Delta Phi Epsilon (ΔΦΕ) is the only national professional foreign service fraternity. Founded at Georgetown University on January 25, 1920, the society's mission is to promote good fellowship and brotherhood among persons studying or engaged in foreign service. The Alpha chapter went on to colonize at many other universities throughout the country in the first half of the twentieth century. The society has notable members in a variety of fields.
As of 2016, there are eight active chapters. Active chapters are Alpha at Georgetown University, Gamma at Boston University, Delta at University of Southern California, Epsilon at University of California, Berkeley, Eta at George Washington University, Mu at Michigan State University, Pi at American University and Chi at James Madison University. The organization has three chapters in The District of Columbia. Other chapters are currently in the process of being chartered and re-chartered.
The current president of Delta Phi Epsilon's national board is James-Michael von Stroebel, Al-'54. In 1973 the Alpha Chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority was founded at Georgetown University. Since its creation, the sorority has grown to include chapters at several additional universities, such as Epsilon chapter in 2003, Eta in 2006, Psi in 2008, Pi in 2009, Mu in 2015, and Chi in 2016.
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 also founded as were international bodies such as the League of Nations.
The four founders of the fraternity are Alfred O. Arsenau, Wesley O. Ash, Samuel C. Bartlett, and T.J. Patrick O'Connell. The first three, undergraduates in Georgetown's SFS, at first held in common only their experience in overseas military service and their interest in foreign service careers. Later 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. The fourth founder had developed a similar vision independently, which he discussed with Arsenau. Later these men joined with seven 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 founded at the Catholic Community House on E Street on January 25, 1920. The fraternity was incorporated in the District of Columbia on April 20, 1920.
Early expansion focused on East Coast schools, but after World War II, the fraternity saw greater expansion into new institutions across the United States. There was also pressure for the fraternity to admit women. In 1956 the National Board of Directors reached a compromise and created the Delta Phi Epsilon International Society of Business and Foreign Affairs, which was to be open to all. However, the society failed to develop or resolve the issue, and in the 1960s, the Fraternity began to see a decline in members. In June 1972, the National Board tentatively voted to re-constitute the Fraternity into a co-ed Society, though this change failed as it was not carried forward by following Conventions. In October 1972, at the suggestion of Alpha Chapter, the Fraternity's leaders began helping to create the national Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Sorority, which was founded on February 24, 1973.
Further decline in the 1970s caused the folding of twenty-one chapters, including the new sorority, leaving only the original Alpha Chapter fraternity active. This decline is attributed to two major factors: a national decline in professional fraternities and a negative perception of the foreign service. During the Vietnam War, the foreign service was closely associated with contemporary U.S. foreign policy, which was protested against at many member institutions. After numerous attempts during the 1990s, some of these defunct chapters were revived in the 2000s. The Alpha Chapter sorority was also revived from 1990 to 1995, and again in 1998. In the summer of 2003, the Epsilon chapter at UC Berkeley was revived and has been active since. In November 2008, Psi Chapter was installed at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Mu Chapter at Michigan State University was re-activated in September 2015.
In 2014, the Fraternity's National Convention endorsed a joint Fraternity-Sorority member project to publish a peer-reviewed Delta Phi Epsilon Journal of Foreign Affairs, operate a scholarship competition for students initiated into Delta Phi Epsilon, and hold an annual symposium to promote alumni and student international relations research. This project developed into the Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Affairs Council, which was incorporated and recognized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2016. The Council is operated by an independent group of 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.
Alpha Chapter is the longest-lived active chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon, and is the only fraternal organization at Georgetown University with a house. The re-activation of Epsilon Chapter, inactive since 1972, in 2003 at the University of California at Berkeley, was followed by the re-activation of Eta Chapter, inactive since 1969, in November 2005 at The George Washington University and the re-activation of Gamma Chapter at Boston University in April 2016. The Fraternity also saw the addition of the first new chapter in thirty-two years, at the University of the Pacific in 2008. The American University's Pi Chapter was also revived in 2009.
- 1920, Alpha Chapter, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
- 1973, Alpha Chapter Sorority
- 1922, Gamma Chapter, School of Business Administration, Boston University, Boston, MA
- 1923, Epsilon Chapter, College of Commerce, University of California, Berkeley, CA
- 1929, Eta Chapter, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
- 2006, Eta Chapter Sorority
- 1923, Delta Chapter, School of International Relations, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
- 1955, Mu Chapter, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
- 2015, Mu Chapter Sorority
- 1967, Pi Chapter, School of International Service, The American University, Washington, D.C.
- 2009, Pi Chapter Sorority
- 2016, Chi Chapter, School of Public and International Affairs, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
- 1920, Beta Chapter, School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance, New York University, New York City, NY
- 1924, Zeta Chapter, School of Commerce and Finance, University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, MI
- 1939, Theta Chapter, School of Business, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
- 1939, Iota Chapter , University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI
- 1962, Iota Chapter , Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
- 1949, Kappa Chapter, Leland Stanford Junior University, Palo Alto, CA
- 1949, Lambda Chapter, American Institute for Foreign Trade, Phoenix, AZ
- 1964, Nu Chapter, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
- 1966, Xi Chapter, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
- 1965, Omicron Chapter, Occidental College, Los Angeles
- 1971, Rho Chapter, Los Angeles State College, Los Angeles
- 1972, Sigma Chapter, George Pepperdine University, Los Angeles
- 1974, Tau Chapter, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
- 1976, Upsilon Chapter, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
- 1975, Phi Chapter, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
- 1976, Omega Chapter, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
- 2008, Psi Chapter, School of International Studies, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA
In addition to the Line Brothers initiated by each chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon, the fraternity has inducted several notable faculty members as National Brothers.
