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Delta Upsilon (ΔΥ) is the sixth oldest international, all-male, college, Greek-letter social fraternity and is the first and oldest non-secret fraternity in North America. Founded on November 4, 1834, at Williams College in Williamstownmarker, Massachusettsmarker, Delta Upsilon has initiated over 110,000 men into its brotherhood since its founding.

Late in the fall of 1834, twenty men from the sophomore and junior classes found ten of the best men from the freshmen class and came together in opposition to the activities of the two secret societies on the Williams campus. A meeting was called for the evening of November 4, in the Freshman Recitation Room of Old West College, a building that stands today. Within four years, the ideals of an anti-secret brotherhood based on merit spread rapidly, and groups were set up at Union Collegemarker in 1838, Middlebury Collegemarker in 1845, and Hamilton College and Amherst Collegemarker both in 1847. Today, there are over 80 DU chapters and colonies across the United States and Canada.

Among its members, Delta Upsilon includes James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States; Joseph P. Kennedy, Ambassador to Great Britain and father of two senators and a President; Lester B. Pearson, 14th Prime Minister of Canada; Lou Holtz, NCAA football national champion as coach of Notre Dame in 1988 and ESPN college football analyst; Michael D. Eisner, former chairman and CEO of Walt Disney Co.; Tommy Franks, former commanding general of the United States Central Command and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., editorialist and author.



In the fall of 1834, on the Williams College, the two secret fraternities on campus had begun to effectively dominate the campus honors lists with their own men. This practice was frowned upon by the faculty, as they questioned whether the campus politics were becoming contrary to the founding purposes of the college itself. On November 4th, the campus saw the formation of The Social Fraternity. Although the records of this first meeting were destroyed in a fire seven years later, it is known that the Social Fraternity flourished. Soon, more than half of the men on campus as members. The fraternity openly published their constitution and made known their membership and ideals. Soon, The Social Fraternity at Williams was joined by similar groups at Union Collegemarker, Middlebury Collegemarker, Hamilton College, and Amherst Collegemarker.

In November 1847, these anti-secret groups met in Convention at Troymarker, New Yorkmarker and formally organized a fraternity, established as the Anti-Secret Confederation (ASC). The ASC Constitution paralleled that of the Williams Chapter, and the Convention first adopted a member key bearing its motto, the Greek words, Ouden Adelon, "Nothing Secret." The Fraternity's colors were set as "old gold on a field of sky-blue."

By the Convention of 1852, seven chapters had been established and were thriving. The seven chapters in attendance at the Convention, Williams, Union, Hamilton, Amherst, Wesleyan, Western Reserve, and Colby, are known as the "Seven Stars" of the anti-secrecy fight and are commemorated in the Fraternity Coat of Arms.

Early Years

By 1864, the Civil War had taken its toll on college men, and fraternities as well. Changes were necessary in the ASC, a more centralized government of the chapters was needed, and there were issues regarding Fraternity insignia and ritual. In March, delegates from the Hamilton College, Rutgers Collegemarker and University of Rochestermarker chapters went to Middlebury Collegemarker in Middlebury, Vermontmarker to meet in Convention. Within a day, the Convention formally adopted the name Delta Upsilon, approved a new Constitution, and approved the Fraternity's Member Badge still in use today.

Following the war the fraternity began to grow again and by 1880, Delta Upsilon had grown to fifteen active chapters. In 1879, the Fraternity recognized that active opposition to secret fraternities was no longer necessary. The Convention formally changed the policy of anti-secrecy to non-secrecy, as stated in the Ritual of Initiation, "the character of the secret societies so altered, that hostility toward them decreased."

In 1867 and 1869, the Fraternity began sporadic publication of Our Record, the Fraternity's first journal. In 1882, the Quarterly was introduced as the official Fraternity journal. Since then, the journal has not missed an issue making it one of the oldest continuously published fraternity magazines. In 1884, the Fraternity celebrated it's 50th year with the publication of The Quinquennial, the first published history. This important anniversary marked a surge in new chapters, including chapters in new areas. The first chapter west of the Mississippi River, at the University of Minnesotamarker was established in 1890. The first chapter by petition, at Tufts Universitymarker approved in 1891. The first chapters on the West Coast, established at Stanford Universitymarker and University of California, Berkleymarker in 1896. In 1898, the Fraternity established a chapter at McGill Universitymarker in Montreal, which made Delta Upsilon an International Fraternity. That same year, a chapter at the University of Nebraska-Lincolnmarker, marked the Fraternity's first Great Plains Chapter.

