Our Partnership with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital


Our Partnership With St. Jude

In August 1978, TKE officially joined Frater Danny Thomas in the fight against childhood cancer by raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Now, 30 years later, TKE is recommitted to this amazing cause and will strive to continue the pledge set forth by our fellow Fraters. Even though Danny died in February 1991, his vision for St. Jude lives on.

Danny Thomas formed ALSAC to raise funds solely for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. And while the hospital struggled to sustain growth during the early years, support from individuals and organizations like TKE helped keep it afloat. Danny noted in the Fall '78 edition of THE TEKE, "Every time we'd think we had enough for next year, the researchers would come up with a bigger need. Fortunately, with people like my Fraters in TKE, we have been able to accomplish what we initially thought was a hopeless task."

Though this was the era when fraternities were viewed as wild and reckless, Danny noted how Tau Kappa Epsilon seemed to be driven by a different beat - one of goodwill.

"There's a unifying bond that grows from young men working together for community service to others that will keep them together for the rest of their lives," Danny noted during a 1978 interview for THE TEKE. "And when they work for something as important as saving the lives of children, that experience can't be equaled."

Tekes began a Keg Roll for St. Jude that same year, and chapters from across the country participated. One of the first chapters that participated was the Theta-Mu chapter at the University of New Orleans where their event was a marathon distance (26.2 miles). Many other chapters followed suit and these fundraisers continued until the early 1990s. The negative connotation the keg brought to the fraternal world ended the TKE Keg Roll, but its philanthropic impact on St. Jude is still being felt.

Danny further stated in THE TEKE: "I am proud to be a Teke, and I know St. Jude is going to approve of this marriage between the greatest Fraternity in the world and the greatest hospital with the most miraculous research center."

At Conclave 2015 in New Orleans, Chief Executive Officer Donald E. Aldrich and Past Grand Prytanis Bob Barr announced that Tau Kappa Epsilon fulfilled its 5-year, $1 million pledge to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital--a year early, nonetheless. Fraters across TKE Nation continue to support the children of St. Jude, but we still have work to do. Now is the time to make your work count! 


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Quick Facts

  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
  • Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
  • Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since its opening. We won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
  • Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from individual contributors and partners like Tau Kappa Epsilon, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation.
  • St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.

Learn More About Our Partnership With St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Why Proton Therapy?

Proton therapy allows doctors to precisely target tumors with high doses of radiation while sparing nearby healthy tissue and organs. This new therapy offers a huge benefit for children with brain tumors and other cancers in sensitive areas like the eye, because it reduces harm to the developing body and lessens the risk of secondary tumors later in life. St. Jude estimates that within five years 80 percent of the pediatric patients needing radiation will receive proton therapy.

The proton therapy center is the first in the nation dedicated solely to children and designed specifically to meet the needs of young patients. The center includes three treatment rooms, treatment preparation and recovery rooms for patients, plus a musical staircase that leads to a rain forest-inspired waiting room. The multidisciplinary staff comprises specialists from oncology, radiation therapy, diagnostic imaging, nursing, child life and others.

The powerhouse of proton therapy is the synchrotron, a massive particle acceleration system that generates the proton beam. Highly-skilled technicians program the synchrotron to deliver a beam at the exact energy levels needed for each specific patient. The proton beam then travels through the vacuum of the synchrotron at seven-tenths the speed of light, directly to the treatment room where it will be administered with exactitude to the patient, via a nozzle.

The depth and intensity of the proton beam is guided by advanced control systems to conform to the shape of the tumor. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the features unique to the St. Jude proton therapy system in November 2015 and the center began seeing its first patients in December.

The Northeast Ironmen Alumni Association of Tau Kappa Epsilon at Region 1 was installed as a chapter on March 9, 2007.

Since 1899, Tau Kappa Epsilon has never had an exclusionary clause for membership. TKE does not judge men on their wealth, rank or honor, but instead on their personal worth and character.

Our mission is to "to aid men in their mental, moral, and social development for life." In essence, we build Better Men for a Better World.

Useful Links

Northeast Ironmen Alumni Association

TKE International