Category: Delta Gamma Sigma (Page 1 of 2)

50 Years of Delta

My great friend and former college roommate, Mike Osburn, and I were selected to emcee Delta’s 50th Anniversary dinner Saturday in Oklahoma City. Delta Gamma Sigma is the men’s club to which we belonged at Oklahoma Christian University a very long time ago. And I had a lot more fun writing the material with Ozzy, Chris Adair, and David Bates than I did delivering it. I was honored to be asked to provide the bulk of the entertainment — to tell the stories, to re-hash all the funny lines and remember all the great names — but it stressed me out. It’s a lot of responsibility to entertain 200 men who experience a different three or four year stretch of the same club over five decades. How do you tell a story about something that happened in the ’80s in a way that entertains the guys from the ’70s and the current club members at the same time? How do you make everybody laugh at the same time when they range in age from 18-71?

Traditions. Oral traditions. When the stories get passed down from generation to generation, when each subsequent generation feels like it needs to live up to the proceeding generation, when a uniform language is developed and a standard set of values is ingrained, then the jokes and the one-liners and the more poignant moments are meaningful to everyone.

That’s what makes Delta, Delta. It’s the language and the expectations and the stories.







Everybody in Delta, no matter how old you are or what years you were in the club, has a story about a party you shouldn’t have attended. It was at Ramada Inn or the Heather Ridge apartments or the T-Bar. Or the Wolf Trap or Little Ax Oklahoma. It was a big party and there was fallout. The house party in Choctaw. Or the campout at Stratton’s farm or the Arter place in Lindsey. Every Delta generation had that party. And Doug Hooten was at all of them. Or Scott Steward. Same thing.






Everybody in Delta has the Spring Sing experience. South Pacific and Canine College and Jailbirds. Upperclassmen Cowboys and Robin and the Hoods and the Beetles. We’ve all sung the same songs and danced the same steps. Turns out you can squeeze five decades of sarcastic lyrics and questionable innuendo out of Winter Wonderland. Climbing the walls of Hardeman Auditorium. Riding a motorcycle down the center aisle. Making the only Hispanic member of the club play the Indian chief. Completely throwing in the towel and not even trying since 1997. We’ve all got Spring Sing in common.




And everybody in Delta has the arch nemesis. Dean Cornelius in the ’70s. Dean Mock. Dean Pratt. Tommy Heath. Nancy Inman. Just hearing the names raises the hair on the back of your neck. Robert Stoldt. Dean Tucker. Jeff Bennet. Neil Arter. The American Civil Liberties Union. School of the Plains. The names change, but every Delta generation has its mortal enemy.

There was a lot of laughter and camaraderie in the room Saturday because we all share a brotherhood together. A common experience spread out over 50 years. A common set of values and ideals that revolve around excellence and creativity and camouflage pants. That common language. We all know that Delta’s not for everyone and everyone’s not for Delta. We all know it’s good to be the king. We all know that you don’t shoot Virgil and that Delta’s your daddy and that it just doesn’t matter. And, for the love of Jane, chicks dig Delta.

We all know the club motto: Strength through Unity, Dependability, and Pride — a magnificent accumulation of completely unrelated words that bind together a group of guys who just want to do things their way. Mike and I unveiled a list at the dinner of the top ten rejected early drafts of the timeless Delta motto — “Delta: Your Roommate’s Mother Thinks We’re a Bad Idea,” “What Happens at Lake Murray Stays at Lake Murray,” “Delta: Taking the Curl Out of Stafford North’s Hair,” and “A Wonderful Collection of Poor Decision Makers” among others.

There are lots of things that make Delta unique. Special things. Things that make Delta different from all the other clubs. One of those things is our diversity. Delta always has that great mix. Always has. Straight A students and ninth year juniors in the same club. Superstar athletes and guys who fall out of bed. Guys who are going to be lawyers and guys who are going to need lawyers. Future doctors and teachers and guys who are going to be drains on society. All around the same table.






And our creativity. Delta’s always thinking outside the box. A recent group received chapel credits for several weeks for what they were calling “Food and Fellowship Chapel” before the school shut it down. Good try with “Quiet Meditation in Our Own Beds Chapel” and “Road Trip Chapel.” Great ideas. No other club has ever been charged with “delinquent kudos.” Why doesn’t the prayer before a C-League basketball game against Alpha count as chapel? I think that’s a good question!

