Beta Is a Tradition That Spans Generations for Bob Dold ‘60

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When trying to choose which college to attend, the answer was easy for Robert Dold, Sr. ’60. Even easier was his decision to join the Alpha Eta Chapter of Beta Theta Pi. We recently sat down with Bob to discuss his family’s extensive Denison history, why he chose to go to Denison and his dedication to Beta Theta Pi.

Where does your family’s history with Denison start?

Going to Denison became a pseudo family tradition because of my grandfather- my mother’s father. He was a Baptist minister throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania, and, at the time, Denison was a Baptist-affiliated school. My grandfather had five children and, because of his job as a minister, his children got to go to the school with a heavily reduced tuition. Back in those days, my grandfather didn’t have a lot of money, and his children seized this opportunity to attend a great, little school. My grandfather eventually retired in Granville. Four out of the five of my grandparents' children were actually a part of Phi Beta Kappa. The fifth graduated in three and a half years, went on to Harvard Law, and became a judge.

Why did you join Beta Theta Pi?

My father was in Alpha Eta and so were my two older brothers. I had the opportunity to join all the other fraternities on campus, but chose Beta because of the family ties I had to it. My brothers graduated as Alpha Eta brothers in ’52 and ’56, and I followed in ’60.

What made you go to Denison in the first place?

I chose Denison because it is a great, little school. I came from a large high school, and Denison had the smaller population of students that I was looking for. On top of that, Denison is a family school for us. Not only am I one of 26 family members (including all four of my children) that attended the university, but also it was a sort of meeting place for my family. I had cousins in Granville and an uncle who was an English professor at the school. He lived and raised his family there. His two daughters were Denison Tri Deltas.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Alpha Eta?

I don’t have a particular favorite memory, but my favorite part was the camaraderie of my frat brothers, a bunch of great guys living together. Many of those men have remained in my life for over 50 years. I loved living in the house. We studied, ate, worked and partied together. We all felt a loyalty to the house and the school.

Why is it important for you to stay connected after graduation?

Once a Beta, always a Beta. I feel connected to any Alpha Eta brothers that I meet because of what we all went through together. We all attended a great school in a quaint town, and we all love that school. We can all recognize Beta as a wonderful place to meet dear friends and build lasting relationships. It’s important to stay connected with Alpha Eta because you are connected through the Beta bonds of friendship.