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 private universities, as of 2012 it had 76 chapters across the United States and Canada.
In 2013, Business Insider named Delta Upsilon one of the “17 Fraternities with Top Wall Street Alumni”. 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, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Charles Evan Hughes, Les Aspin, and others. Forty-two brothers of the fraternity have sat in the United States Congress, three in the Parliament of Canada, one in the Imperial House of Peers of Japan, and six on the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada. Its members have received six Nobel Prizes, five Olympic gold medals, one Pulitzer Prize, four Medals of Honor, one Lenin Peace Prize, one Presidential Medal of Freedom, seven investitures into the Order of Canada, and one investiture each into the Order of St Michael and St George, the Order of Merit, and the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav.
Delta Upsilon Seal
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”. 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).
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.
In November 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.
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. 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.
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.
— Read More History on Delta Upsilon on Wikipedia
Delta Upsilon (ΔΥ)
- Founded On: November 4th, 1834 – Williams College
- Type: Social Fraternity
- Colors: Sapphire Blue and Old Gold
- Flower: N/A
- Nicknames: DU-Delta-Upsilon
- Chapters: 76 Active Chapters (2012), 155 Chapters Since its Founding
- Website: www.deltau.org
- Motto: Δικαια Υποθηκη — “Justice, Our Foundation”