Delts taking fund to $1 million

A group of ’60s Delts who meet annually to ski, reminisce, and solve the world’s problems, have pledged to take the Delt lecture endowment to $1 million.

At their 20th annual ski gathering in February, the group made plans to raise an additional $400,000, bringing the Delta Phi Rho Centennial Endowment Fund to an even million. The fund brings a major lecturer to campus every other school year—Bob Woodward in 2003–04, Fareed Zakaria in 2005–06, and soon George Stephanopoulos, scheduled to appear in May.

The Delts presented the endowment to Cornell at Homecoming 1998, during the gala black-tie Delta Phi Rho centennial celebration. Delts from all eras contributed to the fund, but the bulk of the fundraising came from the ’60s group, whose efforts were led by Bob Bowman ’62. Today, a five person Delt advisory board—R.K. Scott ’63, Richard Bowman ’62, John Urheim ’62, Bob McClennan ’65, and Peter Wilch ’94—recommends Delt speaker names to President Garner.

The four-day ski trips, originally held in Utah, now take place in Beaver Creek, Colo. The group began to refer to themselves as the Utah Institute for Advanced Studies when a stranger in a ski lift, overhearing conversations and laughter, asked who they were and why they were together.

“Someone smartly retorted that we were attending a forum focused on solving world problems, called the Utah Institute for Advanced Studies,” says R.K. Scott ’63. “A very appropriate nom de guerre, we decided, for a fraternity that was admonished by a former Cornell College dean that ‘none of you will ever amount to anything unless you shape up.’ ”

The group—which includes a surgeon, a jazz pianist, retired CEOs, a retired bank president, attorneys, an airline pilot, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, an award-winning teacher, investment bankers, and several current or past Cornell trustees—has shaped up nicely.