Welcome To AOII 4
My Promise 100
Alpha Omicron Pi
Welcome to our past - may it enrich
and inspire you!
Welcome to our future - may it be by you
enriched, inspired, and ennobled!
Welcome to our hearts - to our lifelong
companionship and protection!
Welcome to our upward trek toward the
stars that lead us!
And in all, may the love that unites us
guide and bless you!
Stella George Stern Perry, Founder
Alpha (Barnard College)
The Promise • 4
The Promise is AOII’s membership education guide. You will learn about membership
development, celebrating our sisterhood and so much more! Our hope is that you will
personalize this book by journaling your thoughts, memories and quotes from your
days as a collegiate member of AOII. Include photographs or keepsakes that make
this book a record of your personal growth and deepening friendships with your new
sisters, who made the same promises you will make at Initiation.
Throughout the book, you will learn AOII basics and the many ways AOII members
inspire ambition in their own lives and the lives of others. The Live, Learn, Lead and
Serve sections will carry you through your collegiate experience, demonstrating that
AOII is here to grow with you. The My Promise section will explain how AOII is yours
for a lifetime, and college is only the beginning. Please use the My Promise section to
record your collegiate years. Make it something to look back on and treasure as an
alumnae member. You’ll be glad you did, we promise.
5 • Alpha Omicron Pi
Connect With Us!
Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity
Place your Bid Day picture here!
The Promise • 6
What To Expect
In 1897, AOII’s Founders declared their commitment to one another and to the values of what would
soon become known as Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity. In the more than 120 years that have followed,
each member’s initiation has reaffirmed the principles on which AOII was founded. These principles have
served as the basis for mutual promises and a lifelong commitment between all members of the Fraternity.
AOII promises to be ever present and to strengthen and support each member throughout her lifetime.
Individually, we commit to live the values of our organization, to strive for excellence in learning, to lead with
ambition, and to be of service to our organization and the community. The mutuality of the commitment
makes the bond ever strong as each of us strives to fulfill our promises.
Achievement of Academic Standards:
Each chapter has a minimum required GPA for pledging new members and a minimum GPA for
initiated members to maintain, as stated in the chapter’s bylaws. You can read more about these
expectations on page 45 and ask any questions you may have to your chapter’s Vice President of
Participation in Chapter Activities and Events:
Your New Member Educator likely provided you with a calendar at Bid Day, including details about your
new member meetings. You are expected to attend these weekly meetings to learn about the Fraternity
and to form relationships with other new members. The readings you are expected to complete in this
book assist you in preparing for new member quizzes.
After Initiation, you are expected to participate in weekly meetings to keep you informed and active in
the chapter’s business. These meetings can be educational chapter meetings, Ritual chapter meetings,
or sisterhood chapter meetings. The goal of each type of meeting is very different, but all give chapter
members a designated time to gather together. Enjoy this time to bond with your sisters!
Besides these weekly meetings, there are several other activities throughout the year in which you are
expected to participate. These include Recruitment, Philanthropy event(s), the International Membership
Exam, Initiation and other Rituals, Class Caucus and Elections, and others as determined by your chapter.
Balancing AOII with coursework and personal responsibilities can be difficult, but your chapter calendar
can help you stay organized. If you have any questions about the chapter’s calendar, reach out to a
chapter officer or an initiated member for clarification or help.
Payment of Dues and Fees:
Part of being a member is paying dues so your chapter has the necessary money to hold events and
to see the chapter grow. Some fees you only pay once before Initiation, while others are due at regular
intervals each year. Feel free to ask your Vice President of Finance any questions so you can clearly
understand the financial process and dues.
7 • Alpha Omicron Pi
Through character, sincerity, loyalty and
obedience all of us try to uphold the
high ideals of Alpha Omicron Pi. Remember
that all we say, do and are reflects credit
upon ourselves and upon the Fraternity.
