Posted in Communication, fraternity, history, New York, Writing

Delphic Fraternity Historian Begins Work on 150th Anniversary History e-Book

delphic fraternity, delphic society
The Delphic Fraternity was first the Delphic Society.

Since the early 1990s, I have been conducting research on the Delphic Fraternity. It was a college literary society based in New York that eventually became a statewide fraternity. The fraternity almost became extinct in the late 1980s, until a small group of diverse male students at the New Paltz State College decided to form a multicultural fraternity.

In their initial fraternity fact-finding mission, the future members of the New Paltz fraternity came across many historical references to the Delphic Fraternity, which was the first and oldest fraternity at New Paltz. It was last active in 1972 and in 1986 some alumni still lived in the surrounding areas. The fraternity interest group contacted local alumni and in 1987, after a great deal of hard work and determination, the New Paltz student group was initiated into the legendary Delphic Brotherhood.

I joined Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau Fraternity during my junior year at SUNY New Paltz. I had been fascinated by fraternities and sororities since freshman year. I could see myself in a few of them, but not one stood out for me enough to make the commitment to join.  Back in the late 1980s, fraternities at New Paltz were either predominantly White or Black organizations.

I did not want to be a part of a specific ethnic fraternity and that included any that were all Latino as well. This group of future Delphics was a multicultural bunch of guys, which I found very interesting mainly for the opportunity to learn about different cultures. Then I noticed the word “Delphic” on some fellow students’ t-shirts and I inquired about what it signified.

I was told the guys, some of which I had known and had already developed friendships with, were working to re-establish the oldest local fraternity at New Paltz. They were also looking to form the first official multicultural fraternity on campus. The combined possibilities piqued my interest. I attended a general interest meeting and as they say, the rest is fraternity history.

I have been active as the fraternity’s self-proclaimed historian for more than 25 years. We have another historian from the 1960s named Rich, but he’s not on the Internet much. Rich manages the actual artifacts of the Delphic Fraternity. I tirelessly work as the organization’s social media manager and assist with the online promotion of the fraternity far and wide. It’s also great to see younger Delphic Brothers interested in and owning our rich fraternity history.

When I graduated from college, I had some time to delve a bit more into the history of the fraternity. Throughout the years and in between jobs, I continued to put the fraternal pieces together. The archives at SUNY New Paltz noted the organization as one of several in the state. I then reached out to other SUNY libraries to begin connecting the Delphic dots.

The Zeta chapter at New Paltz operated as a purely local fraternity at the time. Alumni from the 1960s told me they knew there were other chapters of Delphic and/or Sig Tau in the state, but they did not really know where exactly. Oneonta kept coming up as another location.

Delphic Society
Delphic Society, Geneseo, NY.

After a great deal of collaborative work with researchers, we could finally trace the origin of the Delphic Fraternity to the Delphic Society founded on October 13, 1871, at SUNY Geneseo. This is the official founding date of the Delphic Fraternity, also known today as Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau Fraternity.

Research shows the fraternity was founded as a college literary society, which was a local student organization. However, historical notes stated the genesis of the literary society at Geneseo stemmed from elsewhere. Fraternity history notes of prior literary societal connections yet did not outright mention any names of actual associations or the specific locations of these other societies.

Though the Delphic Society was founded in 1871 at the Geneseo State Normal School (today SUNY Geneseo,) the college literary society later became known as the Delphic Fraternity once it began affiliating with other literary societies in the state of New York and Pennsylvania.

In the 1950s, the Delphic Fraternity at the College at New Paltz (today SUNY New Paltz) briefly became a member of the national organization of Sigma Tau Gamma. In 1962, the New Paltz chapter of Delphic became an incorporated membership entity in the State of New York. In 1987, the New Paltz chapter was re-established as Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau Fraternity, the first official multicultural fraternity formed on the east coast of the USA.

The Delphic Fraternity has gone through various formations since its founding in 1871, however recent findings can connect the creation of the fraternity to college literary societies elsewhere in New York.

