sorority

  • 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.

  • Sigma Sigma Sigma ~ Sorority Spotlight

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Sigma Sigma Sigma ~ ΣΣΣ

     

    Open Motto: "Faithful unto death."
    Mascot: Sailboat
    Jewel: Pearl
    Colors: Royal Purple and White
    Flower: Purple Violet

     

     

    During the time in history when Sigma Sigma Sigma (aka Tri Sigma) was founded, higher education for women was quite controversial. As one might imagine, it was not an easy time for women who sought higher education. Many teachers and other students made it quite difficult at times. However, at the State Female Normal School in Farmville, VA opened it's doors to women and teacher education in 1890. In the fall of 1897 eight students of  -- Margaret Batten, Louise Davis, Martha Trent Featherston, Isabella Merrick, Sallie Michie, Lelia Scott, Elizabeth Watkins, and Lucy Wright formed a special bond while studying for their future teaching careers and formed a secret society. Lelia Scott and Lucy Wright led the first meetings of their secret society, the S.S.S. Club. On April 20, 1898, these women officially announced the founding of the Greek letter society known as Sigma Sigma Sigma.

     

    According to the official Sigma sigma Sigma website the Tri Sigma's Mission, Vision, and Values Statements are as follows:

     

    Mission Statement

    To establish among its members a perpetual bond of friendship, to develop in them strong womanly character, and to impress upon them high standards of conduct.

     

    Vision Statement

    Sigma Sigma Sigma inspires exceptional life long learning and friendships.

    Values Statement

    Sigma Sigma Sigma reaffirms its long standing core values of wisdom, power, faith, hope and love.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Philanthropy is also very important to Tri Sigmas. The Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation was founded in 1984 to fund philanthropic, educational and charitable purposes that help with leadership, the advancement of women and play therapy. The Robbie Page Memorial was founded in 1954, shortly after the Tri Sigma National President's son. Robbie Page, passed away from  bulbar polio. Initially the foundation helped fund polio research and today it fund items related to play therapy such as play rooms, libraries and programs to help children who are hospitalized long-term. Helping children is a huge priority for Sigma Sigma Sigma.

     

  • Sigma Kappa Spotlight

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    In 1873-74  five young women founded Sigma Kappa at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. 1871 was the first year that Colby College allowed women to attend equally. Mary Caffery Lowe attended for two years as the only female at the school -- what a trail blazer!!! Finally in 1873 four other women came to the school -- Elizabeth Gorham Hoag, Ida May Fuller Price, Francis Elliot Mann Hall and Louise Helen Coburn. During this time in history it was very difficult for women to gain admittance to a college and once they were they faced discrimination by college staff and male students. Naturally, the five women spent a lot of time together and decided they would like to start a literary and social society -- Sigma Kappa.  They were first required to submit a constitution and bylaws, which they did. On November 9th, 1874 the women received a letter stating their petition was approved and Sigma Kappa  became official! That date has been celebrated as Founder's day throughout Sigma Kappa's history.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    According to the official Sigma Kappa website the purpose and values of the sorority are as follows:

     

    Purpose Statement

    The purpose of Sigma Kappa Sorority is to provide women lifelong opportunities and support for social, intellectual, and spiritual development by bringing women together to positively impact our communities.

    Values

    Our values: personal growth, friendship, service and loyalty; bound by a promise.

     

     

    It is also very important to the members of Sigma Kappa to give back to the community, help fellow sisters and to national organizations as well. Their philanthropies include; Alzheimer's Research, Gerontology, Maine Sea Coast Mission and Inherit the Earth.

     

     

  • Pi Beta Phi ~ Sorority Spotlight

     

    Pi Beta Phi ~ ΠΒΦ

     

    Mascot: Angel
    Symbol: Arrow
    Colors: Wine and Silver Blue
    Flower: Wine Carnation

     

     

    On April 28, 1867 the women's fraternity of Pi Beta Phi was founded at Monmouth college in Monmouth, Illinois. It was found by 12 very innovative and intelligent women; Clara Brownlee Hutchinson, Libbie Brook Gaddis, Emma Brownlee Kilgore, Margaret Campbell, Rosa Moore, Ada Bruen Grier, Nancy Black Wallace, Jennie Horne Turnbull, Jennie Nicol, Inez Smith Soule, Fannie Thomson,and Fannie Whitenack Libbey. They were admired the benefits that collegiate men belonging to secret societies enjoyed and wanted the same for them and for other women as well, so they decided to form Pi Beta Phi. During this time in history, there were very few universities that even allowed women on campus, so the women who blazed the trail for all who were to come after, needed the support and sisterhood that a women's fraternity would provide both on and off campus.

