UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS - CHAMPAIGN, IL
In February of 1903, twelve men at the University of Illinois organized a local fraternity, which took the name of Pi Theta. The organization’s prime object was to secure a charter to become a Chapter of Alpha Delta Phi. This was the result of contact with a number of members of Alpha Delta Phi, especially two of the faculty at the University of Illinois, Herbert Jewett Barton, Professor of Latin, Dartmouth and Middletown, 1876, and Eliot Judd Northrup, Professor of Law, Amherst, 1892.
Upon organization, the group rented a house in which the members lived and had their meals together. The membership was composed entirely of men of standing and attainment in the University, and the group from its inception had the good will and respect of the University authorities.
The first formal petitions for a charter of Alpha Delta Phi were not granted, but the local organization had gained importance as a local fraternity and by the year 1906, it commanded the respect of a very considerable number of the Chapters of Alpha Delta Phi.
Following the 1908 Convention, representatives from all the Chapters, upon invitation, visited Illinois and Pi Theta Fraternity. In 1911, the Charter was granted and the Illinois Chapter was installed at the University Club in Chicago, Illinois, on January 13, 1912.
After the installation, Professor Barton became resident counselor and continued in that capacity until his death in September 1933. The Illinois Chapter owes much to his memory for his great loyalty to Alpha Delta Phi, his exemplification of the finest traditions and ideals of the Fraternity, and his sympathetic leadership.
The Chapter is also indebted to Brother Henry W. Austin, Williams 1888, who was a frequent visitor on the campus and a wise counselor until his death in 1947, and who was, more than any one else, responsible for the material progress of the Chapter from a small rented house to the beautiful and imposing house it now occupies on the site of the home of the University’s first president.
Despite formidable competition from over 50 national and international fraternities at the University, the Illinois Chapter is among the leaders on the Champaign-Urbana Campus. Among other accomplishments, Dad’s Day, known as Parents’ Day at some schools and a major football weekend at Illinois, originated with this Chapter.