The History of Phi Delta Chi

It was Friday, November 2, 1883 when a group of pharmacy students sat down in the room of Hoffman and Gardner to consider the possibility of organizing a pharmaceutical society. After days of debate and consideration in the founding father’s room, Phi Delta Chi was established.

However, it wasn’t an easy journey to establish this organization. Several failed attempts were made, as members of the class of ’83 made various efforts to form a society for the development of pharmaceutical science, but never succeeded.

Initially, the organization was more on the order of a student’s scientific society. It wasn’t until the 11 founding fathers met in Hoffman and Garner’s room on 73 S. State St that this finally changed. Joined by Dean Albert Prescott, the eargerness and determination of the 11 founders, A.G. Hopper, F. H. Frazee, L.H. Gardner, C.E. Bond, A.G. Hoffman, C.F. Hueber, G.P. Leamon, A. Thurston, A.T. Waggoner, A.S. Rogers, and C.P. Godfrey allowed Phi Delta Chi to overcome oppositions that tried to crush the organization in its infancy, and the new society was given a room to formally hold meetings.

At the second meeting, the Constitution and By-Laws were adopted and the Society became known as the Phi Chi Society. A motion was later set to insert the world “Delta”, as there was confusion with the names of other scientific fraternities around the country.

It wasn’t until January 25th, 1884, that Phi Delta Chi was made public. Through the efforts of Hopper, Waggoner, and Leamon, courses of lectures were arranged from members of the faculty. Meetings of the founding fathers continued, and as time rolled on students who possessed superior ability were investigated before considered a fit associate for the society. The initiation fee was first set at $1.00, later increased up to $25.00 in 1910 with the provision that each new member was to receive a pin.

In 1895, the Fraternity was incorporated as a national organization with the “Alpha Chapter of Phi Chi Fraternity” at the University of Michigan. This was finalized under Chapter 163-B of Howell’s Statutes in the State of Michigan, on January 23rd, 1896.

During the autumn of 1895, Phi Delta Chi expanded out of Ann Arbor and negotiations were made between the Alpha Chapter and a group of students at Northwestern University, College of Pharmacy, where the Beta Chapter was installed on January 6, 1896. The Gamma Chapter followed in the spring of 1899 at the Pharmacy College of Columbia University, New York; and Delta shortly after at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.


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