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  • Sorority ~ A Brief History of Sororities

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Fraternities and sororities are secret societies which were initially founded my students to have debates and discussions that might be considered inappropriate  by school officials.  While the first men's fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa, was founded December 5, 1776 the first women's fraternity, later called sororities, were founded much later. This was due to the fact the women didn't become actively involved in higher education and politics. The first sorority, the Adelphean Society (later Alpha Delta Pi) was founded at Wesleyan Female college in 1851.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Especially in the early days, sororities were very important to women entering the male dominant universities and colleges. Quite often the faculty and students weren't too welcoming, so the women banded together to form a sisterhood , which evolved into lifelong friendships. They were an amazing support to one another. There were some attempts to block the founding of these literary societies but many were connected to fraternities that helped them get going. Most sororities began and are located in North America but there are some outside of that; most of which exist in the Philippines.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Today sororities are heavily involved in helping each other and their community. Philanthropy is a HUGE part of sorority life. Many sororities find a charity (often many) that are near and dear to their hearts and then do what they can to volunteer their time and raise money to help these organizations. To learn about a specific sorority be sure to visit our blog and check out out Sorority Spotlight link.

     

    Sometimes people who don't know much about sororities wonder how they really benefit their members. There are MANY benefits of being part of a sorority:

     

     

    • Develop leadership and interpersonal skills
    • Form lifetime friendships and connections
    • Teaches its members to work together with others in an atmosphere of teamwork
    • To perform community service projects
    • Program social functions for the student community

     

  • Sorority Spotlight ~ Zeta Tau Alpha

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Zeta Tau Alpha ~ ΖΤΑ

     

    Open Motto: "Seek the noblest."
    Mascot: Crown, strawberry
    Colors: Turquoise, Steel Grey
    Flower: White Violet

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    On October 15, 1898 Zeta Tau Alpha internation women's fraternity was founded by nine young women: Maud Jones Horner, Della Lewis Hundley, Alice Bland Coleman, Mary Jones Batte, Alice Grey Welsh, Ethel Coleman Van Name, Helen M. Crafford, Frances Yancey Smith, Ruby Leigh Orgain and the Virgina State Female Normal School. Several of the women met together regularly. They shared beliefs, education and a sisterhood. They enjoyed each other so much that they wanted to figure out a way that they would be tied to one another forever. According to Wikipedia Maud Jones wrote: “For a whole year before our sorority was established, the need of such an organization was strongly felt. There were six or seven of us who used to frequently meet together and talk over and try to devise some way by which we could unite into a helpful and congenial band. We knew we sadly needed something, but we had no idea how that something was to be found. The beginning of session 1898–1899 our little crowd again at the Normal and just as eager as before, if not more, to find something to satisfy our desires.” The women then took steps to form an organization that would help keep them together and help other women form lifelong bonds. It took a year to get it officially approved but after working to get everything completed Zeta Tau Alpha came to be.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    According to the official Zeta Tau Alpha website their motto is as follows:

    Mission Statement:
    To make a difference in the lives of our members by developing the potential of each individual through innovative programming, which emphasizes leadership development, service to others, academic achievement and continued personal growth for women, with a commitment to friendship and the future based on the sisterhood, values and traditions of the past.

     

    Philanthropy is an important part of of Zeta Tau Alpha life. Some of their previous philanthorpies have been; Currin Valley (Va.) Health Center, Cerebral Palsy Division of the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults, Easter Seals, Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC).

    In 1992 they adopted the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation as their national philanthropy and that sponsorship lasted for 19years. However, the women's fraternity wanted to broaden their focus to include other education resources as they relate to breast cancer. Today Zeta Tau Alpha's national philanthropy is Breast Cancer Education and Awareness.

  • Phi Mu ~ Sorority Spotlight

    Phi Mu ~ ΦΜ

    Open Motto: "The Faith Sisters.
    Mascot: The Lion "Sir Fidel"
    Symbol: Quatrefoil
    Colors: Rose and White
    Flower: Rose Colored Carnation

     

     

    Phi Mu is the second oldest women's fraternity in the nation. It was originally founded as  the secret society Philomathean Society on January 4, 1852 at Wesleyan College. It was founded by three dynamic young women who were pioneers of their time; Mary Elizabeth Myrick (Daniel), Mary Ann DuPont (Lines) and Martha Bibb Hardaway ( Redding). The came together to form this society to support and encourage one another, for friendship and sisterhood and to challenge each other academically. After many very successful years of growth and development, the Philomathean Society had achieved a lot of respect, recognition and prestige. August 1st, 1904 they were granted a charter to become a national and they adopted the Greek Letters Phi Mu. Mary Ann DuPont (Lines) was the only one of the three founders to see the Philomathean Society become Phi Mu. In 1911 Phi Mu became a proud member of the National Panhellenic Conference. There are currently 115 chapters and they boast over 175,00o collegiate members.

     

     

    THE CREED OF PHI MU FRATERNITY

    To lend to those less fortunate a helping hand.
    To think of God as a protector and guide of us all.
    To keep forever sacred the memory of those we have loved and lost.
    To be to others what we would they would be to us.
    To keep our lives gentle, merciful and just,
    Thus being true to the womanhood of love.

     

    To walk in the way of honor, guarding the purity of our thoughts and deeds.
    Being steadfast in every duty small or large.
    Believing that our given word is binding.
    Striving to esteem the inner man above culture, wealth or pedigree.
    Being honorable, courteous, tender,
    Thus being true to the womanhood of honor.

     

    To serve in the light of truth avoiding egotism, narrowness and scorn.
    To give freely of our sympathies.
    To reverence God as our Maker, striving to serve Him in all things.
    To minister to the needy and unfortunate.
    To practice day by day love, honor, truth.
    Thus keeping true to the meaning, spirit and reality of Phi Mu. 

    From the official Phi Mu website ~ www.phimu.org

     

     

     

     

     

    The members of Phi Mu do so much to help each other, their community and the Children's Miracle Network. Phi Mu strives to raise 500,000 annually for Children's Miracle Network, which they donate to one of the 170 CMN hospitals nationwide. They contribute their time, treasure and resources to assist those in need.

  • Delta Gamma ~ Sorority Spotlight

    Delta Gamma ~ ΔΓ
    Open Motto: "Do Good.
    Mascot: Hannah Doll
    Symbol: Anchor
    Colors: Bronze, Pink and Blue
    Flower: The Delta Gamma Cream Colored Rose
    Delta Gamma  was founded in Oxford, Mississippi at Lewis School for Girls, located near the University of Mississippi. Anna Boyd Ellington, Eva Webb Dodd, and Mary Comfort  Leonard founded the  women's fraternity in December 1873.  They started the fraternity to provide encouragement to each other and others and to facilitate intellectual growth.
     On the official Delta Gamma website they note that it is one of the oldest sororities and because of that they have had the opportunity for many firsts such as:
    • first women’s fraternity to employ a full-time staff member to address the health and wellness needs of its members
    • first women’s fraternity to incorporate a foundation in 1951
    • first to build an international headquarters specifically for that purpose
    • first to have seminars and house corporations
    • first to have an archivist handling historical materials at the international headquarters
    • first to receive recognition from the American Academy of Opthalmology for Distinguished Public Service
    • first to establish challenge grants in values and ethics, through the Dorothy Garrett Martin Lectureship in Values and Ethics 
    Sorority life means many things to many people. Sororities are a great place to develop lifelong friendships, learn about leadership, learn how to excel academically, and so many other things. Today Delta Gamma boasts over 143 chapters and 250 alumnae groups with over 142,000 members worldwide.
    Women's fraternities also provide many opportunities to help others in the community. Philanthropy is very important. Delta Gamma does so much to help folks in their community and their national philanthropy is on service for site. They have even partnered with TOMS for The Great Fight for Sight.
  • Sorority Spotlight ~ Delta Delta Delta

