The Alpha Delta Phi was founding in 1832 at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York by Samuel Eells (1810-1842). Founded as a literary society, it evolved into one of the most distinguished of the original American college fraternities. It has retained its focus on its literary roots, by attracting only the best students at only the best colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Our chapters are leaders on their respective campuses, where some of our chapter houses have been designated architectural or historic landmarks. The Alpha Delta Phi experience has helped a disproportionate number of its 50,000 lifelong members to become top leaders in industry, government, education, and religion.
Samuel Eells, the provident founder of The Alpha Delta Phi, most eloquently expressed the principle purpose of the fraternity. It was his intent that "this new association, with a true philosophical spirit, looking to the entire man, develop his whole being - moral, social and intellectual." Since its beginning at Hamilton College in 1832, The Alpha Delta Phi has sought to provide a comprehensive growth experience for young men at leading universities and colleges in Canada and the United States.
As lifelong members of a fraternal brotherhood, Brothers unite to participate in an atmosphere of energetic and concerted interaction where the moral, social and intellectual aspects of each man's character may grow and flourish. Special importance is attached to five areas: enhancing personal self esteem; promoting constructive respect and caring for others with diverse backgrounds and personalities; developing leadership qualities and self discipline; improving scholastic and literary skills; and serving the school and community.
Fraternity involvement is characterized by undertaking responsibilities within a group of peers while at the same time having contact with interested alumni. This process enhances individual self-respect as well as fostering responsible concern for others within the chapter. The Fraternity's tradition is to seek members from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, interests and skills. In this climate, each Brother develops an appreciation of those different from himself and comes to understand how the viewpoints of others can enrich his own life.
The formulation and pursuit of group goals requires the active and disciplined participation of all Brothers. Responsible involvement in managing the chapter programs and physical plant extends the leadership and team skills of the Brothers.
In addition to chapter-oriented activities, Brothers are encouraged to undertake projects that benefit both school and community. Along with the additional growth in group skills, each Brother comes to appreciate the personal and societal rewards associated with contributing to a larger community.
Many special benefits accrue to members of The Alpha Delta Phi. The most obvious and immediate is the unique opportunity for a practical leadership experience while learning to work harmoniously within a group. Over a longer horizon, there is the joy of lifelong friendships with men who hold similar aims and ideals. Many of these friendships span age differences. Undergraduate Brothers often receive their first introduction to a profession or a business career through successful alumni who have had similar experiences. And later on, interested alumni may also foster leadership qualities in the next generation through their participation in chapter advisory boards and in regional activities.
Noting an apparent receptive atmosphere for expansion at the University of Massachusetts, Alpha Delta Phi International had its then Field Representative, Kevin Campbell, HAM 1977, recruit a core group through informal meetings. With the initiation of eleven men at the Lambda Phi Chapter at MIT, among whom nine were the Affiliate's founding fathers, the formal existence of Alpha Delta Phi commenced at the University. An adoptive alumni group was established by the International and incorporated as the Adelphic Alumni Association of Massachusetts, Inc. Soon, a home for the fledgling Affiliate was secured by the alumni at Fraternity/Sorority Park.
The Affiliate worked diligently with both International and the University while trying to establish its own identity. The Brothers faced much adversity through the initial three years, but given some pertinent personnel changes, they discovered a natural formula for their own success. They cited diversity and commitment as the focus of recruitment and significantly enhanced the number of initiates. In 1981, the University awarded the Affiliate the "Most Improved Chapter" award for its campus achievements; and the Fraternity followed through with the grant of a Charter that following August, at the 149th Convention. The new Chapter could boast of having produced an IFC President in 1981. The success of the Chapter subsided in 1982 with the first of a succession of housing changes. The purchase of a chapter house would elude the Chapter until 1983.
In 1987, because of increased restrictions on fraternities and alumni apathy, the Chapter's fortunes again waned to the point where the chapter house had to be sold. Fighting for its life and with the unswerving dedication of Brother Jay Flynn, MASS 1985, the Chapter staged a comeback in 1988, when the alumni was reformed as the Massachusetts Adelphic Literary Society, Inc., the first controlled by the Massachusetts alumni. The aid and support of the resurgent alumni and the objective of securing a new house has led to a revitalization of the Chapter.