By Lynne Herndon (Alpha Upsilon, The University of Alabama), National President
As we approach October 15, 2021, and our 136th Founders’ Day, I am filled with excitement and appreciation. It is amazing to think about our seven Founders and the foresight they had to create the first Greek-letter social fraternity for women enrolled in a music school at DePauw University. They wanted to create an organization that offered social interaction, friendship and artistic society as well as a place that fostered the advancement of the principles of true womanhood. In so many ways, our sorority experience today is exactly the same. We want our members to experience connections, leadership, growth and service while enjoying the society of our sisters. We also want our members to feel confident in who they are as individuals, appreciating all that is noble in another. And we support and encourage each other to be real, strong women!
It is fascinating to understand how our Founders made decisions about the symbols of Alpha Chi Omega that we cherish today. The lyre was chosen for our badge as it was the first musical instrument played by the gods in Greek mythology. Our colors were selected as our Founders sat outside under a maple tree and noted the autumn leaves falling; the scarlet and bronze green (now olive green) colors were beautiful and fitting to wear in the form of ribbons as a visible symbol to publicly honor our sorority. The first motto, “Ye Daughters of Music Come Up Higher,” inspired our members who were required to be enrolled in the music school through 1910. When this requirement was changed, sisters crafted a new motto that continued to call us to come together as sisters and reach for greater things. We still use it proudly today: “Together let us seek the heights.”
As we approach our Founders’ Day, I encourage you to listen to our Founders recount the history of Alpha Chi Omega in our 125th anniversary video below and found on our website along with much more meaningful, historical information; you can also explore our last 136 years on our dedicated history website. Please take a moment and hear from our Founders and Nancy Leonard how Alpha Chi Omega came to be and see how their vision still lives on in the hearts of our collegians and alumnae across the country today! Happy Founders’ Day to all of our sisters!