    Delta Delta Delta ~ ΔΔΔ

    • Open Motto: "Let us steadfastly love one another."
      Mascot: Dolphin
      Jewel: Pearl
      Colors: Silver, Gold, Cerulean Blue
      Flower: Pansy

     

     

    The women's fraternity Delta Delta Delta is also known as Tri Delta. It was founded in November 1888 by Sarah Ida Shaw, Eleanor Dorcas Pond,  Florence Isabelle Stewart and Isabel Morgan Breed At Boston University. During this time in history women were just starting to slowly enter the world of higher education. Many of these young women came to rely on others like them who were paving the way for a whole new generation of women. This was a time when public opinion was that women didn't need higher education because there were very few women in the workplace at this time; in fact women weren't even allowed to vote.

    Although there were already three women's organizations on the Boston University campus Sarah Ida Shaw wanted to start a women's fraternity that was different from the others. It is noted on Tri Delta's Official Website  that she said to her friend Eleanor Dorcas Pond:

    "Let us found a society that shall be kind alike to all and think more of a girl's inner self and character than of her personal appearance."

    So the two enthusiastic friends set out to create the organization they both envisioned. They got to work writing the constitution, rituals and designing an emblem. From the very beginning these two friends pour their heart and soul into the sorority. They set a strong foundation before the official founding took place. Delta Delta Delta was also the first organization to be founded without the help of a men's fraternity. Tri Delta was not a weak struggling sorority -- instead their numbers grew and quickly surpassed a new chapter of Gamma Phi Beta. They were a strong tightly knit group of devoted sisters.

    Today Delta Delta Delta has 180 Chapters (in the US and Canada) and since it's founding in 1888, it has welcomed 235,000 members into the Tri Delta Sisterhood.

    As noted on the Tri Delta website their purpose is:

     

    "THE PURPOSE OF DELTA DELTA DELTA shall be to establish a perpetual bond of friendship among its members, to develop a stronger and more womanly character, to broaden the moral and intellectual life, and to assist its members in every possible way.

    IT SHALL ALSO BE THE PURPOSE OF DELTA DELTA DELTA to promote and develop mutually beneficial relationships between the Fraternity and the colleges and universities where the Fraternity has established chapters, to develop qualities of unselfish leadership among its members, and to encourage them to assume, with integrity and devotion to moral and democratic principles, the highest responsibilities of college women." 

    The Tri Deltas also do all they can to help their members and to give improve their community. They volunteer their time and talents to many causes and their national philanthropy is Children's Cancer Research and they partner with St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

  • Alpha Xi Delta ~ Sorority Spotlight

    Alpha XI Delta ~ AΞΔ

     

    Open Motto: “The quill  is mightier than the sword.”
    Mascot: Betxi Bear
    Symbol: Quill
    Colors: Double Blue and Gold
    Flower: Pink Killarney Rose

     

     

     Alpha Xi Delta women's fraternity was founded April 17th, 1893 at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois. Ten young women at the college were seeking close friendships and wanted to form a national organization which would be dedicated to the personal growth of women. The original founders were Cora Bollinger Block, Alice Bartlett Bruner, Bertha Cook Evans, Harriett Luella McCollum, Lucy W. Gilmer, Lewie Strong Taylor, Almira Lowry Cheney, Francis Elizabeth Cheney, Eliza Drake Curtis Everton and Julia Maude Foster. Alpha Xi Delta is one of the oldest women's fraternities and was one of the 10 founding members of the National Panhellenic Conference.

     

    Alpha Xi members are called to enrich the lives of women through sisterhood, leadership, knowledge and service. There are currently 113 chapters with over 150,000 members nationwide. They support each other through shared experience and understanding. According to the Alpha Xi Delta official website, their mission is as follows:

     

    • Nurture unity and cooperation.
    • Foster intellectual, professional, and personal growth.
    • Exemplify the highest ethical conduct.
    • Instill community responsibility.
    • Perpetuate fraternal growth.

