Taylor Albert Borradaile
Taylor Albert Borradaile was born on May 15, 1885, in Camden, Ohio. Borradaile entered Miami University in 1904 and was active in almost every phase of university life during his four years as an undergraduate. He was a member of the Erodelphian Literary Society and was its president during his junior year.
Borradaile’s major contribution in the planning phase of the Non-Fraternity Association was to personally provide the necessary organizational leadership to start the association. When the association held its first meeting on March 17, 1906, Borradaile was elected the first president.
Like Founder Douglass, Borradaile graduated with a degree in chemistry, but directed his talents towards the teaching field. After devoting a few years to high school work, both as a teacher and a principal, he returned to chemistry as a profession, operating his own chemical laboratory in West Virginia. At the same time, he served the city of Charleston, West Virginia, as chief chemist.
Borradaile subsequently accepted a position with the federal government and served for several years as the chief chemist in the materials testing section of the Veteran’s Administration.
Founder Borradaile was well-known to members of the Fraternity everywhere for his quick sense of humor, his warm personality and his calm, genial nature. His later years were spent with his wife Letha in Beckley, West Virginia, where he died in 1977.
Dwight Ireneus Douglass
Dwight Ireneus Douglass was born and raised in the small McLean County community of Colfax, Illinois. The son of a physician, Douglass entered Miami University in September 1902 to study chemistry. In addition to his academic work, Douglass was active in the Erodelphian Literary Society, belonged to the tennis and golf clubs, played varsity football, and was a member of the Athletic Board of Control.
Douglass has been characterized by his contemporaries as the real leader in the development of the Fraternity in its early years. As the Golden Jubilee History (written by Jack L. Anson) points out: “It was his ability to plan an organize and to anticipate the future, along with his commanding personality, that welded friends to him, which motivated others and made his new organization a fact.” Douglass continued his stories at the Colorado School of Mines following his graduation from Miami in 1906. He received a degree in mining engineering and worked in the mining field for some time. During World War I he served in France with the 28th Engineers, and was gassed and wounded in the final day of hostilities. Following his discharge in 1919, he lost touch with the Fraternity for a period of time.
Because of poor health due to his war service, Douglass accepted a position with the Veterans Administration in New Orleans in 1922. He retired in 1937, moving to nearby Hammond, Louisiana, where he spent his remaining years as a short story writer. He died on February 12, 1940.
Clinton Dewitt Boyd
Clinton DeWitt Boyd was born in Mt. Orab, a small town in Brown Country, Ohio, located about 25 miles east of Cincinnati, in October of 1884. He enrolled at Miami University in September 1904 and soon became recognized for his ability as a public speaker and debater. He was also a capable member of the Miami track team and served as its captain in 1906 and 1907.
Boyd, along with Founder Shideler, organized the non-affiliated members of the Miami student body into a working organization during the period when the Non-Fraternity Association evolved. He completed law school at the University of Michigan after graduating from Miami in 1908 and opened a law office in Middletown, Ohio in 1910.
From 1929 to 1937, Boyd served as a judge of the Butler County Court of Common Pleas and then returned to private practice in Middletown until his death in a 1950 automobile accident.
Boyd’s son, Clinton D. Boyd, Jr. and grandson Mark Boyd, are both members of Alpha Chapter at Miami University.
William Henry Shideler
William Henry Shideler was born near Middletown, Ohio on July 14, 1886 and was the youngest of the four Phi Kappa Tau Founders. Shideler was a member of the North Dorm Senate and the Erodelphian Literary Society. He was the author of the Non-Fraternity Association constitution, along with Douglass, and was the guiding light in directing the preliminaries of the founding.
In 1910, he received his doctorate in geology from Cornell University and returned to Miami where he served as a member of the faculty until his retirement in 1957.
Founder Shideler held every Phi Kappa Tau national office during his long career of exemplary service to the Fraternity. He was National President from 1913-1914, Historian from 1917-1922, and a member of the National Council from 1920 to 1923 and National Controller from 1929 until his death on December 18, 1958. He was also the Fraternity’s acting National Secretary during World War II.
Shideler was known as “Doc” even as an undergraduate and was always interested in Miami sports. As an undergraduate, he was on the Miami varsity track team and for several years was Miami’s representative to the Mid-American Conference and the NCAA. Shideler’s two sons, William Watson and James Henry, also joined Phi Kappa Tau. Shideler Hall, Miami’s earth and science building today perpetuates Founder Shideler’s memory as a great Miami teacher and scholar. The building was named in 1967.
Ewing T. Boles
Ewing T. Boles was born on a farm about four miles outside of Williamstown, Kentucky, on May 4, 1895. The county seat of Grant County, Williamstown claimed 3,023 residents in the 1990 census. Cincinnati, Ohio, has always been the closest “big city.” Boles was the youngest of three children.
