Alpha Delta Phi: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alpha Delta Phi
Founded October 29, 1832 (1832-10-29) (177 years ago)
Hamilton College
Type Secret, Social
Scope International
Motto Manus multæ cor unum (Many Hands, One Heart)
Colors Emerald and Pearl
Symbol Star, Crescent, Sword, Spear, Escutcheon
Flower The Lily of the Valley
Chapters 25 Chapters, 3 Affiliates (Fraternity), 5 Chapters, 2 Affiliates (Society)
Members 50,000+ collegiate
Headquarters 6126 Lincoln Avenue
Morton Grove, Illinois, United States

Alpha Delta Phi (ΑΔΦ) is a Greek-letter secret and social college fraternity and the fourth-oldest continuous Greek-letter fraternity in the United States and Canada. Alpha Delta Phi was founded on October 29, 1832 by Samuel Eells and includes former U.S. Presidents, Chief Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Senators among its 50,000+ alumni. Today, the name refers to both the all-male fraternity and the Alpha Delta Phi Society, which separated from the fraternity in 1992 and permits co-educated chapters. The Fraternity and the Society are both derived from Eells's vision for a "literary society," with each chapter upholding its literary tradition.[1]

Alpha Delta Phi was the first fraternity to establish a chapter west of the Allegheny Mountains when it formed a chapter at Miami University in 1833. This chapter inspired the formation of three national fraternities at Miami in the 19th Century. Alpha Delta Phi was also a charter member of the North-American Interfraternity Conference (formerly known as the National Interfraternity Conference) (NIC), and a Brother of Alpha Delta Phi, Hamilton W. Mabie (Williams College, class of 1867), was the first President of the NIC.

For Yale University's campus, Alpha Delta Phi ranked first among all of the university's fraternities. It was brothers of Alpha Delta Phi that were mostly tapped to join the university's top-ranked senior society Skull and Bones. Issues with the number of Alpha Delta Phi's tapped for Skull and Bones also led to the creation of Yale's second-ranked senior society Scroll and Key.[2]



When Samuel Eells arrived on campus at Hamilton College he found two existing literary societies, the Phoenix and the Philopeuthian, the latter of which he reluctantly joined. Eells quickly became disenchanted with both societies' unscrupulous recruiting tactics and considered creating his own society which would disavow what he had regarded as jealous and unsavory competition between the existing two. Eells proposed to select members from both the Phoenix and the Philopeuthian and found a new society of limited membership based on "the loftiest of intellectual and moral ideals."[3]

On October 29, 1832, Eells gathered four other upstanding members, two from the Phoenix and two from the Philopeuthian, to a meeting in his room, No. 15 Back-Middle, Kirkland Hall. The four other men were Lorenzo Latham, John Curtiss Underwood, Oliver Andrew Morse and Henry Lemuel Storrs. At that meeting, Eells drew up the fraternity's constitution while he and Latham together drew up the fraternity's emblem and symbols. Later in the year other members were added and thus the first chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi was in full operation by the beginning of 1833. [4]



From its early days, Alpha Delta Phi sought students of a decided literary orientation. In the founder's own words, the literary pursuit of the fraternity must "be built on a more comprehensive scale than other societies, ... providing for every variety of taste and talent and embracing every department of literature and science... It must be national and universal in its adaptations, so as not merely to cultivate a taste for literature or furnish the mind with knowledge, but with a true philosophical spirit looking to the entire man, so as to develop his whole being -- moral, social and intellectual." Today, the literary tradition is continued on the international level in the form of annual literary competitions sponsored by the Samuel Eells Literary and Educational Foundation, which awards cash prizes in each of five categories. [5]


As of February, 2010, the Fraternity has 25 chapters and 3 affiliates, the oldest chapter existing at Hamilton College and the most recent affiliate in Bloomington, IN.

The Alpha Delta Phi Mansion at Cornell
The Alpha Delta Phi Mansion at Cornell

(Source: The Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity,, retrieved 2008-05-28 )

In addition, the Fraternity has a regional alumni organization, the Midwest Association of Alpha Delta Phi, which is more than 125 years old. Alpha Delta Phi also has the third oldest continuous chapter in the North America Fraternity System, which is also the second oldest Alpha chapter at Hamilton College.

Notable alumni

Samuel Eells
Portrait of Samuel Eells

Notable alumni of the Alpha Delta Phi include, among others:

(Source: The Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity,, retrieved 2008-05-28 )

Songs of the Alpha Delta Phi

Since its founding, the Alpha Delta Phi has adopted several fraternity songs written by members of its chapters. The songs include:

Come Troll a Stave, James Weber Linn, Chicago 1897

Come troll a stave and drink a measure,
For until him the world is fair,
Who holdeth in his heart the treasure,
The Alpha Delt has hidden there,
For come the storm or pleasant weather,
Our star and crescent ride the sky,
As we live merrily together,
Who live in Alpha Delta Phi.
Her praises who grows tired of singing,
Her envied sons who do not know,
For round her altar proudly clingly,
Our laurels round her shrine we throw.
A glass to every jolly fellow--
Gay shall we live until we die,
For life is always rich and mellow,
For us in Alpha Delta Phi!

As well as:

A Gay Gallant Ship, A.B. Judson, Brunonian 1859
Vive La Compaigne, F.S., Bowdoin 1858
The Alpha Delta Girls
Silver Moonlight Memories
The Grad's Reverie
We Come with a Shout and Song

The Society

The Fraternity is a retronym used now to distinguish the secret, all-male Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity from the co-ed Alpha Delta Phi Society. In general parlance, the Fraternity refers to itself simply as the "Alpha Delta Phi", since the Society is required to add "Society" to the end to distinguish itself.


Several Alpha Delta Phi chapters began co-educating in the 1960s, with the California Chapter leading the way (Note: The California Chapter since has rejoined the Fraternity as an all-male organization). Not all chapters approved of this change, and several decades of disputes followed, with some members lobbying for full admission of women, and others wanting to ban women altogether or grant them some form of associate membership. By 1992, the chapters agreed to bifurcate Alpha Delta Phi, creating the Alpha Delta Phi Society alongside the existing Fraternity. As part of the agreement, the Fraternity and the Society are completely separate and independent legal entities with separate governing bodies, and are not separate or parallel divisions of the same organization. The two groups share a license to use the name and intellectual property. The Society espouses "home rule," letting each chapter decide whether or not to co-educate. To date, all of its chapters are co-educated.


As of 2010 the Society has four undergraduate chapters, two undergraduate affiliates, and five alumni chapters.

The Society was founded in 1992 by four chapters: Brunonian (at Brown University), Columbia (at Columbia University), Middletown (at Wesleyan University), and Stanford (at Stanford University). The Bowdoin Chapter, which had been required to withdraw from the Fraternity by the administration of Bowdoin College, joined the Society a year later. In 1994, the Society's first new chapter was formed at Middlebury College, becoming Alpha Delta Phi's first chapter to have a coeducational status from its inception.

Bowdoin College later abolished its fraternity system, and in 2000, the Bowdoin Chapter became alumni-only. However, the Bowdoin Chapter remains active and still inducts new members who are not current Bowdoin students. In 2005, Middlebury's undergraduate chapter chose to disassociate itself from the national society, and it became alumni-only as well.

In December 2007, the Society's Board of Governors voted unanimously to establish the Granite Affiliate at the University of New Hampshire.

In January 2010, the Society's Board of Governors voted unanimously to establish the affiliate at Harvard University.

The current undergraduate chapters and affiliates are as follows:

See also


External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address