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On May 16, 1955, fifteen men founded the Cal Poly Chapter for the purpose of advancing justice, developing character, diffusing a liberal culture, and promoting friendship. Delta Upsilon men dedicate themselves to fulfilling these principals and providing an environment where you can develop into a Delta Upsilon brother. A Delta Upsilon brother is highly motivated, multi-faceted, fully developed, creative, hard working and deeply committed to his fraternity.

The founders of the International Fraternity selected Four Founding Principles as a simple, forthright declaration of the fraternity's purpose. These founding goals demand high aspirations of both the man and the organization. They also serve to challenge and inspire us to greater excellence. The four founding principles are as follows:

The Delta Upsilon motto, "Dikaia Upotheke", translates to "Justice, Our Foundation." The fraternity adopted both the motto and the present active's badge in 1858, six years before the fraternity adopted the present name of Delta Upsilon. When the chapter started in 1955 as Alpha Upsilon (a local, non-national affiliated fraternity), the brothers at the time adopted the motto "Acwluqhsan Hmas". The Alpha Upsilon motto translates to "Follow Us."

Responsibility is an important facet of a Delta Upsilon man's life. Years ago the chapter adopted Seven Responsibilities as a guideline for the brothers to remember their duty to the fraternity, the university, and society. The Delta Upsilon man strives to fulfill to the best of his ability each of these responsibilities. The seven responsibilities are as follows: