Alpha Xi Delta is one of the oldest sororities in America. Its members founded the organization on April 17, 1893. While it began at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois, ΑΞΔ is now recognized at the national level. In fact, it was one of the ten fraternities that founded the National Panhellic Conference. Today, the organization has more than 126 active chapters and an astounding 150,000 members.
Alpha Xi Delta’s founders built the organization on the value of education. The importance of support and shared understanding are also prominent ideas in the sorority. This atmosphere of encouragement has helped the group grow, and it’s what inspires women across the nation to chase their dreams and true potential.
Ten women came together to build ΑΞΔ, and each one contributed to the sorority in a different way. They’re still recognized today and are an important part of lessons taught to each new member. Cora Block, Alice Bruner, Almira Cheney, Frances Cheney, Bertha Evans, Eliza Everton, Julia Foster, Lucy Filmer, Harriet McCollum, and Lewie Taylor shared their visions and set up Alpha Xi Delta.
There are several symbols that represent ΑΞΔ and help the organization stand out from others. This includes the Coat of Arms, which is a shield featuring two griffins, three roses, a quill, and a broken sword. Light and dark blue and gold are all featured in the design. They’re the chosen colors of the sorority as well.
When establishing the group, the founders chose a pink Killarney rose to complement the Sigma Nu’s rose, since the fraternity helped create the organization. The original mascot was a teddy bear named Al Fuzzie, whom the members selected in 1974 and used for several years. In 1989, BetXi Bear, a female version that’s used today, took his place.
Unlike many other sororities, Alpha Xi Delta has several different pins. The new member pin is the simplest: a football-type shape with the letters tucked inside. The colony pin is similar and the sorority uses it for founding members of a new colony, which they title during the initial pledging. Afterwards, they refer to it as a chapter. This type of badge is surrounded by a circular chain, representing the unity that the national sorority offers.
For full fledged members, the Quill is worn to pay homage to the motto “The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword.” This features the colors with a gold background and alternating dark and light blue stones. It can also include pearls and yellow topaz. The sorority has an alternate version as well.
The chosen philanthropy of Alpha Xi Delta is Autism Speaks. It’s the largest autism agency in the world and focuses on research and advocacy. ΑΞΔ has raised over $3 million to help find treatments and pursue a cure. Every eight minutes, a child is diagnosed with autism—which totals 1 in 68 children. Because it costs a family more than $60,000 per year on average, fundraisers and events are an important part of providing support.
World Autism Awareness Day is an important occasion for the sorority. The holiday is April 2nd, and the entire month is dedicated to increasing awareness. In particular, time is spent reaching out to the community. The AmaXIng Challenge also takes place in April, which is the signature event to raise funds for Autism Speaks. There are several challenges that chapters can choose from, and each college picks from at least one. They include:
· Step It Up. A walk or run event open to the campus and community of the area.
· Xi Man. A talent competition for men. Generally, contestants will be from fraternities, organizations, or college teams.
· Football FrenXi. A flag football tourney that the other campus organizations register for and compete for the title.
· Puzzlepalooza. Another bracketed competition, but instead of sports, completing puzzles on time is the challenge. It’s especially relevant since puzzle pieces are the recognized symbol for autism awareness and research.
· Karaoke for a Cause. All chapters include karaoke, and some feature talents like dancing to widen the spectrum and make it more interactive.
· Xi Marks the Spot. This is a fun and interactive scavenger hunt. Each stop has mini competitions that contestants must be complete to receive a piece of the puzzle. The first team to complete it wins.
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