Delphic Society, Rochester
Delphic Society at the University of Rochester

A few years ago, our fraternity was able to finally connect the histories of the Delphic Society at the University of Rochester with the Delphic Society founded at the Geneseo State Normal School. Both were founded as the Delphic Society and the organizations are connected by Dr. William J. Milne.

Milne attended the University of Rochester as an undergraduate and participated in the last public debates sponsored by the Delphic Society in 1866. Milne later became a professor at the Brockport Normal School then principal of the Geneseo Normal School in 1871.

Principal Milne was instrumental in the founding of the Delphic Society at Geneseo. Milne wanted to provide students at Geneseo with a college literary societal experience similar to the one he enjoyed while at Rochester. He assisted the 13 Delphic Founders at Geneseo in forming their society and most likely helped name it based on the society at Rochester, which was only 30 miles away.

The societies at the University of Rochester ceased to exist around the late 1860s when the fraternities at Rochester became more prominent and the national affiliation of these organizations outweighed the advantages of local college literary societies.

Once we were able to confirm the historic connection of our fraternity, then known as the Delphic Society at Geneseo, with the Delphic Society at Rochester, we then wondered where did the Delphic Society at Rochester come from?

Adelphian Society
The Adelphian Society was founded in 1840 at Colgate University.

Further research at the library archives at the University of Rochester found that the Delphic Society at Rochester was founded on November 2, 1850. The University of Rochester was formed by students and staff from Madison University in Hamilton, NY (today Colgate University.) Five students from Madison/Colgate who were members of the Adelphian Society transferred to the University of Rochester and founded the Delphic Society.

Therefore, the Delphic Society at the University of Rochester is a lineal descendant of the Adelphian Society at Colgate University. The Adelphian Society was formed in 1840 at the Hamilton Literary & Theological Institution, the initial name of Colgate University.

The Adelphian Society was founded by 31 young men and existed on the Colgate campus in name until 1880 when the society became a chapter of the national Beta Theta Pi Fraternity.

Going back a bit further into the university archives at Colgate, we find that the Adelphian Society originated as another society known as Gamma Phi, the first college literary society to be founded at Colgate University.

Gamma Phi Society
Gamma Phi Society, Colgate University

Administrators at Colgate stepped in to help resolve membership conflicts between the Gamma Phi and Pi Delta Societies, the two literary societies at the time.  Competition for membership became so fierce that administrators decided to merge the two societies into two new student organizations: the Adelphian and Aeonian Societies.

Colgate University records show that the Gamma Phi Society was founded prior to 1833 and the Pi Delta Society was founded around 1834. Since no actual founding date is available for the Gamma Phi Society, 1833 is used to reference year of origin.

The last update to the Delphic Fraternity History e-Book only mentioned the fraternity’s historic ties to the Delphic Society at Rochester. The next update, scheduled for the summer of 2021, will note the organization’s historic connection to the Gamma Phi and Adelphian Societies at Colgate University.

Some may say all these historic affiliations are confusing, and that we as the Delphic Fraternity should just focus on the present organization’s 1871 founding in Geneseo, NY. However, history is what it was. I believe it is vital to truly know one’s organization for we can only fully move forward by acknowledging and learning from our complete past.

It is important to highlight the seminal concept of the fraternity, which after years of research stems from the initial formation of the Gamma Phi Society at Colgate University, sometime around 1833.

All of this history illustrates the fraternal Delphic DNA can be traced back to 1833 via college literary societies even though the actual fraternity as we know it today was founded in 1871.

Delphic_SealIn any event, I, as the historian of the Delphic Fraternity, have two years to put all my final research together into the 150th Anniversary commemoration of the Delphic Fraternity History e-Book.

Who knows what else can be uncovered before the next update? I am open to suggestions from other fraternity/sorority historians (and those just interested) on how to layout all this new fraternity history.

Feel free to contact me with any feedback you think may be helpful. Since I am mentioning other organizations in this blog post, please also free feel to message me with any historical corrections or clarifications.

