Alpha Chi Omega History

Alpha Chi Omega

Since its founding in 1885 at DePauw University in Indiana, Alpha Chi Omega has supported its members, distinguished alumni, and young women across the county. With over 230,000 national members, the sorority motto is: “Together let us seek the heights.” Alpha Chi Omega was the sixth sorority created in the United States, and it was the first founded at a music school. Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, TV host Carol Duvall, and celebrity chef Melissa d’Arabia are Alpha Chi Omega alumni.


Alpha Chi Omega’s History

The organization credits seven women with founding the society: Anna Allen, Bessie Grooms, Estelle Leonard, Olive Burnett, Bertha Deniston, Nellie Gamble, and Amy Dubois. Their music school dean encouraged them to create a women’s society. The founders named Alpha Chi Omega for the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Originally, the middle letter (Chi) was “Kai” meaning “and.” The women who formed the sorority were certain their organization would be the first and last associated with a music school.

The founders included three pianists, two singers, a composer, and a cellist/bassist/violinist. Each accomplished individual added depth to the sorority’s legacy. This unmistakable history still exists today. In fact, members can currently view Bertha Deniston’s original badge on display at the organization’s headquarters. 

Symbols of Alpha Chi

When you see the Greek lyre on jewelry, clothes, or campus banners, you know an Alpha Chi Omega was involved. This sisterhood values strength, friendship, learning, service, and leadership; traits embodied by the society’s patron goddess Hera, the guardian of women. The primary colors associated with the society are scarlet and olive green, which hearken back to the sorority’s founding season (autumn). The official flower is a red carnation, and the official jewel is a pearl. 

Giving Back to the Community

Philanthropically, Alpha Chi Omega is committed to fighting against domestic violence through awareness, education, and prevention programs. This issue affects women of all ages and backgrounds throughout the world. The sorority uses outreach and awareness programs to promote healthy relationships and encourage more people to stand up against domestic violence.

Alpha Chi Omega partners with Mary Kay cosmetics to improve awareness and help women impacted by abuse. The sisterhood also promotes organizations against domestic violence, such as the One Love Foundation, RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network), and 

Wear your Alpha Chi Omega scarlet and olive green with custom made gear from Houndstooth Press. 



Contact Us