Delta’s always been a creative group. Delta’s the group that kicked the tiny defenseless puppy off the stage and into the crowd during that Spring Sing Show. Delta put the blue hippo in the OC pond. Remember when somebody pulled the fire alarm during Spring Sing, right in the middle of Beta’s firefighter show, and they had to evacuate Hardeman auditorium? That was Delta. Delta’s going to shoe polish SNU and then shoe polish OC to frame SNU! The flag at the top of the radio tower? That was Delta. The frog in the microwave in the A dorm lobby? Delta. Every Halloween the trees are filled with underwear and every spring the toilets explode. And it’s always Delta.






The idea Saturday was to just have fun, to catch up with current friends and reconnect with old friends, to tell all the stories and recall all the memories, and to be thankful for the state and federal statute of limitations! We heard from Chester Knight, Delta’s very first president and co-founder of the club back in 1972 — to hear Chester tell the origin story in person is a true gift. He reminded us that it’s better to be a Delta bull than a bum steer. We paid tribute to Brad Robison, the long-time and long-suffering faculty sponsor of Delta. Dave Butts sang his song, Jeff Guthrie passed out commemorative cigars, and I hugged the great Dan Branch.

And I thank God. I thank God there were no cell phone cameras or internet in the ’80s or my friends and I would still be in federal prison. But, much more than that, I thank God for all these great guys he placed in my life almost 40 years ago. The weeks leading up to this anniversary event and the dinner Saturday night have given me opportunity to do some reflection. These men are not the caricatures they can so easily become to others who haven’t seen them since college. Their lives are not defined by the things they did or didn’t do, good and/or bad, in school. In between the gut laughs and the cringy stories, I talked to several of my old friends about divorce and death, about kids and grandkids, about successes and failures in business, about their work in God’s Church, and about what our Lord is doing in their lives. We’ve each expressed humility and gratitude toward one another, and admiration. We’ve prayed. We’ve had meaningful conversations about eternal things. And we’ve marveled together at the grace and mercy and eternal patience of our loving God.

We’ve acknowledged that some of how we were treated by the OC leadership back then was ridiculously absurd and that we certainly didn’t make it easy on them at any time. We can be thankful for the university presidents and deans who were doing their dead-level best to teach us, disciple us in the ways of Christ, and keep us from getting killed. My good friends and I are old enough now and have been through enough to see the big picture of what God is doing in this world and to have a few regrets and to be very thankful.

Thank you to Adair, Ozzy, Bates, Evan, J.D., Steve Bivins, Jimmy Arter, Brad Myers, Dobson, and Al Branch for planning the Delta 50th anniversary events of last weekend. Let’s do it again next year!



Preparing for Delta 50

I’ve been up in the attic this week going through dusty cardboard boxes looking for my old Delta stuff. Delta Gamma Sigma, the social service club to which I belonged during my four years at Oklahoma Christian College — heavy on the “social” — is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend and I need to be prepared. My great friend and former roommate, Oklahoma state representative Mike Osburn, and I have been selected to M.C. Saturday’s anniversary dinner at the Petroleum Club in Oklahoma City and to provide the bulk of the entertainment. So I’ve been digging around in the attic.

I have located my official letter from Delta President Todd Mead declaring my acceptance as a Delta freshman rushee in the fall of 1985. Not much to it. Looks like a second grader drew the Greek letters at the top. I remember opening my campus mailbox — #602 — after chapel that morning and finding the letter and receiving it as a glorious work of literary and historical significance. Not to mention the physical representation of both the high honor and meaningful achievement. The induction dinner was at Casa Bonita. Todd Adkins and Doug Hooten each ate something like 37 sopapillas and tied for “Sopapilla King.” Todd puked his guts out near the tennis courts about 30-minutes later. Hooter claimed that broke the tie and pronounced himself the sole winner.

I have found the disciplinary letters from more than one college dean and the letters I wrote appealing the various probations and suspensions. One letter I wrote to Dean Mock claiming I was only being punished because I had the biggest car. The articles from the school newspaper and the Daily Oklahoman detailing a late night excursion onto the campus of Southern Nazarene and a certain Bush rally on the steps of the state capitol. The papers from the ensuing ACLU lawsuit. About seven sheets of the maroon and gold Delta stationery I used, as club president my senior year, to post official club notes on the Delta board in the student center. A cassette tape of a disciplinary meeting with Dean Pratt. An editorial Mike and I wrote to the school paper about the OCC basketball rivalry with Langston University. Two Spring Sing programs: the jailbirds show my freshman year and the egg show my sophomore year. The letter Mike and I penned to the club during the summer of ’88, mainly asking for delinquent dues and money for the First Day of School t-shirts.

