In October 1919, the School of Foreign Service in Georgetown University embarked upon its first full-fledged semester. The previous spring, the School had been given a trial run for a few months and the popularity it quickly achieved gave much promise for the future. [Click here for an article by Prof. Carroll Quigley recounting how the SFS was founded]

The Georgetown University School of Foreign Service,
which from 1919 to 1932 was at the southeast corner of 6th and E Streets, NW

Three students enrolled in the School in the fall of 1919: Alfred O. Arseneau, Wesley O. Ash and Samuel C. Bartlett. All three were lately returned from overseas military service and living together in Washington, D.C. in a rooming house at 10th and I Streets, NW. At first, the three had little in common besides the bond of overseas experience; but gradually their interest in foreign service as a career drew them closer together. These three men had, first of all, a community idea. They believed that, if foreign trade had a future, the Georgetown School of Foreign Service also had a future and a foreign service fraternity, designed to promote the social and professional interests of foreign service men, likewise had a future. In October and November of 1919 they talked over among themselves this idea many times and became increasingly impressed with its possibilities.

A.O. Arseneau, W.O. Ash, S.C. Bartlett and T.J.P. O’Connell
The Four Founders of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity

About the same time, another student at the School, T.J. Patrick O’Connell, approached Fred Arseneau with the same idea, which he had developed independently. This gave strength to the planning for a foreign service fraternity and soon a number of other students were also approached. In the latter part of November 1919, the original four men and a few other interested students met to discuss the founding at Georgetown University of a “foreign service fraternity”. After their Christmas vacation they met again on Sunday, January 4, 1920, and decided that during the next week each man of the group should approach one other student whom he believed to be a desirable addition. Thus, on the following Sunday, January 11, 1920, eleven men (namely, future Brothers Bartlett, Sandager, Butts, Arseneau, Ash, O’Connell, MacKenzie, Brooks, Sullivan Scott and Bates) gathered together to sign a one-page Articles of Agreement to “form a Professional Fraternity of men entering or preparing to enter Foreign Service.” At that same meeting, committees were appointed to select a name for the organization and to nominate officers. Two weeks later, on Sunday, January 25, 1920, the group, which by then consisted of nineteen School of Foreign Service students, formally founded Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity in the basement of the Catholic Community House at 601 E Street, NW. They immediately appointed a committee on ritual, composed of Bros. Jack Walsh, Hal Butts and Harry Sandager, to devise a pledging and initiation process for the new fraternity.

The Catholic Community Center,
601 E Street, NW,
formerly the home of Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase;
in its basement was founded in January 1920
Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity

The first man to leave school and actually enter foreign service was Samuel Bartlett, one of the Fraternity’s Four Founders, who departed for Japan in mid-January 1920 – a week before Delta Phi Epsilon’s formal founding on January 25 – to work for the Fuller Construction Company. He was initiated into the Fraternity late the following summer, when new Bros. Halleck Butts and Martin Scott also left Washington for work in Japan, Butts having become the U.S. Trade Commissioner in Tokyo and Scott having become an assistant to the U.S. Commercial Attaché. The two met up with Bartlett and in September 1920, at Kamakura Beach, south of Tokyo, they formally inducted him into the Fraternity that he himself had helped found.

The first Initiatory Banquet of Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Fraternity, held at the New Ebbitt Hotel in Washington, DC, on February 11, 1920. At the speaker’s table, from left, are: Bro. Perry Stevenson, Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, SJ, Bro. Halleck Butts, Bro. Wesley Frost, Congressman Clay S. Briggs (Dem., Tex.), & SFS Dean Roy MacElwee. In the foreground are: Bros, Vinskey, Ash, Bates, O’Connor, Arseneau, Manning, O’Connell, Cain, Sullivan, Dotterer, Reilly, MacKenzie, Gruber, Moore, Sorenson, Breyere, Ulrich, Kane, Dolan, Ryan, Owen, Hickey, McCarthy, Dotterer Sandager, Scott, O’Neil, Donnelly, Walsh, and Brown. Cropped out of this picture are Bros. Brooks, Shaw, Brown, Corcoran and Quinn.

In late January and early February 1920 the new Fraternity conducted pledging for fifteen men, all of whom were inducted as brothers at the Fraternity’s first initiatory banquet, held on Saturday, February 21, 1920, at the New Ebbitt Hotel, at 11th and H Streets, NW, in Washington, D.C. At this banquet, the Fraternity was formally presented to Georgetown University and, in turn, was accepted by the Reverend Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., the University’s Vice-President and the Regent of its School of Foreign Service, who extended his personal good wishes and pledged himself to assist Delta Phi Epsilon in all its undertakings. Besides Fr. Walsh, there were present at the banquet all of the original brothers except but Sam Bartlett, as well as the fifteen new initiates and, as honored guests, the Honorable Clay Stone Briggs, a U.S. Congressman from Texas, Consul Wesley Frost, the Acting Foreign Trade Adviser for the U.S. State Department, Dr. Roy S. MacElwee, the Director of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce of the U.S. Commerce Department and the newly appointed director of the School of Foreign Service, and Mr. Perry J. Stevenson, the Chief of the Commercial Attaché Division of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. Just prior to the banquet, the Fraternity elected as its first officers: Bros. Halleck A. Butts, President; John J. Walsh, Vice President; Edwin A. J. Bates, Treasurer; and Wesley O.Ash, Secretary.

