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Records of the Phi Delta Phi Law Fraternity, 1947-1955

Founded in 1869, Phi Delta Phi is the oldest legal honorary association in North America. The Territorial Government of Michigan passed an act on August 26, 1817 to establish the “Catholepistemiad,” or University of Michigania, to be located in Detroit. Dissatisfied with the administration of the university, the Territorial Legislature repealed the act and established the University of Michigan as a successor corporation with full rights. The campus was moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor and the establishment of a law school was planned in 1837, the same year Michigan officially became a state. The Law Department was established in 1859 and Phi Delta Phi was founded 10 years later.

Chicago-Kent was chartered on May 12, 1896, as part of Province 16, Fuller Inn. The Fuller Chapter was established as such due to the Melville Fuller Law Club of the Chicago College of Law, named after the then Chief Justice of the United States. Members held meetings at 18-26 Van Buren Street at the Chicago-Kent College of Law and had no chapter house. Prominent Chicago-Kent members include Adelor Petit (1922), president from 1935-1937, George G. Peironnett (1900), Charles W. Lucas (1896, President 1895), William F. Zacharias (1933, Law Dean), Barratt O’Hara (1912, Illinois State Representative, Governor of Illinois), Lowell Thomas (1915, author, world traveler, radio newscaster), Robert McClory (1932, U.S. Representative), Charles H. Percy (1951, Illinois senator), Robert N. Ross (1949), Marvin F. Burt (1931, State Supreme Court Judge) and honorary faculty members Elmer E. Burnett, Edward W. Burke, Orrin N. Carter, John Gibbons, and Dean Thomas A. Moran.

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