Posted in Communication, Politics

Political Communication – 2018 Mid-term Elections – Words Matter

Words MatterWe have a leader of the United States that creates his own stories. He makes up facts and wants others to believe in these falsehoods. But the truth is what it is, as is history.  America has had two years of Trump and his dedicated supporters trying to destroy this country with hate and division. This Tuesday night we will learn a great deal about the USA. We will learn if this adversarial political atmosphere will fester for two more years, or we’ll begin to see a glimmer of national unity.

Political communication matters. Politicians need to make it clear what they stand for and who they represent. People who enter the political arena should do so to truly make the country a better place. Political leaders need to be clear about what policies and changes they will fight for and what issues they will fight against. Voters need to be involved because now more than ever, politics matter. Politicians need to be precise with their principles and communicate them clearly because words matter. Americans must get out and vote this Tuesday to have our voices heard because our future matters. Don’t be a dope. #vote

Posted in Communication, Consulting

LaGuardia Community College – Dare To Do More

LAGCC1In January 2017, I accepted a temporary contract position as a marketing communications manager at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, NY. LaGuardia is part of the City University of New York and is based in one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the world, the borough of Queens.

As a marketing communications manager within the academic affairs division, I assist with promoting programs and events to the student population via email, online student portal, and social media platforms. There is a great deal happening at LaGuardia. The community college offers over 60 degrees and is abundant with resources which help students reach their academic goals.

LaGuardia is a unique institution of higher learning where – through a varied offering of academic and vocational programs – students from all over the world are guided toward building a better life for themselves and their families.

LaGuardia is well known for several academic degrees, notably Nursing, Paramedic, Commercial Photography, and New Media Technology. The college had over 45,000 students enrolled in both degree and non-degree programs in the fall of 2015.

My experience at LaGuardia has been incredible. The teamwork between administrative staff and faculty meshes extremely well and a majority of  students are dedicated, talented individuals working to achieve greatness. I definitely recommend the school to anyone who dares to do more with their lives.

Posted in bar/restaurant, Communication, Consulting, New York

Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar – The Italian Restaurant on The Upper East Side of Manhattan

Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar - The Italian Restaurant on The Upper East Side #NYC
Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar – The Italian Restaurant on The Upper East Side #NYC

I enjoy a good glass of wine. The red house wine at Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza and Wine Bar, an Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side, was awesome. I dined there with a friend on Thursday and also really enjoyed the restaurant’s Salmon Risotto special. My pal Richard had the Rigatoni special and he liked it very much. The establishment blew us away with their White Chocolate Cake dessert which was described by Gaven, the general manager, as “one of the best desserts in the house.”

Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar has been in business for seven years and was started by brothers Jon and Marc Bash (fratelli means brother in Italian.) The decor is warm and wood-based with incredible chandeliers creating cozy lighting. The hospitality is friendly and the staff takes the extra step to make sure everything is fine.

The entrance to Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar on the Upper East Side.
The entrance to Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar on the Upper East Side.

I have always loved Italian food and was torn by the vast choices on Fratelli’s menu. I will have to return someday to try their raving pizza and partake of their delicious red house wine again. I think I have found my “go to” place on the Upper East Side and possibly one of my favorites in Manhattan. If you are in the New York City metropolitan area and feel like an authentic Italian restaurant experience, definitely consider visiting Fratelli on the Upper East Side (on 1st Avenue near 71st Street.)

Which Chocolate Cake dessert at Fratelli on the Upper East Side.
Which Chocolate Cake dessert at Fratelli on the Upper East Side.

 

Posted in Communication, Consulting, Social Media

Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau Fraternity

Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau Fraternity
Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau Fraternity

I am a member of The Delphic Fraternity, Inc., also known as Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau. Every March my fraternity has a reunion in the small college town of New Paltz, NY. I’m looking forward to this year’s event, which celebrates the 27th anniversary of the organization’s re-establishment.

The fraternity officially becomes 143 years old in October. I am the self-proclaimed historian of my era for the fraternity and manage a site called the Delphic Fraternity History Homepage.

As I prepare to join my follow fraternity members to recognize the organization, discuss business, catch up with old friends, and connect with my Ala mater, the communicator in me can’t help but promote my fraternity via a social media shout out.

