Alpha Phi Sorority Iota Mu Chapter

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Alpha Phi Iota Mu

Alpha Phi in the Iota Mu chapter is one of seven sororities and two special sororities governed by the Collegiate Panhellenic Council (CPC) at the Georgia Institute of Technology.[1]

Contents

Alpha Phi Creed

I believe in my Fraternity.

I believe in the friendships formed in the springtime of my youth.

I believe in its high ideals, which left 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 and opportunity.

I believe in it as a creator of good citizenship, helping me to do my work well, to live in harmony with others, and to serve my country and to trust in God.

I believe in my Fraternity.

I believe in Alpha Phi.[2]

History Of Alpha Phi

It was a slow process for women to be admitted to higher education. Although Colleges have been around in the United States since 1633, it wasn’t until 200 years later that the first women were invited to enter a University classroom.[3] Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, was the first to allow women in its role book. The commonly held belief at the time was that women should not be meddling “in such things as are proper for men whose minds are stronger,” which was openly stated by Governor Winthrop of Connecticut, a prominent figure at the time, and agreed with by prominent figures alike.[4] Still, the movement gained momentum, and in the early 1870’s, many public and private universities in the north began to abandon their policy of exclusion. Among these universities who were opening their doors to women was Syracuse University . The earliest female students entered in August 1872. They were composed of six freshmen, three sophomores, and a junior. They later on became the founders of the fraternity Alpha Phi. Despite the fact that, by today’s standards, a Greek organization for men is known as a fraternity and a Greek organization for women is known as a sorority, this was not always the case. Due to the fact that there were very few women on college campuses, a separate classification for Greek organizations had not existed, so the term sorority had not yet been implemented. Alpha Phi was founded on the idea that women, bound together in sisterhood, could provide the strength and support that fosters achievement.[2]

All new members of Alpha Phi are encouraged to learn of their organization’s history because they believe the future of the fraternity depends on how its history is understood.

The Ten Founders

In early September of 1872, Alpha Phi was created by its ten founders Clara Bradley Burdette, Florence Chidester Lukens, Martha Foote Crow, Ida Gilbert Houghton, Jane Higham, Kate Hogoboom Gilbert, Elizabeth Hubbell Shults, Rena Michales Atchison, Louise Sheppard Hancock, and Clara Sittser Williams. The fraternity gave these women an opportunity to practice skills such as public speaking, parliamentary procedure, organizing meetings, and community functions. Plans were made for weekly meetings, and their agenda included programs with a debate every three weeks.[2] The sorority quickly became part of every day life for these women. Before Alpha Phi, these women were on their own, struggling to survive the academic and social challenges of such a masculine school. In the sorority they became a family. They found their closest friends, their peers, their role models and, of course, their sisters.

The Alpha Phi Foundation

At the Thirteenth Convention in 1894, members decided they should find their own charitable pursuits. From then on, the fraternity found various ways of helping in their community, but in 1946, cardiac care was selected as the fraternity’s philanthropy. In 1956, Alpha Phi became one of the first women’s fraternities to establish its own Foundation. The Foundation primarily focused on scholarships, fellowships, and providing suitable housing. Today, the Foundation provides support for cardiac care and research, scholarships, aid to women in need through the Forget-Me-Not Fund, and grants to the fraternity for leadership training and educational programs. The Alpha Phi Foundation is Alpha Phi’s philanthropy. Since then, Alpha Phi has regarded heart disease and cardiac care, particularly as they affect women, as its two main philanthropic priorities.[2]

National Panhellenic Conference, NPC

On May 24, 1902 Alpha Phi invited Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Chi Omega and Chi Omega to a conference in Chicago. The session resulted in the organization of the first interfraternity association and the first inter-group organization on college campuses. This group formed the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC). The NPC is an organization established to foster inter fraternity relationships, to assist the collegiate chapter of the NPC member groups, and to cooperate with the colleges and universities in maintaining the highest scholastic standards.[5]

