There Will be Delts Wherever You Go

January 29, 2024

Delt Flag Flies in Antarctica

Cyrus Mostaghim (Virginia Tech, 2006) may be the first to fly a Delt flag in Antarctica, but he's not the first to visit. In 2023, Mostaghim and a friend celebrated the completion of law school and the bar exam with a nine-day cruise. "I was motivated to take the flag because the Fraternity has been such a big part of my life, and knowing that not many people get to Antarctica, I thought I should bring the flag to represent the Fraternity," Mostaghim said. 

Through Delta Tau Delta's magazine archive, we learned about earlier visits to Antarctica by Fraternity members, including visits by geologist  F. Alton Wade (Kenyon, 1925) starting in 1933 and a chance reunion of Charles W. Mallory (Kansas State, Colorado, 1947), John W. Clime (Wesleyan, 1947, Tufts, 1948) and Gordon M. Coleman (Georgia Tech, 1946) in 1947.

The Rainbow Archive

First Antarctica Delt Reunion Held

From The Rainbow, November 1947, page 6:

The first Delt reunion ever to be held in the Bay of Whales, Antarctica, occurred on Saturday night, January 18, 1947- Here is how it all came about. 

Ensign Charles W. Mallory (Kansas State, Colorado, 1947) was attached to the CB Detachment of the Navy task force, which took off for Little America last year. Embarking from Port Hueneme, California, he sailed on the U. S. S. Merrick, which, at the end of 47 days of travel, pulled up outside the Bay of Whales. 

On the night of January 18, Ensign Mallory received a dispatch ordering his transfer to the U. S. S.  Yancey, which was to be the first ship to enter the bay. The purpose of his transfer was to make him available to aid in primary construction ashore.

During the trip in a small boat, under the brilliant sunlight of the Antarctica midnight, across the choppy open water separating the two ships, he was constantly drenched with icy salt spray. Arriving aboard the Yancey, therefore, he hastily took his gear to his assigned quarters and proceeded to the wardroom to warm himself with hot coffee.

In the wardroom, he was introduced to Ensigns John W. Clime (Wesleyan, 1947, Tufts, 1948) and Gordon M. Coleman (Georgia Tech, 1946).  "It was almost instantly," said Mallory. "that Coleman and I discovered that we were both wearing Delt rings and he, in turn, informed me that Clime was also a Delt. We then held what we believe was the first Delta Tau Delta reunion ever to occur in the Bay of Whales, Antarctica."

Both Clime and Coleman have since been released from the Navy. Transferred to the Civil Engineer Corps of the regular Navy, Mallory is back at Port Hueneme. All of them now agree that perhaps the caption on the Delt maps — "There will be Delts wherever you go," — is no exaggeration.

First Delt to Travel to Antarctica?

Geologist F. Alton Wade (Kenyon, 1925) may have been the first Delt to travel to Antarctica. 

"Wade was a member of the second Antarctic expedition led by Admiral Richard E. Byrd in 1933. While there, he was part of a 77-day sled journey into Marie Byrd Land. The fieldwork on this expedition was later the foundation of his doctoral dissertation.

Wade was then selected by Byrd to take the role of chief scientist for his third Antarctic expedition. He was geologist with the Byrd Antarctic Expedition (1933-35), senior scientist at West Base of the U.S. Antarctic Service (USAS) (1939-41), and leader of two Texas Technological College (Texas Tech) Shackleton Glacier Parties (1962-63 and 1964-65) and Senior Scientist U.S. Antarctic Research Program (USARP), Marie Byrd Land Survey, 1966-67 and 1967-68. The Marie Byrd Land Survey was a complex operation involving fixed-wing and helicopter camps. A major product of that project was a series of geologic and topographic maps of scale 1:250,000.

Wade was personally nominated for naming, by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names, several Antarctic mountains and ridges whilst he worked as leader of the Texas Tech Shackleton Glacier Party, 1962–63. These include:

  • Cathedral Peaks (84°44′S 175°40′W), a rugged mountain mass that Wade perceived to have spires, resembling a cathedral, when viewed from the Shackleton Glacier.
  • Lubbock Ridge (84°52′S 175°25′W), a high ridge around five nautical miles (9 km) long, which extends west from Mount Wade and terminates in a steep bluff at the east side of Shackleton Glacier. Wade named this ridge for Lubbock, where Texas Tech University is located.
  • Mount Kenyon (85°10′S 174°52′W) is a mountain, 2,260 meters (7,400 ft) high, which stands 1 nautical mile (2 km) northwest of Shenk Peak in the northern part of the Cumulus Hills. He named the mountain after Kenyon College, Ohio, which he had attended almost 30 years before the expedition."1

Geological and Petroleum Engineering Scholarship Recipient

From The Rainbow, Spring 1983, page 36:

Delta Tau Delta's 1982-1983 recipient of the $1,000 Geological and Petroleum Engineering Fund Scholarship is in his second semester of graduate work at Purdue. John P. McGinnis, who received his undergraduate degree at Purdue in 1982, also is a teaching assistant in an advanced geophysics course and beginning research for his thesis.

The scholarship, made possible by a $10,000 anonymous gift to the Delt Educational Fund, is administered through the Delta Tau Delta Educational Foundation, Inc. It was granted to Mr. McGinnis on the basis of undergraduate academic record, need and interest in a career area included In the donor's specifications. 

Mr. McGinnis's first-semester graduate school record easily justified his selection for the scholarship, which began with the opening of the academic year. In addition to serving as a teaching assistant for an introductory geophysics course, he received a 5.33 graduate index out of 6.00.

A former corresponding secretary for Gamma Lambda Chapter, McGinnis was involved in numerous geophysical research projects as an undergraduate. During his junior year, he was selected to travel to New Zealand and Antarctica, working for the U.S. Geological Survey on seismic reflection survey. Last summer, he worked for Union Oil Co. in California, taking part in gravity and magnetic interpretation.

McGinnis retired in 2021 after serving as president of Seneca Resources since 2016.