The Ivy Leaf
The Ivy Leaf
an Introduction to Alpha Phi
This book belongs to
A typed version of this letter is available at alphaphi.org, keywords: new member letter.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Ten Founders4
Purpose and Mission Statement21
Alpha Phi Foundation31
Chapters and Founding Dates36
Alpha Phi and the National Panhellenic Conference
NPC Member Organizations44
Fraternity Language and Style Guide
Commonly Misused Terms56
The United States was in its 96th year of independence. Ulysses S. Grant
was the president. Victoria had been the queen of England for 35 years,
while Canada was only in the fifth year of being a dominion.
Mark Twain called this the “Gilded Age.” The continent had been
crossed by the railroad, and Chicago was rebuilding after the disastrous
fire. Alexander Graham Bell was experimenting with a device he
called a telephone, and Thomas Alva Edison was working on two new
inventions: a talking machine and a light that burned by electricity.
Of the 200 colleges in the United States, only a few were open to women. It
was unusual for a woman to aspire to earning a college degree, and if she
did not marry she had two choices—to teach or not to teach.
In 1872, however, a new university was founded and admission was opened
to everyone—including women. Syracuse University had no campus except a
muddy field where the cornerstone for its first building had been laid, so the
university’s first year of classes were instead held in a downtown business
Forty women took the entrance exams and were admitted to the university.
Since there were no dormitories, those from out of town had to rent rooms
“...a circle of
from local residents.
In a boarding house on Irving Street, Kate
Hogoboom and Clara Sittser met for the first
time. A few blocks away, Martha Foote lived with
her parents. The three became friends, and so the
story of Alpha Phi International Fraternity begins.
Clara Sittser’s room was a natural gathering place,
probably because her parents were so generous
with food-filled boxes from home. On this early September day, the three
young women felt particularly defenseless.
The male students ridiculed them openly in the college newspaper. There
were no women on the faculty. And they needed, as Martha later said, “a
circle of friends who could sympathize with each other in the complexities of
our situation.” They discussed the secret societies which the men students
enjoyed so much. “Why can’t we have a society like the men?” Martha
asked. And the idea was born.
They sent invitations to all the female students on campus to come and meet
in Clara’s room, and Martha and Kate (who was most often called “Kittie”)
explained their great idea to form a secret society. However, not everyone
was enthusiastic. One woman felt secret societies were wicked. Another
lived too far away to return in the evenings for meetings. And one had too
many duties at home.
Ten women finally met on September 18 and planned the sisterhood. On
September 30, at the home of Ida Gilbert, six freshmen, three sophomores
and one junior solemnly initiated themselves into Alpha Phi.
THE TEN FOUNDERS
The Original Ten were almost the Original Twelve, but two women
opted not to initiate. One preferred marriage to joining Alpha Phi and
thought the two were incompatible. About this, Martha Foote Crow
said, “Fortunately for Alpha Phi and its husbands, that precedent was
never established.” The second woman left school before signing
the constitution, but she was so caught up by the spirit of Alpha Phi
that the next year she and three other students established Gamma
Phi Beta. Martha’s thought was that without this inspiring rivalry at
Syracuse “Alpha Phi would not have developed half the strength and
independence of which she may now so reasonably boast.”
larissa Bradley Wheeler Baker Burdette went by the name “Clara.” She
lived the longest of all the Founders. She was born in East Bloomfield,
New York, but grew up in Syracuse, which was fortunate for the young
chapter. Her mother, lovingly called “Ma Bradley” by the women, was a constant
source of help and loaned the young chapter $50 to
rent and furnish its first chapter hall.
A member of the class of 1876, she was a writer,
lecturer, business woman, philanthropist and
trustee of Syracuse University, and she held many
volunteer positions during her nearly 99 years.
Clara was in college when Frances Willard was initiated into Alpha Phi in 1875, and
from her she received the inspiration that guided her life. She resolved in college
to “give my life to service. I will do everything that comes to me to do the very best
I know how.” Clara served on every committee and in almost every office of the
Alpha chapter and throughout her life was an active member of Alpha Phi.
Her prime object in life was working for better opportunities for women. In
addition to being involved with the Tournament of Roses parade, Clara was the
driving force behind the building of a maternity wing at the Pasadena Hospital in
1904. The mayor of Pasadena made Clara a special police officer, her duties dealing
with protection of little children against cruelty and neglect. She was the only
honorary president of Alpha Phi and was referred to as “Mother Burdette.”
Clara established the first Alpha Phi Foundation scholarship with a bequest. The
Clara Bradley Burdette Society, which recognizes planned gifts, is named after her.
She outlived three husbands and her son. Her great-granddaughter, Ardella Tibby,
was initiated into the Beta Pi chapter at University of Southern California in 1959.
Clara was the last Founder to enter the Silent Chapter when she died on January 6,
attie Florence Chidester Lukens was born in Utica, New York
but was raised in Syracuse. She went by her middle name,
“Florence.” She received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1875 at
the age of 21 and then a Master of Science degree in 1879. Upon
graduation, she became an elocutionist and teacher of higher mathematics
in the high school in Bedford, Pennsylvania. She went on to teach at the
State University of Minnesota, the Young Ladies’ School in Clifton Springs,
New York and was an instructor at teaching institutes in Pennsylvania and
Florence gave numerous readings in 14 states and territories. A Syracuse
newspaper wrote: “It is a matter of gratification that a Syracuse lady and
graduate of the university has achieved such
flattering successes in this difficult department
of literary work.”
For $7.50 a term, the Alpha sisters rented their
first chapter room, Florence’s father’s office,
where meetings were held on Friday nights.
Upon her passing in 1885, Florence was the
first Founder to enter the Silent Chapter.
artha Emily Foote Crow was born in Sacketts Harbor, New York
and was a daughter of a Methodist minister. She was called
Martha graduated with honors, later earning a master’s degree and doctorate
in English literature. She held several academic positions, including
assistant professor at the University of Chicago and assistant professor and
dean of women at Northwestern University. She also studied abroad at
Cambridge University (Cambridge, England), Oxford University (Oxford,
England) and the University of Leipzig (Leipzig, Germany).
From the beginning of Alpha Phi, she dreamed of establishing an
international Fraternity. Part of the chapter program was literary exercise,
and in one of these essays she wrote: “Now that we have founded this Alpha
chapter of the Alpha Phi Sorority, is this all there is to do? ... No indeed … We
have all the alphabet to go through, and to go through again and again …
Can we not be a world society as well as a national one? Yes, there is work
enough for all of us, and today is no time to be idle.”
