To see the entire Marietta Delt Family Tree, scroll to the bottom of the page.

To see the entire Digital Big Brother Board, scroll to the bottom of the page.

The Marietta Delt Family Tree

From roots to leaves

In this photo from 2006, Casey Trail '03 (center) stands with Little Brother Jay Read '05 (left), Grand Little Brother Timothy Roberts '07 (farther left), and Great Grand Little Brother Josh Harris '08 at far left. At right of Trail is Little Brother Andy Byers and Grand Little Brother Tom Gray '08. These Marietta Delts are part of the Tom Robinson '69 Family.

In this photo from 2006, Casey Trail ’03 (center) stands with Little Brother Jay Read ’05 (left), Grand Little Brother Timothy Roberts ’07 (farther left), and Great Grand Little Brother Josh Harris ’08 at far left. At right of Trail is Little Brother Andy Byers ’06 and Grand Little Brother Tom Gray ’08. These Marietta Delts are part of the Tom Robinson ’69 Family.

When a young man joins a fraternity chapter, usually in his freshman year, it is common practice among fraternities for their pledges to pick (or have picked for them), a Big Brother.

The purpose of having a Big Brother is to help the pledge navigate through his membership development period until he formally joins, or initiates into, the fraternity. This Big Brotherly guidance often can continue throughout the new member’s first year.

The nature of a fraternity chapter is that of a second family. And Big Brother-Little Brother relationships serve to create “mini-families” within the larger chapter family.

Delta Tau Delta provides this kind of experience for its members. And the Marietta Delt Chapter has been doing it since it was founded in 1966 as a local fraternity called Beta Delta Epsilon.

And then there were two

Founder William Warner '68. His family line is the Chapter's third largest, but it came to an end in 1982.

Founder William Warner ’68. His family line is the Chapter’s third largest, but it came to an end in 1982.

In the spring of 1966, 14 men formed the Beta Delta Epsilon local fraternity. As the founders of BDE, they did not have Big Brothers, nor did they have pledge periods. But most of them became the heads of their own family lines that continued through BDE becoming a Crescent Colony and then a chapter of Delta Tau Delta. Two of these family lines have stretched on now for over 30 “generations,” that is the addition of a new member or members to a family line during a Delt’s time as an undergraduate.

The founding members of Beta Delta Epsilon are Tom Robinson ’69, Steve Newton ’66, David Dessen ’69, Albert Mason ’68, Gregory Maloof ’69, Charles Baker ’67, William Warner ’68, Marc Kattleman ’69, Peter Rosenberger ’67, Franklin Hirsch ’69, Mike Rothman ’67, Lee St. Clair ’67, Joseph Cohn ’69 and Ken Kavula ’69.

Of those original 14 men, three did not have Little Brothers: Steve Newton, Charles Baker and Peter Rosenberger.

Three Founders’ family lines came to an end after one generation: David Dessen, Albert Mason and Marc Kattleman.

Founder Mike Rothman’s line came to an end after three generations, in 1974, with Richard Ghenn, and Founder Joseph Cohn’s line also ended after three generations, also in 1974, with Scott Elger.

Founders Gregory Maloof and Franklin Hirsch’s lines lasted four generations, with Maloof’s ending in 1971 with Jack Decker, and Hirsch’s in 1974 with Joseph Vogel.

Founder Lee St. Clair’s line lasted five generations, ending in 1975 with Robert Burns.

So by 1976, the Marietta Delt Chapter had three family lines still active, descending from Founders William Warner, Tom Robinson and Ken Kavula.

Of these three, the Warner line came to an end, after 10 generations, in 1982, with Brett Burkey and Kevin Brigham.

By 1983, the Chapter was left with two remaining family lines: the Kavulas and the Robinsons.

Dominant, dormant, then dominant again

From the outset, the Robinson Family has been the strongest in numbers, overall.

Founder Tom Robinson '68.

Founder Tom Robinson ’69.

In the Chapter’s early years, the line benefited from Tom Robinson having three Little Brothers. One of these three branches, headed by Eric Gough ’74, lasted two generations. A branch topped by Steve Fox ’70 ran for five generations. As for Robinson’s third Little Brother, Gordon Turner ’71, his branch is still active today, having run for nearly 30 generations, as of 2012. All current undergraduate “Robinsons” descend from this Little Brother of Tom Robinson.

Over 200 Marietta Delts are in the Robinson Family, which in addition to thriving in the 1970s at the expense of other family lines, also made up the majority of the Chapter during most of the 2000s and through the early 2010s.

