The History of Our Name
Alpha Chi Omega was founded as Alpha Kai Omega. Our Founders chose "Alpha" because they were forming the first fraternity in the school of music; therefore, it seemed fitting to use the first letter of the Greek alphabet. It was suggested that they might possibly be founding the last such fraternity, so "Omega" seemed appropriate. "Kai," meaning "and," was added to form Alpha Kai Omega, the beginning and the end. "Kai" was later changed to "Chi," a letter of the Greek alphabet, when the badge was designed.
The History of Alpha Mu
Alpha Chi Omega entered Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, April 21, 1922, with the installation of Alpha Mu chapter as the third Indiana chapter. In 1854 the university admitted its first woman student at a time when no other state university had adopted a system of co-education. The local group, Sigma Beta Upsilon, was organized in 1920 for the purpose of petitioning a national fraternity, and Alpha Chi Omega was preferred; the aim of the group was to be the highest in scholarship, character, and leadership in campus activities. In November, 1921, Mrs. Bennett made the group a three-day visit, and in January, 1922, permission was granted for the formal petitioning.
The charter members included: Mary Adams, Hazel Bielby, Edna Brown, Sydney Colesett, Blanche Davidson, Mildred Hall, Kathryn Luck, Martha McCafferty, Helen Sebring, Julia Weghorst, Dora Bentley, Mae Seward, Marietta Sicer, Opal West, Ruth Wetter, and Olive H. Wylie. The chapter was received most enthusiastically by the other fraternities on campus. It has been said that no other fraternity has been given such an ovation at its installation.
Alpha Chi Omega's colors of scarlet and olive green were chosen to commemorate the autumn founding of our Fraternity.
The flower of Alpha Chi Omega is the red carnation, exemplifying the colors of our Fraternity.
Our Open Motto
Alpha Chi Omega's open motto: "Together let us seek the heights."
Our Founders chose the lyre of Alpha Chi Omega after much research. The design that appealed most to the Founders was a replica of the harp because it seemed in keeping with their musical interests. Not quite satisfied, though, they turned to Greek mythology where they found that the first instrument played by the gods on Mt. Olympus was a lyre. The original badge was purchased by Founder Bertha Deniston and is now in the Fraternity archives at Headquarters.
The stick pin is diamond-shaped with the top half enameled in scarlet and the bottom in olive green. It bears the lyre across its face and is designed to be worn with the lyre badge.
Our Coat of Arms
The coat of arms is composed of a square shield, a crest and a scroll. The shield is red, cut by a bar of olive green. The first section of the shield displays an open book in gold; at the base is a sheaf of wheat, also in gold. The bar pictures three white stars. The crest, a lyre bird, is in its natural color. At the bottom is the scroll bearing the Greek words of our open motto, "Together Let Us Seek the Heights."
The purpose of Alpha Chi Omega, as stated in the Constitution, shall be: "to encourage the true spirit of sisterhood, to develop through personal effort a high moral and mental standard, and to advance the appreciation and practice of fine arts among its members."
Our Mission and Vision Statements:
Alpha Chi Omega is a national women's organization that enriches the lives of both its collegiate and alumnae members through lifetime opportunities for friendship, leadership, learning, and service.
As a leading women's organization, Alpha Chi Omega inspires and encourages its members to achieve the highest moral, cultural and intellectual level in the art of daily living.