Delta Upsilon fraternity at UND turns 60 this year, and the celebration was held over homecoming weekend in Grand Forks. The events kicked off on a cool, sunny Friday afternoon in October with the groundbreaking of Delta Upsilon’s new, $6.1 million chapter house, to be located at 421 Princeton Street. Other activities included alumni and students participating in UND homecoming events, and a campaign kickoff banquet and 60th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday night at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.
On-hand at the groundbreaking were alumni from each of the fraternity’s six decades at UND, along with university representatives and local press from the Grand Forks Herald, whose article about the afternoon can be found on the Grand Forks Herald website.
Lynn Luckow ‘71, event emcee and campaign co-chair, welcomed everyone by stating, “Delta Upsilon’s history at the University dates back to 1961 with a formation of a fraternity that was different. That group promoted strong friendship, but also academic excellence. I’m so proud of the legacy we have here at UND.” Steve Trandem ’71, a local pastor, followed with a ceremonial blessing of the grounds.
Together, Jim Sweeney ‘86 and Todd H.F. Gierke ’88, the presidents of the North Dakota Delta Upsilon Education Foundation and the North Dakota Delta Upsilon Alumni Housing Corporation, respectively, then approved the commencement of construction for a new North Dakota Chapter house to provide a new home and community for future generations of brothers who are charged with being ever vigilant over the future of Delta Upsilon, its values, and its impact in the world.
Two UND-affiliated representatives, Cassie Gerhardt, Associate VP of UND Student Affairs & Diversity/Associate Dean of Students and Dan Muus ’93, Vice President of Philanthropy at the UND Alumni Association spoke about the University’s support towards Delta Upsilon and the project. This was followed by comments from numerous alumni affiliated with the early years of the chapter and the project committees, as well as project donors.
Current chapter president Gustave Ries ’23 also shared his thoughts at the groundbreaking, stating that the fraternity continues to promote academic excellence and community service to its 50 current members.
Following their remarks, these individuals put down the microphone and picked up a shovel, joining together to break ground at the new home of North Dakota Delta Upsilon at 421 Princeton St. This was directly followed by a rousing rendition of “Hail, Delta Upsilon” by all alumni and undergraduates in attendance. Following the event, guests and alumni of the chapter were treated to a reception and house tours of the existing chapter house.
This ceremony represents the culmination of two year’s work for these alumni and undergraduates. The amount of time and effort given to this project by alumni and undergraduates alike must be mentioned. In total, hundreds if not thousands of hours have been volunteered by those involved with the project. This time has been given out of love for the chapter and the belief that Delta Upsilon represents something greater than the sum of its parts. This kind of selflessness is what makes Delta Upsilon so unique and special and has allowed for its continuation.
Delta Upsilon expects to close its capital campaign and complete construction, with the members of the chapter moving into the new house as early as the spring of 2023. Added Luckow, “it will be a fine new home for the many young men of the chapter here today and the many who will follow in these footsteps.”
The following day, the 60th anniversary of the North Dakota Delta Upsilon chapter was celebrated with a banquet dinner and dance. The event began with a social hour, followed by dinner and then a dance.
The evening was highlighted by several speakers, including Rod Kirsch ’78, co-chair of the fundraising committee for Honoring our Legacy, Building our Future, who highlighted the successes of the past year’s fundraising efforts. Kirsch stated that the current campaign is on pace to be among the top 15 Greek fundraising efforts in American history. Neil West ’62 spoke via video call about his experiences in the early years of the chapter.
Luckow also spoke about the impact that the recent work and growth around the chapter has had beyond just growing the chapter size and fundraising for the future. Through numerous conversations throughout the weekend, it became clear that many brothers, friends, spouses, and others have been able to reconnect due to the efforts of those involved in the chapter and in the new housing efforts. This was highlighted when Luckow opened the microphone up to the audience, allowing several brothers and guests a chance to share their stories and experiences.
In similar fashion to how the previous day had concluded, speaking concluded with a boisterous round of “Hail Delta Upsilon” which rang through the spacious halls of the Alerus Center. Dancing and social festivities lasted until around 10:30, when the evening concluded. The chapter looks forward to hosting another event in the spring and thanks those who attended both events over Homecoming weekend.