Founding of IlliDell
The history of IlliDell Cooperative Fraternity dates back to spring of 1949. Twenty students, seeking a less expensive living alternative, and an interested faculty member, Mr. Warren Goodell, purchased a house located at 706 S. Goodwin. Each student contributed $100, and Mr. Goodell put up the remaining $3,000 for the down payment. Because of his generosity, the last part of IlliDell's name comes from his, with the first part coming from "Illinois".
In spring 1961, IlliDell purchased a new house at 801 W. Nevada, due to extensive repairs being required at the old house. It was at this house that we met our house parents, Ralph and Lorena Ivens. Mr. and Mrs. Ivens were neighbors and "adopted" the entire IlliDell house as their kids. When IlliDell outgrew their house, Ralph and Lorena allowed them to use an adjacent house they owned to house the extra men. It became known as OP, or "The Other Place." In spring 1974, the house in Urbana was deemed in violation of several codes by the city. Necessary repairs were too expensive, and there was the tempting prospect of building a new house. The meeting to close IlliDell was supposed to be held, but the property at 303 E. Chalmers, IlliDell's current home, was found for sale just in time. The house was purchased from Chi Phi Fraternity and IlliDell moved in the fall of 1979.
IlliDell Joins Alpha Gamma Sigma
In fall of 1980, IlliDell was approached by Alpha Gamma Sigma, a national agricultural fraternity. IlliDell joined, with the condition that we would be known as the IlliDell Chapter, on January 24, 1981. The house on Chalmers has undergone many upgrades. Most recently, we upgraded our kitchen. We installed a new professional dishwasher, a new ice machine, beautiful cabinetry, and a new floor for both the kitchen and dining area. IlliDell enjoys a strong bond between its members and an uncommon sense of cooperation.