In the Fraternity’s one hundred fiftieth-history written by Brother Ritter Collett, Ohio ’42, we learn that “Through its first two decades, Phi Delta Theta was neither strong enough nor big enough to do much about setting up an administration.”
“But the earliest Phis realized the importance of keeping lines of communication open and conventions provided this vehicle. The first Convention in Cincinnati in 1851 was called by Ohio Alpha at a time when there were only four chapters…”
Conventions are celebrations of the Fraternity, the coming together of alumni, undergraduates, and special guests to enjoy and commemorate the Fraternity’s successes and look toward the future.
An excellent overview of one of the longest-running traditions of the Fraternity can be found in a 2012 blog post written by then General Council President Scott Mietchen, as it talks about the very first convention and many other customs and traditions which link us to the past.
We hunted our archives at General Headquarters and found these fun photos from earlier General Conventions.
Here is the 1900 General Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, where the first-ever Canadian chapter was approved. Welcome, Quebec Alpha!
Here is the 1926 General Convention held in Windsor, Ontario.
See this 1932 photo of the group of Phi Delta Theta members and guests in the beautiful Colorado Hills.
From a General Convention during the twenty-first century, see the 2008 photo of brothers during the closing ceremony of the 77th General Convention in Paradise Valley, Arizona.