In 1897, four close friends determined that their lifetime friendship with one another would never end. From this friendship and commitment, AOII began. The values that brought them together as friends formed the cornerstone of the Ritual they would write and the Fraternity they would create.
The first chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi’s rich history began at Barnard College in New York City. Barnard was the first college in New York, and one of the first in the nation, where women could receive the same rigorous and challenging education that was available to men. Founded in 1889, the college was named after Frederick A.P. Barnard, the tenth president of Columbia College, who argued unsuccessfully for the admission of women to Columbia University. From the very beginning, Barnard was a place that took women seriously and challenged them intellectually. Barnard’s first location was in a small rented brownstone at 343 Madison Avenue. In the fall of 1897, the college moved to its current location in Morningside Heights.
The idea for such a place as Barnard was bold for its time and it was in this setting that another bold endeavor developed. Barnard’s “Great and Glorious Class of ‘98” included four particularly amazing women: Stella George Stern (Perry), Jessie Wallace Hughan, Helen St. Clair (Mullan) and Elizabeth Heywood Wyman. These women were destined to leave a great mark both on their college and on a new fraternity they would originate and embrace for their lifetimes. So, intertwined in the great history of Barnard College emerged a grand testament to friendship, scholarship, and service that was to become Alpha Omicron Pi.
The Lambda Iota chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi at UCSD is made up of women from all walks of life coming together to celebrate our dedication to lifelong sisterhood. Women in our chapter not only contribute to the Greek community, we also volunteer in our communities, study abroad, raise money, and challenge ourselves academically. Alpha Omicron Pi is an amazing organization and it succeeds in helping women be the best they can be in college and beyond.
Alpha Games is Lambda Iota’s annual philanthropy event where chapters compete in an epic lip sync battle with fun mini games mixed in. Library walk activities include slime an AOII, skip it and bop it competitions, raffles and money wars, and so much more. All the proceeds from the week benefit the Arthritis Foundation.
AOII has thrived and continued to grow throughout the changing 20th century. Despite several wars, the Great Depression, the women’s suffrage movement and the social unrest of the 1960’s, AOII has continued to hold true to its ideals. Founder Stella Perry once wrote, “that which makes our bond is promise certain of success. Let us follow our ensign devotedly, utterly and bravely. For our purpose cannot fail.”
Stella’s wish for AOII then, remains AOII’s wish for her members today: “May you have the joy in it all, dear children, that we (founders) have had all the way! May you love one another as happily always as we four have done in a lifelong fellowship without a break! And may your descendants in Alpha Omicron Pi bring to you the glory that you yourselves are to us today!”
January 2, 1897
“Exceed the Expectation”
The Arthritis Foundation
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alpha-Omicron-Pi-at-UCSD/540664876022520
National Website: www.alphaomicronpi.org/