In February 1920, the group was approached by representatives from the recently founded national commerce fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi with an invitation to become a chapter of that fraternity. The offer was declined because the members of Delta Phi Epsilon desired to restrict their group to foreign service. Moreover, even at that early date, the founders of Delta Phi Epsilon had the idea that their Fraternity might eventually itself become national.

For the remainder of its first semester, Delta Phi Epsilon followed a program that included regular smokers at the New Ebbitt Hotel. The first of these smokers, on Saturday, March 6, 1920, was opened to the entire School. The speakers were Mr. Chauncey D. Snow, the former U.S. Commercial Attaché in Paris, and Mr. Basile G. Beaugency d’Ouakil and Mr. Chinfu Wangshia,instructors in French and Chinese, respectively, at the Foreign Service School. A second smoker, on Saturday, April 17, 1920, was also opened to the entire School. The speakers then were Alfred R. Thompson, the former U.S. Consul at Omsk in Siberia, who talked on the situation in Russia prior to the Bolshevik take-over, U.S. Trade Commissioner Paul B. Whitham, who spoke on the need of economic transportation in the Far East, and U.S. Consul G.D. Hopper, an Assistant to the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Trade Adviser.

On Tuesday, April 20, 1920, Delta Phi Epsilon was incorporated. Originally the Washington group had planned on obtaining a charter from Congress through the good offices of their friend, the Honorable David I. Walsh, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. When it seemed that this approach would be too time-consuming, the group chose instead incorporation by the District of Columbia. Dr. Richard S. Harvey, a faculty member in both the GU Law and Foreign Service Schools, assisted them in their efforts. The incorporators of the new entity, which was named just “Delta Phi Epsilon” and simply described in its Articles of Incorporation as “a society to promote foreign trade,” were Bros. John Brown, Harry Sorensen and John Walsh. The Washington group soon began searching for a fraternity house.

The Fraternity’s second initiatory banquet was held at the New Ebbitt Hotel on Saturday, May 1, 1920. Twenty new initiates were welcomed by all the Fraternity’s existing student brothers and by five guests of honor: Fr. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., the Regent of the Foreign Service School, Fr. John B. Creeden, S.J., the President of Georgetown University, the Honorable Edwin F. Sweet, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce, the Honorable Huston Thomson, Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, and the Honorable David I. Walsh, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. At this banquet, Delta Phi Epsilon’s first President, Bro. Halleck A. Butts, announced that he had been appointed U.S. Trade Commissioner in Tokyo (the youngest man ever to hold an office of that kind) and then Bro. Martin G. Scott, after being assisted to his feet, revealed that he would be accompanying Bro. Butts to Japan to act as assistant to the U.S. Commercial Attaché. On making this announcement, Bro. Scott read a farewell poem he had composed for the occasion. From that poem comes the words of the Fraternity’s Toast.

Bros. Butts and Scott set sail on August 5, 1920, for Japan, where they found Sam Bartlett and formally inducted him into the Fraternity. These three Brothers, Bartlett, Butts and Scott, thereupon organized the Fraternity’s first Alumni Association and established Delta Phi Epsilon’s first fraternity house, at #17, Kasumi-chu, Ozabu-ku, Tokyo.

Bros. Samuel Bartlett, Martin Scott and Halleck Butts
in 1920, outside the Delta Phi Epsilon fraternity house in Tokyo, Japan.

The first steps towards the Fraternity’s nationalization were made in April and May of 1920. when Bro. Edward Breyere sent a letter of introduction to Prof. A. Wellington Taylor, the Director of the Wall Street Division of the New York University School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance. Dean Taylor expressed himself to be in full accord with the aims and purposes of Delta Phi Epsilon. But because the school year was almost over, nothing further could be done until the following fall.

Delta Phi Epsilon’s first academic year ended on Saturday, May 22, 1920, with a third initiatory banquet at the New Ebbitt Hotel, at which Dr. William S. Culbertson, a member of the United States Tariff Commission, and Mr. Herman G. Brock, the Assistant Director of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, were initiated as brothers. At this banquet, the Fraternity elected its new officers for the following school year: John J. Walsh, President; Edward J. Breyere, Vice-President; Wesley O. Ash, Secretary; and Edwin Bates, Treasurer. A committee, composed of Bros. Edward Sullivan, George Shaw and Walter Donnelly, was appointed and directed to write a history of the Fraternity’s first year.

