November 17, 2010

Alumnae Perspective: Celebrating Alumnae Anniversary Milestones

By Lori Losee (Beta Rho/Washington State)

At your next special Alpha Phi event, consider honoring those alumnae who have recently reached a major Alpha Phi anniversary milestone. The Delta Beta chapter did this during their 50th anniversary celebration of their founding at Texas A&M/Commerce (formerly East Texas State University).

“Delta Beta’s 50th was definitely an Alpha Phi bright spot for me this year,” said Jandy Thompson. “In celebrating the 50 years we have been on the Texas A&M/Commerce campus, it felt befitting to honor those charter members that laid the foundation for our chapter 50 years ago.”

Thompson said that the chapter purchased 50-year pins for the founding sisters and they were presented during the reception. Former South Central Alumnae Membership Coordinator, Betty Jo Fuller, conducted the pinning ceremony and Charter President, Loretta Stone Warnick, reminisced about the time of the chapter’s founding in 1960.

“We focused primarily on the 50-year members since it was the 50th anniversary and we had 11 charter members in attendance,” Thompson said. “We wanted to highlight these women and this anniversary. As a committee, we will choose to honor other anniversaries at subsequent reunions.”

Anniversary recognition pins are one way to honor the endurance of membership. These pins celebrate your affiliation with Alpha Phi on milestone occasions – 10 years, 25 years, 50 years, 65 years and 75 years.

The 10-year pin features a bold Roman numeral ten in brushed silver, with a delicate ivy vine entwined around it. The Greek letters Alpha Phi, engraved on the front of the pin, proudly display your affiliation.

The 25-year pin is a sterling silver badge in the shape of the Big Dipper, fashioned with seven sapphires at each of the joints,

The first 50-year pins, silver circles with red stones, were presented at the 42nd Convention in 1958 to several alumnae who had given significant service to the fraternity for 50 years or more. These pins are replicas of the pins presented to the six living Founders at the Fraternity’s 50th Anniversary Convention in 1922 and celebrate 50 years of membership in Alpha Phi. The pin is created in a manner that allows your original badge to be placed inside the silver circle for a dramatic jewelry display.

The 65-year pin is an elegant interpretation of one of the most cherished symbols of the Fraternity, the lily-of-the-valley. The Greek letters Alpha Phi are delicately embossed on this beautiful golden pin.

For our most revered members, the 75-year pin is a brilliant diamond-shaped, golden pin, with clear stones at each of the points. This breathtaking piece of jewelry is only available to those members who have been sisters for 75 years or more. Like the 50-year pin, the diamond is sized large enough to allow you to place your original badge within the 75-year pin.

Please note that Alpha Phi anniversaries are determined by your date of initiation. If you have any questions regarding eligibility or purchase of these pins and certificates, please contact the Alumnae Department at or 847.316.8940.

Lori Losee is the Pacific Northwest Alumnae Membership Coordinator.

November 16, 2010

Terminology Tuesday: Is it a House?

We use Terminology Tuesday to highlight and correct commonly misused Alpha Phi and Fraternity/Sorority terms. As you read on you may find yourself thinking, “Thanks, Executive Office, for pointing out the obvious today.” However, many of us regularly use these terms incorrectly without noticing the seemingly logical distinction between the two.

When we talk about our members or the groups at a particular University, we sometimes use the terms “chapter” and “house” interchangeably. Obviously, local chapters may be housed or un-housed. So the term “Greek house” can be misleading and should be reserved to mean the physical residence of the Fraternity/Sorority chapter living in a house. In fact, the terms should be used and understood by their literal definitions:

Chapter (noun) – a branch, usually restricted to a given locality, of a society, organization, fraternity, etc.

House (noun) – a building in which people live, residence for human beings

Remember this next time you find yourself saying, “We’ve made improvements to our house” and you don’t mean you’ve made renovations to your facility or updated your living room decorations. In the Fraternity/Sorority world, the two terms seem to be used as synonyms, where “house” indicates the local members of the chapter or the groups that are at any particular school/University. For example, you might say, “We have 9 Fraternity/Sorority houses on campus” even where the groups do not have residential facilities. Instead, local affiliates of the International Fraternity should be referred to as "chapters."

So to boil this down to my basic point, the term “house” should be used to refer to the actual physical residential facility in which chapter members live. The term chapter should be used to identify the local affiliates (chapters) of Alpha Phi at each school and their members (or local alumnae chapters in a particular city). Use the following pictorial “pop quiz” as a fun self-test on what you've learned here today!

1. Chapter or House?

Answer: House

2. Chapter or House?

Answer: Chapter

3. Chapter or House?

Answer: Chapter in a house!

4. Chapter or House?

Answer: House

5. Chapter or House?

Answer: Tricky, right? Chapter in front of a chapter house!

Hope Gray is the Program Manager of Collegiate Housing Operations at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. She can be reached at

November 9, 2010

Terminology Tuesday: Fee Fie Foe

Welcome back to Terminology Tuesday! Each Tuesday we will blog about some commonly misused terms within the Fraternity. It’s our hope that you take some time to read, laugh, smile, and then use the information to alter your word choices, and the choices of those around you. I’m sure you’ve all been asked by friends and family why we pronounce the name of our fraternity ‘phee’ and not ‘fie.’