But the line did face some quiet time, if not quite a rough time, in the period spanning from the mid-1980s through to the turn of the century. Robinson numbers dwindled, and the number of major branch lines dropped to two. While never in real danger of dying, two Robinson branch lines survived the end-of-the-century decline of the Chapter.

Despite having gone into that period of Chapter decline as the weaker of the two families, the Robinsons emerged with a vengence. The Robinsons splintered into several still-active branches, and have added over 100 Brothers to their family — about half of its current total — since 2001.

In terms of numbers and active branches, the mid-to-late 2000s Robinsons eerily mirror the late-’70s and early-’80s incarnation of the family.

From majority to near extinction, yet still holding on

As for the Kavulas, the story of that family line is the opposite of that of the Robinsons.

Founder Ken Kavula '69.

Founder Ken Kavula ’69.

The Kavula line progressed, slowly but steadly, pretty much adding just one Brother per year to the line until 1975, when Joe Matheny ’75 added four Little Brothers, although three of the four branches would last no longer than one more generation. Except for Matheny’s Little Brother, Jim Neel ’77. His branch splintered in two, with the two lines (Stephen Marino ’80 and Peter Denio ’78) adding more generations and splintering further along until the Marino branch came to an end with Doug Stewart in 1990.

During this time period, the early 1980s, the Warner line had come to an end. It seems that Kavula family was able to benefit from the decreased competition, as well as from the numerical decline of the Robinsons that ran from the mid-’80s through the turn of the century.

This was the Kavula ascendant period. During this time, Kavulas outnumbered Robinsons three to one.

But all good things come to an end. And for the Kavula Family, an end indeed almost did come completely.

The late-’90s depopulation of the Chapter resulted in all Kavula branch lines dying, except for the Chris Goebel ’87Mike Conaty ’89Gary Hritz ’91Shawn Selby ’92 branch line.

That line, and the entire Kavula Family, survived in the person of Trevor Brown ’01, who was the lone Kavula after the graduation of Jason Strawsburg in 2000.

In the back row of this photo are, from left, Ryan Nolen '12, Jake Verdoorn '11 and Timothy Crandall '10, all three are Little Brothers of Kyle Thauvette '10, who is not in this photo. Below Nolen is his Little Brother, Adam Stonier '13. Below Adam are his Little Brothers, Josh Counselman (left) and Caleb Mize. Below Verdoorn is his Little Brother Jake Eicher. Below Crandall is his Little Brother, Vincent Hendershot '13. Below Vincent is his Little Brother, Luke Badaczewski. These lines are part of the Ken Kavla '69 Family.

In the back row of this photo from 2011 are, from left, Ryan Nolen ’12, Jake Verdoorn ’11 and Timothy Crandall ’10, all three are Little Brothers of Kyle Thauvette ’10, who is not in this photo. Below Nolen is his Little Brother, Adam Stonier ’13. Below Adam are his Little Brothers, Josh Counselman (left) and Caleb Mize. Below Verdoorn is his Little Brother, Jake Eicher. Below Crandall is his Little Brother, Vincent Hendershot ’13. Below Vincent is his Little Brother, Luke Badaczewski. These three lines are part of the Ken Kavula ’69 Family.

Brown ended up getting two little brothers, J.J. Nekoloff ’03 and Brian Dobis ’03, which resulted in a re-splintering of the family into two major branches, both of which are still active today.

But unlike the Robinsons, who have thrived since the Chapter’s millennial resurgence, the Kavula numbers have remained small, comprising no more than 25 percent of the Chapter since the line’s near-death experience in 2001 throughout the 2000s.

But by the new decade, the Kavula numbers began to rebound, pulling near even with the Robinsons. By 2013, the in-Chapter Kavulas slightly outnumbered the Robinsons.

In terms of numbers, the Kavula Family counts around 140 Brothers, about three-fourths the total of the Robinsons. The Kavula Family also boasts a 30-generation run, as well.

The lone Marietta Delt

Other than the original men who formed Beta Delta Epsilon, every man who has pledged Delt has had a Big Brother.

Except for one: R.L. Jones.

Jones, who was a professor of history at Marietta, was invited by the members of the Crescent Colony to join them on their journey to becoming Delts.

Jones accepted the invitation. But in deference to his age and respect for his position as a faculty member, it was decided that he should not have a Big Brother, according to Ken Kavula ’69, who became Jones’ son-in-law after marrying the professor’s daughter, Natalie.

Jones never took a Little Brother, probably for the same reasons.

