Theta Upsilon
FoundedJanuary 1, 1914; 108 years ago (1914-01-01)
University of California, Berkeley
AffiliationNPC (former))
MottoLet there be light
Member badge
ColorsThe rainbow tints:   Red,   Orange,   Yellow
  Green,   Cyan,   Blue, and   Violet
SymbolRising Sun, Rainbow, Lion Rampant, the letters ΑΕΙ
TreeBay tree
Patron Greek divinityApollo
PublicationThe Dial
Chapters38 installed, 9 merged
Merged withDelta Zeta (1962)

Theta Upsilon (ΘΥ) was a national women's fraternity operating in the United States from February 1921 until May 1962, when the group was absorbed by the Delta Zeta sorority.

Local Club

Theta Upsilon began as a local club at the University of California, Berkeley when six female students moved into a house on Walnut Street. The house became known as "The Walnut Shell".[1]

In the academic year of 19131914, twelve girls organized an official "house club" under the university. It was called Mekatina, which meant "Among the Hills". Mekatina had a ritual based on Native American themes. The pin was a rising sun. The formal founding date, according to Delta Zeta's history, was January 1, 1914.[1]

National Fraternity

On February 7, 1921, the Mekatina students renamed themselves inaugural members of the Alpha chapter of Theta Upsilon. Ida Shaw Martin, of the Sorority Service Bureau, is credited with outlining the plans for Theta Upsilon and perfected its ritual.[1]

Theta Upsilon would eventually install 38 chapters across the country. It benefited, too, from mergers with smaller groups. Early in its history, the fraternity merged with Lambda Omega sorority, which only the year prior had absorbed Alpha Sigma Delta sorority. Lambda Omega had begun as the Norroena club at Berkeley in 1915. its name meant "Breath of the North," with a ritual based on Native American and Norse values. The Norse values emphasized were hardihood, hospitality, economy, and friendship. Lambda Omega was an associate member of the National Panhellenic Conference. In 1932, Lambda Omega had absorbed Alpha Sigma Delta, which began as the Iaqua club, also at Berkeley in 1919. In 1932, Lambda Omega was, in turn, absorbed by Theta Upsilon.[1]

The chapter at Berkeley, therefore, was the product of three Alpha chapters of small national sororities, prior to itself merging into Delta Zeta's Mu chapter in 1962.

Merger with Delta Zeta

On May 6, 1962, Theta Upsilon fraternity was officially absorbed by Delta Zeta sorority.[2] The ceremony was held at the Alpha Alpha chapter house at Northwestern University. Delta Zeta gained nine new collegiate chapters while several others were enhanced by mergers.


Theta Upsilon had installed a total of 38 chapters by the time of the merger, counting its own and those it absorbed from Lambda Omega. Chapters active at the time of the ΔΖ merger are those in bold, those which were inactive are noted in italics. [3]

