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History

Alpha Phi: Rich in History and Tradition

At a time when society looked upon women only as daughters, wives, and mothers—and therefore not in need of higher education—our ten founders were pioneers of the coeducational system. Attending school with the handicap of implied, if not open, opposition, our founders sought support from each other.

There was a need for a social center, a place of conference, a tie which should unite, a circle of friends who could sympathize with one another in their perplexities. They formed Alpha Phi in 1872 at Syracuse University.

Today, Alpha Phi continues to provide a "tie which unites, a circle of friends" for women young and old all around the world. From hand to hand and heart to heart, we are all grateful and proud of the legacy left to us by our founders.

 
Alpha Phi Milestones & Firsts

1875 invited Francis E. Willard (a women's suffrage leader) to become the first alumna initiate.

1886 becomes the first women's fraternity to build and occupy its own chapter house.

1888 established the Alpha Phi Quarterly, an award-winning magazine that has been published continuously to the present day.

1894 became the first women's fraternity to use "traveling delegates," now known as Educational Leadership Consultants.

1902 call the inter-sorority meeting that resulted in the formation of the association now known as the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC).

1905 had a member, Francis E. Willard, recognized by the U.S. Congress who placed a statue of her in Statuary Hall in the rotunda of the U.S. Capital, the first woman to be so recognized. 

1906 became an "International" fraternity when Xi chapter was chartered at the University of Toronto.

1906 adopted the current, standard badge, the first women's organization to use Greek letters as an emblem.

1940 had a member, Francis E. Willard, portrayed on a U.S. postage stamp.

1956 becomes one of the first women's Fraternities to establish a Foundation.  The Alpha Phi Foundation provides support for women's cardiac care and research, scholarships, aid to members in need and grants to the Fraternity for leadership training and educational programs.

1995 became the first NPC international/national member to have a site on the World Wide Web.