THE VALUES ON WHICH AOII was founded help lead us in the
decisions we make and the behaviors we exhibit in our daily lives. To live our values,
we must understand our history, traditions, heritage, and most of all, the Ritual
which binds us as members of Alpha Omicron Pi. This section is designed to share
stories from our Founders, give a glimpse of our archives museum at International
Headquarters, and to explore traditions of our Fraternity. We are inspired to promote
the values of simplicity, integrity, tolerance, generosity, personal dignity and love. Our
lives are to be living symbols of these values that we hold in common, secure in the
knowledge that they enable us to go with character and confidence into the world
“The values of AOII inspire me to
be a better person not only for
myself but also for my chapter
sisters, fraternity, and most
importantly people who may not
otherwise receive the love and
kindness that every member of
our fraternity is called to reflect
to the outside world. Our values
teach the importance of living our
ritual daily so others know without
a doubt what it is AOIIs stand for.”
Christian Cunningham, Lambda Delta
(Dalton State U)
Our New Member Pin: The new Our Flower: The AOII flower is
member pin is a sheaf of wheat the Jacqueminot (jock-me-know)
symbolizing many individuals rose. This particular red rose was
uniting in the common bond of chosen for its richness in color and
Our Charter Member Pin: The Our Infinity Rose: AOII does not
rose pin is only given to chartering have a crest because we were
chapter members. founded on Greek, rather than
medieval, ideals. In its place we
Our Badge: The letters A, O and use the Infinity Rose symbolizing
II are superimposed. The badge the life-long bond in AOII and
is always worn over the heart other significant meanings within
and only by initiated members of the Fraternity.
Alpha Omicron Pi.
Our Mascot: The panda is
Our Jewel: The AOII jewel is the official mascot of Alpha
the ruby. It was chosen for its Omicron Pi.
rich red color.
Our Magazine: To Dragma (Toe-
Our Color: The AOII color Drahg-ma) is published three
is cardinal. It was chosen times a year containing exciting
because it matches the jewel information about our chapters.
and flower, and it stands for It also focuses on articles of
courage and vigor. interest for women. To Dragma
means “the sheaf.”
The Promise • 12
The Object of the Fraternity
The Object of the Fraternity shall be to encourage a spirit of fraternity and love among its members; to
stand at all times for character, dignity, scholarship, and college loyalty; to strive for and support the best
interest of the colleges and universities in which chapters are installed, and in no way to disregard,
injure, or sacrifice those interests for the sake of the prestige or advancement of the Fraternity or any
of its chapters.
The Object, read at the beginning of every new member meeting, states the overall goal of AOII and what
we promise to our members.
Epsilon Chapter Song New Member Educator
Alpha Omicron Pi Your New Member Educator is very
Friends as the years go by important to you as she guides you through
Loving sisters are we the beginning of your AOII membership.
Loyal forever, Alpha to thee.
To hear how this is sung, search for
AOII Songs on Fulfilling the Promise
Name: ___________________________________ Place Ma piecmtubreeroEf ydouucaantodr your
Phone Number: ____________________________ New
Favorite memory from a new member lesson:
13 • Alpha Omicron Pi
“…we climbed up a little winding stair into
the stackroom…pigeons outside and snow
lightly falling…we pledged one another, at
the very beginning of the year 1897. And you
were all there, though we did not know it!”
Stella George Stern Perry, 1936
The first chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi’s rich history began at Barnard College in New York City. Affiliated
with the all-male Columbia University, Barnard was the first college in New York, and one of the first in
the nation, where women could receive the same rigorous and challenging education that was available
Barnard’s “Great and Glorious Class of ‘98” included four particularly ambitious women: Stella George
Stern (Perry), Jessie Wallace Hughan, Helen St. Clair (Mullan) and Elizabeth Heywood Wyman. These
women were destined to leave a great mark both on their college and on a new fraternity they would
originate and embrace for their lifetimes. So, intertwined in the great history of Barnard College emerged
a grand testament to friendship, scholarship and service that was to become Alpha Omicron Pi.
