UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA
Alpha Phi is a sisterhood of outstanding women supporting one another in lifelong achievement.The sisterhood of Alpha Phi stretches from coast to coast through 159 collegiate campuses and more than 200,000 members. Sisters share a commitment to excellence and a strong desire to help one another and their communities. Alpha Phis are leaders, scholars, contributors and lifetime members of a sisterhood that values these traits.
Alpha Phi assists college women in making informed choices to reach their highest potential. Alpha Phi enhances and promotes each member’s development and learning by focusing on sisterhood, service, scholarship, leadership, loyalty and character development (see OurValues tab for more information).
The innovative leadership and organizational practices of Alpha Phi’s Founders in 1872 set the spirit for the Alpha Phi of today…a sisterhood that values the past but looks forward to the progress offered by the future.
The Alpha Phi Badge
The official badge of Alpha Phi is an unjeweled monogram of gold showing the symbol of Alpha superimposed upon the symbol of Phi. Inscribed in black on the symbol Phi are the letters a, o, e. The meaning of these letters is reserved for the initiation ceremony. You may also wear a jeweled version of the badge set with white stone. This badge may be worn as a pin, upon a bracelet or mounted as a ring.
Alpha Phi was the first women’s organization to use Greek letters as an emblem. Originally there was no standard badge. Until 1906 when the current badge was adopted, each member went to the jeweler of her choice to have her pin designed. Most chose similar designs using the “Lazy Phi,” a Phi symbol turned to its side. You can see many of these unique pins in the Ruth Himmelman Wright Hall at the Executive Office in Evanston, Illinois.
The Honor Badge
Today, special honor badges, replicas of the lazy Phi pin, are worn by international officers, and Educational Leadership Consultants. They are also worn by presidents of collegiate chapters while they serve as president.
New Member Badge
In 1898 the Fraternity adopted a special badge to honor her newest members. The badge they selected is in the shape of an ivy leaf, set in silver pewter. An ever-growing vine, the ivy symbolizes the growth of the Alpha Phi sisterhood.
The first fifty-year pins, silver circles with red stones, were presented at the 42nd Convention in 1958 to several alumnae who had given significant service to the Fraternity for 50 years or more. These pins are replicas of the pins presented to the six living founders at the Fraternity’s Fiftieth Anniversary Convention in 1922.
The Fraternity Crest is the Alpha Phi coat-of-arms, adopted by Convention delegates in 1922. The shield is Bordeaux with a scroll and ivy leaf above it. Inscribed on the scroll is the public motto, “Union Hand in Hand”. A bar of silver crosses the shield from left to right; the upper half of the shield contains a Roman lamp in silver and the lower half, Ursa Major. The meaning of the symbols depicted on the crest is a significant part of the ritual witnessed at initiation.
The use of the Fraternity crest is reserved for jewelry, sportswear and other Fraternity equipment befitting the dignity and honor of Alpha Phi’s heritage.
Alpha Phi’s original colors were blue and gold. In 1879, noting that a fraternity had colors too similar to hers, Alpha Phi adopted the more distinctive colors of silver and bordeaux.
Members wear their colors, in the form of ribbons of silver/gray and bordeaux, under their badge to acknowledge special occasions such as the installation of a new chapter, the anniversary of their chapter’s installation or the celebration of Alpha Phi Founders’ Day each year on October 10. In modern day, these ribbons are often worn virtually in the form of social media badges.
Alpha Phi’s Flowers
The flowers of Alpha Phi are the fragrant Lily of the Valley and the blue and gold Forget-Me-Not.
Alpha Phi’s Symbol
The symbol of Alpha Phi is the ivy leaf with the new member badge taking its form.
The Fraternity constellation is Ursa Major, the Great Bear. This symbol can be seen on the Alpha Phi crest and is displayed on the ceiling of the Alpha Phi Executive Office in Evanston, Illinois.
Alpha Phi Mascot
The mascot of Alpha Phi, the “Phi Bear,” is named after Ursa Major, the Great Bear, and was adopted in 1974.