On November 17, 1871 the Phi Gamma chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon was chartered, the first chapter of any fraternity located at Syracuse University. Originally housed in lodge rooms in the Wieting Block downtown, the ‘Dekes’ flourished through myriad housing changes and became one of the first fraternities to adopt the chapter house system when it was inaugurated at Syracuse in the late 1880s.
As noted in the 1910 Catalogue of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, “For many years it was the dearest wish of every brother to have an ideal chapter house, located within easy reach of the University and possessing all the modern conveniences of a fraternity house.” In 1898 the Central New York Association of Delta Kappa Epsilon, consisting of ‘Dekes’ of all chapters, was organized, and at once started an active movement for a new chapter house. A financial canvass was started and at the commencement banquet of June 1899, $8,000 was subscribed. This amount, with that previously secured, formed the nucleus of the building fund.”
Designed by SU alumni Edwin H. Gaggin, Class of 1892, and T. Walker Gaggin, Class of 1895, the new chapter house was “situated at the corner of Walnut Avenue and University Place, without doubt the finest site near the campus for a building of this kind. The house faces Walnut Park and has a side outlook upon the campus, a view which can never be cut off by future building in any direction.” The house was opened for the first time by the annual banquet of the Central New York Association of Delta Kappa Epsilon on the evening of June 9, 1903 and 155 brothers were present.
In 1974 Syracuse University bought the DKE fraternity house when the chapter moved to Comstock Avenue. After remodeling, the new Faculty Center was opened on November 4, 1974 with accommodations for meetings, lunch or informal relaxation.
In the spring of 1996 plans for the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center were announced. The renovated and expanded facility encompasses the previous Faculty Center and is also the new home for the Office of Alumni Relations. Fall 1997’s Homecoming Weekend marked the Halloween dedication paying tribute to the donors, including naming donors Alfred and Ann Goldstein.