Alpha Omicron Pi
Alpha Omicron Pi crest.png
FoundedJanuary 2, 1897; 125 years ago (1897-01-02)
Barnard College
MottoInspire Ambition
Colors  Cardinal
SymbolSheaf of wheat
FlowerJacqueminot rose
PublicationTo Dragma
PhilanthropyThe Arthritis Foundation
Chapters143 active collegiate chapters
Members191,000 + lifetime
Headquarters5390 Virginia Way
Brentwood, TN 37027

Alpha Omicron Pi (ΑΟΠ, AOII, Alpha O) is an international women's fraternity founded on January 2, 1897, at Barnard College on the campus of Columbia University in New York City.[1][2]

"AOII," and "Alpha O," the familiar names of the fraternity,[3] is open to women regardless of ethnicity, religion or socio-economic background,[4] with 134 active collegiate chapters and 159 active alumnae chapters in Canada and the U.S.A.[5] The fraternity is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, and is a member of the National Panhellenic Conference.[1] Major symbolism includes the color cardinal, the ruby and the 'Général Jacqueminot' rose. The fraternity publishes a magazine for the benefit of members, named To Dragma.[1]

Alpha Omicron Pi was founded on the ideas found in the object of the fraternity—character, dignity, scholarship, and college loyalty.[6]


The fraternity was founded January 2, 1897, at Barnard College by four women: Jessie Wallace Hughan, Helen St. Clair Mullan, Elizabeth Heywood Wyman, and Stella George Stern Perry. They pledged one another in the Columbia Law Library to begin their fraternity. Within one week of its founding, the four founders used their initiation ritual for the first time to initiate Anne Richardson Hall.[1][2]

National expansion began in 1898 with the founding of Pi Chapter at New Orleans' Sophie Newcomb College (now part of Tulane University). Stella George Stern Perry, who was then the president of the fraternity, contacted a New Orleans classmate, Evelyn Reed, who expressed compatible ideas about fraternities. Reed's sister, Katherine Reed, became the first pledge of Pi Chapter. After being initiated by Perry, Katherine Reed found others to initiate.[1][7]

In 1905, Alpha Omicron Pi joined the National Panhellenic Conference.[8]

In 1967, the fraternity partnered with the Arthritis Foundation.[9] In 1999, the fraternity's national council voted to establish AOII Properties, a branch which manages individual chapter housing, including safety, finances, and maintenance. The subsidiary was then officially formed in 2001 but did not begin to transfer local housing contracts to national corporation control until 2009.[10]


Alpha Omicron Pi has one official color, cardinal. Its official flower is the 'Général Jacqueminot', or Jacqueminot rose.[11] Alternatively, a deep red rose may be used.[5] The fraternity's official jewel is the ruby, while its mascot is the giant panda, which the fraternity unofficially adopted in 1976 but made official in 2017.[5]

Members of the fraternity wear three different pins depending on membership status. New members who have not been initiated wear a gold sheaf of wheat pin bound by a ribbon bearing the letters AOII, symbolizing individuals bound together by friendship. After initiation, members may wear the membership badge. When the fraternity establishes a new charter, the founding members wear gold rose charter member pins which symbolize new growth.[5]


Alpha Omicron Pi participates in fundraising and volunteer efforts via its philanthropic arm, the Alpha Omicron Pi Foundation. The foundation allocates grants to the fraternity's philanthropy, arthritis research, as well scholarships, educational grants, and emergency funds for fraternity members.[12] The funds also support conference speakers, training events, and personal development programs for members.[11]

The fraternity is partnered with the Arthritis Foundation.[1][9] The partnership began in 1967, with the fraternity members contributing volunteer hours and fundraising events to raise money for arthritis research and camps for juvenile arthritis. Stuffed panda bears are collected each year to give to children attending Arthritis Foundation camps and conferences. The fraternity's national campaign for arthritis awareness is “AOII Goes Blue,” with local chapters creating individual chapter events. "Strike Out Arthritis!" (SOA) Is the fraternity's signature fundraising event. SOA Events are held each year at MLB games since the fraternity cites "strong relationships [with] Major League Baseball teams."[9] Individual chapters hold their own SOA events which vary from bowling tournaments to pageants to barbecues with funds going to AOII Foundation specifically for arthritis research.[citation needed]

Other programs the fraternity supports is Sisters for Soldiers, where members collect items and write letters to soldiers.[9]