Stella, Jess, Helen and Bess became four firm friends determined that their friendship should last a
lifetime. What motivated these young women to create Alpha Omicron Pi rather than join an established
society? They were certain they would not find elsewhere an organization to celebrate their deep
friendship. In their junior year, on December 23, 1896, the four climbed the stairs in a small gallery of
the old Columbia College Library, which led to an old and seldom used room. Amid old grey mullioned
Gothic windows with broad window seats, sunlight streaming gently through the windows and snow
lightly drifting outside, the four pledged each other. On January 2, 1897, Alpha Omicron Pi was formally
organized at the home of Helen St. Clair.
The Promise • 14
Putting Down Roots
For nearly a quarter century, Stella Perry stored AOII’s most important
possessions in a little black box with AOII lettering. A larger black
trunk stored photos and more treasures that often traveled with
Stella Perry to early conventions. While both were conveniently
portable, storage was severely limited. The first Alpha Omicron Pi
Central Office was created at the 1925 Minneapolis Convention to
facilitate the work of a growing organization. Elizabeth Heywood
Wyman served as the first registrar, working out of her home in
Bloomfield, New Jersey. Over the next 50 years, AOII’s Central
Office took up residence in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and
Indiana before moving to middle Tennessee in 1976. In February
2001, Alpha Omicron Pi relocated to our magnificent facility on
Virginia Way in Brentwood, Tennessee.
Among the many artifacts on display in the archives of this
grand facility are the Fraternity’s original black tin box and
Stella’s trunk. Time has added character to both pieces, but
they remain priceless treasures of our Fraternity’s history.
Central Offices/Headquarters Locations
1925 – 456 Broad Street, Bloomfield, New Jersey
1928 – 50 Broad Street, Bloomfield, New Jersey
1930 – Masonic Building, Box 262, State College, Pennsylvania
1940 – 68 Washington Square South, New York, New York
1943 – 15 North Campus Avenue, Oxford, Ohio
1946 – 17 ½ East High Street, Oxford, Ohio
1948 – 112 South Campus Avenue, Oxford, Ohio
1953 – 1109-11 18 East Fourth Street, Cincinnati, Ohio
1956 – Suite 601-4, Sixth East Fourth Street, Cincinnati, Ohio
1960 – Suite 601-5, Sixth East Fourth Street, Cincinnati, Ohio
1967 – Suite 109, 3000 Meadows Parkway, Indianapolis, Indiana
1976 – 2401 Hillsboro Road, Suite 103, Nashville, Tennessee
1981 – 3821 Cleghorn Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee
1989 – 9025 Overlook Boulevard, Brentwood, Tennessee
2001 – 5390 Virginia Way, Brentwood, Tennessee
15 • Alpha Omicron Pi
Meet Our Founders
Jessie Wallace Hughan was known as a witty and enduring friend with high
integrity who inspired her friends to the same standards. After being awarded
membership in Phi Beta Kappa, she enjoyed a career as a distinguished teacher
and writer. She will remain best known as a gallant crusader for peace and
humane conditions. She was nominated for various political offices, including
Secretary of State for New York.
Helen St. Clair Mullan received Phi Beta Kappa honors and graduated first
in her class of 300 from New York University Law School. She also served as
President of the Barnard College Alumnae Association and was elected to the
Barnard College Board of Trustees. In 1905, she became National President of
AOII. She married and had two daughters who attended Barnard after fraternal
organizations were no longer on the campus.
Stella George Stern Perry was fierce in her insistence that AOII live up to her
ideals of friendship, scholarship, and service to others. After college, she owned
her own advertising agency and published 17 books. Stella married George Perry
in 1906. Governor Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey requested that she serve
as New Jersey Inspector of Labor for Women and Children. She was the first
president of Alpha Chapter and the first National President of Alpha Omicron Pi.
