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History

The Fraternal Society was established in 1834 at Union College in Schenectady, New York. Four of the oldest nine fraternities were started at Union College. Fraternal was founded as a literary society by 10 men who believed in the pursuit of friendship, love, and truth. After prospering for 25 years, it was disbanded when the active members joined the national fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi.

In 1864, Dr. Philp Phelps, Jr., a Frater alumnus and then president of the Holland Academy, re-activated the Fraternal Society. Two years later the academy became Hope College, with Dr. Phelps as its president.

The Fraternal Society's presence and influence in the community are widespread. Many college buildings and public places bear the names of prominent Fraternal Alumni. Fraternal alumni have distinguished themselves as Hope College presidents, vice-presidents, registrars, trustees, and faculty and staff members. Other alumni include A.J. Muste, the college's most famous alumnus; Dr. James Poppen, neurosurgeon; Mayo Hadden, retired admiral of the U.S. Navy; William Wichers, Knight of the Orange; John Kuizenga, eminent theologian; James Bultman, president emeritus of Hope College; and Arend Lubbers, president emeritus of Grand Valley State University.

However, just as important are the hundreds of Fraters around the country and world who support our goal of brotherhood. The love of Fraternal is undying...the friendship of Fraternal is enduring...the strength of Fraternal is unchallengable.