Martha never was idle. She was the first
national president of Alpha Phi, and throughout
her life she wrote, lectured and worked on
behalf of numerous organizations. A member
of Phi Beta Kappa, she was listed in Who’s
Who in America. In 1922, she donated her
engagement ring to launch the Martha Foote
Crow Foundation for Alpha Phi.
ouise Viola Shepard Hancock was nicknamed “Lou” and was
described as “gushing and full of spirits.” Born in Rome, New York,
she attended Rome Free Academy with Jane Higham, and together
they entered Syracuse University. Louise and Jane remained the closest
friends until Louise’s death. Louise’s children called Jane, “Aunt Janie.” She
was in the class of 1876 and received a master’s degree two years later in
She had a vivid imagination and keen sense
of humor. Throughout her life she made
literary contributions to various newspapers
and envisioned many of the privileges which
have come to women today. Clara Bradley
said of Louise, she “always wanted the last
word and got it. She was a real contender for
high and noble things.”
da Arabella Gilbert DeLamanter Houghton
(pronounced “Hoe-tan”) was born in
Phoenix, New York and was the youngest
of the Original Ten. She received a Bachelor
of Science in 1876, and in 1879 she received
a master’s degree in modern languages. After
college, she taught school and wrote for
newspapers and magazines.
It was said that Ida never merely entered a room; she breezed in, and
everyone stopped until they heard what she had to say. Although she was
witty and full of fun, she was never unkind. She lived in a mansion on
Turtle Street in Syracuse, and she and her mother arranged the first Alpha
Phi banquet there following initiation. To Ida and her mother we owe the
tradition which is still enjoyed today.
ane Sara Higham was born in Rome,
New York and came to Syracuse at the
age of 16. She received her Bachelor of
Arts degree in 1876, a master’s degree in 1879
and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She was
referred to as “Jennie” and was known to be
modest and quiet.
She traveled abroad in 1892-1893 and returned
to the U.S. to work as a classics scholar. Her academic career would span
44 years. For 35 years, she taught at the Rome Free Academy in New York.
Upon her retirement in 1922, her pupils presented her with $400 in gold and
a book containing their signatures.
A newspaper editorial paid her tribute when she retired: “No teacher has
made a more lasting impression of true culture and refinement of spirit than
Miss Higham, and she has always had the happy faculty of inspiring both
friendship and effort.”
After Jane Higham attended her final Convention she wrote, “When I think
of the faces of Alpha Phi women, I feel sure that Alpha Phi is big enough and
noble enough to reach out and help others where there is the greatest need.”
ate Elizabeth Hogoboom Gilbert was born in Ovid, New York and
was nicknamed “Kittie.” Coming to Syracuse as a sophomore, she
received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1875, a master’s degree in
1878 and a music degree in 1879.
After graduation she studied music in Boston and later taught in Newark,
New Jersey and Ithaca, New York. She possessed an excellent soprano voice
and sang in the choirs of several Syracuse churches. She was very active in
many civic and religious organizations. She was gifted also in the field of
debate. Kate was the first recording secretary. Her enthusiasm for Alpha Phi
was infectious, and she was very popular.
At the first meeting of Alpha Phi, Kate suggested they
all join hands and sing, and thus a tradition was
born. Together with Martha, she wrote the first
draft of the Alpha Phi constitution, and she kept
it locked in a room in her house at 305 Waverly
Her daughter, Ruth Gilbert Becker (Alpha-Syracuse), was
the first Alpha Phi legacy, initiated into Alpha Phi in 1901.
lara Sittser Williams was born in Weedsport, New York. She was
the only Founder not to graduate from the university, having left
school in 1874. Clara was “jolly and funny” and always generous
in bringing goodies from her family’s farm for her Alpha Phi sisters to enjoy.
The first Alpha Phi meeting was held in her room.
While in college, Clara was reprimanded by her sisters for giving her Alpha
Phi badge to a “Mr. Lombard.” She was ordered to retrieve it, and a few
weeks later, members approved a new bylaw that stated: “no member of
Alpha Phi society shall allow any person not a member of this order, to
wear or hold in his or her possession her society pin.” The badge was
returned, and Clara never violated the bylaw again. Throughout her life, she
maintained a strong connection with her beloved Alpha Phi.
In her “Old Girl and Days of `72” written for Alpha Phi’s 40th reunion,
Clara wrote, “We thought it would be a fine idea socially to form a circle of
sympathetic friends whom we would know personally. We had as our aim
the mutual improvement of each other, ever trying to do our best in
college work, always keeping a high ideal before us. Never under any
circumstances were we to speak disparagingly of a sister. We were to be
ever loyal to one another, in joys or sorrows, success or failure and ever
extend a helping hand to our sisters who needed our aid; truly we planned to
be a ‘Union Hand in Hand’.”
lizabeth Grace Hubbell Shults was born in Rochester, New York.
She went by her middle name, “Grace.” She was a brilliant student
who graduated with marked honor from the Rochester Free
Academy at age 13. At 16 she taught in the Rochester Collegiate Institute,
followed by a brief preparatory course in the Genesee Wesleyan Conference
seminary before entering Syracuse University in the fall of 1872 as a
sophomore. She graduated with honors from the four-year classical course,
displaying unusual ability in Latin, mathematics and political science.
She was 22 years old when Alpha Phi was founded and the only one old
enough to sign the legal documents incorporating the society in the state of
New York. The day after she received her Bachelor of Arts, she became the
first of the Founders to be married, becoming the wife of college classmate
James H. Shults.
She always gave inspired readings during the literary exercises of Alpha
Phi’s weekly meetings. She was also an excellent debater. One of the first
exercises of the chapter was a debate which she and Martha won on the
topic “Resolved: That women have their rights.”
epereena A. Michaels Atchison was known as “Rena.” Alpha Phi was
incorporated under the name “Michaelanean Society” in honor of
Rena, the Alpha chapter’s first president.
The Michaelanean Society still exists as a corporation and owns the
Syracuse (Alpha) chapter house.
Rena was in the class of 1874 and entered Syracuse University as a junior.
She would go on to earn three degrees: a bachelor’s degree, a master’s
degree and a doctorate in history. She was a professor at Upper Iowa
University, Albion College and DePauw University. She was also the dean of
women at Northwestern University from 1886 - 1891.
She was an author and journalist and was active in politics in Chicago. Rena
was an admirer of Frances Willard, a women’s suffrage leader who became
Alpha Phi’s first alumna initiate in 1875. Rena later became a lecturer for the
Women’s Christian Temperance Union and served as the president of the
Cook County Woman’s Suffrage Society of Illinois.
