Alpha Sigma Tau
|Alpha Sigma Tau|
|Founded||November 4, 1899
Michigan State Normal College, (Ypsilanti, Michigan)
|Motto||Active, Self-reliant, Trustworthy|
|Colors||Emerald Green Gold|
|Philanthropy||Pine Mountain Settlement School,
Habitat for Humanity
|Headquarters||3334 Founders Road
Indianapolis, Indiana 46268, USA
Alpha Sigma Tau (ΑΣΤ) is a national Panhellenic sorority founded on November 4, 1899 at Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University). It is the third-oldest educational sorority, and has more than 90 active chapters and colonies nationwide.
- 1 History
- 2 Symbols
- 3 Education
- 4 Philanthropy and Service
- 5 Publications
- 6 National Headquarters
- 7 Active chapters and colonies
- 8 Alumnae
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The eight women who founded Alpha Sigma Tau were Helene M. Rice, her sister Adriance Rice, Mayene Tracy, Eva O’Keefe, May Gephart, Mabel Chase, Ruth Dutcher, and Harriet Marx. There were three other sororities on campus at the time: Pi Kappa Sigma, Sigma Nu Phi and Zeta Phi (now inactive). The name "Alpha Sigma Tau" was chosen, and purple and gold were chosen for the colors.
The sorority's next meeting took the form of a small party at the home of Mrs. Depew on Forest Avenue, where Helene and Adriance Rice, Eva O'Keefe and Harriet Marx roomed. The party was festively decorated with gold and purple for the occasion; even the cake was golden with purple icing. It was decided that the newly created sorority would be revealed to the student body the next day. Accordingly, all members attended chapel together the next morning wearing purple and gold; however, to their surprise and chagrin, the members of the Zeta Phi informed them that these colors were already taken. The group then chose emerald green and gold, which remain their signature colours today.
Mrs. E.A. Lyman was chosen patroness. During the first year of its existence, the sorority did not display any marked activity. The charter was not received until the second year, when Edith Silk, Myrtle Oram, Zoe Waldron, Grace Townley, Marie Gedding, Louise Agrell and Mable Pitts had joined the organization and, with the organizers, were the charter members. On the suggestion of Mrs. Lyman, Miss Pearce and Miss Norton were asked to be patronesses.
|1925–1928||Grace Erb Ritchie||Alpha|
|1934–1949||Carrie Washburne Staehle||Alpha|
|1949–1955||Dorothy Bennett Robinson||Pi|
|1955–1964||Mary Alice Seller Peterson||Iota|
|1972–1984||Lenore Seibel King||Psi|
|1984–1986||Gail Shockley Fowler||Alpha Lambda|
|1986–1992||Patricia L. Nayle||Phi|
|1992–1996||Mary Charles Ashby||Chi|
|1996–2002||Martha Drouyor DeCamp||Alpha|
|2002–2008||Patricia Klausing Simmons||Delta|
|2008–present||Christina Covington||Alpha Lambda|
The late Lenore Seibel King and Carrie Washburne Staehle have been recognized as Presidents Emerita.
Although Alpha Sigma Tau encourages each chapter to choose a local mascot, there are several symbols that represent all sisters.
Badge, worn by initiated members:
- Gold sorority letters on black bordered with gold. The badge may be surrounded by pearls.
- Variations for national officers:
Jewelry that can be attached to badge:
- Charm displaying chapter letters
- Charm symbolizing office held in chapter
- Anchor charm symbolizing alumna status
New Member Pin, worn by new members:
- Gold sorority letters intertwined vertically
Mother's Pin, worn by mothers of initiated members:
- Gold sorority letters touching diagonally
Association of Education Sororities
Alpha Sigma Tau was founded as an educational sorority and soon gained membership into the Association of Education Sororities. In 1947, AES merged with the National Panhellenic Conference, and the sorority became a Panhellenic group.
Pine Mountain Settlement School
In part due to the Sorority's educational background, Alpha Sigma Tau adopted Pine Mountain Settlement School as its national philanthropy in 1945. Each collegiate chapter supports the school annually, contributing to the success of environmental and cultural education programs.
Order of the Open Book
Established in 1995, the Order of the Open Book is a national honor society recognizing academic excellence among Alpha Sigma Tau sisters. Members may join as undergraduate or graduate students.
Grade point average
At the 2008 National Convention, the Sorority raised the minimum collegiate GPA from 2.3 to 2.5 (at B-C average). All sisters who have joined after the fall 2008 semester are required to meet this national standard.
Philanthropy and Service
Alpha Sigma Tau has a long history of philanthropy and community service. The Sorority's official philanthropy is Pine Mountain Settlement School, and its official service project is Habitat for Humanity. Additionally, individual collegiate and alumnae chapters coordinate local philanthropic fundraisers and service projects.
Pine Mountain Settlement School
Alpha Sigma Tau adopted Pine Mountain Settlement School as its national philanthropy in 1945.
At its founding, Pine Mountain Settlement School was a leader in rural educational standards, creating a forerunner of what is now famously known as the Head Start curriculum. Today, Pine Mountain Settlement School serves as an environmental education center and provides educational outreach services, such as summer reading camps and after-school tutoring, to the poverty-stricken Appalachian community of Harlan County, Kentucky.
On December 4, 1991, Pine Mountain Settlement School became a National Historic Landmark, noted for "[launching] one of the most important efforts to adopt the urban settlement house to a rural community."
