Alpha Delta Pi
FoundedMay 15, 1851; 173 years ago (1851-05-15)
Wesleyan College (Macon, Georgia)
MottoWe Live For Each Other
Colors  Azure and   White
FlowerWoodland Violet
Mascot"Alphie" The Lion
PublicationThe Adelphean
PhilanthropyRonald McDonald House Charities
Members260,000+ lifetime
Headquarters1386 Ponce de Leon Ave., NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30306
United States
University of Illinois chapter house, listed in the NRHP

Alpha Delta Pi (ΑΔΠ), commonly known as ADPi (pronounced "ay-dee-pye"), is an International Panhellenic sorority founded on May 15, 1851, at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. It is the oldest secret society for women.[1]

Alpha Delta Pi is a member of the National Panhellenic Conference.[2] The sorority's national philanthropic partner is the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Its executive office is located in Atlanta, Georgia.


Alpha Delta Pi was first founded as the Adelphean Society on May 15, 1851, at Wesleyan Female College in Macon, Georgia.[2][1] The six founders included Eugenia Tucker Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Williams Mitchell, Sophronia Woodruff Dews, Octavia Andrew Rush, Mary Evans Glass, and Ella Pierce Turner.

In 1904, a committee of three, led by Jewel Davis, contacted Attorney Dupont Guerry, the college's president, about to the procedure to become a national organization. They secured a charter of incorporation from the state of Georgia. In 1905, the Adelphean Society changed its name to Alpha Delta Phi.[3] At the time of nationalization, Alpha Delta Phi, as a women's fraternity, had sixty active members and 3,000 alumnae.

In 1905, the Beta chapter was established at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, by two members of the Alpha chapter. The chapter had seven members and fifteen new initiates until the administration abolished sororities three years later. In 1906 its Gamma chapter was founded at Mary Baldwin Seminary. Visitors were not allowed at the school, so the chapter charter and special instructions were delivered to the new group by mail.

In 1906, Jewel Davis entered the University of Texas at Austin as a graduate student, organized a group, and installed them as Delta chapter, the fourth chapter of Alpha Delta Phi. Jewel Davis is listed as a charter member as there was no precedent for affiliation. Today, the Delta chapter at The University of Texas at Austin is the oldest surviving chapter of Alpha Delta Pi. Between 1906 and 1912, eight more chapters were founded at various universities.

In 1913, Alpha Delta Phi officially changed its name to Alpha Delta Pi. The deliberations over this change remain largely unknown aside from the impetus of the discovery of a pre-existing men's fraternity using those exact letters and which pre-dated the original Adelphean Society's inception by almost 20 years. There seems to be little to no speculation as to why "Pi" was specifically chosen as a replacement letter, and or why it took so long to hear of the pre-existing ADPhi Fraternity.[4] Thus in 1913, the Adelphean Society, through Convention legislation, changed the name of the organization, adopted a recognition pin, and appointed a standardization committee.[5] The trustees at Wesleyan Female College voted to abolish sororities, leading to the closure of Alpha chapter in 1915.[6] Chi chapter, at Wittenberg University, was the first chapter to bear the new name at installation. In 1948, Mrs. Carolee Strock Stanard retired as Grand President and part of her keynote address became The Creed of Alpha Delta Pi. In 1960, Alpha Delta Pi's 100th chapter, Delta Omicron, was installed at East Carolina University.

In 1979, Alpha Delta Pi adopted Ronald McDonald Houses as the National Philanthropy. In 1983, Alpha Delta Pi Foundation was established. In 2001, Alpha Delta Pi celebrated its 150th anniversary in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 2006, the Delta chapter, the oldest open chapter of ADPi, celebrated its 100th anniversary at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2009, Theta Theta chapter at Quinnipiac University was installed. Theta Theta was the 200th chapter of ADPi to be installed. Chapters continue to be installed and anniversaries are celebrated at numerous university campuses.[7]

