For more than 150 years, extraordinary women have called Alpha Delta Pi home. The first secret society for women, Alpha Delta Pi, originally called the "Adelphean Society," forged the way for women in the fraternity system. Our founding took place at Wesleyan Female College in Macon, Georgia - the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women.
A sorority of firsts, we're also a sisterhood of leaders. Sisters find Alpha Delta Pi a safe place to draw on their unique experiences and make their mark. The sorority offers members tremendous leadership opportunities as chapter officers, in Alpha Delta Pi training, and through the enthusiasm of sisters who support their involvement in leadership positions across campus.
Through the Civil and World Wars and the Great Depression, the turbulent 1960s and into the new millennium, Alpha Delta Pi has endured and stayed true to its founding ideals: scholarship, high principles of behavior and true friendships.
Today, more than 210,000 initiated members from 195 collegiate chapters throughout the United States and Canada are proud to call Alpha Delta Pi their home.
The first diamond-shaped badge was worn by the Adelpheans in 1852. Stars were not included on this first badge, but it did have a monogram of the Wesleyan pin attached to the badge by a link chain, thus forming a guard.
In 1854, the stars were added, but it was not until 1874 that the stars and the clasped hands were raised. This design remained with only slight modifications until 1906 when, at Alpha Delta Pi's first convention, Nanaline King presented a new design for the pin. Her design was a smaller gold badge with a black enamel center which pictured the clasped hands, the two stars, and the greek letters, Alpha Delta Phi. This design was adopted by the convention and is the same pin we have today, with Alpha Delta Phi being changed to Alpha Delta Pi at the 1913 convention.
A Young Girl's Dream...
“Founded on May 15, 1851, Alpha Delta Pi is the oldest secret society for college women in the world. Established at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, the first college chartered to grant degrees to women in the world, the story of Alpha Delta Pi is a remarkable one and it all began with a young girl's dream.
Eugenia Tucker was just sixteen years old when she left her family home in Laurens County, Georgia, to enter Wesleyan College. Before the end of her first year she would establish the first sorority in the world.”
When Eugenia Tucker decided to form a society, her dearest and most admired friends were asked to join her. She listed them in her journal as: Ella Pierce, daughter of a bishop; Octavia Andrew, daughter of a bishop; Bettie Williams of South Carolina (not pictured); Sophronia Woodruff; and Mary A. Evans, daughter of a useful and beloved pastor of Macon Mulberry Street Methodist Church for several years.
Ella Pierce Turner: Ella's interest in education was inherited from her family. Her father, Dr. George Foster Pierce, served as the first president of Wesleyan Female College and later served as president of Emory University. Ella was described as a "most charming young lady with seriousness of purpose and great determination." Ella had twelve children and her legacy lives on today with the many family branches that have ties to Alpha Delta Pi.
Octavia Andrew Rush: Only 13 years old when she made the journey to Wesleyan, Octavia was the daughter of Bishop James Andrew who was the ranking member on the original Board of Trustees that started Wesleyan. After graduating, Octavia
married John Wesley Rush, an Emory law student. They had ten children and John abandoned his law studies to become a Methodist preacher. During the Civil War, Reverend Rush went to defend the South and was captured in battle. Octavia remained a scholar and continued her involvement with Alpha Delta Pi until her death in 1917. Like Ella, many of Octavia's descendents are Alpha Delta Pi sisters.
Sophronia Woodruff Dews: Sophronia was born in 1835 in Augusta, Georgia and her family moved to Columbus, Georgia before Sophronia turned five. Her father, Dr. Michael Woodruff, was a prominent physician in Columbus, in addition to serving as a city alderman and president of the Muscogee Bible Society. Sophronia received her A.B. degree from Wesleyan in 1852. The subject of her commencement composition was "Selfishness - the Axis on Which the World Turns." Sophronia died in 1913 at the age of seventy-eight.
Mary Evans Glass: Mary was born in Forsyth, Georgia in 1833. Like many of her Adelphean sisters, her father was a Methodist minister. He also served on the Wesleyan Female College Board of Trustees for forty years. Mary received both a literary and a musical education, graduating from Wesleyan with distinction. She married Sanford Glass, a lawyer, and they had one child before Mary's husband died in the Civil War. She went on to teach at a private school and until her death in 1914, remained very active with Alpha chapter in Macon.
Elizabeth Williams Mitchell: Elizabeth was born in Marion County, South Carolina, and is the only Founder who was not a Georgia native. Her father was a doctor and trustee at the Georgetown Methodist Church. Undoubtedly, this association with the church influenced Elizabeth's decision to attend Wesleyan, more than 450 miles from her home. She married Thomas Mitchell, a Methodist minister, and they had five children. "Bettie" as she was known at Wesleyan, died in 1884, just 13 days after the death of her eldest son. Our archivists have been unable to locate a photograph of Elizabeth.