Daniel York, professor of biology, sold his house to Hillsdale College. The administration plans to allow Delta Tau Delta fraternity to use the building as a temporary chapter house.
Since it was rechartered on campus in 2009, DTD has planned to find a chapter house, DTD President Scott Rode said. The fraternity is excited to have their own space to hold meetings and events.
“It won’t be the Delt house forever, but it’s a building block for us,” Rode said. “The house is a great first step.”
Dean of Men Aaron Petersen stressed that the York house will not be DTD’s permanent house.
“The York house is a temporary shelter for the Delts until further notice. There is no marriage to that house,” he said. “It is just a better place to hold meetings in.”
The house will follow the college’s alcohol policy and be dry, Petersen said.
DTD plans to use the house for a variety of functions besides meetings. Three of the fraternity’s men will live in the house. DTD will use the house to hold their annual events including Deltsgiving and Deltmas. The house will also serve as a “great place where alumni can come home,” Rode said.
The York house is located at Fayette Street in the lot next to the Sigma Chi fraternity house.
“The house is perfect for a fraternity,” York said. “Location, location, location. We will finally have a proper fraternity row.”
York will move out in the next few weeks, and DTD hopes to move into the house in the 2013 spring semester. The house needs some cosmetic improvement but is otherwise ready for DTD, York said.
For the past 13 years, York has made his house a popular location for students. In the back of the house York himself built a pub, including a bar and patio, colloquially called “the Porch.” On the weekends, York would open his house for students of age to come and drink.
In his new house across town on Indiana Court, York will not continue to host students on a regular basis.
“The Porch has been an institution at Hillsdale for 10 years, but it’s time for it to come to a close,” he said.
The York house was built in 1874, and completed in 1876 by Hillsdale’s first secretary of the treasury. Then, in 1902, the college planned to use the house for the president. The president at the time, Joseph Mauck, however, preferred the Suncrest House, which is now the Alpha Tau Omega House. He promptly moved in.
From the 1940s to the 1960s, the York house was the Hillcrest Rest Home. These residents left their mark on the house, and now it is currently inhabited by one of their ghosts, York said.
“The Delts will never be alone,” he said with a smile.
Although the fraternity will have achieved their goal of getting a house in the spring, they intend to continue fundraising to build their own house. Regardless, they look forward to the possibilities that the house holds.
“We are really excited for this opportunity, and we are committed to the mission of the college,” Rode said. “We hope to enhance that through our organization.”