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In June 12, 1846, William Henry Goodrich, Yale 1843, who was at that time President of the Alpha Delta Phi, wrote to Rufus Nutting, Hudson 1843, authorizing him to establish a chapter of Alpha Delta Phi at the University of Michigan. Brother Nutting evidently delegated his authority, for we learn that on August 5, Henry Adoniram Swift, Hudson 1842, and Robert Ransom Kellogg, Urban 1835, led a group of seven students to a little office off the college grounds, where they were duly initiated. Thus, the Peninsular Chapter was organized.


From 1847 to 1852, the Chapter was engaged in a struggle for existence with the college authorities. In the college year 1845-1846, the faculty passed a rule providing, among other things, that no student could be admitted into a class without first signing a pledge that he would not be a member of any secret society not approved by the faculty.


An attempt to enforce this regulation in the spring of 1847 was followed by an armistice, which did not last long. After the graduation of the Class of 1849 all members of secret societies were expelled. That brought the dispute to the attention of the state and press, with the result that the expelled students were reinstated.


However, the faculty, in the spring of 1851, again resorted to expulsion and those expelled were to be readmitted only when they agreed to refrain from exercising their fraternity rights until after graduation. As a consequence, the Chapter’s active membership was reduced to three. In time a decided public sentiment operated in their favor. The faculty then demanded the privilege of inspecting the Constitution and the Chapter refused. The struggle finally ended with the full recognition of the Chapter by the faculty.


In the years that followed the Chapter had a steady growth. In 1883 it moved into the first fraternity house to be erected at Michigan. The house was at 556 South State Street and was occupied continuously until 1910. The present structure stands on the site of the old one, opposite a corner of the campus.


Thirteenth in order of founding, Peninsular now ranks as the second oldest Chapter in continuous active entrance. It has been host to 6 Conventions, the most recent occurring in 1996.

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