Miami Chapter Turns 150

In Delta Upsilon, there are a number of important milestones to celebrate. Outside of installing or reinstalling chapters to the Fraternity’s active roll, there is perhaps no greater moment than celebrating a chapter’s longevity through a milestone anniversary. On May 13, 2018, the Miami Chapter turned 150.

The Miami Chapter became Delta Upsilon’s 15th chapter when it was installed in 1868. However, because many of the Fraternity’s oldest chapters are now closed, the Miami Chapter is now just the fifth DU chapter to be open at the time of its sesquicentennial, joining the Hamilton, Western Reserve, Rochester and Colgate chapters with that distinction.

DU’s Miami Chapter has an interesting history. Five years after the chapter was founded, the university closed due to declining enrollment, thus closing the chapter. However, the chapter never surrendered its charter to the International Fraternity. It was instead kept by alumni. The university reopened in 1885, and soon, a local society formed that wished to affiliate with Delta Upsilon. After an unsuccessful plea to the Delta Upsilon Convention to reopen the Miami Chapter, the petition was granted in 1908 after alumni successfully argued that the chapter’s charter was never taken. The Miami Chapter has remained an active chapter of Delta Upsilon ever since.

Undergraduate members and alumni alike celebrated this storied chapter history and accomplishments on Nov. 10, 2018, during the Miami Chapter’s official 150th anniversary celebration. Planned by alumni, the event brought about 30 alumni and six guests back to campus for a day of brotherhood festivities, starting with an open house at the chapter house. Here, undergraduate brothers provided house tours, and alumni and guests were able to casually reminisce. Following the open house was a formal banquet at the Shriver Center on campus for alumni, guests, undergraduates and distinguished guests. This included Province Governor Kevin Friis, Western Reserve ’09, and International Fraternity board member Dr. Andrew Dunham, San Jose ’86. Then, some in the group attended the Miami RedHawks’ hockey game together.

Through the celebration, the anniversary committee hoped to strengthen a love for DU within alumni and show undergraduates the power of brotherhood.

“Oxford has always seemed like a home to me, and the Fraternity provided me with some lifelong friends,” said Andrew Cramer, Miami ’12, a member of the anniversary committee. “It also gave me a chance to learn more interpersonal skills that I would have not gotten from the engineering curriculum. I hope the undergraduates got to see the longevity of friendships that were made by alumni.”

In addition to the chapter’s November festivities, in summer 2018, the chapter also celebrated the university’s rededication of a plaque the chapter once had in place on campus. This plaque was dedicated to the chapter’s founding and the 12 brothers who died during World War II. It was placed outside Stoddard Hall, the building in which the chapter was founded, but had been removed when the dormitory was renovated. In the summer’s ceremony, the plaque was recreated and reinstalled.

For both alumni and undergraduates, this plaque and the sesquicentennial celebrations are not just a reminder of the chapter’s history, but also a signal to keep the chapter strong for another 150 years.

“The 150-year celebration is a proud accomplishment for our chapter, but just being on campus for that many years is not enough. It is about what we accomplished in that time,” said Jared Marsh, Miami ’20, Chapter President at the time of the celebration. “The vision for our future is not about just staying on campus, but Building Better Men and making an impact on our brothers’ lives, as well as our own.”