Delta Upsilon

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Delta Upsilon
ΔΥ
The official coat of arms of Delta Upsilon
Founded November 4, 1834; 180 years ago (1834-11-04)
Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts United States
Type Social
Scope International
Mission statement "Building Better Men"
Motto Δικαια Υποθηκη ("Justice, Our Foundation")
Colors      Sapphire blue
     Old gold
Publication The Delta Upsilon Quarterly
Chapters 76 active chapters (2012)[1]
155 chapters since founding
Members 3,954 undergraduate
80,000 living alumni collegiate
110,000+ lifetime
Mascot Duck (unofficial)[2][3][4]
Headquarters 8705 Founders Road,
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Homepage Delta Upsilon fraternity website

Delta Upsilon (ΔΥ) is the seventh oldest extant, all-male, college Greek-letter organization in North America. Founded on November 4, 1834, at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, it is popularly and informally known as "Delta U" or "DU" and its members sometimes called "DUs." Though historically set at New England liberal arts colleges, as of 2012 it had 76 chapters across the United States and Canada.[1][5]

In 2013, Business Insider named Delta Upsilon one of the "17 Fraternities with Top Wall Street Alumni."[6] Notable members include president of the United States James A. Garfield, president of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos, Canadian prime minister Lester B. Pearson, Linus Pauling, Joseph P. Kennedy, Lou Holtz, Michael D. Eisner, Tommy Franks, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Charles Evan Hughes, Peter Ueberroth, and others. Five members of the fraternity have received the Nobel Prize.[5][7][8]

History[edit]

Founding and early history[edit]

Delta Upsilon's mother chapter was founded in 1834 in the West College building (pictured) at Williams College.

Delta Upsilon considers its founding to be 1834, when thirty freshman, sophomore, and junior students at Williams College met in the Freshman Recitation Room at the West College building to form what was then called "the Social Fraternity."[9][10][7] The move was in response to the establishment of Kappa Alpha and Sigma Phi at the college and, unlike those fraternities, the Social Fraternity was avowedly anti-secret. Its founding came at the tail-end of the anti-Masonic hysteria that had recently swept the United States, though the idea that it was part of the popular backlash to Freemasonry has generally been rejected (a mysterious fire in 1841 destroyed the records of the first meeting of the Social Fraternity, erasing much of the organization's early history).[11]

Growth of the Social Fraternity (whose members were informally called the "Oudens") was exponential. By 1838 two-thirds of all students at Williams belonged to the society which engaged in militant agitation against the other two fraternities. One particularly violent incident occurred in 1839 when Oudens assaulted the Kappa Alpha house, driving its occupants to the top of Consumption Hill. More refined conflict took the form of pamphlets and debate. An 1855 debate proposed by Kappa Alpha against the Oudens was called-off after the Social Fraternity appointed James Garfield, an Ouden well-known for his rhetorical skills, to represent them.[9]

Stained glass at McGill University's Redpath Library shows St. George coated in the tabard of Delta Upsilon. It commemorates 23 McGill members of Delta Upsilon killed in World War I.[12]

In November of 1847 Williams' Social Fraternity met with similar societies that had recently been formed at Union College, Hamilton College, and Amherst College and formed the "Anti-Secret Confederation." A second meeting of the Anti-Secret Confederation (A.S.C.) in 1852 saw fraternities from Wesleyan University, Case Western Reserve University, Colby College, and the University of Vermont join.[7]

The March 1864 convention of the A.S.C. saw the organization formally change its name to Delta Upsilon, standardize insignia and ritual throughout all its member chapters, and establish a centralized administrative structure.[13]

This map shows the expansion of active undergraduate chapters of Delta Upsilon from 1834 to 2014 in the United States (Canada not reflected here).

Abandoning "anti-secrecy"[edit]

In 1879, Delta Upsilon formally disavowed its policy of anti-secrecy, instead adopting a program of what it described as "non-secrecy."[7] According to Delta Upsilon, the reason for this change was because it had been absolutely victorious in its battle against secrecy, "the character of the secret societies so altered, that hostility toward them decreased."[14]

This explanation has been more skeptically received by some, with one period observer caustically noting that Delta Upsilon "reveals very little more of what it does than the latter [secret fraternities]." [15] Others commented that chapter meetings were closed to all but initiated members and the fraternity was now practicing selective pledging and initiation, in contrast to its earliest days at Williams. Therefore, it was proffered, the description of the fraternity as a "private" society rather than a "non-secret" one might be more accurate.[16] The Harvard Crimson, meanwhile, poetically attributed the official change of position as due to "the sheer exhaustion of those that heretofore have maintained a vigorous tilt at the windmill for exercise's sake, on finding that the windmill stands the attack much better than they."[17]

