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Alpha Delta Gamma is Founded on Five

Basic Principles. Known as the 5 S's: 
​Service, Scholastic, Spiritual,

School Spirit & Social

Today, Alpha Delta Gamma holds these Five Basic Principles in high regard. Each Chapter tries their best to complete many aspects of the Five S’s during the course of the school year. Most importantly, Alpha Delta Gamma still remembers the true reason why its Founding Fathers started talking that pivotal day in 1924; and this reason is TRUE BROTHERHOOD.

One will not find a closer Fraternity of friends and Brothers around the country than Alpha Delta Gamma. In this National Organization, one is known by his face and his name not a number. Due to this, a man can make a name for himself in this Fraternity; while making close friends with members from all around the country.

Such uniqueness evolves from being an Alpha Delt. It warrants a question: How genuine would it be to meet another Alpha Delt in this world, compared to meeting one of tens-of-thousands of another organization? It makes one wonder why gentlemen would choose otherwise.

Our History

ALPHA DELTA GAMMA was founded on October 10th, 1924 at Loyola University

in Chicago. Founding Fathers Francis P. Canary, John J. Dwyer, William S. Hallisey and James C. O'Brien were on Chicago's "L" (the elevated railway) when

they first conceived the idea of establishing a new fraternity, unique in its ideas

and aims.

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The “Founding Four” envisioned a new concept in fraternities – one based upon the traditions, ideals of true brotherhood, and missionary zeal of Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier and Issac Jogues. They saw five specific areas of development for students at Catholic colleges- the spiritual, the scholastic, service to college and community, encouragement of school spirit among fellow students, and the social. In effect, they wanted a fraternity founded upon Christian ideals of true manhood, sound learning, and the unity of fraternal brotherhood. These ideals were decreed the purpose of Alpha Delta Gamma when it first came into being. And so, Alpha Chapter was formed and ADG was on its way to becoming a City Walled!

The Purpose of Alpha Delta Gamma

The purpose of this Fraternity shall be: to unite congenial-minded men in a Brotherhood of love and high respect; to develop the highest Christian ideals of manhood among its members; to foster the interests of every institution of learning which it shall be affiliated; to promote scholarship among its members and their fellow members; and to further promote service of community so as to awaken in ourselves and our fellow man a realization of the Brotherhood of man.

Our First Principle and Foundation

Man was created to praise, do reverence to serve God, Our Lord, and thereby to save his soul; and other things on the face of the earth were created for man's sake and to help him in the following out of the end for he was created.

Hence, it follows that man should make use of creatures so far as they do help him towards his end, and show withdraw from them so far as they are the hindrance to him with respect to that end. Wherefore, it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent toward all created things in whatever is left to the liberty of our free choice and it is not forbidden so that we, on our parts, should not wish for our health rather than sickness, for riches rather than poverty, for honor rather than ignominy, for a long life rather than a short life, and in all other matters so desire and choose those things which may better lead us to the end for which we were created.

The National Flag

Since the beginning of time, nations have announced their presence to the world by means of proud standards. The flag of a fraternity, likewise, symbolizes the presence of the fraternity. It presents itself proudly for the world to see, admire, and respect.

The National Flag of Alpha Delta Gamma shall be a field of ruby red across the center of which, from left to right, is embedded a bar of pure gold. Situated in the center of the flag, superimposed upon the bar of pure gold and extending into the areas of red above and below, shall appear the National Fraternity Coat-of-Arms. In each corner of the flag shall be emblazoned a five-pointed star of pure gold.


The National Crest


The Coat-of Arms of Alpha Delta Gamma is as follows: the shield is of flat top, with a round base of simple arc, divided per enclosure and per mounted chevron by four fields of ruby red or sky blue. The left upper section is charged with the crown of nobility upon a field of ruby red. The right upper section is charged with a burning torch on a field of sky blue. The left lower section is charged with a Greek cross on a field of sky blue. The lower right section is charged with a dagger pointed toward the center on a field of ruby red. A helmet of armor with bars open and fronting is imposed upon the shield and topped with three plumes. At the base of the shield is a scroll bearing the Greek words: “Gnosthentes Eph Philon” which translated expresses the idea “known among friends” or “known by friends” or “a man is known by his friends.”

The helmet of armor represents highest authority, the baton supports this idea. The crown is symbolic of nobility of origin and character. The torch symbolizes social justice which is characteristic of the Fraternity. The dagger symbolizes the power of self-protection and independence. The nine stars represent the active chapters of the Fraternity mounted on and dependant upon the chevron, which symbolizes the National Chapter. The blood red represents the courage and the sky blue represents the faithfulness of the members in their loyalty to the Fraternity.