Name Chartered Institution Location Status Notes Reference
Alpha 1914May 6, 1962 University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, California Merged Merged into Mu chapter of ΔΖ [4][5]
Beta 19211938 Brenau University Gainesville, Georgia Inactive
Gamma 19231940, 1946–May 6, 1962 University of Illinois Champaign, Illinois Merged Merged into Alpha Beta chapter of ΔΖ
Delta 19231940, 19461952 Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio Inactive [6]
Epsilon 19231933 Washington State University Pullman, Washington Inactive [7]
Zeta 19231936 Ohio Wesleyan University Delaware, Ohio Inactive [8]
Eta 19241955 Allegheny College Meadville, Pennsylvania Inactive
Theta 19241936 Boston University Boston, Massachusetts Inactive
Iota 1924May 6, 1962 Simpson College Indianola, Iowa Merged Became Theta Alpha chapter of ΔΖ [9]
Kappa 19251939 Ohio University Athens, Ohio Inactive [10]
Lambda 19251939 Florida State University Tallahassee, Florida Inactive
Mu 1925May 6, 1962 Miami University Oxford, Ohio Merged Merged into Alpha chapter of ΔΖ [11]
Nu 19251928 Ripon College Ripon, Wisconsin Withdrew Reverted to Delta Delta Beta (local)
Later, became ΑΦ
Xi 1926May 6, 1962 Birmingham–Southern College Birmingham, Alabama Merged Became Theta Beta chapter of ΔΖ [13]
Omicron 19271961 University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, California Inactive [14]
Pi 19281930 Lombard College[15] Galesburg, Illinois Inactive
Rho 19291940, 19461952 University of Washington Seattle, Washington Inactive [16]
Sigma 19301957 Utah State University Logan, Utah Withdrew Reverted to Zeta Chi (local)
Later, became ΔΔΔ
Tau 1930May 6, 1962 University of New Hampshire Durham, New Hampshire Merged Became Theta Gamma chapter of ΔΖ [18]
Upsilon 1931May 6, 1962 Westminster College New Wilmington, Pennsylvania Merged Became Theta Delta chapter of ΔΖ [19]
Phi 19311941 Nebraska Wesleyan University Lincoln, Nebraska Inactive [20]
Chi 19311936 West Virginia University Morgantown, West Virginia Inactive [21]
Psi 1932May 6, 1962 Louisiana Tech Ruston, Louisiana Merged Became Theta Epsilon chapter of ΔΖ [22]
Alpha Alpha 19321952 University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama Inactive [23]
Beta Alpha 19321960 New York University New York City, New York Inactive [24]
Gamma Alpha 19331948 Millikin University Decatur, Illinois Inactive [25]
Delta Alpha 1933May 6, 1962 Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Merged Merged into Delta Tau chapter of ΔΖ [26]
Epsilon Alpha 19331940 Northwestern University Evanston, Illinois Inactive [27]
Zeta Alpha 19331941 University of Denver Denver, Colorado Inactive [27]
Eta Alpha 19331937 University of Utah Salt Lake City, Utah Inactive [27]
Theta Alpha 19331935 Colby College Waterville, Maine Inactive [27][28]
Iota Alpha 19351956 Auburn University Auburn, Alabama Inactive
Kappa Alpha 1939May 6, 1962 University of Akron Akron, Ohio Merged Became Theta Zeta chapter of ΔΖ [29]
Lambda Alpha 19471960 University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado Inactive
Mu Alpha 1954May 6, 1962 Creighton University Omaha, Nebraska Merged Became Theta Eta chapter of ΔΖ [30]
Nu Alpha 19551961 Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, Michigan Inactive [31]
Xi Alpha 1958May 6, 1962 DePaul University (Chicago) Chicago, Illinois Merged Became Theta Theta chapter of ΔΖ [32]
Omicron Alpha 1960May 6, 1962 Western Carolina College Cullowhee, North Carolina Merged Became Theta Iota chapter of ΔΖ [33]

In 1962 there were four "overlaps" in chapters at California, Miami, Illinois, and Temple universities. These merged into existing Delta Zeta chapters on their respective campuses. [1]

Fairly early, a chapter at Ripon College reverted to its local name. Thirty years later it would become an Alpha Phi chapter.

A chapter at Utah State University reverted to its local name, briefly, before becoming a Delta Delta Delta chapter.[3]

Seven Degrees of Membership

(Per Delta Zeta's history)



"As a daughter of light, I believe in loyalty to God, the Light of all our being; in loyalty to our country, the land of opportunity and freedom, where all women have important roles to play; in loyalty to our fellowmen with whom I shall seek constantly understanding and true love.

"I believe in love, learning, and labor, bearing in mind that each is incomplete without the other- true love expressed through intelligence, service, learning acquired as a result of loving interest in others, and labor inspired by love and guided by intelligence.