Writing in 2013, Benjamin Wurgraft of the New School for Social Research commented that Delta Upsilon's changes made it "nothing more than another fraternity - a rival for pledges rather than a force for unity."[18]

20th century[edit]

At the turn of the century the fraternity's growth plateaued due, in part, to opposition from a group of chapters to what was seen as the lessening of the fraternity's standards through colonization.[10] In 1898, Delta Upsilon joined the recent trend of fraternity expansion into Canada by chartering a chapter at McGill University in Montreal. However, most expansion in this period came in the form of the annexation of established local fraternities. Zeta Chi at Baker University was one local which unsuccessfully petitioned for annexation by Delta Upsilon.[19] In 1909, Charles Evans Hughes led the incorporation of the fraternity.[10]

A residence room at the Delta Upsilon house at Amherst College in 1910.
Delta Upsilon members from the University of Washington chapter attend a rush party aboard the SS Tacoma in 1916.

By 1920 the fraternity had grown to 44 chapters. Gen. John Arthur Clark, the celebrated former commander of the Seaforth Highlanders and a Member of Parliament from Vancouver, was elevated to “international president,” the fraternity’s penultimate office, in 1944, holding it for three consecutive terms. Clark became the first Canadian to hold the Delta Upsilon presidency.[20][21]

In the 1950s, former Delta Upsilon international president Horace G. Nichol served as president of the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC).[11] He was recognized for his work leading the NIC with the NIC Gold Medal in 1959.[22]

By 1986 Delta Upsilon had 88 active chapters.[5] During the 1990s chapters at Rutgers University, Cornell University, Oklahoma State University, the University of Nebraska and Union College were closed or placed on probation after it was revealed pledges at those houses had been branded, paddled, and forced to eat garbage, among other things.[23][24][25][26]

21st Century[edit]

In 2008 a fire gutted the Delta Upsilon house at the University of Michigan. At the time of the construction-related incident, the 105 year-old Tudor revival mansion was the oldest Greek-letter house on campus still occupied by the fraternity that built it and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[27] A four-year, $6 million salvage and remodeling effort was ultimately able to restore it.[28] The year after the Michigan fire, the University of Virginia chapter of Delta Upsilon broke ground on the first new fraternity house on that campus in 50 years. After selling their existing house back to its original owner and one-time campus rival, Beta Theta Pi, the fraternity purchased and razed a 1970s-era apartment building, constructing a large neoclassical structure in its place as the new chapter house.[29]

On March 28, 2009, Delta Upsilon established its 152nd chapter, and the second of the 21st century, at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. The initiation was 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.[30]

The president (right) of Delta Upsilon's Carnegie-Mellon University colony receives his chapter's charter in 2014 (signatures, inscription, and seal have yet to be affixed).

Discord and disunity[edit]

The fraternity has periodically faced disruption among its chapters. Of a number of cases of disunity, those of the Massachusetts schools of Williams College, Harvard University and MIT, and of the University of Vermont have perhaps been the most serious.

As a student at the University of Vermont, John Ellsworth Goodrich led Delta Psi into the Anti-Secret Confederation, and then back out again.

Vermont[edit]

In 1854 the University of Vermont chapter, which was named Delta Psi, severed its connections with the Anti-Secret Confederation. The cause of separation is lost to history with Delta Upsilon's own records recording that the exit of Delta Psi is "from causes unknown to us." A Delta Psi historian later claimed the withdrawal was due to the expenses the fraternity was incurring sending delegates to the meetings of the Anti-Secret Confederation.[10][7] It's also been speculated that Delta Psi felt local pressure in maintaining the A.S.C.'s militant stance against secret ritual; after separating from the A.S.C. it began to undertake secret work. (Delta Upsilon has maintained that it does not consider members of Delta Psi during the period it was affiliated with the A.S.C. to also be members of Delta Upsilon, the separation being so total that the "action removed all its members from membership in the Delta Upsilon fraternity.")[31][32]

In the 150 years since Delta Psi and Delta Upsilon separated, the latter fraternity avoided attempts to colonize the University of Vermont. In 2014, ten years after the collapse of Delta Psi, Delta Upsilon entered the Burlington campus for the first time since its split with Delta Psi, chartering a colony.[33]