     

     

     

     

    The core values of this women's fraternity, according to the official Pi Beta Phi website are:

     

    Core Values

    • Integrity
    • Lifelong Commitment
    • Honor and Respect
    • Personal and Intellectual Growth
    • Philanthropic Service to Others
    • Sincere Friendship

     

    Philanthropy is a HUGE part of Pi Beta Phi life and always has been. They were the first to support a Canadian philanthropy and they have partnered with a number of literacy organizations to donate their time, money and resources to help support this important cause. According to the Pi Beta Phi website, their involvement in literacy "...dates back 100 years  to the founding of a Settlement School in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Pi Phi was solely responsible for all education in Gatlinburg until the 1940s and continued to provide educational and financial assistance until 1967."Once the community of Gatlinburg took over the operations of the settlement school Pi Beta Phi moved onto focusing their efforts on other literacy programs. Their foundation helps their organization to grow, assists other Pi Beta Phi sisters and provides scholarships.

     

  • Phi Sigma Sigma ~ Sorority Spotlight

     

     

     

    On November 26, 1913 the Alpha Chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma was founded at Hunter College in New York. Its 10 founding members; Lillian Gordon Alpern, Josephine Ellison Breakstone, Fay Chertkoff, Estelle Melnick Cole, Jeanette Lipka Furst, Ethel Gordon Kraus, Shirley Cohen Laufer, Claire Wunder McArdle, Rose Sher Seidman, and Gwen Zaliels Snyder had a very clear vision about the type of sorority they wanted to establish. They wanted to establish a nonsectarian sorority and welcomed women of all faiths and backgrounds. In fact, Phi Sigma Sigma was the first collegiate sorority of this kind. The founding members were definitely pioneers of their time.

     

    According to the official Phi Sigma Sigma website, their core values are:

     

    Lifelong Learning
    As new members, as collegiate members and as alumnae, learning is a priority and we encourage our sisters to make the most of educational opportunities at our colleges and in our communities. Through education and challenging ourselves to reach new goals, we become women of influence and substance.

    Inclusiveness
    An inclusive sisterhood prepares its members for a world filled with diversity. By embracing our differences, we become a stronger organization that benefits not only our members, but those around us. We seek out and include women of various races, cultures, levels of ability, socioeconomic origin, backgrounds and perspectives.

    Leadership through Service
    Phi Sigma Sigma believes that a woman who serves is also a woman who leads. By serving others, our members become more valuable citizens, students, parents, workers and community leaders.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As stated in the Phi Sigma Sigma core values, philanthropy is exceptionally important to teaching leadership. The official philanthropy is the Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation. This foundation provides scholarship and educational grants among other assistance for the members and alumnae. The Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation also contributes to the National Kidney Foundation. It's members also work hard to raise funds and donate their time to local organizations as well.

  • 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.

  • Kappa Kappa Gamma ~ Sorority Spotlight

     

     

    Kappa Kappa Gamma ~ ΚΚΓ

     

    Open Motto: N/A
    Mascot: Owl
    Symbol: Fleur-de-Lis, Key
    Jewel: Sapphire
    Colors: Dark Blue and Light Blue
    Flower: Fleur-de-Lis

     

     

     

     

    On October 13th, 1870 Kappa Kappa Gamma women't fraternity was founded at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. It is said that in the late 1860's two friends Mary Louise Bennett and Hannah Jeannette Boyd were frustrated that there weren't any women's organizations similar to men's fraternities.  At a time when very few women were encouraged to seek higher education, the women who were at these colleges and universities needed the support and sisterhood that a women's organization could provide.  Soon after their initial discussion the recruited 4 other women; Mary Moore Stewart, Anna Elizabeth Willits, Martha Louisa Stevenson and Susan Burley Walker. As noted on the official Kappa Kappa Gamma website:

    "Kappa's six Founders were exceptional young women who believed they could take on the world and create something totally new. Taught to love learning and literature, these educated ladies not only originated the idea of Kappa Kappa Gamma but wrote its constitution, planned its motto and chose its badge and name."

