We all ask questions about our past, don’t we? It’s human nature to do so. Paul Gaugin posited three basic questions: “Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going?” As we approach our 120th anniversary, it is appropriate to reflect on our fraternal travel narrative with these questions in mind, and the fitting place to begin is our fraternal beginning, 1874, when, with great vitality, seven men established Q.T.V., and our impeccable fraternal presence continues to this day.
Although we do not know the exact meaning the Latin phrase Q.T.V., I believe that it stems from a Latin phrase that means, “Wherever we go, we go together all (through) the time.” Chain or circle are two synonyms for this phrase. Sound familiar? However, I may be entirely mistaken. But, make no mistake, it is safe to say that we inherited some of their fraternal values and structure that exists today in Omega Mu because we believe in their fraternal creed: “enjoyment, sociability, and the best interests of its members through life”: a cardinal creed for sure! It is an honest creed that is true because it is a creed about caring and responsibility This creed exhibits that they knew, with full historical consciousness, what they were about from the beginning, and it’s a primary, life-affirming idea that we believe in, too, as undergraduate and graduate brothers of Omega Mu. And, what is beyond question about our Q.T.V. past can be summarized by a beautiful statement that William O. Douglass made about the Allagash River and the nature of northern Maine: “Certainly none has their distinctive quality.” We agree. That statement certainly applies to the depth and quality of fraternal spirit and human character that emerged out of the Q.T.V brotherhood. It was clearly distinctive.
Q.T.V’s exceptionally inspiring and guiding principles sustained them for twenty-five years with sustaining power and originality. The practical and sensible side of their collective power and energy shaped their fraternal craft and resourcefulness to create a stable, healthy fraternal community. With once-and-for-all purpose and full-measured devotion, they endured multiple moves from the village of Orono to the west side of Munson Road where they built their first home,
and then moving that house across Munson Road in order for Coburn Hall to be built, and then moving to the White Farm that was on present day fraternity row. And so it was, on October 19th-21st, 1899, with notable optimism and pride, Q.T.V. formally became Phi Gamma Delta, creating a unique wholeness. There was no hesitation, dickering, or waffling in becoming the Omega Mu chapter of Phi Gamma Delta, and we were off and running. Our Q.T.V brothers’ laid a firm foundation for an extraordinary phase in our fraternal history, and it remains a great and lasting legacy. They were faithful to their ideal, and here again that ideal remains the sine qua non to every Omega Mu brother to this day.
Proudly rooted in our Q.T.V past and fired by a new fraternal vision, the transition required very little readjustment on the part of our Q.T.V brothers; it was a perfectly threaded marriage, and as was clearly stated in Omega Mu, the Q.T. V. brothers were unequivocally impressed with the idea of joining Phi Gamma Delta: “ It was felt that we had brought to Phi Gamma Delta a matchless record of twenty-five years and had at once placed the fraternity in Maine in a position it could not have reached otherwise in double that time. In return we had received far more than we could give-membership in a brotherhood which had already passed its golden jubilee-a fraternity to our hearts the noblest and the best-one whose future we shall work for and watch over, that it may be even brighter than it promises to be.”
In answer to Gaugin’s questions: We know from whence we came. We know where we are going. We know who we are. We are proud to be approaching our 120 anniversary as Omega Mu, and the 145 anniversary of Q.T.V’s founding, and that is historical camaraderie that will continue to stretch into the long years ahead at the University of Maine.
As Q.T.V moved fraternally forward in 1899 in becoming Omega Mu, it is essential to reiterate that the grounding root of our fraternal aspirations are as high as those of Q.T.V.. What we have continued to achieve since 1899 as a brotherhood can best be summed up in Ivan Turgenev’s statement: “All people live-consciously or unconsciously - on the strength of their principles, their ideals, that is, by virtue of what they regard as truth, beauty, and goodness.” With this in mind, and with deep and lasting affection for our rich Q.T.V heritage, a new chapter commenced in our fraternal history when our Omega Mu brothers moved into a new fraternal home that was designed by Frank E. Kidder, and it would remain our home for twenty-five years. Most importantly, the solid reputation that had been sustained for twenty-five years by our Q.T.V. brothers would remain exemplary with the commencement of Omega Mu, with the same degree of sustaining dynamism, creativity and adaptability through the decades. Our deep ties to the University of Maine have continued continue with many, many brothers proudly playing on many Black Bear teams; while others continue to great and meaningful things within various campus organizations, and we strive to maintain the good “habits of the heart” in keeping our brotherhood and The Castle in good order. A beautiful fraternal travel narrative it has been since 1874 and 1899, and we are ideally positioned to continue for another 120 years, and everything we do now is giving forward to all future Omega Mu Fijis. Proud to be Fiji!
Chip Chapman, ‘82