And, finally, yes, the speech I gave at club night in the fall of my senior year. This is what I was looking for. These immortal words would help me as we write the bits we’re putting together for this weekend. There they are! Six note cards on which I scribbled the speech I gave in Hardeman Auditorium that night, extolling the virtues of Delta and inviting qualified young men to “crush people on your way to the Delta booth to sign your name in the golden pages of Eugene’s notebook.”

Turns out, the speech is not very good. And not very helpful.

There are a couple of good lines.

“I can introduce you to Delta and let YOU decide. Not your roommate. And not your roommate’s mom.”

“Delta’s not for everyone  and everyone’s not for Delta.”

Truth is, those lines are not original. Those are historical, traditional, Delta mottos. Creeds. Words that dear club has lived by for 50 years.

Mike and I have some really good bits lined up for Saturday night and I can’t wait to deliver them. I’ll share some of them, and some pictures, in this space once the weekend’s done. In the meantime, just know that I have had a blast this week sharing those crazy stories and reliving those formational times with Ozzy and Bates and Keymaster and Adair. And I can’t wait to see the Haworths and Scott and Dave Butts and Paul and Pops and all the rest.



Honored in Edmond

When Brian Simmons contacted me about being honored with the 2022 distinguished alumni at Oklahoma Christian University, my first thought was that all the professors and administrators from the 1980s must be dead. When I was informed that, to the contrary, most all of my teachers and the school’s administrators from that era are very much alive and in favor of the recognition, I was rendered completely speechless.

Wow. What a great honor and blessing. It’s truly incredible on many levels. Overwhelming, really.

The ceremony was nice, of course. Our daughter Valerie and her husband David made the trip down from Tulsa to be with us. University President John deSteiguer said some really nice things about me. College roommate and great friend Mike Osburn was a fellow honoree, so that was cool. And Dr. Simmons gave me a tour of the KOCC studios.







I spent many, many late nights and long hours in those recording and broadcast studios of the campus radio station during my four years at Oklahoma Christian. Brian was a junior Mass Communications major and the radio station manager when I showed up as a freshman. I auditioned for Brian, trying out for the play-by-play position for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. He told me I had a lot to learn and that I could learn most of it by running the boards at the station during the game broadcasts. And he was right. I signed up for almost every single shift that fall of 1985, listening to Stuart Graham from all the various NAIA gyms all over the Sooner Athletic Conference and punching up the underwriting announcements and station breaks at the right time. I produced promotional spots and worked with Brian on intros and outros for the games. I soaked up everything I could from Stuart’s broadcasts – the seamless way he worked up-to-the minute statistics and players’ hometowns into his call, the detailed descriptions of the setting, the way he conveyed excitement without screaming. And when my sophomore year began, I not only had the play-by-play gig, Brian made me the Sports Director, too.


Dr. Simmons is now the chair of the Communications programs at OC and one of Valerie’s and Carley’s all-time favorite teachers, which is really cool. We were privileged to share dinner Friday with Brian and with one of our favorite Mass Comm professors from back in the day, Dr. Philip Patterson. They were both very kind and gracious to me over the weekend and I am thankful to God that he placed both of them in my life at the exact right time.

I must also mention here the annual Delta alumni breakfast which was held Saturday at the beautiful home of Al and Judy Branch. Ozzy was there. David Bates. Scott Williams. Brad Robison. Two Haworths. Two Egglestons. Ted Norton. Odell. All the founding members of our social service club from 1972. Adair, of course. And a whole bunch of younger and younger looking students. We covered it all: the Bush rally, Diet Skipper, pumpkins, Dave Butts and the possum, All-Sports glory, late-night carousings, OC security, float trips to Talequah, creative apartment renovations, summer roofing jobs, and a couple of notable arrests.

This marks the 50th year for my college social service club, Delta Gamma Sigma. The grand 50th anniversary blowout weekend is set for June 9-10, 2023. Which makes no sense. Which is somehow quite fitting. Adair and Bates unveiled the 50th anniversary logo at Saturday’s breakfast and Ozzy revealed the site of the summer bash.  I’m hoping to make it a three or four day deal so I can spend more time with these wonderful old friends. I’m also secretly pushing for the club to disband immediately following the June festivities. I mean, what’s the point now? When’s the last time this group won anything? End it at fifty and call it good!



