The Expansion Process

Guest Writer: Emily Erkel, International Vice President of Finance, Zeta Chi – Baylor University

Ever wish we could add an ADPi chapter at a particular school and wonder why we’re not there?  ADPi is part of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) which has rules governing how new chapters are added to campuses.  If you’ve worked in the business world or have parents who do, the process is very similar to a Request for Proposal (RFP) or competitive bidding process.  Primary reasons for adding a new sorority are growth in the student population and increased interest in Greek life.  Here’s how the process flows:

  • The school’s local Panhellenic Council votes whether to open for extension – i.e. add one or more new sororities to their campus – and establishes an extension committee.
  • The local Panhellenic Council notifies NPC of their decision.
  • NPC includes the school’s information in the next NPC Extension Bulletin that goes to all 26 sororities who are members of NPC.
  • Sororities who are interested in learning about the school have an opportunity to visit campus to meet with Greek Life administrators and other key leaders.
  • Sororities who are interested in potentially joining the campus submit an interest packet. It is an application explaining the sorority and what the group would add to the school as a member of their Greek community.
  • The extension committee reviews and evaluates interest packets to select sororities to present on campus. Typically 3 sororities are selected for the presentation phase.
  • Each selected sorority has a team visit campus on different dates to make a formal presentation and spends time meeting with administrators, students and staff. Collegiate and alumnae members in the area are often invited to the presentation to represent ADPi.
  • The extension committee evaluates the sororities and decides which one best matches the school’s needs.
  • The extension committee lets each sorority know whether or not they were selected.
  • The sorority invited to colonize announces their great news and starts planning for colonization.

So, why does one group get selected over another?  Some factors might include:

  • How the sorority fits the campus’ needs assessment
  • How the sorority addresses key topics that are critical to the Panhellenic community
  • Whether this is a return to campus for a sorority who has been there before – called a recolonization
  • Number of alumnae in the area to support the new chapter
  • Strength of the presentation and connection with presenters
  • Knowledge of the sorority based on chapters at peer institutions or other schools in the area
  • Sorority’s plan and commitment to support the colonization effort and new chapter


Finally, how does ADPi decide where to submit an interest packet and present if selected?  Growth and Development Manager Jennifer Dickinson works with the Strategic Leadership Team to evaluate each opportunity.  Per Alpha Delta Pi Bylaws, Grand Council takes an official vote when deciding whether or not to join a campus.  Factors that are used in the evaluation are:

  • Whether ADPi has had a chapter on the campus before
  • Alumnae support available within a 60 mile radius
  • Chapter support available in the geographic area
  • Size and strength of the Greek community
  • Growth of the Greek community
  • Housing requirements to be competitive on campus
  • Number of unaffiliated women on campus
  • Academic prestige of the college or university
  • Timing of colonization and number of other colonization commitments

If ADPi is selected and says yes, colonization recruitment preparations begin as we bring a new campus and new members home to our sisterhood!



  1. I had the privilege of going through this process with my own chapter, Zeta Rho (Vanderbilt University) when the local group we had started in 1975 was colonized in 1978, and then got to go through the excitement again as an alumna with Eta Nu (Saint Louis University) in 1988. Thanks for this informative post!

  2. I was disappointed that my daughter couldn’t enjoy ADPi life at Jacksonville State in Alabama. It has been such an important part of my life that I wanted to share with her.

  3. Thank you for explaining the process! I think lots of members also are curious about how the colonization process works. How bid day is held with no Delta members, how chapter meetings are done, how a colony starts an event calendar from scratch (getting ideas for philanthropy and social events), etc. That might be a good blog topic for a member of the NCDT.

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