Reminiscences Home Alpha Chi Sigma

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and Upmeyer engravers we succeeded in a place In fact none of us had ever explored. getting a design which suited the fancy of all the place before and we knew that the. and which has subsequently been a source of candidates were ignorant of its existence. much gratification because of its harmony of, design and its symbolism That first initiation was one never to be. forgotten Probably no fraternity event of, The original constitution fortunately later years stands out so clearly in memory. preserved intact in the strong box is a very as the events of that evening The candidates. different document from the one which after blindfolding themselves were allowed. has subsequently been developed yet such to wait in the shadow of the chemistry. changes as have been made are amplifications building until they had about concluded that. of the original idea The first constitution we had forgotten them then their escorts. naturally did not provide for the existence appeared and silently commenced the long. of other chapters We were organized as a and devious way about forty rods to the. purely local society although we scene of action Like the famous general with. expected to outgrow our clothes eventually Old Meterological Lab Door his army we marched them up the hill and. In the old days our officers were quite marched them down again being frequently. content to be called by such plebeian titles as president accosted by one of the brothers who possessed a megaphone. vice president secretary etc but in the reorganization and about seventeen different speaking voices manufactured for. of 1904 when the constitution was first revised and we were the occasion After. incorporated as a national chemical fraternity such evidences of satisfying this very particular person as to our identity we were. vulgarity were done away with and our officers emerged with allowed to proceed over a few more declivities whereupon we. their present impressive titles No doubt the new titles serve to did it all over again. inspire the officers elect with the dignity of their positions and. engender a sense of responsibility which would be impossible Lee speaks in his narrative of a delayed advance to the scene. under the old regime How much more imposing to be called a of action This was due more to a hitch in the initiation of. grand master Wheelwright than to a desire to befog his remembrance of the. something or other than to be a mere ordinary President path Silverthorn had departed long before to prepare the. Chamber of Horrors but word came back by scouts that a. Among many other interesting provisions in the old constitution loving couple had camped upon the very threshold to our. we come across the following Robert s Rules of Order shall cavern and that they evidenced no disposition to surrender their. stand as the parliamentary guide for the fraternity in all cases secluded retreat To tell the truth we never did know just how. where it does not conflict with this Constitution or By Laws they were induced to leave but knowing the persuasiveness of. In the subsequent reorganization and the numerous revisions Silverthorn s rich vocabulary we always had our suspicions. our constitution has undergone this time and trouble saving. provision disappeared Have we yet reached a stage of Besides furnishing the candidates much food for thought this. perfection where its inclusion would not be of advantage perilous and tedious trip enabled the four remaining brothers to. equip the cave with our paraphernalia and arrange a suitable. Upon the adoption of a constitution and after settling the welcome Upon arriving at our destination one candidate was. weighty matter of the design of the pin we were plunged into put in the outer room while the other went through the. the throes of ritual making Brothers Allan Lee and O W mysterious rites provided for the occasion. Wheelwright were elected to membership and it was therefore. incumbent upon us to provide a suitable reception That we Each man in charge of a point had worked up the material for. succeeded neither of the brothers in question will deny While that point and as no dress rehearsals had been held the initiation. we make no claims as to the polish of the ceremony we do was quite as interesting and probably far more entertaining. claim much for its effectiveness for the brothers assembled than for the candidates Never can. we forget the impression made by Brother Silverthorn as he. Many years before our debut the university had for some time delivered his unexpurgated contribution to the ceremony True it. maintained an underground meteorological station on the south is that he was somewhat handicapped by his inability to read his. slope of University Hill At the time of our initiation this old cave own writing especially by flickering candlelight but his. consisting of two unlighted rough walled rooms had long been extemporaneous interpolations fully made up for what we. abandoned and had acquired a high degree of spookishness The missed of the original As Brother Lee is in an excellent position. rooms were damp cold and cobwebby and the low ceilings and to testify as to the effect produced by this first of Alpha Chi. musty air added to the sense of depression one could not help Sigma initiations we will let him tell the story. but feel What was more natural than that we should decide to. use this providentially provided cavern for our first initiation The following account was kindly furnished by Brother Lee. The first initiation was anticipated as an important event for the. We were further favored by the circumstances that society and its proper consummation was looked forward to with great. comparatively few of the students knew of the existence of such interest A ritual must be prepared for the ordeal the new candidates. were about to undergo and the drafting of this fell largely to Silverthorn of a secret society. how well he exercised his ingenuity and imagination will be well. remembered by many of the early members whose entrance into the For a considerable time no attempt was made to extend our order. fraternity was achieved only by running the gauntlet of its questions to other institutions as it was felt that we had not yet perfected. But it is unnecessary to recall further the nature of this memorable our organization sufficiently But in March 1904 we received a. document whose features were such as to be rather thought than petition from nine students of chemistry at the University of. written and though it served at several subsequent initiations its Minnesota The charter was granted and the chapter installed by. character was eventually found to be incompatible with the increasing Brother Kundert as master of ceremonies At this time our. dignity of our order and it was replaced by our present form But to constitution had been revised and we had been duly incorporated. continue with the initiation On a windy and threatening April night