Alpha Sigma Alpha
|Alpha Sigma Alpha|
November 15, 1901
|Emphasis||Developing women of poise & purpose|
|Mission statement||strive to develop women of poise & purpose; and assist members in fostering lifetime friendships.|
|Motto||Aspire, Seek, Attain|
|Colors||Palm Green Gold|
|Symbol||phoenix, crown, palm tree, star|
|Flower||Narcissus, Aster (genus)|
S. June Smith Center,
Girls On the Run International
|Chapters||150 collegiate & alumnae chapters|
|Mascot||Dot the Ladybug|
|Headquarters||9002 Vincennes Circle
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Alpha Sigma Alpha (ΑΣΑ) is a US national sorority founded on November 15, 1901 at the Virginia State Female Normal School (later known as Longwood College and now known as Longwood University) in Farmville, Virginia. The Virginia State Female Normal School was the state’s first institution to open its doors to teacher education, at a time when higher education for women was a highly debated topic. There are currently over 145 chapters of Alpha Sigma Alpha nationwide with more than 100,000 members.
In the fall of 1901, at Longwood University five friends, Virginia Lee Boyd-Noell (Virginia Boyd), Juliette Jefferson Hundley-Gilliam (Juliette Hundley), Calva Hamlet Watson-Wootton (Calva Watson), Louise Burks Cox-Carper (Louise Cox), and Mary Williamson-Hundley (Mary Williamson) decided to rush the local women's fraternities on campus. However, rather than accepting bids that would separate the group, they decided to form their own sorority. On November 15, 1901 Alpha Sigma Alpha was named and chartered. The open motto of the sorority is "Aspire, Seek, Attain."
Around the same time period three other sororities were formed: Kappa Delta sorority (fall 1897), Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority (spring 1898), and Zeta Tau Alpha women's fraternity (fall 1898). Following the founding of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority in 1901, these four organizations were henceforth referred to as the "Farmville Four". Today, a four-faced clock tower on the university’s campus is dedicated to these women’s organizations. Each clock face displays the Greek letters of one of the “Farmville Four” founded on that campus.
Timeline of events
1901: Founding of Alpha Sigma Alpha at Longwood College on November 15
1906: The first publication, Aegis, is printed
1913: Ida Shaw Martin is elected to membership, Only teachers' colleges and colleges of education within universities will be eligible as ASA chapters
1914: Convention over Thanksgiving weekend at the Miami University, Ohio: Rituals, customs, symbols elaborated and developed, constitution formulated, inception of weekly publication The Phoenix
1951: Alpha Sigma Alpha petitions for membership to the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) and is accepted on November 12
1976: Special Olympics added as national philanthropy
1990: Additional philanthropic project added: S. June Smith Center
1998: National headquarters moved to Indianapolis, Indiana
2008: National headquarters building opens in September 2008 at 9002 Vincennes Circle, Indianapolis, Indiana
2008: ASA adopts official ladybug mascot named Dot
2009: Joined Special Olympics' campaign - Spread the Word to End the Word
2012: Girls On The Run added as national philanthropy
- Colors: The primary colors of Alpha Sigma Alpha are crimson and pearl white, supplemented by the secondary colors palm green and gold
- Flower: both the aster (genus) (the fall flower) and the narcissus (the spring flower)
- Jewel: the pearl (which belongs distinctly to the new member) and the ruby (which belongs distinctly to the initiated member)
- Symbol: star, crown, palm tree, and phoenix
- Mascot: Dot the ladybug (officially adopted as Alpha Sigma Alpha's mascot at the 2008 national convention & leadership conference)
In 1976 Alpha Sigma Alpha National headquarters announced that the Special Olympics would be the national philanthropic project. Since then it has taken several projects under its wing. In 1989 Alpha Sigma Alpha set up the Alpha Sigma Alpha Foundation. Initially it was a scholarship-granting body, but it has branched out to support a number of different interests with the intentions of providing opportunities for service, leadership, and lifelong learning. In 1990 the S. June Smith Center, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and named after Alpha Sigma Alpha member S. June Smith (Kappa Kappa chapter), rounded out its philanthropic interests. In 2012, Alpha Sigma Alpha headquarters announced a new partnership with Girls On the Run International.
- Freida J. Riley (Beta Pi) - Teacher, her work as a teacher influenced the Rocket Boys, subjects of the movie October Sky.
- Dorcas Bates Reilly (Nu Nu) - Invented the Green bean casserole while working as a staff member in the home economics department of the Campbell Soup Company.
- Lauren Brie Harding (Beta Iota) - Fashion model who competed on the eleventh cycle of America's Next Top Model finishing eighth.
- Angie Cole (Gamma Psi) - Actress in Sorority Forever and assistant producer for shows such as The Simple Life, Road Rules and Bad Girls Club
- Baird, William Raimond; Brown, James Taylor (1920). Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (9th ed.). G. Banta Company. pp. 576–577. OCLC 17350924. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
- "Member Organizations". National Panhellenic Conference. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
- "National Panhellenic Conference History". National Panhellenic Conference. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
- "S. June Smith - Dr. S. June Smith". S. June Smith Center. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
- "Alpha Sigma Alpha Foundation: Scholarships, Awards and Grants". Alpha Sigma Alpha. Retrieved 2007-04-10.
- "District 2 recognitions". Alpha Sigma Alpha District Two. Retrieved 2012-02-03.