Alpha Xi Delta
FoundedApril 17, 1893; 131 years ago (1893-04-17)
Lombard College, Galesburg, Illinois
MottoThe Pen is Mightier than the Sword
Colors  Light blue

  Dark blue

FlowerPink rose
JewelPearl, diamond
PublicationThe Quill of Alpha Xi Delta
Chapters130 active (217 total)
Members171,000+ lifetime
MascotBetXi Bear
Headquarters1389 W. 86th St.
Indianapolis, Indiana 46260
United States

Alpha Xi Delta (ΑΞΔ, often referred to as A-"Zee"-D ) is a women's fraternity founded on April 17, 1893[1][2] at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois, United States.[3]

Alpha Xi Delta is a member of National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), the umbrella organization of 26 national sororities. The sorority has over 171,000 initiated members and maintains active chapters at 130 institutions across the United States.

Early history

In 1893, ten young women at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois founded Alpha Xi Delta.[3][4] They ranged in age from 16 to 26.

The ten founders were:

In 1904, the sorority joined the National Panhellenic Conference. Alpha Xi Delta's Ella Boston Leib was NPC Chair in 1906. Lena Grandin Baldwin, an Alpha Xi Delta who served as NPC Chairman from 1912 to 1915, wrote the Panhellenic Creed.[5]

Alpha Xi Delta was referred to as a sorority until 1913 when the term "women's fraternity" was adopted.[4]

Alpha Xi Delta House at the University of Texas at Austin


The colors of Alpha Xi Delta are double blue (light and dark) and gold.[6] The fraternity flower is the pink rose,[6] as chosen by the founders to complement the white rose of Sigma Nu fraternity, whose brothers helped to found Alpha Xi Delta at Lombard College.[7]

Alpha Xi Delta's badge is the shape of a quill, with the fraternity's Greek letters on the barbs of the feathers. It may only be worn by initiated members in good standing. The quill represents the open motto "The Pen is Mightier than the Sword."[8] A variety of designs were produced in the early years of the fraternity; a standard design was devised by 1911.[9]

The Coat of Arms is described as: "... a shield supported by two griffins. In the golden band across the center of the shield is the Quill. Three conventional roses are at the top of the shield, and a broken sword is in the lower portion of the shield. Above the shield on the knight's helmet is a twist of ribbon in alternating blue and gold, and a blossomed rose."[6]

BetXi Bear has been the fraternity's official mascot since 1989.[6]


Alpha Xi Delta's open creed is called "The Symphony of Alpha Xi Delta", and it lists the ideals of the fraternity's members. It was written in 1924 by Helen Willis Lynn, Alice Matthews, and Almira Cheney, one of the founders.[10]

"These things do we earnestly desire: A clear vision of life, that with gracious and kindly hearts we may share both joy and sorrow and bring into living reality the Sisterhood of women. An appreciation of real merit and worth, steadfastness of soul, that without bitterness or defeat, we may encounter misfortune and with humility meet success. These things, O Lord, help us to instill within our hearts that we may grow in courage and graciousness and peace."[11]


Alpha Xi Delta has supported a variety of philanthropies over its history. In 2022, building on the success of the Kindly Hearts Campaign of 2021 (support for those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic) Alpha Xi Delta announced its new national philanthropy: the Kindly Hearts Initiative (support for children experiencing foster care or homelessness.)[12][13] From 2009 to 2021, its national philanthropic partner was Autism Speaks. The sorority raised more than $12 million for Autism Speaks.[14]

Alpha Xi Delta Philanthropy Timeline[15]
Years Title
2022- Kindly Hearts Initiative
2021-2022 Kindly Hearts Campaign
2009-2021 Autism Speaks
1992-2009 Choose Children
1978-1992 Respiratory Health/American Lung Association
1970-1978 Pittman Hall School
1947 Village of Noorwyk (Netherlands)
1930 Carcassone School (Kentucky)
Pre-1930 YWCA, American Red Cross

The AmaXIng Challenge

Each college chapter participates annually in one of six events called "The AmaXing Challenge: Step It Up; Xi Man/Xi Woman; Sports FrenXi; Xi Games; Xi Karaoke; or AmaXing Gala. Funds that are raised support the Kindly Hearts Initiative.[16]

Letters of Love

In November of each year, collegiate and alumnae members participate in an online letter-writing project to raise funds and awareness effort. Letters of Love supports two "key impact" organizations: FosterClub and StandUp for Kids.[17]


University of Illinois chapter house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Students line up in front of the Alpha Xi Delta house at Purdue University during recruitment.


