Phi Mu Delta
Crest of Phi Mu Delta Fraternity
FoundedMarch 1, 1918; 104 years ago (1918-03-01)
University of Connecticut, University of New Hampshire, University of Vermont
TypeSecret, Social
ColorsPrinceton orange, white, black      
SymbolLion, Scales of Justice, Raccoon
Patron saintAbraham Lincoln [1]
PublicationThe Triangle
   The Lion Line
PhilanthropySt. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Chapters14 active chapters, 2 provisional chapters[2]
Founding principlesDemocracy, Service, Brotherhood
Headquarters216 Haddon Ave., Suite 602
Westmont, NJ 08108
United States

Phi Mu Delta (ΦΜΔ) is a small, national fraternity founded on March 1, 1918 at the Universities of Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The fraternity is focused on the ideals of democracy, service, and brotherhood.


Phi Mu Delta was originally derived from the National Federation of Commons Clubs (NFCC), which had formed at Wesleyan University in 1899. Rumblings of interest toward forming a Greek letter organization were the subject of extensive correspondence between chapters in 1917 and 1918. Clarence Dexter Pierce, one of the fraternity's founders, petitioned the NFCC to form a Greek letter fraternity at its 1918 NFCC meeting. His intent was to bring all 19 active Commons Clubs chapters into this new organization which he had named Phi Mu Delta. At a subsequent Commons Club conclave at Massachusetts Agricultural College, now UMass, held on March 1, 1918, chapters from four colleges initially agreed to join the organization. These were the University of Vermont, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Connecticut and Union College. But upon their return, alumni of Union College's Commons Club, upon hearing the news refused to allow their undergraduate chapter to join. Thus today, the Fraternity recognizes three founding chapters:[3]

These three drew lots to determine which would be named as the Alpha chapter; the Greek letter Nu was a reference to their New England region.[1]

Phi Mu Delta became a junior member of the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) in 1923, and then a senior member in 1930. It remains a member of the NIC today.[4]

The fraternity expanded slowly during the 1920s, merging or expanding to seven additional chapters by 1930. Expansion of the Fraternity was slowed during the great depression. Phi Mu Delta merged with another fraternity, Delta Alpha Pi in 1934-1935, gaining three chapters, all of which closed shortly afterward. In 1936 one of the founding chapters, the University of Vermont, also closed. By the end of World War II, the Connecticut chapter had also closed.[3][4]

After WWII the fraternity expanded more rapidly, coinciding with a general increase in fraternity enrollment. This trend petered out by the late 1960s, and by the late 1970s the organization was making plans to shut down. A reorganization effort centered on the State College, Pennsylvania chapter, stabilized the fraternity, and prompted a resurgence in growth. It was at this time that the University of Vermont was recolonized. In the early 1980s, the organization rewrote its constitution. During the 1980s, the fraternity only gained one chapter (California University of Pennsylvania).[3][4][5]

Since then the fraternity has expanded steadily.[5] In 2006, the fraternity established an Executive Director position. In 2015, the National Office was moved to Westmont, New Jersey.[3]

Symbolism and traditions

March 1 is celebrated each year as Founders' Day.

The badge of the Fraternity is a black triangle, bordered with pearls, with the letters Φ, Μ, and Δ, rendered in gold, and set about a sapphire center stone.

The coat of arms displays a lion bearing a shield, under which runs a ribbon with the Greek letters of the fraternity's name.

The new member pin is a simple triangle, with three sections, each bearing one of the three colors of the fraternity along with the scales of justice.[1]

The colors of the fraternity are Princeton orange, black and white.

The flower of the fraternity is the jonquil.[4]

The fraternity's new member manual is titled, The Oracle, and was first published in 1998. Its current edition was published in 2018.[1]


Notable members

Some of the notable members of the fraternity include:[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Jaclyn E. Hackett, editor-in-chief (2018). "The Oracle" (PDF). Phi Mu Delta Fraternity, Inc. Retrieved 14 April 2021. ((cite web)): |author1= has generic name (help)
  2. ^ "Find A Chapter". Phi Mu Delta. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d "A Brief History of Phi Mu Delta". Phi Mu Delta. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d Anson, Jack L.; Marchenasi, Robert F., eds. (1991) [1879]. Baird's Manual of American Fraternities (20th ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Baird's Manual Foundation, Inc. p. III-94–95. ISBN 978-0963715906.
  5. ^ a b William Raimond Baird; Carroll Lurding (eds.). "Almanac of Fraternities and Sororities (Baird's Manual Online Archive)". Student Life and Culture Archives. University of Illinois: University of Illinois Archives. The main archive URL is The Baird's Manual Online Archive homepage.