In September 1872, Alpha Phi became the fourth Greek-letter organization for women. The sorority was founded at Syracuse University by 10 of the 20 women attending the University at the time. Martha Emily Foote Crow was the first national President of the organization and went on to be the Dean of women at Northwestern University. The founding members built their organization promoting character growth, sisterhood, unity of feeling, and social communion. Today, 164 college chapters are in the U.S. with more than 200,000 members.
Alpha Phi Badges
Alpha Phi represents their motto "union hand in hand" with a variety of symbols, including the ivy leaf, which is the official symbol, and 4 milestone badges. The Alpha Phi badge, which was the first time a women's organization used Greek letters in its emblem, is given to members when they are initiated. The Honor badge is worn by international officers and chapter presidents. The New Member Badge, which is an ivy leaf set in pewter, is given to all new members. Finally, the Fifty-Year Pin, a silver circle with red stones, was created as a replica of those given at the original fiftieth anniversary.
Alpha Phi Symbols and Sisterhood
The fraternity crest features an ivy leaf, a silver bar, a Roman lamp, and the constellation Ursa Major. The crest is in the sorority's official colors: Bordeaux and silver. Alpha Phi's official flowers are the lily of the valley and a blue and gold forget-me-not. The official mascot is a bear, modeled after the constellation Ursa Major, and the Phi Bear was adopted in 1974.
Watchcare, which started with the original founding members, is the bond each sorority member shares. Watchcare represents the concepts of mutual concern and ensuring your sisters' well-being and safety. It is now a tenet of Alpha Phi. In fact, it is how members support each other through life, during the good times and the bad.
Philanthropy at Alpha Phi
The sorority focuses its philanthropic efforts on cardiac care. In 1956, Alpha Phi became one of the first women's fraternities to create a philanthropic Foundation. The Alpha Phi Foundation funds programs and research dedicated to studying heart disease in women.
Every year, the foundation grants a $50,000 award through its Heart to Heart program. The grant is given to medical institutions to help healthcare workers expand their knowledge and expertise in heart health. Through the Foundation's efforts, Alpha Phi members dedicate themselves to leadership development, academic excellence, sisterhood, and teaching philanthropy.
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