Founded in 1852, Phi Mu Fraternity is the second-oldest secret society for women in the United States and was originally called the Philomaethean Society.
In 1852, three young women at what was then Wesleyan Female College in Macon, Georgia, came together to form a literary society. The society, named the Philomathean Society, would later become known as Phi Mu Fraternity.
History of Phi Mu
The Philomathean Society was founded on March 4, 1852, at Wesleyan Female College in Macon, Georgia. One of the founders of the Philomathean Society, Mary Ann Dupont (Lines) was the roommate of one of the women who had helped to establish the Adelphian Society, which later became known as Alpha Delta Pi.
The three founders of the Philomathean Society set out the create a secret organization similar to those that men enjoyed in their fraternities, but also to promote the scholastic growth and friendship that these organizations promoted. Colors, a flower, a motto, and mascot were established. A badge was made from a twenty dollar coin given to Dupont by her father when she left home to attend Wesleyan College.
In 1904, the Philomathean Society recieved a charter from the state of Georgia to become a national organization known as Phi Mu Fraternity. At that time, a Beta chapter was established at Hollins College and many more chapters were established at colleges and universities all over the country.
Just like Alpha Delta Pi, the first chapter of Phi Mu at Wesleyan College was forced to close in 1913 due to the institution’s worries about the intense rivalries between the two organizations. It was in that year that Wesleyan ordered that all sororities disband, and to this day sororities do not exist at the college.
In 1986, Phi Mu became the only sorority to be a corporate sponsor of Children’s Miracle Network, the organization’s philanthropic cause. Since then, Phi Mu has raised over $7 million dollars for their cause. Phi Mu, like many other national sororities, also has its own endowed foundation to support educational programs for its membership, philanthropic causes, and to provide assistance to members in need.
Phi Mu Today
Today, Phi Mu has over 120 active chapters across the United States and boasts approximately 130,000 living initiated members.
Phi Mu, like many other sororities, is recognized by its colors, mascot, and various other symbols.
- Colors: rose pink and white
- Mascot: lion
- Symbol: quatrefoil
- Flower: rose carnation
- Philanthropy: Children’s Miracle Network (adopted in 1986)
- Motto: Les Soeurs Fideles (“The Faithful Sisters”)
Phi Mu, the second-oldest secret society for women in the United States, was founded in 1852 by three women who had a vision of sharing a bond of special friendship. The vision that these women had helped to continue a legacy of sorority life in America for future generations.