In 1915, a small group of men at The Ohio State University joined together and adopted the Greek letters "Beta Alpha Chi."
Six years later, fraters George B. Kirk and Don A. Fisher drafted a petition for membership
and drove to the 1921 TKE Conclave in Madison, WI. On the way there, frater Kirk's car
became lodged in the mud. While attempting to push the car out, frater Kirk discovered a discarded horseshoe in the mud and picked it up for good luck. Their petition for membership
was granted and the horseshoe is now a national symbol of TKE. The tradition was to pass
the horseshoe along to the newest chapter of TKE, but the original horseshoe was lost during World War II.
On May 28th, 1921, The Omicron Chapter was chartered and nationally recognized as the 15th Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon.
On May 11th, 1922, another national tradition was born when the men of the Omicron Chapter
organized the first Red Carnation Ball, originally called the Festival of the Red Carnation. Today,
TKE chapters all around the country organize a Red Carnation Ball each spring, where
brotherhood is celebrated and the chapter's sweetheart is crowned.
Five years later, on May 15, 1927, ground was broken at 234 E. 17th Ave. for
a new chapter house. The architect was Katherine A. Fisher, wife of frater
Don A. Fisher, who also designed the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority house. The house opened in the spring of 1928 with an initial value of $85,000. A full size commercial kitchen, laundry facilities, an additional
bedroom, and balcony were added in the 60's. The house currently has 24 separate bedrooms, three functional fireplaces, five bathrooms, billiard room, and library. All bedrooms have cable television and wireless internet is
available for residents. The maximum occupancy of the house is 49 residents.
The house library is dedicated to three people, Virginia S. French, Frater Richard Magnuson and Frater David Evans. Virginia was the first house mother; she was killed in Columbus on January 11th, 1948, when struck by a trolley car. Fraters Magnuson and Evans were killed in a plane crash on December 6th, 1960.
The Robert J. Borel Chapter Room is where weekly meetings are held. Frater Borel is an Omicron Teke and a former Grand Prytanis of TKE.
The William A. Fowler Dining Room was dedicated in honor of frater Fowler (right),
an Omicron Teke and 1983 Nobel Prize winner for his research in the field of physics, specifically concerning the chemical compositions of stars. The four stained glass
windows in the dining room depict a helmet, a torch, Ohio Stadium, and clasped hands, signifying chivalry, scholarship, sportsmanship, and the secrecy of brotherhood.
During World War II, Frater John F. Blackburn was killed at Pearl Harbor. Blackburn
Hall on the OSU campus is named in his honor. 177 fraters served in the armed
forces during the war, and seven gave their lives fighting for our country.
Three men from Omicron have held the title of Grand Prytanis, Don Fisher, Bob Borel,
and Gary LaBranche. Frater Tim Murphy has served on the Grand Council and as the Executive Vice President, leading the TKE Headquarters staff.
In 2005, the chapter added its 2000th initiate since founding. Currently the Omicron
scroll holds more names than any other TKE scroll.
Omicron has been recognized 10 times as a Top TKE Chapter, most recently for the 2009-2010 year.