Alpha Xi Delta

Alpha Xi Delta (ΑΞΔ or A-"Zee"-D ) is a women's fraternity founded on April 17, 1893[1][2] at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois, United States.

Alpha Xi Delta
FoundedApril 17, 1893 (1893-04-17)
Lombard College, Galesburg, Illinois
MottoThe Pen is Mightier than the Sword
Colors     Light blue

     Navy blue

FlowerPink rose
JewelPearl, diamond
PublicationThe Quill of Alpha Xi Delta
PhilanthropyAutism Speaks
Chapters131 active (217 total)
Members185,000+ lifetime
MascotBetXi Bear
Headquarters8702 Founders Road
Indianapolis, Indiana
United States

Alpha Xi Delta is a member of National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), the umbrella organization of 26 national sororities. By its constitution, Alpha Xi Delta is one of the few social sororities that accepts graduate students as well as undergraduates.[3] The sorority has over 185,000 initiated members and maintains active chapters at 130 institutions across the United States, and its headquarters are located in Indianapolis, Indiana.


In 1893, ten women at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois founded Alpha Xi Delta. It is referred to as a fraternity due to having been founded before the term "sorority" was used.

The ten founders of Alpha Xi Delta were:[4]

  • Cora Bollinger Block (1869–1944) was the first President of Alpha Xi Delta. She went on to be the first Grand President.
  • Alice Bartlett Bruner (1878–1966) taught music at the Lombard Conservatory. She had two daughters who later joined the sorority as a legacy.
  • Bertha Cook Evans (1874–1957) had three daughters, two of whom joined Alpha Xi Delta. Later in her life, she served as a fraternity house director.
  • Harriett Luella McCollum (1874–1948) and Cora, roommates at Lombard, were the first to make the plan for Alpha Xi Delta.
  • Lucy W. Gilmer (1872–1939) was the first Vice President of Alpha Xi Delta. After 1893 she transferred schools, where she studied to be a physician.
  • Lewie Strong Taylor (1867–1950) designed the quill symbol, which is on display at national headquarters.
  • Almira Lowry Cheney (1875–1946) was a teacher who went on to pioneer religious education by becoming a minister of the Universalist Church. She was also Chaplain of the 12th, 13th, and 14th National Conventions for Alpha Xi Delta.
  • Frances Elizabeth Cheney (1869–1901), in her time as an Alpha Xi, served as chaplain, secretary, and president. She is given credit for many of the fraternity's early songs.
  • Eliza Drake Curtis Everton (1867–1934) was Alpha Xi Delta's second president.
  • Julia Maude Foster (1875–1948) was a member of the committee who drafted Alpha Xi Delta's first constitution.

In 1904, the sorority joined the National Panhellenic Conference. Alpha Xi Delta's first chairman of the NPC wrote the Panhellenic Creed, a statement still used on many college campuses today.[5]


The colors of Alpha Xi Delta are light blue, navy blue, and gold.[2] The fraternity flower is the pink Killarney Rose,[2] as chosen by the founders to complement the white rose of Sigma Nu fraternity whose brothers helped to found Alpha Xi Delta at Lombard College.[6] The mascot is a teddy bear, and the official mascot is named BetXi Bear. Each initiated member wears the golden quill (the official symbol), which is depicted in the crest and represents the open motto "The Pen is Mightier than the Sword." The pearl and the diamond are the official jewels.


The open creed is called "The Symphony of Alpha Xi Delta", and it lists the ideals of the sorority's members. It was written in 1924 by Helen Willis Lynn, Alice Matthews, and Almira Cheney, one of the original founders.


Alpha Xi Delta's national philanthropic partner has been Autism Speaks since April 2, 2009.[7] The sorority has since raised more than $7,000,000 for its philanthropic partner.[8][9]

Chapters and alumnae associations observe World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 and Autism Awareness Month throughout the month of April. Sisters raise awareness in various ways, including passing out blue ribbons, placing advertisements in campus and local newspapers, distributing information in the community and appearing on local television programs to educate people about autism. The sorority also participates in Light It Up Blue, an initiative started by Autism Speaks in 2009 to help "Shine a Light on Autism by Illuminating Prestigious Buildings and Monuments Throughout the World". Members participate by lighting their chapter houses, campus monuments and sports facilities blue during the month of April.[10]

Prior to partnering with Autism Speaks, Alpha Xi Delta was the only sorority that did not have an official organization as a philanthropy. The "Choose Children" policy gave each chapter direction to choose which organization they wanted to help.

