Alpha Delta P conventions are the supreme governing body of the sorority. Every other summer, in odd numbered years, the convention delegation, assembled of alumnae and collegiate members, gathers together for fun and sisterhood, and more importantly, sorority business. The first convention was assembled in 1906 in Macon, Georgia and the second in 1907 in New Orleans, where the delegates decided to convene every two years rather than annually.
Conventions are steeped in tradition. At the very first one, toasts were offered to fraternity life, the Adelpheans, alumnae, Alpha Delta Pi, and “our future.” In 1965 silver toasting cups were added for every chapter, Grand Council, and many other officers. They continue to travel to each convention to be raised by the delegates.
An invocation has opened every tradition. Founder Mary Evans Glass offered the first one.
Favors have always been given at conventions. They have changed with the culture, ranging from hat pins, artificial posies, and autograph books, to tee shirts, paperweights, and glass jewelry boxes.
Model initiations have been conducted since the second convention in 1907. In recent years, convention initiates have included descendants of founders, mothers of members, and special friends.
Stunt night was added in 1915 and, under various names, one “fun” night is still planned. Old Timers night was started in 1931. The traditional favor for this night is a fan, printed with a list of conventions, by year. The “Convention Song” is traditionally sung, to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb, during the Old Timers dinner to determine who has attended the most conventions.
To open convention, sisters march in the Adelphean Processional, a tradition that was instituted by Grand President Caralee Strock Stanard in 1941. Sisters march into the opening session wearing white dresses and blue ribands bearing our motto, “We Live for Each Other.”
Started at the Centennial Convention in 1951, a candlelight recessional where delegates rise at the final banquet to the chapter roll call, then sing Alpha Delta Pi songs, is the traditional convention closing. In 1979, candles were exchanged for pen lights.