1872 | September 18
Alpha Phi Founded at Syracuse University
On the afternoon of September 18, 1872,
Martha Foote was visiting her friends Clara
Sittser and Kate Hogoboom in their boarding
house at Syracuse University. Martha mused
“Why can’t we have a society as well as the
The sisters of Alpha Phi held the first
Convention in the chapter room at
Onondaga Bank Building (Syracuse). Seven
delegates were in attendance: six Syracuse
(Alpha) members and Jessie King (BetaNorthwestern).
Alpha Phi Welcomes the First Alumna Initiate
Frances Willard was recommended as an
alumna initiate to early Syracuse (Alpha)
members by Dr. Wesley Coddington, an
advisor. She accepted the invitation and was
an important mentor for early Alpha Phis. She
served as national president from 1888-1889.
1886 | June 22
Alpha Phi Builds First Sorority House
There were no residence halls for women, so in
the fall of 1884 Alpha chapter gave up its chapter
room and rented the first house where out of
town members could live. The women rented
the house for two years while planning to build
their own home.
1889 | October 11
First Alumnae Chapters Chartered
Two alumnae chapters, Boston and
Chicago, were officially chartered at the
1889 Convention in Chicago.
The First Issue of the Quarterly
Cora Allen McElroy (Beta-Northwestern) served
as the first editor. The magazine has been
published continuously since 1888.
Alpha Phi Creates First Visiting Delegate Program
Carrie Jones Sauber (Alpha-Syracuse) was the first
traveling consultant (or “visiting delegate”). She
visited eight chapters and stayed no less than one and
no more than two weeks at each.
The official Alpha Phi crest was
1902 | May 24
Alpha Phi Hosts the First Panhellenic Meeting
Margaret Mason Whitney (Theta-Michigan)
called the first meeting of sorority
representatives which led to the forming of the
National Panhellenic Conference (NPC).
The standard gold badge we use today
was approved at the 18th Convention
in Syracuse, New York.
First NPC Website Launched
In 1996, Alpha Phi was the
first member of the National
Panhellenic Conference to launch
Alpha Phi became one of the
first NPC groups to establish a
2002 | October 1
Current RFM Method Developed
The NPC Alternative Method for Release
Figures Management, now used for
Panhellenic recruitment nationwide, was
developed by Laura Malley-Schmitt
(Zeta Phi-MIT) and presented to NPC
Cardiac Aid Selected as Philanthropy
At the 36th Convention a motion
was passed that Alpha Phi select a
philanthropic project. In December of
that year, cardiac aid was chosen as Alpha
Phi’s philanthropy. Alpha Phi raised
$16,000 for the first cardiac aid donation
by Convention 1948.
At Convention, many decisions are made that impact
the way Alpha Phi operates. Here are some notable
milestones from the past:
Alpha Phi’s colors were changed from blue and gold to
the more distinctive silver and bordeaux.
The Fraternity established an official publication, the
Alpha Phi Quarterly.
The forget-me-not and lily of the valley were chosen as
the symbolic flowers.
An emblem was selected—the constellation Ursa Major.
The ruby was chosen as the official jewel.
The ivy leaf new member pin of silver or green enamel was
suggested. The pin, however, was not adopted until 1910.
Certificates of membership were issued.
The uniform unjeweled badge that we use today was approved.
Before this, members were free to design their own badges and
have them made by local jewelers.
Convention was changed from being held in the fall to being
held in June or July in order to not interfere with university
The first Convention minutes were typed.
Ivy was adopted as a symbol.
The Alpha Phi crest was adopted.
“The objectives of our Fraternity are the promotion of growth in character,
unity of feeling, sisterly affection and social communion among our
In all that we do, we try to obey God’s principles of justice and right. We have
banded ourselves together to improve our minds and hearts, and we seek
to aid each other through a constant watchcare always given in love. We
believe ourselves to be sincere searchers for truth.
We seek the highest ideal of womanhood, and we try to gain this ideal
by cultivating not only the power and passion for seeking intellectual
development, but also the spirit of love and charity. And we who are thus
united are under a solemn pledge to lend a helping hand to one another.”
- Constitution of Alpha Phi International Fraternity, Incorporated, Article II
Alpha Phi is a sisterhood of outstanding women supporting one another in
“I believe in my Fraternity.
I believe in the friendships formed
in the springtime of my youth.
I believe in its high ideals
which lift me up beyond myself.
I believe in its earnest drive for good scholarship,
moral character and genuine culture.
I believe in it as a shrine of
international sisterhood wherein
I may find love and loyalty,
sympathy and understanding, inspiration
I believe in it as a creator of good citizenship,
helping me to do my work well,
to live in harmony with others,
to serve my country and to trust in God.
I believe in my Fraternity.
I believe in Alpha Phi.”
-Annette Holt Hitchcock, (Pi-North Dakota), 1912
“I pledge allegiance to Alpha Phi, who has chosen me to uphold her high
ideals of womanhood, of scholarship, and of service and to perpetuate
her spirit of sisterly love and kindness.”
-Genevra Gwynn Wiley, (Alpha-Syracuse), 1892
“It gives me great pleasure to pin upon you this symbol of our beloved
Fraternity, thereby conferring a double honor, upon you in becoming one of
us and upon us receiving you.”
-Formal Pledging Ceremony
“Union Hand in Hand.” This is inscribed on the scroll on our crest.
In writing the Purpose of Alpha Phi, our Founders employed a term that
remains the cornerstone of our member development: Watchcare. Our
Founders supported each other by offering “reproof and correction … We
seek to aid each other through a constant watchcare shown by mutual
criticism, sometimes perhaps severe, but always given in love.”
Today, for the Alpha Phi member, Watchcare means sisters watching out
for sisters. It is keeping sisters from harm either by helping one who is in
harm’s way or by confronting a sister with a problem and helping that sister
Watchcare has three components:
1) The preservation of human diginity, integrity, self-respect and self-esteem;
2) Awareness of risks and willingness to reach out and protect each other
from harm; and
3) Development of solid values and ethics to help each member make
From the International perspective, Watchcare is about setting standards for
all Alpha Phis based on the values Alpha Phi holds in high regard. These
values include a belief in the dignity of every person. Alpha Phi values
dictate certain behavior standards for Alpha Phi members. These standards
are reflected in the Standing Rules of Alpha Phi.
ALPHA PHI SYMBOLS
Alpha Phi’s original colors were blue and gold, for “the azure of the sky and
the golden sunlight.” These colors were much-revered and talked and sung
about, and the first chapter room was decorated in these hues. In 1879, the
colors were changed from blue and gold to silver and bordeaux, since blue
and gold were the colors of a well-known men’s fraternity. This fraternity
was most likely Delta Upsilon, established at Syracuse University in 1874.
The flowers of Alpha Phi are the forget-me-not and the lily of the valley.