In October 1920, at the start of the Fraternity’s second academic year, negotiations with New York University were re-opened by two members of the Washington group who had moved to work in New York City, Bro. Herman G. Brock, a Foreign Trade Advisor for the National Bank of Commerce, and Bro. James W. Ryan, an Assistant United States Attorney specializing in admiralty cases.

Also in October of 1920 the Washington group was finally installed in its first fraternity house, located at 1335 Connecticut Avenue, NW, close to Dupont Circle. The building had formerly been the Calvert Club and was two doors south of the Royal Serb, Croat and Slovene Legation and two doors north of the home of Alexander Graham Bell (who died there in 1922). The many financial difficulties encountered in establishing that fraternity house were only overcome through the assistance of Dr. Constantine E. McGuire, who acted as a surety on the lease. Bros. John Walsh, Karl Prickett, Harry Sorenson, Alfred Arseneau, Edwin Bates, Thomas Keating and Gustav Ulrich also made notable contributions in establishing and furnishing that house. Bro. Harold DeCourcy became Delta Phi Epsilon’s first House Manager. The first smoker in this house took place on October 22, 1920, when Dr. William F. Notzof the Federal Trade Commission and Dr. Richard S. Harvey of the G.U. faculty both spoke. An even better attended house-warming party was held on November 27.

Alpha Chapter’s First Fraternity House, at 1335 Connecticut Avenue, NW (Photographed in the 1920s)

The Lease for Alpha Chapter’s 1st Fraternity House
Dr. C. E. McGuire (the actual founder of the G.U. School of Foreign Service) signed as “guarantor”.

The first initiation of the 1920-21 academic year occurred on December 5, 1920. Because of the impending installation of DPE’s Beta Chapter at NYU, the fifteen new GU initiates were designated the 1st Line of DPE’s Alpha Chapter. Among them were three distinguished members of the faculty of the School of Foreign Service: Dr. William F. Notz, Mr. Charles E. Herring, and Dr. Richard S. Harvey. Their initiatory banquet was held at the new Alpha Chapter House on Connecticut Avenue, with Fr. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., the Regent of the Foreign Service School, Dr. Paul S, Reinsch, the former U.S. Minister to China, Dr. Frank Rudder, the recently returned U.S. Commercial Attaché in Tokyo, and Hon. Huston Thompson, the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, as the guests of honor.

Alpha Chapter gathers in the spring of 1921 outside its 1st Fraternity House at 1335 Connecticut Avenue, NW.

During the Christmas vacation of 1920, Delta Phi Epsilon at last became a national organization when Beta Chapter at New York University was installed in a ceremony held on December 30th at the home of Bro. Herman G. Brock on Staten Island. The Washington group, now known as Alpha Chapter of the Fraternity, was represented at the installation by Bros. Walsh, O’Connell, Weitz, Gallagher, Owens and Cromelin. The six charter members of Beta Chapter were Bros. Raymond Z. Fahs, Henry Gully, Maurice R. Hahn, Richard E. Lambert, Francis S. Seymour, and Leonard L. Sutter. The first president of Beta Chapter was bro. Raymond Z. Fahs. A few days later Beta Chapter initiated as faculty brothers Dean A. Wellington Taylor and Prof. Charles Hodges. Two further initiations were held by Beta during the spring semester of 1921. Beta Chapter was incorporated in the State of New York on July 14, 1921, as “Beta Chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon, Incorporated.”

On Saturday, January 22, 1921, Alpha Chapter held in its fraternity house the first smoker of the spring semester. The speakers were Hon. Huston Thompson, the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, and Mr. George Otis Smith, the Director of the U.S. Bureau of Geological Survey.

On the front stoop of the first Alpha House, Bros. Sorenson and Vinskey sitting;
Bros. Arseneau, Walsh, Dow, and Eichelberger standing.

On Sunday, February 27, 1921, Alpha Chapter initiated its 2nd Line. The initiatory banquet was held at the Fairmont Inn. Thirteen new brothers were brought into the Fraternity. The guests of honor were Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., the Regent of the Foreign Service School, His Excellency Maximo Zepeda, the Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Federico Alfonso Pezet, the Peruvian Ambassador to the U.S., Consul Roger C. Tredwell from the U.S. State Department, and Dr. Ernest L. Bogart and Dr. L.Y. Chin, the instructors in money, banking and foreign exchange and in Chinese, respectively, at the Foreign Service School.

On Sunday, April 16, 1921, a special initiation was conducted for Wesley Frost, who was due to leave the city shortly to assume the position of U.S. Consul General in Marseilles. On Saturday, April 30, 1921, the Fraternity hosted its first formal Dance, with Bro. Raymond Cahill in charge.

