Distinguished Alumni

Emmett Wallace Arnett | Sherwood Blue | C.O. Davisson | Allan H. Warne

 

Emmett Wallace Arnett

In Memorial
1889-1979

Emmett Wallace Arnett, Alpha Iota Roster number 1, was born on May 20, 1889 in Southwestern Tippecanoe County, Indiana, the fourth child of Edwin Ruthven Arnett and Elizabeth Marena Sayers. He graduated from West Lafayette High School in 1910 and attended Indiana University. He first appears in the Arbutus in 1911. Brother Arnett was a member of the Dalethian Club, a precursor organization to our Alpha Iota Chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity.

He taught school in Tippecanoe and Clinton counties, and was principal at the old Tippecanoe Grade School from 1913 to 1917. He went to school in the summer months and taught in the winter months.  He entered the United States Army on October 6, 1917, and was in charge of enlisted men's schools at Camp Taylor, Kentucky, where he taught recruits how to read. He was honorably discharged as a 2nd Lieutenant, and after his discharge he returned to Tippecanoe School, and again was principal from 1919 to 1923.  During this tenure, he returned to Alpha Iota and was initiated with the original Founding Fathers.  He received his A.B. in economics in 1922. Later, he was principal of Jefferson High School in Lafayette, Indiana from 1923-1926. He obtained his A.M. in Education in 1927.

He married Frida Louise Hencke on August 23, 1922 in Lafayette. She was born in Lafayette on September 19, 1889, the youngest child of 8 living children. She was a graduate of Lafayette High School, now Jefferson High School; attended Indiana State Teachers College two terms and summer sessions at the University of Chicago and Indiana University. She taught at Centennial School, Lafayette, IN ‑‑ grades 3, 5, 6, 7 & 8 ‑ September 1908 to June 1922. In those days women were not allowed to teach professionally after they married. She earned two degrees from Indiana University: Bachelor of Public School Music 1928, and Master of Science in Education, 1936.

In September 1927, they moved to Bloomington, where he was assistant to Dr. Henry Lester Smith, Dean of the School of Education at Indiana University. He was in charge of the summer sessions and advised students. When he retired from Indiana University in 1959, he was in the Registrar's Office as Assistant Admissions Officer. He also had completed all of his course work for his Ph.D., but did not complete his thesis.

He was President of the Alpha Iota Building Association beginning in 1923, the first individual stockholder of the Association, on the Alpha Iota advisory board from 1927 to 1979, and was Alpha Iota’s Alumnus delegate to the 1928 Theta Chi National Convention in Indianapolis. When the military required additional barracks for personnel during WWII, he arranged for the Alpha Iota Chapter House to be used to provide housing, as many of its members were not in residence at the time.  Well into the 1970’s he continued to visit the Chapter House and regale the undergraduates with stories of traveling to Bloomington from home by horseback and by carriage to attend school. 

He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa International, commander of the American Legion Burton Woolery Post 18 in 1946, and treasurer, vestryman, and Sunday School superintendent at Trinity Episcopal Church.  He died on 26 January 1979 in Bloomington, and is buried with his wife at Sugar Grove Cemetery, Tippecanoe Co., Indiana.

Sherwood Blue

In Memorial
1905-1999

Sherwood Blue attended Indiana University from 1922 to 1928 earning both an undergraduate degree in 1926 and law degree in 1928 from the Bloomington campus.  He was initiated on February 18, 1923 and received Roster number 80.  He served as Chapter Secretary and President during the time when the Fess Street house was purchased and when the land was purchased at 101 Jordan to build that Chapter House.  He served on the organizing Committee for the 1928 Theta Chi National Convention in Indianapolis; his Brother Sky (AI Roster #79) was the Chairman of that Committee.  He was also one of just a few Brothers who were present for the dedication of both the 101 Jordan Avenue Chapter House and the 1440 N Jordan Avenue Chapter House that were built specifically to house Alpha Iota Chapter.  He was a member of the Theta Chi Building Association and the Theta Chi Realty Corporation.

He was in private practice from 1928 to 1948 when he was elected as Marion County Prosecutor, serving for four years.  He returned to his private practice in 1952 and was active until 1999.  He was very active in Republican Politics throughout his life and was an active member of the Columbia Club.  He married Janet Roberts in 1957, shortly after she graduated from the IU School of Law in Bloomington and she joined his practice until she became the Clerk of the Indiana Appellate Court in 1967.  She later was appointed Commissioner of Court of Appeals and served in that capacity until her death in 2006 at the age of 73. 

His National Fraternity service included being a Grand Chapter member from 1946-1954 serving as National Secretary, National Vice President, and elected National President 9/6/52 to complete his tenure on Theta Chi’s National Board of Directors. 

Brother Blue founded the Foundation Chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity on October 16, 1953 with a bequest from the Krannert Estate.  He served as President from 1953 to 1992 and President Emeritus
from 1993-1999.  From 1953 to 2006, the Foundation Chapter has awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships and grants to worthy Theta Chis.  In 2006 the Foundation Chapter became the primary beneficiary of the Sherwood and Janet Roberts Blue Trust valued in excess of $7,000,000, which will continue to provide more than $250,000 in scholarships annually to worthy Theta Chis.

His Theta Chi awards included the Citation of Honor, Alumni Award (from Alpha Iota Chapter, Indianapolis Alumni Chapter, and the Grand Chapter), Grand Chapter Service Award, Theta Chi for Life Award, and the Theta Chi Distinguished Service award.

