Our brothers’ careers have been productive, constructive, spirited, and prosaic. They displayed impressive skills, talents, and abilities They were, and we continue to be, a beautiful and lively expression of our enduring fraternal beliefs, and that underlying harmony is far-reaching in expectation for all brothers’, undergraduate and graduate. It is the core of what our fraternal founders asserted in 1848 and 1874 and 1899: to live active, commendable, and responsible lives, and to build up community. Clearly and compellingly, they added, and continue to add, positive value at the local, state, national, global, and fraternal level because they engaged life fully and responsibly. In short, they were authoritative pillars throughout life. They were-are exemplary in their citizenship, character, and their sense of dutiful responsibility, and, in many instances, they were leading voices in their career fields. They prove that success of any kind does not occur by luck or accident, and we remember them because they continue to provide that message for our time. We have long been, from one generation to the next, proud to be Omega Mu Fijis. We continue to cherish our fraternal friendships, our shared memories, and our evolving, forward-focused history at the University of Maine. These things, above and beyond everything else, are the underlying rooted connections that make us proud to be Omega Mu Fijis. Why, after all, should we believe otherwise? We have been doing it well since 1874, and we will continue to do so.
Omega Mu Portrait
Edwin F. Ladd,
Being progressive in both speech and action was natural for Edwin F. Ladd, almost genetic, truly. An intrepid spirit led Daniel Ladd to sail on Mary and John in 1633 for New England, settling in Salisbury.
The initial stimulus for William Ladd’s theological and historical belief about war was the growing prospect of war with Britain in 1812, and even though he had been financially hurt by the England blockade of New England ports, he opposed the growing shibboleths to go to war with England. Soon after the war started, he moved to Minot, Maine. In the end, we are all guardians of his ideas because everyone believes in peace.
To further champion his morally progressive vision for a more peaceful America, a more peaceful world, William Ladd founded the first pacifist organization in American History,
initially called the Minot Peace Society, but later renamed the American Peace Society. The first meeting was in a blacksmith shop in Minot, and William Ladd was the first president.
William Ladd remained committed to the Christian Gospel of peace to the very end of his life when he died, in 1841, while giving a speech in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on the soul-transforming nature of peace, consistent to the very end. Idealist like William Ladd, more often than not, are dismissed for that very reason. Ladd was an idealists, and he had the common good of humanity in mind with every sermon, lecture, essay, and article that he wrote, always advocating simple human solidarity around a simple word: peace. Naive, maybe, but he believed it and lived it. Nothing more, nothing less, William Ladd was a champion for peace, and he left a profound influence on American History and World History with numerous organizations in existence dedicated to cause of peace, each the lineal offspring of his American Peace Society that still exists in Washington, D.C. Each of these organizations have their reason of being based on the ideas that were formally shaped and forged in the mind of ‘Peace’ Ladd, fittingly in a blacksmith shop in Minot Center, Maine, and he believed to the very last day of his mortal life that peace work is never done in thought, expressed word, and action. He was a remarkable man at peace in working for long-lasting peace in human society. It was his vision, his calling, to wage peace in changing the moral consciousness of people, and in the fullest sense he performed it in being a Christ-bearer for peace, and that is a life-changing progressive legacy in any age and time. William Ladd was a peaceful, challenging inspiration for radical human reform.
Eighteen years after the sudden death of William Ladd in 1841, Edwin F. Ladd, our Q.T.V. - Phi Gamma Delta brother was born in Starks, Maine. After attending Somerset Academy in Athens, Maine, he attended Maine State College, class of 1884, after studying agriculture and science. He was in the Coburn Cadets, and one of his Q. T. V. brothers was Mark L. Hersey.
Truth was the unmatched devotional light that guided Daniel Ladd to sail to the new world on The Mary and John in 1633, empty-handed yet hopeful. Truth guided William Ladd, with his Christ-like winning manner, to preach, lecture, and write about peace and pacifism to his last day. Like his family ancestors, in speech, policy, and personal conduct, Edwin F. Ladd always stood for truth, a truth grounded in the verifiable results of science, and that truth made him a powerful advocate for the passage of effective, down-to-earth acts for the greater public good in improving the safety and quality of life for all American citizens during the Progressive Movement. In sum, Edwin Ladd tangibly achieved extraordinary results. He was a man of significance, and he made a real difference, and in doing so he left a lasting legacy that we can all be proud of as Omega Mu Fijis, and that is why we continue to say that perseverance and determination are omnipotent. It’s true. Boris Pasternak said it best: “It is not revolutions and upheavals that clear to new and better days but…someone’s soul, inspired and ablaze.
That parts us from our brother’s side
A soul-joined chain unites our band,
And memory links us hand in hand.”
(Phi Gamma Delta fraternity song)
Chip Chapman, ’82