Williams[edit]

At the 1862 convention, the fraternity's mother chapter, Williams, declared the purposes of the fraternity had been corrupted and, over the objections of the other chapters, withdrew from what was then called the Anti-Secret Confederation. Two years later it dissolved itself. A chapter would eventually be restored. However, Williams being the first chapter and, therefore, self-chartering, this would come in the form of a new chapter and not the revival of the original. It was permanently erased when Williams College banned all fraternities in 1962.[10][9]

Harvard[edit]

Delta Upsilon's first Harvard chapter revolted, disaffiliated, and ultimately merged with the Fly Club, whose clubhouse is pictured. A more recent colonization attempt proved similarly disastrous.

When the fraternity incorporated in 1909 it adopted a new constitution. Harvard immediately set-forth its views that the new constitution had been illegitimately enacted and had overly vested control in the professional leadership, undermining the ability of the chapters to democratically express themselves. Though a number of other chapters initially signaled support for the Harvard position, a proposed amendment to the new document failed. In 1915 the Harvard chapter stopped paying dues to the fraternity. A further shot across the bow of the international fraternity came when Harvard requested headquarters stop sending copies of the Delta Upsilon Quarterly because they "littered up the house." Open revolt came when the international fraternity tried to impose discipline on Harvard. Harvard responded by declaring it didn't recognize the authority of DU headquarters as Delta Upsilon had ceased to exist in 1909.[10] Delta Upsilon sued its rebellious chapter whose leaders included toy heir F.A.O. Schwartz, Jr.[34] Following the courtroom triumph of the DU headquarters, it expelled the rebellious members and initiated a hand-picked pledge class to continue the chapter.[10] Its victory was short-lived, though, as the recreated chapter itself voted to disaffiliate from Delta Upsilon. The secessionist group legally reconstituted itself as "the D.U. Club," taking the chapter roll book with them, and existed as a successful finals club for many decades on the Harvard campus. In 1995 the D.U. Club's alumni board voted to merge with the Fly Club.[35][36]

After several decades of patient waiting for the D.U. Club to pass, Delta Upsilon chartered yet another chapter at Harvard. The new chapter was installed in 1999, four years after the D.U. Club had merged with the Fly Club. It unraveled faster than its predecessors, however. In 2005 the six year-old Delta Upsilon chapter voted to disaffiliate from the fraternity. It has continued under the name "Oak Club" and currently claims more than 100 alumni who, it says, embody "many of the original DU principles." [37]

Technology[edit]

The year 2014 saw the closure of one of the fraternity's longest enduring chapters, the 120 year-old Technology chapter at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[38] Though the shuttering of the Technology chapter was for what fraternity officials would only describe as inappropriate behavior, The Tech reported an investigation by Delta Upsilon had allegedly uncovered a prohibited "secret ritual" that had been performed by the chapter for the preceding 70 years.[39] Officers of the Technology chapter, which one account described had a "growing distance from [the] international fraternity," rejected the charges, though acknowledged they had effectively stopped participating in the fraternity's programs. Undergraduates protested for restoration of their chapter. Delta Upsilon headquarters rejected the protest, noting that they had "been working in coordination with university staff" but had been unable to reach a solution by which the chapter could continue at MIT (MIT administrators later disputed that they had ever had more than one communication with Delta Upsilon headquarters and said the decision to suspend its MIT chapter was the fraternity's alone).[39][38]

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos was initiated into Delta Upsilon as a student at the University of Kansas and has credited it with helping him form his political ideals.[8]

Under the terms of the chapter's closure as set-out by fraternity leadership, it can be reconstituted if local alumni demonstrate goodwill by paying $150,000 to the Delta Upsilon Educational Foundation, a separately incorporated organization which finances seminars and retreats for the fraternity's leadership.[39][40]

"Four Founding Principles"[edit]

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.[10]

The "Four Founding Principles" are currently: the Advancement of Justice, the Promotion of Friendship, the Development of Character, and the Diffusion of Liberal Culture.[14]

Symbols[edit]

Badge[edit]

An illustrated representation of the badge, which also forms part of the crest of the arms.

The current Delta Upsilon badge was submitted to the fraternity’s 1858 convention by a “badge committee,” chaired by Edward Gardner. It features 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 Δικαια, the right arm Υποθηκη.[10]

A newly initiated brother of the Boise State University chapter of Delta Upsilon receives the fraternity's badge in 2011.