The first pledge classes of Alpha Sigma Tau gathered much-needed school supplies for charity. Today, the growing sorority is able to contribute much larger and more significant donations, such as a tractor, a fifteen-passenger van, a walk-in refrigerator, a heavy-duty washer and dryer, a commercial cooking range, furnaces, furnishings, renovations, and thousands of dollars per year.
Habitat for Humanity
Alpha Sigma Tau adopted Habitat for Humanity as its national service project in June 2004.
Alpha Sigma Tau members contribute to Habitat for Humanity in various ways, including partnering to build houses with and for families in need, thus expanding upon the Sorority's creed "to contribute to the progress of mankind."
In 2005, all Alpha Sigma Tau chapters participated in "Hope Through Change" which raised money for Habitat for Humanity International, to help rebuild neighbourhoods after the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. After Hurricane Katrina, Alpha Sigma Tau chapters rallied to Operation Home Delivery. In April 2007, Alpha Sigma Tau chapters across the nation supported Habitat for Humanity's Act! Speak! Build! Week.
Alpha Sigma Tau National Foundation, Inc.
According to the foundation's mission statement, "The Alpha Sigma Tau National Foundation, Inc. was established to promote the acquisition, development and disbursement of charitable contributions from donors to promote and fulfill the educational and philanthropic programs of the Sorority."
Incorporated in 1982, the foundation provides a variety of resources, including:
- Over 30 scholarships and 1 grant per year
- Opportunity to support a charitable project
- Permanent headquarters for the sorority
- Place for the storage and display of Alpha Sigma Tau's historical records
- Educational programming at the chapter, Regional Leadership Workshop, and National Convention levels
THE ANCHOR is the sorority's magazine, published twice annually. Its articles pertain to Alpha Sigma Tau, Greek life, and issues affecting women today.
Alpha Sig-Nal is a monthly newsletter distributed to National Staff and to chapters, both collegiate and alumnae. This bulletin relays messages from National Council and Staff and discusses upcoming events and other items of importance to the Sorority.
National Headquarters is the home of the Sorority's archives and publications. Photographs, awards, and other historical documents are on display. Additionally, Headquarters can connect people with collegiate and alumnae chapters, National Council and Staff, and the Alpha Sigma Tau National Foundation, Inc.
The original location of the National Headquarters was St. Louis, Missouri. This was adopted in 1949 by National President Dorothy Robinson. National Headquarters was relocated to Birmingham, Alabama in 1994 for 16 years. In spring 2010, Alpha Sigma Tau moved its National Headquarters to Indianapolis, Indiana, the home of over 30 other Greek organizations.
Active chapters and colonies
- Gwen Frostic (Alpha) - nature artist and environmentalist; Inducted into Michigan Women's Hall of Fame
- Jessica Furrer (Upsilon) - Miss Arkansas USA 2005; Semi-finalist in Miss USA 2005
- Terri Utley (Upsilon) - Miss Arkansas USA 1982; Winner of Miss USA 1982[dubious ]
Alpha Sigma Taus all over the United States participate in alumnae associations. These associations include alumnae chapters, clubs, social teams, support teams, and hope groups.
In addition to joining a local association or the Anchor Chapter, alumnae may be invited to join the Emerald Chapter.The requirements for becoming a member of the Emerald Chapter include serving a minimum of four years as National Council or Staff or attending a minimum of three National Conventions.
- "Who We Are - History", AlphaSigmaTau.org.
- "History". National Panhellenic Conference. Archived from the original on 29 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- "Pine Mountain Settlement School". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved 2008-03-18.[dead link]
- "Order of the Open Book". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved 2008-07-17.[dead link]
- "National Convention". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved 2008-07-17.[dead link]
- "Local Endeavors". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved 2008-03-18.[dead link]
- "Pine Mtn Settlement School Petition". Kentucky Resources Council. January 28, 2001. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
- "Pine Mountain Settlement School". National Historic Landmarks Program (NHL). Retrieved 2008-05-25.
- "Alpha Sigma Tau chooses Habitat as national service project: Sorority looks to involve its many collegiate, alumnae chapters". Habitat for Humanity International. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
- "Habitat for Humanity". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved 2008-03-18.[dead link]
- "Hope Through Change", Lycoming.edu, 2004.
- "Foundation". Alpha Sigma Tau. Archived from the original on 2008-08-02. Retrieved 2008-07-13.
- "Why join ΑΣΤ?". Alpha Sigma Tau. Archived from the original on 2008-04-19. Retrieved 2008-07-28.
- "Publications". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved 2008-07-17.[dead link]
- "THE CREST". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved 2008-07-17.[dead link]
- "The Crest", AlphaSigmaTau.org.
- "National Headquarters". Alpha Sigma Tau. Archived from the original on 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- James, Sheryl (March 1, 1999). "Gwen Frostic: Michigan artist crafts nature into a rich life". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on 2001-05-06. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
- "Jessica Furrer". SantaBanta.com. Retrieved 2007-04-10.
- "Awards and Involvement". Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved 2008-03-18.[dead link]
- "Establish an Association". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved 2008-07-17.[dead link]
- "Anchor Chapter". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved 2008-07-17.[dead link]
- "Emerald Chapter", AlphaSigmaTau.org.
- "Emerald Chapter". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved 2008-07-17.[dead link]
- Alpha Sigma Tau official website
- Alpha Sigma Tau National Foundation, Inc.
- Pine Mountain Settlement School
- Habitat for Humanity