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In 1900, a local fraternity, Phi Sigma Delta, was organized at the University of California with the intent of securing a charter from Alpha Delta Phi. For eight years, in spite of annual disappointment, the members of Phi Sigma Delta persevered in their efforts, and, in September 1908, success was finally achieved with the installation of the California Chapter. This installation advanced Alpha Delta Phi 2,000 miles westward and served to open the way for the establishment of other chapters on the Pacific Coast.


During the petitioning period and the years immediately following the establishment of the California Chapter, the influence of Benjamin Ide Wheeler, BRN 1875, then and for twenty years President of the University of California, was preeminent. Today, even in death, the spirit of Benjamin Ide Wheeler still has a strong influence on the California Chapter and is kept alive by the leading alumni who knew him in the Chapter’s early days.


Soon after securing its position at California, the Chapter turned to the problem of obtaining adequate housing. Financial assistance from the alumni of the California and other chapters was forthcoming. The chapter house, formally opened and dedicated in September 1924, provided the California Chapter with one of the most attractive fraternity houses in Berkeley. Built on the brow of a hill, it commanded a sweeping view of San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and the surrounding mountains. In 1966, the expansion of the Pacific School of Religion forced the Chapter to relocate to its present address in the south campus area.


During the Second World War the California Chapter was the only fraternity at the university that maintained normal operations. The efforts, which were necessary to accomplish this result, have done much to assure the Chapter’s strong influence and high standing at the University since the war.

In 1946 the alumni of the California Chapter established the California Alpha Delta Phi Memorial Foundation as a war memorial. The purpose of this foundation is to grant financial aid to worthy students at the University and awards have been made annually since its inception.


In 1948 the alumni organization of the Chapter was revitalized by the establishment of the Alumni Council composed of one alumnus from each college class. While maintaining the balance of representation from many classes, the Alumni Council has evolved into the present Alumni Association which meets formally twice a year and, with help of the Resident Counselor, serves to maintain a strong tie between the active chapter and the alumni. 

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