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Fun Fact Friday

July 27, 2012

Welcome to Fun Fact Friday. Each Friday we will post a fun fact about our Fraternity.

This week we wanted to share a picture with you.

This is an aerial photo of Oxford from 1954.  The black arrow in the center points to the site of the Central Office.

In 1949 Grand President Allen L. Fowler persuaded the Grand Council to create a Central Office Building Reserve Fund for the eventual construction of a permanent Central Office building.  The fund grew slowly until 1954 when the Grand Council decided to dedicate the building to H. G. Wright who had served as Executive Director and planned to retire in 1955.

Brother Wright’s successor, Jim Thomson, was then directed to find a new and suitable location for a “Deltasig-built-and-owned” headquarters. Oxford was chosen over several other college towns including Ann Arbor, MI; Bloomington, IN; Champaign and Evanston, IL; and Columbus, OH. As in any business decision, the choice of Oxford was based (in the early 50’s) on area labor rates, accessibility to suppliers, and conveniences to collegiate and alumni chapters (by train).  The existence of several other fraternity headquarters in Oxford also played a very strong role.  Construction on the present Central Office building was started in early 1955 and the building was occupied for the first time that fall. The Central Office was then officially dedicated to Gig Wright on May 18, 1956.

The building is designed after the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia, where members of the first fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa, held organizational meetings. In remembrance of the roots of the American fraternity system, our building contains many furnishings and accessories which are Williamsburg reproductions. In addition, the general design and details of both the exterior and interior of the structure are in the Williamsburg tradition, which fits in well with Miami University’s Georgian style of red brick architecture.

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