When Two Became One: The Alpha Delta Theta Merger

Summer of 1938, Phi Mu’s National President Alice Miller, Eta Beta, received a communication from Violet Young Gentry (DeVeau), National Panhellenic Congress Delegate of Alpha Delta Theta, regarding the possibility of merging her national fraternity with Phi Mu. Alpha Delta Theta was a fine, well-respected fraternity, organized in 1919 at Transylvania College, Lexington, Kentucky. Alice Miller and Zenobia Wooten Keller, Theta, Executive Secretary, then met with Violet and Julia Parker Wildman, Alpha Delta Theta’s Executive Secretary, in Evanston, Illinois, where Phi Mu had its headquarters. Out of this meeting came the suggestion that Alpha Delta Theta would be assimilated into Phi Mu, would turn over all assets held by its national organization, and also all assets and properties held by the individual chapters and alumnae groups. Phi Mu would acquire five collegiate chapters in new fields and would merge eight other chapters with existing Phi Mu chapters. The same plan would apply to the chartering of four alumnae groups in new areas and assimilation of 18 in cities where Phi Mu alumnae chapters already were established. The merger decision to merge became official on August 30, 1939. Two organizations merged into one.At the conclusion of the 26th National Panhellenic Congress (hosted by Alpha Delta Theta) Chairman Gentry made the surprise announcement of the affiliation of her fraternity with Phi Mu Fraternity.The entire Grand Council of Alpha Delta Theta and several Phi Mu national officers traveled to Lexington, Kentucky, where the Alpha Chapter of Alpha Delta Theta was located. There, on November 6-9, 1939, their Alpha Chapter at Transylvania College became the Delta Theta Chapter of Phi Mu, and their entire Grand Council was initiated into the Phi Mu. In receiving its assigned name, Delta Theta, the chapter continues to bear two of Alpha Delta Theta’s Greek letters. (Left: ADT Grand Council and Delta Theta Chapter officers met in Lexington, Ky, where all ADT members were initiated into Phi Mu and the two organizations became one.) That day, 79 were pledged and initiated. Among the initiates were three founders of the Alpha Chapter: Zenaide Harrod (Archer), Juanita Minish, Mary Ellen Owsley and Violet Gentry. From Lexington, Phi Mu officers fanned out across the country to initiate members into Phi Mu that remained in the rest of ADT’s collegiate chapters.

The new chapters gained through the affiliation were:

  1. Delta Theta, Transylvania College (installed November 6-9, 1939)
  2. Alpha Kappa, College of Charleston (installed November 12, 1939)
  3. Beta Nu, Bethany College (installed November 18, 1939)
  4. Zeta Kappa, Nebraska Wesleyan (installed December 6, 1939)
  5. Epsilon Gamma, University of Tulsa (installed December 13, 1939)

Those merged with existing Phi Mu chapters were located at:

  1. Brenau College (Mu)
  2. Adelphi College (Psi)
  3. University of California at Los Angeles (Eta Delta)
  4. University of Southern California (Iota Sigma)
  5. George Washington University (Beta Alpha)
  6. Queens College (Gamma Gamma)
  7. University of Cincinnati (Delta Zeta)
  8. Howard College (later known as Samford University) (Alpha Gamma)

Four Alpha Delta Theta alumnae groups were added as Phi Mu Alumnae Clubs:

  1. Charleston, SC
  2. Reno, NV
  3. Lexington, KY
  4. Champaign, IL

ADT alumnae groups in the following cities affiliated with Phi Mu alumnae groups:

  1. Chicago, IL
  2. Omaha, NE
  3. Cincinnati, OH
  4. Pittsburgh, PA
  5. Berkeley, CA
  6. Cleveland, OH
  7. New York, NY
  8. Kansas City,  MI
  9. Indianapolis, IN
  10. Seattle, WA
  11. Columbus, OH
  12. Birmingham, AL
  13. Minneapolis, MN
  14. Lincoln, NE
  15. Charlotte, NC
  16. Los Angeles, CA

Many Alpha Delta Theta artifacts can be found in the official Phi Mu Fraternity museum located at the National Headquarters in Peachtree City, Ga. Below are original items from 1939 when Alpha Delta Theta was established as a separate organization. Alpha Delta Theta Jewelry


Lamb, Annadell. C. The History of Phi Mu: The First 150 Years. The Grace Group, 2002. Print.