rebuild and be bigger and better than ever? With historically grounded orneriness, the fire goaded the fierce independence, fraternal pride, and fight in the entire Omega Mu brotherhood to bring new life out of ashes so that there would be no death rattle, no final breath, or no dying-choking gurgle of our Omega Mu brotherhood. There has never been a paralysis in our Omega Mu sense of responsibility and obligation. We never leaving anything to chance with our future; we assume control so that we have future.
Ultimately, the important trajectory of our historic fraternal life and history is whether we, the unbroken chain of undergraduate and graduate brothers, will give back in order for the conservancy effort to restore The Castle to its original state when is was built in 1924-1925.
Chip Chapman, ‘82
“Phi Gamma Delta still to thee our hearts will turn eternally.”
Compassion and care in service to others is worth our time, and a good idea is always a good idea when we speak and act in collective fraternal accord for the good of others, as we have generationally done since our founding. It is the truest gift, possibly, clutched within our fraternal talons, that spans time and space in its far-ranging impact when we give with our energetic Fiji spirit for the well-being of others because it cultivates dreams and goals for a hopeful, meaningful life for all involved. Enough said, as they say. How right it is that Omega Mu has been productively engaged in all the things we have done academically, athletically, socially, and philanthropically without any excessive sense of self-importance.
As a brotherhood, we have done a great deal of community-wide service in Orono and Old Town, state-wide in Maine, and even nation-wide, and, make no mistake, we will continue to do so for the next 120 years, and there is nothing fraternally wrong-headed about committed stewardship. It is an issue of civic decency that has propelled our brotherhood to be fraternally active in social, charitable and benevolent activities since 1899.
Chip Chapman '82
We are not a static brotherhood, nor we one-dimensional. No, indeed, we are not. The historical percussions of our presence at the university can be seen in the great number of brothers who played on varsity athletic teams at the University of Maine, those who were the editors or co- editors of various campus newspapers, brothers who did things with expansiveness and depth and discipline of character and were Senior Skulls, brothers who exhibited high academic integrity and were inducted into Phi Beta Kappas, and one brother who was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and attended Oxford University. Each of them modeled integrity, loyalty, and commitment. Our QTV-Omega Mu legacy is secure and deserving of humble veneration. Who’s to disagree?
Our 120 year ability to maintain our durable fraternal traditions as well as change and evolve when necessary is going to continue to be an attractive fraternal path for young men to travel on and experience a fulfilling life. Indeed, as more young men experience the rich, historically linked nature of our brotherhood, our legacy at the University of Maine is only going to grow into the foreseeable future because we exhibit brain and heart power in the classroom, in social service, on the athletic fields, and within our brotherhood.
We have just cause to exhibit a collective joy of our historical sense of place at the University of Maine, and much of the joy is due to the carefree gusto and exuberance with which we lived our collective life in the The Castle. It was a remarkable, wonderful life we all lived because it was life-enhancing in every way. With dedicated integrity and integrated wholeness, our fraternal community provided a place in which we could flourish, grow, learn, have a great deal of fun, and be responsible and considerate to the larger good of the brotherhood in taking care of The Castle and each other. We all learned that the deep tap root of this brotherhood revolves around a stable core of fraternal beliefs: the discipline of good manners, for the most part, consideration for fellow brothers, being willing to give of yourself, respect, and kindness to sustain a positive day-in and day-out fraternal experience. They were, to quote the great Princeton basketball coach Pete Carroll, the “Responsibility Quotient” that led to our individual and collective success, and these principles will continue to sustain the rich inter-generational nature of our brotherhood for another 120 years.
Consider, too, it is important to remember, with appreciative hearts and minds, the academic accomplishments of the many our bothers, who, with equal balance of passion and reason, excelled academically. To use Pascal’s “safe wager” argument, which is one of my favorites, these brothers consistently made the wager that academics mattered, that themes and ideas were worth thinking about, that reading and writing mattered, that studying and being prepared for class made sense, that understanding the subtleties of a subject mattered, that the creative principle mattered, that taking risks mattered, that talking, questioning, and asking questions in class were essential, that intellect and voice mattered, and to do so was to embrace the blessing of the present with the hope of a better future, a beneficent chain of thought with life-giving power. The academic journey forward is never easy regardless of the level of discipline, nor is it always predictably successful or straightforward, but many of our brothers accepted the intellectual and emotional wager and won with honesty and authentic “perseverance and determination” beyond the minimum requirement.
