Alpha Delta Pi sorority is America’s oldest secret organization for college women. Founded in 1851, Alpha Delta Pi helped to begin the creation of America’s sororities.
At what was then Wesleyan Female College in 1851, six young women banded together to form what was called the Adelphian Society, which would later become Alpha Delta Pi sorority and the first secret organization for college women in America.
History of Alpha Delta Pi
Led by Eugenia Tucker Fitzgerald, five other women and Fitzgerald set out to create a society at Wesleyan Female College in order to promote the “mental, moral, social, and domestic improvement of its members.” According to Fitzgerald’s diary, the society was to be named Adelphian from the Greek word for “sister.”
According to Alpha Delta Pi’s website, Wesleyan Female College, located in Macon, Georgia, was the first institution of its kind in the world that was chartered to specifically grant degrees to women in 1836. The school also became home to the first chapter of America’s second oldest secret society for women, which would later become Phi Mu Fraternity.
In 1905, The Adelphian Society obtained a charter to be established as a national organization and changed its name to Alpha Delta Phi. The Beta chapter, or the second chapter of the newly-formed national organization, was established at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
From there, the membership of the then Alpha Delta Phi met in 1913 to establish a “standardization committee” and adopt a recognition pin. In addition, the name of the organization was changed to Alpha Delta Pi in order to prevent confusion with another Greek letter organization.
It was also in 1913 that Wesleyan College banned all sororities from campus. The rivalry among organizations became so intense that university officials thought that it would be better to ban such organizations from campus than to face the implications of allowing the rivalries to continue.
Alpha Delta Pi became an international organization in 1929 when a chapter was established at the University of Toronto, Canada.
Alpha Delta Pi Today
Today, Alpha Delta Pi bosts over 210,000 members initiated since 1851 and over 137 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.
Today, Alpha Delta Pi can be recognized by its colors, mascot, flower, and philanthropy. Established at various times throughout the organization’s history, these items are some of the identifying insignia of the organization.
- Colors: azure blue and white
- Mascot: lion
- Flower: woodland violet
- Philanthropy: Ronald McDonald House Charities (adopted in 1979)
- Motto: “We Live for Each Other.”
Established in 1851, Alpha Delta Pi became the first in a long succession of sororities in American history. The sorority, which continues to thrive today, serves as living history of the beginning of fraternal organizations for women in America.