Twentieth Century

After 1900, the Fraternity's growth spurt slowed. The Fraternity turned to petitioning societies, often "well-established local fraternities with solid records of achievement on their campuses." These groups were closely examined and often delayed acceptance into Delta Upsilon by the Convention, some groups petitioned five or more times for a charter.

In 1909, Charles Evans Hughes, Colgate and Brown 1881, led the Incorporation of the Fraternity. Incorporation under New Yorkmarker law meant the creation of an Assembly of Trustees who would elect the Board of Directors for the Fraternity.

The first Fraternity membership manual, the early predecessor of The Cornerstone, the Manual of Delta Upsilon, was published in 1916. A chapter at the University of Virginiamarker was established in 1922, opening the South for Delta Upsilon. In combination with the membership manual, emphasis on chapter quality led to the establishment of strong chapters throughout the 1920s. A Permanent Trust Fund was established in 1921, to ensure financial stability for the growing Fraternity.

As the world faced the crash of the Great Depression, colleges and fraternities across the country were hit hard. Delta Upsilon was lucky and well prepared, not a single chapter was lost; in fact the Fraternity added nine chapters to its rolls between 1929 and 1935. During both [[World War I] and World War II, many chapter houses were occupied for military needs.

Following World War II, a surge in interest in college fraternities led to a wave of new chapters for the Fraternity. In addition to new chapters, the Fraternity Board of Directors held the first annual Leadership Conference in the summer of 1949. That year, the Delta Upsilon Educational Foundation was formed to raise money for education and assistance of the Fraternity's Brothers. In theme with the emphasis on chapter quality, the Fraternity instituted the Superior Chapter Program in 1960, a planning and evaluation plan which was used to evaluate chapters on objective criteria.

The Civil Rights Movement in the United States led to an analysis of many institutions, including fraternities, and challenged their membership policies. While many fraternities were found to have by-laws with criteria that permitted only certain men into membership, Delta Upsilon's membership criteria since 1834, had recognized only one distinction: merit.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, new challenges faced Fraternities and Sororities across North America. Alcohol laws changed, allowing college men to drink. As chapters fell to the social pressures of alcohol, many turned to "wet rushing," this process allowed for poor decisions, poor quality new members and damaged chapters. Delta Upsilon was not immune to these pressures, the Fraternity did not sit idle. Delta Upsilon was one of the first fraternities to call for dry rush on college campuses. In addition, the Fraternity was one of the first fraternities to emphasize the dangers of hazing and implementing more positive pledge education programs. Because of the Fraternity's high standards, many chapters were suspended or had their charters revoked.

During the 1990s, efforts strengthened toward alcohol-free initiatives. The Fraternity established the McQuaid Commission to review the Fraternity's focus on alcohol-free policies.

Twenty-First Century

On March 28, 2009 Delta Upsilon established its 152nd chapter, and the second of the 21st century, at Webster Universitymarker in St. Louis, Missourimarker. The initiation was also significant as it was the first time in more than a century that Delta Upsilon established a chapter at a school where no previous fraternities and sororities existed. The initiation was also significant because it included Delta Upsilon's first ever digital initiation, with three Brothers of the Webster Chapter studying abroad in Switzerlandmarker being initiated online.

In 2009, the Fraternity achieves another milestone by celebrating its 175th anniversary since inception.

Fraternity Insignia

Coat of Arms

The Fraternity Coat of Arms is blazoned as follows:
  • The shield of Arms: Delta Upsilon bears for arms or a balanced scale proper on a chief azure seven mullets of the first, four and three.
  • Crest: Out of a knight's helmet proper and a wreath of the colors mantled, the badge proper.
  • Torse and Mantling: Below the arms, the motto in Greek letters, Dikaia Upotheke.
  • Bannerets: Dexter, a flagstaff proper and thereon in the fly a banneret of Convention bearing or an oak tree proper on a mount in base vert on a chief azure annulets (in fesse) co-joined; sinister, a flagstaff proper and there on in the fly a banneret of Assembly bearing azure a chevron between five coronets, or two, one and two.
  • Badge: A monogram or the Greek letter Delta surcharged upon the letter Upsilon bearing the motto in Greek letters.

