History of Alpha Phi International
Disillusioned by the lack of opportunity available to women at Syracuse University in 1872, ten of the first twenty women admitted into the university banded together to create what is known today as the Alpha Phi International Fraternity. At the time, society looked upon women only as daughters, wives, and mothers not in need of higher education. Alpha Phi’s ten Founders acted as pioneers for the coeducational system as they attended school with the handicap of implied (if not open) opposition, but sought support from each other. These women envisioned a far-reaching sisterhood ever since Alpha Phi’s inception, their innovational leadership and organizational practices setting the spirit for the Alpha Phi of the present. Alpha Phi would become a sisterhood that values the past, embraces the present, and looks forward to the future. To learn more about Alpha Phi's Founders, please visit the Alpha Phi International website's Founders page.
In 1902, Alpha Phi called an inter-sorority meeting that resulted in the formation of the association now know as the National Panhellenic Conference. At the time, the conference, was made up of only seven sororities and was the first intergroup organization on college campuses. The National Panhellenic Conference has now grown to include twenty-six member organizations.
Today, the sisterhood of Alpha Phi knows no boundaries with its 170 active collegiate chapters and upwards of 200,000 active members across North America. With these numbers, Alpha Phi remains the third biggest women’s sorority, as well as one of only three having over 150 active chapters in Canada and the U.S.A. The Alpha Phi sisterhood also happens to have the longest continuous presence in Canada with the establishment of the Xi chapter at the University of Toronto in 1906.
Now that we have founded the Alpha Chapter of the Alpha Phi Sorority, is this all there is to do? ... No indeed ... We have all the Alphabet to go through, and to go through again and again ... Can we not be a World Society as well as a National One? Yes, there is work enough for all of us and today is no time to be idle.
— Martha Emily Foote Crowe, Founder of Alpha Phi International Fraternity