When our ten founders established Alpha Phi, they looked to faculty and administrators at Syracuse University who supported women’s education for guidance. Wesley P. Coddington, Professor of Greek, generously gave his time and wisdom to the chapter.

Professor Coddington was instrumental in several areas of Alpha Phi’s development; from establishing our public motto, to suggesting that Frances E. Willard join the fraternity, to the pronunciation of our name. As a Professor of Greek, he taught the women that the preferred Greek pronunciation of F when it follows a vowel is ‘phee.’

You may notice that not all other organizations follow this pronunciation. The main reason these differences exist is that some organizations are using the Greek pronunciation while others are using the Anglican pronunciation. In mathematical circles "Phi" is pronounced ‘phee’ as well.

Now the next time you are asked about our fraternity’s name is you can answer with pride!

Heather Scheuer is the Program Manager of Collegiate Chapter Services at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. She can be reached at

November 5, 2010

On the Road

Ashley Deal (Theta Upsilon – CSU Chico)
09-10 ELC

I’ve never been much for hobbies. In the past I’ve discarded to-do lists, instruction manuals, and many lightly-worn uniforms—all relics of pursuits I’ve given up. I love reading and I imagine that someday I’ll have a library on the scale of Beauty and the Beast (sliding ladders included). My attempt at knitting (or maybe it was crocheting?) was a bust. I had envisioned myself knitting beautiful, fun-colored scarves for my friends as gifts who would then admire my art and praise my dedication. The one and only finished product turned out more like a knotted kitten’s toy than a cute scarf.
After my time on the road, I’ve found a hobby that I’ve finally been able to stick with—trying new things.

Being adventurous when it comes to food, travel, living, has become a passion of mine—a passion with the help of my year as an ELC, I’ve been able to stick with. I’ve flown more this year than I ever have before, becoming an aficionado of airports, an explorer of new cities, and a firm believer in trying anything once. For instance, Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop is a New Orleans-style restaurant in Evanston that all of the ELC’s recently ate at together. As we were debating where to eat, Dixie Kitchen came up as an option. A year ago, New Orleans-style food would have sent me running for the hills. Now, no amount of catfish, jambalaya, or sweet tea can scare me away.

While my nubbly scarves and stack of books may only travel so far with me, I know that my newfound sense of adventure is something I will carry with me long after my trusty rolling bag has worn out.

November 2, 2010

Terminology Tuesday: Inspiration DAYS

As new member orientation periods start coming to an end and we begin to prepare for Initiation, many of our chapters are starting their inspiration activities prior to Initiation. In the past this time was called “Inspiration Week,” “I-Week,” or “Inspo Week.” However, those terms are outdated and do not reflect what our chapters should be doing.

Alpha Phi does not support an Inspiration Week—a five day week full of activities for our members. This does not lead to the most inspirational experience for new members or allow them the opportunity to reflect on why they are joining our organization.

Instead we use the term, “Inspiration Days” to best reflect what our chapters are doing (or should be doing). Prior to Initiation, chapters should plan two or at the most three activities for all members, including Court of Ivy. A chapter can choose to do one history appreciation event (such as a Founder’s Day Ceremony, slideshow of chapter’s history, a Ritual review, or the Rose Ceremony) OR one sisterhood event (such as the Flower Ceremony, a pot luck, or older members sharing their Alpha Phi memories).

The following events are NOT allowed during the time prior to Initiation:
- Requiring new members to move into the house, suite, or a location that is not their normal place of residence
- Scavenger hunts
- Any activities with alcohol
- Any activities with men
- Blindfolding
- Test taking
- Class nights (Examples: Nights with the Seniors, Juniors, etc. or new member class nights: nights with new member class from fall ’09, etc.)
- Sleepovers—Alpha Phi founders felt that members should spend the time before initiation alone, in contemplation.

It is important to note that all inspiration activities must include the ENTIRE chapter.

Chapters should not write or use ceremonies specific to their chapter without permission from the Executive Office. All chapters should utilize ceremonies from the Ceremonies Manual or other Alpha Phi International Office publications. This is to ensure that our new members are receiving the Alpha Phi experience and not one that incorporates “traditions” that are no longer relevant or appropriate.

At no time should new members be scared prior to Initiation. Each new member should eagerly anticipate admittance to Alpha Phi’s Ritual. All activities should be planned and carried out in a spirit of love and kindness.

It is also important to understand that inspirational activities should be planned for the entire membership throughout the new member orientation period and the rest of the school year. Why just wait for a few days before Initiation to share the meaning and importance of our organization with our sisters? We can be honoring and living our Ritual daily, and reminders throughout the year are helpful to renew our commitment to our sisterhood.

Stefania Rudd is the Manager of Resources and Training Initiatives at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. One of her focus areas is the new member program and chapter education. She can be reached at

November 1, 2010

Quarterly Review

Our Executive Office in 1980.
Did you know you can schedule a tour
of the Executive Office?