In September 1921, soon after the start of Delta Phi Epsilon's third academic year, the lease expired on its Connecticut Avenue house and Alpha chapter moved to its second home, located at 1503 21st Street, NW, just one building north of the corner of 21st and P Streets. This building in later years became the Washington Gallery of Modern Art and, since the early 1990s, has been the Economics Section of the Polish Embassy. It is quite a large house and, once established there, the brothers quickly resumed their regular program of smokers and dances.
The first national convention of Delta Phi Epsilon was held on November 25-27, 1921, at the new Alpha Chapter House. Throughout the summer and fall of 1921 a Constitutional Committee, composed of Bros. Karl E. Prickett and Horace W. Cutler, had been working on draughting for the Fraternity a permanent constitution. They used as a model the articles of incorporation and by-laws of the New York State Bankers Association. After the draught they composed was circulated between the two chapters, two more members, Bros. Charles Hodges (Beta) and John Walsh (Alpha), were added to the committee to help in evaluating and accommodating various requested changes. A revised draught was then adopted by the November convention and it, with only a few amendments, remained in effect until 1938. The November convention also elected Bro. William S. Culbertson, of Alpha, to succeed Bro. MacElwee as National President for 1921-22.
In 1921-22 Delta Phi Epsilon began many of the traditions that it still honors. A Fraternal Grip, Song, Poem and Motto were adopted, along with the Fraternal Colors of Black and Gold. A design for a Fraternal Badge was agreed upon the year before and in 1921 a Fraternal Crest was also adopted. This Crest, however, was replaced in 1924 by a quite different, multi-colored Crest that is still in use (and appears on the home page of this web site). The new crest was, on March 3, 1925, recorded in the trademark Division of the United States Patent Office. The original Crest of 1921, however, continues as the crest of the corporation "Delta Phi Epsilon" that was chartered by the Washington brothers in April 1920 and that, since 1940, has been the owner of the Alpha Chapter House. Plans were also begun during 1921-22 for a regularly issued Fraternity publication, but it was not until 1924 that the first issue, called The GALLEY, would appear.
On March 10, 1923, Alpha Chapter mailed out:the first issue of its own publication, called The TRAMP. Its founder and first editor was Bro. Edgar Williams, an adopted son of the prime minister of the Sultanate of Sulu in The Philippines and later a writer for the Baltimore American. Bro. Ralph Curren was the assistant editor.
In the spring of 1922, Prof. George Gregg of Boston University made a visit to Washington, D.C., seeking at the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce some information for a thesis he was writing. While there, he learned of Delta Phi Epsilon Fraternity and went back to Boston as a strong advocate of installing a chapter at his university. By then Bros. Tom Keating and Wes Ash of Alpha were both living in Boston and they did much to encourage the idea. A group of students at Boston University interested in foreign service organized a local group and petitioned the National Board of Governors of Delta Phi Epsilon Fraternity for a charter. Dean Lord of the Boston University School of Commerce was personally acquainted with both Bro. Roy MacElwee, then the head of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and with Dean Taylor at New York University, and heartily endorsed the proposition. The petition was approved by the Fraternity's Board of Governors and Gamma Chapter was installed on May 22, 1922, at an initiation and banquet held at the Boston City Club. Bro. Keating remained for many years in Boston as godfather to the new chapter. Gamma Chapter was incorporated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in October 1928.
The Fraternity's second national convention was held on December 19-20, 1922, once again hosted by Alpha Chapter in Washington, DC. Bro. Charles Hodges, a faculty member at New York University, was elected to succeed Bro. Culbertson as National President for 1922-23.
In February 1923 Alpha Chapter moved into its 3rd Fraternity House, located at 1833 Jefferson Street, NW, across the street from the then home of former President Theodore Roosevelt.
