An Open Letter to Alumni from Brother David Di Rita, E’86, on Alpha Epsilon’s Dormancy and Re-Founding
Dear Brothers in Alpha Epsilon of Chi Psi:
As the re-founding effort has gained momentum over the last several months, many of you have reached out to express continuing concerns regarding the circumstances that led to our Alpha’s dormancy, and more importantly to reiterate that this disgraceful chapter in our history must never be repeated.
On behalf of the Epsilon Trustee Corporation, and as one of the Trustees who was directly involved with the events and decisions that led up to the Alpha’s dormancy, I wanted to offer these thoughts.
“I truly believe that our history will record that out of an incident that was unquestionably our darkest moment, the Brothers of Alpha Epsilon of Chi Psi emerged into their finest hour.”
First, let me say your sentiments regarding the events of 2015 are not only understandable but are deeply shared by your fellow Chi Psi alumni and our National Fraternity.
Indeed, the actions of the former Chi Psi members involved in the TreeTops/Boyne Highlands incident you referenced were so inconsistent with the precepts of our Brotherhood that they led to a response by both our Central Office and Trustee Corporation. That response included a formal suspension of the Alpha and a nearly twoyear effort to root out negative influences in the hope of restoring the traditions of Epsilon that so distinguished it from other fraternities for nearly two centuries.
Sadly, in the end, we could not persuade the undergraduate membership – or even a small group within it – to chart a path with us back to those traditions. It was at that moment we realized that we had a choice. We could either surrender our sacred traditions to our past, or we could forsake the throng that had come to inhabit our beloved Lodge so that we might one day re-establish the true meaning of Chi Psi at 620 S. State.
In the end, we chose the harder path. It is worth noting that we were the only fraternity at the University implicated in this incident to voluntarily revoke its own charter over the matter. More importantly, however, it was a decision that stemmed from our collective will to not allow this disgraceful moment to forever define our Alpha. Instead, by choosing dormancy, we chose to use that moment to reawaken our dormant greatness.
Now, nearly six years after that difficult chapter of our history, our Brotherhood is being re-born through the collective efforts of Epsilonians from around the country and with the guidance of our National Fraternity. I can tell you from my personal experience that the seven young men who represent the Re-founders of the Epsilon Colony understand the solemn responsibility that is being placed on their shoulders, and that each of them would have been amongst the finest Chi Psi gentlemen of any past era.
It is through this effort and for this reason that I truly believe that our history will record that out of an incident that was unquestionably our darkest moment, the Brothers of Alpha Epsilon of Chi Psi emerged into their finest hour.
Yours in the Bonds,
David M. Di Rita, E’86
3 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Alumni from Brother David Di Rita, E’86, on Alpha Epsilon’s Dormancy and Re-Founding”
Thank you, David, for reiterating our honorable intentions as we move to establish our fraternal ideals at the University of Michigan and at the Lodge at 620 South State Street. Only by doing the right thing in the wake of the awful events prior to dormancy can we fulfill the true character of being a member of Chi Psi.
I am proud of my affiliation with this organization and of my friendship with you, Brother. I look forward to a bright future for the seven re-founders, for the following generations of brothers, and for the legacy of our beloved fraternity at Michigan.
Thank you David for the update. I greatly appreciate your efforts and continuing commitment to the brotherhood!
The Epsilon Trust deserves our unqualified commendation for the long and hard work that they put in to keep the Lodge flame alive. We were in Ann Arbor two weeks ago for our annual trip from Jacksonville to Michigan for the colors and apple season in the Harrbor Springs area. The physical building looks so good, and the memories it conjured up are still very near to the surface. Keep up the excellent work and please keep me in the loop for further developments on building a new Lodge mentality and culture.
I was so fortunate to be accepted into the Epsilon Brotherhood via the Universal Transfer System from Stevens (Alpha Xi ’65) and graduate with both my Naval Architecture degree and MBA from UofM.
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