Phi Delta Chi

Phi Delta Chi (ΦΔΧ or Phi Dex) is a coed. professional fraternity, founded on 2 November 1883 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan by eleven men, under the sponsorship of Dean Albert B. Prescott. The fraternity was formed to advance the science of pharmacy and its allied interests, and to foster and promote a fraternal spirit among its brothers, now both male and female.

Phi Delta Chi
Phi Delta Chi crest.png
FoundedNovember 2, 1883; 139 years ago (November 2, 1883)
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
MottoAlterum Alterius Auxilio Eget
"Each Needs the Help of the Other"
Colors  Old Gold and   Dregs of wine
FlowerRed Carnation
PublicationThe Communicator
NicknamePhi Dex, PDC, PDX
Headquarters116 N Lafayette, Suite B
South Lyon, MI 48178
United States
WebsiteOfficial website


Phi Chi SocietyEdit

On November 2, 1883, eleven men at the University of Michigan formed the fraternity as the Phi Chi Society.[1]: 7th ed-404  These two Greek letters are reported to have stood for "Pharmacy" and "Chemistry."[2] At that time, there were a number of literary societies at Michigan, but the group's founders believed something should be organized exclusively for the College of Pharmacy. Those Founders were:

  • Charles E. Bond
  • F. H. Frazee
  • Llewellyn H. Gardner
  • Charles P. Godfrey
  • Arthur G. Hoffman
  • A. G. Hopper
  • Charles F. Hueber
  • G. P. Leamon
  • A. S. Rogers
  • Azor Thurston
  • A. T. Waggoner [1]

Albert Benjamin Prescott (1832–1905), then Dean of the College of Pharmacy at Michigan, encouraged the Founders in the formation of the society. He was made the first honorary member and served as the group's sponsor.

The night of the second meeting of the Society a motion was made, but failed, to change the name to Phi Delta Chi.[1]: 7th ed-404 

Phi Chi FraternityEdit

In 1887 the Society, still consisting of a single chapter, was reorganized into a Greek letter fraternity, at which time symbols, signs, a ritual and regalia were adopted.

Expansion followed, with the establishment of fourteen chapters within the first 25 years.

But with expansion, confusion had developed. Unrelated to the thriving Michigan organization devoted to Pharmacy, several years after its establishment as Phi Chi Fraternity, two other similarly-named groups also named Phi Chi sprang up to serve medical students: in 1889 in Vermont, and 1894 in Kentucky. By 1905 these two medical organizations would merge what had become the Northern and Southern branches of that Fraternity, retaining the name "Phi Chi Fraternity". These two were aware of the older pharmacy fraternity, and disagreement had arisen as to which group had the best claim upon that name.[2] Both were thriving, with national ambitions, in a situation made more confusing by the fact that they were both classified as professional fraternities.

Phi Delta Chi FraternityEdit

In March 1909 Phi Chi Fraternity (Pharmacy) once again considered the matter of the name change, and at that meeting adopted the name Phi Delta Chi for the organization, an action that was ratified at its March 1910 meeting.[1]: 7th ed-404  [2][3]

Phi Delta Chi originally accepted only men in the fields of pharmacy and chemistry, the latter including both chemistry majors and chemical engineers. During the depression days of 1928–1933, however, difficulties arose because the fraternity was serving two professions. As a result, membership requirements were changed by 1950 to include pharmacy only. It has been a matter of considerable pride to Phi Delta Chi brothers that the organization not only be kept intact through wars and economic crises, but that brothers also come forward to carry on the work of the organization and to expand it.

In further support of the profession of Pharmacy, in 1922 Phi Delta Chi was instrumental in the foundation of the Rho Chi International Honor Society for Pharmacy, also formed at Michigan. Phi Delta Chi brothers were Rho Chi's first president, vice-president and treasurer.[4]

In 1949, the Fraternity held an unusual mail-in ballot to consider and adopt a change to the Constitution to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race or religion. This action came shortly after WWII, when all fraternities were adjusting to the massive, and more diverse influx of new college-bound recipients of the G.I. Bill.[2]

The slogan, "Leaders in Pharmacy" was adopted in 1956.

In 1965, brothers from the Fraternity's Chi chapter helped establish Phi Lambda Sigma, a new national Pharmacy Leadership society, which like Rho Chi is an honor society within the field.[4]

The Fraternity became co-educational in 1976 as a result of Title IX.

Centennial celebrations in 1983 culminated with the dedication of a plaque at the University of Michigan School of Pharmacy, commemorating Phi Delta Chi's first 100 years of accomplishments. Today, the Alpha chapter hosts brothers from every chapter for an annual reunion on November 2, to celebrate the founding of Phi Delta Chi in 1883. Expansion has continued in recent decades with many new chapters keeping pace with establishment of new schools of pharmacy in the 1990s and 2000s.

Phi Delta Chi hosts an annual leadership development seminar for its members. Since its founding Phi Delta Chi has chartered more than 70 collegiate chapters and has welcomed more than 50,000 men and women.

Publications and symbolsEdit

The official publication of the Fraternity is The Communicator, first published nationally in 1906. It has been published regularly since that year. During WWII it was reduced in size and published as The Communicator Junior. Today, The Communicator is published four times annually. Its first editor was Eli Lilly, during 1906-07.

The original badge is a plain gold triangle with a point at the bottom, displaying the letters Φ Δ Χ. The flower is the red carnation. The Fraternity's colors are Old Gold and Dregs of Wine.[1]: 7th ed-404 

Notable members of Phi Delta ChiEdit

Collegiate chaptersEdit

The first fourteen chapters used the name Phi Chi Fraternity for the period between 1887 and 1909.

By the time Omicron chapter was established, the Fraternity had adopted the name Phi Delta Chi.[2]

Pharmacy Leadership & Education Institute (PLEI)Edit

Phi Delta Chi’s 60th Grand Council (Memphis, 1995) authorized the fraternity's executive council to establish a not-for-profit foundation to advance the leadership, educational, and other benevolent missions of the fraternity. This charge was fulfilled in the creation of the Pharmacy Leadership & Education Institute, Inc., (PLEI), which held the inaugural meeting of its board of directors during APhA's 143rd Annual Meeting in Nashville, March 1996.

The institute is the Fraternity’s charitable and educational arm, advancing the Fraternal mission of training pharmacy’s future leaders. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognizes the institute as a 501(c) (3) charitable organization. The PLEI coordinates the Prescott Pharmacy Leadership Award, the Leader Development Seminar, and other educational events for Fraternity members and associates within the pharmacy profession. The institute is led by a board of directors of distinguished brothers and colleagues. The Grand President, Grand Past President, and Executive Director serve ex officio on the PLEI board of directors.

Other Pharmacy fraternitiesEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Anson, Jack L.; Marchenasi, Robert F., eds. (1991) [1879]. Baird's Manual of American Fraternities (20th ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Baird's Manual Foundation, Inc. pp. II-115. ISBN 978-0963715906.
  2. ^ a b c d e Phi Delta Chi's history as found on their website, accessed 29 Mar 2020.
  3. ^ Even though the Pharmacy group could show "first usage" from a trademark perspective, Phi Delta Chi's adoption of the long-remembered earlier naming proposal thus resulted in clarity for this unfortunate, but coincidental situation.
  4. ^ a b According to the timeline on the Phi Delta Chi website, accessed 30 Mar 2020.

External linksEdit