We are the oldest sorority on the St. Norbert College campus, founded in 1954. Sisterhood is powerful and we have grown into a large group of women. We are proud of all of the women that are in Theta Phi Alpha. We are very dedicated to one another and we are committed to sharing Theta Phi Alpha spirit with other young women at St. Norbert College. We had to move from our local organization of Theta Phi into an interest group of Theta Phi Alpha, where we went through the colonization process in the fall semester of 2012. We were then re-installed as the Alpha Delta Chapter on May 18, 2013!
We believe that it is not Theta Phi Alpha that defines us, but it is the members that define Theta Phi Alpha. In that sense, the sorority is constantly evolving with each new member that comes in. We come from all walks of life, but the very strong bond of sisterhood ties us all together. When you have Theta Phi Alpha letters in front of you, you know that you always have a group of supportive sisters behind you. When you join Theta Phi Alpha, you are committing to the success of the group and to the growth of your individual self. We are dedicated to academics and are also involved in philanthropic activities on the St. Norbert Campus and in the surrounding community.
In 1912, a small, local Fraternity of Catholic women at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, was struggling. The organization had originally been formed by Father Edward D. Kelly in 1909, when he was the pastor of the student chapter at the University. He believed that there should be some kind of home life provided for the young Catholic women who attend the University and he realized that a sorority offered such society, friendship, and atmosphere. Several women students were originally very interested in joining, partly because Catholics were not always welcome in the other Greek-letter sororities on campus. By founding this new sorority, Catholic women had sorority life opened to them. Unfortunately, however, by the late spring of 1912 membership in Omega Upsilon was low and the treasury was unable to support the activities of the group.
Father Kelly enlisted the aid of Amelia McSweeney, an 1898 graduate of the University of Michigan and a woman prominent in educational and civic life in Detroit. She and several alumnae of Omega Upsilon felt that a fraternity for Catholic women was a pressing need and believed that many of the problems of Omega Upsilon were perhaps a result of the operations of the chapter being left completely in the hands of undergraduate member. The alumnae felt that, with their guidance in maters such as finances and housing, a new organization for Catholic women would be quite successful.
Throughout the summer of 1912, Amelia McSweeney, seven other alumnae, and two undergraduate women worked tirelessly, meeting at the home of Dorothy and Katrina Caughey, to prepare the plans for the new organization. May C. Ryan contributed the name, motto, and original coat of arms, and the membership selected the Fraternity's flower, jewels, and colors.
Two undergraduate members of Omega Upsilon became members of Theta Phi Alpha. They were Eva Stroh, a sophomore, and Otilia Leuchtweis, a senior, who became Theta Phi Alpha's first Chapter President. Plans for the coming school year were completed on August 30, 1912, and Theta Phi Alpha began operation on the campus of the University of Michigan.