From Troubled Times, New Strengths

DU grew steadily, adding chapters at Wesleyan, Rochester, Bowdoin and Rutgers by 1860. Then came war of the most vicious kind--civil war. By 1864, the nation was in turmoil. The War Between the States had taken its toll on college men, and on fraternity chapters as well. In the South, some chapters enlisted in the Confederate Army en masse. Many Northern men left college to work in business, join the Union Army, or care for their families.
DUs faced these facts, and fought hard to preserve their Fraternity. Some obvious changes were needed in the Anti-Secret Confederation. More centralized government of the chapters would be a big help. Issues about Fraternity insignia and ritual were unclear. It was obvious that the Convention of 1864 would be critical to DU's future.

Delegates from Hamilton and Rochester went to Middlebury, ready to act. The times kept all other chapters from attending, except Rutgers, which had not sent word. But Rutgers was vital; the ASC needed four chapters for a quorum. March 9 brought a grim mood; no DU from Rutgers had appeared.

But the afternoon brought great news: A Rutgers delegate, Thomas W. Jones, had arrived! The quorum was met and Convention could act!

Brother Jones' arrival electrified the gathering. The DUs sprang into action. Within a day, the Convention formally adopted the name Delta Upsilon, in common but not universal use. It approved a new Constitution. It approved the DU badge used today, which had been adopted in 1858.


Growth and Maturity
After the Civil War ended and college life returned to normal, DU began to grow again. The mood was cautious, as the men wanted DU only at the strongest colleges and universities. And they found fertile ground: Colgate, New York University, Miami University, Brown, Cornell, Marietta, Princeton, Syracuse and Michigan. By 1880, DU had grown to 15 active chapters.

Further illustration of DU's prominence comes in the achievements of DU alumni from this period. There were many diplomats and governors, corporate presidents, religious and military leaders and pioneers in industry.

There were steps toward maturity, laying the foundation of the DU you know today. In 1879, the convention recognized that active opposition to secret fraternities was no longer needed. As our Ritual of Initiation states, the abuses of power were no less evil, but there was no longer the need to battle secrecy actively. So DU changed its formal policy from anti-secrecy to non-secrecy.

About the same time, journals began to appear among general fraternities. Delta U also started one, with sporadic issues of Our Record in 1867 and 1869. Then in 1882, the Quarterly began publication, first as the University Review, then as the Quarterly. We haven't missed an issue since. DU is proud to issue one of the oldest continuously published fraternity magazines.

Our first published history, The Quinquennial, appeared in 1884, DU's 50th year. It contained a brief history of each chapter and a list of members. DU's 50th anniversary sparked a surge of new chapters: Northwestern, Harvard, Wisconsin, Lafayette, Columbia, Lehigh, DePauw and Pennsylvania, Technology and Swarthmore.

DU broke ground in other areas. Minnesota in 1890, was the first chapter west of the Mississippi River. Tufts, a local society formed in 1886, became the first chapter approved through petition in 1891. Stanford and California became the first West Coast DU chapters in 1896. McGill became the first Canadian chapter in 1898, and DU became an International Fraternity. Nebraska became the first Great Plains Chapter on December 9, 1898.


Into the 1900s
DU's growth slowed after 1900, but continued in measured steps. Petitioning societies, often well-established local fraternities with solid records of achievement on their campuses--were examined closely, and conventions often delayed acceptance into Delta U. Some groups petitioned five or more times! By 1920, DU had staked its claim to excellence in the burgeoning universities of the Alleghenies and the Midwest: Chicago, Ohio State, Illinois, Penn State, Iowa State, Purdue, Indiana, Carnegie and Kansas.

In 1909, one of DU's most illustrious alumni, Charles Evans Hughes, Colgate and Brown 1881, led the move to incorporate the Fraternity. Incorporation under New York law meant that DU created an Assembly of graduate Trustees, who in turn elected the Board of Directors. This board governs DU between meetings of Convention and Assembly.

Delta U went to Washington in 1911, our first chapter in the Pacific Northwest. Five years later, the first Manual of Delta Upsilon was printed, the earliest predecessor of the book you are now reading. Wesleyan was revived in 1919. Virginia opened the South for DU in 1922. Oregon State joined DU in the same year.

Emphasis on chapter quality paid solid dividends. The 1920s were exceptional years for DU. For much of the decade, DU ranked above all other national fraternities in grades. A Permanent Trust Fund, established in 1921, is now a major force in DU financial stability, as you'll read in another chapter.

DU added more excellent universities, public and private, to its chapter roll: Missouri, Iowa, Dartmouth, Oklahoma, Johns Hopkins. This quality has continued: of the 32 DU chapters between 1885 and 1928, 26 remain active today.


1929: No Crash for DU
The Great Depression hit colleges hard, but DU was well prepared. Not a single chapter was lost--in fact, DU added UCLA, Manitoba, Washington and Lee, Western Ontario, Washington State, Oregon, Alberta and British Columbia from 1929 to 1935. This good fortune was the result of solid foresight; many other fraternities' chapters were not so fortunate.

Many chapter houses were occupied for military needs during World War II, as had happened in the first Great War. But then came a surge of interest in college fraternities, and DU rode the wave as well.