Member Badge and Associate Member Pin

Member Badge
The Delta Upsilon Member Badge is a gold-klad pin featuring the Greek letter Delta superimposed on a Upsilon. The arms of the Upsilon each have a word of the Fraternity motto engraved on them in Greek letters, the left arm has Δικαια, the right arm has Υποθηκη. The badge was designed by a committee, whose first chairman was future United States President James A. Garfield, Williams 1856, and was adopted by the 1858 Convention.

Associate Member Pin
The Associate Member Pin, also known as the Pledge Pin, consists of a gold Delta on blue enamel with a gold Upsilon in the center.

In both cases, the Delta is always an isosceles triangle whose height is equal to its base.

Flag and Colors

The current version of the Fraternity Flag was established in 1911 and consists of three vertical bars, blue, gold, and blue. The gold section features a blue Delta superimposed over a Upsilon, also in blue.

In place of a flag, the Fraternity also has an official banner which is made of white silk with the Fraternity Coat of Arms painted or embroidered on it.

The colors of the Fraternity were approved as "Old Gold and Sapphire Blue" by the 1881 Convention. In 1866, the Convention first adopted "Chrome and Blue" as the official colors. These were altered to simply "Gold and Blue" in 1879, before taking on their current form in 1881.

Motto and Four Founding Principles

The Fraternity's motto is "Dikaia Upotheke" in Greek - "Δικαια Υποθηκη" - which means "Justice, Our Foundation." The motto was adopted in 1858. Until this time, the motto of the Williams Chapter, "Ouden Adelon" - meaning "Nothing Secret," was used.

The Fraternity's Four Founding Principles originated in the Preamble to the early Constitution of the Anti-Secret Confederation. They remained unchanged until the 1891 Convention undertook a complete revision of the Constitution, article-by-article. In the new revision, the old Preamble was completely stricken and the following text was added to Article 1, Section 2: "The objects of this Fraternity shall include the promotion of friendship, the exertion of moral influence, the diffusion of liberal culture, and the advancement of equity in college affairs. It shall be non-secret." This version remained with minor changes until around 1923, when the first printed example of the current version was published in that year's edition of the Manual of Delta Upsilon.

The current text of the Four Founding Principles is:
  • The Promotion of Friendship
  • The Development of Character
  • The Diffusion of Liberal Culture
  • The Advancement of Justice

Fraternity Structure

International Headquarters

The current Fraternity Headquarters is located in Indianapolis, Indianamarker. Completed in 1971, the Delta Upsilon International Fraternity Headquarters was the first Headquarters to be constructed on Founders Road, currently seven other fraternity and sorority headquarters are located within a block on Founders Road and there are more than 32 headquarters in Indianapolis alone. The building was erected through the generosity of Lester E. Cox, Pennsylvania 1898, an alumnus who left half his estate to the Fraternity.

Chapters and Colonies

Undergraduate Chapters and Colonies are established by the Fraternity and are run by an Executive Council consisting of all of the Executive officers of the chapter, including but not limited to: President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice Presidents. Each Chapter maintains their own constitution and by-laws which are subordinate to the Fraternity Constitution and By-laws.

Each Undergraduate Chapter or Colony is supported by an Alumni Chapter whose purpose is to advise and or facilitate the advisory needs of the Undergraduate Chapter.

The Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the executive and administrative body of the Fraternity. The Board currently seats 13 members, two Undergraduate Directors elected by and from the UGAB, seven Alumni Directors elected by and from the Assembly, and four officers each elected by the Assembly. The current president of the Board of Directors is E. Bernard Franklin, a 1975 graduate of the Kansas State Chapter.

Undergraduate Advisory Board

The Undergraduate Advisory Board (UGAB) is made up of 14 Undergraduate members each representing one of the 13 Provinces or the Canadian Convention (CanCon). The UGAB Representatives are nominated at the Regional Leadership Seminar (RLS) for their Province or CanCon and are elected at the annual Leadership Institute each summer.