Negotiations meanwhile had begun between the Fraternity’s Alpha Chapter at Georgetown University and its Beta Chapter at New York University on the subject of a national constitution. On May 8, 1921, a constitutional conference was held at the Alpha House on Connecticut Avenue near Dupont Circle. The three representatives from Beta were Bros. Raymond Fahs, Richard Barnwell and Horace Cutler. The three Alpha representatives were Bros. Roy MacElwee, John Walsh and Karl Prickett. A temporary constitution was drawn up and the following week was agreed upon in New York City, to remain in effect until a permanent constitution could be approved at the Fraternity’s first national convention, scheduled to be held at the end of that year. Bro. Roy S. MacElwee of Alpha was elected the first National President of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity.

Roy Samuel MacElwee
the first National President of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity

In the meantime, Bro. Francis E. O’Connor designed a Fraternity Badge, which he and Bro. John W. Brown on May 12, 1921, had copyrighted (#62807, Class G, XXc) by the Library of Congress.

On Saturday, May 21, 1921, Alpha initiated its 3rd Line. Four students became brothers. The initiatory banquet was held at Alpha’s new house. Several weeks later, on June 16, 1920, another special initiation was held, at which Frederick Simpich, a former U.S. Consul General who was then working on the staff of the State Department and teaching at the Foreign Service School, was inducted.

In September 1921, soon after the start of Delta Phi Epsilon’s third academic year, the lease expired on its Connecticut Avenue house and Alpha chapter moved to its second home, located at 1503 21st Street, NW, just one building north of the corner of 21st and P Streets. This building in later years became the Washington Gallery of Modern Art and, since the early 1990s, has been the Economics Section of the Polish Embassy. It is quite a large house and, once established there, the brothers quickly resumed their regular program of smokers and dances.

Alpha Chapter’s House at 1503 21st Street, NW (photographed in 1964)

The First National Convention of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity,
held in November 1921 at Alpha Chapter’s 2nd House, 1503 21st Street, NW.

The first national convention of Delta Phi Epsilon was held on November 25-27, 1921, at the new Alpha Chapter House. Throughout the summer and fall of 1921 a Constitutional Committee, composed of Bros. Karl E. Prickett and Horace W. Cutler, had been working on draughting for the Fraternity a permanent constitution. They used as a model the articles of incorporation and by-laws of the New York State Bankers Association. After the draught they composed was circulated between the two chapters, two more members, Bros. Charles Hodges (Beta) and John Walsh (Alpha), were added to the committee to help in evaluating and accommodating various requested changes. A revised draught was then adopted by the November convention and it, with only a few amendments, remained in effect until 1938. The November convention also elected Bro. William S. Culbertson, of Alpha, to succeed Bro.MacElwee as National President for 1921-22.

William S, Culbertson
the second National President of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity

In 1921-22 Delta Phi Epsilon began many of the traditions that it still honors. A Fraternal Grip, Song, Poem and Motto were adopted, along with the Fraternal Colors of Black and Gold. A design for a Fraternal Badge was agreed upon the year before and in 1921 a Fraternal Crest was also adopted. This Crest, however, was replaced in 1924 by a quite different, multi-colored Crest that is still in use. The new crest was, on March 3, 1925, recorded in the trademark Division of the United States Patent Office. The original Crest of 1921, however, continues as the crest of the corporation “Delta Phi Epsilon” that was chartered by the Washington brothers in April 1920 and that, since 1940, has been the owner of the Alpha Chapter House. Plans were also begun during 1921-22 for a regularly issued Fraternity publication, but it was not until 1924 that the first issue, called The GALLEY, would appear.

The first issue of The GALLEY
Spring 1924

On March 10, 1923, Alpha Chapter mailed out the first issue of its own publication, called The TRAMP. Its founder and first editor was Bro. Edgar Williams, an adopted son of the prime minister of the Sultanate of Sulu in The Philippines and later a writer for the Baltimore American. Bro. Ralph Curren was the assistant editor.

Formal Dance at Alpha Chapter’s 2nd House, February 18, 1922.

In the spring of 1922, Prof. George Gregg of Boston University made a visit to Washington, D.C., seeking at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce some information for a thesis he was writing. While there, he learned of Delta Phi Epsilon Fraternity and went back to Boston as a strong advocate of installing a chapter at his university. By then Bros. Tom Keating and Wes Ash of Alpha were both living in Boston and they did much to encourage the idea. A group of students at Boston University interested in foreign service organized a local group and petitioned the National Board of Governors of Delta Phi Epsilon Fraternity for a charter. Dean Lord of the Boston University School of Commerce was personally acquainted with both Bro. Roy MacElwee, then the head of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and with Dean Taylor at New York University, and heartily endorsed the proposition. The petition was approved by the Fraternity’s Board of Governors and Gamma Chapter was installed on May 22, 1922, at an initiation and banquet held at the Boston City Club. Bro. Keating remained for many years in Boston as godfather to the new chapter. Gamma Chapter was incorporated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in October 1928.

