|Alpha Omicron Pi|
|Founded||January 2, 1897|
(New York, New York)
|Symbol||Sheaf of wheat|
|Philanthropy||The Arthritis Foundation|
|Chapters||143 active collegiate chapters|
|Members||191,000 + lifetime|
|Headquarters||5390 Virginia Way|
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.
"AOII," and "Alpha O," the familiar names of the fraternity, is open to women regardless of ethnicity, religion or socio-economic background, with 143 active collegiate chapters and 159 active alumnae chapters in Canada and the U.S.A. The fraternity is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, and is a member of the National Panhellenic Conference. 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.
Alpha Omicron Pi was founded on the ideas found in the object of the fraternity--character, dignity, scholarship, and college loyalty.
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.
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.
In 1905, Alpha Omicron Pi joined the National Panhellenic Conference.
In 1967, the fraternity partnered with the Arthritis Foundation. 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.
The fraternity now celebrates its founding date at any point between December 8 and January 2.
Alpha Omicron Pi has one official color, cardinal. Its official flower is the 'Général Jacqueminot', or Jacqueminot rose. Alternatively, a deep red rose may be used. 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.
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 colony, the founding members wear gold rose colony member pins which symbolize new growth.
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. The funds also support conference speakers, training events, and personal development programs for members.
The fraternity is partnered with the Arthritis Foundation. 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." 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.
Other programs the fraternity supports is Sisters for Soldiers, where members collect items and write letters to soldiers.
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.
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.
|Aneta Corsaut||Rho||Actress best known for her role as Helen Crump in The Andy Griffith Show and the 1958 film The Blob.|||
|Ashley Crow||Delta Delta||Actress|||
|Ashley Davis||Zeta Pi||Miss Alabama 2010|||
|Katie Layman||Epsilon Gamma||Miss Colorado 2009|||
|Jamie Lynn Macchia||Theta Pi||Miss New York 2015|||
|Mary Margaret McCord||Alpha Delta||2013 Miss USA first runner-up (representing state of Alabama)|||
|Natasha Paracha||Sigma||Miss Pakistan World 2008|||
|Parvati Shallow||Lambda Sigma||contestant on Survivor: Cook Islands, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Winner of Survivor: Micronesia at the University of Georgia.|||
|Katherine Southard||Epsilon Chi||Miss North Carolina 2009|||
|Sofia Vassilieva||Alpha||actress: My Sister's Keeper (2009), Medium (2005), and The Wonderful World of Disney (1995)|||
|Natalie White||Sigma Omicron||Winner of Survivor: Samoa|||
Literature and Music
|Anne Byrn||Lambda Sigma||Author of "Cake Mix Doctor," books, University of Georgia|||
|Janice Torre||Pi||Songwriter, lyricist of song Paper Roses|||
|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.|||
|Janis Mackey Frayer||Beta Tau||Television journalist with NBC News|||
|Angie Goff||Gamma Alpha||News Anchor and Journalist for WRC-TV|||
|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.|||
|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.|||
|Susan Brooks||Omega||United States Congresswoman representing Indiana.|||
|Wendy Chamberlin||Rho||Former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan.|||
|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.|||
|Lucy Somerville Howorth||Kappa||Lawyer, feminist, and politician known for her New Deal legislative efforts.|||
|Jessie Wallace Hughan||Alpha||Founder and first Secretary of the War Resisters League.|||
|Teresa Lubbers||Kappa Alpha||Indiana State Senator 1992—2009, current Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education.|||
|Nancy Winifred Diehl Dear||Alpha Phi||American Quarter Horse Association's Hall of Fame Inductee and National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Inductee.|||
|Mercedes Farhat||Gamma Omicron||2008 Olympic Swimmer. Second woman to swim for Libya in the Olympic Games.|||
|Courtney Kupets||Lambda Sigma||Olympic and World Champion Gymnast at the University of Georgia.|||