Alpha Delta Chi – Past and Present
By Sarah Gunderson ’81
Established in 1933, the Alpha Delta Chi (ADX) sorority is the oldest social sorority at Austin College. Margaret Binkley, a freshman from Sherman, is credited as the sorority’s founder. It was felt there was a need for closer contact and good feelings between the girls of the dormitories and their Sherman sisters. The 1934 Chromoscope states the objective of the sorority was to provide entertainment for themselves and their friends. At the beginning, the Alphas were known for hosting an all-school Christmas dance and a Valentine banquet and dance, as well as picnics and other dances.
Margaret Binkley married William W. Collins Jr. Together, they were lifelong supporters of Austin College and the Alphas. In addition to establishing several endowed scholarships, their significant contributions made possible campus areas including Honors Court, Margaret Binkley Collins Fountain, Zauk Circle Drive, Quest sculpture, Margaret Binkley Collins Walk, and the Collins Alumni Center. Margaret continued her relationship with the Alphas until her death in 2002, often sending notes to new members.
Today, the women of ADX have become much more than a social sorority. They participate in several service projects throughout the year. Ski Lodge is a school-wide service project which is steeped in a rich history with the sorority and may have had its beginnings with the Christmas dances from the 1930s. Alphas have been volunteering at the Clinton & Edith Sneed Environmental Research Area and Prairie Restoration Project since 1998. The project is overseen by Dr. Peter Schulze, who serves as an Alpha sponsor. In addition to these projects, the Alphas host philanthropy events including Texas-ville, Skate for the Cure, and a cupcake eating contest. The Alphas recently honored their longtime sponsors Hank Gorman and E. Don Williams upon their retirement from teaching at Austin College. They will be forever in their hearts.
The alumnae of ADX work with the current active Alphas on campus in a variety of ways to establish connections across generations and enrich the bonds of sisterhood long after graduation. Alumnae provide mentoring and advice to actives as well as share in the events that help shape the sorority and provide lasting memories. In 2018, the Alphas (with family and friends) established the 85th Anniversary Alpha Delta Chi Endowed Scholarship which provides scholarships to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Several times a year, alumnae and actives get together for lunch to coordinate activities such as homecoming and rush. Alumnae in the DFW area meet quarterly for social time and to catch up.
In 2023, the Alphas will be marking their 90th anniversary as a sorority, as well as 25 years of volunteering at Sneed. Plans are underway to celebrate both events. We hope to see lots of Alphas for these events!
Sarah Gunderson is an Austin College Trustee and past member of the Alumni Board and the Athletic “A” Association. She is an active ADX alumna and supports ’Roo athletics as a Legends Weekend sponsor and Slats McCord Golf Tournament sponsor.
Sarah is retired from a career in property management and volunteers her time to several efforts in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.