It was spring of 1869. The university founded in 1865 was in its first full year of operation. But already the Greek secret societies were dominant—the first attempt to counter the secret Greek fraternities was the short-lived "Independent Organization." Several of its leaders began exploring the founding of a new kind of fraternity.
On Monday May 17th 1869, at 4 P.M., in the parlor of the Ithaca Hotel, the Cornell Chapter of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity was formally organized, consisting of the following seven members: G. F. Behringer, J. O’Neill, T. B. Cornstock, R. O. Kellogg, G. W. Ingraham, E. D. Leffingwell, and L. F. Judson.