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Wesleyan College Archives & Special Collections

Phi Mu @ Wesleyan

Phi Mu was founded in 1852 at Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga. and is the second oldest sorority in the nation. Phi Mu was founded by Mary Elizabeth Myrick (Daniel), Mary Ann DuPont (Lines) and Martha Bibb Hardaway (Redding).  All evidence points to the likelihood that Mary Ann DuPont (Lines) took the initiative in the founding of the Philomathean Society. In some writings, she even is referred to as "the founder" of the Society. She was to become its first president, a strong indi­cation of her leadership among her peers. Mary Ann's companions in the formation of this new group are described as two fellow members of the junior class, Mary Elizabeth Myrick (Daniel) and Martha Bibb Hardaway (Redding).

The founding date of the Philomathean Soci­ety is placed at January 4, 1852. It was on this day that Mary Ann DuPont and her two friends are said to have met to lay the groundwork for their new Society. It follows by approximately seven and one-half months the founding of the Adelphean Liter­ary Society on May 15, 1851, at Wesleyan.

Over the next two months, the three Founders of the Philomathean Society gathered additional members, formulated a constitution, devised an ini­tiation service, and adopted a secret motto and an open motto. They issued blue ribbons to identify their members until a badge could be designed and made later that year.

On March 4, 1852, the members were ready to announce their new Society to the College and the world. This day has become Phi Mu's traditional Founders' Day.

Information and images from:
Lamb, A.C.  (2002).  The history of Phi Mu: The first 150 years.  Canada.
Phi Mu.  (2017).  About us.  Retrieved from http://www.phimu.org/about-us/

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