Brother Blue sang the Meridian Street United Methodist Church choir for more than 40 years.  He was also an active member of the Indiana University Alumni Association, the Indiana State Bar Association, the Indianapolis Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

C.O. Davisson


In Memorial
1896-1979

Clarence Owen “C.O.” Davisson (Roster #10, initiated March 19,1921) was born December 7, 1896 on a farm near Galveston, Indiana. (No, he did not write the Ritual!)  Due to illness, he had to leave grammar school for two years. After he became well he was able to make up for all lost time, caught up with his age group, and was at the top of his class in academics in high school, undergraduate school, and law school.

He attended Indiana Normal and became a schoolteacher, teaching for several years in Warren County, Ohio. He was a telegraph operator for the Army in WWI, but the war ended before he deployed to Europe. In the fall of 1919 he entered Indiana University with a savings of $200. Some men he met during a card game on the train to Bloomington invited him to join the Dalethian Club, a non-Greek fraternity, and gave him a job working in the kitchen and waiting tables. 

He was elected Vice-President of the Dalethian Club for the year 1920-1921, but the elected President did not return to college in the fall of 1920 so he served as President that year when it became affiliated with Theta Chi, and thereby Brother Davisson, as a sophomore, was the first President of Alpha Iota. Later that year, he joined several other Charter members and formed the Theta Chi Building Association, the first Alumni Corporation for Alpha Iota Chapter. In the spring of 1923 he graduated from I.U. Law School and started practicing law in Anderson.  In the 50's & 60's his two sons, Richard and Daniel (both also Alpha Iota Brothers), became attorneys and they practiced together as Davisson, Davisson & Davisson. Two grandsons are also Theta Chi’s, William C. Davisson, Alpha Iota at Indiana University, and William L. Hutchinson, Gamma Tau at Drake University.

Brother Davisson had four attributes, which guided him successfully through life:

  1. He was an outstanding attorney and always championed right over wrong.
  2. He was a devoted family person and never caused embarrassment to his parents, his wife or his children.
  3. He was an avid golfer and belonged to four Country Clubs in three states at the time of his death in 1979.
  4. He was a firm believer in the values of fraternity and was a participating and proud member for more than fifty years in Theta Chi, Masons, and Optimist Club.

Theta Chi Fraternity always remained of great importance to him, and through the years he remained extremely close to the men of Alpha Iota.

 

Allan H. Warne

In Memorial
1902-2002

Shortly after celebrating his 100th birthday, loyal Alpha Iota Brother Al Warne Sr. joined the Chapter Eternal. Brother Al meant something to every man who has taken the oath to become a Theta Chi at I.U. He was both an icon and a cornerstone, with over 70 years of active involvement with our chapter. Besides being a charter member, he was pivotal in the establishment of our Realty Corporation and the acquisition of all three of our Theta Chi Chapter homes in Bloomington.

Allan Henderson Warne was born December 16, 1902, in Hobbs, Indiana, the third son of Charles Henry Warne and Ida Eudora Hobbs Warne. Hobbs, Indiana, was named after Allan's Grandfather.  He attended Indiana University, graduating in 1925 with a bachelor's degree in Commerce. He was a member of the Alpha Iota Chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity (Roster #37, initiated March 19, 1921) for 82 years and has served in many capacities in the Bloomington Chapter, including being a charter member of the Chapter, Theta Chi Building Association, and Theta Chi Realty Corporation.  He also served for ten years on Theta Chi Fraternity’s National Board of Trustees (NBT), including four years as President.  Moving to Indianapolis following graduation, he was employed by Indiana Bell Telephone Company for 41 years. His career was in finance and accounting. He retired December 31, 1967 as Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. He is a Life Member of The Ameritech Pioneers, a volunteer organization of Ameritech employees and retirees.

He married Esther Luvonne Forkner on January 1, 1927. Esther passed away February 10, 1995. They had three children – Al Jr., Dick, and Maggie. Al Jr., Roster #474, joined Alpha Iota Chapter of Theta Chi in 1948 and served for several years on the Realty Corporations Board of Directors.  Al Sr. was a life-long member of Third Christian Church and, as an elder, served a term as President of the Church Board. He was an active member of Christian Men Builders and a pianist for the CMB Orchestra for over forty years.

His activities in civic affairs earned him the respect and accolades of the Indianapolis community. He was a founding member in 1960 of the Senior Citizen's Center in Indianapolis, and has served as President and Treasurer. He was the first President of the Central Indiana Council on Aging (CICOA). The Board of Directors meeting room at the Senior Citizen's Center has been named the Allan H. Warne Room. He was also a founding member in 1974 of the Society of Retired Executives now known as the Executive Service Corps, and he was a founding member of the North Side Kiwanis Club of Kiwanis International and was the President in 1951.  He further served as a member of the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. He served three years as Treasurer. He was a member of the YMCA Board of Trustees. His other community involvements included the Concord Center Settlement House {President), the Marion County Cancer Society (Secretary), the New Hope Foundation. (Treasurer), and the Crossroads of America Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

With his financial background, leadership, and oversight perspective, he was informally and affectionately known as "Mr. Integrity." The Fellowship of Christians and Jews honored him in the 1970’s.  He was a thirty-second degree Mason, a member of the Mystic Tie Lodge, the Scottish Rite, and the Murat Shrine.  Perhaps of greatest importance has been his profound and lasting devotion to his family. As with all great men, Theta Chi was just a part of Al's life. His children wrote this biography, which captures his wonderful life.

 

 

The Alpha Iota Chapter
of Theta Chi Fraternity
1440 N. Jordan Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47408
thetachi@alumni.indiana.edu