Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD) is a national society that honors academic excellence during a student’s first year in college. Founded as an honorary for freshman women at the University of Illinois in 1924, ALD became a national organization as more chapters were established. Its purpose is to encourage superior academic achievement among first-year students, to promote intelligent living and a continued high standard of learning, and to assist men and women in recognizing and developing meaningful goals for their roles in society. Phi Eta Sigma (PES), the oldest and largest freshman honor society in the United States, was founded at the University of Illinois on March 22. 1923. The goal of this organization is to encourage and reward the academic excellence among first-year students. In the early 1970’s, Congress passed the Title IX federal legislation that required any university receiving federal funds to forbid single-sex organizations on their campuses. Other class honor societies decided to open their memberships to both sexes but to keep their individual. Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma at Ohio State University decided to each admit both men and women and then to join together as one organization with one set of officers.
ALD/PES accepts new members by invitation only.