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The Museum at the International Headquarters

Phi Gamma Delta maintains a museum at its Headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky. The museum features artifacts related to the Fraternity's founding in 1848, its development since, and its many noted brothers.

Click here to take the photographic tour of the museum and library.

 

An Overview 

 

Case 1: The Founders

The Fraternity possesses many relics from its Founders. These include a watch, belt buckle, walking cane, and casket plate (!) of John T. McCarty. Also included is a gavel made from parts of "Fort Armstrong," the college boarding house where Phi Gamma Delta was founded. It is used by the Archon President at every Ekklesia (convention). Above the case are photographs of the Founders. See photos of individual artifacts.


 

Case 2: Founders and Firsts

Additonal Founders' relics include examples of their correspondence and a book with Samuel B. Wilson's signature. There are a few items relating to landmarks of fraternity development, such as a letterpress printing plate for the first issue of The Phi Gamma Delta magazine, 1879, and our first Field Secretary report, 1913. Above the case hangs images of the Immortal Six's headstones. See photos of select relics.

 

Case 3: Fraternity Badges

Our extensive collection covers the first badges (including those of two founders), jeweled and beveled badges of the late 19th century, and the restoration of the Founders' badge in 1923. Badges of many significant brothers are featured, as are pledge pins and a small selection of custom jewelry. See photos of many of our badges.

 

Case 4: Fijis in Politics

U.S. President Calvin Coolidge and Secretary of War Newton D. Baker are featured. Coolidge's is the initial signature in the first rollbook of Sires & Sons, the organization for Phi Gam fathers and their Fiji sons. Also displayed are a range of political campaign pins from including Kansas Governor Alf Landon, presidential candidate in 1936.

 

Case 5: Phi Gams Make an Impact

Phi Gamma Delta has benefited from excellent leadership, and this case celebrates past executive directors Cecil J. "Scoop" Wilkinson and Bill Zerman. Relics from Wilkinson are displayed along with medals awarded to our brothers by the National Interfraternity Conference (now the North American Interfraternity Conference). The scene closes with the rank insignia of Major General Hersey, the highest ranking Phi Gam in the US military during World War I.

 

Case 6: Memorabilia

Brothers have given the Fraternity a wide range of gifts, ranging from badges Gene Cernan took on the Gemini IX and Apollo 17 space missions to relics from the Phi Gamma Delta Club of New York (1923-1965). Unique personal items such as belt buckles, cufflinks, and watch fobs are shown, as are items related to local fraternities that became chapters in Phi Gamma Delta.
 

 

Case 7: Memorabilia

Additional items include a coat of arms display that belonged to a family of Ohio Wesleyan Fijis, a paperweight from the 1907 Ekklesia, and the President's gavel from the now-defunct Yale chapter. The highlights of this section are three items related to brothers in war: Confederate Tom Crew's gold Civil War officer's epaulets, flags from General Lew Wallace's Civil War headquarters in Baltimore, and the red bandana that Major Frank Keck waved as he led 3rd Battalion, 71st New York up San Juan Hill during the Spanish American War.
 

 

Case 8: Gatherings

Fraternity implies fellowship, and this display of programs and favors celebrates many gatherings. There is a copy of the Ben Hur musical score (Lew Wallace wrote the novel and the Broadway show hosted a Phi Gam Night), a program from a dinner in London for brothers fighting in Europe during World War Two, and memorabilia from chapter anniversaries and Ekklesiai. Hanging above the case is the banjo of novelist Frank Norris, for whom our famous Norris Pig Dinner is named.
 

 

Case 9: Phi Gams in Sports

Phi Gamma Delta is proud of its many sports heroes. See a glove and visor belonging to golf great Jack Nicklaus, a baseball cap belonging to the legendary Christy Mathewson, Olympic decathalon winner Bob Mathis's track shoes, and golf bag and clubs of PGA champion Denny Schute. Around the case are pictures of famous Fijis like Nike's Phil Knight and golfer Payne Stewart.
 


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