Before affiliation with Delta Upsilon the Colonnades were recognized as a fraternity at Iowa State in spring 1905. Striving to affiliate with a national organization, the Colonnades received a charter in DU on December 6, 1913 after multiple previous attempts to charter with Delta Upsilon.
The chapter was living west of campus in their home at 209 N. Hyland Avenue when the alumni housing corporation, retaining the name Colonnades, recognized that Delta Upsilon would be most successful south of campus. In 1920, land was bought at 117 Ash Avenue to build a new Norman-style chapter house. Construction began in 1927 and after a few setbacks, the chapter moved into the house in winter 1931.
After over 90 years as a successful chapter of Delta Upsilon, the chapter closed in 2008 due to a failing physical structure and rapidly falling membership levels. At that time, the house at 117 Ash was in danger of being sold and demolished. Therefore, a group of dedicated DU alumni raised money to purchase and renovate the house. The exterior of the house was completely renovated during summer 2010 and the interior was completely renovated during summer 2011. The total cost of renovations was around $1,250,000. Today, 117 Ash Avenue is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Delta Upsilon returned to Iowa State during fall 2011 as a colony. After 2 years of reorganization and growth, DU rechartered as a chapter of Delta Upsilon on September 21, 2013, 100 years after the initial charter in 1913. DU returned to campus as a “dry” chapter meaning alcohol is prohibited in the chapter house.
Since reorganization, the chapter has grown to one of the strongest fraternities on the Iowa State campus and one of the strongest DU chapters throughout the country. The chapter actively serves the community, raises money for philanthropy and participates in all major Iowa State Greek Community events. The chapter has consistently been in the top half of campus fraternities academically with a 3.00 chapter GPA or higher every semester from spring 2014 through today. The Iowa State chapter has been recognized as a Sweepstakes Finalist (Top-7 chapter in all of Delta Upsilon) each of the past 9 years from 2015-2023 and won the Sweepstakes Award for the best overall DU Chapter in 2021. There are more than 1,000 living alumni associated with Iowa State DU including over 100 graduates since 2013.
Portions of this article are from “How Delta Upsilon Fraternity, founded in 1834, established its Iowa State Chapter in 1913” by Tom Hansen ’79