Why We Celebrate Founders’ Day

As the starting chapter of this prestigious fraternity, we take the history very seriously here at the Alpha Chapter. From the beginning, the University of Michigan has celebrated Phi Delta Chi every year, and we continue to honor this celebration by hosting Founder’s Day.

It is worth mentioning some of the history that pertains to celebration of this event. The University of Michigan was founded in Detroit in 1817 at the University of Michigania, and later established at Ann Arbor in 1837. The University of Michigan was the first state university to introduce a curriculum in pharmacy and establish a school of pharmacy in 1876. Not only was this university able to establish the first state pharmacy program, but it also was the first to create a Professional Pharmacy Fraternity.

On November 12, 1983, a special centennial celebration convened in Ann Arbor to commemorate the founding of the Alpha Chapter of Phi Delta Chi. In fact, Grand President Ralph Saroyan described it to be “the greatest single thrill of my Phi Delta Chi life.” Following the fraternity’s birth one hundred years and ten days later, 80 Brothers, including past and present Grand Officers, celebrated together in Ann Arbor, MI. The weekend consisted of a reception at the Alpha Eta House in Detroit on Friday night, formal initiation for 10 pledges in Ann Arbor on Saturday morning, and a luncheon on Saturday afternoon.

We continue that tradition, believing that if our founders could have envisioned the organization that they started so long ago, they would be proud of the many accomplishments. Chapters from all over the country are invited for a weekend-long celebration that includes social events with Brothers, as well as a history walk and carnation ceremony.

In the future, we look to honor this tradition by building upon the wonderful history of Phi Delta Chi and continuously looking to further improve the Alpha Chapter in any way we can.


The Worthy Prelate (pdcalpha.wp@umich.edu)