The Zeta Chapter of Psi Upsilon International Fraternity (“Psi U”) was founded at Dartmouth in 1842, the first social fraternity at Dartmouth College. Our history stretches back to our founding as United Fraternity in 1786 when the College was small, life was hard and our student leaders built and maintained a library in Dartmouth Hall for the benefit of all students. The “Fraters” levied dues on themselves to purchase books for the shared library. Winters came and went, Dartmouth grew and evolved and United Fraternity evolved with it. In 1841, United Fraternity elected to convert from a literary society to a social society and joined the national fraternity known as Psi Upsilon in 1842.
We have the longest history of literary and social leadership at Dartmouth College, spanning all trials and tribulations of the Lone Pine through a global pandemic. We are older than the graduate schools, all other societies and most of the academic departments. For over 200 years we have stood along the road of higher education, watching the passing trends come and go. Wholly engaged, while patiently preparing for the next generation of leaders. An outpost of stability. A home for strong leaders to linger and grow before they move on. Our duty and responsibility to the inclusive, literary and social mission of Dartmouth College is as strong today as it was in 1786.
As a member of United Fraternity, Daniel Webster honed his preternatural craft that ultimately lead to his famous defense of Dartmouth College. But for the complementary education that our society provided to Mr. Webster, who knows where our sacred institution would be today.
In 1907, Psi Upsilon built the wood frame house it still occupies, designed by noted New Jersey theater architect and Dartmouth alumnus Fred Wesley Wentworth. Several additions during the latter half of the twentieth century greatly improved the structure, which houses around twenty brothers each year. The house most recently underwent substantial renovations during the spring of 2006.
First and foremost we are loyal to Dartmouth and all her alumni and alumnae. We respect and preserve the history of the College, while at the same time accepting the evolving nature of higher education and our current student’s needs and our obligations to society. We strive to embody the three core principles of Learning, Leadership and Living at the core of a Dartmouth education and a responsible, moral life. As part of Living, we recognize the need for responsible social interaction as a critical part of human development and thus strive to provide that complementary opportunity to the Dartmouth community.