Symbols and publications

The open motto of ADPi is "We Live for Each Other," and its colors are azure blue and white. To the sorority, blue is symbolic of friendship, which the sorority cites as one of its founding values; white symbolizes sincerity and truth, which are two qualities the sorority states it looks for in its members.[8] The official flower is the woodland violet; however since woodland violets are found in the wild and not available for purchase, people often substitute the African violet. The official jewel and symbol is the diamond, which the sorority uses as a symbol of "the enduring strength and value of friendship".[9] The mascot for Alpha Delta Pi is a lion with the nickname of Alphie.[10] Alpha Delta Pi currently has 161 chapters in the United States and Canada, with the majority concentrated in the southern United States, and over 150 alumnae associations. Its national philanthropy is the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Elizabeth Moseley Coles, who was elected national president at the first grand convention, was responsible for having Alpha Delta Pi's coat of arms designed. Another sister of the Alpha chapter, Agnes Chapman, is given credit for the actual design of the coat of arms. Symbolism from the ritual and the Alpha pin were combined in the coat of arms, and the design originally had a background of violets. In 1919, the convention body voted to make changes and the present design was accepted.


The Adelphean

The Adelphean is a quarterly magazine covering recent events, upcoming activities, outstanding members, and chapter news. It is a subscription for members and alumnae and promotes leadership on and off campus. The Adelphean has a partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities and other local organizations.[11] Its first issue was published March 12, 1907, by a select group of national Alpha Delta Pi leaders and included a collection of letters from outstanding members and updates on the expansion of the secret society. At this time, Alpha Delta Pi was still referred to as "Alpha Delta Phi."[12]


Since 1979, Alpha Delta Pi has been committed to serving Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). Throughout their partnership, Alpha Delta Pi has contributed more than $16 million to RHMC. Local RMHC Chapters operate Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, and Ronald McDonald Family Room programs in local communities.[13]


Main article: List of Alpha Delta Pi chapters

Alpha Delta Pi has 161 chapters in the US and Canada.[7]

Notable members

Main article: List of Alpha Delta Pi members

See also


  1. ^ a b Anson, Jack L.; Marchenasi, Robert F., eds. (1991). Baird's Manual of American Fraternities (20th ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Baird's Manual Foundation, Inc. p. IV-4–8. ISBN 978-0963715906.
  2. ^ a b "Our Member Organizations". National Panhellenic Conference. Retrieved 2023-06-22.
  3. ^ Thus briefly, the women's group had a name identical to Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, which had formed as a men's organization in 1832. As explained in the body text, this coincidental naming was again changed, eight years later, to its present form.
  4. ^ Many years later, in 1992, some of Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity's chapters withdrew to form the co-ed Alpha Delta Phi Society which came to include several of that fraternity's oldest chapters (ex: its Columbia chapter, formed as a men's chapter in 1836.) But this later creation of the ADPhi Society (in 1992) had no bearing on the decision (in 1913) to rename what had started as the Adelphean Society as Alpha Delta Pi.
  5. ^ "Alpha Delta Pi – History". Alpha Delta Pi Executive Office.
  6. ^ Pi, Alpha Delta. "History of Alpha Delta Pi". Alpha Delta Pi. Alpha Delta Pi Executive Office. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  7. ^ a b William Raimond Baird; Carroll Lurding (eds.). "Almanac of Fraternities and Sororities (Baird's Manual Online Archive), section showing Alpha Delta Pi". Student Life and Culture Archives. University of Illinois: University of Illinois Archives. Retrieved 24 Aug 2021. The main archive URL is The Baird's Manual Online Archive homepage.
  8. ^ "Symbols – Alpha Delta Pi". Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  9. ^ Pi, Northwest Missouri State University chapter of Alpha Delta. "Alpha Delta Pi | Northwest Missouri State University". Archived from the original on 2018-06-13. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  10. ^ "Symbols". Alpha Delta Pi. Archived from the original on 2009-06-07. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
  11. ^ Siler, Jennifer. "Adelphean Magazine". Alpha Delta Pi. Alpha Delta Pi International. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  12. ^ Phi, Alpha Delta (12 March 1907). "The Adelphean of Alpha Delta Pi". No. 1. Alpha Delta Pi. Alpha Delta Pi. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Service and Philanthropy". Alpha Delta Pi.