Epsilon Sigma Alpha

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Epsilon Sigma Alpha
Founded 1929; 89 years ago (1929)
Jacksonville, Texas
Type Service (Community and Collegiate)
Scope International
Motto All for one and one for all


Symbol depends on Chapter and state
Flower Jonquil
Publication JONQUIL
Headquarters 363 W Drake Road
Fort Collins, Colorado
Website Official website

Epsilon Sigma Alpha International (ΕΣΑ) is a collegiate and service organization for women and men ages 18 and older. The organization states that its purpose "is to inspire leadership and service by bringing good people together to pursue programs and projects that make a positive difference locally, nationally and internationally."

Established in 1929, ESA is a network of an estimated 15,000 members in over 1,000 community based chapters, with coordinating organizations at state and international levels. ESA also includes United States collegiate chapters which provide charitable service to their campuses and communities. All service by ESA members is unpaid, with membership fees covering large portions of administrative and chapter expenses.

Philanthropic projects[edit]

Chapters, both independently and jointly, conduct fund raising activities for charitable causes. As the care and expenses of handicapped children are a current ESA priority, the international Philanthropic Projects of Epsilon Sigma Alpha are St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Easter Seal Society. As of July 2006, ESA raised over 100 million dollars for St. Jude's Children's Hospital, meeting an organization goal for their 75th year anniversary. [1] ESA has endowed the St. Jude Bone Marrow Transplant area in the hospital's Patient Care Center and the fourth floor of the ALSAC Tower.

ESA also encourages each local chapter to select and support local benevolent, charitable or civic enterprises. ESA activities on local levels may be jointly organized with men's fraternal organizations, including the Lions Clubs International. As a whole, the chapters have created an impressive record of service. Each year, members help raise millions of dollars for philanthropic projects and give an estimated 650,000 hours of personal service.

In addition, the ESA Foundation supports education through an ongoing Scholarship/Endowment Program and provides grants to individuals involved in charitable service for children and adults.


Adelia Prichard of Oregon, a National President of Business and Professional Women's Clubs from 1923 to 1925, spearheaded the sorority's organization by proposing a national education and service sorority. In 1929 a group of community oriented women in Jacksonville, Texas drafted an organization charter. With ten signatures, a national charter was issued to ESA by the state of Missouri on February 11, 1930. The organization still functions under the original charter but is now incorporated in the state of Colorado.

Prichard was appointed the first National Director, and spearheaded the sorority's early growth. She asked prominent women from around the United States to serve as members of the Founder's Chapter and to act as advisors. The chapter included Pearl Kinman; Clara Leach; Althea Terry, State President of the Business and Professional Clubs; Susan. B. Rebhan, a State Supreme Court Judge; Florence Sterling, writer and editor; Phoebe Kerrick Warner, author and National Chairman of the Rural Women's Clubs; businesswoman Florence Crawford; teacher Daisy Birchfield; and Mary Redfield Plummer, lecturer on parliamentary law at Northwestern University. The first National Headquarters office was located in Kansas City, Missouri, with a central states divisional office in St. Louis.

Director Sybil Murphy Flaherty organized the first National Convention in 1938. Two chapters in Kansas City hosted the convention with about 60 delegatess attending. At that time, delegates set up a National Advisory Council (the forerunner of the present International Council), and elected Irene Copeland Lugland of Kansas City as the first National President.

During World War II, ESA National Headquarters sponsored an “Empty Your Purse for Uncle Sam” campaign, one of the first nationally organized activities of the organization. In this door to door campaign, members collected metal for recycling into munitions. ESA also collected books and other reading material for distribution to soldiers around the world. Local projects to assist the war effort were encouraged, and many chapters enrolled and sponsored Red Cross courses to combat local emergencies.

In 1948, an ESA chapter was organized in Voorsburg, in the Netherlands. The name of the National Advisory Council was then changed to the International Advisory Council. Since then, Epsilon Sigma Alpha chapters have been organized in Germany, Guam, Denmark, Peru, Australia, Mexico, the Philippines, and Scotland.

Emblems and symbols[edit]

Emblems associated with ESA include the Greek letters Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA) and a national emblem is based off local and state chapters.

The yellow jonquil was chosen as the organization's floral emblem as it is "rich in color, perfect in form." A members magazine, "The Jonquil," takes its name from the flower and is published twice yearly.

Collegiate Chapters[edit]

Epsilon Sigma Alpha has the following Collegiate Chapters[4]

Charitable Connections[edit]


External links[edit]