Alpha Phi chose the constellation Ursa Major, also known as the Big
Dipper and the “Great Bear.” From this we derive our mascot, the Phi
The ivy leaf is a symbol of Alpha Phi.
The Alpha Phi coat of arms consists of a bordeaux shield with scroll and ivy
leaf above it. The public motto “Union Hand in Hand” is inscribed in Greek
upon the scroll in silver letters. A bar of silver crosses the shield diagonally
from left to right; the upper half of the shield contains a Roman lamp in
silver and the lower half, Ursa Major in silver also. The coat of arms may be
used on stationery, menus, programs, jewelry and plaques. The crest was
adopted by the attendees at the 1922 Convention.
The Alpha Phi Badge
Alpha Phi was the first women’s fraternity to use Greek letters as its emblem,
and the official badge is the Greek letter “Phi” with the Greek letter “Alpha”
superimposed upon it. The “F” bears the small Greek letters “a,” “o” and
“e” in black. The meaning of these letters is explained during the initation
ceremony and is known only by initiated Alpha Phis. The official badge of
Alpha Phi is unjeweled, however, you may wear a version set with white
New Member Badge
The badge that was selected to honor Alpha Phi’s newest members is in the
shape of an ivy leaf set in silver pewter with the Greek letters “Alpha” and
“Phi” on it. An ever-growing vine, the ivy symbolizes the growth of Alpha Phi
The Lazy Phi Badge
Though a monogram Fraternity badge was specified from the outset, the
exact design was left to individual members, and most of the 19th century
badges had the “Phi” lying on its side-- the so-called Lazy Phi badge. This
style may be partially attributed just to creativity, but there was another less
capricious intent. At the time of our founding in September 1872, there was
another Alpha Phi already in existence, a men’s secondary school fraternity
founded in Hamilton, New York in 1870. Our Lazy Phi design is said by some
early members to have been largely a device to distinguish our monogram
The Alpha Phi Quarterly is an award-winning magazine that has been
published continuously since its establishment in 1888. Its purpose is to
report “the entire workings of the society, the growth of each chapter, as well
as the whereabouts of absent sisters.”
As a collegian, you receive your personal issues of the magazine at your
permanent address. Upon graduation and throughout your lifetime,
remember to notify the Executive Office of any change in address so your
subscription will not be interrupted.
ALPHA PHI FOUNDATION
History and Purpose
In 1956, Alpha Phi was one of the first women’s fraternities to establish a
Foundation. Demonstrating the philanthropic spirit of love and charity
intended by the Founders, the Foundation was
created as a trust to award grants specifically for
scholarship and cardiac aid.
Today, the original priorities of Alpha Phi
Foundation remain. Additionally, it empowers
women to be generous givers. The Foundation’s
mission is to raise and award funds for programs
that advance leadership development, encourage
academic excellence, improve women’s heart
health, support sisters in need and educate about
was one of the
to establish a
the value of philanthropy. It is well known and
respected internationally as a prominent philanthropic leader for the Greek
community. The Foundation completed a ten million dollar campaign for
leadership in 2010, the largest in National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)
history. It also receives over one million dollars annually from collegiate
chapters that host evening galas, heart walks and campus-wide talent shows.
Leadership and Educational Programs
Alpha Phi Foundation devotes a large portion of its funds to support
innovative leadership training and education programs managed by the
Fraternity. The Foundation is committed to advancing Alpha Phi as the
premier developer of women through these types of cutting-edge programs.
Members not only become better leaders in their chapters and communities,
they also become informed about pressing issues facing the world today.
This combination helps Alpha Phi women become influential leaders on
campus and eventually in the marketplace.
A deep belief in education for women brought our ten Founders together
in 1872. Today, the legacy of that belief lives on through the Foundation’s
support of teaching and learning.
The Foundation supports women in all stages of their education, awarding
$150,000 or more in scholarships to undergraduate and graduate members
each year. Recipients are selected by the Foundation Scholarship Committee
on the basis of the applicant’s scholastic record, service to Alpha Phi and the
community, campus involvement and recommendations.
Forget Me Not Fund
Alpha Phis are sisters for life, supporting one another through every life
stage and helping each other in times of need. Alpha Phi Foundation helps,
too, through the Forget Me Not Fund. A percentage of the Foundation budget
is earmarked to help Alpha Phi women in crisis situations.
Forget Me Not grants provide assistance to alumnae who are facing serious
health problems, the consequences of natural disasters or other crises,
and to collegians who face an interruption of education due to unforeseen
personal or financial struggles. These funds offer Alpha Phis in need the
greatest gift of all: the knowledge that their sisters care and are always there
Women’s Heart Health
Alpha Phi officially adopted Cardiac Care as a priority in 1946, which
became the Foundation’s philanthropic priority upon its founding in 1956.
The Foundation supports programs and research that study heart disease in
women – specifically its symptoms, treatment and prevention.
Through its annual Heart to Heart Grant, the Foundation extends at least
one award of $50,000 to help fund research and educational programs that
support the improvement of women’s heart health. This award enables the
medical profession to better understand gender differences in heart health
and help countless health care professionals increase their expertise in heart
disease prevention and treatment in women. Through the support of these
initiatives, Alpha Phi Foundation is helping millions of people live longer,
Our original “birthday,” now called Founders’ Day, was September 18, as
recorded in the minutes of November 4, 1872. However, it is celebrated
annually by our membership on October 10. The celebration date was
selected because so many of the colleges and universities were not open for
classes in mid-September at the time of our founding. The first Founders’
Day was held October 10, 1902, when Alpha Phi was 30 years old.
• Clara Bradley Burdette established the first Alpha Phi Foundation scholarship
with a bequest.
• Kate Hogoboom Gilbert and Martha Foote Crow wrote the Alpha Phi ritual
we still use today.
• The Original Ten were almost the Original Twelve until two women dropped
• Alpha Phi is an international organization with collegiate chapters in the United
States and Canada.
• The organization’s international governing board is called the International
Executive Board (IEB), while each collegiate chapter’s governing board is an
• Phi is pronounced “Phee” because it is the preferred Greek pronunciation of Phi
following a vowel.
• Alpha Phi is a fraternity because when founded in 1872, the term “sorority” had
not yet been coined.
• Three NPC sororities were founded at Syracuse University: Alpha Phi (1872),
Gamma Phi Beta (1874) and Alpha Gamma Delta (1904).
• In 1886, the cornerstone was laid for the Syracuse (Alpha) chapter house, the
first sorority to own property.
• In 1894, the position of traveling delegate was established and was the first of its
kind among Greek organizations. Today, we recognize this role as an educational
leadership consultant (ELC).
