Chicken Fry

Posted by admin | | Monday 10 January 2011 8:14 pm

Chicken Fry – The Oldest Fraternity Party West of the Mississippi

For 119 years, Gamma Theta Chapter of Delta Tau Delta has held its annual “Chicken Fry” party. Believed to be an offshoot of the “Egg Fry” from old Alpha Omega days, the “Fry” has long been a part of the Delta Tau Delta experience at Baker University.

In the early days, hayracks carried the chapter members and their dates out to the country where they fried chicken over bonfires (three or four couples to a fire) and ate a picnic supper. Following the picnic, the evening was spent in giving stunts of various and sundry kinds and other entertainment and concluded with the singing of songs and the ride back to town on the hayracks.

The big fire in the center of the field is soaked with kerosene and lit just as twighlight is deepening into darkness. It lights up the entire field and can be seen for miles around. It is a big heart, a Delt heart, spreading its warmth and cheer to all the little fires scattered over the field and adding cheer to the party.

Then the walk around and songfest – with hands on the next fellow’s shoulders, the long queue of Delts circles the big fire a half dozen times to marching step of “Wah-ne hee, Wah-na ho,” and comes to a stop in a group. A number of Delt songs are sung and the songfest is closed with “Delta Shelter” which always thrills singers and listeners alike. (By F.C. Leitnaker, Baker ’19)

Through World Wars and other conflicts, the “Fry” has survived. During WW II, alumni & undergraduates who were serving overseas implored the chapter to continue the tradition. Holding true to form, Gamma Theta and her alumni along with the only undergraduate, Jay Ellis, kept the tradition alive.

In May of 2007, the 119th Anniversary of “The Fry” took place. We hope to see continue to see many alumni back for this occasion as we keep “THE TRADITION ALIVE”!