- Harry Sandager, Al-'20 (Charter Member); late former U.S. Representative from Rhode Island.
- Walter J. Donnelly, Al-'20; late former U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica, Venezuela and Austria.
- William Smith Culbertson, Al-'20; late former U.S. Ambassador to Romania and Chile.
- Rufus B. von KleinSmid, De-'23; late former president of the American Association of Colleges and Universities; former president of the University of Arizona; former president and chancellor of the University of Southern California.
- Edward B. Lawson, Al-'24; late former U.S. Ambassador to Iceland and Israel.
- Raymond P. Ludden, Al-'28; late U.S. State Department China expert.
- Don C. Faith, Al-'38; Georgetown University's only Medal of Honor recipient (awarded posthumously).
- Claude G. "Tony" Ross, De-'38; late former U.S. Ambassador to the Central African Republic, Haïti, and Tanzania.
- Philip W. Manhard, De-'42; late Foreign Service Officer held as a POW by the North Vietnamese. Later became U.S. Ambassador to Mauritius.
- Roderic H. Davison, Et-'48; late Professor of Government at The George Washington University.
- Walter I. "Jack" Giles, Al-'49; late government professor at Georgetown University.
- Diego C. Asencio, Al-'50; former U.S. Ambassador to Colombia and Brazil.
- Walt Disney, De-'50; late film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, and animator.
- Derek C. Bok, Ka-'50; former president of Harvard University and former Dean of Harvard Law School.
- Robert A. Scalapino, Ep-'50; late Professor of Government Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.
- Donald L. O'Toole, Al-'51; late former U.S. Representative from New York.
- William F. Knowland, Al-'51; late former U.S. Senator from California, and Republican Party leader.
- Paul M. A. Linebarger, Al-'53, late East Asia scholar; expert in psychological warfare.
- Grady McMurtry, Ep-'54; late occultist and revivor of Ordo Templi Orientis.
- Douglas MacArthur; Al-'56, late former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Belgium, Austria, and Iran.
- Thaddeus M. Machrowicz, Al-'59; late former politician and judge from Michigan.
- James F. Dobbins, Al-'60; former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union.
- St. Clair Bourne, Al-'62; late documentary filmmaker.
- Edward "Skip" Gnehm, Et-'64; former U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait, Australia, and Jordan.
- Jan Kozielewski (Karski), Al-'64; late former Polish Underground WWII officer, Georgetown professor, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.
- George R. Houston, Jr., Al-'64; late former Georgetown faculty and treasurer. Went on to become President Emeritus of Mount St. Mary's University.
- Nicholas Onuf, Al-'67; Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Florida International University.
- Abdul Aziz Said, Pi-'67; senior ranking professor of international relations in the School of International Service at The American University.
- Kenneth W. Starr, Et-'67; former Solicitor General of the United States.
- Jesse A. Mann, Al-'68; late former dean of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University 1968-1970.
- Lev Dobriansky, Al-'68; late former U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas, Georgetown professor, and anti-communist advocate.
- Ibrahim Oweiss, Al-'68; Professor of Economics Emeritus at Georgetown University.
- Bob Barr, De-'70; former federal prosecutor and a former U.S. Representative.
- Thomas J. Dodd, Jr., Al-'72; former U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay and Costa Rica.
- Mark von Hagen, Al-'72; professor of history in the Arizona State University School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies.
- Franklin L. Lavin, Al-'75; former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore.
- Eric G. John, Al-'78; former U.S. Ambassador to Thailand and current senior advisor for Security Negotiations and Agreements in the Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
- Christopher Reich, Al-'79; New York Times Bestselling author.
- George L. Sherry (Shershevsky), Om-'89; late former U.S. United Nations official and professor at Occidental College.
- Madeleine Albright, (sorority) Al-'91; former United States Secretary of State.
- Evan G. Galbraith, Al-'94; late former U.S. Ambassador to France.
- Earl C. Ravenal, Al-'94; former distinguished senior fellow in foreign policy studies and Professor in Foreign Service Emeritus at Georgetown University.
- Michael R. Czinkota, Al-'96; Georgetown professor, author; former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the U.S. Department of Commerce.
- John Wood, Al-'96; Chancellor of the University of Canterbury; former Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand; and former two-term Ambassador to the United States.
- Aurel Munteanu, Al-'98; late former Romanian Ambassador to the U.S.
- Evan Kohlmann, Al-'98; private sector international counter-terrorism consultant.
- Phillip Karber, Al-'03; former Ford executive, who also served as Special Advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
- Charles A. Coulombe, Al-'04; American Catholic historian, author, journalist, and lecturer.
- Thomas M. King, S.J., Al-'05; late professor of theology at Georgetown University.
- Howard B. Schaffer, Al-'05; late former U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh and twice Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.
- H. Allen Holmes, Al-'07; former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal.
- Sam Potolicchio, Al-'15; Director of Global and Custom Education at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.
- Ian Bremmer, Et-'17; President of Eurasia Group, author and Global Research Professor at New York University
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