• In 1902, Alpha Phi called the meeting that led to the establishment of the
National Panhellenic Conference (NPC).
• In 1996, Alpha Phi became the first NPC member group to have its own website.
• In 2004, Alpha Phi Foundation introduced its Red Dress pin as a symbol for
women’s heart health awareness.
CHAPTERS AND FOUNDING
Alpha, Syracuse University: September 18, 1872
Beta, Northwestern University: June 6, 1881
Eta, Boston University: November 28, 1883
Gamma, DePauw University: June 13, 1887
Delta, Cornell University: February 2, 1889
Epsilon, University of Minnesota: September 15, 1890
Zeta, Goucher College: December 1, 1891
Theta, University of Michigan: May 16, 1892
Iota, University of Wisconsin: October 19, 1896
Kappa, Stanford University: May 20, 1899
Lambda, UC-Berkeley: May 9, 1901
Mu, Barnard College: May 9, 1903
Nu, University of Nebraska: October 1, 1906
Xi, University of Toronto: December 4, 1906
Omicron, University of Missouri: March 4, 1910
Pi, University of North Dakota: June 15, 1911
Rho, Ohio State University: March 30, 1912
Sigma, University of Washington: March 21, 1914
Tau, University of Oregon: January 8, 1915
Upsilon, Washburn University: September 15, 1917
Phi, University of Oklahoma: September 16, 1917
Chi, University of Montana: May 30, 1918
Psi, University of South Dakota: May 1, 1920
Omega, University of Texas: May 14, 1920
Beta Alpha, University of Illinois: February 10, 1922
Beta Beta, Michigan State University: February 17, 1922
Beta Gamma, University of Colorado: March 28, 1924
Beta Delta, UCLA: September 3, 1924
Beta Epsilon, University of Arizona: March 12, 1926
Beta Zeta, University of Idaho: June 12, 1928
Beta Eta, University of Manitoba: October 5, 1928
Beta Theta, University of British Columbia: June 1, 1929
Beta Iota, University of West Virginia: April 10, 1930
Beta Kappa, Denison University: May 10, 1930
Beta Lambda, Rollins College: May 16, 1931
Beta Mu, University of Alabama: February 13, 1932
Beta Nu, Duke University: May 10, 1935
Beta Xi, American University: October 2, 1937
Beta Omicron, Bowling Green State University: October 16, 1943
Beta Pi, University of Southern California: April 27, 1945
Beta Rho, Washington State University: September 6, 1945
Beta Sigma, University of Utah: May 4, 1946
Beta Tau, Indiana University: May 31, 1947
Beta Upsilon, Oregon State University: May 17, 1947
Beta Phi, Whitman College: January 10, 1948
Beta Chi, Bucknell University: February 14, 1948
Beta Psi, San Jose State University: March 6, 1948
Beta Omega, Kent State University: June 5, 1948
Gamma Alpha, San Diego State University: October 1, 1949
Gamma Beta, UC-Santa Barbara: January 27, 1950
Gamma Gamma, Drury University: April 1, 1950
Gamma Delta, University of Kansas: March 25, 1950
Gamma Epsilon, Lake Forest College: May 24, 1952
Gamma Zeta, University of Puget Sound: October 10, 1953
Gamma Eta, University of North Texas: April 24, 1954
Gamma Theta, Colorado College: October 2, 1954
Gamma Iota, Texas Tech University: March 26, 1955
Gamma Kappa, CSU-Long Beach: January 7, 1956
Gamma Lambda, University of Houston: February 11, 1956
Gamma Mu, Georgia State University: April 14, 1956
Gamma Nu, Miami University: April 13, 1957
Gamma Xi, Wichita State University: February 1, 1958
Gamma Omicron, Drake University: March 1, 1958
Gamma Pi, Arizona State University: May 3, 1958
Gamma Rho, Pennsylvania State University: April 12, 1958
Gamma Sigma, UW-Stout: May 24, 1958
Gamma Tau, Willamette University: May 24, 1958
Gamma Upsilon, UW-Milwaukee: November 15, 1958
Gamma Phi, Florida State University: May 1, 1959
Gamma Chi, Portland State University: May 9, 1959
Gamma Psi, Ripon College: October 24, 1959
Gamma Omega, Midwestern State University: December 5, 1959
Delta Alpha, East Carolina University: February 6, 1960
Delta Beta, Texas A&M University-Commerce: March 12, 1960
Delta Gamma, University of Northern Colorado: November 5, 1960
Delta Delta, Oklahoma City University: February 25, 1961
Delta Epsilon, University of Iowa: April 15, 1961
Delta Zeta, University of Maryland: March 18, 1961
Delta Eta, Adrian College: September 23, 1961
Delta Theta, Western Michigan University: December 8, 1962
Delta Iota, Roanoke College: May 18, 1962
Delta Kappa, UW-LaCrosse: March 2, 1963
Delta Lambda, University of Memphis: October 7, 1962
Delta Mu, Purdue University: April 27, 1963
Delta Nu, University of Maine: May 18, 1963
Delta Xi, University of Nebraska-Kearney: May 11, 1963
Delta Omicron, St. Cloud State University: April 4, 1964
Delta Pi, Indiana State University: May 9, 1964
Delta Rho, Ball State University: November 7, 1964
Delta Sigma, UW-Stevens Point: December 5, 1964
Delta Tau, Louisiana State University: May 1, 1965
Delta Upsilon, Baldwin-Wallace University: November 20, 1964
Delta Phi, Indiana University of Pennsylvania: January 30, 1965
Delta Chi, William Woods University: November 20, 1965
Delta Psi, UW-Oshkosh: January 29, 1966
Delta Omega, Minnesota State University-Moorhead: February 26, 1966
Epsilon Alpha, Ashland University: April 15, 1967
Epsilon Beta, Butler University: May 6, 1967
Epsilon Gamma, CSU-Sacramento: January 13, 1968
Epsilon Delta, Northern Illinois University: March 22, 1969
Epsilon Epsilon, Longwood University: February 26, 1969
Epsilon Zeta, Central Michigan University: December 6, 1969
Epsilon Eta, Old Dominion University: February 7, 1970
Epsilon Theta, University of Northern Iowa: March 7, 1970
Epsilon Iota, Duquesne University: April 4, 1970
Epsilon Kappa, West Chester University: April 16, 1971
Epsilon Lambda, University of Texas-Arlington: March 20, 1971
Epsilon Mu, Lander University: February 5, 1972
Epsilon Nu, University of Delaware: April 23, 1972
Epsilon Xi, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville: March 3, 1974
Epsilon Omicron, Austin Peay State University: March 20, 1974
Epsilon Pi, University of Evansville: January 18, 1974
