Phi Mu Delta traces its roots to the National Federation of Commons Clubs. The Commons Club was founded at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1899. The Commons Club grew to an impressive 19 chapters from Washington state to Maine prior to the formation of Phi Mu Delta. At the 1918 Conclave, held at the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now UMass), Clarence Dexter Pierce and many of his supporters petitioned the assembly for the formation of a Greek letter fraternity. The petition was adopted and the original plan was in favor of all chapters of the Federation to join Phi Mu Delta. However, only four chapters did so: The Universities of Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut, as well as Union College.