Vermont Chapter Reinstalled
After 164 years, the Vermont Chapter has made its return as an active chapter in the Fraternity. With the Reinstallation Ceremony held on Sunday, April 29, 2018, one of Delta Upsilon's first seven chapters is officially back.
Although the Vermont Chapter was only a part of the Fraternity for four years (1850-1854), it has a storied history of non-secrecy. Thirteen years after the Fraternity's Founding at Williams College, the Williams Chapter forged a new group, called the Anti-Secret Confederation (A.S.C.), with likeminded groups on other campuses. Three years later, in 1850, the Vermont chapter joined the A.S.C. and became the Fraternity's seventh chapter.
However, despite believing in the spirit of non-secrecy, the Vermont Chapter struggled with its desire to be independent. The chapter hosted the 1852 A.S.C. Convention in Burlington, Vermont, despite not actually attending. The seven chapters in attendance at this convention would eventually become known as the “Seven Stars” of the Fraternity (Williams, Union, Hamilton, Amherst, Western Reserve, Wesleyan and Colby). The Vermont Chapter would withdraw from the A.S.C. in 1854, four years before the name Delta Upsilon would be adopted. With its Reinstallation, the Vermont Chapter celebrates not only its return to the Fraternity, but also becoming a chapter of Delta Upsilon for the first time.
After leaving the A.S.C., the group remained active as a local fraternity known as Delta Psi and kept many of the same ideals as Delta Upsilon. Delta Psi remained active for 153 years until closing in 2007. Delta Upsilon began its expansion efforts on campus during the 2014-2015 academic year.
“Personally, I cannot be any more excited for [the Reinstallation],” said Chapter President Thomas Switzgable, Vermont ’19. “We have taken a piece of history, one that for a while seemed like it would stay in the past, and made it our own.”
The Vermont Chapter brothers and advisors describe the chapter as a “hodge-podge” group of men with many different interests, majors, backgrounds and ambitions. This diversity helps to keep the group balanced and goal-oriented.
“They bring out the best in each other by remembering and pointing out their commitments to each other, to the University of Vermont and to Delta Upsilon,” Chapter Advisor Joan “Rosie” Rosebush, a mathematics professor at the university. “They aim to outshine the other student groups on campus by always doing what is right.”
The Reinstallation Ceremony and Rite II of Initiation were held at the John Dewey Memorial Lounge on campus April 29. With family, friends and university officials in attendance, 31 men (including one alumnus) were initiated into Delta Upsilon. The Ritual team included Dominic Greene, Oregon ’99, as Master; International Fraternity Board of Directors Undergraduate Director Walter Oliff, Central Florida ’18, as Examiner; Ryan Azer, Clarkson ’19, as Chief Marshal; and Joshua Raboin, Clarkson ’19, as Chaplain. The Charge address was given by past Fraternity board member Rick Holland, Syracuse ’83.
During his Charge address, Brother Holland reiterated to the new initiates what he considers to be the most important part of the DU Ritual, a part in which the Master reads: “In this brotherhood, Justice is our guiding principle, and as Justice is but truth in action, it is our deeds that testify our loyalty to the ideals of our Fraternity, and our worthiness to conserve the heritage handed down to us by past generations of Delta Upsilon.” By breaking down each part of that passage, Holland challenged the men to remember that actions, not words prove one’s loyalty to the ideals of Delta Upsilon.
“Gentlemen, in your deeds and actions, show the world you are making a difference. Bring out the best in one another,” Holland said.
After seeing the determination of his brothers to get the colony to charter after four years, Switzgable is confident the group will continue to be successful now that it has been reinstalled. He knows the future of the chapter is safe with the vision of the younger members. Rosebush agrees. During the Reinstallation Ceremony, she could see the pride on the members’ faces.
“After the ceremony, the hugging I witnessed, and the congratulations flowing were wonderful to see,” she said. “At the same time, I heard comments about the work just starting. They know what the asked for and the work they now need to do. They are up to it!”