Alpha Chi Omega was founded on October 15, 1885, at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Professor James Hamilton Howe, Dean of the Music School, invited seven young women from the school to attend a meeting for the purpose of forming a society. The first appearance of the seven founders - Anna Allen, Olive Burnett, Bertha Deniston, Amy DuBois, Nellie Gamble, Bessie Grooms, and Estelle Leonard was in Meharry Hall, where they wore scarlet and olive green ribbon streamers attached to their dresses.
These women chose the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet—Alpha and Omega, with “Kai” meaning "And" in the middle as a link, which they later changed to the Greek letter Chi. Our founders were the first fraternity in the music school and chose their name because they also believed they would be the last such organization.
Alpha Chi Omega is far more than a social organization, a place to live, or a way to meet people. Our mission is to enrich the lives of members through lifetime opportunities for friendship, leadership, learning, and service. Real Strong Women is our commitment to dream big and shape women who want to change the world. Our members are authentic, honest, and caring. We help each other build confidence, find courage, and develop a sense of purpose. We have fun and embrace new experiences. Our members reach out and help others. We speak up and take action. For 125 years, Alpha Chi Omega has transformed women’s lives.
According to our founders, the purpose of Alpha Chi Omega is to advance “the intellectual, social and moral culture” of its members. Today, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation, and our National Housing Corporation serve more than 200,000 members in more than 130 collegiate chapters and 200 alumnae chapters nationwide.
For more information on our founders, visit the Alpha Chi Omega Headquarters website here.