In the fall of 1885, Professor James Hamilton Howe, Dean of the Music School at DePauw University, invited seven young women from the school to attend a meeting for the purpose of forming a society. The seven young women chosen to attend this first meeting were Anna Allen, Olive Burnett, Bertha Deniston, Amy DuBois, Nellie Gamble, Bessie Grooms and Estelle Leonard. Their desire was to form an organization that would provide both close companionship and support to its members. Their friend and associate, James G. Campbell, an undergraduate member of Beta Theta Pi who acted as librarian for the school of music offered a suggestion that they form a fraternity. They believed that such a group would benefit the students, the university, and the musical arts.
The young women met regularly in a small room in the music building. On October 23, 1885, one week after their initial founding, Alpha Chi Omega's Founders and their first new members, adorned with scarlet and olive green ribbons, made their presence known. Although founded within the school of music, Alpha Chi Omega is now open to all undergraduate female students meeting our National Membership Criteria.