Gamma Phi Society's formation is the genesis for the future founding of the Delphic Society, and later the Delphic Fraternity. The Gamma Phi Society was a college literary society founded prior to 1833 at the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institute (today Colgate University) in Hamilton, New York. The exact founding date of the society is unknown.
According to the university website, Colgate at 200 Years, Gamma Phi was the first literary society at Colgate. It was later joined by the Pi Delta Society sometime around 1834. Little trace of their activities remains except the names of their orators on commencement programs. Competition between them for members led to faculty intervention, with the result that both seem to have been dissolved in 1840 when the Adelphian and Aeonian Societies came into existence.
The Adelphian Society was founded on July 24, 1840, at the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institute (today Colgate University) in Hamilton, New York. The society was organized on October 31, 1840, when the founding officers were elected. The society was formed by 31 men led by its first president, Orrin Bishop Judd. The purpose of the society was to “progress in literary attainments and cultivation among all the members of an undecaying friendship.“
The Adelphian Society was founded on the same day as the Aeonia Society. The brother societies were built on the remains of the Gamma Phi and Pi Delta Societies. Notable alumni of the Adelphian Society include the honorable Thomas W. Osbourne, United States Senator representing the State of Florida.
In 1850, five members of the Adelphian Society transferred to the newly formed University of Rochester and founded the Delphic Society.