Sigma Alpha Iota was founded in 1903 by seven music students at the University School of Music, Ann Arbor, Michigan. SAI is made up of approximately 100,000 members, 200 college chapters, and 120 alumnae chapters. Our mission is to encourage, nurture and support the art of music.
A complete history is available on our national web site.
About our Chapter
In the 1910s, the idea of an alumnae chapter was a new one among SAIs. In 1915, twenty-three former members and patronesses of Beta Chapter at Northwestern University formed “Alpha Beta Chapter”, taking their name from their college chapter. Their aim was to "promote sociability among the alumnae; to cooperate with the active chapter; and to keep in touch with non-resident members." This pioneered the trend that would eventually result in nearly 200 alumnae chapters.
Except for a few years following World War I, we have been continuously in operation since 1915. Our name was changed to the "Evanston Alumnae Chapter" on November 1, 1948, when we became an officially recognized alumnae chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota.
The majority of our events are held in the north suburbs and northern neighborhoods of Chicago.
All initiated members of Sigma Alpha Iota living in the Chicago and North Suburbs area are welcome to attend social events and business meetings with our chapter. Upon meeting our members, and provided you are in good standing with National Headquarters, you may affiliate with Evanston Alumnae. Affiliations happen twice a year at our formal meetings. To receive chapter news and invitations to our events, please contact our Vice President of Membership Terry-Ann Saurmann.
What's it Like?
If you have never been affiliated with an alumnae chapter, you may wonder how it compares to your college chapter. Most SAI alumnae will tell you that they enjoy alumnae life as much as, if not more, than their college experience. In general, alumnae chapters are more laid back and flexible - no more meetings at 10pm! We understand that our members are busy with jobs and families, and everyone contributes as they are able.
We get together once a month for a meeting or social event. There is generally a summer social event in July or August, and we begin our year in September. Our traditional events include a holiday party in December. We believe in providing our members with meetings that are fun and entertaining, so they often have a strong theme - for instance, we once held a salute to college football, complete with the history of school fight songs and plenty of tailgating food! At our meetings, chapter members have the opportunity to perform, present lectures, or serve as hostess. Most of our members are employed in some music capacity, although we also have members who simply love music and wish to continue promoting it through SAI.
Those who have chosen to affiliate with our chapter have said it's our friendliness, dedication to music, and genuine care about each other that make Evanston the chapter for them.