Elizabeth Heywood Wyman came to Barnard as a sophomore from
Wellesley. She was gentle, gracious, a fine scholar, and a perfect confidant.
Bess was described as the “sort of person you value much when she’s there,
but never know how much until she’s away.” After graduation, she taught
high school German and English. She reviewed books for the New York
Herald Tribune and wrote many short stories including some for the Girl
Scout Magazine. Bess was the 13th National President of AOII and pioneered
expansion of the Fraternity into Canada. The AOII office of National President
became International President when AOII chapters were installed in Canada.
The Promise • 16
Which Founder Are You?
Circle any qualities or characteristics that describe you. With which
AOII Founder do you share the most in common?
Jessie Helen Stella Bess
• tall • slender • small • feminine
• stately • graceful • dramatic • graceful
• light brown hair • ash blonde hair • chestnut hair • light brown hair
• brown eyes • brown eyes • brown eyes • blue eyes
• singer • pretty • olive complexion • fair complexion
• writer • gifted musician • artistic • poetic
• poetic • composer • poetic • writer
• dynamic speaker • good seamstress • writer • scholarly
• generous • carefree • sense of humor • gracious
• inquiring mind • merry • desire to bridge gaps • gentle
• witty • quick learner • sensitive
• a grand friend • g reat memory between people • reliable
• conservative • sympathetic • idealistic • m odest but not
• high-minded • simplistic
personal conduct • love to argue • tolerant prudish
• politically liberal • conservative • s et high standards • sweet tempered
• prone to lose • stylish • dignified • tolerant
• reserved in regard to • love everything and • sense of humor
belongings • practical
• idealistic personal problems everybody • firm convictions
• patriotic • p recise, exact • many-faceted • confident
• truthful beyond measure • forward looking • practical • religious
• intolerant of hypocrisy • greatly admired • intense feelings • sympathetic
• philanthropist • strong common • purity of thought • understanding
• procrastinator but • passion for truth • a selfless, giving
sense • loyalty
come through with flying • modest • splendid intellect friend
colors • marvelous mind • strong character • popular
• Phi Beta Kappa • lawyer • public service • educator
• PhD with distinction • Phi Beta Kappa • reform and welfare • active in community
• teacher • s upportive to
• politically active interests and church
• humble alma mater • love children • leader in college
• Quaker • love to travel • Jewish • social and welfare
Founder I Am
17 • Alpha Omicron Pi
History In The A few
“We wore high collars, usually of
Within a week of the Fraternity’s founding, Anne lace or ribbon, boned, and taller
Richardson Hall became the first woman initiated into in the back than the front. Often
Alpha Omicron Pi. Membership would quickly grow finished with a bit of rushing at
across the nation. Following graduation from Barnard the top. Big puff sleeves and long
in June 1898, Stella, then AOII’s President, traveled skirts, very full at the bottom, fitting
to New Orleans and investigated the possibilities of over the hips. You ask whether we
instituting a second chapter. AOII became a national wore dresses or shirt waists and
fraternity in September 1898 with the establishment skirts for daytime apparel. Both,
of Pi Chapter at Sophie Newcomb Memorial College just as you sometimes wear frocks
(Tulane University). and sometimes suits with blouses.
With suit effects the waist collars
As you might have noticed, AOII does not follow the were often separate, generally of
order of the Greek alphabet in determining the names white pique or black satin ribbon.
of its chapters. Guided by the democratic motivations At college, we wore caps and
of our Founders, each chapter itself is delegated to gowns, always.”
choosing its name and submotto. Bess Wyman, who
studied Greek, even volunteered to assist chapters in “Jess and Bess commuted daily to
translating submottoes! school by bridge and ferry, elevated
train and horse car. Helen and I
Following the installations of several more chapters, rode on the horse car. There were
the need for alumnae engagement grew. AOII’s no subways then, no tubes under
alumnae chapters were originally intended to reunite the river, and almost no electric
old friends, to continue Fraternity activities, and to be of street cars.”
assistance to nearby collegiate chapters. The New York
Alumnae Chapter, the first of its kind for the fraternity,
was formed in May 1904.
