Overview of Delta Upsilon
The Founding Fathers
On November 4, 1834, at Old West College, a building still standing today at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, 30 men quietly gathered to discuss a new idea. The men, all earnest, hard-working gentlemen, had come to college not to have a “good time,” but to prepare for the active duties of life. They came together to discuss the impact that “secret” organizations were having on the lives of college students through the monopoly of the student government. The result of this meeting between ten men from each of the freshmen, sophomore, and junior classes was the creation of The Social Fraternity, the organization that would eventually become Delta Upsilon.
The Social Fraternity devoted itself to dispelling the idea of secret societies, and promoted open and free discussion of ideas and values. Within three years, more than two-thirds of the Williams campus had joined The Social Fraternity to combat the unjust practices of secret societies. At the time, the word “social” had a much different meaning from today’s vocabulary. “Social” as our founders used it meant a commitment to societal betterment through honest and unencumbered group interaction.
The Social Fraternity at Williams College soon realized that it was the first collegiate group to support the idea of anti-secrecy. However, there were other men on nearby campuses facing the same struggle. In fact, The Equitable Union society at nearby Union College was involved in the same challenge, but was younger than the Williams’ Social Fraternity by a few years. In 1945, The Equitable Union made overtures asking for cooperation and unification “as a branch of the Social Fraternity.” Soon joining Williams and Union were groups from Middlebury, Hamilton, Amherst, Wesleyan, Western Reserve, Vermont and Colby. The early years were very impressive in the growth and size of the Fraternity. At the Troy Convention in 1847, the chapters in attendance voted to take the name “The Anti-Secret Confederation.”
Over the years, Delta Upsilon has adapted to a changing world, and while at times, the challenge has been difficult, the Fraternity has weathered the storms and will thrive again in the new millennium. From the modification of the Fraternity’s stance on secrecy to the creation of the Delta Upsilon Educational Foundation, the years have treated DU well.
History of the Chapter
In 1921, a group of men at Kent State University started as an organization known as the Kent Men’s Klub. The group was formed as a non-secret men’s discussion club, but it was actually based upon the constitution of the Carnegie Tech Chapter of Delta Upsilon. Thus, both in spirit and actual mechanics, the group was a replica of a DU Chapter. The club was started when Alex Whyte, a member of the KSU faulty, helped seven students get organized. These men were David Beckwith, Pasqual Carlozzi, Everlin Dille, Harvey Crow, John M. Schwartz, Frank Zappolo, and W. C. Bryan. They at first named the group “Kensoco,” from the words “Kent State Normal College,” as the university was called at the time.
In 1923, though, the organization became Kappa Mu Kappa and was the first Greek letter fraternity on campus. The Greek letters Kappa Mu Kappa represented the Greek words “Kruphas Mathena Katharotes,” meaning secrecy, knowledge, and purity. At that time the KMK badge was adopted; it was in the form of a small black shield, surrounded with pearls. At the top of the shield appeared a scull and crossbones, in the center was the letters “KMK,” at the bottom was an open book, and the entire badge was in black and gold (the fraternity’s colors). Although the first president of Kent State, Dr. James McGilvery, later became an honorary member of KMK. The formation of Greek letter fraternities was at the time unacceptable to many of the faculty, and KMK was forced to adopt secrecy. The members wished to continue to serve the University openly, however. Consequently, the organization remained Kappa Mu Kappa Fraternity in secret, but to the officials of the college, it would be “Kent Men’s Klub.” Thus for a time, KMK had two meaning on campus.
It was during the period between the Fall, 1922 and Spring, 1923 that Kappa Mu Kappa’s eventual direction was firmly established. In January 1924, several of the less Democratic Brothers tried to restrict KMK membership to men of the Protestant faith only. But because the majority of the members believed in the principles of DU, these men failed, and were ejected from the fraternity. They later formed another local fraternity, but they failed at that attempt as well.
Traditions began to grow, and a large concrete “K” was installed on the university’s front campus on June 4, 1923. This structure became the center piece for the yearly “K-Girl” ceremony. The ceremony was the official opening of Campus Day at Kent State, when the K-Girl, or chapter sweetheart, was escorted by the uniformed brothers to the “K.’ The brothers would form a large circle around the “K” and sing fraternity songs as she applies the first dab of white paint to it. The retiring chapter president and the new chapter president would complete the painting.
Support from the university faculty grew, also. Raymond E. Manchester, Dean of Men, became the first official advisor and took over some of the work previously performed by Alex Whyte. Dr. Thomas E. Davey then became KMK’s advisor as Dean Manchester devoted more time to his university duties. Upon his death, though, Dr. A. S. Roberts, head of the history department, took over the position, and upon the merger with Delta Upsilon, Dr. Roberts was elected the first Chapter Trustee.
Many other traditions were started. The Skull and Crossbones, which derived its name form the symbol on the badge of KMK, is the oldest publication on the campus. “Truth Session,” is the period at the end of the chapter meeting during which the president called upon each member, one at a time, to have a say about things in general. Many Du chapters have a “critic,” but at KSU every member is a critic through “Truth Session.”
