Xi History

The Psi Upsilon fraternity was founded November 24, 1833 at Union College in Schenectady, NY.

Ten years later, Robert Barnard '37, Samuel Goodale '36, Sterling Hadley, '36, George Washington Tuttle '36, Edward Martindale, Merwin Henry Steward '37, and Charles Washington Harvey '37 founded the Xi chapter at Wesleyan. 

The campus was never the same again. These seven founding brothers and their successors have been an integral part of Wesleyan University’s growth into a world-renowned educational institution. During the 17 decades since Wesleyan’s founding, more than 75 Xi brothers have served on the University’s Board of Trustees. One in five alumni giving service to the board have been Xi brothers.


Our tradition of contributing to Wesleyan’s facilities, reputation, and educational program have been immortalized across campus: 

  • John Clark '86 was chair of the board from 1911 to 1920, and the naming of Clark Hall in his honor recognized his efforts as a fund-raiser.
  • William Hall '92 was similarly recognized for his donation to a new chemistry building in 1927, forerunner of the current Hall-Atwater Laboratories.
  • C. Everett Bacon '13 is also remembered for trustee service and athletic fame, and many generations will benefit from the Bacon Field House named for him.
  • Silloway Gymnasium is named after Stuart Silloway '29, who played a key role in the purchase of American Education Press, Inc., the most bountiful financial asset in Wesleyan's history.
  • Winchester House was bequeathed to Wesleyan by Caleb T. Winchester '69, known during his fifty-one years of service (and long after) as Wesleyan's greatest teacher. 
  • Crowell Concert Hall is named for Walter A. Crowell ’22, who provided for this key component of the Center for the Arts.
  • Three units of the Foss Hill residential complex complete this account. They are named in honor of Leroy Albert Howland ’00, professor of mathematics from 1905 to 1947, who also served at various times during those years as dean, vice-president and acting president. 
  • Dresser Diamond, home field of the Wesleyan baseball team, was recently named for Jim Dresser '63, former head of the Wesleyan Board of Trustees.

Standing at the center of "College Row" and Wesleyan’s history, Memorial Chapel is also infused with Xi history. The names in its windows and on its plaques, in addition to honoring those who gave their lives in three wars, are also mean to recognize a select group of 22 distinguished trustees, presidents and faculty. Seven of these names are Xi brothers, including the aforementioned Winchester and Howland, Calvin Sears Harrington ’52 and his son, K. P. Harrington ’82, teachers of the classics, James Van Benschoten '56, professor from 1863 to 1902, Bishop Herbert Welch '87, a true Renaissance man and trustee till the age of 97, and Oscar Kuhns ’85, a scholar in the Romance languages.