The Ruby Fund are grants that are raised by alumnae and collegiate members awarded to past initiated sisters in need of financial help from sisters. Applications for assistance are reviewed and ultimately chosen by the Foundation's Ruby Fund Committee.[13]



Main article: List of Alpha Omicron Pi chapters

Since 1897, the fraternity has initiated over 191,000 members in 212 collegiate chapters across the United States and Canada, with 143 active chapters.[5][2]



Name Chapter Notability Ref(s)
Aneta Corsaut Rho Actress best known for her role as Helen Crump in The Andy Griffith Show and the 1958 film The Blob. [14]
Ashley Crow Delta Delta Actress [15]
Ashley Davis Zeta Pi Miss Alabama 2010 [16]
Katie Layman Epsilon Gamma Miss Colorado 2009 [17]
Jamie Lynn Macchia Theta Pi Miss New York 2015 [18]
Mary Margaret McCord Alpha Delta 2013 Miss USA first runner-up (representing state of Alabama) [19]
Natasha Paracha Sigma Miss Pakistan World 2008 [20]
Parvati Shallow Lambda Sigma contestant on Survivor: Cook Islands, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Winner of Survivor: Micronesia at the University of Georgia. [21]
Katherine Southard Epsilon Chi Miss North Carolina 2009 [22]
Sofia Vassilieva Alpha actress: My Sister's Keeper (2009), Medium (2005), and The Wonderful World of Disney (1995) [23]
Natalie White Sigma Omicron Winner of Survivor: Samoa [24]

Literature and Music

Name Chapter Notability Ref(s)
Anne Byrn Lambda Sigma Author of "Cake Mix Doctor," books, University of Georgia [25]
Janice Torre Pi Songwriter, lyricist of song Paper Roses [26]


Name Chapter Notability Ref(s)
Carolyn Alvey Kappa Kappa Public Relations professional, leader of a five-member team that developed the Amber Alert [27]
Margaret Bourke-White Omicron Pi Photographer and journalist, joined Alpha Omicron Pi while at the University of Michigan. Her works were donated to Alpha Omicron Pi upon her death in 1971, and today are displayed at the international headquarters. [28]
Janis Mackey Frayer Beta Tau Television journalist with NBC News [29]
Angie Goff Gamma Alpha News Anchor and Journalist for WRC-TV [30]
Catherine Mackin Pi Delta Television personality, Two Time Broadcast Journalism Emmy Award Winner for NBC, ABC News (20/20). First Woman to broadcast from a National Convention Floor (1972). Also, First Woman to solely Anchor an Evening Network Newscast on a regular basis, NBC Nightly News. [31]
Dr. Melina Jampolis Delta Diet & Nutrition Author-The Calendar Diet, The Doctor on Demand Diet, etc. CNN Diet and Nutrition Medical Correspondent. Seen on Discovery Channel's The Fitness Doctor (Host) 2005. Also, seen on TV shows such as: The Doctors; Dr. Oz; Live with Kelly; Today Show. [32]


Name Chapter Notability Ref(s)
Susan Brooks Omega United States Congresswoman representing Indiana. [33]
Wendy Chamberlin Rho Former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan. [34]
Mary Dawson Kappa Phi The current Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner of Canada. She was appointed by the minority Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper on July 9, 2007, as the Conflict of Interest Act came into force. Mary Dawson was made a Queen's Counsel in 1978 and was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2007. [33]
Lucy Somerville Howorth Kappa Lawyer, feminist, and politician known for her New Deal legislative efforts. [35]
Jessie Wallace Hughan Alpha Founder and first Secretary of the War Resisters League. [36]
Teresa Lubbers Kappa Alpha Indiana State Senator 1992—2009, current Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education. [37]


