Founders’ Day

It Was a Glad May Time

A portrait of Alpha Delta Pi founder Mary Evans GlassA Story from Mary Evans Glass

Adelphean founder Mary Evans Glass attended the first national convention of Alpha Delta Phi in 1906 in Macon, Georgia, and shared stories of Wesleyan in 1851. The excerpt below gives her perspective on the story of our founding.

In the Junior class of ’51 was Eugenia Tucker, a young woman who by reason of her many graces and gifts was easily an acknowledged leader. Studious, thoughtful, and ambitious, she saw the opening gateway for nobler development and higher culture than was provided in a regular college curriculum, and calling together sixteen girls of congenial tastes, social prestige, and genuine literary merit, she organized what was then known as the Adelphean Society.

It was a glad May time that marked the birthday of an illustrious mother’s eldest born—the fairest in face, the richest in promise—her noblest and her best.

The highest standard of scholarship was an open sesame to our ranks, and the basal principle was to find its loftiest expression in the self-forgetful ministry of our motto—We Live for Each Other.

Perhaps it seemed a small beginning when sixteen college girls banded themselves together for the highest culture and noblest development of womanhood, but today, following their multiform lines of usefulness, we see their luxurious lengths stretching away until they promise to girdle our great earthland with a very zone of light. Faith was the field glass which spied out the land, Hope the architect who drew the plan, but Love shall crown the work.

And so, my dear sisters, let us be true to our motto. It will sweeten the happy hopes of youth, enrich the deep, ripe joys of maturer years, and when the Autumn winds shall sweep, and the brown leaves flutter across life’s hurrying close, and Winter snows fall thick and fast, we will feel no fear, for there will be light in the evening time.


Download the 2024 Event Guide

Find the details for each event, check out our limited edition Founders’ Day merchandise, read about the history of music in Alpha Delta Pi, and much more. Click the cover image on the left to be taken to the PDF.







Founders’ Day 2024 International Events

Wednesday, May 8

10-year Ceremony and 25-year Ceremony    7 p.m. EDT    Register Here

50-year Ceremony and 60-year Ceremony    8 p.m. EDT  •  Register Here

Hosted by past Grand/International Presidents, these ceremonies will recognize our alumnae celebrating 10, 25, 50, and 60 years of membership in Alpha Delta Pi. All members are welcome to observe even if they are not participating in a ceremony.


Thursday, May 9

Jewel Degree    7 p.m. EDT    Register Here

This ceremony was established as an alumna degree to complete our Alpha Delta Pi ritual. Hosted by Grand Council, the degree is conferred upon graduating seniors or initiated members who have assumed alumna status. You may attend even if you’ve already participated.


Tuesday, May 14

Individual alumnae awards will be announced throughout the day on Alpha Delta Pi social media channels. Stay tuned to ADPi’s social media for the announcements of our individual alumnae member awards. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!


Wednesday, May 15

Day of Giving Begins    9 a.m. EDT    Learn More

Each year on May 15, our Foundation has celebrated Founders’ Day with our annual Day of Giving. Join ADPi sisters, friends, and family as we come together and combine our individual philanthropic power to help our sisters coast to coast by supporting emergency grant funds, scholarships, leadership education, hazing prevention, mental wellness programs, and historic preservation.


Founders’ Day Ceremony    1 p.m. EDT  •  Click Here to Join

A short ceremony will be hosted by International President Dawn Victor-Herring in a virtual recognition of May 15, 1851, the date of our founding. This celebration serves as an occasion to reunite Alpha Delta Pi members of all ages.


Tuesday, May 16

Day of Giving Ends    Noon EDT    Learn More



Founders’ Day Merchandise

Check out The 1851 Shop’s limited edition items for Founders’ Day! With mugs for each of our Founders, hats, stickers, and more, you’re sure to find a thing (or two or three) to fit your taste!



Founders’ Day 2024 Local and Regional Events

Founders’ Day is a time to celebrate sisterhood and traditions, honor graduating seniors, welcome back alumnae, and enjoy being an ADPi. Alumnae remember their college experience, collegiate members share their experiences, and everyone can be included. Does your chapter or alumnae association have plans for Founders’ Day this year? Whether you are planning an in-person gathering, a virtual celebration, or something else with just a sister or two, we want you to celebrate. 


Events will be added as they are submitted! Email alumnae@alphadeltapi.com for more information.