The AmaXIng Challenge

The AmaXIng Challenge is Alpha Xi Delta's signature fundraising event designed to raise critical funds for Autism Speaks. Each college chapter hosts at least one of the following events per year:[11]

  • Step It Up Walk/Run
  • Xi Man Competition
  • Xi Marks the Spot
  • Football FrenXI
  • Puzzlepalooza
  • Karaoke for a Cause


In 2010, the Miami University chapter of Alpha Xi Delta was suspended until 2014 for alcohol violations stemming from their destructive formal at Cincinnati's National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.[12][13] As of 2019, the sorority had yet to recolonize.[14]

In 2011, the Alpha Xi Delta national organization revoked the Binghamton University chapter's charter for "continu[ing] to violate Alpha Xi Delta’s policies on risk management and observance of Fraternity rituals despite efforts to lead the chapter to a culture consistent with Alpha Xi Delta’s policies and value."[15]

In 2017, the Cornell University chapter of Alpha Xi Delta was placed on probationary status for three years, "as a result of incidents determined to include both hazing and alcohol policy violations."[16]

In 2017, the University of Central Florida chapter of Alpha Xi Delta was suspended on the grounds of "allegations of alcohol-related misconduct, which includes providing alcohol to someone underage; hazing; and possessing and/or providing false and misleading information and/or falsification of university records."[17]

Controversy over Autism Speaks affiliation

In 2017, editorials appeared in the Temple University[18] and the College of New Jersey[19] student newspapers criticizing Alpha Xi Delta for its philanthropic connections to Autism Speaks on the grounds that the organization misunderstands, misrepresents, and promotes harmful stereotypes of individuals with autism.



Notable alumnae




Government and military

See also


  1. Alpha Xi Delta. 5–6. G. Banta Company. 1907. p. 143. OCLC 445768029. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
  2. Baird, William Raimond; Brown, James Taylor (1920). Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (9th ed.). G. Banta Company. pp. 430–432. OCLC 17350924. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  3. The Constitution itself is not available to the public. However, an official workbook of the organization's academic standards specifically mentions "graduate students who were initiated as graduate students," clearly making reference to the Constitutional possibility of such members. Link: Archived 2015-07-07 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. "Why the founders of Alpha Xi Delta are squad goals". odyssey. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  5. "Alpha Xi Delta: History/Insignia". Alpha Xi Delta. Archived from the original on 2012-04-01. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  6. "Alpha Xi Delta Manuscript Collection". Knox College Library. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
  7. "Alpha Xi Delta Raises More than $120,000 in Support of Autism Speaks". Autism Speaks. April 2, 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  8. Blog post: ΑΞΔ raises more than $2M for Autism Speaks Archived 2014-02-23 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 27 May 2014
  9. "Alpha Xi Delta : Philanthropy/Service (2012 report)". Alpha Xi Delta. July 24, 2012. Archived from the original on April 14, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  10. "Alpha Xi Delta : Autism Awareness". Alpha Xi Delta. July 24, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  11. "Alpha Xi Delta : AmaXIng Challenge". Alpha Xi Delta. July 24, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  12. "Unrecognized Organizations – Miami University". Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  13. "More Drunken Sorority Madness". The Smoking Gun. 2010-07-11. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  14. "Unrecognized Organizations - Miami University". Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  15. "Alpha Xi Delta sorority loses charter". Pipe Dream. 2011-11-03. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  16. "Alpha Xi Delta put on probationary recognition | Cornell Chronicle". Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  17. Dahm, Daniel (2017-11-21). "UCF sorority suspended amid hazing, alcohol-related allegations". WKMG. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  18. "Autism Speaks should change focus – The Temple News". The Temple News. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  19. "Alpha Xi Delta should reconsider philanthropy". The Signal. 2017-04-17. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  20. "The Quill of Alpha Xi Delta - Spring 2014". Issuu. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  21. "Georgia Tech Guide to Greek Life 2017". Issuu. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  22. "'Pitch Perfect 2' star Chrissie Fit: From Hialeah to Hollywood". miamiherald. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
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  25. "10 Sorority Women From the Golden Age of Television - Fraternity History & More". Fraternity History & More. 2014-03-31. Archived from the original on 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
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  42. "Astronaut Bio: N. Jan Davis". NASA. January 2006. Archived from the original on 10 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
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