The History of Our Chapter
Two cousins who were members of AOPi's Theta Chapter (DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana) were asked by AOPi to transfer to Indiana University to start a new chapter. Juva Marie Covalt and Vedah Covalt transferred and selected the members. Their efforts led to the installation of Beta Phi Chapter with 14 members on June 3, 1916 by Merva Dolsen Hennings (Rho Chapter, Northwestern University). During 1992 and 1993 the chapter was Greekfest Champion and placed first in the Red Cross Blood Drive. Among its honors were the JWH Cup in 1953, Central Office/Headquarters Cooperation Cup in 1967 and 1987, and Scholarship Cups in 1959, 1967, 1979, 1981, and 1985.
The History of Our Organization
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. From the very beginning, Barnard was a place that took women seriously and challenged them intellectually. On January 2, 1897, Alpha Omicron Pi was formally organized at the home of Helen St. Clair. Four young women were at the time were destined to leave a great mark on both their college and a new fraternity they would originate and embrace for their lifetimes. Soon afterward, Stella George Stern (Perry), Jessie Wallace Hughan, Helen St. Clair (Mullan) and Elizabeth Heywood Wyman pledged AOPi’s first initiate to AOPi’s Alpha Chapter, Ann Richardson Hall. Over the next 100 years, AOPi has added to the ranks 190 collegiate chapters and initiated over 151,000 members.
A sheaf of wheat is a common symbol in AOPi, found in their new member pin, the rings for the chapter president, alumnae chapter president and International president. The binding together of wheat into a sheaf in the new member pin represents individuals bound by the common bond of Alpha Omicron Pi. The wheat indicates usefulness in its harvest.
AOPi encourages all members to excel academically and has many programs designed to assist women in achieving their academic goals. Expectations are high but the support provided by scholarship programs, academic development officer resources, and fellow members makes success attainable. The four founders of AOPi were women devoted to the pursuit of academic achievement and modeled a commitment to continued learning throughout their lives.