"I believe in Theta Upsilon, its purposes, its ideals, and its aspirations. I pledge my heart, my head, and my hand to be a good citizen on the campus and in the community, to cooperate in all endeavors, to maintain high ideals in social life, to uphold a worthy standard in harmony with my sisters in Theta Upsilon, that together we may work to further the divine plan for all mankind."
-- Beatrice Card Fuller.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Miner, Florence Hood (1983). Delta Zeta Sorority 1902- 1982: Building on Yesterday, Reaching for Tomorrow. Indianapolis, Indiana: Compolith Graphics and Maury Boyd and Associates, Inc. pp. 150–151.
  2. ^ Staff (Spring 1990). McKeeman, Gwen Moss (ed.). "The Lamp of Delta Zeta" (PDF). 79 (1). Oxford Ohio: Delta Zeta Sorority: 9, 16 and 19. Retrieved 2 December 2021. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ a b William Raimond Baird; Carroll Lurding (eds.). "Almanac of Fraternities and Sororities (Baird's Manual Online Archive), list of inactive GLOs, including Theta Upsilon chapters". Student Life and Culture Archives. University of Illinois: University of Illinois Archives. Retrieved 16 November 2021. The main archive URL is The Baird's Manual Online Archive homepage.
  4. ^ Began as the Mekatina Club in 1909.
  5. ^ Interestingly, this chapter is a result of the eventual merger of the Alpha chapters of three sororities all formed at Berkeley, namely ΛΩ (1915), ΑΣΔ (1918), and ΘΥ (1914).
  6. ^ Began as Sigma Phi Omega (local) in 1921.
  7. ^ Began as Sigma Upsilon (local).
  8. ^ Began as Zeta Chi (local) in 1922.
  9. ^ Began as Beta Xi (local) in 1924.
  10. ^ Began as Alpha Iota Pi (local) in 1922.
  11. ^ Began as Kappa Psi Delta (local) in 1922.
  12. ^ Baird's notes this group was later called Kappa Sigma Chi, which became Gamma Psi chapter of ΑΦ, active from 19591970.
  13. ^ Began as Alpha Alpha Alpha (local) in 1922.
  14. ^ Began as Omega Delta Pi (local) in 1922.
  15. ^ Lombard College ceased operations in 1930.
  16. ^ Began as the "E.T.A. Club" (local) in 1927.
  17. ^ Began as Zeta Chi (local) in 1922. Became the Phi Pi chapter of ΔΔΔ, active from 19591971.
  18. ^ Began as Sigma Omicron (local) in 1926.
  19. ^ Began as Pi Rho Phi (local) in 1905.
  20. ^ Began as Delta Phi (local) in 1916.
  21. ^ Began as Pi Tau Delta (local) in 1926.
  22. ^ Began as Delta Phi Gamma (local) in 1926.
  23. ^ Began as Alpha Omega (local) in 1930.
  24. ^ Began as Psi Xi Omega (local) in 1919.
  25. ^ Began as Theta Gamma (local) in 1921.
  26. ^ Began as Alpha Theta Pi (local) in 1915.
  27. ^ a b c d Formerly a Lambda Omega chapter.
  28. ^ It's interesting to note that this chapter, in the span of seven years, had four Greek letter names: It had been still a local chapter in 1928 called Beta Chi Theta. Later in 1928 it became Gamma chapter of Alpha Sigma Delta. In 1932 it became the Iota chapter of Lambda Omega, and in 1933 the Theta Alpha chapter of Theta Upsilon. It would close by 1935, probably due in large part to the pressure of the Great Depression.
  29. ^ Began as Phi Kappa Delta (local) in 1922.
  30. ^ Began as Kappa Beta Gamma (local) in 1948.
  31. ^ Began as Alpha Pi Beta (local) in 1952.
  32. ^ Began as Delta Chi Alpha (local) in 1958.
  33. ^ Began as Delta Gamma Phi (local) in 1957.
  34. ^ a b Mrs. Ida Shaw Martin (1923). The Sorority Handbook. Ida Shaw Martin. p. 89.
  35. ^ Noted in the 1935 Colby College Oracle yearbook, page 100. Accessed 24 Nov 2021.