In the 1950s...
Several members of the Fraternity began urging that Delta Phi Epsilon be changed from being a fraternity to a society by admitting women (and also men not interested in joining a fraternity). As a compromise, under the leadership of National General Secretary Bro. Gregory Creutz, Al-’21, the National Board of Governors of Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Fraternity in 1956 created the Delta Phi Epsilon International Society of Business and Foreign Affairs, with membership open both to men and women. However, the Society never developed because its few female members lacked the strong bonds across generations that the Fraternity had always been able to provide to its brothers.
In the late 1960s, proposals again were made to make the Fraternity coed. The 1972 National Convention even voted to amend the Fraternity’s bi-laws to allow female members. The amendment was never effectuated, though, because it was not adopted by two successive Conventions.
Instead, in the fall of 1972, the Fraternity’s Alpha Chapter at Georgetown University conceived of an entirely new approach: Delta Phi Epsilon would henceforth consist of both a Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Fraternity and a Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Sorority and thereby would at last have both brothers and sisters. The brothers in Delta Phi Epsilon, however, would alone be responsible for pledging and initiating all male applicants and do so according to the Fraternity’s own time-honored processes. Correspondingly, the sisters in Delta Phi Epsilon would alone be responsible for pledging and initiating all female applicants and do so according to parallel processes that the Sorority would develop. Once initiated, however, the brothers and sisters of Delta Phi Epsilon would work together in promoting successful professional and social programs.