Explore the history of Alpha Delta Pi through its expansion across North America over the course of nearly two centuries - from its beginnings as the Adelphean Society at Wesleyan Female College to its transformation into a national sorority and on to today. Click on the dates below to see where Alpha Delta Pi chapters existed in that year and to learn about the forces (both internal and external) that have shaped the organization's expansion.
The Adelphean Society is founded at Wesleyan Female College by Eugenia Tucker as the first secret society for women. It would remain a purely local organization until 1898 when the organization decided to become a national sorority.
Putting into practice a decision made in 1898 to become national, Beta chapter is founded at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Just three years after establishing Beta chapter, Alpha Delta Phi - as the sorority was then known - has expanded to include eight chapters. Theta chapter, the first chapter in the North, is also founded in this year at Lawrence College in Appleton, Wisconsin.
By 1912, Alpha Delta Phi has chapters from coast to coast. Unfortunately, some chapters - including Beta, and Gamma - have already closed due to faculty opposition to fraternities. There are 18 active chapters and most owned their own houses.
After the installation of Alpha Theta Chapter on April 26, 1917 there was no further expansion for two years. After installing 12 chapters in only five years there were strong feelings against expansion. Older members missed the intimate associations and small conventions of earlier years and felt the sorority was growing too large. In a devastating blow to the sorority, the mother chapter, Alpha, closed in 1916 due to faculty opposition to fraternities.
The Roaring Twenties saw major expansion with 23 new chapter installed between 1920-1929. Included among these is Beta Zeta chapter at the University of Toronto, the first Alpha Delta Pi chapter in Canada.
The Great Depression hit colleges and universities - and by extension their Greek systems - hard. While Alpha Delta Pi continued to expand during the depression, the sorority saw its largest loss of chapters to date with seven chapters closing due to the economic conditions. One of them, Beta Mu at Montana State College (now Montana State University), closed just 3 years after it was founded. On a bright note, Alpha Delta Pi reopens its first chapter - Eta chapter which had closed at the University of Alabama in 1910.
The World War II years see slow growth for the sorority, though at a faster pace than the Depression years. Nine chapters are founded or refounded while three chapters close.
The post-war years see a huge boom in expansion. Only one chapter, Beta Alpha at the Indiana University, is lost between 1946-1959 while 39 chapters are founded or refounded.
Post-war expansion continues into the 1960s with 35 chapters founded or refounded and only seven chapters closing. Many chapters also build or renovate their chapter houses in these years.
The 1970s were a turbulent time for our nation and they were a difficult time for Greek organizations as well. While Alpha Delta Pi opened or reopened 20 chapters, 15 chapters were closed during this decade. One chapter Epsilon Iota at Indiana University of Pennsylvania closed, reopened, and closed again over the course of just three years.
With alcohol issues and insurance rates on the rise and university enrollment numbers dropping the 1980s were a mixed back for expansion. While 22 chapters were founded or re-founded, 19 others closed their doors.
As headlines across the country told the sad news of binge drinking, hazing, and vandalism many saw the Greek system to blame. And, while it wasn't just Greeks involved in these activities, some of these criticisms were justified. It was in this environment that Alpha Delta Pi saw a stagnant period for expansion. Ther period from 1990-1999 saw a net gain of only one chapter: 12 new or re-formed chapters emerged while 11 other chapters closed.
Gaining momentum after the dark days of the 1990s, the early 2000s saw an increase in expansion. While six chapters closed during this decade 16 more were added to the chapter roll.
The decade of 2010-2019 has seen the largest growth in expansion sincee the post-war boom of the 1950s and '60s. Twenty-three chapters were opened - including five that re-opened - while only three chapters were lost.