Three local women's organizations were formed in 1916 because of the large enrollment of women at the University of North Dakota and a strong interest for Greek life. Edith and Esther Hagert were the original founders of one of the three women's organizations - Alpha Sigma Epsilon. Alpha Sigma Epsilon was based on the ideas of amity, scholarship, and equality. Alpha Sigma Epsilon held its first formal meeting December 16, 1916, and their first pledge service on March 3, 1917.
Alpha Sigma Epsilon was later granted charter into Delta Zeta national sorority on February 10, 1919, and became the Upsilon Chapter of Delta Zeta at the University of North Dakota. They held their initiation into Delta Zeta on March 1, 1919. The Upsilon Chapter of Delta Zeta chose their colors to be royal purple and cream and their flower was the violet.
The Delta Zeta sorority was founded October 14, 1902, at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio. The purpose of the group was to "unite its members in the bonds of sincere and lasting friendship, to stimulate one another in the pursuit of knowledge, to promote the moral and social culture of its members, and to develop plans for guidance and unity in action; objects worthy of the highest aim and purpose of associated effort."
In 1920, a housing problem confronted the chapter. For two years, the chapter's home was at 3000 University Avenue, but in 1922 the house was put up for sale. After many conferences, the decision was made to purchase the house at 315 Hamline Street. That home also was sold, and in the fall of 1926, the chapter moved to 2724 University Avenue, which was enlarged and remodeled in 1964.
In July 1921, the Upsilon Alumnae Association was established to maintain a close relationship between alumnae and undergraduate members of the Upsilon Chapter. Sometime before 1946, the name of this organization was changed to the Grand Forks, North Dakota Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Zeta Sorority.
Upsilon Chapter closed at the end of 1982-83 academic year. Reasons given included poor membership, a lack of personnel and maintenance problems with the house.
The Delta Zeta, Upsilon Chapter Records date from 1916 to 1984 and have been divided into two series:
Series 1: Upsilon Chapter
Series 2: Alumnae Chapter