Now, you are the newest link in this chain that extends
back to 1897 and has grown all across the United
States and Canada to include over 190,000 women.
Learning the history of AOII will help you carry forward
the values and traditions that began so long ago.
The Promise • 18
words from Stella:
“The Jacqueminot rose was chosen as our flower because it is the symbol of our central
and essential virtue...The strong red with its overtone of courage and vigor had an
added reason for the rose that matches our fraternity color, cardinal, the heart color. The
Jacqueminot seemed to us outstanding because of its richness of color and fragrance,
combined with softness and modesty of bearing.”
“Where did we confer “You asked how we dressed our hair and
you ask? Everywhere - in whether we wore high pompadours. No.
our homes, walking on Those came in a few years later than our
Madison Avenue, in deserted college days. Mine, which was heavy, was
classrooms, at the soda worn in an eight at the back. ‘Scuse it
fountain in Huylers’ where please- putting mine first, but then, I had
we stopped for refreshments, the most hair! Helen’s was in the then
or over eclairs in Purcell’s fashionable psyche knot, up top. Bess and
old restaurant. But our most Jess simply coiled.”
serious plans were made “One of the first decisions we made was
in that old stackroom of the to have one emblem only and that a direct
Columbia library. There the reminder of our essential purpose...We did
Rituals were planned and the not want a design that showed some little
first constitution written.” object and resembled a breast pin or broach
or lace pin.”
19 • Alpha Omicron Pi
A walk through the AOII archives museum gives visitors to AOII International Headquarters a glimpse
into the rich history of our Fraternity. Historical artifacts are displayed for viewing inside specially
designed wall cases or can be found adorning dress stands and hanging from the ceiling and walls.
The archives museum seeks to connect our past with our present and future in hopes of leaving a
legacy for future generations.
AOII International Headquarters: AOII’s current International Headquarters location is in picturesque
Brentwood, Tennessee, just south of Nashville. When attending conferences or traveling through the
area, you’ll definitely want to stop by for a visit. Be sure to call ahead to arrange for a tour.
Official AOII Jewelry: Always a favorite, this case displays many different early badges from an era
when more options were allowed. Early jewelry items are displayed along with a brief recap of the
history of AOII’s official pieces of jewelry.
The Promise • 20
AOII Founding: As you enter the
museum, the first case you approach
is a brief history of Barnard College
and how AOII’s first chapter, Alpha,
was established on this campus.
One of the side panels offers a fun
glimpse at life in the 1890s through
the words of Founder Stella Perry.
Popular items include the Founders’
badges and rings for the three
Founders who later served as a
President. Alpha’s first roll book,
Stella’s personal journal, sits inside a
small metal box with “AOII” carved on
the side. Here, Stella kept our Ritual
hidden from others.
“Over a hundred years ago, four women sat down and decided to
create a place where women could find refuge from the outside
world, where they would be accepted as they are, and that would
impact you for the rest of your life. Being an AOII doesn’t mean I’m
better than anyone else. It just means I’m better than I used to be.”
