Today we celebrate Tau Kappa Epsilon's 114th birthday. The principles on which TKE was founded in 1899 are as relevant today as at the time of TKE's formation. As a result, our fraternal bond is stronger than ever before.
Our founders knew that if they developed a bond between men that was based on noble and timeless principles, they would produce a fraternity that would find its strength in unity of purpose. Like cords of rope, our founders believed that the cords of our fraternal bond are stronger when the principles are interwoven.
We are inclusive. Other fraternities excluded men for membership based on qualities over which a man had little control, like family wealth or social standing, so that only the elite and privileged remained. Our fraternity wanted a brotherhood based on something that men could shape themselves: namely their personal worth and character. Any man of good character should be welcome to Tau Kappa Epsilon. Period.
We want to become better men. A Teke is not perfect. However, what distinguishes a Teke is that he strives to be more than he ever thought he could be. And regardless of where each of us began, being a frater is a declaration to the outside world that we are on a journey to live our lives in more love, charity, and esteem. That's why unacceptable behavior and hurtful actions such as disrespect, discrimination and hazing have no place in our fraternity.
We desire to make better world. Our founders believed that a better man is not satisfied simply with personal gain, but that his life should have a positive influence on those around him. Whether he is the helpful neighbor, loving husband and father, genuine friend, or the one who changes the course of a community or even the whole nation, a Teke will leave the world a better place.
When these three principles are woven together, they form the cords of our strong fraternal bond. In a world that appears increasingly divided by our ethnicity, nationality, religion, income, education, sexual preference, geography, gender, politics, ideology, and many others, it is encouraging to remember that those things which unite TKE are stronger than anything that divides us. Better men for a better world.
Fraters, I love the Fraternity!
Yours in the Bond,