Name Chapter Notability Ref(s)
Nancy Winifred Diehl Dear Alpha Phi American Quarter Horse Association's Hall of Fame Inductee and National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Inductee. [38]
Mercedes Farhat Gamma Omicron 2008 Olympic Swimmer. Second woman to swim for Libya in the Olympic Games. [39]
Kendall Gretsch Delta Kappa 2018 and 2020 Paralympic gold medalist. She has the unique distinction of winning gold medals in both the Summer Paralympics and Winter Paralympics. [40]
Courtney Kupets Lambda Sigma World Champion Gymnast & Olympic medalist at the University of Georgia. [41]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Anson, Jack L.; Marchenasi, Robert F., eds. (1991) [1879]. Baird's Manual of American Fraternities (20th ed.). Indianapolis: Baird's Manual Foundation, Inc. pp. IV-13–15. ISBN 978-0963715906.
  2. ^ a b c William Raimond Baird; Carroll Lurding (eds.). "Almanac of Fraternities and Sororities (Baird's Manual Online Archive), showing Alpha Omicron Pi chapters". Student Life and Culture Archives. University of Illinois: University of Illinois Archives. Retrieved 30 December 2021. The main archive URL is The Baird's Manual Online Archive homepage.
  3. ^ For convenience, all women's fraternities are collectively known as sororities to distinguish them from men's groups, while legal documents and more formal writing may refer to a group as a women's fraternity.
  4. ^ To Dragma. Fall/Winter 2012,
  5. ^ a b c d e "AOII Believes in a Fraternal Culture | Alpha Omicron Pi". Alpha Omicron Pi. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  6. ^ "Character | Dignity | Scholarship | Loyalty". Alpha Omicron Pi. Retrieved 2020-03-15.
  7. ^ ΑΟΠ's national website notes the Tulane expansion, accessed 26 Aug 2018.
  8. ^ "Manual of Information" (PDF). National Panhellenic Conference. Jan 2018. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  9. ^ a b c d "Alpha Omicron Pi's Philanthropy is the Arthritis Foundation". Alpha Omicron Pi. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  10. ^ "The History Of AOII Properties | Alpha Omicron Pi". Alpha Omicron Pi. 2018-08-06. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  11. ^ a b "Manual of Information" (PDF). National Panhellenic Conference. Jan 2018. p. 18. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  12. ^ "Our Scholarship and Grant Programs | Alpha Omicron Pi". Alpha Omicron Pi. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  13. ^ "Our Scholarship and Grant Programs". Alpha Omicron Pi. Retrieved 2020-03-15.
  14. ^ "Aneta Corseaut". Alpha Omicron Pi. Summer 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27.
  15. ^ "Ashley Crow". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  16. ^ Baxi, Nishita (May 12, 2010). "Ashley Davis-Miss Alabama 2010". Rollins College: Mu Lambda Chapter. Retrieved July 27, 2014.
  17. ^ "Katie Layman". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  18. ^ "Jamie Lynn Macchia, Miss New York 2015". Jamie Lynn Macchia, Miss New York 2015. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  19. ^ "Mary–Margaret McCord – Miss Alabama USA 2013". Pageant Update. Archived from the original on 2018-05-28. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  20. ^ Dominus, Susan (2008-12-18). "Pakistan May Not Be Ready for Its Beauty Queen". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  21. ^ "Parvati Shallow". Archived from the original on 2008-06-08. Retrieved 2008-06-23.
  22. ^ WRAL. "Raleigh woman crowned new Miss North Carolina ::". Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  23. ^ "Sofia Vassilieva". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  24. ^ "Survivor Winner". Archived from the original on 17 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-21.
  25. ^ I Univers
  26. ^ International Motion Picture Almanac – Page 320 – 1951
  27. ^ "Fall/Winter 2018 - To Dragma". anyflip. Retrieved 2022-04-12.
  28. ^ "Margaret Bourke-White Papers". Syracuse University. July 20, 2005. Retrieved 2007-02-04.
  29. ^ "Janis Mackey Frayer | NBC News Journalist | Muck Rack". Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  30. ^ "angie goff ohmygoff". angie goff ohmygoff. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  31. ^ To Dragma magazine of AOII, 1997
  32. ^ "PHILOSOPHY – Nutrition MD". Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  33. ^ a b Source: Alpha Omicron Pi Women's Fraternity.
  34. ^ Kattan, Lara (May 25, 2007). "Alums in politics reflect on NU's changed political landscape". North By Northwestern. Archived from the original on April 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  35. ^ "Lucy Somerville Howorth: Lawyer, Politician, and Feminist | Mississippi History Now". Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  36. ^ Mari Jo Buhle, "Jessie Wallace Hughan (1875–1955)," in Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle, and Dan Georgakas (eds.), Encyclopedia of the American Left. New York: Garland Publishing Co., 1990; pg. 339.
  37. ^ "TeresaLubbers". Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
  38. ^ "Doug and Nancy Dear". March 2011. Archived from the original on 2018-12-12. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  39. ^ "Marco swimmer Mercedes Farhat reflects on her experiences after the Olympics". Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  40. ^ "Notable Sorority Women". Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  41. ^ "Courtney Kupets: Info: Biography". Archived from the original on 27 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-04.