Alpha Epsilon Phi

Indiana University


The History of Our Chapter

The Indiana chapter of Alpha Epsilon Phi was founded on October 11, 1958.

The History of Our Organization

AEPhi was founded by seven Jewish women; Helen Phillips, Ida Beck, Rose Gerstein, Augustina "Tina" Hess, Lee Reiss, Rose Salmowitz and Stella Strauss; at Barnard College in New York on October 24, 1909. This sorority would endeavor and foster lifelong friendship and sisterhood, academics, social involvement and community service, all the while providing a home away from home for its members. "It was her [Helen Phillips'] idea and her persistence more than anything else that brought Alpha Epsilon Phi into existence," one founder wrote. "I sometimes think that some of those ties were more necessary to Helen than to the others in this group because Helen had no mother and no sisters or brothers, and to her a group of adopted sisters was more of a need and had more significance."

The dream that was born in a dorm room at Barnard College in 1909 continues to succeed, prosper and thrive on over 50 college and university campuses nationwide. AEPhi welcomes with open arms hundreds of new members each year and seeks not only to live up to the ideals and goals of its original founders, but also to exceed them.

Our Symbols

The columns of Alpha Epsilon Phi were added in 1916 during the sorority's seventh year in existence. It was decided to create a simple insignia as opposed to an elaborate crest like that of most other Greek letter organizations. Each column of the insignia holds special significance to the members. The pearl was chosen as the national jewel by the founders. They chose the pearl because of its glowing beauty gained through years of growth and the fact that it is a jewel that literally grows.


Alpha Epsilon Phi has high expectations for all of its members in the area of academic achievement. In order to help members balance schoolwork and social activities, AEPhi chapters plan a comprehensive scholarship program, which may include daily or weekly study hours, mentor programs, study buddies and academic competitions. In addition, many chapters have older sisters who tutor younger sisters and new members in classes they have already taken. To recognize and promote achievement in academics, chapters give small prizes or rewards to members who do well on a paper or exam, awarding the members with an edible 'smart cookie' award or each week announcing those sisters who made the 'smarty pants' list.