It is hard to believe Delta Theta alums have been Zooming for almost a year now.

I was surprised to look back and see the first time we did a Zoom for Chapter Alums was in August 2021, and at that time, only some of my contemporaries attended. But by December’s ‘Christmas Tequila Sunrise Zoom,’ there were alums from the 60s and 70s who joined us as well as active brothers. Over the course of the next few months, each decade has had its share of representatives who stopped by.

At one of the first few Zooms, we got to meet Joe Thompson (ΔΘ 700) and classmate, Bill Smythe (ΔΘ 699), and reconnect with Al Schmidt (ΔΘ 740). They shared many stories including the role Delta Theta had in changing Sigma Nu national rules that helped usher in civil rights at the fraternity level back then. We learned that ‘Tequila Sunrise’ (for those that lived and still live through it) started in the early 1970s. They talked about ‘House Mom’ Suzie Boothby (and her little dog), who the old ‘Suzie Suite’ was named after when the house was located on 342 South West Street, now the Umbeck Science center.

Then, we learned about David “DW” Hartmann (ΔΘ789) and the scholarship named after him. The scholarship is intended to help a disabled Knox student or disabled brother of Delta Theta. We were surprised that none of us on the Zoom call (and later I learned, neither House Corporation nor the active chapter) had ever heard of it despite being awarded several times over recent years.

And then we talked about music: lots and lots of music. Joe was quite vocal as to the good times they had at Knox with music. The House had a band called ‘Grindl & the Honey Cloisters.’ The band was made up of Bob Heller (ΔΘ 722), Barry Kramer (RIP), Al Miner (ΔΘ 716), and Joe Thompson. Al and Joe did the singing and played guitar. Joe re-called the band being “hired” to play for a “Beta Woodsie” at the lake. They played original songs as well as some covers.

After the Zoom, Joe emailed me this photo of him (the tall guy) and Al Miner. The ‘Grindl’ mobile was sweet; a 1949 canvas top convertible Plymouth for which Joe paid $25. Al and Joe were driving from Galesburg to New York City right after Joe’s finals, senior year. Joe didn’t stick around for the Knox College commencement.

Joe also sent me MP3 files of two of the band’s original songs: “Take Me,” and “They Say.” You can listen to them below. While there is some static sound, in the beginning, the recordings are surprisingly good considering what 1960s recording equipment for college students must have been like compared to modern-day digital mixers.


Zoom has been quite a boon for re-connecting and re-building the Delta Theta Alumni Culture. It makes us all realize we have more in common despite our age differences and life experiences. Hope to see you at a future Zoom and hear your Delta Theta stories