The National Flower

The Fraternity Flower chosen by Alpha Delta Gamma is one which blooms throughout the year and one that can be found in all parts of the world, just as Brotherhood is everywhere within the Fraternity. Our flower is the carnation. The red carnation symbolizes the true flame of Brotherhood. The Red Carnation was officially adopted by the 1962 Convention upon the suggestion of Benjamin Aranda (Lambda) and Michael E. Dessimoz (Alpha).


The National Insect

At the 58th National Convention in Fort Mitchell, KY, Brother Anthony Smulders (Lambda), National Moderator (1980-2004) proposed the inclusion of the Praying Mantis as a living symbol of the fraternity.



Alpha Delta Gamma national Fraternity makes great strides in accordance with the five S's, especially Service through its philanthropy. At the 2007 Convention in New Orleans, voting delegates decided that Habitat for Humanity would be our next national philanthropy. Each year, our Philanthropy Director makes great strides in assisting the chapters in service to Habitat for Humanity. For additional information, please contact our Philanthropy Department at


Our Jesuit Heritage


Alpha Delta Gamma is not the oldest national fraternity,  yet it is one of the few that traces its roots into the antiquity of the Middle Ages. Strange as it may seem, the history of this American-born fraternity has its beginnings in medieval Europe. For, on December 24, 1491, the year before Columbus discovered the New World and claimed it for Ferdinand and Isabella, a son was born to the Lord of the Great castle of Loyola in Guipuzcoa, in the Basque country of northwest Spain. Thirty years later at the siege of Pamplona a cannon ball shattered the leg of Ignatius Loyola finishing his military career. But his life’s work was just about to begin. Within a few years his dynamic new moral spirit swept across the face of Europe through his band of religious brothers, the Society of Jesus .

In 1789, as George Washington was being sworn in as President, missionary members of the Society of Jesus established Georgetown University, the forefather of all Catholic colleges and universities in the United States. Shortly before, the Jesuits founded America’s first Catholic college, Holy Cross, in New England. The country grew and as it did, Catholic colleges spread. Fraternities flourished for a short time at the turn of the 20th century, but for the most part The Roaring 20′s found few fraternities on Catholic college campuses.

There was a need for a dynamic new spirit to bring fraternities to Catholic colleges. The Jesuit institution of Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois served as the breeding ground for this spirit. A fraternity named Alpha Delta Gamma took root at Loyola University and made sure it was an organization that would not discriminate on the basis of faith, race or ethnicity–one that would be founded on the ideals of the Society of Jesus. The letters taken for the fraternity, ADG, served as an acronym of its motto “Ad Dei Gloriam,” (“For the glory of God”) a shortened version of the Jesuits’ own centuries-old motto, “Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam” (“To the greater glory of God”), which was created by St. Ignatius himself.  Since that time, ADG has made its home at various other famous Jesuit college and universities across America and has installed many members of the Society of Jesus as moderators both nationally and at local chapters.

The National Creed

The Original National Creed is as follows.

“Alpha Delta Gamma believes in the unity of fraternal brotherhood. The true principle of fraternalism is one of Christian friendship strengthened by the bond of common ideals and hallowed by tender memories. Fraternalism is predicated upon the proposition that our brothers are worthy of the highest esteem and regard that we have in our power to bestow. The purpose and end of fraternalism is the linking together of human hearts, minds and hands actuated by a common motive and striving for a common goal. The spirit of fraternalism dies not when we cross for the last time the portals of this world, each in our chosen field or endeavor. When the darkening shadow of life’s tribulations cast their pall upon us, we extend a consoling hand to lighten our burden and soothe our broken spirit. Hail, brother, and good cheer! We are first to rejoice when good fortune smiles upon our paths.

Alpha Delta Gamma believes in the glory of true brotherhood; we are conscious of our love and duty to God and humanity. We face the battles of life with honor as our shield, courage our motto, and love our inspiration. The true criterion of brotherhood is not social, cultural, or material, but rather strength of character to preserve honor untarnished, courage undaunted, loyalty unbroken and love unsullied in our combat with temptation and degradation. When the eternal clarion sounds his recall, the true Alphadelt may gaze upon the vista of his years over a battlefield well fought. He may turn with confident steps to face his Creator happy that he has preserved undimmed the jewel of Christian manhood in the struggle with grasping greed, palsied fear, creeping treachery and leprous lust.

Alpha Delta Gamma believes in fostering the achievements of learning and science, that earnest students are worthy of esteem as a depository of culture. Upon the culture of the arts and attainment of the sciences rests the whole of human freedom in thought and action. These achievements are ultimately relief to the oppressed, poor and suffering. American prosperity and equality depend not upon the gaudy banners of capital, but upon tireless effort and service tempered by genuine wisdom.

Fraternalism, brotherhood and learning – these are the fundamental tests of our Creed, the beacon to guide our groping steps, the master rule by which Alpha Delta Gamma Fraternity measures our true worth.”

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