     

    The Alpha Xi Delta women's fraternity let each chapter decide on what  groups or community activities they wanted to help with but on April 2,2009 they chose their official national philanthropy Autism Speaks. As their website states they have raised over 400,000 for this cause. 1 in 110 children are diagnosed with autism each year and Autism Speaks helps raised the funds needed for research and education. It also brings awareness and helps advocate for individuals with autism and their families.

  • Sorority Spotlight ~ Alpha Phi

    Alpha Phi ~ ΑΦ

     

    Open Motto: “Union hand in hand.”
    Mascot: Phi Bear
    Symbol: Ivy Leaf
    Colors: Bordeaux and Silver
    Flower: Lily of the Valley and Forget Me Not

     

     

     

     

      

    Alpha Phi is a women's fraternity that was founded at Syracuse University on September 18, 1872.  Alpha Phi was the third Greek-letter organization for women and was founded by Clara Bradley Wheeler Baker Brudette, Hattie Florence Chidester Lukens, Martha Emily Foote Crow, Ida Arabella Gilbert DeLamanter Houghton, Jane Sara Higham, Kate Elizabeth Hogoboom Gilbert, Elizabeth Grace Hubbell Shults, Rena A. Michaels Atchison, Louise Viola Shepard Hancock and Clara Sittser Williams.  These ten founders were pioneers when it came to higher education for women.

    During this time in history it didn't seem necessary for women to attend colleges and universities but these women - and others like them - felt very differently. It wasn't an easy time and having the friendships and support of other women who were facing the same struggles made all the difference.

    According to the Alpha Phi website their purpose is as follows:

    The objectives of our Fraternity are the promotion of growth in character;
    unity of feeling, sisterly affection, and social communion among our members.

     

    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 are innovative thinkers and they are committed to empowering women. Through the Alpha Phi Foundation they officially adopted Cardiac Care and raise funds to support programs that focus on studying the symptoms of women's heart disease, its treatment and prevention.

     

  • Sorority Spotlight ~ Alpha Gamma Delta

     

     

     Alpha Gamma Delta ~ ΑΓΔ

     

    Open Motto: “Inspire the woman. Impact the world.”
    Mascot: Squirrel
    Jewel: Pearl
    Colors: Red, buff and green
    Flower: Red and buff rose

     

     

     

    Alpha Gamma Delta - an international women's fraternity - was found on May 30th, 1904 at Syracuse University. The 11 founding members gather at the home of Dr. Wellesley Perry Coddington - a professor at Syracuse - who assisted in the early development of Alpha Gamma Delta. The 11 founders were; Marguerite Shepard, Estelle Shepard Beswick, Georgia Alberta Dickover, Jennie Titus Smith Morris, Ethel Evelyn Brown Distin, Grace Mosher Harter, Edith MacConnel Hickok, Mary Louise Snider, Georgia Otis Chipman, Emily Helen Butterfield and Flora Knight Mayer.

     

     

     

     Currently Alpha Gamma Delta has 185 chapter and over 155,000 women have become sisters since this international women's fraternity was founded.  According to the official Alpha Gamma Delta website,  purpose of the Alpha Gamma sisters is:

      

    "To gain understanding that wisdom may be vouchsafed to me.

    To develop and prize health and vigor of body.

    To cultivate acquaintance with many whom I meet.

    To cherish friendships with but a chosen few and to study the perfecting of those friendships.

    To welcome the opportunity of contributing to the world's work in the community where I am placed because of the joy of service thereby bestowed and the talent of leadership multiplied.

    To honor my home, my country, my religious faith.

    To hold truth inviolable, sincerity essential, kindness invaluable.

    To covet beauty in environment, manner, word and thought.

    To possess high ideals and to attain somewhat unto them.

    This shall be my purpose that those who know me may esteem Alpha Gamma Delta for her attainments, revere her for her purposes and love her for her Womanhood."

