During the school year of 1851 at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, six young women sought to form a new organization based upon the principles of scholarship, leadership, service to others, and sisterhood. Wesleyan College was the first college for women in the world, and for those students lucky enough to attend, the daily schedule was highly regimented, allowing little time for socializing or other distractions. These six intrepid women recognized that there was a need for camaraderie and friendship outside of their demanding academic schedules, and so, on May 15, 1851, they founded the Adelphean Society, an enduring organization known to us today as the Sisterhood of Alpha Delta Pi (ADPi).
From its very earliest days, Alpha Delta Pi has attracted the best and brightest young women on college campuses, and from those original six founders, has grown into an international organization composed of 132 active chapters, more than 10,500 undergraduate members, and over 220,000 lifetime initiates across the United States and Canada. Amongst those impressive numbers are many Sisters who have led exemplary lives, such as Nancy Grace (CNN News Host), Danica McKellar (actress, The Wonder Years), Carol Shields (writer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1995), and Sandra Palmer (professional golfer). With Sisters like these, no wonder so many young women want to wear the ADPi Azure and White.
The public motto of Alpha Delta Pi is, “We live for each other.” This motto applies to not only the manner in which members feel about one another, but how they feel towards mankind, and this altruistic sentiment is bets expressed through the time and effort the Sisters put towards their philanthropy, the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Since 1979, ADPi has been committed to serving Ronald McDonald House Charities and furthering their mission to improve the lives of children facing serious illness and their families by providing for little to no cost, houses, family rooms, and mobile care units that enable families to remain together during extended, out-of-town, hospital stays. Ronald McDonald House Charities mean a great deal to the families they help, particularly the children, for whom nothing seems scarier than not having mom or dad close by for love and support during their difficult time.
Led by Eugenia Tucker Fitzgerald, the founders of Alpha Delta Pi formed their organization for “the mental, moral, social, and domestic improvement of its members.” It is amazing to think that from what started with those original six members, the very first Greek letter organization for women, has grown into the international sisterhood that it is today. The world has greatly changed since 1851, however the ideals of the founders live on in today’s Alpha Delta Pi, ensuring it remains, “first, finest, forever.”