Maranda Crane, Sigma Alpha (West Virginia U)
21 • Alpha Omicron Pi
Through The Decades
1897 1898 1904 1905 1906
January 2nd, founding AOII becomes a national First Alumnae Chapter First To Dragma First Convention,
of AOII at Barnard organization with the chartered in New York, published. AOII joins New York City; First
College of Columbia U, founding of Pi Chapter, New York NPC as the 12th national philanthropy
New York City, (Alpha Sophie Newcomb member group, Helen established: National
Chapter) College, Tulane U, New St. Clair Mullan, serves Committee for the
Orleans; First meeting of as our 1st NPC delegate Abolition of Child Labor
1936 1944 1946 1953 1955
Founder Helen St. AOII hires first Ruby Fund Founder Elizabeth Founder Jessie
Clair Mullan passes Traveling Secretary, established Heywood Wyman Wallace Hughan passes
Nancy Moyer McCain, passes
1996 1997 1999 2001 2004
First AOII Leadership AOII Centennial AOII adopts Alcohol New International AOII develops
Institute held in Celebration Convention, Free Housing Resolution Headquarters on F.A.I.T.H. Suicide
Nashville, Tennessee Marriott Marquis, New which ensures the Virginia Way in Awareness Program
York City, New York safety of women in Brentwood, which receives
AOII housing Tennessee dedicated Association of Fraternity
and Sorority Advisors
The Promise • 22
1908 1918 1922 1925 1930 1931
First AOII House, AOII’s first NPC First National First Central Office AOII becomes National philanthropy
Sigma, U of Chairman elected, Founders’ Day established in international with the changes to Social
California, Berkeley Laura Hurd, Upsilon, Celebration, held Bloomfield, New founding of Beta Tau, Service Department
opened (Lillian MacQuillan on December 8th, Jersey U of Toronto, Canada of Frontier Nursing
McCausland, Beta, Stella’s birthday Service
was elected but died
prior to taking office)
1956 1958 1967 1977 1982 1994
Founder Stella First Canadian International AOII Foundation AOII Emporium First AOII Fraternity
George Stern Convention in philanthropy established opens website launched
Perry passes Victoria, British changes to the
Columbia Arthritis Foundation;
Mary Louise Roller,
Alpha Pi, serves as
2011 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
AOII International AOII partners with AOII International Collegiate AOII International 50 years of
Headquarters the Chicago President, Allison membership President, Gayle partnership between
celebrates 10 years White Sox for an Allgier, serves as reaches a record Fitzpatrick, serves AOII and the Arthritis
at 5390 Virginia international Strike Chairman of of 16,000 members as Chairman of the Foundation; Carole
Way Out Arthritis! event the Arthritis for the year Arthritis Foundation Jurenko Jones, Alpha
Foundation Jingle Jingle Bell Run Delta, assumes the
Bell Run position of NPC
23 • Alpha Omicron Pi
Your Chapter History
Now that you know our international AOII history, it is time for you to discover your chapter history!
Each of our chapters has a wonderfully unique story. What is yours?
Add a picture of you and AOII on my campus inspires ambition by:
some chapter sisters. _______________________________
Our chapter traditions include:
My chapter sisters summed up in one
word would be:
The Promise • 24
Chapter Name: Submotto:
Meaning of Chapter Name: Meaning of Submotto:
of your facility
sisters gather and meet.
25 • Alpha Omicron Pi
Reflections On The
The Pledge Ceremony marks the official start of the new member experience. It is designed to
welcome you into our sisterhood and prepare you for the lifetime journey in Alpha Omicron Pi which
you are about to begin.
What did the vows mean to you?
What was your favorite aspect of the
The Promise • 26
Share Our Purpose
There are two key components AOII uses to communicate our purpose: The Object of the Fraternity and
our Mission Statement. Along with the Fraternity’s tagline, the two components capture the essence of
the value AOII provides its members.
The Object of the Fraternity
Penned by our Founders in 1897
“The Object of the Fraternity shall be to
encourage a spirit of fraternity and love among
its members; to stand at all times for character,
dignity, scholarship, and college loyalty; to
strive for and support the best interest of the
colleges and universities in which chapters are
installed, and in no way to disregard, injure,
or sacrifice those interests for the sake of the
prestige or advancement of the Fraternity or
any of its chapters.”