     

    The Alpha Gamma Delta's are also committed to impacting the world, so they are involved in many philanthropic activities. Their focus is on diabetes aware ness and education. Because diabetes affects its members, family members and acquaintances it is cause dear to their hearts. The Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation have grants that support members and other individuals who are living with diabetes. The foundation also assists members in emergency situations and helps to enrich the community around them.

     

     

  • Sorority in the Spotlight ~ Alpha Delta Pi

     

     

    Alpha Delta Pi ~ ΑΔΠ

      

    Open Motto: “We Live For Each Other”
    Mascot: The Lion (nicknamed Alphie)
    Jewel: The Diamond
    Colors: Azure Blue and White
    Flower: Woodland Violet

     

     

     

     

     

    Alpha Delta Pi was founded as the Adelphean Society - on May 15th, 1851 - by Eugenia Tucker Fitzgerald. It was the first secret society for college women and was founded at Wesleyan Female College in Macon, Georgia.  Actually, an interesting fact about Wesleyan College, is that it was the first college in the world to grant degrees to women. A student's day at Wesleyan College was very structured and all the women who attended were from progressive and educated families. Eugenia Tucker enlisted the help of her dearest friends when creating this sorority; Elizabeth Williams Mitchell, Ella Pierce Turner, Octavia Andrew Rush, and Sophoronia Woodroff Drews. According to the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority website, Eugenia wrote in her diary, "The society shall be called Adelphean and shall have for its object the mental, moral, social and domestic improvement of its members."

    In 1905 the Adelphean Society changed its name to Alpha Delta Phi (AΔΦ) and it later had to change again because there was already a men's fraternity of the same name at universities where they wanted to start chapters. In 1913 the organization became Alpha Delta Pi (ΑΔΦ). There are currently 140 chapters.

    In 1979 Alpha Delta Pi adopted the Ronald McDonald House as the national philanthropy. Since that time they have been able to contribute over 5 million dollars to this worthy cause. In the 1983 the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation was established. This foundation was put in place, "...to provide essential resources for Alpha Delta Pi Sorority's educational, leadership and philanthropic activities which improve the lives of women and the communities they serve."

     

     

  • Sorority in the Spotlight ~ Alpha Chi Omega

     

     

    Alpha Chi Omega ~ ΑΧΩ

     

    Open Motto: “Together let us seek the heights.”
    Mascot: Butterfly
    Symbol:  Grecian Lyre
    Colors: Scarlet Red and Olive Green
    Flower: Red Carnation

     

     

    Alpha Chi Omega was founded at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana -- October 15, 1885.  In 1885 the Dean of this prestigious music school  invited seven young women to start a women's fraternity -- Anna Allen, Olive Burnett, Bertha Deniston, Amy DuBois, Nellie Gamble, Bessie Grooms and Estelle Leonard. This talented group of young women included 2 singers, 3 pianists, a composer and a cellist/ violinist/ bassist.

    In the beginning, association with the music school was preferred however, the women's fraternity was never strictly a musical organization. Its members actually graduated from several departments within the university. The founders selected the greek letter A (Alpha) because it was the very first sorority started at a school of music, they chose Ω (Omega) because they believed that they would also be the last fraternity of this kind. "Kai" (meaning and) was also added but later changed to Χ (Chi).

    Today there are 132 chapters of Alpha Chi Omega at colleges and universities across the country, with over 200,000 lifetime members. Currently, almost all the chapters are working to end domestic violence. They do this by volunteering at women's shelters, collecting clothing and other need supplies for women and children living in the shelters, and staffing domestic violence hotlines.

    Any woman who is part of a legacy - meaning her mother, grandmother  and great-grandmother are Alpha Chi Omega members - has an excellent chance at being accepted into the organization as well. Those strong connections are very important but being a legacy doesn't necessarily guarantee membership. Also, Alumna Initiates are women who weren't Alpha Chi Omega members in college and may have graduated many years ago. Alpha Chi Omega offers these women a fantastic opportunity to be part of the organization and benefit from all the wonderful things being a part of Alpha Chi Omega, has to offer.

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