On the campus of Syracuse University in New York, two sisters, Marguerite and Estelle Shepard discussed the need for a new women’s fraternity on the campus. Marguerite and Estelle encouraged five other women–Jennie Titus, Georgia Dickover, Grace Mosher, Ethel Brown, and Edith McConell–to join in developing the organization. Soon, four other women–Mary Snider, Georgia Otis, Emily Butterfield and Flora Knight–joined the group, giving Alpha Gamma Delta its eleven founders. On May 4, 1904, Alpha Gamma Delta was officially founded.
Unlike other groups that were founded as local groups to literary societies, Alpha Gamma Delta was founded to become a national women’s fraternity. Alpha Gamma Delta was the first national women’s fraternity to establish philanthropy. The first altruistic project was a camp for underprivileged children, which was started in 1919. Alpha Gamma Delta continued to be a leader in the National Panhellenic Conference by establishing an Executive Council format, the first of its kind among Panhellenic groups.
Today, Alpha Gamma Delta continues to promote the ideals of academic excellence, philanthropic giving, ongoing leadership, and personal development and has 185 installed chapters.