On the advice of his high school principal, Boles attended Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. He was initiated into Delta chapter of what was then known as Phrenecon, in 1914. He majored in economics and English and was captain of the football team. He graduated from Centre in 1916.
From the beginning, Boles was involved in his Fraternity. He was national president in 1916-17, when Phrenocon adopted the name Phi Kappa Tau on December 21-22, 1916, at the National Convention held in Alliance, Ohio.
One of Boles’ first task was to persuade Miami University’s Alpha chapter to re-join the fold. His trip to Oxford is documented in a March 14, 1917, letter to Alexander Kerr, then Grand Secretary. “I hope to send you a petition form the bunch here within a week… They are a very fine bunch of fellows and will make a dandy chapter…” And as a side note at the end is also telling, “What about Ohio State?”
Boles began law school at the University of Kentucky but World War I intervened. He served in the United States Navy from September 1917, to March 1919.
Boles worked in Chicago after the war, and held other positions before joining BancOhio Securities Company (later the Ohio Company) in 1929. He was named its president in 1935 and continued in that capacity until his retirement in 1965. He enjoyed considerable success in business, serving on the board of directors for some 15 companies. He was president of the Investment Bankers Association, 1952-53, and active in community service organizations.
Boles was the father of three children, with wife Katherine Dwyer Boles. Dr. E. Thomas Boles, Jr., a graduate of William and Mary and Harvard Medical School, was initiated into Phi Kappa Tau’s Alpha Theta chapter in 1939.
Edgar Ewing Brandon
Edgar Ewing Brandon (Miami University, 1906 b. August 9, 1865 d. June 8, 1957) was a professor of French and college administrator who served twice as acting president of Miami University (1909-10 and 1927-28) and was an expert on the Marquis de Lafayette.
Born in York Springs, Pennsylvania, Brandon earned an A.B. degree from the University of Michigan, a A.M. degree from the University of Missouri in 1897 and a Docteur d’Universite degree from the University of Paris in 1904.
Dr. Brandon was appointed professor of Romance Languages at Miami University and held that position until his retirement in 1931. He served at vice president of Miami University from 1908 to 1931, Dean from 1912 to 1931 and was twice acting president. In 1906, he became the first faculty advisor to the organization that would become Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity and later served two terms as national president of the fraternity. For his guidance in the development of the fraternity, he is known as the “Architect of Phi Kappa Tau.” The fraternity gives the Edgar Ewing Brandon Award to outstanding faculty advisors in the fraternity each year.
During World War I, he served in France as director of the Foyer du Soldat (French YMCA).
In his retirement, he wrote two books on the Marquis de Lafayette chronicling his travels through the United States.
He died in Oxford, Ohio and is buried in the Oxford Cemetery. Brandon Hall, a dormitory on the Miami University campus is named for Dr. Brandon.
Jack L. Anson
Jack Lee Anson, Colgate University, 1947 b. August 3, 1924 d. September 15, 1990, was an important leader in the American college interfraternity movement, and was known as “Mr. Fraternity.” Under Anson’s leadership as executive director of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, college fraternities and sororities gained an exemption from Title IX legislation to preserve the single-sex nature of the organizations.
A native of Huntington, Indiana, Anson served in the U.S. Army in the European Theater, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and became the Army’s youngest master sergeant. He graduated from Colgate University in 1948 where he was a member of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity.
He spent his entire career in the service of the North American college fraternity movement. He served his own fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau, in a number of positions culminating with his appointment as executive director. In 1970, Anson became executive director of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, a position he held until his retirement in 1982.
He was the author of The Golden Jubilee History of Phi Kappa Tau in 1957, A Diamond Jubilee History of the National Interfraternity Conference: 75 Glorious Years in 1984 and at the time of his death he was serving as editor of the current edition of Baird’s Manual of American College Fraternities.
In 1985, Anson won the Interfraternity world’s highest honor, the Gold Medal of the North-American Interfraternity Conference. In addition, he was widely honored by men’s and women’s Greek-letter organizations for his contributions to the North American college fraternity movement including awards from Lambda Chi Alpha, Delta Gamma and others.
In Anson’s memory, the Association of Fraternity Advisors presents a Jack L. Anson Award and the National Interfraternal Foundation presents Jack L. Anson Fellowships.
Roland W. Maxwell (University of Southern California, 1922) was a Pasadena, California attorney who served as National President from 1934-1959. He also served as president of the National Interfraternity Conference and is one of three Phi Taus to receive the Conference’s Gold Medal. Maxwell is author of the Phi Kappa Tau Creed and the outstanding chapter award is named for him.