Idea spreads from D.C. to across the country
Delta Lambda Phi was founded in 1986 by Vernon L. Strickland III and three other men well beyond their college years who expressed regret at the limited opportunities for social engagement available to gay men at the time. The social groups that did exist suffered from internal division or were focused on little more than sex, they said. So why not create a progressive social fraternity based on the collegiate model?
They did, and by the next year had recruited their first Delta Lambda Phi pledge class, eventually initiating 24 men into full brotherhood in Washington, D.C. that April. The idea spread to cities and college campuses around the country, and there are now 35 Delta Lambda Phi chapters and colonies across the country, including three chapters in Florida, a colony at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and the colony at Georgia State. But wait, “colony?”
The difference between a chapter and a colony is that fraternity chapters have certain secrets (i.e. values and ideas of the fraternity) and rituals (like how pledges are inducted, or how pledges become brothers) that colonies aren’t privy to yet, explains Chris Bass, president of