Alpha Lambda Delta
The mission of Alpha Lambda Delta is to encourage superior academic achievement among students in their first year in institutions of higher education, to promote intelligent living and a continued high standard of learning, and to assist students in recognizing and developing meaningful goals for their roles in society.
Alpha Lambda Delta was founded in 1924 by Maria Leonard, the Dean of Women at the University of Illinois, to recognize academic excellence among freshman women. One year prior, Dean Thomas Arkle Clark had founded Phi Eta Sigma, an honor society to recognize academic excellence among freshman men. Both groups operated as single sex organizations until the mid-1970s when they both became coeducational in response to Title IX.
Alpha Lambda Delta has continued to celebrate academic excellence among first-year students and has grown to over 280 chapters and has initiated over one million students. The National Council which governs the organization has prudently invested the resources and gifts from local chapters, National Council members, former fellowship recipients, and friends of the Society over the years so that the Perpetual Fellowship Fund now exceeds $4 million and can provide support for 37 undergraduate scholarships of $1,000-$6,000 each, 20 study-abroad scholarships of $1,000-$2,000, and 26 graduate fellowships from $3,000 to $7,500. The fellowships are named for significant people in the history of the Society.