I was blessed to attend college and joining a fraternity was one of the best college-related decisions I’ve ever made. I knew when I joined the fraternity it would be a life-long commitment and I look forward to continuing to represent it the best way I can.

D E L – P H I !

Posted in Communication, Networking, New York, Social Media

Business Networking

networkingAs 2014 begins, my professional focus will be on business networking.  As a social media enthusiast, I have become more active on LinkedIn and finally reached the coveted 500+ connections. During the past few years I’ve concentrated on developing a social media network and now in 2014 I hope to create and maintain a strong business network.

I have been a member of Meetup.com for quite sometime and will be much more involved socially this year as well. I look forward to promoting my marketing/communication work with new contacts and learning more about how to work and connect with my present and long-time contacts in the New York City metropolitan area.

Wishing everyone I’ve ever come in contact with via my social, educational, and professional life a very happy and professionally prosperous 2014!.

Posted in Communication, Consulting, New York, Technology

Startups of Puerto Rico: Boricuas Doing It For Themselves

Startups of Puerto Rico
Startups of Puerto Rico

The economy of Puerto Rico may be struggling like many others, but there is a community of dedicated technologically-savvy entrepreneurs working hard to make La Isla de Borinquen a startup technology hub.

As a native New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent, I did not know there was a tech startup community on the Caribbean island.

According to one of the Puerto Rican pioneers of the startup community, Marcos Polanco, the startup community in Puerto Rico has officially existed since 2010 but has been around since 1996.

In 2010, Ramphis Castro and Marcos joined forces to create an association called Startups of Puerto Rico. They envisioned Puerto Rico and its people establishing start up technology companies and representing a growing number of successful businesses.

Castro and Polanco hosted a Startups of Puerto Rico Showcase on Tuesday, October 15 at the New York offices of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration.

I registered for the event to write this blog post. It was an honor just to be in the space, let alone in one with over 60 people with the collective idea of doing what we can to promote the startup community of Puerto Rico.

The event allowed four Puerto Rican startups the opportunity to pitch their companies to successful technology startup investors. The companies received priceless feedback from the tech investors who could have been anywhere they wanted to be at the time.

The tech investors on the pitch review panel included Bob Dorf, Amol Sarva, KJ Singh, and Ricardo García Amaya.

The startups from Puerto Rico included:

Blimp, represented by Giovanni Collazo, a startup providing “beautiful and easy project management for doers.”

Leavebox, represented by Roberto Santos, describes itself as the place “where Human Resources meets Business Intelligence by providing tools to manage employee absences.”

Kytelabs, represented by Jonathan Gonzalez, offers OneCard, “The last card you’ll ever carry.  Pay from any account, anywhere, on any system.  Say goodbye to your wallet.”

iGenApps, represented by Norman Ortiz, allows users to “create function-rich mobile apps from the palm of your hand with no programming.”

The startups showcased their companies and products and were open to suggestions on how to move their company/product to the next level. The investors also provided critical advice by expressing their occasional wish to either hear more specific information or see more dynamic presentations.

All the startups were amazing but I was most impressed with iGenApps. Smartphones are becoming more popular than laptops and it makes sense to be able create your own mobile app on your phone without the use of a desktop computer.

The night’s theme highlighted Puerto Rico as a place to do business and, as Startups of Puerto Rico notes on it’s website, “a real technology startup scene right smack in the middle of the Caribbean.”

Some of the event’s sponsors included the law firm Perkins Coie, Puerto Rican crowd-funding company Antrocket, and Puerto Rico’s first co-working space, Piloto 151.

A social gathering sponsored by Fans and Friends of Startups of Puerto Rico, founded by Carmen Bonilla, at Iguana‘s ended the evening.

I enjoyed the informative night and look forward to hearing more about Startups of Puerto Rico on the island and in New York.

It’s incredible to see a vibrant and visionary community of Boricuas creating their own, contributing to the local economy, and demonstrating leadership.

Keep up the wonderful work!