    There are strict regulations regarding the Kappa Kappa Gamma badges, which since it's founding have been golden keys. Member are discouraged from loaning their badges to those who are not initiated members because they represent membership. As noted on the KKG website, it is strongly recommended that badges be returned to the main headquarters upon a member's death. This is to help ensure that only initiated members are in possession if these keys.

     

     

     

    Currently there are 138 chapter and over 240,000 collegiate members nationwide. They are all strong women who support each other through their endeavors and they also active members in their community through their philanthropy. In addition, these caring women have also partnered with RIF - Reading is Fundamental. They share their time, treasure and talent to help young people discover the joys of reading.

     

  • Kappa Delta ~ Sorority Spotlight Kappa Delta

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      Kappa Delta ~ ΚΔ

       

      Open Motto: "Let us strive for that which is honorable, beautiful and highest
      Mascot: Teddy Bear
      Symbol: Nautilus Shell, Katydid, Dagger|
      Jewel: Diamond, Emerald, Pearl 
      Colors: Olive Green and Pearl White
      Flower: White Rose



      In the fall of 1897, four friends gathered together to found the sorority Kappa Delta. In Farmville, Virginia  - at the State  Female Normal School  (now Longwood University) -  Lenora Ashmore Blackiston, Julia Gardiner Tyler Wilson, Sara Turner White and Mary Sommerville Sparks Hendrick came together to found Kappa Delta. Their objective, as stated on the official Kappa Delta website, was (and is):

      "The object of Kappa Delta Sorority is the formation and perpetuation of good fellowship, friendship and sisterly love among its members; the encouragement of literature and education; the promotion of social interest; and the furtherance of charitable and benevolent purposes."

       

      On October 23rd, 1897  Kappa Delta officially became a sorority. It is noted that Kappa Delta was the first sorority to be accepted to the National Panhellenic Conference as soon as they petitioned to join. Today there are 142 active chapters and 516 alumnae chapters and they are now headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. There are also more that 230,000 members throughout the world.

       

      Philanthropy is a huge part of Kappa Delta life. They work hard in their community and for each other. They also support four national charities; Prevent Child Abuse America, Girl Scouts of the USAOrthopaedic Research Awards, and Children's Hospital of Richmond, Virginia.

  • Kappa Alpha Theta ~ Sorority Spotlight

     

     

     

     

    Kappa Alpha Theta ~ ΚΑΘ

    Open Motto: "Faith, Hope, Love."
    Mascot: Kite
    Symbol: Key
    Colors: Black and Gold
    Flower: Black and Gold Pansy

     

     

     

    Kappa Alpha Theta was founded in 1870 and was the very first Greek-Letter organization for women. At a time when it was rare for women to obtain a higher education, there were those who knew their potential, wanted to pursue their dreams and knew that they could do great things with the education they would receive if just given the chance. At what is now DePauw University (formerly Indiana Asbury) four women came together to start an organization where women could support and encourage one another. The original founders of Kappa Alpha Theta were Elizabeth McReynolds Locke Hamilton, Alice Olive Allen Brant, Elizabeth Tipton Lindsey, and Hannah Virginia Finch Shaw.

     

    Elizabeth (Betty) Locke was the one who originally decided to establish a women's fraternity. She had contacts with two of the fraternities  on campus; Beta Theta Pi which was her father's fraternity and Phi Gamma Delta which was the fraternity her brother belonged to. The members of Phi Gamma Delta had asked Betty to wear their letters as a supporter (not an actual member) for the fraternity but she did not feel comfortable doing that since she was not privy to the secrets and purposes that the letters represented. Instead - with her father's encouragement - Betty decided to start a women's fraternity and along with the other three founders started Kappa Alpha Theta. They got their constitution drawn up and badges designed, which  they wore them proudly. In March 1870 Kappa Alpha Theta became the very first Greek-letter women's organization.

     

     

     

    Today Kappa Alpha Theta boasts over 170 college chapters and 190 alumnae chapters throughout the Unites States and Canada. They have 210,00o+ collegiate members.  As noted on the official Kappa Alpha Theta website their values consists of "Scholarship, service, leadership, personal excellence, and friendship/sisterhood." Of course, philanthropy is a huge part of Theta life and in 1989 they partnered with CASA  - which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate - as their international philanthropy.  CASA is made up of community volunteer who fight to protect the rights and dignity of children.

     

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