“Let nothing rob us of the spirit of fraternity; let nothing destroy the bond of Delta Upsilon.”
-Charles Evans Hughes
I’m sitting here looking at my fraternity ring. It is a simple thing, a simple silver band with a flat circle on top into which is the image of the Fraternity Shield and the words “Delta Upsilon Founded 1834” This ring and that name have a proud history, one that began the night of November 4th, 1834 at Williams College when 10 men from each of the lower three classes gathered to take a stand against the injustices of the secret organizations on campus.
My shield bears 7 stars to represent the first seven chapters of the anti-secret alliance and a balance meant to serve as the scales of justice. It represents 4 principles including the advancement of justice, the promotion of friendship, the development of character, and the diffusion of liberal culture. Mine is a tradition that includes men like Charles Evans Hughes (US Supreme Court Chief Justice), James A Garfield (US President), Joseph P Kennedy (father of JFK, ambassador to Britain, and patriarch of the Kennedy’s), Linus C Pauling (Winner of 2 Nobel Prizes), Stephen Crane, Kurt Vonnegut Jr, Justin S Morrill (writer of the Land Grant Act of 1862 for my higher ed nerd friends), Stephen J Field (US Supreme Court Justice), Lester B Pearson, Lou Holtz, David Starr Jordan (First President of Stanford), Lynn D W Luckow, Michael Eisner, Dr Robert Cade (Creator of Gatorade), and Charles F Kettering not to mention numerous other congressmen, governors, school presidents, business presidents and more. We have a history of building better men.
I come from the same storied tradition as these men and we share an oath. We are brothers in a non secret union. That has a very special meaning: it means my oath of initiation is out there for all to read and hold me accountable to.
“I, of my own free will and accord, in the presence of God and of these witnesses, do hereby solemnly declare that the principles of this Fraternity as they have been explained to me accord entirely with my own views; and I solemnly promise that as a member of this Fraternity I will faithfully adhere to those principles endeavoring in every way to perfect myself morally, intellectually, and socially, and endeavoring also to act towards others according to that high standard of conduct required by the Fraternity.
I solemnly promise that I will be loyal to the Delta Upsilon Fraternity and to this chapter, abiding by their rules, discharging my obligations to them faithfully, and using all honorable means to promote their interests.
I solemnly promise that I will share with my brothers the duties of my chapter; that I will uphold and encourage them in all that is honorable and right; that I will ever extend to each brother the right hand of sympathy; and that at all times and in all circumstances I will endeavor to cultivate those sentiments which should ever exist between brothers.
All this I solemnly promise upon my honor, without any equivocation, mental reservation, or secret evasion of mind whatsoever.”
I took this oath in the fall of 2010 not only before my brothers but my advisors, friends, mom and sister. Every single one of these people have heard me say these words and to be honest, I would have it no other way. I am proud and honored to call DU my home, the men who bear that badge my brothers, and this oath my own.