On November 4, 1834, at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, ten freshman, ten sophomores, and ten juniors came together in opposition of the clandestine activities of the college’s two secret societies. Meeting in the Freshmen Recitation Room of Old West College, a Williams College dormitory still standing today, the thirty men agreed upon a common goal of “no secrets,” and founded the very first non-secret fraternity in North America, an organization now known to us as Delta Upsilon (DU).
Since its early years, Delta Upsilon has grown into an international organization comprised of more than 70 active chapters, 3,700 undergraduate members, and 125,000 overall initiates since its founding. While all members of DU are “all good men and true,” many have been inspired by their brotherhood to lead truly accomplished lives, including Linus Pauling (two-time Nobel Prize winner), Alfred P. Sloan and Charles F. Kettering (founders of the Sloan-Kettering Institute for cancer research), Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (author), Michael D. Eisner (former Chairman & CEO of Walt Disney Co.), and James A. Garfield (20th President of the United States). With Brothers like these, no wonder so many men want to wear the DU blue and gold.
The members of DU strive daily to fulfill their mission statement of “Building Better Men” through active participation in the Delta Upsilon Global Service Initiative (GSI). The GSI offers members a unique opportunity to engage in direct service in developing nations and the United States while uniting their actions with the principles of the Fraternity. Through hand-on service activities, members explore local culture, history, and economic issues, while building relationships with their fellow Brothers.
Throughout the years, all Brothers of Delta Upsilon have built their lives upon the Four Founding Principles of the Fraternity: The Promotion of Friendship, The Development of Character, The Diffusion of Liberal Culture, and The Advancement of Justice. These principles have instilled in them a strong sense of moral duty, honesty, and respect for their fellow man, values that make both the campus and the world a better place.