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.
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.
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.
Click here for a History of the Lot and Building at 3401 Prospect Street, including copies of photographs and of correspondence from the mother of Sen. Robb, reminiscing about her years in that house.
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.
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
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.
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.