Alpha Chi Omega was founded as a women’s fraternal organization 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, wearing scarlet and olive green ribbon streamers attached to their dresses.
- Nickname: Alpha Chi, A-Chi-O
- Colors: Scarlet Red and Olive Green
- Symbol: Lyre
- Flower: Red Carnation
- Motto: “Together let us seek the heights”
The historical purpose of Alpha Chi Omega was to provide the advancement of the intellectual, social and moral culture of its members. Today, Alpha Chi Omega membership exceeds 200,000 initiated members with over 130+ active collegiate chapters and 200+ alumnae chapters.
Alpha Chi Omega’s Founders chose “Alpha,” the first letter of the Greek alphabet, because they were forming the first fraternity in the school of music. Since they thought they might also be founding the last such fraternity, “Omega” seemed appropriate. “Kai,” meaning “and,” was added to form the beginning and the end. “Kai” was soon changed to “Chi,” a letter of the Greek alphabet.