Epsilon Rho, UC-Davis: February 10, 1974
Epsilon Sigma, Dallas Baptist University: April 21, 1974
Epsilon Tau, Louisiana State University-Shreveport: November 23, 1974
Epsilon Upsilon, CSU-Northridge: December 8, 1974
Epsilon Phi, North Carolina State University: April 19, 1975
Epsilon Chi, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo: May 17, 1975
Epsilon Psi, Lehigh University: November 15, 1975
Epsilon Omega, Texas A&M University: May 11, 1975
Zeta Alpha, Eastern Illinois University: April 24, 1976
Zeta Beta, Loyola Marymount University: May 15, 1976
Zeta Gamma, Santa Clara: November 13, 1976
Zeta Delta, Iowa State University: January 15, 1977
Zeta Epsilon, Indiana University Southeast: March 4, 1978
Zeta Zeta, Murray State University: April 1, 1978
Zeta Eta, Newberry College: April 22, 1977
Zeta Theta, Tufts University: November 11, 1978
Zeta Iota, University of Virginia: December 2, 1978
Zeta Kappa, Texas State University-San Marcos: February 24, 1979
Zeta Lambda, Southern New Hampshire University: March 31, 1979
Zeta Mu, Colorado State University: April 7, 1979
Zeta Nu, Texas Christian University: April 21, 1979
Zeta Xi, Elmhurst College: February 2, 1980
Zeta Omicron, Johns Hopkins University: April 5, 1981
Zeta Pi, Case Western Reserve University: March 27, 1982
Zeta Rho, Bentley University: April 3, 1982
Zeta Sigma, Franklin & Marshall College: April 25, 1982
Zeta Tau, Illinois State University: April 9, 1983
Zeta Upsilon, Washington University: October 8, 1983
Zeta Phi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: February 11, 1984
Zeta Chi, Columbia University: September 23, 1984
Zeta Psi, University of Dayton: April 14, 1985
Zeta Omega, Northwood University: October 26, 1985
Eta Alpha, University of New Hampshire: March 1, 1986
Eta Beta, CSU-San Bernardino: April 19, 1986
Eta Gamma, University of Akron: April 26, 1986
Eta Delta, CSU-East Bay: April 11, 1987
Eta Epsilon, Villanova University: April 25, 1987
Eta Zeta, Binghamton University: November 7, 1987
Eta Eta, Seton Hall University: February 6, 1988
Eta Theta, CSU-San Francisco: February 13, 1988
Eta Iota, University of Pennsylvania: April 9, 1988
Eta Kappa, UC-Irvine: May 7, 1988
Eta Lambda, George Mason University: October 22, 1988
Eta Mu, Marquette University: January 21, 1989
Eta Nu, SUNY-Albany: March 11, 1989
Eta Xi, UNC-Wilmington: March 18, 1989
Eta Omicron, Virginia Tech: April 8, 1989
Eta Pi, University of Richmond: April 15, 1989
Eta Rho, University of San Diego: April 22, 1989
Eta Sigma, Lafayette College: April 23, 1989
Eta Tau, SUNY-Cortland: April 30, 1989
Eta Upsilon, Chapman University: May 6, 1989
Eta Phi, SUNY-Stony Brook: May 20, 1989
Eta Chi, Bishop’s University: November 25, 1989
Eta Psi, Eastern Washington University: January 27, 1990
Eta Omega, Towson University: February 24, 1990
Theta Alpha, Linfield College: February 25, 1990
Theta Beta, Bryant University: March 31, 1990
Theta Gamma, Truman State University: April 1, 1990
Theta Delta, Creighton University: April 21, 1990
Theta Epsilon, University at Buffalo: April 22, 1990
Theta Zeta, Florida Institute of Technology: October 6, 1990
Theta Eta, Western University (ON): January 12, 1991
Theta Theta, St. Joseph’s University: February 2, 1991
Theta Iota, James Madison University: February 16, 1991
Theta Kappa, University of Rochester: March 2, 1991
Theta Lambda, University of Central Missouri: April 20, 1991
Theta Mu, Hofstra University: April 21, 1991
Theta Nu, Appalachian State University: April 27, 1991
Theta Xi, Shippensburg University: April 11, 1992
Theta Omicron, McMaster University: January 30, 1993
Theta Pi, Emory University: April 17, 1993
Theta Rho, Cameron University: December 3, 1994
Theta Sigma, Southern Utah University: April 1, 1995
Theta Tau, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: April 23, 1995
Theta Upsilon, CSU-Chico: May 13, 1995
Theta Phi, Christopher Newport University: July 29, 1995
Theta Psi, SUNY-Plattsburgh: May 5, 1996
Theta Omega, Barry University: May 11, 1996
Iota Alpha, Pepperdine University: October 13, 1996
Iota Beta, St. Mary’s University: May 3, 1997
Iota Gamma, University of the Pacific: April 4, 1998
Iota Delta, University of Rhode Island: March 29, 1999
Iota Epsilon, Kettering University: September 24, 2000
Iota Zeta, Colorado School of Mines: November 5, 2000
Iota Eta, DePaul University: January 20, 2002
Iota Theta, Wilfrid Laurier University: March 3, 2002
Iota Iota, George Washington University: October 19, 2002
Iota Kappa, Dartmouth College: April 28, 2007
Iota Lambda, University of Connecticut: March 2, 2008
Iota Mu, Georgia Institute of Technology: April 17, 2009
Iota Nu, University of Kentucky: April 10, 2010
Iota Xi, University of Denver: May 2, 2010
Iota Omicron, Worcester Polytechnic Institute: April 2, 2011
Iota Pi, Northern Arizona University: May 5, 2012
Iota Rho, Clemson University: April 28, 2012
Iota Sigma, ________________________________________
Iota Tau, ________________________________________
Iota Upsilon, ________________________________________
Iota Psi, ________________________________________
Iota Omega, ________________________________________
ALPHA PHI’S ROLE IN THE
CREATION OF NPC
Alpha Phi holds a special significance
in the formation of the National
Panhellenic Conference (NPC). In
1902, Alpha Phi National President
Margaret Mason Whitney (ThetaMichigan) called the very meeting
that started it all.
As early as 1883, editorial comments
appeared in fraternity magazines
speculating about the development of
a Panhellenic organization. The first
Gertrude Webster Savage (Theta-
issue of the Quarterly in July 1888
Michigan), made the most ambitious
stated that one of its original intents
and lengthy journey yet attempted
was the “discussion of fraternity
by such an officer. She met with
questions and the exchange of
11 collegiate and six alumnae
chapters throughout the country.