Province Governors

The Province Governors are Alumni volunteers appointed by the Chairman of the Board of Directors to a two-year term. There are 14 Province Governors, one for each of the 13 Provinces and the CanCon. The Province Governors act as the link between the Board of Directors and the individual chapters, colonies, and alumni chapters within each Province.

The Undergraduate Convention and The Assembly of Trustees

The Undergraduate Convention and the Assembly of Trustees each meet annually at the Leadership Institute. They are the legislative bodies of the Fraternity. Together the Assembly and the Convention make, repeal, and adopt the Fraternity's Laws. The Convention is made up of one delegate from each Undergraduate Chapter in good standing with the Fraternity. The Assembly is made up of one delegate from each Alumni Chapter in good standing with the Fraternity.

Fraternity Programs

Educational Foundation

The Delta Upsilon Educational Foundation (DUEF)was formed in the fall of 1949 to assist individual brothers with scholarships and sponsoring Fraternity programming.

Leadership Institute

In the summer of 1949, the first annual Leadership Conference was held and was one of the first fraternity educational programs to be offered every year.

Programming at the institute is offered in Risk Management, Recruitment, Leadership, and other crucial topics, with best practices modeled from the fraternity's top chapters. The fraternity ritual is displayed in a "Model Initiation" in which several Associate Members from different chapters are initiated in front of over 300 Delta Upsilon Brothers and Fraternity friends.

The Institute hosts the fraternity's bicameral legislature, the Undergraduate Convention and the Assembly of Trustees. The bicameral model is based on the model of the United States Congress with the Convention and the Assembly as the two houses of the legislature.

Winter Educational Conference

Established in 1995, the Presidents' Academy program brings the Fraternity's chapter leaders together each January for a total-immersion leadership experience. Presidents are prepared and given the training to effectively manage their chapters for the term to come.

A separate track of instruction, the Recruitment Symposium, is offered to undergraduates who head up the recruitment or "rush" efforts at their chapters. Programming is currently offered is the Dynamic Recruitment model by Phired Up Recruitment.

The newest piece of the WEC programming is the Advisors' Academy, a program to give chapter and colony advisors tools and resources to help their chapters succeed.

Regional Leadership Seminar

Delta Upsilon was one of the first fraternities to offer a Regional Leadership Seminar (RLS). The RLS is a weekend seminar held by each Province and CanCon. The seminars are educational sessions on leadership and other chapter issues.

DUEL Experience

The Charles Evans Hughes Delta Upsilon Emerging Leaders (DUEL) Program premiered at the 2000 Leadership Institute in Pittsburghmarker. Twenty men, all new members and nominated by their chapters, spent 16 hours together learning and refining their leadership skills. Each year, twenty spots are filled with new Brothers who possess leadership qualities and potential to serve in leadership roles within their chapter. Graduates of the DUEL Program have gone on to leadership positions within their chapters, on their campuses, and in Fraternity Committees.In conjunction with the Fraternity's 175th Anniversary in 2009, DUEL was reorganized and rebranded as an Experience. Most notably, DUEL Experience delegates now travel to Williamstown, Massachusettsmarker and participate in a three-day program where the Fraternity's founders worked out the plan for Delta Upsilon.

Fraternity Publications

The Delta Upsilon Quarterly

Since the Quarterly began publication in 1882, the Fraternity has never missed a scheduled printing. The Quarterly is one of the oldest continuously published fraternity magazine in the world. Since January 1973, the Executive Director and staff at the International Headquarters has edited the Delta Upsilon Quarterly . Current issues of the Quarterly may be viewed on the fraternity website.

The Fraternity Manual

The Cornerstone: Delta Upsilon's Guide to College and Beyond is the fraternity's membership manual. It includes information on the history of the fraternity, tips for academics, etiquette and other miscellaneous information. Appendices include a Chapter Roll listing details about chapter foundings, a list of all social fraternities and sororities, Fraternity Songs and a copy of the Fraternity Constitution and By-Laws. The latest edition, the twenty-fourth edition-fifth printing, was published in 1991, with some updates sporadically to 2002.

