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The Cornell Chapter of Alpha Delta Phi was founded in 1869 when seven alumni of other Chapters, foreseeing the development of the University, decided that it would be a great opportunity for a successful chapter of the Fraternity. Arrangements were made for the Chapter, the charter members were chosen, and the first initiation took place in March 1869 at the Rochester Chapter.


At this time rooms were secured on Tioga Street, Ithaca, New York, where meetings were held until the following year, when new rooms were taken on the Wilgus block. At midnight, May 4, 1878, ground was broken on Buffalo Street for the construction of the new house. It is believed that this house was the first house to be built in America for fraternity use only.


During these years the Chapter grew rapidly and became one of the leading organizations “on the hill”. The house on Buffalo Street was occupied until 1903 when a new house was built on Stewart Avenue on a beautiful site overlooking Cayuga Lake. This house was, until its destruction by fire on February 11, 1929, on of the finest on campus. In the spring of 1931, through great interest of alumni, the construction of a new and slightly larger house was begun on the old Stewart Avenue foundations. The present house was completed in the fall of that year and had been called one of the most distinguished fraternity houses in the country. 


Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, almost the entire Chapter went into service and the House was officially closed. It was taken over by the Navy for the men in training at Cornell and housed about ninety-four men, almost three times its capacity. The House was returned in November 1945 in excellent condition. A few Chapter members returned in the spring of 1946. The House officially reopened with a full complement of Brothers at the beginning of the 1946 fall term. The years following had been notably successful in all respects. 


In the 1955-1956 school year, second term rushing was instituted at Cornell, replacing the longstanding, initial rushing system. This change had been foreseen and the Chapter was at a high point numerically before the deferred rushing went into effect. 


The Chapter house and property are owned and supervised by “Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity at Cornell University,” a membership corporation organized under the laws of the State of New York. The Chapter has always had a large body of active, interested alumni to oversee and help guide its affairs and the tradition of excellent alumni relations and cooperation is one of the great strengths of the Chapter. 


Throughout its history at Cornell, Alpha Delta Phi has been outstanding in college activities and organizations and has turned out many prominent leaders in the affairs of the nation. 

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