when as a national organization but our ritual was still comparatively. one might well expect to be left staked out to some gravestone I was crude though it contained the central idea embodied in our. given a rendezvous near the chemistry laboratory and told to blindfold present ritual Because of this weakness more than anything else. myself I had not long to wait before I was located by whistles and two the new chapter was not sufficiently inspired with the spirit of. of the fellows came up to me By pulling a knitted cap down to my nose Alpha Chi Sigma and at the end of the year it became inactive This. they made certain that I could not see and then with an arm under reverse in our fortunes was probably favorable for it demonstrat. each of mine led me off over the hill The walk was conducted in ed the necessity of a more perfect organization and probably. absolute silence on their part Mattke I soon recognized by his height prevented us from making the blunder of trying to extend our. and I believe it was McCormick who had my other arm but to my order in its existing state of imperfect development These. remarks about the various declivities and ascents encountered en route growing pains were good for us Then followed a pause of two. were returned invariable orders of silence and I soon took the hint After years in which no attempt was made to gain other chapters two. an interminable promenade of all kinds of twists and turns corkscrews years full of hard work on the part of those trying to perfect the. figure eights and various and sudden changes of elevation I was at organization. length brought to a sort of cave the objective point of our excursion We. must have consumed at least three quarters of an hour for a distance At a recent honorary initiation at Alpha one of the initiates. of considerably less than half a mile Wheelwright had arrived by a expressed an appreciation of the large amount of historical lore. similar process and was put through first and during this interim I was embodied in our ritual During the reorganization one of us having. consigned to a kind of closet with a not too certain floor Here I began access to a library rich in alchemical history ferreted out a mass. to be really apprehensive for the first time feeling that perhaps the of material which formed the nucleus for a ritual such as few. fellows pranks might take the form of leaving me there indefinitely From organizations can possess It is stranger than fiction for it is. my post however I could hear voices whisperings movings about and founded on fact Woven through it are the beliefs and sayings of. suppressed giggles intermingled with the droning of Silverthorn s voice men who have set their imprint on history they clothed to be. reading his ritual That this did not proceed perfectly smoothly was only sure their truths in cloaks of mystery and chicanery but this was. too evident from the numerous and forcible comments with which his done as much for safety as to perplex for civilized Europe at. interruptions were generously punctuated At length my turn came and this period was actively resentful of things she could not. I was held before the assembled members to hear how insignificant I comprehend Embodied in the ritual are the hopes and aims of. was how presumptuous to aspire to actual membership with such an a pseudo scientific period when alchemy as inherited from the. august body and how indulgent they were even to stoop to consider so Egyptians was undergoing a transmutation It is a romance whose. infinitesimal a mortal as I whose ignorance was grosser than that of sequel is Radium. the veriest worms The questions next to be answered were certainly. startling and added considerably to the merriment among the members On October 31 1906 a petition was sent in from the Case School. But I took all in good part pleased to be the principal actor in the scene of Applied Science As this petition was strongly recommended by. in my turn not wishing to miss a sensation of the occasion and happy to one of the founders who was then teaching at Case and who was. be included by my pals whom I was also soon to call brothers Following chiefly responsible for the movement to petition for a chapter the. the cross examination came the stunts but of these unfortunately my council hastily reorganized for the purpose saw fit to grant the. recollection is not so clear One was to pick up something from a pan charter and the chapter was installed Brother North went down. of water heavily charged with electricity and in another I was made to to install the chapter and the installation was an impressive one. bury my hands in putrid flesh a piece of raw liver while the rest of the The ritual went off without a hitch and the boys some of whom. fellows held vials of disgusting odors to my nose and made cavernous aided in the initiation appreciated our ritualism thoroughly At. noises calculated to add to my feeling of nausea This was supposed to the banquet following the initiation Brothers North and Mathews. represent the decomposing remains of a mythological brother alchemist talked of our organization and work at greater length and the. who had been blown to atoms in the process of his alchemical researches spirit of Alpha Chi Sigma took deep root at Case The real. development of the fraternity as a national organization began. But suddenly my bandage was whipped off and I found myself sure with the installation of this chapter and too much credit cannot be. enough in a dimly lighted cave and the fellows made phosphorescent for given to Brothers Hunt Brewster Goldberger Katzenstein Kessler. the occasion all standing around After many congratulations from the Ketterer Kopfstein and Ziegler for their hard work in firmly. crowd hand clasps all round and much patting on the back we repaired establishing the Gamma Chapter. to the room of one of the fellows where we were told the secrets and. the initiation was over Wheelwright and I stood pledglings no longer but Following the re organization of 1904 the following Grand Officers. full fledged Alpha Chi Sigmas having undergone that ordeal which were elected in June H P Holman Alpha G M A E McM Pennock. tradition has ordained shall be the price of entrance into the mysteries Beta V G M A H B North Alpha G T A E Kundert Alpha G M C. A V Dahlberg Beta G R These By the National Convention of. officers were elected for a term 1908 chapters had been. of two years as is our present established at seven collegiate. custom As the newly organized campuses During that. Beta Chapter became defunct Convention President H B. Reminiscences The historical box made famous by the curiosity of Pandora certainly contained no more interesting material than the old strong box containing the documentary records of the early development of Alpha Chi Sigma Unfortunately for the reader much of the material is of such a nature that it cannot be spread out upon the pages of this journal Would that all the members of the

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