G.E.R.M.A.N. Club Ritual
The letters that spell G.E.R.M.A.N. mean infinitely more than mere symbols of the alphabet to the German Club and to each German Club member. G-E-R-M-A-N signify attributes that are pillars of strength. Upon them is built the German Club. You must not only know them, you must live them, exemplify them. It is your definite obligation, your positive duty, so long as you are a German Club member to strengthen the six pillars. They are:
G: Stands for Gentlemen. Be first of all a gentleman at all times. The true German Club man bespeaks the manners, culture, and good breeding that mark the true gentleman. See to it that your own conduct rather than other men's words should praise you. Good manners and good morals go hand in hand, and gentlemanly conduct is everywhere a passport to the high regard of worthy people. In flaming words shines the German doctrine: When dignity is lost, and honor dies, the man is dead.
E: Stands for Earnestness. The German Club man is earnest in his efforts, diligent in the duties of membership. Work earnestly always for the good of the German Club. If you have great talents, earnest work will improve them; if but moderate abilities earnest industry will supply their deficiencies. Nothing is denied to well-directed labor and earnest work; nothing is ever to be attained without them.
R: Stands for Reputation and Responsibility. The two are inseparably linked, one with the other. The Reputation of the German Club is a glorious heritage bequeathed by those German Club men who have gone before you. This proud and honorable Reputation comes to you as a vibrant challenge out of the past and into the present to summon from this moment forward the very best that is within you. With you we now share the mantle of Responsibility to guard and to uphold this Reputation. The high Reputation of the German Club is your Responsibility, not alone to keep but also to enrich by your words and your deeds.
M: Stands for Manhood. In all that the word implies, be a Man. Do the manly things. Do what your Manhood bids that you do, from none but self expect applause. It is not what you have but what you are that expresses your worth as a Man. The German Club expects you always to be a Man. It expects you to love truth, hate wrong, and respect others as you do yourself. Never forget this truth, namely: One cannot always be a hero but one can always be a Man.
A: Stands for Aim. The German Club has a definite Aim. We dedicate ourselves, by earnest work and unflagging zeal, to provide dances that are of the highest credit to our Club and to our Alma Mater. Through the loyalty of us all to our Club and through unbreakable bonds of brotherly love we seek to promote good fellowship among us. The enrichment of our own lives and the enrichment of our Alma Mater must forever be our Aim, our common goal. See to it that our social functions are chastened by culture and dignity. Make certain that our good fellowship continues firm and constant. Remember always that the only way to have a friend is to be one.
N: Stands for Name. The good Name of the German Club, as of yourself, must be a priceless treasure for you to guard forever. Do your part to assure that the German Club not only possesses a good Name but deserves one. Never forget that a good Name is the greatest gift that we of the Club can leave to the German Club men of tomorrow. Build this Name upon Honor and Hospitality. Upon Honor because without Honor , which means fair-dealing, truth and integrity, the German Club cannot fulfill its worthy mission. With Honor there is power. Upon Hospitality because the German Club always has been and will be the host, and graciousness to our guests is our duty and obligation. And you must not only enhance this good Name of the German Club, but also guard it always. It is, alas, all too true that a good Name is the result of many actions and lost by one.
Written by German Club member Mel Jeffries ('26) in 1935.