The Philomathean Society, later to become the Phi Mu fraternity, was originally founded by Mary Ann Dupont, Mary Elizabeth Myrick, and Martha Bibb Hardaway at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia in 1852 as the second oldest female fraternal organization established in the United States. Thirteen years after the Philomathean Society was formed in Macon, the University of Georgia’s first fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, was established. It would take another sixty-plus years for the university even allow women to enroll.
Mary D. Lyndon was hired as the first Dean of Women in 1918 when the university began to admit women as regular undergraduate students. Lyndon graduated from Wesleyan College, where she was a member of Phi Mu, in 1856 with a Dramatic Arts degree. She continued her studies at Columbia University and during summer sessions at the University of Georgia, eventually becoming UGA’s first female graduate in 1914. Three years after being elected the Dean of Women, Mary Lyndon used her experience as an “alumna member of the oldest chapter of Phi Mu” to help establish the Phi Mu Alpha Alpha chapter at the University of Georgia.
The Alpha Alpha chapter of Phi Mu was the first sorority at UGA and was founded on April 28, 1921 with only ten members. Soon, Phi Mu blossomed into one of the largest sororities on campus! There are currently 278 members of Alpha Alpha.