The Fraternity’s second national convention was held on December 19-20, 1922, once again hosted by Alpha Chapter in Washington, DC. Bro. Charles Hodges, a faculty member at New York University, was elected to succeed Bro. Culbertson as National President for 1922-23.

G. Charles Hodges,the third National President of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity

In February 1923 Alpha Chapter moved into its 3rd Fraternity House, located at 1833 Jefferson Street, NW, across the street from the then home of former President Theodore Roosevelt.

Also in the fall of 1922, Horace W. Cutler of Beta, who had come to Southern California some months previous, made contacts with a number of foreign trade students in the School of Commerce of the University of Southern California. Meetings were held at the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and eventually a local group was organized known as the Seven Seas Club. Near the end of 1922 a petition was addressed to the Fraternity’s National Board of Governors. The petition was approved and Delta Chapter was installed March 24, 1923 at the Hotel Clark. The installation team consisted of Bros. Horace Cutler (Beta), Richard Barnwell (Beta), Alfred Arseneau (Alpha), Francis O’Connor (Alpha), Eugene Cox (Alpha), John McDermott (Beta), and Gregory Creutz (Alpha). The charter members of Delta Chapter included: Dr. Rufus B. Von KleinSmid, the President of the University of Southern California, Professors Oliver J. Marston, Clayton D. Carus and John Eugene Harley; and Charles A. Carver, Walter S. Wheaton, Henry. G. Brady, Harry B. Brown, C. K. Brugman, Hugo E. Hihn, Kenneth Kennedy, George W. McCormick and James A. Simpson.

Almost simultaneously with the start of efforts to install Delta Chapter, work was begun by Bros. O’Connor, Arseneau and McDermott to extend Delta Phi Epsilon to the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Grady at U.C. cooperated in this movement. An organization known as the Pacific Foreign Tradesmen soon after successfully petitioned the National Board of Governors and, at ceremonies held on March 31st and April 1st of 1923 Epsilon Chapter was installed in the Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco.

The Third National Convention
held in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 28-30, 1923.

The Fraternity’s third national convention was held on December 28-30, 1923, at the Gamma Chapter House in Boston. During this convention Bro. Rufus B. von KleinSmid, of Delta Chapter, then the President of the University of Southern California, was elected National President for 1923-24. He was re-elected in 1924 for a second, but two-year term.

During the 1923 convention a petition was presented by the Cosmos Club of the University of Detroit, under the sponsorship of Bro. Harry Waters of Alpha, seeking admission as a chapter of the Fraternity. The petition was approved; and Zeta Chapter was on February 3, 1924, installed at ceremonies held in both the Hall of the University and at the Hotel Statler in Detroit.

Charter members of Zeta Chapter, installed February 3, 1924, at the University of Detroit.

At the end of September 1924 Alpha moved again. The new house was at 1606 20th Street, NW, a few doors to the north of the mansion that once had belonged to James G. Blaine, the former U.S. Senator from Maine (and one-time Republican presidential candidate). This new house had once been the Chilean embassy. The following August, Alpha moved again, a few doors further up 20th Street to 1612 20th Street, NW, where it remained until the summer of 1927.

Alpha Chapter’s 4th Fraternity House, at 1606 20th Street, NW,
in a March 1925 photograph

Alpha Chapter’s 5th Fraternity House, at 1612 20th Street, NW,
in a June 1997 photograph

The Fraternity’s fourth national convention was held at the Commercial Club in San Francisco, CA, on December 26-28, 1924. The delegates voted henceforth to hold conventions biennially rather than annually.The succeeding convention, held on December 28-30, 1926, at Webster Hall of the University of Detroit in Detroit, MI, was deemed a continuation of the fourth convention. The Fraternity’s fifth national convention, therefore, was the one held on June 18, 1928, at the 44th Street Hotel in New York, NY, hosted by Beta Chapter and the New York Alumni Association.

Leo Drew O’Neil the fifth National President of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity

In June 1929, a local fraternity called “Delta Phi” at The George Washington University, in Washington, D.C., petitioned the Board of Governors of Delta Phi Epsilon for installation as a chapter. On October 15, 1929, Delta Phi Epsilon accepted their petition and authorized installation of the group as Eta Chapter. The ceremonies took place on December 14 and 15, 1929 at the Alpha House in Washington. The installation team consisted of Bros. Edward Breyere (Chairman), Harold Dotterer, Harold DeCourcy, Carl Bahr, Lawrence Cain, Leo Schaben, Edward Shields, Carl Voss, and Walter Jaeger. The first president of the new Eta Chapter was Bro. J. Harold Stehman, who later served as the Fraternity’s National Treasurer for two terms (1934-38). The first National Vice-President for Eta Chapter was Bro. John Levi Donaldson, a George Washington University faculty member, who later served as National President of Delta Phi Epsilon in 1934-36.

