There are many ways in which to look back on our fraternal history and be proud of our overall presence at the University of Maine because there is nothing comparable to it, collectively or individually. Since our founding 1899, we have developed and sustained a praiseworthy, even commendable, reputation for fraternal integrity, as well as solid academic success. That is a measurable fact. It is clear and obvious, at least to me, that the sum and effect of our fraternal principles encourages a success-oriented academic mindset to be steadfast of purpose to always do thoughtful, thorough work: our durable 120 year song of success.
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”
Phi Beta Kappa
"Love of learning is the guide of life”
“Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead. The first U.S. Rhodes Scholars entered Oxford in 1904.”
In closing, whether our brothers had short hair or shoulder-length hair, wearing shirts with detachable collars or bell-bottom jeans, smoking pipes and wearing tweed jackets or Wings cigarettes and wearing their World War II military uniforms, playing cards in the living room or opposite hand on the front lawn, listening to the music in the house of George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey, John Coltrane, The Everly Brothers, B.B. King, Frank Sinatra, the music of the British Invasion, Motown, or the psychedelic sound coming out of San Francisco, let us always remember that we have always maintained a united fraternal personality, generation-to-generation, and that only happens because everything we are as a brotherhood coheres around fraternal friendship, mutual respect, and commitment. Then, as now, those three qualities make us one of the best, if not the best, fraternity at the University of Maine; second, we always strive to maintain our fraternal integrity by maintaining the simple yet timeless linked grace of all three of these qualities, and that is the true-to-life reflection of the reality of Omega Mu fraternity life. We are men of goodwill, cordial warmth, and determined drive in word, as well as in rigorous, accomplished deeds in all areas. This is the historic perseverance of our fraternal character since 1899 because we do everything with energy, integrity, and enthusiasm. We are not imitators, and we never will be.
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