At a small ceremony in the Wren Chapel which was attended by fraternity members, their parents, and William & Mary President Taylor Reveley, the brothers unveiled a commissioned painting of the Wren Building by nationally renowned artist Gary Casteel.
Casteel, who gained national prominence in 1998 when his statue of Gen. Longstreet was one of the last memorials added at the Gettysburg battlefield, is the step-father of Delta Chi brother Eric Nold ‘10. He agreed to let the fraternity sell prints of the painting for a year, with half of the proceeds going to the Fund for William and Mary. Delta Chi Philanthropy Chair David Sherman '12 spoke very highly of Casteel's participation in the project saying, "He's really gracious to do this. Normally artists would receive money from the sale of their art related merchandise but for the first year he's not getting anything from the sale of prints."
Another 40 percent of the money raised by the sale of Casteel's artwork will go to the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Founded in 1993 in memory of NC State basketball coach Jim Valvano, the V foundation funds cancer research across the country and is the Delta Chi Fraternity's national charity of choice.
Sherman emphasized the groundbreaking nature of the project as a philanthropic endeavor, saying "This project is unique in the sense that it's the only fraternity philanthropy that I know of where the money is donated directly to the fund for William and Mary ... This is one of the few chances if not the only chance for people to buy a piece of school memorabilia and to know that the money is going to the fund for William and Mary."
The College's chapter of Delta Chi has only been in existence since 2005 but its members have already made strides toward establishing themselves on campus. This year they were awarded the Greek Progress award by the William & Mary Greek council, due in part to their philanthropic efforts.
Casteel was present at the ceremony to personally unveil the painting, which depicts a view of the historic building from ancient campus with the Lord Botetourt statue in the foreground flanked by autumn trees. The painting is the first of four or perhaps five such works, with one painting being unveiled by the brothers of Delta Chi every fall. Future subjects will include the Crim Dell bridge, the Thomas Jefferson statue, and the Sunken Garden.
Sherman said that, for him at least, the unveiling ceremony provided "a big sense of accomplishment. It was a big relief because everything came out so nicely. The great hall of the Wren Building turned out to be a perfect place for it. [Co-ed a capella group] the Cleftomaniacs sang and they told me how much they enjoyed singing in that location. Everything just fit together."
Prints of Casteel's painting will be available for sale at the campus book store, the alumni gift shop, and online at www.valleyartspublishing.com until the second painting in the series arrives next year.