Eta Chapter was the last new chapter installed by the Fraternity for a decade. During the next ten years, while the Great Depression raged, no further expansion could occur and the Fraternity’s efforts were instead entirely devoted to maintaining its position in the face of the far-reaching economic dislocations that accompanied those years.

William Frederick Notz the sixth National President of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity


John Levi Donaldson the seventh National President of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity

The Tenth National Convention
of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity
Detroit, Michigan

June 1936

Walter Henry Edgar Jaeger, National Vice-President for Alpha, 1928-30
National General Secretary, 1930-34

Between 1927 and 1935, Alpha Chapter’ home changed mid-town locations frequently, first after a year at 1612 20th Street, NW, to 2011 Columbia Road, NW, for one year, then on to 1852 Biltmore Street, NW, for another year, and then, for four years (1930-34), to 1923 16th Street, NW. Lastly, for one school year (1934-35), the Chapter was at 1637 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, which had just previously been the Soviet Union’s headquarters in the United States during the negotiations to establishment diplomatic relations. Commissar for Foreign Relations Maxim Litvinov had stayed there, while leading the Soviet negotiating team.

Finally, though, a location in Georgetown was found. The G.U. School of Foreign Service had in 1932 moved from the downtown Law School’s buildings up to the Georgetown main campus. The Brothers searched long and hard for a home near the School’s new location. In 1935 they were successful, and for the next four years the permanent address of Alpha Chapter was the beautiful mansion at 1555 35th Street, NW. At this location such men as former President Herbert C. Hoover and Secretary of State Cordell Hull were made honorary members of the Fraternity.

Alpha’s 6th Fraternity House, at 2011 Columbia Road, NW
1928 – 1929 (Photographed in October 1964)

Alpha’s 7th Fraternity House, at 1852 Biltmore Street, NW
1929 – 30
(Photographed in August 1997)

Alpha’s 8th Fraternity House, at 1923 16th Street, NW
1930 – 34

(Photographed in October 1964)

Alpha’s 9th Fraternity House, at 1637 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
1934 – 35
(Photographed in March 1935)

Alpha’s last rented, as its 10th Fraternity House, at 1555 35th Street, NW  1935 – 1940
(Photographed in October 1964)

In June 1938, at the Fraternity’s 11th National Convention, hosted that year by Beta Chapter in New York City, a significant event in the history of the Delta Phi Epsilon occurred with the adoption of an entirely new National Constitution. It preserved intact the aims, ideals, and fundamental policies expressed in the original constitution, but effected great improvements in national organization and in the rules governing the conduct of fraternal business. A major change was to make the various alumni associations constituent parts of the Fraternity alongside the collegiate chapters. Credit for this revision goes mostly to Bro. Leo J. Schaben of Alpha, the National Alumni Secretary for 1936-38, and to other members of the National Board of Governors.

In 1939, expansion resumed with the installation of Theta Chapter at Northwestern University. The installation took place on March 11, 1939, at the Garrington Hotel in Evanston, Illinois. William G. Orthman was elected the Theta Chapter’s first president. The first National Vice-President for Theta was Prof. Victor E. Vraz. The negotiations leading to the installation of Theta had been carried on by the members of the 1938-40 National Board, then located at Detroit, under the direction of National President Fenton E. Ludtke and National Secretary for Alumni Associations Clarence A. Kelso.

Shortly afterwards, on April 29, 1939, Iota Chapter was installed at the University of Wisconsin, in ceremonies held in Madison, Wisconsin, under the direction of the same national officers. The first Iota Chapter President was John J. LaRus, and the first National Vice-President for Iota was Prof. Chester Lloyd Jones.

Alpha Chapter House
has ever since October 1940
been at 3401 Prospect Avenue (now Prospect Street), NW
(Photographed in 1947)

In October 1940, Delta Phi Epsilon’s founding chapter again moved, this time not to another rented property, but to a house actually owned by Delta Phi Epsilon. The momentous step was made possible when the Alpha alumni, for $26,500, purchased from the recently widowed Mr. Robert P. Woolley his family’s home at 3401 Prospect Avenue, NW. The title to the property was given to “Delta Phi Epsilon”, the corporation that the Fraternity’s founding brothers had created in April 1920,

(Mr. Woolley’s daughter had been married in 1936 in the Great Room of this house, and soon after she gave birth to Charles Robb, later to become a son-in-law to President Lyndon B. Johnson and, later still, a U.S. Senator from Virginia.

Leo Joseph Schaben
The Eleventh National President of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity


With the suspension of normal academic and fraternal activities during WW II, further expansion of the Fraternity halted for another decade. Growth only resumed in the late 1940s, when Kappa and Lambda Chapters were installed in 1949.

