Alpha Delta Pi was founded as the Adelphean Society on May 15, 1851 at Wesleyan Female College in Macon, Georgia. In 1905, the Society changed its name to Alpha Delta Phi and installed its second chapter at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A third chapter was founded at Mary Baldwin Seminary, in Staunton, Virginia, in 1906.
The Delta Chapter at the University of Texas was installed on June 6, 1906. It is the oldest, continuous Alpha Delta Pi chapter. It was the sixth sorority chapter on campus. Alpha Chapter member Jewel Davis (Scarborough) went to the University of Texas as a graduate student with the intention of creating a chapter there. Davis, a Delta Chapter charter member, installed the chapter all by herself. She composed the first whistle and served as National President from 1913-17. Dean Helen Marr Kirby was an Adelphean and proved herself as a valuable friend of the chapter. During 1908-09, the chapter lived in an eight-room house with a professor and his wife as chaperons and the chapter owned most of the furniture in the house. Mabelle Fuller (Sperry), who served three terms as National President from 1921-27, was an early initiate of the chapter. During 1911-12, the non-sorority women were “the cause of considerable disturbance throughout the year, finally petitioning the state legislature to put the Greek letter societies out of school. The move was unsuccessful and was voted down at a special session of the legislature.” (History of Alpha Delta Pi, 1930).
Alpha Delta Phi joined the National Panhellenic Conference in 1909. The installation of the Sigma Chapter at the University of Illinois in 1912 came shortly after the installation, on the same campus, of the Illinois Chapter of Alpha Delta Phi, a men’s fraternity whose chapters were primarily in the northeast. Alpha Delta Phi, the men’s fraternity, was founded in 1832 at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. The women made their organization aware of this duplication of name and the problems that surfaced because of it. In 1913, the convention body voted to change the name to Alpha Delta Pi.