UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO - CHICAGO, IL
The Lion’s Head Club was organized in Room 21 of Snell Hall, on the University of Chicago campus on December 17, 1894. The group had two objects, the first of which was to bring together a congenial group of men who had become known as anti-fraternity men because each had refused one or more bids from established fraternities. The second and most important purpose was to work for a Chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi.
Early in 1895 a petition was prepared for setting forth the advantages of the University of Chicago as a place for a new chapter and when the convention met, the petition was approved. It was then referred to the individual chapters for ratification, the last necessary vote being received late in December 1895.
With the granting of the charter, the main purpose for which the club had been founded was realized and the question at once arose as to the fate of the old organization. It was finally decided to disband and use the Lion’s Head Club as the nucleus of a senior honor society. In the end neither of these things was done and the organization passed out of existence with the initiation of its members into Alpha Delta Phi.
On the night of March 20, 1896, at the Auditorium Hotel, ten men were initiated and became charter members of the Chicago Chapter. Despite the fact that these men had been members of the University for several years before the granting of a charter, with the exception of two, they entered graduate work and thus some of the usual tribulations of a new chapter in its earliest years were avoided.
The first chapter house occupied was very small and did not afford ample space for a dining room. However, a certain amount of prandial spirit was secured by acquiring a room at a boarding house. Here the Chapter remained for two years, but with growing numbers was compelled to move to a larger house. With continuous expansion, the Chapter lived in three or four other houses before acquiring a house on the present site. In 1928 this house was torn down and replaced by the present Chapter house, a beautiful structure of grey Indiana limestone in perfect harmony with the Gothic buildings of the University of Chicago.
For almost a decade after World War II, when the University prohibited the existence of fraternities at the undergraduate level, the Chapter operated successfully as the only graduate unit in the Fraternity. This transition, with its attendant difficulties, required insight and devotion to the University and to the Fraternity; the chapter and alumni demonstrated both.
With the return of fraternities in 1954 to undergraduate life at Chicago, and the curriculum changes that have brought about a return to the four-year bachelor’s degree, the Chapter is no longer exclusively a graduate chapter.
One aspect most satisfactory to this Chapter is the strong Chicago Society which is an active organization of six hundred alumni and which regularly schedules functions in connection with the active chapter. One of the functions is the annual banquet.
The Chicago Chapter has always ranked high on the campus in scholarship, in athletics and in fellowship, and has dedicated itself to the development of its members in these respects as the essence of a well-rounded education.