Also in the fall of 1922, Horace W. Cutler of Beta, who had come to Southern California some months previous, made contacts with a number of foreign trade students in the School of Commerce of the University of Southern California. Meetings were held at the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and eventually a local group was organized known as the Seven Seas Club. Near the end of 1922 a petition was addressed to the Fraternity's National Board of Governors. The petition was approved and Delta Chapter was installed March 24, 1923 at the Hotel Clark. The installation team consisted of Bros. Horace Cutler (Beta), Richard Barnwell (Beta), Alfred Arseneau (Alpha), Francis O'Connor (Alpha), Eugene Cox (Alpha), John McDermott (Beta), and Gregory Creutz (Alpha). The charter members of Delta Chapter included: Dr. Rufus B. Von KleinSmid, the President of the University of Southern California, Professors Oliver J. Marston, Clayton D. Carus and John Eugene Harley; and Charles A. Carver, Walter S. Wheaton, Henry. G. Brady, Harry B. Brown, C. K. Brugman, Hugo E. Hihn, Kenneth Kennedy, George W. McCormick and James A. Simpson.
Almost simultaneously with the start of efforts to install Delta Chapter, work was begun by Bros. O'Connor, Arseneau and McDermott to extend Delta Phi Epsilon to the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Grady at U.C. cooperated in this movement. An organization known as the Pacific Foreign Tradesmen soon after successfully petitioned the National Board of Governors and, at ceremonies held on March 31st and April 1st of 1923 Epsilon Chapter was installed in the Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco.
The Fraternity's third national convention was held on December 28-30, 1923, at the Gamma Chapter House in Boston. During this convention Bro. Rufus B. von KleinSmid, of Delta Chapter, then the President of the University of Southern California, was elected National President for 1923-24. He was re-elected in 1924 for a second, but two-year term.
During the 1923 convention a petition was presented by the Cosmos Club of the University of Detroit, under the sponsorship of Bro. Harry Waters of Alpha, seeking admission as a chapter of the Fraternity. The petition was approved; and Zeta Chapter was on February 3, 1924, installed at ceremonies held in both the Hall of the University and at the Hotel Statler in Detroit.
At the end of September 1924 Alpha Chapter moved again. The new house was at 1606 20th Street, NW, a few doors to the north of the mansion that once had belonged to James G. Blaine, the former U.S. Senator from Maine (and one-time Republican presidential candidate). This new house had once been the Chilean embassy. The following August, Alpha moved again, a few doors further up 20th Street to 1612 20th Street, NW, where it remained until the summer of 1927.
The Fraternity's fourth national convention was held at the Commercial Club in San Francisco, CA, on December 26-28, 1924. The delegates voted henceforth to hold conventions biennially rather than annually.The succeeding convention, held on December 28-30, 1926, at Webster Hall of the University of Detroit in Detroit, MI, was deemed a continuation of the fourth convention. The Fraternity's fifth national convention, therefore, was the one held on June 18, 1928, at the 44th Street Hotel in New York, NY, hosted by Beta Chapter and the New York Alumni Association.
In June 1929, a local fraternity called "Delta Phi" at The George Washington University, in Washington, D.C., petitioned the Board of Governors of Delta Phi Epsilon for installation as a chapter. On October 15, 1929, Delta Phi Epsilon accepted their petition and authorized installation of the group as Eta Chapter. The ceremonies took place on December 14 and 15, 1929 at the Alpha House in Washington. The installation team consisted of Bros. Edward Breyere (Chairman), Harold Dotterer, Harold DeCourcy, Carl Bahr, Lawrence Cain, Leo Schaben, Edward Shields, Carl Voss, and Walter Jaeger. The first president of the new Eta Chapter was Bro. J. Harold Stehman, who later served as the Fraternity's National Treasurer for two terms (1934-38). The first National Vice-President for Eta Chapter was Bro. John Levi Donaldson, a George Washington University faculty member, who later served as National President of Delta Phi Epsilon in 1934-36..
Eta Chapter was the last new chapter installed by the Fraternity for a decade. During the next ten years, while the Great Depression raged, no further expansion could occur and the Fraternity's efforts were instead entirely devoted to maintaining its position in the face of the far-reaching economic dislocations that accompanied those years.