ALPHA CHI OMEGA IS AN ORGANIZATION BUILT BY AND FOR REAL, STRONG WOMEN.
Alpha Chi Omega was founded on October 15, 1885, at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. At a time when women were just beginning to occupy seats in college classrooms, seven female students were encouraged by Professor James Hamilton Howe, dean of DePauw’s School of Music, to form a women’s society within the school.
Inspired, our Founders formed the 10th women’s fraternity in the country—the first to be in a music school. Sure they would be the last, the Founders chose "Alpha" and "Omega"—the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet—to form their name, with “Kai” (meaning “and”) in the middle, later changed to the Greek letter "Chi."
Dedicated to advancing “the intellectual, social and moral culture” of its members, our Founders’ vision has grown to include our women’s Fraternity, the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation, the National Housing Corporation and Pearl Stone Partners. Together, they serve more than 230,000 members in more than 140 collegiate chapters and nearly 200 alumnae chapters nationwide.
For generations, our National Presidents tirelessly invested their talents in preserving and advancing the legacy of Alpha Chi Omega.
These volunteers were elected and worked alongside fellow National Council members to direct our organization.
Estelle Leonard (Alpha, DePauw University) 1885-91
Janette Allen Cushman (Beta, Albion College) 1891-93
Mary Elizabeth Stanford (Gamma, Northwestern University) 1893-94
Charlotte Weber Seiple (Delta, Allegheny College) 1894-96
The History of Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity: The First 25 Years
The History of Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity: 1910-1935
The History of Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity: 1935-1960
SYMBOLS AND TRADITIONS
Symbols and traditions have connected Alpha Chi Omegas for generations. Some date back to our founding, while others have evolved, and all represent who we are and what we value.Learn more >
The history website is specially designed to bring Alpha Chi Omega’s history to life. See photographs and items, recently discovered in storage boxes, that have never been on display.Discover Untold Stories >