The Beta Epsilon chapter of Alpha Phi at the University of Arizona was established on March 12, 1926. Alpha Phi was founded on the belief of character growth and seeking the highest principles of womanhood. Alpha Phi was established as a sorority initially on October 10, 1872 at Syracuse University in New York by Clara Burdette, Hattie Lukens, Martha Crow, Ida Houghton, Jane Hingham, Kate Gilbert, Elizabeth Shults, Rena Aitchison, Louise Hancock, and Clara Williams. Alpha Phi's objectives aim to promote character development, sisterly affection, unity of feeling, and social communion amongst its members. Alpha Phi's motto is union hand in hand and the sororities' values are Sisterhood, Scholarship, Service, Leadership, Loyalty, and Character Development.
One of its most recognizable symbols is an Ivy Leaf, which represents the connectivity of philanthropic and scholarly pursuits. Its flowers are the Lily of the Valley and the Forget Me Not to signify the eternal remembrance of sisterhood. The colors representative of Alpha Phi are Silver and Bordeaux that are also represented on its crest along with the ivy leaf. The constellation of Alpha Phi is Ursa Major, this is also on the Alpha Phi crest and on the ceilings of the Alpha Phi executive office located in Evanston, Illinois. The new member badge is a silver ivy leaf with the greek symbols Alpha and Phi on it to symbolizes growth. Once new members become initiated active members, they return in their new member pins and receive new pins that are gold and have the greek symbol Phi on the back and in front of it is the symbol Alpha. Written across the front are three small letters a, o, and e. Alpha Phi was the first women's organization to use Greek letters as a symbolic emblem.
In 1956, Alpha Phi established the Alpha Phi foundation as its philanthropy and focus on women's cardiac care as its specific philanthropic focus. The Alpha Phi foundation makes financial contributions across the nation to programs and organizations that specifically study women's heart disease. Each year, the foundation's Heart to Heart Cardiac Care Grant of $100,000 is given to an organization of its choosing to further the advancement of research in women's heart disease. In 2017, the grant was awarded to the Texas Heart Institute. The Alpha Phi foundation also awards $277,000 in scholarships to members of Alpha Phi across the country. Every October, the Beta Epsilon chapter of Alpha Phi hosts a Red Dress Gala in which each active member wears red in order to promote awareness about heart disease. From the event, the proceeds are then donated to the Alpha Phi Foundation to support women's heart health within the American Heart Association in Tucson. In February, another philanthropy put on by the sorority is called Sweetheart's Week. During the duration of the week, there are events each day in order to advocate for cardiac care. The main event during the week is the Blood Drive with services from the American Red Cross. The Beta Epsilon chapter at the University of Arizona is among the top five fundraising chapters of the western quadrant in the United States
Today, there are over 300 members currently in the Beta Epsilon chapter. Each pledge class is comprised of roughly 100 girls. Women can start their membership process by completing the formal recruitment process that happens every August and receiving a bid on the last day of recruitment. By attending bid day, new members accept their bid and begin the new member process. New members attend many informational meetings to learn about the chapter's history and other regulations and expectations to abide by. The new member process concludes in the second week of October when new members are initiated.
The Alpha Phi foundation also funds annual leadership programs and conferences for members across the country to meet with different chapters and gain a better sense of management skills and team work. The Chapter Leadership Development program that all members have the opportunity to participate in, the program is comprised of online modules focused on leadership and wellness. Members who hold a position on the executive board of the chapter attend a leadership conference each year to meet with other chapter executive officers and notable alumnae for leadership advice. Members who are freshman and sophomores are invited and encouraged to apply and attend the Emerging Leaders Institute. At the Institute, 200 members spend a week with alumnae and members from chapters across the country and participate in a variety of leadership courses and workshops. The Alpha Phi International Leadership Fellows Program is for undergraduate senior members or graduate program students who are specifically selected for their outstanding leadership qualities. The curriculum within this program encourages women to take on leadership position in their professional lives and also within their communities. Alpha Phi also offers an Educational Leadership Consultant Program, or more commonly referred to as ELC for short, in which successful chapter presidents are selected for a highly selective interview process to serve as consultants to other chapters around the country. These consultants complete extensive training over the summer to provide any additional help, support and advice for chapters during the formal recruitment process and throughout the duration of the year.
Alpha Phi was rebuilt in 1960, after the house experienced severe damage after a fire, and is located at 1339 East 1st Street on Greek Row. The home, which is well over three thousand square feet, sleeps 66 women and one house mother who oversees daily activities and endeavors within the chapter. Upon entering the home, there is a foyer and to the right a lanai, and to the left of the foyer a living room with a fireplace. There is also a kitchen area, formal dining room, chapter room, and a craft room connected to an additional living room all located on the first floor. The rest of the home is comprised of bedrooms, public bathrooms, a sleeping porch, a tanning porch and a basement. Featured in the home are bright decorative accents against bright while walls, with chic and elegant design touches.
"AzAlphaPhi." Alpha Phi. www.azalphaphi.com
"Alpha Phi Foundation." Alpha Phi Foundation. www.alphaphifoundation.org
"Alpha Phi." Alpha Phi. www.alphaphi.org