The Mission Statement is a clear and concise
representation of our organization to the
outside community. The Mission Statement
of Alpha Omicron Pi is:
“Women Enriched through Lifelong
27 • Alpha Omicron Pi
To Live Our Values
As an AOII you make a promise to live our values. You cannot fulfill that promise without the knowledge
of our purposes, history and traditions. You also need to know your chapter history and how we arrived
to where we are today. Take some time here to explore the background of our beautiful Fraternity and
the values and policies that guide us as we become the best versions of ourselves.
The Promise • 28
AOII Culture Principles
Shaping Our Future
Through collaborative discussion and input from collegians, alumnae, Headquarters Staff
and International Volunteers, the Executive Board established five culture principles to
guide our actions in the future. We believe these principles will provide our members a
consistent approach to “how” we do things while underscoring our values and helping
us achieve the meaning of fraternity as outlined in our Ritual.
Accountability and Ownership:
We personally accept responsibility for our actions and explain those actions in a
straight forward manner. We take ownership of the outcomes of those actions.
We work together, practicing consensus and team work. We collaborate so that our
members feel valued, a part of the bigger picture, and to ensure a better result is
achieved because our members are partnering and working together.
We impact the hearts of our members and promote an exceptional member experience
by building relationships and creating emotional connections to AOII and our goals.
We keep the ideals of AOII fresh in our minds through association with sisters, service
to our organization and striving to always reflect credit upon our Fraternity. We forever
honor the obligations which we have voluntarily taken upon ourselves and will remain
devoted to Alpha Omicron Pi throughout our lifetime.
We have the courage to embrace new ideas that will create value for our members. We
challenge the status quo when appropriate and are open to smart risk-taking in order
to meet our short and long term goals. We leverage new technologies and practices to
connect and share information with our members.
Open and Honest Communication:
We communicate openly, honestly and transparently. We listen first and solve later;
we act on facts and understanding of the actual situation. We are inclusive and value
29 • Alpha Omicron Pi
Living Out Fraternal Expectations
As members of Alpha Omicron Pi, we commit to supporting one another, our chapter as a whole, and our
local college or university. AOII’s objective, through our policies and expectations, is the encouragement
of behavior that will not only reflect credit on the Fraternity, but also on each individual member of the
Fraternity. Mature conduct is expected of each AOII member in every phase of her life. That goal can only
be achieved when each member recognizes that exemplary behavior is the direct result of an individual’s
respect for herself, her status as a member of the Fraternity, and for other people.
On the next page, you will see a sample of AOII’s policies and expectations. You can read more about
these in greater detail in the Book of Policies within the Governing Documents. The Book of Policies
should be read and discussed by each collegiate chapter at the beginning of each school year, under
the guidance of the Standards Committee, who shall also be responsible for monitoring the chapter and
individual members for compliance.
The Promise • 30
Academic Development: The academic policies of AOII set expectations for both the collegiate
chapter and the individual member. Each chapter must have a program in place to support the academic
performance of its members. The chapter must also have policies in place that set the minimum
requirements for its members and officers.
Alcohol: The purpose of the AOII Alcohol Policy is to ensure that all members are provided with
the knowledge and support necessary to make responsible and mature decisions regarding alcohol
consumption when they are legally entitled to do so.
Big Brother/Little Sister: Alpha Omicron Pi does not authorize the affiliation of “Big Brother” organizations
with its collegiate chapters, nor should chapters encourage, nominate or assist members in applying for
membership in “Little Sister” organizations or any otherwise named fraternity auxiliary group.
Diversity: Alpha Omicron Pi recognizes that diversity is integral to a well-rounded membership
experience and that each potential new member and member possesses special characteristics that they
can contribute to the organization.
Drugs: Alpha Omicron Pi expects each member to obey all applicable laws regarding controlled substances.
Financial Responsibility: All members and new members must accept a financial agreement that
guarantees acceptance of financial responsibility for all fees for the member and new member.
Housing: It is a privilege for AOII chapters to have a housing facility. Collegiate members are required to
live in chapter housing when space is available and when it is not contrary to college or university rules.
