Alpha Gamma Delta was officially founded on May 30, 1904, at the home of Dr. Wellesley Perry Coddington, a professor at Syracuse University, who was instrumental in the early development of Alpha Gamma Delta. Each of the Fraternity's 11 Founders were progressive and influential women who selflessly contributed to the foundation and growth of Alpha Gamma Delta. Since the founding, collegiate chapters have been installed at 199 colleges and universities across North America and more than 200,000 women have become Alpha Gam sisters. Guided by our Purpose, Alpha Gamma Delta sisters impact our communities and contribute to the world's work.
Alpha Gamma Delta
Through the years
Alpha Gamma Delta was officially founded at Syracuse University on May 30, 1904 in the home of Dr. Wellesley P. Coddington. At this time the constitution and bylaws were read and adopted, suggestions for The Ritual were made, the Badge was first worn and Jennie Titus was elected President.
Between 1905 and 1909, Alpha Gamma Delta Fraternity experienced unusual growth for the times. Beta Chapter was installed in 1905, and by 1909, Iota Chapter at the University of Washington in Seattle was installed. In 1912, Iota Chapter purchased the first chapter owned house.
Activities at Conventions held in Alpha Gamma Delta’s second decade saw numerous important developments including the first Feast of Roses in 1915; Tau Chapter was installed in 1919 at the University of Toronto making the Fraternity International in scope; the Honors of Epsilon Pi and an International Philanthropy Project were adopted during the 1919 Convention; the following Convention in 1921 brought adoption of an official banner and The Purpose, written by Emily Helen Butterfield; and the Executive Council structure was established at the 1923 Convention.
The first summer camp for underprivileged children began in 1920 on Wolf Lake in Jackson, Michigan, with members of Alpha Gamma Delta working there during the summer sessions.
The 25th anniversary of Alpha Gamma Delta was observed during the Convention taking place in Syracuse, New York and the next year brought the establishment of the second summer camp located in Canada, Camp Welland in Wellington, Ontario.
International Reunion Day replaced Founders’ Day.
Members from chapters in the United States and Canada were actively involved in a variety of efforts during World War II, including war bond drives, sending gifts and food to soldiers, working with the Red Cross and leading blood drives to show the soldiers support during this difficult time around the world.
Banff, Alberta, Canada, was the site of the first International Convention held outside of the United States.
The Golden Anniversary of the founding of Alpha Gamma Delta was celebrated during the 1954 International Convention. This was the last time that as many as seven Founders were together.
Alpha Gamma Delta grew by 13 chapters when Theta Sigma Upsilon merged with the Fraternity.
International Headquarters relocated from Chatham, New Jersey, to 3444 Washington Boulevard in Indianapolis, Indiana, which made Indianapolis the third location of the Fraternity’s administrative offices to date.
Philanthropic involvement increased within Alpha Gamma Delta in order for funds raised to be granted to organizations and hospitals serving children, particularly those with learning disabilities and illnesses with crippling effects. Additionally, the organization began awarding grants and scholarships to members.
The Founders Memorial Foundation grew in this decade and during the 1979 International Convention, a new focus and partnership was announced: the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International.
A new program was launched with The Leadership Conference, which was first held in 1982 and has since grown into an eagerly anticipated and valuable annual education event for collegians, advisors and other volunteers.
The Founders Memorial Foundation became the Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation in 1990, and in 1991, the membership voted to change the name of the governing board of Alpha Gamma Delta from Grand Council to International Council, thus changing the officer titles to include “International.”
Work began to adopt new branding that was approved in 2000 by International Council and the tagline, “Surrounded by Sisterhood” with stylized roses in red and buff was introduced to the members attending the 2001 International Convention.
Memories of the first 100 years of Alpha Gamma Delta were celebrated during the 2004 International Convention at the Chicago Marriott with more than 900 alumnae and collegians attending to experience the joy of sisterhood.
The Alpha Gamma Delta Fraternity Housing Corporation was formed in 2010 to provide spaces for members to experience sisterhood while creating lasting memories. The first chapter facility renovated and managed by the FHC was the Alpha Chapter House at Syracuse University. It reopened in 2011 and is known as the “Butterfield House.”
A new brand featuring a single red rose on a green stem with the tagline, “Live with Purpose” was introduced in 2011, and the Fraternity moved to a new location at 8710 North Meridian Street in Indianapolis.
The Alpha Gam Boutique debuted at the 2015 TLC Conference and launched that fall. Its mission was to provide a variety of high-quality merchandise for members in each phase of their lifelong membership and support chapters' custom merchandise needs.
The Fraternity shifted its philanthropic focus to Fighting Hunger. We partnered with Feeding America and Meals on Wheels to provide awareness and more local service opportunities for our collegiate chapters and alumnae groups. Our impact is enhanced through fundraising for the Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation.
The 50th International Convention was held in San Antonio, Texas, and was Alpha Gam's largest convention to date with more than 800 attendees.
A new visual identity was launched alongside the new tagline, "Loving, Leading, Lasting." These three words answer the question, "What is Alpha Gamma Delta?" The updated logo and brand assets feature a modern variation on the red, buff and green color palette.
Due to a highly contagious global pandemic, the 2020 International Convention was canceled. This was the sixth time in Alpha Gam history a Convention was canceled. Previous cancellations were due to war conditions (1917, 1943, 1945), the Great Depression (1933) and the Conflict in Korea (1951).
The 2020-21 school year was met with change. Many campuses held Primary Recruitment online, thousands of new members were virtually initiated and chapter events were canceled or heavily modified for safety. Despite the decline in university enrollment and sorority recruitment numbers across North America, Alpha Gam's membership exceeded 200,000.