In the Beginning
On April 20, 1898, a new sisterhood began. Eight women came together in Farmville, Virginia, at the State Female Normal School, which we now know as Longwood University. The community recognized them as an incorporation of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1903. Interestingly, women established three other sororities there between 1898 and 1901, referred to as the “Farmville Four.”
The sorority grew quickly, taking bounds forward instead of steps. Tri Sigma absorbed the last two chapters of Sigma Delta Chi in 1915, adding to the group’s size. As chapters cropped up on over 110 campuses, its member count followed suit. Today, ΣΣΣ has over 100,000 members and is one of the 26 groups that comprise the National Panhellic Conference.
Tri Sigma promotes the respect of its founders, Margaret Batten, Louise Davis, Martha Featherston, Isabella Merrick, Sallie Michie, Lelia Scott, Elizabeth Watkins, and Lucy Wright. Each new member is thoroughly versed in the history of the sorority and how the friendship of these ladies changed the nation.
You can find sisters of ΣΣΣ sporting several symbols to show their Sigma pride. Their crest is one example, and which sister Harriet Hankins of the Alpha chapter designed. A white band runs diagonally across the purple shield, displaying the three gold Sigmas. Above them is a small triangle with another Sigma that guards the top of the coat of arms. Spreading wings, clasped hands, and a flaming urn also decorate the design, although their exact meanings are kept secret – sister only know the true meaning. Their banner frames the bottom of the shield, highlighting the motto “Faithful Unto Death” in Greek.
In line with the crest, the colors of Tri Sigma are royal purple and white. Before the constitution’s writing in 1902, the colors were moss green and violet purple. Today, the sorority uses these hues widely and feature them in the official flag. The pearl, the chosen jewel, matches well and can be seen on the badges of official members.
ΣΣΣ uses the sailboat as its symbol. Sisters at the 1974 Sigma Sigma Sigma convention officially arrogated it there. The symbol always depicts the sails full and pushing forward to pay homage to a focus on progress. This also represents their philanthropy foundation.
Only initiated members can wear an official ΣΣΣ badge. The three Sigmas are etched in gold, surrounding a skull and crossbones to form an indented triangle with a black background. The rest of the pin forms a larger triangle in gold and is outlined in small pearls.
The Sigma Sigma Sigma foundation started in 1992. The sorority raises money and awareness for this organization throughout the year, focusing on improving the lives of women, students, and children. They provide grants and scholarships for the less fortunate to give access to the education that they deserve. They train women to develop leadership skills and give resources to help maximize their potential. The third angle of the foundation, helping children, also has its own philanthropy.
The National President at the time created a memorial fund for his son, Robbie Page, after losing him to polio. Sadly, there was no cure or way to prevent the disease in 1951. His parents were inspired to found the Robbie Page Memorial, which ΣΣΣ officially adopted three years later. With fundraisers and campaigns held throughout the year, RPM supported research for the disease and potential medicines, including the Salk vaccines.
Since then, the foundation has expanded its horizons and works to make hospitals friendlier for children. Many of these kids face long-term or permanent care, and the Robbie Page Memorial ensures they’re comfortable and entertained. The National Therapeutic Recreation Society, working with the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas to create fellowship programs, recognizes Sigma Sigma Sigma for its support.
Represent Your Sorority
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