The first fraternity manual, The Manual of Delta Upsilon was printed from 1916 to 1962, spanning sixteen editions. For the sixteenth edition, the name was changed to Our Record, The Manual of Delta Upsilon which was printed from 1962 to 1989 when the current title was published.

Fraternity Ritual

Because of the Fraternity's non-secret nature, the Ritual Book is available for public viewing on the fraternity website.

The Fraternity Ritual began as early as 1840, in the form of a pledge recited by new members upon entering the Social Fraternity. In 1847, the revised pledge was included in the Constitution of the Anti-Secret Confederation, which was read to new members as the "ritual". In 1866, the Convention was compelled by the chapter from Washington and Jefferson College and the Rutgers Chapter who regarded the "ritual" as "altogether too cold and barren" to establish a Committee on Initiation. The Initiation Rite of 1866, was described by the committee as follows:
"The pledge shall be administered to members-elect standing. The candidates and President shall stand in the center (directly in front of the President’s desk), with the members of the chapter standing about them. The pledge having been assented to, the President shall address the newly elected members assuring them of the cordial sympathy of the society, and defining the relations in which they stand to the Fraternity. He shall then give them the hand of fellowship in the name of the entire Fraternity. After this the other members of the Chapter shall also welcome them as brothers. Upsilon taking their seats all shall join in singing the "Initiation Song."

The 1866 version remained little improved until 1900, when another committee was formed to provide a more uniform and definitive rite which was accepted the next year. As chapters made minor adjustments to the 1901 version, a lack of uniformity again became an issue. In 1910, a revision Committee announced that a final draft of the revised rite was being finalized by Brother John Erskine, Columbia 1900. The draft was approved in 1911 and the next fall, the Fraternity published the ritual.

The 1911 ritual consisted of three rites. Rite I consisted of the candidates taking pledges of character after which they were informed of the nature of the vows to follow, candidates were questioned about their willingness to continue at this stage. Simultaneously, for Rite II, members of the chapter and visiting alumni were called into another room and given the names of the candidates, at which time any objections toward a candidate were offered. Rite III was then performed for the candidate with the formal reciting of a pledge that closely resembled the current Oath of Initiation, see below.

This version remained unaltered until 1921 with the addition of roll books and inscribing candidates names and pin numbers within was added. Also, Rites II & III were combined to make the ritual a ceremony of two rites. Minor changes to the text and language were made until 1937, when the Convention and Assembly adopted the Ritual of Initiation that is in use today. That version remained unchanged except for the addition of an alternate prayer text in 1973, at the beginning to Rite II.

In the fall of 2000, the language of the ritual was updated and additional ceremonies and explanatory texts were added to create the current version of the Delta Upsilon Ritual Book.

Oath of Initiation

I, of my own free will and accord, in the presence of God and of these witnesses, do hereby solemnly declare that the principles of this Fraternity as they have been explained to me accord entirely with my own views; and I solemnly promise that as a member of this Fraternity I will faithfully adhere to those principles endeavoring in every way to perfect myself morally, intellectually, and socially, and endeavoring also to act towards others according to that high standard of conduct required by the Fraternity.

I solemnly promise that I will be loyal to the Delta Upsilon Fraternity and to this chapter, abiding by their rules, discharging my obligations to them faithfully, and using all honorable means to promote their interests.

I solemnly promise that I will share with my brothers the duties of my chapter; that I will uphold and encourage them in all that is honorable and right; that I will ever extend to each brother the right hand of sympathy; and that at all times and in all circumstances I will endeavor to cultivate those sentiments which should ever exist between brothers.

All this I solemnly promise upon my honor, without any equivocation, mental reservation, or secret evasion of mind whatsoever.

From the "RITUAL OF INITIATION," The Delta Upsilon Fraternity

Songs My Brothers Taught Me

The official songbook of the Fraternity. The first songbook was printed in 1866, as Songs of Delta Upsilon, by the chapter from Rochester Universitymarker. The only song that appears in the current songbook and the original book is Vive Le Delta U then listed as the Initiation Ode.

Fraternity Awards

During the Leadership Institute each summer, the Fraternity hands out a number of awards to Chapters, individual members and Fraternity Volunteers.