Symbols

The Alpha Phi Badge: The official badge of Alpha Phi is an unjeweled monogram of gold showing the symbol of Alpha superimposed upon the symbol of Phi. Inscribed in black on the symbol Phi are the letters a,o,e. The meaning of these letters is reserved for the initiation ceremony. Alpha Phi was the first organization to use Greek letters as an emblem.
The Alpha Phi Badge
Honor Badges: Today, special honor badges are replicas of the lazy phi (a Phi symbol turned on its side) and are worn by international officers and Educational Leadership Consultants. Presidents of collegiate chapters also wear them while they serve as president.
Honor Badges
New Member Badge: In 1898, the Fraternity adopted a special badge to honor her newest members. The badge they selected is the shape of an ivy leaf, set in silver pewter. An ever-growing vine, the ivy symbolized the growth of the Alpha Phi sisterhood.
New Member Badge
Anniversary Recognition Pins: Alpha Phi recognized the importance of lifetime membership. One special way that Alpha Phi honors the endurance of membership is with anniversary recognition pins. These pins celebrate a member’s affiliation with Alpha Phi on milestone occasions: 10 years, 25 years, 50 years, and 75 years.
Anniversary Pins
The Fraternity Crest: The Fraternity Crest is the Alpha Phi coat-of-arms, adopted by Convention delegates in 1922. The shield is Bordeaux with a scroll and ivy leaf above it. Inscribed on the scroll is the public motto, "Union Hand in Hand." A bar of silver crosses the shield from left to right; the upper half of the shield contains a Roman lamp in silver and the lower half, Ursa Major. The meaning of the symbols depicted on the rest is a significant part of the ritual witnessed at initiation. The use of the Fraternity crest is reserved for jewelry, sportswear, and other Fraternity equipment befitting the dignity and honor of Alpha Phi Heritage.
Fraternity Crest
Fraternity Colors: Alpha Phi’s original colors were blue and gold. In 1879, noting that a Fraternity had colors too similar to hers, Alpha Phi adopted the more distinctive colors of silver and bordeaux. Members wear their colors in the form of a ribbon of silver/gray and and a ribbon of bordeaux under their badge to acknowledge special occasions such as the installation of a new chapter, the anniversary of their chapter’s installation, and the celebration of Alpha Phi Founders’ Day on October 10.
Fraternity Colors
Fraternity Flowers: The flowers of Alpha Phi are the fragrant lily-of-the-valley and the blue and gold forget-me-not. The ivy leaf is also a symbol.
Fraternity Flowers
Alpha Phi Bear: The mascot of Alpha Phi, the “Phi Bear,” is named after Ursa Major, the Great Bear, and was adopted in 1974.
Ursa Major

[6]

Appearance at Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech has always been a male dominated school. Even though the school opened in 1888, women were not admitted as full time students until 1952. A year after the first women were enrolled, they began organizing themselves into groups and integrated themselves into campus life immediately. In 1953 Alpha Xi Delta became the first sorority was established at Tech.[7] Through the next 55 years, 6 other sororities would add to the Greek Life on Tech's campus, and finally on April 7, 2008,[8] the Collegiate Panhellenic Council (CPC) voted to invite the Alpha Phi International Fraternity to join the Georgia Tech Greek Community.

With Georgia Tech’s growing female population, the CPC decided to accept applications from sororities wishing to become part of Georgia Tech’s Greek community. Alpha Phi International Sorority was especially interested, mainly because of Georgia Tech’s urban location, rich traditions, and national reputation. After several rounds of elimination, Alpha Phi remained, despite the competitive pool of applicants. Alpha Phi received and accepted the CPC’s invitation to settle on Georgia Tech’s campus in the fall of 2008.

In the fall of 2008, Alpha Phi had limited participation in sorority recruitment because of their new status. Nonetheless, Alpha Phi launched its own recruitment campaign after the CPC Bid Day in August 2008 in an effort to quickly take on a large number of new members. Within a year, Alpha Phi was equally involved in all Greek Life activities at Georgia Tech thanks to the help of several alumnae members devoted to the success of their new outpost. [9]

Since their appearance on campus, current President Kayla Murray stated, “Alpha Phi has grown and added a fresh face to Tech’s Greek life as well as hosting several events that bring the Greek community together. Alpha Phi started with about 30 girls who did not know each other. Now we have about 4 times the number we started off with.” The sorority now hosts an annual All Greek BBQ, which brings together the entire Greek Community. Alpha Phi also hosts the King of Hearts event, which is a philanthropic and comical all male beauty pageant.

Current leadership

On November 10, 2010 Kayla Murray was elected Alpha Phi’s third president in the Iota Mu Chapter, and the sorority is currently under her leadership. With the support of the rest of the elected representatives, Murray stated, “Within the coming years, Alpha Phi plans to keep increasing Alpha Phi's positive image on campus by developing our relationships on campus.”[citation needed]

Sources

  1. Councils. In "Office of Greek Affairs". Retrieved November 22, 2010 from http://www.greek.gatech.edu/plugins/content/index.php?id=22.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The Legacy of Alpha Phi. In “The Ivy Leaf, An introduction to Alpha Phi”. Retrieved November 21, 2010
  3. 1. High Education in the United States- Historical Development. In “Education Encyclopedia” from Stateuniversity.com. Retieved November 21, 2010 from http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2044/Higher-Education-in-United-States.html
  4. Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy at the Democratic Club Meeting, May 11, 1957 (“Women on Wheels”). In “John F Kennedy President Library and Museum Archives”. Retrieved November 21, 2010 from http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/Speeches/JFK/JFK+Pre-Pres/1957/002PREPRES12SPEECHES_57MAY11.htm
  5. NPC Foundation. In "National Panhellenic Conference". Retrieved on November 21, 2010 from http://www.npcwomen.org/foundation.aspx.
  6. Symbols. In “Alpha Phi”. Retrieved November 21, 2010 from http://www.alphaphi.org/aboutus/fastfacts/symbols
  7. In "Engineering the New South, Georgia Tech, 1885-1985". Retrieved December 10, 2010 from Georgia Tech Archives.
  8. In "College Panhellenic Council, Georgia Institute of Technology". Retrieved November 22, 2010 from http://gtpanhellenic.org/alpha-phi.
  9. CPC Welcomes Alpha Phi. In "GreekBuzz" May 6, 2008. Retrieved November 22, 2010 from http://www.greek.gatech.edu/pdf/2008_May.pdf.
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