Alpha Xi Delta
|Alpha Xi Delta|
|Founded||April 17, 1893|
Lombard College, Galesburg, Illinois
|Motto||The Pen is Mightier than the Sword|
|Colors||Light blue Gold|
|Publication||The Quill of Alpha Xi Delta|
|Chapters||131 active (217 total)|
|Headquarters||8702 Founders Road|
Alpha Xi Delta is a member of National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), the umbrella organization of 26 national sororities. By its constitution, Alpha Xi Delta is one of the few social sororities that accepts graduate students as well as undergraduates. The sorority has over 185,000 initiated members and maintains active chapters at 130 institutions across the United States, and its headquarters are located in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The ten founders of Alpha Xi Delta were:
- Cora Bollinger Block (1869–1944) was the first President of Alpha Xi Delta. She went on to be the first Grand President.
- Alice Bartlett Bruner (1878–1966) taught music at the Lombard Conservatory. She had two daughters who later joined the sorority as a legacy.
- Bertha Cook Evans (1874–1957) had three daughters, two of whom joined Alpha Xi Delta. Later in her life, she served as a fraternity house director.
- Harriett Luella McCollum (1874–1948) and Cora, roommates at Lombard, were the first to make the plan for Alpha Xi Delta.
- Lucy W. Gilmer (1872–1939) was the first Vice President of Alpha Xi Delta. After 1893 she transferred schools, where she studied to be a physician.
- Lewie Strong Taylor (1867–1950) designed the quill symbol, which is on display at national headquarters.
- Almira Lowry Cheney (1875–1946) was a teacher who went on to pioneer religious education by becoming a minister of the Universalist Church. She was also Chaplain of the 12th, 13th, and 14th National Conventions for Alpha Xi Delta.
- Frances Elizabeth Cheney (1869–1901), in her time as an Alpha Xi, served as chaplain, secretary, and president. She is given credit for many of the fraternity's early songs.
- Eliza Drake Curtis Everton (1867–1934) was Alpha Xi Delta's second president.
- Julia Maude Foster (1875–1948) was a member of the committee who drafted Alpha Xi Delta's first constitution.
The colors of Alpha Xi Delta are light blue, navy blue, and gold. The fraternity flower is the pink Killarney Rose, 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. The mascot is a teddy bear, and the official mascot is named BetXi Bear. Each initiated member wears the golden quill (the official symbol), which is depicted in the crest and represents the open motto "The Pen is Mightier than the Sword." The pearl and the diamond are the official jewels.
The open creed is called "The Symphony of Alpha Xi Delta", and it lists the ideals of the sorority's members. It was written in 1924 by Helen Willis Lynn, Alice Matthews, and Almira Cheney, one of the original founders.
Chapters and alumnae associations observe World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 and Autism Awareness Month throughout the month of April. Sisters raise awareness in various ways, including passing out blue ribbons, placing advertisements in campus and local newspapers, distributing information in the community and appearing on local television programs to educate people about autism. The sorority also participates in Light It Up Blue, an initiative started by Autism Speaks in 2009 to help "Shine a Light on Autism by Illuminating Prestigious Buildings and Monuments Throughout the World". Members participate by lighting their chapter houses, campus monuments and sports facilities blue during the month of April.
Prior to partnering with Autism Speaks, Alpha Xi Delta was the only sorority that did not have an official organization as a philanthropy. The "Choose Children" policy gave each chapter direction to choose which organization they wanted to help.
The AmaXIng Challenge
The AmaXIng Challenge is Alpha Xi Delta's signature fundraising event designed to raise critical funds for Autism Speaks. Each college chapter hosts at least one of the following events per year:
- Step It Up Walk/Run
- Xi Man Competition
- Xi Marks the Spot
- Football FrenXI
- Karaoke for a Cause
In 2010, the Miami University chapter of Alpha Xi Delta was suspended until 2014 for alcohol violations stemming from their destructive formal at Cincinnati's National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. As of 2018, the sorority had yet to recolonize.
In 2011, the Alpha Xi Delta national organization revoked the Binghamton University chapter's charter for "continu[ing] to violate Alpha Xi Delta’s policies on risk management and observance of Fraternity rituals despite efforts to lead the chapter to a culture consistent with Alpha Xi Delta’s policies and value."
In 2017, the Cornell University chapter of Alpha Xi Delta was placed on probationary status for three years, "as a result of incidents determined to include both hazing and alcohol policy violations."
