|Founded||November 24, 1833
|Type||Secret, Social, Literary|
|Mission statement||United in friendship, Psi Upsilon members aspire to moral, intellectual and social excellence in themselves as they seek to inspire these values in society|
|Motto||Unto us has befallen a mighty friendship.|
|Chapters||49 total, 27 active |
|Headquarters||3003 East 96th Street
Indianapolis, IN, USA
Psi Upsilon (ΨΥ, Psi U) is a North American fraternity, founded at Union College on November 24, 1833, making it the fifth oldest college fraternity. It reports 49 chapters at colleges and universities throughout North America, some of which are inactive.
Psi Upsilon's foundation provides scholarships and other financial guidance to students throughout the United States and Canada, giving preference to its own members, as well as mentoring and other support services.
In 1833, five sophomore and two freshman members of the Delphian Society, a local literary group, had become friends and began to meet regularly to exchange essays and engage in literary debate. The seven men thus founded Psi Upsilon on the evening of November 24, 1833. The first Constitution was adopted on January 10, 1834.
The first expansion chapter was started in 1837, when a member of Psi Upsilon at Union transferred to New York University. Ten chapters were founded in the first ten years, and eight more chapters were founded in the twenty years after that. By 1904, when the last founding father, Edward Martindale, died, there were 23 chapters and more than 11,000 members.
During World War II, a few chapters, such as the Omicron, rented their houses to the Army as barracks and offices. One chapter, the Epsilon Nu, rented its house to a sorority (Gamma Phi Beta). The rental income these chapters received allowed them to survive. Other chapters, such as the Lambda and Eta, could not afford the taxes and upkeep on an empty house and had to sell.
After the War, the Executive Council hired professional staff and established a central office to assist chapters. At first the office consolidated initiation records and address lists, published a newsletter, and secured the fraternity's historical artifacts. Over time, the staff's size and function grew. Young alumni were hired to visit chapters as educational and leadership consultants, reviewing chapter operations and suggesting ways to improve. Leadership training was developed and expanded, and regular conclaves began to be held to train officers and alumni. Handbooks were published for each officer position and for general programs. Alumni associations were given professional advice on fundraising and house renovations. Within twelve years of the end of the war, five chapters were reactivated and four new chapters were chartered.
Psi Upsilon was the first fraternity to
- Print a membership catalogue (1842)
- Print the fraternity history (1843)
- Print a fraternity songbook (1849)
- Issue a fraternity magazine (1850)
- Chester A. Arthur (President of the USA)
- William Howard Taft (President of the USA)
- Paul Martin (Prime Minister of Canada)
- Nelson Rockefeller (Vice President of the USA)
- William Cohen (Secretary of Defense)
- John Paul Stevens (Supreme Court Justice)
- Horatio Alger (Author)
- Peter Coors (Founder and CEO of Coors Brewing Company, Owner of Colorado Rockies)
- William Clay Ford (VP Ford Motors Company, owner of Detroit Lions)
- Jay Berwanger (First Heisman Trophy Winner)
- Dan Brown (Author of The Da Vinci Code and other notable works)
- Harlan Coben (Author of Myron Bolitar series and other notable works)
- Michael Bay (Film director known for high-budget action films)
- Amos Alonzo Stagg (Pioneering college football coach)
- Bud Wilkinson (Oklahoma Sooners football coach)
- Gilbert Grosvenor (First full-time editor of National Geographic magazine)
- Stacey Keach (Actor)
Most chapters of Psi Upsilon retain the same type of governance: a president, two vice-presidents, a recording secretary, and a treasurer. The President presides over all meetings and enforces obedience to the Constitution and to the chapter by-laws. The First Vice-President is the internal vice president and helps maintain an efficient system of communication among the brothers. The Second Vice-President is the external vice president and serves as coordinator for public relations. Chapter may also have other leadership positions.
In January 2016, a member of Psi Upsilon's Chi chapter at Cornell University made national headlines after it was alleged he sexually assaulted and attempted to rape a female Cornell student in his fraternity house. He was charged with first-degree attempted rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, and first-degree sexual abuse. The fraternity has been suspended by the national leadership of the fraternity and the incident is being investigated by the local police.
- Chapter roll, Psi Upsilon (accessed November 28, 2015)
- Psi Upsilon Tablet
- Alice Donlevy was the author of a book on illustration called "Practical Hints on the Art of Illumination," published by A. D. F. Randolph, New York, 1867
- Psi Upsilon Fraternity