Kappa Mu Kappa was incorporated on April 7, 1928. Throughout the following years KMK expanded in all aspects, and nationalization was suggested many times, but it was ruled out because the university administration did not permit formation of national fraternities on campus. In 1943, though, KMK held their last meeting until the duration of World War II. This suspension in activity lasted three years until January, 1946, when five war veterans decided to reactivate immediately.
One of the first committees appointed after reactivation was the nationalization committee. This came at an excellent time because the new university president, Dr. George A. Bowman, a fraternity man, looked with favor upon the formation of national fraternity chapters on the campus.
After a careful study, the committee found that there was only one leading, old-line national fraternity which held the liberal attitudes and traditions acceptable to the member’s of KMK. This fraternity was Delta Upsilon. At the time the members did not know that their own constitution had been based on the Carnegie Chapter’s constitution. After a long period in which KMK had to show its worth and sincerity, it was accepted as the 63rd Chapter of Delta Upsilon at the Baltimore Convention of September 1948. A short time later the Annual Assembly of Trustees approved the merger, and on December 4, 1948, the chapter was formally installed.
DU at Kent State became the best fraternity on campus in the 1950’s, with over 100 members. The fraternity was always first in campus activities such as intramurals and Song Fest. The chapter really showed the meaning of “A DU in everything, and every DU in something.” The height of the Chapter’s excellence, though, was reached when it was given the “Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award” in 1955; this made the Kent State Chapter the best Du Chapter in the country.
The Kent State Chapter prospered into the 1960’s but the entire Greek system on the campus began to falter during the turbulent, anti-establishment times of the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. During this time, many fraternities and sororities began to leave the campus, and the Kent State Chapter began a slow painful death. Because of dwindling membership and lack of interest, the Board of Directors had no choice but to suspend the Chapter’s charter in 1977 despite substantial help from area alumni.
During the mid-1980’s, the Greek system at Kent State began to grow again, and many fraternities were re-formed. Delta Upsilon became part of this growth when, in the Spring of 1988, Brother Nick Giorgianni (’56) contacted area alumni and formed an Alumni Association. At the same time, his son, Mark, and Jeff Mottice, also the son of an alumnus recruited eight men and became the Kent State Interest Group. The organization grew to a total of 16 men, but after reorganization in the Fall of 1988, only ten members remained. Giorgianni, Mottice, and Todd Brown were the only original members left. These three became the first president, vice-president, and secretary, respectively. Although the ten men that were left, which also included Rick Pitinii, Ralph Snelson, Chris Kistler, Tim Foster, Mark Takach, Dwayne Gentner, and Rusty Lytle, knew little about the Greek system, they were able to double in size by April of 1989. During this time, the Interest Group earned a respectable reputation at Kent State and participated in many campus activities. On April 26th, the Interest Group petitioned IFC (Inter-Fraternity Council) for membership and a colony status. This was granted, and the organization became the Kent State Colony of Delta Upsilon.
During the entire colonization process, the colony and participating alumni brought back many traditions. The first of these was the annual Wop-Harp Picnic, which involves both undergrads and alumni in softball, tug-of-war, and a steak and beans barbeque. An edition of the Skull and Crossbones was printed. The K-Girl ceremony was also rejuvenated, although now taking place at the beginning of Homecoming weekend because there no longer is a Campus Day.
The restarting of Delta Upsilon at Kent State University was initiated by the alumni of the Chapter. It is their dedication to the fraternity that was the backbone of the colony. While the colony struggled through their first year, the Alumni Association was incorporated and remained strong. Four alumnus, Jack Hurd, Roger Knabe, Tom Forsythe, and Dave Baldwin, became the first advisors to the interest group. These four, along with Nick Giorgianni, Mark Cironi, and Allen Farinacci, the first president, secretary, and treasurer of the Alumni Association, respectively, exemplified the meaning of brotherhood by strongly supporting the undergraduates and giving the advice needed for re-chartering.
Through the colony’s hard work and determination on April 28, 1990 the chapter received their charter once again. The chapter then began to grow and required the addition of a new, larger chapter house. In June of 1993, the chapter took over possession of the Delta Gamma house on Lincoln Street moving from its old 335 East Summit house. The new house slept 25 men, making it the largest fraternity house at Kent.
Coat of Arms
The Great Arms, showing the complete achievement, may be used by members in such formal instances as stained glass, award plaques or certificates, chapter stationery and illustrations in college annuals. The Coat of Arms contains the fraternities Shield of Arms, Crest, Bannerets, Torse and Mantling.
The gold badge, formed from a monogram of the Greek letters Delta and Upsilon, wsa presented to the Hamilton Convention of 1858 by Edward P. gardner of Amherst, chairman of the Badge Committee. It was officially adopted by the Convention on May 13, 1858 together with the motto, which appears in Greek form on the arms of the Upsilon. The Delta is always drawn as an isosceles triangle whose altitude is equal to its base.
The seal of the Fraternity is held by the International Fraternity secretary, who uses it in the name of the Trustees for sealing official papers of the corporation. The seal is both copyrighted and patented, and care should be used to avoid infringement. `