Phi Sigma Sigma's History

The Beginnings 

Its founding members started Phi Sigma Sigma on November 26, 1913. It was the first nonsectarian sorority and the only example of a sorority whose ritual wasn’t tied to any one religion. This idea of tolerance and community allowed women from all faiths and backgrounds to join and benefit from the sisterhood. Its birthplace was in Manhattan at Hunter College, and ten progressive and dedicated women established it.

An interesting fact is that the original name was Phi Sigma Omega. The founders used this name for some time until they attempted to incorporate. At that point, they discovered that the letters were already in use. They carefully selected Phi Sigma Sigma instead.

Just four years after incorporation, they added a Beta chapter to the organization. Growth has been steady since then; the ΦΣΣ ladies number over 60,000 now and are spread across 115 chapters. One of their oldest, Upsilon, was the first founded in Canada, granting the group international status. Phi Sig is also one of the 26 sororities that make up the National Panhellenic Conference.

ΦΣΣ has three different publications. Each ensures that members, families, and followers are kept in touch. “Connections” is the newsletter for sisters and friends, and “Phi Sig Savvy” is the version for chapter leaders or volunteers. The sorority introduced both in 2009 as the sorority advanced to online communications. Before their addition, the only volume printed for Phi Sig was “The Sphinx,” which has existed since 1923.

Symbols and Insignia

Phi Sigma Sigma has several emblems that symbolize its core values. The chosen flower is the American Beauty Rose, which is a deep pink bloom from France. Its colors, king blue and gold, are notably prominent and members use them frequently. Going along with the color selection, the official gemstone is the sapphire.

The symbol of Phi Sig is the Sphinx. While the theme carries throughout the sorority (such as the name of the publication) it’s most evident in the badges. The original designers included a sphinx head and a bar across the bottom along with the Greek letters. The eyes of the sphinx are sapphire. The group introduced a new version in 1951, which features a sphinx head superimposed on a pyramid and the addition of nine more sapphires. Phi Sigma Sigma fully recognizes both badges today. Interestingly, ΦΣΣ uses letter guards on every badge. These small symbols attach to the pin and represent the chapter that the sister is from.

The official hymn is Liebestraum, and the motto is Diokete Hupsala, which translates to “aim high.” This goes alongside its “Twin Ideals,” which are uniting man through brotherhood and alleviating the world’s pain.


Phi Sigma Sigma is about more than just symbols and mottos. The group also gives back to the community. The Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation does just that. ΦΣΣ’s first president started this organization in 1969, and it aims to promote education. It works through various scholarships to create new opportunities, but it also provides support and teaches skills to active members and alumnae.

Although ΦΣΣ’s current focus is on its foundation and education, the organization has partnered with the National Kidney Foundation for nearly 40 years. Through fundraisers and campaigns across the nation, these communities have promoted education and awareness about organ donation and kidney disease.

Phi Sig groups host and participate in hundreds of competitions and games to raise money to aid others. These events take place throughout the year, and chapters that raise the most funds receive recognition and praise. These outreach programs have given Phi Sigma Sigma a reputation for community contribution, service, and charity.

ΦΣΣ Gear

Selling t-shirts is a wonderful way to raise money and awareness for events. Aside from representing the things that matter, a custom design and color scheme can help you stand out on and off campus. Houndstooth Press has been in business since 1992, and we know what customers want. You need quality and personalization, and we offer that. Our team of designers can take your ideas and turn them into incredible and unique graphics for special occasions or just because. When you’re ready to see the magic happen, give us a call; we’ll get started on the design you’re dreaming of.



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