The Sweepstakes Award is given to the most outstanding Undergraduate Chapter of the year. Originally meant to be a traveling award, the traveling trophy visited 26 chapters in 16 states and one in Canada before being retired in the summer of 2001. The current recipients receive a trophy to be kept in the chapter's possession. Seven finalists are selected for this award. These chapters are known as the year's Seven Stars Chapters.

The Chairman's Award is presented to the outstanding Alumni Volunteer of the year. The award was created to recognize the effort given by an alumni volunteer to Delta Upsilon Chapters.

The President's Award is presented to the outstanding Undergraduate member of the year. The award was created to recognize the effort by an an Undergraduate member for the betterment of his chapter, campus, and community. The recipient of the award receives a scholarship grant in his name, an invitation to the Leadership Institute at the expense of the Fraternity, and his name on is engraved on a permanent plaque in the Fraternity Headquarters.

The Delta Upsilon Distinguished Alumni Award is the one of the highest honors the Fraternity bestows upon its Alumni members. This award was first presented in 1984 during the year-long celebration of the Fraternity’s 150th Anniversary. The award honors those brothers who have brought honor to the Fraternity, either through their personal accomplishments or through exemplary service to the Fraternity. All recipients are approved by the Fraternity’s Board of Directors In 2008, the the nature of the award was adjusted to recognize those brothers whose efforts and exemplary service have had a direct impact on the Fraternity.

The Delta Upsilon Founders Medal is one of the highest honors the Fraternity bestows upon its individual members. This award was first presented in 2001 and recognizes those brothers who have provided legendary and long-time service to a specific chapter. The Founders Medal is presented following an extensive nomination process and approval by the Fraternity’s Board of Directors.

Delta Upsilon Awards of Merit were introduced at the 2008 Leadership Institute. They are named after the Founder's description of the Fraternity's membership selection criterion: "the only superiority that we acknowledge is the superiority of merit." The awards are presented to friends and members of the Fraternity who exhibit devotion to the Fraternity and achievement in one of the eight award categories as follows:
  • Sloan-Kettering Award of Merit in Business
  • James Conant Award of Merit in Education
  • Edgar Bergen Award of Merit in Entertainment
  • Charles Evans Hughes Award of Merit in Justice
  • Stephen Crane Award of Merit in Literature
  • Lester Pearson Award of Merit in Human Service
  • Linus Pauling Award of Merit in Science
  • James Garfield Award of Merit in Public Service

Partner Charity

Delta Upsilon chapters and colonies across North America support a number of community organizations and philanthropic projects. Through the efforts of Delta Upsilon Brothers, the Fraternity is able to touch the lives of thousands of people in communities throughout North America. Many DU chapters and colonies have local causes and organizations that they support. The partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs provides yet another way that DU Brothers can become better men while serving others.

The values of the Boys & Girls Clubs align with the mission and values of Delta Upsilon. Friendship, Character, Culture, and Justice are supported through numerous club programs and activities. By partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs, DU Brothers are able to support and promote the Fraternity's Four Founding Principles with the leaders of tomorrow.

Notable Brothers

The fraternity's membership roster includes United States President James A. Garfield, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Courtmarker Charles Evans Hughes, United States Senator-Vermont Justin S. Morrill, Canadian Prime Minister and Nobel Prize winner Lester B. Pearson, former Commander in Chief of the US Central Command Tommy Franks, Motivational Speaker Will Keim, Actor Alan Thicke, Author Stephen Crane, Author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., former Chairman and CEO of Walt Disney Co. Michael D. Eisner, and Nobel Prize winners Charles Dawes, Christian B. Anfinsen, and Edward C. Prescott.

Linus Pauling is a member of a small group of individuals who have been awarded more than one Nobel Prize, one of only two people to receive them in different fields (the other was Marie Curie) and the only person in that group to have been awarded each of his prizes without having to share it with another recipient.

Two Delta Upsilon fraternity members - Alfred P. Sloan and Charles F. Kettering joined together in 1945 to found the Sloan-Kettering Institutemarker, which is now part of the world's oldest and largest private cancer research facility, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centermarker.



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