Delta Upsilon, an international men's fraternity founded in 1834, came to the University of Alberta in 1930, soon after the University of Alberta began to recognize fraternities on campus. In the autumn of that year, eight men, under the urging of Ted Baker, decided to solidify their already long friendship by forming a social organization called Pi Epsilon. A year later, the group applied for recognition from the University Administration but were turned down by the authorities who stated that five fraternities on the campus were too many. However, at this time, Dr William Hardy Alexander, then a professor of Classics, became interested in the group and, under his persuasion, the administration relented.
Pi Epsilon's next step was to petition for affiliation with an international fraternity. Dr Alexander was a member of the Toronto Chapter of Delta Upsilon, and the ideals of his organization coincided with the ideals of Pi Epsilon. Thus, in 1932, a petition was drawn under the sponsorship of D. Alexander, S. Dickson, and C. Holmes, all Toronto alumni.
The first petition was turned down by the International Convention. Not discouraged, the Pi Epsilon group petitioned again and headed off with nine sponsors to Williamstown, Massachusetts where they were then finally accepted at the Centennial International Convention. The installation banquet for the Alberta Chapter was held on January 1, 1935. Twenty-nine men became the first Alberta Delta Upsilons, and on that same day, ten men formed the first pledge class.
During World War II, the house was rented to Air Force servicemen but immediately after the war's end in 1945, it returned to its former role as Delta Upsilon's chapter house. The mortgage was finally burned in 1956.
As a fraternity residence, Rutherford House contained a floating population of 20 to 25 students—including the young Peter Lougheed and some of his future cabinet colleagues. The fraternity made some changes: the kitchen was modernized, showers were added in the basement, rooms were partitioned, floors were tiled, and the roof was re-shingled. But the history of the house was respected and it was well cared for; the members of Delta Upsilon have been remarkably careful custodians.
In 1968, as a result of future expansion by the University of Alberta, the Delta Upsilons were expropriated from this location and were forced to relocate to 11020–86 Avenue. Here, the fraternity temporarily occupied two very old houses while plans for a permanent future facility were prepared. Construction of the permanent facility began in 1972–1973, and the fraternity moved to its present location during the 1974–1975 academic term.
Since Rutherford House was declared a provincial historic site, Delta Upsilon has participated in this preservation by donating over $40,000 to renovate the basement, ensuring that Delta Upsilon's presence in the house is never forgotten. September 1995 saw the official recognition by the University of Alberta of Delta Upsilon's presence in Rutherford House with the unveiling of a plaque (found in the pedway between HUB and Tory) commemorating both the history of the Rutherford House and of the members who inhabited it. The plaque, along with two commemorative benches, was donated with funds raised by Marg Andrekson (wife of Brother Andy Andrekson '54) and a coalition of friends and alumni of Delta Upsilon.