Texas Chapter REinstalled

Nov. 12, 2017

A round of applause and the singing of “Hail, Delta Upsilon” broke out as colony members learned the Texas Chapter would be reinstalled. It had been a year since the group’s recolonization, and the men had worked hard for that moment. Starting a chapter is never easy, especially when the goal is to return one to greatness.

For years, the Texas Chapter was a spot of pride in Delta Upsilon. Originally beginning as a local group called the 1834 Club, two years after its inception, it was installed as Delta Upsilon’s 66th chapter on Oct. 2, 1949. Throughout the course of the next five decades, the chapter would succeed in a number of areas and receive a DU Trustees Excellence Award in 1971, a precursor to the Sweepstakes Award. Over time, 872 men would be initiated into the chapter.

The chapter closed, however, in 2000 due to failing chapter operations, followed by an unsuccessful recolonization attempt in 2002. When returning to campus in 2016, the alumni and colony members committed themselves to success and set a goal to recharter within one year.

Recolonization efforts began in August 2016 and were led by International Fraternity staff. Russel Harp, Kansas State ’16, spearheaded the efforts with assistance from fellow Leadership Consultants Jacob Ellis, Purdue ’16, and Hayden Rahn, Oregon ’16. Within a few months, the group had met its recruitment goals, and the Colonization Ceremony was held Oct. 30, 2016, with 45 associate members.

With the help of a dedicated alumni base, the colony quickly became acclimated to campus. The men held numerous brotherhood retreats, volunteered at the Austin Race for the Cure, assisted the Austin Animal Shelter, and participated in numerous campus events.

“The Texas Chapter consists of some of the most distinguished men on campus,” said Chapter President Remington Kent, Texas ’19. “Our members pride themselves on being one of the most diverse groups on campus … Our Founding Fathers have a sense of pride in starting a new legacy, which has brought us closer together and created a real sense of lasting brotherhood.”

Thanks to the Texas Chapter alumni, the colony was able to begin with a chapter facility on campus. Affectionately known as the “Duck Hut,” the property sits at 2305 Leon Street in Austin. Alumni also provided monetary support through a Chapter Legacy Plan with the Delta Upsilon Educational Foundation, formed a Chapter Advisory Board, and even created a mentoring program between alumni and the undergraduate men.

“We are very blessed to have a very involved alumni base whose efforts are unmeasurable,” Kent said. “Their involvement and guidance has only made us stronger and more confident in our decision making.”

The Texas Chapter’s Reinstallation and Initiation Ceremonies were held Nov. 12, 2017, in the auditorium of the Texas State Capitol, the same building where 68 years prior, the chapter was first chartered (that time in the Senate Chamber). Nearly 30 guests attended the ceremonies, as well as a reception at the chapter house. Guests included numerous Texas Chapter alumni, DU alumni, and The University of Texas at Austin Sorority and Fraternity Life staff.

Sixty-five men were initiated into the chapter with Delta Upsilon Executive Director Justin Kirk, Boise State ’00, serving as Master; Chapter Advisor William Bryant, Texas ’80, as Examiner; Chapter Advisor Jay Juba, Texas ’85, as Chief Marshal; and International Fraternity Board member Timothy Dowd, Oklahoma ’75, as Chaplain. The Charge was given by the Chairman of the International Fraternity Board of Directors, Robert Lannin, Nebraska ’81.

In his Charge, Lannin commented on the Fraternity’s history and the current climate of the interfraternal community. He challenged the men to focus on Delta Upsilon’s Four Founding Principles and shared his hope that the Principles could shape and guide the men throughout their lives. When they conduct themselves as a principled man, they can overcome the media stereotype and build a safe, supportive membership experience.

Wills Layton, Texas ’20, the chapter Vice President of Finance, sees great things on the horizon for the Texas Chapter.

“I see us making great strides in the service and philanthropy areas of our Fraternity,” Layton said. “The Texas Chapter is going to be a Sweepstakes contender within the next four years. You heard it here first. We are a doggedly determined and focused group.”