Congratulations, Senior Skull Omega Mu brothers, you each exemplify that attitude and character does matter in achieving success in anything that one does in life, and we celebrate your success. The first brother to be inducted was George P. Goodwin in 1907, and the latest was Matthew Ahearn in 2019. And, if that is not enough, we also have brothers who were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and we have brother who attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. All these brothers will always have a determinative place of honor in our fraternal history.
Omega Mu Senior Skulls
“The society promotes the values of friendship, obligation, academics, dignity, and the standards and traditions of the University of Maine”
- George P. Goodwin, 1907
- Guy E. Hayward, 1908
- Raymond Fellows, 1908
- Arthur S. Hanscom, 1909
- Howard L. Farwell, 1909
- Elton L. Towel, 1909
- Malcom E. Fassett, 1910
- Charles E. Stickney, 1910
- William R. Ballou, 1912
- Warren McDonald, 1913
- Clifton E. Chandler, 1913
- Arthur W. Abbott, 1915
- Phillip W. Thomas, 1915
- Robert E. Thurrell, 1916
- Hugo S. Cross, 1919
- Winslow K. Herrick, 1922
- Edward S. Lawrence, 1924
- Philip H. Taylor, 1924
- Joseph M. Murray, 1926
- Henry B. Eaton, II, 1927
- Fred C. Newell, 1927
- Byron B. Porter, 1928
- John W. Moran, 1930
- Robert V. Cullinan, 1939
- William L. Irvine, 1942
- Alfred Hutchinson, 1944
- Robert W. Nutter, 1944
- James F. Donovan, 1945
- Winslow A. Work, 1945
- Roger F. Thurrell, 1948
- John Ballou, 1949
- Philip A. Coulombe, 1950
- Thomas W. Golden, 1955
- Maurice L. Hickey, 1956
- Eben B. DeGrasse, 1957
- Vernon L. Moulton, 1958
- Donald E. Cookson, 1959
- Norman W. Stevenson, 1960
- Joseph Tardif, 1962
- James H. Goff, 1963
- John R. Roberts, 1963
- Lowell T. Sherwood, Jr., 1964
- Terry L. Chadbourne, 1965
- Raymond W. O’Keefe, 1969
- John L. Collins, 1970
- George Paul Dulac, 1970
- James D. McLean, Jr., 1972
- James F. Kane, III, 1976
- Robert B. Rand, 1976
- Jonathan T. Oakes, 1977
- Paul E. Violette, 1977
- Raymond A. Konisky, 1978
- Stephen G. Perry, 1983
- Sean Flathers, 1984
- Thomas E. Babineau, 1986
- Don Marden, 1986
- Scott Wallace, 1986
- Jeffrey G. Stewart, 1986
- Thomas C Cole, 1990
- Stephen D. Sumner, 1998
- Thomas Beutler, 2017
- Matthew Ahearn, 2019
Phi Beta Kappa
"Love of learning is the guide of life”
- Whitman H. Jordan, 1875, Charter member of Phi Beta Kappa chapter when it was established at the University of Maine in 1923
- James N. Hart, 1885, Charter member of Phi Beta Kappa chapter when it was established at the University of Maine in 1923
- Fred C. Mitchell, 1900, Charter member of the Phi Beta Kappa chapter when it was established at the University of Maine in 1923
- Robie L. Mitchell, 1907, Charter member of the Phi Beta Kappa chapter when it was established at the University of Maine in 1923
- Edward R. Hale, 1926
- Edward W. Hackett, 1953
- Lawrence T. Ronco, 1957
- Eugene Toothaker, 1957
- Thomas M. Acheson, 1962
- Albert J. Ross, 1963
- Alan G. Sawyer, 1965
- Charles S. Bernstein, 1977
- Brian L. Datson, 1978
- R. Scott Sawyer, 1979
- Christopher D. Larson, 1981
- Thomas C. Hazzard, 1983
- Timothy B. Adams, 1999
Let us always remember that we have an incalculable historical personality, generation-to-generation, and that only happens because everything we are as a brotherhood coheres around fraternal friendship, mutual respect, and commitment. Those three qualities make us one of the best fraternities at the University of Maine, if not the best; second, we always strive to maintain our fraternal integrity by maintaining the simple yet timeless linked grace of all three of these qualities for the past 120 years: men of goodwill, cordial warmth, and determined drive.
Chip Chapman, ’82