The University of Texas

The University of Texas opened in September 1883. Tau Deuteron Chapter received its charter that December. Graduate brother and English professor Leslie Waggener (Bethel College 1860) acted as legate or installing officer. He later became the first University president. Another brother, William L. Prather (Washington and Lee 1871) also served as UT president and originated the phrase, “the eyes of Texas are upon you,” from which comes the University song.

On campus, Waggener Hall (1932) and Prather Hall (1937) are named after the brothers respectively. A third brother, William S. Livingston (Ohio State 1942) served as Acting President in 1992-93. Fijis from across the country and from the Tau Deuteron Chapter have played instrumental roles in the University’s history.

Historic Waggener Hall, pictured here in the 1930s, houses the Classics Department at the University of Texas.


Buen Retiro

Tau Deuteron ceased in 1887, and revived in 1901. The chapter moved from one rented house to another for several years. Then the mother of H.J. Lutcher Stark (Texas 1910) bought the Goldbeck mansion, built in 1902. The house corporation purchased it from her in May 1908. Known today as Buen Retiro (“Good Rest”), the chapter house is situated at 300 W. 27th Street and has experienced many remodelings and renovations. A Texas Historical Commission marker is affixed by
the front door:

Colonial revival mansion built 1902 by Austin financier Louis Nicholas Goldbeck. Sold 1908 to Texas Association of Phi Gamma Delta, National Fraternity first chartered in Texas in 1856.

Housing Tau Deuteron Chapter, this has been campus residence of men who became statesmen and cultural and business leaders. Financing for property came from many friends, with notable gifts from family of University Regent and Alumnus H.J. Lutcher Stark. (Recorded Texas Historic Landmark 1972)


Buen Retiro’s status as a Texas Historic Landmark is demarcated by a plaque fixed next to the front entrance.