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.[14]

Coat of arms[edit]

The coat of arms was designed following incorporation and first emblazoned in 1909.[41][42]

It is blazoned as Or, a balanced scale proper on a chief Azure, seven mullets of the first, four, and three. The crest is a monogram of the Greek letter Delta surcharged upon the letter Upsilon bearing the motto in Greek letters between two scrolls, the dexter charged with the number "1834," the sinister charged with the number "1909". The supporters are the heraldic banners of the arms of the Undergraduate Convention (Or, an oak tree proper on a mount in base Vert, on a chief Azure annulets (in fesse) co-joined) and the arms of the Assembly of Trustees (Azure, a chevron between five coronets, Or two, one and two). [41]

Colors[edit]

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.[14]

an illustration of the Delta Upsilon flag

Flag[edit]

The current version of the Fraternity Flag was established in 1911 and consists of three vertical bars, blue, gold, and blue. The gold section is charged with the fraternity's badge. A flag of a solid gold field charged with a visual representation of the pledge pin is used by colonies.[14]

Hat band[edit]

The fraternity's by-laws formerly prescribed a puggaree to band a boater hat that is black silk with the middle third occupied by alternating stripes of gold, blue, and gold. The hat band was initially only sold through the head office, however, in 1922 Delta Upsilon began licensing a small number of hatter shops, primarily in Manhattan and New England, to produce and sell the puggaree for $1 if the customer first displayed their badge to the clerk as a mark of identification.[43][44]

Motto[edit]

The Fraternity's motto is "Dikaia Upotheke" in Ancient 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. [14]

A Delta Upsilon member wearing the fraternity ribbon with badge.

Ribbon[edit]

The design of the ribbon is identical to that of the interior stripes of the hat band, but is 36-inches in length with open ends, designed to be crossed and fastened by the badge.

Seal[edit]

The seal of the fraternity, which is in the custody of the international headquarters in Indianapolis, is affixed to chapter charters and membership certificates. It is described in the fraternity's constitution as the shield of the coat of arms set in a circular band on which is inscribed "Delta Upsilon Fraternity 1834-1909."[14]

melody to Hail, Delta Upsilon

Songs[edit]

The fraternity hymn is Hail, Delta Upsilon. Though set in four stanzas, only the first is typically used.[14]

The Delta Upsilon Ode is also used for special occasions. The Jacobite song Down Among the Dead Men is traditionally used as a toasting song at formal dinners. A more extensive volume of fraternity songs is indexed in the fraternity's songbook Songs My Brothers Taught Me.[14]

Organization[edit]

The University of Illinois Delta Upsilon house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Chapters[edit]

Delta Upsilon is currently organized into 76 active chapters, of which 6 are in Canada and the remainder in the United States.[1] The United States chapters are divided into five provinces, each overseen by a governor appointed by the international president. The Canadian chapters are grouped into what the fraternity calls "the Canadian conference." Chapters are named after the school at which they are sited, with the exception of the now-defunct City University of New York chapter which was called the Manhattan chapter.[7]

Governance[edit]

The Undergraduate Convention and the Assembly of Trustees meet annually. They form the bicameral legislature of the fraternity and make, repeal, and adopt fraternity law. An indirectly elected board oversees the operations of the fraternity between meetings of the two chambers and hires an executive-director who manages the full-time secretariat which, according to the fraternity, currently employees 21 persons.

The chapter house of the DePauw University chapter of Delta Upsilon is located on East Seminary Street in Greencastle, Indiana.

Headquarters[edit]

The Butler Memorial Headquarters Building is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Completed in 1971, it is located on a road with eight other fraternity and sorority headquarters. The building was financed with a bequest from Lester E. Cox, a University of Pennsylvania chapter alumnus who left half his estate to the fraternity. It is named in honor of Wilford A. Butler, who served as the fraternity's executive director from 1963 to 1987.[14]

Delegates to the 1925 sitting of the Undergraduate Convention and the Assembly of Trustees pose for a photograph.

