The Adelphi House of Representatives
On March 6, 1857, an organization known as the Literary Adelphi made its appearance on the campus, with Cushman Kellogg Davis ('57, LL.D. '86), later United States Senator from Minnesota, as its first president. Though the year 1857 marks the first appearance of the name Adelphi, the society indirectly traces its origins to an earlier date, for in the year 1861 the Literary Adelphi, through a unification with Phi Phi Alpha, which was founded in 1842 and expired in 1861, leaving its library and other effects to Adelphi, came into the heritage of the oldest student organization at the University and the first forensic society in the state.
Since its origin many changes have marked the growth of the organization. From a society with strong literary tendencies, at whose early meetings a literary magazine called "The Hesperian" was read and discussed, the Adelphi has emerged. In the year 1914-15 the name was changed to the Adelphi House of Representatives. The plan of having each member represent a state in the Union was instituted, and meetings were patterned after sessions of the House of Representatives in Washington. The emphasis was mainly on forensic activities, with debates, discussions, and outside speakers on its program.
Among the year's highlights on the Adelphi program were the traditional debate with Alpha Nu, in which freshman members of each society contended, the stump debate with Sigma Rho Tau, usually Page 1884on some humorous subject, the joint meeting with the Athena Literary Society, and as a culmination to the year's activities, the annual banquet held at the Michigan Union, at which awards and honors were bestowed.
Former members of Adelphi include such men as the late William Wilson Cook ('80, '82l), donor of the law buildings and of Martha Cook Building and Ira Waite Jayne ('05), former presiding judge of the Circuit Court of Wayne County, Detroit.
The Adelphi House of Representatives was one of the few extracurricular activities open to first-semester freshmen, and shared with Alpha Nu the privilege of establishing its own policies without a faculty adviser.