Upon her return she reported that
Fraternity officers united in
she was “sorely perplexed by the
a growing realization that a
problems of hectic rushing, campus
Panhellenic association would
extravagances and the seeming
facilitate the solving of their common
lack of sportsmanship among
problems through joint consideration
fraternities.” Simultaneously, a
and action. In 1901-1902 one of
Quarterly editorial maintained that
Alpha Phi’s visiting delegates,
“the only successful rushing compact
must come from the national
current name. Although, from 1911
fraternities and be binding upon all
to 1917 and again from 1921 to 1945
chapters in all institutions.”
the organization was known as the
National Panhellenic Congress.
Spurred on by such comments as
these, Margaret Mason Whitney
decided that Alpha Phi should
take the initiative in seeking the
cooperation of the other fraternities
to find solutions for the problems
vexing them. After corresponding
with the other national presidents
and finding them responsive to her
suggestion, she issued an invitation
to a meeting to be held in Chicago.
This first assembly recommended a
similar meeting be called annually
in rotation by each of the several
fraternities and a delegate appointed
from each of the fraternities to
Baird’s Manual records the “first
Inter-sorority Conference met May
24, 1902, at Chicago at the call of
Alpha Phi.” The name Inter-sorority
Conference gave way in 1908 to
National Panhellenic Conference, the
ΑΧΩ - Alpha Chi Omega
Founded at DePauw University: October 15, 1885
Colors: Scarlet and Olive Green
Symbol: Grecian Lyre
Flower: Red Carnation
ΑΔP - Alpha Delta Pi
Founded at Wesleyan Female College: May 15, 1852
Colors: Azure Blue and White
Flower: Woodland Violet
ΑΕΦ - Alpha Epsilon Phi
Founded at Barnard College: October 24, 1909
Colors: Green and White
Flower: Lily of the Valley
ΑΓΔ - Alpha Gamma Delta
Founded at Syracuse University: May 30, 1904
Colors: Red, Buff and Green
Flower: Red and Buff Roses
ΑΟΠ - Alpha Omicron Pi
Founded at Barnard College: January 2, 1897
Colors: Cardinal and Crème
Symbol: Red Rose
Flower: Jacque Minot Rose
ΑΦ - Alpha Phi
Founded at Syracuse University: October 10, 1872
Colors: Silver and Bordeaux
Flower: Lily of theValley and Forget-Me-Not
ΑΣΑ - Alpha Sigma Alpha
Founded at Longwood College: November 15, 1901
Colors: Pearl, Crimson and Palm Green
Symbol: Star, Crown, Palm Tree, Phoenix
Flower: Narcissus and Aster
ΑΣΤ - Alpha Sigma Tau
Founded at Eastern Michigan University: November 4, 1899
Colors: Emerald Green and Gold
Flower: Yellow Rose
ΑΞΔ - Alpha Xi Delta
Founded at Lombard College: April 17, 1893
Colors: Double Blue and Gold
Symbol: Golden Quilt
Flower: Pink Rose
ΧΩ - Chi Omega
Founded at University of Arkansas: April 5, 1895
Colors: Cardinal and Straw
Flower: White Carnation
ΔΔΔ - Delta Delta Delta
Founded at Boston University: Thanksgiving Eve 1888
Colors: Silver, Gold and Blue
Symbol: Pine Tree, Star and Crescent
ΔΓ - Delta Gamma
Founded at Lewis School: December 1874
Colors: Pink, Blue and Bronze
Flower: Crème Rose
ΔΦΕ - Delta Phi Epsilon
Founded: Washington Square College: March 17, 1917
Colors: Royal Purple and Pure Gold
Flower: Purple Iris
ΔΖ - Delta Zeta
Founded at Miami University: October 24, 1902
Colors: Old Rose and Nile Green
Symbol: Roman Lamp
Flower: Pink Killarney Rose
ΓΦΒ - Gamma Phi Beta
Founded at Syracuse University: November 11, 1874
Colors: Light Brown and Dark Brown
Symbol: Crescent Moon
Flower: Pink Carnation
ΚΑΘ - Kappa Alpha Theta
Founded at DePauw University: January 27, 1870
Colors: Black and Gold
Symbol: Kite and Twin Stars
ΚΔ - Kappa Delta
Founded at Longwood College: October 23, 1897
Colors: Olive Green and Pearl White
Flower: White Rose
ΚΚΓ - Kappa Kappa Gamma
Founded at Monmouth College: October 13, 1870
Colors: Dark Blue and Light Blue
ΦΜ - Phi Mu
Founded at Wesleyan Female College: January 4, 1852
Colors: Rose and White
Flower: Rose Color Carnation
ΦΣΣ - Phi Sigma Sigma
Founded at Hunter College: November 26, 1913
Colors: King Blue and Gold
Symbol: Sphinx and Pyramid
ΠΒΦ - Pi Beta Phi
Founded at Monmouth College: April 28, 1867
Colors: Wine and Silver Blue
Flower: White Carnation
ΣΔΤ - Sigma Delta Tau
Founded at Cornell University: March 25, 1917
Colors: Café Au Lait and Old Blue
Flower: Tea Rose
ΣΚ - Sigma Kappa
Founded at Colby College: November 9, 1874
Colors: Maroon and Lavender
Symbol: Dove and Heart
ΣΣΣ - Sigma Sigma Sigma
Founded at Longwood College: April 20, 1898
Colors: Purple and White
Flower: Purple Violet
ΘΦΑ - Theta Phi Alpha
Founded at University of Michigan: August 30, 1912
Colors: Silver, Gold and Azure Blue
Flower: White Rose
ΖΤΑ - Zeta Tau Alpha
Founded at Longwood College: October 15, 1898
Colors: Turquoise and Steel Grey
Symbol: Five-pointed Crown
Flower: White Violet
Badge Photos Compliments of NPC
The Greek letters have both a Greek and an English pronunciation. Today’s
Greeks do not adhere strictly to the pure Greek or the accepted English, but
often combine the two forms in the same name for the final effect sound
rather than phonetic correctness.
Alpha Alpha Alpha
B Beta Bayta Beeta
Γ Gamma Gahmma Gamma
Δ Delta Delta Delta
E Epsilon Epsilon Epsilon
Z Zeta Zayta Zeeta
H Eta Ayta Eeta
θ Theta Thayta Theeta
I Iota Iota Iota
K Kappa Kahppa Kappa
L Lambda Lambda Lambda
M MuMew Mew
N Nu New New
O Omicron Omicron Omicron
ΠPi Pee Pi(eye)
RRho Rho Rho
Sigma Sigma Sigma
T Tau Tow(as in ow) Tawe
Υ Upsilon Oopsilon Upsilon
ΦPhi Phee Phi(eye)
Χ Chi Chee Chi(eye)
Omega Omayga Omeega
FRATERNITY LANGUAGE AND
This guide provides a listing of official definitions and proper usage for some
words, abbreviations and terms listed in alphabetical order.
