Alpha Phi was the first American college sorority. It was founded at Syracuse University in 1872, where Alpha Chapter still exists. At its formation the sisterhood numbered ten women. One of these was Martha Foote Crowe,who later became Alpha Phi's first president. "Pursuing their studies in a thoroughly male-dominated environment, these women had a pressing needfor friends who could sympathize with each other's problems and supporteach other's aspirations."(The Ivy Leaf) In addition, Alpha Phi organized the first interfraternity association, known today as the National Panhellenic Conference, in 1902 when they calledthe first successful inter-sorority meeting with Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, and Delta Delta Delta. Alpha Phi is now an international fraternity having over 140 chapters throughout the United States and Canada. Alpha Phi has a membership of over 100,000 women and approximately 4,500 women pledge Alpha Phi every year. The internationalpresident is Virginia Burson Struble. Our district (one of eleven) contains sixteen chapters and we are under the guidance of Liz Laporte.
Objective/Aim of Sorority: At all times, it is our aim to consciously endeavor to promote the highest ideals of womanhood. In our effort to become more effective and contributing members of society, we shall strive for growth of character, intellectual development and excellenceof scholarship, as well as to perfect our leadership capabilities. In all that we do, we shall encourage unity of feeling, sisterly affection,and social communion. We shall employ the principles of justice and rightand give and receive mutual criticism in a spirit of love. As we search for truth and individual growth, we shall be mindful of our personal conduct. Our attitudes, beliefs and actions must in no way reflect a damaging influence on the image of our Chapter or Fraternity, or our sisters individually. We shall endeavor to represent the best in culture and refinement. We shall abide by the Constitution, Standing Rules and Collegiate Chapter Operations Manual of Alpha Phi International Fraternity. Specifically,we wish to instill and preserve individual integrity and excellence of personalstandards befitting an Alpha Phi. (Taken from Collegiate Chapter Operations Manual)
Cornell Chapter History: Delta Chapter's history begins with a visit by two Syracuse Alpha Phis in early 1889 for the purpose of beginning a chapter at Cornell. These visitors pledged four Cornell women who then pledged five more. In February 1889, Alpha initiated these nine women in a ceremony held at the Ithaca Hotel. Delta Chapter has been located in a number of places during its years ofexistence. First housed in Sage College, the chapter moved there in 1898. A house unit was tried from 1907-8 at 214 Eddy Street but failed as the sisters felt they lost interest in University affairs. The chapter remained in Sage College until 1917 when a shortage of housing forced University officials to request that organized groups find their own houses. Delta rented Alpha Zeta's house at 214 Thurston Ave. for the year 1917-8. 1918-1921 were spent at 114 Kelvin Place. In 1921, this house was sold necessitating a move. 411 Thurston, a house built by Amy Cooper Wurster(Alpha '91) was purchased and has remained the chapter house ever since. The original house, pictures of which may be seen in old Cornellians, wasenlarged twice. Once in 1937, when the side wings were added and again in 1961, when the new wing was built.
Philanthropy: Since 1946, Alpha Phi has focused on heartdisease and cardiac care as a philanthropic priority. Today, research into the diagnosis and treatment of women's heart disease in a special interestof the Alpha Phi Foundation. Gender differences in diagnosing and treating cardiac health problems are becoming widely recognized, and donors can make a difference for thousands of women through gifts to the Alpha Phi Foundation. The Foundation funds educational programming in the areas of alcohol and AIDS awareness, women's health and safety, and other WatchCare programs developed for Alpha Phi collegiate chapters. The Foundation also funds the educational training sessions at Convention and Leadership Conferences that help officers develop the skills necessary to assume strong leadership roles within their chapters, as well as in the future. Participants in Convention and Leadership Conferences learn new insights into building effective teams and improving relationships, which they, in turn, use to enhance their chapters. The Foundation also supports women in all stages of their education. Undergraduate and graduate scholarships are awarded to Alpha Phi collegians and alumnae every year. Nontraditional educational scholarships are alsoavailable to Alpha Phi women who need additional course work for certification, career advancement or to reenter the work force.
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