"Alpha Xi Delta Fraternity is a private women's membership organization for individuals who live and self-identify as women. Members are selected following a series of one or more meetings, social events, and/or interviews by existing Fraternity members (which may include National Fraternity representatives and/or National Council designees). Each woman selected for membership in Alpha Xi Delta must demonstrate academic achievement, be of good character, have the desire to contribute to the Fraternity's mission and vision and be able to contribute to the overall prestige of Alpha Xi Delta. In addition, she must be neither a pledged member nor a past or present initiated member of any other National Panhellenic Conference fraternity, or any similar single–gender national college or university fraternity, with the exception of honorary and professional organizations." [18]


Main article: List of Alpha Xi Delta chapters

Notable members

Art and architecture



Literature and journalism


Politics and government

Science and engineering


Controversies and misconduct

Women at Georgia Tech

After several failed attempts, women were admitted for the first time at Georgia Tech in the 1950s. To help support the first women on campus, women's advocate and Alpha Xi Delta alumna Ella Wall Van Leer helped establish a chapter of Alpha Xi Delta on the Georgia Tech campus. Ella and her husband Blake R Van Leer were also credited for the first steps towards integration at Georgia Tech due to their stand against the state Governor.[3][38][39][40]

Ending racial barriers

An event from the waning days of World War II showcases the intensity whereby collegiate members were beginning to break from cultural norms that were common until those decades of change. Few Black students attended the University of Vermont by mid-century - there were only two enrolled in 1943. Many of the student body, including the majority of members of the ΑΞΔ chapter on the campus had agitated in 1945-46 for the removal of racial and religious quotas that had limited enrollment for decades.

In October 1945, Crystal Malone, one of the few Black students, was a junior on the Burlington campus of the University of Vermont. The Upsilon chapter of Alpha Xi Delta offered her membership.[41] Although the fraternity constitution did not have explicit racial restrictions, the National Council ordered the local chapter to withdraw its offer. They refused. The National President, Winnafred Corwin Robinson (Mrs. Beverly Robinson) ordered the chapter closed.[42]

Today, the fraternity's constitution and bylaws state: "Alpha Xi Delta Fraternity believes it is inherent in our principles not to discriminate based on religion, race, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, citizenship, or age."

Crystal Malone later married the first Black graduate of the Naval Academy, Wesley A. Brown. She had a long career as a teacher and community leader.[43]

Local chapter misconduct

The official policy of the National Fraternity is that: "All initiated members of Alpha Xi Delta, are responsible for upholding the values and principles of the Fraternity at all times."[18] Local chapters also are required to abide by the policies of their college and NPC. Chapters that violate health, safety, and other policies are subject to disciplinary action from the National Council.[18] Some examples are:

See also


  1. ^ Alpha Xi Delta. Vol. 5–6. G. Banta Company. 1907. p. 143. OCLC 445768029. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
  2. ^ Baird, William Raimond; Brown, James Taylor (1920). Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (9th ed.). G. Banta Company. pp. 430–432. OCLC 17350924. Retrieved 2011-04-10.. Baird's Manual is also available online here: The Baird's Manual Online Archive homepage.
  3. ^ a b c William Raimond Baird; Carroll Lurding (eds.). "Almanac of Fraternities and Sororities (Baird's Manual Online Archive), showing Alpha Xi Delta 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.
  4. ^ a b Trent, Karen Pyle (ed.) Alpha Xi Delta: A 100-Year History Printed by Order of the National Council of Alpha Xi Delta, 1993.
  5. ^ "Alpha Xi Delta: History/Insignia". Alpha Xi Delta. Archived from the original on 2012-04-01. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  6. ^ a b c d "Founders & Insignia". Alpha Xi Delta. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  7. ^ "Alpha Xi Delta Manuscript Collection". Knox College Library. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
  8. ^ "Quill Badge". Alpha Xi Delta. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  9. ^ "The History of our Quill". Alpha Xi Delta. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  10. ^ "The Quill of Alpha Xi Delta - Winter 2017". Issuu. 3 February 2017. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  11. ^ "About Alpha Xi Delta". Alpha Xi Delta. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  12. ^ "Kindly Hearts Campaign". Alpha Xi Delta.
  13. ^ "Kindly Hearts Initiative". Alpha Xi Delta. Retrieved 2022-10-22.
  14. ^ "Statement about Alpha Xi Delta's Philanthropic Focus". Alpha Xi Delta. Retrieved 2022-10-22.
  15. ^ The Quill of Alpha Xi Delta. 125th anniversary edition. (2018)
  16. ^ "AmaXIng Challenge". Alpha Xi Delta. Retrieved 2022-10-22.
  17. ^ "Alpha Xi Delta Fraternity". Alpha Xi Delta Fraternity. Retrieved 2022-10-22.
  18. ^ a b c "Policies". Alpha Xi Delta. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  19. ^ Spikes, Lauren (1 November 2013). "Greek Life Commemorates 125 Years at Tech". Georgia Tech. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Summer 2006 Quill – Distinguished Designer" (PDF). Alpha Xi Delta. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  21. ^ a b "The Quill of Alpha Xi Delta - Fall/Winter 2007". Issuu. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  22. ^ "The Quill of Alpha Xi Delta; Summer 2013". Alpha Xi Delta. September 1, 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
  23. ^ "Featured Friday! - Alex and Ani". March 8, 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-01-06. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
  24. ^ "The Quill of Alpha Xi Delta - Spring 2014". Issuu. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  25. ^ "Georgia Tech Guide to Greek Life 2017". Issuu. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  26. ^ "'Pitch Perfect 2' star Chrissie Fit: From Hialeah to Hollywood". miamiherald. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  27. ^ "Sorority Women Competing in Miss USA 2016 - Fraternity History & More". Fraternity History & More. 2016-06-03. Archived from the original on 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  28. ^ "The Quill of Alpha Xi Delta - Summer 2013". Issuu. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  29. ^ "10 Sorority Women From the Golden Age of Television - Fraternity History & More". Fraternity History & More. 2014-03-31. Archived from the original on 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  30. ^ "Miss Delaware 2012 Alyssa Murray - Miss America". Miss America. Archived from the original on 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  31. ^ "Miss WV Appearance Scheduled" (PDF). The Glenville Mercury. 1981-03-27. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-18. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  32. ^ "Patsy Ramsey dies from cancer". The Denver Post. 2006-06-24. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  33. ^ "SORORITY WOMEN WHO HAVE WON MISS AMERICA AND MISS USA - Fraternity History & More". Fraternity History & More. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  34. ^ "The Quill of Alpha Xi Delta - Fall/Winter 2008". Issuu. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  36. ^ "Fall 2004 Quill – She's a Leader, a Trailblazer, an Inspiration!" (PDF). Alpha Xi Delta. 2004. Retrieved 2007-03-19. [dead link]
  37. ^ "Astronaut Bio: N. Jan Davis". NASA. January 2006. Archived from the original on 10 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
  38. ^ "The Incredible Women that Created Our Chapter".
  39. ^ "Georgia Tech Celebrates 50 Years of Women". Georgia Tech. March 21, 2003. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  40. ^ "Ella Van Leer: The 'backbone' of women at Tech". Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. Vol. 79, no. 2. Fall 2002. p. 42.
  41. ^ "Crystal Malone Brown, D.C. educator who tried to integrate sorority in the 1940s, dies at 94 - The Washington Post". The Washington Post.
  42. ^ Noted in the Vermont Quarterly Online Magazine, "Fall issue", undated and unnamed byline. Accessed 8 Mar 2021.
  43. ^ "Crystal Malone Brown, D.C. educator who tried to integrate sorority in the 1940s, dies at 94". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  44. ^ "Unrecognized Organizations – Miami University". Archived from the original on 2017-11-29. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  45. ^ "More Drunken Sorority Madness". The Smoking Gun. 2010-07-11. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  46. ^ "Unrecognized Organizations - Miami University". Archived from the original on 2017-11-29. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  47. ^ Dahm, Daniel (2017-11-21). "UCF sorority suspended amid hazing, alcohol-related allegations". WKMG. Retrieved 2017-11-21.