In 2017, the University of Central Florida chapter of Alpha Xi Delta was suspended on the grounds of "allegations of alcohol-related misconduct, which includes providing alcohol to someone underage; hazing; and possessing and/or providing false and misleading information and/or falsification of university records."
Controversy over Autism Speaks affiliation
In 2017, editorials appeared in the Temple University and the College of New Jersey student newspapers criticizing Alpha Xi Delta for its philanthropic connections to Autism Speaks on the grounds that the organization misunderstands, misrepresents, and promotes harmful stereotypes of individuals with autism.
- Audrey Banach (Alpha Kappa) – Miss Kansas USA 2013
- Megan Blake (Gamma Eta) – actress, The Young and the Restless, The Opposite Sex, It Takes Two; Miss Georgia 1983
- Chrissie Fit (Theta Xi) – actress, Pitch Perfect 2, Pitch Perfect 3
- Nichole Greene (Gamma Beta) – Miss West Virginia USA, 2016
- Jane Henson (Beta Eta) – co-founder of the Muppets with her husband, Jim Henson
- Gail Kobe (Alpha Xi) – actress, The 10 Commandments, Gunsmoke, Bewitched, The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone; executive producer of Guiding Light
- Carol Lawrence (Alpha Theta) – actress, singer, and dancer
- Alyssa Murray (Theta Gamma) – Miss Delaware 2012
- Pamela Paugh (Gamma Beta) – Miss West Virginia 1980
- Amanda Pennekamp (Epsilon Iota) – Miss South Carolina USA 2004; Miss Earth USA 2006
- Patsy Ramsey (Iota) – Miss West Virginia 1977; mother of Jonbenet Ramsey
- Laurie Lea Schaefer (Pi) – actress; Miss America 1972
- Jen Schefft (Pi) – reality TV contestant on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette
- Kim Webster (Iota) – actress, The West Wing, The Glass House
- Rebecca Yeh (Gamma Tau) – Miss Minnesota 2013
- Verna Kay Gibson (Gamma Beta) – first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company (The Limited stores)
- Betsey Johnson (Eta) – fashion designer
- Kelley Earnhardt Miller (Zeta Chi) – Vice President and General Manager of JR Motorsports
- Carolyn Rafaelian (Beta Upsilon) – founder of Alex and Ani bracelets
- Karen Marie Shelton (Epsilon Xi) – Internet (Hairboutique.com) and telephony (T&S software) entrepreneur
- Carol Aebersold (Gamma Chi) – co-author of The Elf on the Shelf
- Karen Tumulty (Beta Alpha) – national political correspondent for Time magazine and The Washington Post
Government and military
- Jan Davis (Gamma Eta) – NASA astronaut
- Mimi Blackburn Drew (Nu) – first female Rear Admiral, United States Navy
- Deborah Pryce (Psi) – politician, U.S. Representative from Ohio
- Susan Winckler (Sigma) – former Acting Chief of Staff of the Food and Drug Administration
- Alpha Xi Delta. 5–6. G. Banta Company. 1907. p. 143. OCLC 445768029. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- 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.
- The Constitution itself is not available to the public. However, an official workbook of the organization's academic standards specifically mentions "graduate students who were initiated as graduate students," clearly making reference to the Constitutional possibility of such members. Link: http://www.alphaxidelta.org/clientuploads/Academic/2012%20Academic%20Achievement%20Chair%20Breakout%20Workbook.pdf Archived 2015-07-07 at the Wayback Machine.
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- Blog post: ΑΞΔ raises more than $2M for Autism Speaks Archived 2014-02-23 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 27 May 2014
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- "Autism Speaks should change focus – The Temple News". The Temple News. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
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- "Miss Delaware 2012 Alyssa Murray - Miss America". Miss America. Archived from the original on 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
- "Miss WV Appearance Scheduled" (PDF). The Glenville Mercury. 1981-03-27. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-18. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
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- "Patsy Ramsey dies from cancer". The Denver Post. 2006-06-24. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
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- Spears, Keith (1997-09-29). "Profiles in Prominence: VERNA K. GIBSON". Marshall Digital Scholar. Marshall University. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
- "Summer 2006 Quill – Distinguished Designer" (PDF). Alpha Xi Delta. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
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- "Featured Friday! - Alex and Ani". AlphaXiDelta.org. March 8, 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-01-06. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- "Sorority Hair: Memories Of Alpha Xi Delta". HairBoutique.com. October 25, 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
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