Jones initiated as a Charter Member of the Epsilon Upsilon Chapter of Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity on Nov. 13, 1968.

O Brother, where art though?

Jesse Quick '16 and Cody Quick '16

Jesse Quick ’16 and Cody Quick ’16

Tanner O'Conner '15 with his real-life older half-brother, Trent Elliot '01, after O'Conner's initiation in December of 2011. Elliot participated in O'Conner's initiation.

Tanner O’Conner ’15 with his real-life older half-brother, Trent Elliott ’01, after O’Conner’s initiation in December of 2011. Elliott participated in O’Conner’s initiation.

Even though the Big Brother-Little Brother lines represent a constructed mini-family within a larger family-by-oath, there have been examples of real-life brothers also experiencing the Marietta Delt Brotherhood bond.

Bruce Miller ’70 welcomed his real-life brother, Rich Miller ’74, as a fraternity brother. Bruce Miller was a Little Brother of Founder William Warner. Rich Miller also joined the Warner Family. In fact, Rich Miller is Delt-related to older brother Bruce as Bruce’s Great-Great-Grand-Little Brother.

A second such situation involves the Neel Brothers — Rick Neel ’73 and his real-life brother, Jim Neel ’77. The older Neel is a Robinson, and the younger Neel is a Kavula, so there’s no Delt-family relationship between the two real-life brothers, unlike with the Millers.

A third case of real-life Delt brothers is that of Trent Elliott ’01, and his real-life half-brother, Tanner O’Conner ’15. And like the Neels, they are un-related within the fraternity. Elliott is a Robinson and O’Conner is a Kavula.

In 2012, the Chapter got its first twin-brother members, Jesse Quick ’16 and Cody Quick ’16. While the Quick brothers are identical twins, they aren’t related to each other within the Chapter. Cody Quick is a Robinson and Jesse Quick is a Kavula.

We are all Kavulas now

Robert Kavula '78.

Robert Kavula ’78.

Founder Ken Kavula '69 with great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great- great-great-great-great-great-grand-Little Brother, Shawn Selby '92, during the Chapter's 40th Anniversary celebration in 2008.

Founder Ken Kavula ’69 with great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great- great-great-great-great-great-grand-Little Brother, Shawn Selby ’92, during the Chapter’s 40th Anniversary celebration in 2008.

And perhaps the most interesting brother-brother pairing is that of Founder Ken Kavula ’69 and his real-life brother, Robert Kavula ’78.

Like with the Neels, Ken Kavula is, well, a Kavula, but younger brother Robert is a Robinson — a Robinson with a capital “R” and a capital “OBINSON.”

Robert Kavula had seven Little Brothers. And with the ending of the competing Robinson branch line headed by the late Peter Cartoun 79 in 1998, all Robinsons since claim descent from Robert Kavula.

In a bit of an ironic twist, Robert Kavula’s Robinson descendants nearly equal the total number of the Kavula Family, headed by his older brother.

So, long live the two Houses of Kavula!

The Digital Big Brother Board

The physical Big Brother Board, which was unveiled at the Chapter's 25th anniversary in 1993.

The physical Big Brother Board, which was unveiled at the Chapter’s 25th anniversary in 1993.

In one of the front rooms of the Delt Shelter at 219 Fourth St. is large board bearing plaques with the name of each Delt engraved upon them, arranged in family trees. The work on this project start around 1990, and this board, which takes up an entire wall, was assembled and unveiled in 1993, for the Chapter’s 25th anniversary.

Name plaques on the Big Brother Board.

Name plaques on the Big Brother Board.

Subsequent generations of Delts have added their names to this board, documenting their place in the Chapter’s history. But for the part of the board that runs from 1966 to the early 1980s, there are problems. People are missing from the board and some are in the wrong place.

We have created a digital version of that physical board as a secondary way to preserve this history, and as a way to allow all Marietta Delts to see the board from wherever they live. In this version, we have corrected much of what was wrong with the physical board.

If you see something that needs to be corrected, please contact Shawn Selby ’92.

To view the virtual Big Brother Board, click on the black icon in the center of the box below. The Big Brother Board will begin loading. This can take up to a minute, depending on your Internet connection. It opens with an animation sequence that you must run through, using the arrows on the black bar at the bottom of the box. By clicking on the icon at the far right of the black bar, you can make the Big Brother Board take up the entire screen. You can navigate around the board by clicking on any part of it with your mouse and dragging. To zoom in or zoom out, use the scrolling wheel on your mouse.