“Furthering through perseverance”
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 with collective strength and hope ‘- here, now, always’ (T.S.Eliot). Perge.
Wilbur F. Decker,
After he graduated in 1879, Wilbur F. Decker taught drawing, practical mechanics, and forge-work at Maine State College for two years.
Wilbur F. Decker left Maine State College for a similar position at the University of Minnesota where he taught drawing, shop work, engines, and physics.
Wilbur F. Decker’s home in Minneapolis.
After teaching at the University of Minnesota, professor Decker became principal of the Industrial School in Minneapolis, and he wrote the first training course manual for the public schools in Minneapolis.
However, Mr. Decker was not a one-sided person who focused on one thing through his career life. He embraced a diversity of different career fields. Guided by his strong sense of civic consciousness, and he gave many years of distinguished, constructive public service to the city of Minneapolis and its citizens in a variety of ways: Director of the public library in Minneapolis; Chairman of the Tax Levy; President of the Minneapolis Park Board; President of the Minneapolis Civic and Commerce Association; Vice President of Saint Anthony Falls Bank; Director of the National Rivers and Harbor Congress. In every aspect of his career life, Mr. Decker succeeded because he was multi-skilled and creative. He did everything with great pride, skill, and care for the city of Minneapolis, and he represented the city of Minneapolis at many conventions around the nation and the world. In short, he exhibited a uniformity of character with everything he did through all his career choices. Mr. Decker was a man of exceptional energy and commitment for the good of others, consistently and fluidly so throughout his life. He was always expansive in working for the good of the city of Minneapolis. That is the best of all human qualities, and that is the very best of our fraternal mission as Omega Mu Fijis. And yet, in addition to all of his professional commitments, and with equal meaning and depth, Mr. Decker devoted time to writing significant articles and books about engines, telescopes, drawing, and the economic importance of the Mississippi River for the city of Minneapolis.
Below is a small portion of an article that Wilbur F. Decker wrote on the economic importance of the Mississippi River for the city of Minneapolis.
Drawing and Doodling
Kennebec River, Maine
Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis, Minnesota
In his spare time, Mr. Decker traveled extensively around the world with his family. He was in Paris, with his daughter, when World War I started, and he had to stay there for an extended period before finally finding safe passage home.
Later, Mr. Decker traveled to Sicily and wrote a nice article, with many of his drawings, about his visit to Sicily for the University of Maine Alumni Magazine.
Omega Mu Brother
.Finally, Mr. Decker often returned to Maine to see his fraternity brothers, and he established the Decker Prize at the University of Maine for the sophomore class.
50th reunion for the class of 1879.Q.T.V brothers in attendance: Charles A. Morse, Dr. George Merrill, and Wilbur F. Decker.
Wilbur Fiske Decker did substantial, compelling work throughout his life for the well-being of the city of Minneapolis, its future, and its citizens. He was professional jack-of-all-trades, a utility infielder, in doing the right thing to benefit every facet of the Minneapolis community: educationally, economically, culturally. It was an honest, true, and life-long love in creating a good, enriched civic community, and this desire was a direct reflection of his multi-facets personality and his natural curiosity. To be sure, there were many unmistakable facets to his unique personality, and in an enjoyable and uncompromising way he showed them all. In short, he did not fall short in living up to the inward harmony of his ideals, personal, fraternal, and professional. With resolute wisdom and courage, he wove all of his ideals together and gave them full expression to live an important, free-spirited and enjoyable life. Seemingly, he was content with who he was and the many things he cared about. He was an eminent leader in Minneapolis who always exhibited great civic concern for the well-being of city of Minneapolis, and with equal thought and eminent care he did the same for the University of Maine and our Phi Gamma Delta brotherhood. His life, and the many good, down-to-earth decisions that he made in his life, clearly showed the qualities of good leadership, and living life with determination, curiosity, confidence, and joy. These are the constituent and principal things, I believe, that fraternal life, at their very best, does instill, and we have countless real-life testimonies, equally compelling and true, to the absolute good of our Omega Mu fraternal life throughout our 147 years of fraternal history at the University of Maine. As ever, in unison, persistence and determination remain the real barometer of our fraternal success as undergraduate and graduate brothers. That’s real; that is the compelling Omega Mu way throughout our history, and it will not end now with the great group of undergraduate brothers that now live in the Castle! They continue to be, pure and simple, a great witness to perseverance and determination during this historic period of critical, off-balancing difficulty. Their fraternal spirit did not atrophy during the first semester, it only strengthened in every meaningful way. With calm historic assurance, pride, and dignity, we always move forward because that is our heritage, and that generationally resonating fact started in 1874-1876 when our Q.T.V. brothers paid for and built the first fraternal house, our fraternal home, at Maine State College. Fraternally speaking, no more, no no less, we continue that determined heritage: “Here, now, always.” (T. S. Eliot was correct) That is to say, we are all proud Omega Mu Fijis. Perge.
“What if the space be long and wide,
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