Sunday, May 15, 2011

Alpha Delta Pi Founders Day: May 15, 1851

Happy Birthday to the women of Alpha Delta Pi! Founded on this day in 1851, at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia.

Founder Eugenia Tucker decided to form a secret society for women and asked five friends to help her. Those friends were; Ella Pierce, Octavia Andrew, Bettie Williams, Sophronia Woodruff and Mary A. Evans. The following biographies were taken directly from the Alpha Delta Pi National website at

Eugenia Tucker
Eugenia Tucker was just sixteen years old when she left her family home in Laurens County, Georgia, to enter Wesleyan College.

Ella Pierce Turner Ella Pierce Turner
Ella's interest in education was inherited from her family. Her father, Dr. George Foster Pierce, served as the first president of Wesleyan Female College and later served as president of Emory University. Ella was described as a "most charming young lady with seriousness of purpose and great determination." Ella had twelve children and her legacy lives on today with the many family branches that have ties to Alpha Delta Pi.
Octavia Andrew Rush
Only 13 years old when she made the journey to Wesleyan, Octavia was the daughter of Bishop James Andrew who was the ranking member on the original Board of Trustees that started Wesleyan. After graduating, Octavia married John Wesley Rush, an Emory law student. They had ten children and John abandoned his law studies to become a Methodist preacher. During the Civil War, Reverend Rush went to defend the South and was captured in battle. Octavia remained a scholar and continued her involvement with Alpha Delta Pi until her death in 1917. Like Ella, many of Octavia's descendents are Alpha Delta Pi sisters.
Octavia Andrew Rush

Elizabeth Williams Mitchell
Elizabeth was born in Marion County, South Carolina, and is the only Founder who was not a Georgia native. Her father was a doctor and trustee at the Georgetown Methodist Church. Undoubtedly, this association with the church influenced Elizabeth's decision to attend Wesleyan, more than 450 miles from her home. She married Thomas Mitchell, a Methodist minister, and they had five children. "Bettie" as she was known at Wesleyan, died in 1884, just 13 days after the death of her eldest son. Our archivists have been unable to locate a photograph of Elizabeth.

Sophronia Woodruff Dews Sophronia Woodruff Dews
Sophronia was born in 1835 in Augusta, Georgia and her family moved to Columbus, Georgia before Sophronia turned five. Her father, Dr. Michael Woodruff, was a prominent physician in Columbus, in addition to serving as a city alderman and president of the Muscogee Bible Society. Sophronia received her A.B. degree from Wesleyan in 1852. The subject of her commencement composition was "Selfishness - the Axis on Which the World Turns." Sophronia died in 1913 at the age of seventy-eight.
Mary Evans Glass
Mary was born in Forsyth, Georgia in 1833. Like many of her Adelphean sisters, her father was a Methodist minister. He also served on the Wesleyan Female College Board of Trustees for forty years. Mary received both a literary and a musical education, graduating from Wesleyan with distinction. She married Sanford Glass, a lawyer, and they had one child before Mary's husband died in the Civil War. She went on to teach at a private school and until her death in 1914, remained very active with Alpha chapter in Macon.
Mary Evans Glass

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