Under the sponsorship of the Northern California Alumni Association, Brigadier General Phillip R. Faymonville, Be-’28, who had been a Stanford University student prior to his entering West Point and who during World War II was the first leader of the American Lend-Lease Program in the Soviet Union, contacted faculty friends at the Palo Alto campus and aroused the interest of a group of students who later petitioned the National Board at Washington, D.C. for permission to form Kappa Chapter. After securing a favorable vote by the Fraternity’s collegiate chapters, alumni associations, and national board, Kappa Chapter was formally installed on November 13, 1949, at ceremonies held on the Stanford University campus, with Aime Georges Michaud as the first Kappa Chapter President and Clifford N. Carlsen as the first National Vice-President for Kappa.

In 1946 The American Institute for Foreign Trade was founded and established just outside of Phoenix, Arizona, on the site of the former Thunderbird Army Air Corps Field. In the fall of 1946 Bro. Wesley Frost, Al-’21, recently retired as a U.S. Ambassador, joined the Institute’s faculty as professor of international relations. In the spring of 1947 he wrote a letter to the National Board, suggesting it consider installing a chapter at the Institute. He advised the Board that the Institute was quite unlike any of the other institions of higher educations with chapters. Its students were all post-graduate and its programs were for just two, at most three, semesters.

Wesley Frost, Al-’21

One of the Institute’s administrators, Finley Peter Dunne, Jr., joined Bro.Frost in urging Delta Phi Epsilon to expand to Arizona. The next semester a new arrived student at the Institute, Paul C. Zipszer, Et-’47, also joined forces with Bro. Frost and Mr. Dunne. The Board was inpressed with the Institute and encouraged the three to create a student group that could petition the Fraternity for installation as a chapter. In the spring of 1949 another member of Delta Phi Epsilon, Bro. Arnold C. Johnson, Ep-’48, became a student at the Institute. He became president of the “Foreign Trade Club” that successfully petitioned the Fraternity to become a chapter.

The Arizona group formally became a chapter before the “Kappa” Stanford group, but it was given the later Greek letter “Lambda” because its petition had been received by the national board after Kappa’s petition. Officially, Lambda is deemed installed as of May 15, 1949. The eighteen Charter Members were actually initiated, though, on May 21, 1949, in the Civic Auditorium of nearby Litchfield, Arizona. At the direction of the national board, the Southern California Alumni Association sent an installation team, comprised of Bro. Heman G. (Pat) Brady, De-’23, Bro. E. Eugene Jordon, Ep-’46, and Bro. Charles L. Ludtke, Al-‘2, who all made the trip to Arizona to preside over the installation ceremonies. The first chapter president was Bro. Arnold C. Johnson and the first National Vice-President for Lambda was Bro. Wesley Frost.

Alpha Chapter in 1950

Robert E. Dorton
The Sixteenth National President of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity

Paul V. Horn
The Seventeenth National President of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity

At the 18th and l9th National Conventions, both held in New York City in 1958 and 1960, several important amendments were made in the National Constitution . First, membership qualifications were broadened to allow initiation of some qualified foreign students pursuing internationally oriented studies at American universities. Next, the existing Alumni Associations were granted full privileges themselves to initiate as brothers men active in international trade and other foreign service fields. The allowing of foreign students to be members resulted from a proposal from Mu Chapter, while the new role for Alumni Associations was first urged by the Southern California Alumni Association.

During the 1960 convention, a new, simplified ceremony of Initiation thought to be more appropriate for initiations of foreign citizens and of men already established in foreign service careers was proposed by Mu Chapter, and endorsed by almost all the delegates. After receiving over the next two years a review by all the Fraternity’s collegiate chapters and alumni associations, and following further discussion at the 20th National Convention in Detroit in 1962, this revised initiation procedure was accepted as an alternative to the older, traditional ceremony. Alpha Chapter, however, alone among the Fraternity’s chapters, has never deviated from the original ritual.

On April 1, 1962, growth of the Fraternity advanced with the installation of a new Iota Chapter at Wayne State University in Detroit. This second Iota succeeded the Wisconsin Iota chapter, which had been a World War II casualty after initiation of just 30 Brothers. Its founding members included William Middleton and eleven others. Groundwork for the new chapter was done by Dr. H. Theodore Hoffman of Zeta, the then National General Secretary, and by Lonny Jay, the National Vice-President for Zeta.

For several years a number of Mu Chapter alumni who were either teaching or studying at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor worked to establish a collegiate chapter there. Finally, on April 8, 1966, Nu Chapter was installed. The initiation team consisted of various members of the Detroit 1960-64 National Board and the Washington 1964-68 National Board.

Xi Chapter originated in a group of students at Texas Technological College who were interested in foreign trade. On May 25, 1966, an installation team consisting of Alpha brothers Clarence S. Gunther, and James J. Window, then the Fraternity’s National General Secretary and Secretary for Alumni Associations, brought them into the Fraternity.

