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University of Michigan

May 16th, 1892

Founding Date

It took a record thirteen days for Theta, Alpha Phi’s eighth chapter, to come into being at the University of Michigan. A chapter had been desired there for many years, owing to the school’s early support for coeducation and its “reputation of scholarship second to no other institution of like grade in the land.” Delegates to the 1891 Convention had agreed to dispatch several representatives to assess the potential for a chapter there, but despite their efforts to establish a connection with students who would meet the Fraternity’s high standards for scholarship and character, a chapter had not yet been realized. By the 1890s, the campus was crowded with women’s fraternities. Edith Greaves White (Delta-Cornell) took a special interest in establishing a chapter of Alpha Phi at the University of Michigan. On May 5, 1892, Edith and Mary Maltman Bass (Beta-Northwestern) met in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and laid plans for several days of work. Invitations were extended to ten women, and they accepted. Beta chapter supplied the bowknot pins they wore. The initiation of the charter members, conducted by Edith, Mary and Fannie Alabaster (Beta-Northwestern), took place on May 16, 1892, at the home of Mrs. Quigley. A banquet was held at Martha Orr's home.