• The History of Alpha Delta:

  • Rice Hall Washburn university



    Washburn University



    Alpha Delta Founders



    Alpha Delta Badge




    Alpha Delta Fraternity House

  • The history of the oldest local fraternity west of the Mississippi is a rich and impressive one, and Alpha Delts take great pride in the tradition and legacy of their brotherhood.


    The histories and fortunes of Washburn University and the Alpha Delta Fraternity are inextrably linked.  Washburn University owes its existance to Civil War Colonel John Richie who in 1865 donated 160 acres for the creation of a college.  Originally named Lincoln College for the President he served, the name was changed to Washburn College when steel magnate Ichabod Washburn gave $25,000 to "create learned men".  Washburn never saw the university named for him.


    Then in the late spring of 1912, a group of young men met quietly on a top floor of Rice Hall, near the center of the small Washburn College campus.  They were in discussions to create a new fraternity on the Washburn campus.  They had been called there that night, as several times before, by a group of men from University of Kansas who wanted to extend their "national" fraternity Sigma Phi Sigma to Washburn.


    The men who met that evening in Rice Hall were Washburn College students: Bernard Askew, William Janney, J. Glenn Logan, Guy S. Miller, George Myers, Ralph Myers, Dean Rogers and Neil Rogers.


    Soon after that meeting, those eight men made a fateful decision. They decided they didn't like the "binds" of the national fraternity.  They wanted their fraternity future to be decided by the members themselves and considered the other fraternities too “exclusive”.  They adopted the name “Alpha Delta” to stand for “Always Democratic”.


    The original eight were soon joined by ten more men interested in fraternal ties. And the oldest local fraternity west of the Mississippi River was born.


    The Alpha Delta founders chose to create an organization based on the principles of the pure ideals of a collegiate education and referred to these as the "14 Pearls": Loyalty, Purity, Honesty, Morality, Temperance, Democracy, Friendship, Leadership, Fellowship, Scholarship, Unselfishness, Helpfulness, Trust, Fidelity.  These fourteen pearls are represented on the Alpha Delta badge.


    The Alpha Delts chose to remain always a "Local Fraternity" and forever bound their future to Washburn University, and to this day, Alpha Deltas remain proud that their fraternity and their university remain forever bound together.  This drove among Alpha Delts a sense of ownership for the health and well being of their alma mater, and to this day, Alpha Delts take on positions of leadership on campus and off to ensure the well being of their dear Washburn University.    In our over one hundred years, more Student Body Presidents and more Washburn Trustees are Alpha Delts than any other fraternity.  Alpha Delts have also served as editors of the school newspaper and annual yearbook.  


    The fraternity has been in seven different houses over the years, the current location for almost fifty years.  Ironically, the only one House the fraternity built from the ground up was lost during World War II when so many "Always Democratic" Alpha Delts went overseas to join the fight for democracy.  


    The current home at 1919 MacVicar was built in the 1890's by a Topeka-area doctor, Dr. Forest Loveland.  Alpha Delta purchased the house in the spring of 1969, and after some upgrades occupied the house in 1970.  The house has gone through three significant upgrade and renovation projects over the years to make it the modern facility members enjoy today.


    Alpha Delta will celebrate 50 Years at its 1919 MacVicar home in 2020.