Earlier, several Delta alumni had interested faculty and students of Occidental College in becoming the Fraternity’s Omicron Chapter. It was installed on March 12, 1965, and was given the out-of-order Greek letter designation of Omicron so as to make for a euphonious Omicron of Occidental. The Chapter went dormant in the 1970s, but was reactivated in 1992 by National General Secretary Terrence J. Boyle.

An Alpha alumnus, Richard G. Muller, acquainted several fellow students of American University in Washington, D.C., with the Fraternity. On December 3, 1967, they were installed as Pi Chapter. Their installation team captain was Alpha’s president, John L. Gornall. Jon Lear Stewart was Pi Chapter’s first President and Prof. Abdul Aziz Said was the first National Vice-President for Pi.

On February 19, 1971, Rho Chapter, at California State-Los Angeles, was officially born. Installation ceremonies were held at the Fez Restaurant in Hollywood. The 28 new brothers, their dates, and members of the National Board feasted on shish-kebab and belly-dancing. Marion Adrian Clark was Rho Chapter’s first president and Daniel Kelly McCabe was the first National Vice-President for Rho.

Sigma Chapter was installed on February 22, 1972, at George Pepperdine University in Los Angeles. The induction ceremonies were held in the home of University president William S. Banowsky. Rudolph Lowry became the first Sigma Chapter President and Stephen McHargue the first National Vice-President for Sigma.

At the 27th Biennial National Convention, held at the Hotel Canterbury in San Francisco, June 23-25, 1972, the delegates voted in favor of opening membership to women as well as men. Until then, women could at most be made Honorary Sisters of the Fraternity (i.e., they would receive a “sister pin,” but not take the Fraternal Oath). Alpha Chapter disagreed with this development and soon afterwards organized a group of women, who themselves formed Alpha Chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Sorority. This Sorority and its Alpha Chapter were installed on February 24, 1973, in ceremonies held in the Alpha Chapter House on Prospect Street in Washington, D.C., just prior to the Fraternity’s own 73rd Founders’ Day Banquet. The Sorority’s first National President was Martha Snyder of the Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management’s administration. The first president of the new Sorority’s Alpha Chapter at Georgetown University was Kathleen Anne Burns. The Fraternity and Sorority are distinct, independent, organizations that nonetheless treat seach other as brothers and sisters.

On April 5, 1974, Tau Chapter was installed at Loyola-Marymount University in Los Angeles. The ceremonies were led by National President J. Patrick Hughes.

Next, Phi Chapter was installed on April 25, 1975, at the University of South Carolina after the long efforts of Beta alumnus Dr. Allen Dickerman, to bring Delta Phi Epsilon to his highly regarded graduate program in international trade. The installation team was led by Alpha brother Clarence Gunther, a former National General Secretary.

Early the next year, on February 20, 1976, and on February 29, 1976, Omega Chapter and Upsilon Chapter were installed, respectively, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Again, the strict order of the Greek alphabet was not followed. The earlier formed SMU Chapter, set in a Methodist school, was given the last letter of the Greek alphabet, “Omega,” because of its religious significance. The leader of both the installation teams was National President Frank McMinn.

Bro. Alfred O. Arseneau, Al’-20,
a Founder of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity,
photographed with Bro. Terrence J. Boyle, Al-’63,
during his last visit to Washington, DC,
in 1979

At Delta Phi Epsilon’s 59th Founders’ Day Banquet,
in February 1979,
Alpha Chapter President John J. Byrnes Al-’75,
on behalf of the National Board of Governors,
presents the Fraternity’s highest award,
the Gold Honor Key,to surprised Terrence J. Boyle, Al-’63

Alumni, faculty and student brothers, plus a few pledgees of the 132nd Line gather to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of the Alpha Chapter House at 3401 Prospect Street, NW Pictured are Bros. Abely, Arcano, Aste, Beal, Begley, Bergeson, Bleakley, T. Boyle, Brannen, J. Burke, Castillo, Chiarello, Conry, J. Dick, Rev. J. Donahue, G. Donahue, Fleischut, Gill, Grant-Minchen, F. Jankowsky, G. Kane, Karski, LeMoine, C. Lewis, Mahoney, Mandeville, Muller, McEachern, R. McHugh, Nora, R. O’Brien, M.K. O’Sullivan, F. Parker, Pascoe, Preuschoff, Pucie, Rees, E. Rodriguez, Rogers, Schoeberlein, Serrano, D. Sheehan, Shook, Skopac, Snyder, K. Speidel, Spendelow, von Stroebel, Wyman, Zimmerman, Zimmermann, and Zunic. Photograph by future Bro. Brian J. Gay (Al-’85).


In May 1993, after being dormant for 60 years, Gamma Chapter at Boston University was re-activated with an initiation headed by National President Joseph O. Eblan.

In November 2008, Psi Chapter was installed at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.  Hunter Tanous was the first chapter president.

In January 2009, after being inactive for more than 43 years, Beta Chapter at The New York University was re-activated.