Norval Stephens Enters Chapter Eternal
Delta Tau Delta mourns the passing of Norval B. Stephens (DePauw University, 1951), a champion of lifelong learning, service and loyalty to Delta Tau Delta, who entered the Chapter Eternal on October 17, 2023.
The son and brother of Delts, Stephens was a two-term president at the Beta Beta Chapter at DePauw University. After attaining the rank of captain in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War, he spent four decades as an advertising and marketing executive with DDB Needham Worldwide. He spent his life either in the service of his country or the communities in which he has lived, including service to his alma mater, church and Fraternity.
Stephens served on the Arch Chapter from 1988 to 1994 and was the Fraternity’s 41st president from 1992 to 1994. He subsequently served as the third chairman of the Delta Tau Delta Educational Foundation from 1995 to 2009. On his watch as chairman, the Foundation tripled net assets of the Foundation from $4 to $14.5 million, known bequests increased from $2 to $17.9 million and grants to the Fraternity reached $6.5 million for educational and leadership programs.
Cited to the Fraternity’s Distinguished Service Chapter in 1996, his citation reads, “With Phi Beta Kappa credentials, the highest order of excellence has characterized the career of this DePauw Delt. From his two years as chapter president to international president and service beyond; perceptive analytical skills, candid expressive observations and wise selective references from writers' wisdom have set a high standard for all who serve the Fraternity.”
Stephens was a founder of the Bethany Society in 1998 and received the Foundation’s Crystal Vision Award for lifetime giving and service in 2000. He was named Outstanding Volunteer of the Year among all Greek foundations in 2001 and was inducted into the Badge of Honor Shrine of the Fraternity in 2005.
The Delt Foundation named Norval and Diane Stephens the Foundation’s Outstanding Philanthropists in 2020. This was the inaugural year of such recognition, and the Foundation adopted them as the award’s namesake.
Throughout his life, Brother Stephens was a tireless volunteer and advocate for Delta Tau Delta at his alma mater and across the nation, but also for the entire Greek movement. He was proud to call himself “a fraternity man,” to seek ways to elevate the fraternity experience, and to challenge negative stereotypes of fraternity life. Stephens led the formation of the Anti-Hazing Hotline in 2007, for which he was honored with the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) Gold Medal in 2015.
Upon his election as international president at the Karnea banquet in 1992, Stephens offered the following: "The challenge I put before you is perhaps best expressed by the oath a young Athenian took when he became a citizen. 'I pledge that I will leave this city richer. stronger and more beautiful than I found it.' Richer. Stronger. More beautiful. Young men of the New Athens… Greeks of Delta Tau Delta… join me in that quest to leave our Fraternity richer, stronger, and more beautiful — for all to see, for all time."
Norval is survived by his wife Diane, a DePauw classmate and former chapter president of Kappa Alpha Theta with whom he had five children. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Two grandsons are Delts: Timothy Stephens (George Washington University 2013) and Christopher Stephens (Northeastern University 2016).
A celebration of life is planned for early 2024. Gifts in memory of Norval can be made through the button below.