Delta Doll

Carley was awarded the Delta Doll of the Year at the Delta Gamma Sigma banquet over the weekend. Delta is the Oklahoma Christian University men’s social service club of which I was a member for four years back in the late ’80s. But I’m not completely sure what it means to be the Delta Doll of the Year. I know it means designing their T-shirts and cheering them on during intermural events. I hope it hasn’t involved doing homework for those guys or bailing them out of jail. We had Delta Dolls back then – typically they belonged to our unofficial sister club, Theta Theta Theta. But I don’t remember the awarding of any certificates. Also, at what point will the term “Delta Dolls” be banished from use? If Nancy Inman were still around, that wouldn’t fly anymore.

Congratulations, Carley! Your dad and your Uncle Paul and Chris Adair are really proud!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Julio Franco…

The sign has arrived and it’s finally becoming a reality: Amarillo will have a Chuy’s restaurant and it will open in mid-January! For two years we’ve been teased with rumors of land purchases and permits,  remodeling and renovations, strategy revisions and pandemic delays. I had just about given up hope when the truck and trailer rolled into town carrying that big beautiful sign! If  everything can continue now on schedule, move over Abuelo’s! In less than three months, it’s all chicken enchiladas with the Boom Boom sauce and that green chili rice!


My great friend, college roommate, Delta brother, and roofing partner Mike Osburn is running for re-election as an Oklahoma State Representative from the district that includes our old Edmond stompin’ grounds. His new TV ad features his wonderful wife, Holly, and their three kids, and it’s terrific.


Following their 5th loss of the season on Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys made big news yesterday by signing a backup punter to the practice squad. Yes, you read that correctly. Special teams director John Fassell says they signed Hunter Niswander as insurance, in case of an injury to Chris Jones or Greg the Leg. That’s right. Not a defensive back or linebacker, not an offensive lineman. This team now has two punters. With their turnover ratio at -13, do they even need one?


In his one-and-a-half quarters of relief for the concussed Andy Dalton, Cowboys quarterback Ben DiNucci suffered more sacks against Washington Sunday than completed passes. His line after the game was that, coming out of James Madison University, he’s never really seen pass rushers like Chase Young. Oops.


If I’m being generous — very, very, very generous — I can’t see the Cowboys finishing this season at anything better than 5-11. If they split with every team in this atrocious division and if they split their games against Minnesota and the Bengals (a big IF), they’ll finish with a Dave Campo record. And Jerry Wayne will say they’re just one offensive lineman and one defensive playmaker away. Or punter.


We’re celebrating another fabulous Missions Sunday here at Central. After sharing the communion meal together with our 14 local and foreign missions partners, our church family gave $335,296 towards our missions efforts in 2021! That’s  a lot of money for one church our size to give in one day! And it’s still coming in!  Praise the Lord! I’m so blessed by our God to belong to a church that puts God’s mission to others at the front and center of our existence and then puts it money there, too. This is such a deep part of who we are as a congregation. This is the way we express our faith in God and experience the abundance of his blessings. And this is one of the most significant ways we’re all connected.



OC Homecoming 2019

With two of our daughters at Oklahoma Christian University, we take the opportunity to get back to campus much more often than we ever have before. And we always have a blast. This past weekend was OC’s Homecoming which means the annual Delta Alumni Breakfast at Bob Elliott’s house. I feel really blessed to know as many of the younger Delta guys as I do my own peers. It’s so cool to hang out with Legacy kids like Dillon and Colton, Central kids like Brayden, and my nephew Asa. And it’s so much fun getting caught up with Mike Osburn and Scott Williams and other guys with whom I’ve done jail time. I don’t know what it’s like at the Theta breakfast or other OC social service club alumni get-togethers. But at 10:00, they’re having to run us out. How do you sufficiently cover all the necessary talk about camp outs, knives, political rallies, ACLU lawsuits, pumpkins, parties, cars, float trips, Spring Sings, Homecoming bloats/goats/moats, concerts, apartment furnishings, probations, nicknames, and near-death-experiences in just two hours?





Valerie was in charge of the OC Homecoming parade. I’m not sure how that happens but she got it and she owned it! She had to keep up with all the floats, approve all the designs, secure all the convertibles and antique cars, put everything in order, oversee the script, and get it started and finished on time. She killed it! And she looked super cute riding in the blue convertible VW with David in the seat right behind her.



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