Sigma Eta Chi

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Sigma Eta Chi was a national sorority operating in the United States.

History[edit]

At Ohio State University in 1923, fourteen female students chartered a sorority for Congregational women. The purpose of the sorority was "to form a social unit in which spiritual and intellectual development might advance in harmony" (Baird's, p. 336). The sorority grew to include six chapters by 1930:

Alpha, Ohio State University

Beta, University of Michigan

Gamma, University of Washington

Delta, University of Kansas

Epsilon, University of Nebraska

Zeta, Oregon State College

In 1928, plans were solidified for the sorority to become a national organization. A national constitution was written. National officers were elected. The first national convention took place in June of the same year (Baird's, p. 336).

Success and Demise[edit]

While the date of dissolution is not known, the sorority thrived well into the middle twentieth century. A chapter in Ames, Iowa was meeting in 1948 (Ames Public Library). The Royal Purple Yearbook (Kansas State) of 1948 not only notes the growth of its chapter, but also a special ceremony called Luchnokaia. The yearbook describes the service as happening during one Sunday in Lent. Each member lit a candle from seven candles- the seven representing the seven "great guiding lights" of Christianity. Each member left the church "pledging to live a more consecrated life" (p. 158). The Cornhusker Yearbook of 1958 (Nebraska) lists the president of the sorority (p. 372).

The records of the University of Northern Iowa indicate that Sigma Eta Chi was classified as a Congregational sorority well into the 1950s. However, in the early 1970s, a group with the same name is listed as a service sorority.

Insignia[edit]

Baird's (p. 336) described the badge as "a lighted candle in a candlestick with a ruby set for the flame, the letters 'Σ H X', on a background of blue enamel with a border of white or yellow gold set with white or blue stones; the letters being arranged vertically to the right of the candle".

The pledge pin was "a lighted candle in a candlestick, cast in silver" (Baird's, p. 336).

The official colors were azure blue and silver.

The official flowers were the rose and blue larkspur.

The official publication, Luchnokaia, was published thrice yearly.

References[edit]