Greek life with a twist: Alpha Delta Phi

Bridget Shannon

By Bridget Shannon

Someone sporting a sweatshirt with a ΔΧ on the front is fairly easily recognized on the UConn campus as a member of the Delta Chi fraternity.  But the green and white ΑΔΦ that represent Alpha Delta Phi is mostly a mystery.  The fact that people don’t know about this new fraternity hasn’t stopped the gentlemen of “ADP,” as they refer to themselves, from forging a new future in Storrs.

Stephen Pizzo founded the fraternity in Spring 2008, and since then the organization has clawed its way onto the national stage. It is one of the fastest growing chapters of the fraternity in the country.  For the members of Alpha Delta Phi, it’s a part of their UConn identity.

Sure, the community service and aim for academic excellence are resume boosters.  But looking past that, ADP is a group of very close friends who share a connection meant to last well past the four years in Storrs.

Welcome to Alpha House

The guys can usually be found lingering around “2nd House” on Hunting Lodge Road.  They may be hanging out around

Members of the UConn chapter stand outside the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity house at UMass. Picture taken by Stephen Pizzo.

a bonfire in the backyard, or conducting a formal Pledge Event.  The members genuinely enjoy each others company- one reason the number of brothers has doubled from Spring 2008 to fall 2009.

“People have slowly started to notice us largely because we’re a literary fraternity, and we put education and public service as our main tenets,” said Mason Banwell.

House chef Willie Tucciarone tossed a piece of chicken at Banwell as Pizzo sat down next to him and agreed.

“We’re genuine and upfront about our ideals and we stick to them,” he said.

A bunch of guys sitting around a table eating the chicken all nodded their heads as Derek Welch, the house carpenter, swung the back door open bearing the wooden coffee table he just finished building for the living room.  Welch doesn’t live here, but he keeps busy building tables, shelves, and chairs for 2nd House.  Derek and Willie ask for nothing in return for building or cooking: that’s just the way it works here.

Alpha Delta Phi was founded in 1832 at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y.

Living and working together

“These guys are some of the best friends I have ever, and will ever meet in my life,” Banwell said.  “We stand by each other not because we have to, because we want to.

Twelve UConn fraternities are part of the official regulated system, and  about 10 percent of students overall are fraternity members.  These existing organizations didn’t work for the guys of ADP, so they started their own group.

“We were looking for a purposeful organization that valued academics,” Banwell said.  “Plus we wanted a more relaxed and informal feeling than the other fraternities offer.”

A sign advertises Alpha Delta Phi's annual dodgeball tournament. Picture taken by Stephen Pizzo.

For example, the group recently held a dodgeball tournament on campus that raised money to send books to Africa.  Those who happened upon it might think it wasn’t very organized.  Balls were flying everywhere and it looked like a bunch of guys just fooling around.  But as it turns out, ADP made more than $250 at the tournament.

ADP is a group of close friends who have fun together while working for a great cause. What could be better?

“We’ve got something that works for us,” said Banwell.  “Nobody is telling us what to do or how to do it, like some of the other fraternities here work.  Plus I just hurled a bunch of balls at my

friends for an hour while raising money to send books to Africa.  What more could you ask for?”

UConn Chapter of Alpha Delta Phi website

Alpha Delta Phi National Organization website

Books For Africa website, a charity that Alpha Delta Phi supports

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