Alpha Delta Phi

Now: Grant Hall
Alpha Delta Phi
Alpha Delta Phi House under construction, late 1890s
Union College Schaffer Library,
Special Collections Picture File
Alpha Delta Phi
Alpha Delta Phi House, 1902
Union College Schaffer Library,
Special Collections Picture File
Alpha Delta Phi
Alpha Delta Phi House, circa 1913
Union College Schaffer Library,
Special Collections Picture File

This building served as the chapter house of the Alpha Delta Phi Society, which was founded at Hamilton and came to Union in 1859. Construction lasted from January of 1895 until Commencement of 1898, although Mrs. Perkins wrote in 1896 that it was almost completed. The house, which cost $19,332 to build, was designed by Albert W. Fuller, the architect of Silliman Hall and later of the General Engineering Building. The society previously had rooms on State Street and, according to Mrs. Perkins, took Delta Phi’s house for a year in 1896.

Mrs. Perkins often mentioned the “Alpha Delts” in her letters to her son, talking about their news, members, and events. Mrs. Perkins did not always approve of the boys’ behavior, such as whistling at her maids or making the chaperones at their dances uncomfortable. On one occasion, Mrs. Perkins’ daughter Rose chaperoned a dance at the fraternity and reported that she would not do it again due to the disgraceful behavior of the girls. Mrs. Perkins summarized Rose’s objections to her son Roger on March 9, 1903: “They do not dance all the time but sit together men and girls on a big sofa as close as sardines in a box, and occasionally throwing themselves across some fellows [sic] knee. Altogether she thought them an odious ill behaved set. She said it was altogether different at the Kaps. The boys were very nice to her and she had nothing personal to complain of.” Although there was some fraternity rivalry, in February of 1897, members of Kappa Alpha, Sigma Phi, Psi Upsilon and Alpha Delta Phi formed the Union College Social Club, where, according to Mrs. Perkins, they would meet in each other’s rooms to smoke and play cards.

The oldest surviving fraternity house on the Union campus, the building was renovated by the College when the society’s lease was up, reopening in 2001 as the Grant Hall Admissions Center.