Delta Phi Epsilon (professional)

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Delta Phi Epsilon
Delta Phi Epsilon crest.png
FoundedJanuary 25, 1920; 100 years ago (January 25, 1920)
Georgetown University
EmphasisForeign service
Mottoλατρεύω (Latreuo)
Greek: I Serve
ColorsBlack and Gold
FlowerMorning glory
CharteredWashington, D.C.
Chapters6 active
HeadquartersPost Office Box 25401
Washington, D.C.

Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity (ΔΦΕ) is the only national American professional foreign service fraternity. Founded on January 25, 1920, the fraternity's mission is to promote brotherhood among persons studying or engaged in Foreign Service. Its Alpha chapter went on in the first half of the twentieth century to colonize new chapters at many other universities throughout the country. The fraternity is proud of notable members in a variety of fields.

As of 2018, there remained six active collegiate chapters: Alpha at Georgetown University, Gamma at Boston University, Epsilon at the University of California, Berkeley, Eta at The George Washington University, Pi at American University, Chi at James Madison University. Three of those chapters were in The District of Columbia.

The current president of Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity is Roi-Charles A. Coulombe, Al-'04.

In 1973 Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Sorority was founded, with its Alpha chapter at Georgetown University.


The fraternity was founded in the wake of World War I, in a time of increased U.S. interest in world politics and solving global issues with diplomacy. In 1919, Fr. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. at Georgetown University founded the School of Foreign Service (SFS) and in 1924, the Rogers Act formed the basis of the United States Foreign Service. During this time, other groups with similar missions, such as the Council on Foreign Relations, were founded, along with international bodies such as the League of Nations.

The four founders of the fraternity were Alfred O. Arseneau, Wesley O. Ash, Samuel C. Bartlett, and T.J. Patrick O'Connell. At first three of them, all undergraduates in Georgetown's SFS living together on 10th Street, held in common only their experience in overseas military service and their interest in foreign service careers. Soon they met the fourth, Pat O'Connell, who thought of founding a foreign service fraternity independently. They were drawn together by their common vision for a professional foreign service fraternity for future graduates of the School of Foreign Service and others in the field. Later these men joined with seven other interested undergraduates (future brothers Sandager, Butts, Ash, MacKenzie, Brooks, Sullivan, Scott, and Bates) and signed the Articles of Agreement. After choosing a name and nominating officers, Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity was formally founded at the Catholic Community House at 6th and E Streets, NW, on January 25, 1920. The group was incorporated in the District of Columbia on April 20, 1920.

Early expansion focused on both East and West Coast schools. After World War II, the fraternity saw even greater expansion into institutions across the United States. In 1956 the National Board of Directors created the Delta Phi Epsilon International Society of Business and Foreign Affairs, which was to be open to both men and women.[1] However, that society failed to develop,[2] and by the 1960s, the Fraternity itself began to see a decline in the number of its chapters.[3] In June 1972, Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Sorority was founded, which for the next 30 years had but one chapter, Alpha, at Georgetown University. It held its first initiation at Alpha House of the Fraternity on February 24, 1973.[4]

During the 1970s most of the Fraternity's collegiate chapters went inactive, leaving only the original Alpha. This decline is attributed to two major factors: a national decline in professional fraternities and a negative perception generally of the foreign service. During the Vietnam War, foreign service was closely associated in many minds with contemporary U.S. foreign policy, which was protested against at many member institutions.[3] After some attempts during the 1990s, several of these defunct chapters were revived in the 2000s. The for 30 years only chapter of the foreign service sorority, Alpha, at Georgetown University, had also gone defunct, but was revived in 1990 after a ten year period of inactivity, and then revived again in 1998 after still another five year period of inactivity.[5] In the summer of 2003 the first reactivation of a dormant chapter, Epsilon chapter at UC Berkeley, occurred, along with installation there of a second chapter of the Sorority. Soon following were also re-activations of Eta, Pi, Gamma, and Mu. In November 2008, a brand new chapter, Psi chapter, was installed at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and in September 2016 a second brand new chapter, Chi chapter was installed at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

In 2014, the Fraternity's National Convention endorsed a proposal for a joint Fraternity-Sorority member project to publish a peer-reviewed Delta Phi Epsilon Journal of Foreign Affairs, to operate a scholarship competition for students who had been initiated into Delta Phi Epsilon, and to hold an annual symposium promoting alumni and student international relations research. This project developed into the Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Affairs Council, incorporated and recognized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization in 2016.[6] The Council originally selected its own leaders from Delta Phi Epsilon members to support international relations education, promote public engagement in foreign policy, and provide career development tools to Delta Phi Epsilon brothers and sisters.[7]

In July 2018, The Chronicle of Higher Education published several accounts of student and alumni Fraternity members and also of many many non-Fraternity members, accusing Terrence Boyle, the Fraternity's General Secretary, of sexism and bigotry.[8] Boyle has served as General Secretary for over 40 years. Within the article, and in a petition shortly following it, leaders from most fraternity chapters, along with many non-DPE Fraternity members, called for his resignation.[9][10] In August 2018, the Alpha chapter officers resigned after one of Georgetown University's student run newspapers published an opinion piece authored by presidents of Eta, Chi, and Pi chapters calling for Georgetown students to boycott Alpha chapter[11][12]

During its Biennial National Convention in June 1932 President Herbert Clark Hoover sent the delegates a congratulatory telegram.
Built in 1870 by merchant William E. Seymour, 3401 Prospect Street has been home to Alpha chapter from 1940 to 1920. It is a contributing property to the Georgetown Historic District, a National Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1967.

Alpha chapter was the longest-lived collegiate chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon, and the only fraternal organization at Georgetown University with a house. Its officers resigned in 2018, and the Chapter had just three one-person initiations in the succeeding 18 months. Then in late February it initiated the Chapter's 200th Line (10 initiates) just prior to the Fraternity's 100 Founders' Day Banquet. Alpha's historic house was sold in June 22, 20120, in 2020 because the university implemented a must-live-four-years-on-campus rule for undergraduates. A new House is soon to be bought, a club house model, not a boarding house.

Active chapters[edit]

Inactive chapters[edit]

Notable members[edit]

The Fraternity initiates Line Brothers, who pledge, almost invariably when they are students, and also National Brothers, already out of school, who just go through the final initiation ritualistic ceremonies. The fraternity has had several notable Brothers as members.

Before each name below, an asterisk * indicates a Line Brother and a hash # a National Brother.


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External links[edit]