A female (singular) college graduate.
Female (plural) college graduates.
(Pronounced: a – lum – nee)
Male (plural) college graduates. Also used when referencing both male and female graduates.
A male (singular) college graduate.
The piece of jewelry every initiated member receives to show her affiliation with Alpha Phi.
An official invitation to membership in Alpha Phi or any National Panhellenic Conference sorority.
An organized body of undergraduate women who make up a recognized and official Alpha Phi Fraternity group. (See “House” in the Commonly Misused Terms section.)
The physical document that declares an organized body as an officially recognized Alpha Phi chapter.
The founding members of a specific chapter.
A group of women recruited to establish a new chapter of Alpha Phi.
Representative body, held biennially in even numbered
years since 1894, with all basic legislative powers.
Composed of one delegate from each collegiate and alumnae chapter, plus specified Fraternity officers.
Group of collegiate chapter officers who are elected to
Executive Office. The Alpha Phi Executive Office is in
Evanston, Illinois. A full-time staff runs the day-to-day operations of the Fraternity and Foundation and provides
daily assistance to Alpha Phi collegiate and alumnae chapters and individual members. (See “International(s)” and “National(s)” in the Commonly Misused Terms lead and oversee operations of the chapter.
Alpha Phi Foundation. Founded in 1956, the Foundation
awards academic scholarships, aids sisters in need, supports women’s heart health and funds educational and
leadership programs. Alpha Phi Foundation is a 51
charitable and tax-exempt organization, separate and
independent from the Fraternity. It is managed by a
professional staff and governed by a volunteer Board of
Directors who are elected biennially at Convention.
Capitalize when referring to the Fraternity’s founding
Original founding date is September 18, 1872, but we
celebrate it on October 10. The apostrophe is after the
word Founders, as the day “belongs” to all 10 Founders of
Capitalize when referring specifically to Alpha Phi;
otherwise it is not capitalized. The term “fraternity”
generally refers to a men’s fraternal organization, but can
also stand for a women’s fraternity-- more often referred
to as a sorority.
A noun or adjective, referring to a member of the
fraternity or sorority community. Always capitalize.
House Corporation Board. A group of elected volunteers
that manage real and/or personal property for a collegiate chapter.
Interfraternity Council. A governing body on a college campus made up of a collective of men’s
member Greek organizations.
A member of the Fraternity who has participated in
initiation, filed her paperwork and paid her fees
to the Fraternity.
The formal ceremony whereby a new member
becomes an initiated member. The ceremony is
private, and known only by initiated members of
The formal ceremony that officially establishes a
new Alpha Phi chapter. (See “Installation” in the
Commonly Misused Terms section.)
An adjective used to describe the Fraternity,
signifying that it has chapters in more than one country. Alpha Phi is an international organization.
(See “International(s)” in the Commonly Misused Terms section.)
International Executive Board. The governing and
policy-making body of the Fraternity. This group
of volunteers is elected at Convention and they hold
the strategic decision-making responsibility for the
A woman who is related to an Alpha Phi member as
a great/granddaughter/step-granddaughter, daughter/step-daughter or sister/step-sister.
National Association of Latino Fraternal
Organizations. An association of Latino fraternities
and sororities founded in 1998.
Any fraternity which has chapters only in one
country. (See “National(s)” in the Commonly
Misused Terms section.)
A member of Alpha Phi who has accepted a bid or
invitation to membership, but has not yet been
North-American Interfraternity Conference. An association of men’s fraternities founded on November 27, 1909.
National Panhellenic Conference. An association of
women’s college fraternities and sororities founded on May 24, 1902. Alpha Phi is a member of NPC.
National Pan-Hellenic Council. An association of
traditionally African-American fraternities and
sororities founded on May 10, 1930.
Acceptable when used as a verb. (E.g., Kate agreed
to pledge Alpha Phi.) (See also “Pledge” in the
Commonly Misused Terms section.)
The Alpha Phi Quarterly is the official magazine of
Alpha Phi, commonly referred to as the Quarterly.
In Alpha Phi, the term “ritual” refers to the Fraternity’s tradition of the member initiation ceremony. It can be found in the Ritual of Alpha
Refers to new and initiated members of the
The common term for a women’s Greek-letter
organization. Some NPC member groups use
“fraternity” in their official name because their
organization was founded before the word
“sorority” was created in 1874. The term was first
used by Gamma Phi Beta.
Refers to collegiate members, new or initiated, of
the Fraternity. The terms “actives” or “active” members should not be used because all members are active within the Fraternity. (See “Active” in the
Commonly Misused Terms section.)
COMMONLY MISUSED TERMS
The following terms are frequently misused. This guide is provided to give
you background on each word to encourage appropriate usage.
Active should only be used as a verb to describe an
individual member. (E.g., She is an active member of
Alpha chapter, serving as chapter president.) Use the
terms “sister,” “new member,” “initiated member” or “undergraduate” instead of the term “active” or “actives.”
This term does not refer to an initiation. A new member
initiates into Alpha Phi, not activates. Members do not
attend an activation, they attend an initiation.
When a member leaves the membership of the Fraternity because she has either resigned or has been
terminated. Alpha Phi does not have a “deactivate” status.
The word “house” should be used to describe the chapter
facility or physical building. The collective of
undergraduate members is referred to as the chapter.
Alpha Phi does not have an “inactive” status. The
appropriate phrase to use is “resignation” or
“termination” of membership.
Installation refers to the ceremony establishing a new
chapter of Alpha Phi. It should not be used to reference
“International” or “Internationals” is not the name of the
Fraternity or the Executive Office. International is an
“National” or “Nationals” is not the name of the Fraternity
or Executive Office. “National” is an adjective only.
Pin refers to the Alpha Phi new member pin or
anniversary pin. The jewelry that is provided at initiation
is recognized as the Alpha Phi membership badge.
Acceptable only when used as a verb. When referring to a
person, use the noun “new member” instead of “pledge.”
(E.g., Kate is a new member.)
An antiquated term for “recruitment.” Recruitment is the
preferred term of Alpha Phi and the National Panhellenic Conference.
“Be zestful and carry your torch high.”
- Clara Bradley Burdette
You are the future of Alpha Phi.
© An official publication of Alpha Phi International Fraternity, Inc.
1930 Sherman Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 475-0063 voice
(847) 475-6820 fax
Cover: Alan Raphael
Design: Kristen Mitchell