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HistoryIT | We Give History A Future


University of California, Berkeley

May 9th, 1901

Founding Date

A Beta member who was temporarily residing in Berkeley met four outstanding young women and told them of Alpha Phi's strength and ideals. She suggested that they increase their number to at least eleven and that they rent a small house. The summer of 1900 they rented a cottage on Channing Way next door to Kappa Alpha Theta. They added five freshmen to their ranks in the fall and at that point felt ready to petition the Fraternity. They sent a letter to the Kappa chapter members at Stanford to tell them of their interest in Alpha Phi and invited them to a luncheon at one of their member's homes in San Francisco. It was a success. Kappa endorsed them after looking them over at lunch. They compiled their petition for a charter and had the endorsement of the University President, Benjamin Ide Wheeler and friendly letters from several distinguished members of the faculty. 


On Wednesday, May 8, they received a brief telegram of good tidings reading, "Petition granted by Alpha Phi." On Thursday, May 9 the Berkeley women missed class and journeyed to Stanford and the Kappa chapter house on the five o'clock train from San Francisco. As a Kappa chapter member recalled - "We realized that those women from Berkeley appreciated with an impressive seriousness the honor and high standing of Alpha Phi and the obligation upon them to make their chapter history worthy of the fraternity.”