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Alpha Epsilon Phi
Alpha epsilon phi crest.jpg
Founded October 24, 1909 (1909-10-24) (100 years ago)
Barnard College, (New York, New York)
Type Social
Scope National
Motto Multa Corda, Una Causa
Many Hearts, One Purpose
Colors      Green


Symbol Columns
Flower Lily of the Valley
Jewel Pearl
Publication Columns
Philanthropy Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation,
Mascot Giraffe: It's got the biggest heart, and its head is above the rest.
Headquarters 11 Lake Avenue Extension
Danbury, Connecticut, USA

Alpha Epsilon Phi (ΑΕΦ) is a sorority and member of the National Panhellenic Conference. It was founded on October 24, 1909 at Barnard College in New York City by seven Jewish women; Helen Phillips Lipman, Ida Beck Carlin, Rose Gerstein Smolin, Augustina "Tina" Hess Solomon, Lee Reiss Leibert, Rose Salmowitz Marvin, and Stella Strauss Sinsheimer, on the principle of non-discrimination. Founder Tina Hess Solomon described the reasons for the founding in a letter written in 1934: "We wanted a group of girls chosen not because of any special scholastic preeminence, financial circumstances or other arbitrary standards but a group who had common interests and were dominated by the ideals of true friendship."[citation needed] The mission of Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority is "to inspire and support exemplary women dedicated to friendship and a lifelong commitment to Alpha Epsilon Phi while building on the vision of our Jewish founders."[1]



Out of a desire for friendship, mutual understanding and respect for the high ideals of womanhood, Alpha Epsilon Phi was born. Seven Jewish Barnard College women met one day in 1909 to found a "club" where they could foster their aims and desires and became the founders of Alpha Epsilon Phi. Their goal was to form a sorority free from religious prejudice and void of pettiness, where young women could nourish their ideas and ideals. This idea was the firm basis upon with Alpha Epsilon Phi was founded.

In the early 1900s a college education for a woman was quite rare. However, in 1907 Barnard College opened its door and young ladies from well-to-do families came to continue their high school studies. There were seven: Helen Phillips, Ida Beck, Rose Gerstein, Augustina Hess, Lee Reiss, Stella Strauss and Rose Salmowitz. Helen Phillips was the one who really inspired the idea of forming a club. She wanted some material thing to keep in closer contact with her friends. Helen suggested that the others meet in her room and discuss the possibilities of such a club. And so, on October 24, 1909, Alpha Epsilon Phi came into being. The other women met in Helen's room were not chosen because of any special scholastic prominence, financial circumstances or other arbitrary standards, but because they had a common heritage, shared common interests and were imbued with the ideals of true friendship.


Crest The columns of Alpha Epsilon Phi were added in 1916, 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.

Jewel 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.

Colors The colors of green and white were also chosen in the beginning by the founders. They represent growth and fellowship, respectively.

Flower The last symbol of Alpha Epsilon Phi which can be directly attributed to the founders is the flower. The lily of the valley was selected for its simple beauty and for the fact that it is green and white.

Mascot At the 1977 National Convention the giraffe was chosen as the mascot for Alpha Epsilon Phi based on the fact that it has the largest heart of any animal and stands above the crowd.

Open Motto Multa Corda Una Causa... Many Hearts One Purpose was chosen as the open motto in the early years of the sorority because it best expressed the intentions of the founders of Alpha Epsilon Phi.

Tag Line In 2001, the sorority unveiled its updated image, complete with a new tag line: Above All Else. The statement captures the sentiments and experiences AEPhis have had.

Core Values Statement

Above all else, Alpha Epsilon Phi inspires exemplary women who are:

Enriched by sisterhood and unconditional friendships

Dedicated to selfless service, and inspiring others, and

Committed to intellectual growth and personal development.

As a lifelong member of Alpha Epsilon Phi, I will:

Respect our shared heritage and traditions,

Exhibit high ideals and moral character,

Fulfill expectations and responsibilities of membership, and

Continually exemplify the values of beauty, strength, and wisdom as embodied by the three columns of our insignia.

National Philanthropies

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (abbreviated EGPAF) is a public charity which "seeks to prevent pediatric HIV infections and to eradicate pediatric AIDS through research, advocacy, and prevention and treatment programs." The organization was founded in 1988 by Elizabeth Glaser (Alpha Delta Chapter), Susan DeLaurentis (Xi Chapter), and Susie Zeegen.


Sharsheret is a national non-profit organization dedicated to serving the unique concerns of Jewish women with breast cancer.


Notable members

Name Original Chapter Notability Reference
Barbara Barrie Omega, Texas actress; (Barney Miller) [2]
Lillian Copeland Xi, USC Olympic Gold and Silver medalist [3]
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Kappa, Cornell Supreme Court Justice [2]
Elizabeth Glaser Sigma, University of Wisconsin AIDS Activist and co-founder of The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation [2]
Erica Hill Alpha Chi, Boston University CNN Anchor [3]
Bessie Margolin Epsilon, Newcomb former U.S. Department of Labor attorney [3]
Charlotte Rae Omicron, Northwestern actress; (Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life) [2]
Judith Resnik Alpha Nu, Carnegie Mellon 2nd American woman astronaut [3]
Dinah Shore Chi, Vanderbilt Singer, actress and talk show host [4]
Annette Strauss Omega, Texas former Mayor of Dallas [2]
Lauren Weisberger Kappa, Cornell author, (The Devil Wears Prada) [2]
Harriett Woods Pi, Michigan former Lt. Governor of Missouri [2]
Nicole "Colie" Edison Epsilon, Tulane Cast member on the eighteenth season of MTV's reality television series The Real World: Denver [2]


External links



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