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Gamma

DePauw University

Jun 13th, 1887

Founding Date

“We have heard of your desire for a Greek Letter Society,” wrote Northwestern University senior Henrietta Coone (Beta-Northwestern) to Florence Hays in April 1887. “Would you like to join Alpha Phi and found a chapter at DePauw?” Delta Gamma was also in contact with Florence and her classmates in an attempt to come onto the DePauw campus. Alpha Phi turned to George Irwin Larash, a member of Delta Upsilon at Northwestern University who was in Greencastle, helping to found his fraternity’s chapter at DePauw. While there, Larash met with the potential Alpha Phi members and reported back favorably to his Northwestern classmates. George Larash met with the potential Alpha Phi members, such as Florence, urging the group to choose Alpha Phi. “I should rather have you join the Alpha Phis,” Larash stated unequivocally to Florence, offering his observation that “the Alpha Phis are a stronger organization [at Northwestern] than the Delta Gammas.” DePauw had three other sororities on campus at the time, but future Alpha Phi members described it as having “ no panhellenic spirit.” The young women feared that if another chapter on campus heard of their plans, they would create obstacles to challenge their installation. On Monday, June 13, 1887, two Beta chapter sisters arrived by train in Greencastle. The initiation was arranged to take place at Florence’s house, so her father met them at the station and checked them in at the Grand Central Hotel. The secret plan even involved registering the two women under the name “Newman.”