In the headquarters building is a display of all TIME Magazine covers on which Delta Upsilon members have appeared. According to the fraternity, the reproduction of early covers of the magazine was authorized by TIME editor-in-chief Hedley Donovan, a member of Delta Upsilon's University of Minnesota chapter.[45]

Publications[edit]

The Delta Upsilon Quarterly began publication in 1882 as the fraternity's official magazine.[46] The Cornerstone: Delta Upsilon's Guide to College and Beyond is the fraternity's membership manual. It includes not only information on the history and principles of the fraternity, but also guidelines on dress, speech, manners, and formal etiquette.[14]

Philanthropy[edit]

Unlike many fraternities, Delta Upsilon does not have a designated charitable partner. A survey of 25 fraternities undertaken by Newsweek in 2012 found that Delta Upsilon gives a relatively small amount of money to 501(c)3 organizations.[1] Most of the fraternity's alumni donations are used to finance its Delta Upsilon Educational Foundation, which funds seminars and retreats for the fraternity's leadership, what the fraternity refers to as "scholarships." In 2013 the Delta Upsilon Educational Foundation reported expenses of about $1 million, of which about $400,000 was spent on programs, $330,000 on staff salaries, $240,000 on "other expenses" and $30,000 on telemarketing and direct mail solicitations.[47]

Notable members[edit]

U.S. Supreme Court chief justice Charles Evans Hughes served as president of Delta Upsilon and oversaw its incorporation.

The fraternity's membership roster includes United States President James A. Garfield (Williams 1856), Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court Charles Evans Hughes (Colgate and Brown 1881), United States Senator-Vermont Justin S. Morrill (Middlebury 1860), former Commander in Chief of the US Central Command Tommy Franks (Texas 1963), author Stephen Crane (Lafayette and Syracuse 1894), author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (Cornell 1944), former Chairman and CEO of Walt Disney Co. Michael D. Eisner (Denison 1964), and Nobel Prize recipients Charles Dawes (Marietta 1884), Christian B. Anfinsen (Swarthmore 1937), and Edward C. Prescott (Swarthmore 1962).[7][5]

Notable Canadian DUs include Prime Minister and Nobel Prize recipient Lester B. Pearson (Toronto 1919), actor Alan Thicke (Western Ontario 1967), Alberta premier E. Peter Lougheed (Alberta 1959), Ontario premier John P. Robarts (Western Ontario 1939), and Minister of Foreign Affairs David Emerson (Alberta 1964).[5]

The current President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos (Kansas 1973), was initiated into Delta Upsilon as an undergraduate student at the University of Kansas and credits the fraternity in helping form his political ideals.[8]

Delta Upsilon member Linus Pauling (Oregon State 1922) is a member of a small group of individuals who have been awarded more than one Nobel Prize.[48] Two Delta Upsilon fraternity members, Alfred P. Sloan (Technology 1895) and Charles F. Kettering (Ohio State 1904), joined together in 1945 to found the Sloan-Kettering Institute, which is now part of the world's oldest and largest private cancer research facility, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.[5]

The main character in Cat's Cradle is a former pledge of the Delta Upsilon chapter at Cornell University.

In popular culture[edit]

  • In 1932, one of the final performances of Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawk Orchestra was at a party organized by the Washington and Lee University chapter of Delta Upsilon.[49]
  • The 1963 Hugo Award-nominated novel Cat's Cradle opens with narrator Jonah recalling he had read in the Delta Upsilon Quarterly that main character Newton Hoenikker had recently pledged to the Cornell University chapter of Delta Upsilon (it is later learned that Hoenikker has been de-pledged for poor grades).[50]
  • On the afternoon of April 18, 1969, Students for a Democratic Society and the Afro American Students (AAS) organization seized control of Willard Straight Hall at Cornell University in an event that was to "prompt decades of social, cultural and political change."[51] At three o'clock the following morning, 25 members of the Cornell chapter of Delta Upsilon (which had a reputation as the "jock fraternity") attempted to storm the building. A sentry alerted the occupiers to the DU presence, losing them the element of surprise; after a series of fisticuffs the DU members withdrew. SDS partisans, fearing Delta Upsilon was preparing to return with members of other fraternities, armed themselves with rifles and other small arms.[52] Associated Press photographer Steve Parr's picture of the eventual surrender of the heavily-armed occupiers won the Pulitzer Prize.[53]
  • The 1978 film Animal House was based, in part, on producer Ivan Reitman's experiences as a member of the McMaster University chapter of Delta Upsilon.[54]
  • In 2006 Playboy staged a photo shoot at the University of Wisconsin Delta Upsilon chapter. The photo, which ran in the May 2006 issue of the magazine, featured 23 Delta Upsilon members posing with 19 naked females in an article naming Wisconsin the nation's "#1 party school."[55]

References[edit]

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  55. ^ Pelzek, Erica (9 April 2006). "Playboy pics feature UW". The Daily Cardinal (Madison, WI). Retrieved 17 December 2014. 

External links[edit]