Hazing: Hazing is not in conformity with the Rituals of Alpha Omicron Pi nor does it project an image of
sisterhood and fraternal love. No chapter, new member or member of AOII should encourage, authorize or
engage in conduct that may be classified as hazing.
Moral and Ethical Behavior: Having voluntarily associated yourself with Alpha Omicron Pi, you have
accepted the high standards of decency and integrity that the Fraternity demands of each of its members.
Through our rituals, the fundamentals have been articulated for our membership, and it is expected that
our membership should follow these.
Social Media and Public Relations: The purpose of the Social Media and Public Relations Policy is to
remind our members that all electronic communication and online public relations materials should reflect
the values and ideals of AOII and reflect credit on the Fraternity.
31 • Alpha Omicron Pi
One of the most special, meaningful and enduring parts of membership in AOII is our Ritual. Your
introduction to our Ritual is at the completion of your new member program when you are initiated
into Alpha Omicron Pi. In that sense, our Ritual is a rite of passage – a proceeding during which your
membership status progresses from being a new member to being an initiated member. But our Ritual is
far more than that. Our Ritual specifies the values and principles by which AOII and each of our members
are expected to live. The philosophy expressed in our Ritual provides guidance, inspiration and support to
all members of AOII.
As each of us approaches our initiation, it is natural to feel some apprehension because we do not know
exactly what to expect. During your initiation, a sister guides you constantly. You and the Fraternity make
promises to each other. These mutual vows are of loyalty, support, feelings of sisterhood, and lifelong
commitment. The specific components of AOII’s value system (which include service to others, as well as to
AOII and its members) are revealed to you with your sisters by your side. You are not tested or asked to do
anything that is not in keeping with the dignity of the occasion and the high standards of AOII.
During your initiation, there is a lot to take in. Do not feel that you must remember it all. Following your
initiation, your chapter provides opportunities for you to explore our Ritual, discuss its meaning, ask
questions, and share your impressions and interpretations. It is through such exchanges with other
initiated members that your personal relationship with our Ritual grows and provides guidance and
inspiration throughout your life.
Our Ritual is...
• Based on simplicity and enduring values
• A link from the Founders to them and to every AOII
• Affirmation of our dedication to the beliefs and principles of AOII
• Shared ideals and goals that build community and trust
• Mutual commitments between the Fraternity and its members
• Stability and comfort in a stressful world
• A statement of our philosophy expressed in words and symbolism
The Promise • 32
We often speak of “The” Ritual in reference to
the Ritual of Initiation. That is the Ritual with
which members are most familiar. We also have
Rituals for additional purposes such as the
installation of chapter officers, installation of
chapters, and opening and closing meetings.
Every Ritual has similar components and
reminds us of the ideals and commitments we
hold in common with AOII.
Each Ritual represents the essence of what
our Founders cherished. The words in AOII
Rituals are beautiful expressions of our values
and the core of what binds us together. AOIIs
everywhere cherish the meanings of our Rituals
and have benefitted from applying them to their lives.
Allow Ritual to speak to you and guide you throughout your life. The words of our Initiation Ritual
have never changed since the day they were written. They are enduring testaments to our Founders’
foresight, wisdom, humanity, love and the wonderful gifts they extended to every member when they
“Our Ritual has taught me to be the best version of myself - to be generous, sincere
and confident in all I do. To be the kind of person that not only I would be proud
of, but my sisters too. I live out the values of our Ritual by living humbly and putting
others before me. By recognizing the needs of others and seeing their alternative
perspectives, Ritual has encouraged me to be more gracious and understanding.”
Carly Simonaitis, Iota (U of Illinois)
33 • Alpha Omicron Pi
Rituals, Traditions Ritual Attire
Committee (RT&J) • Modest white dress or a skirt and
blouse that covers the shoulders
Members of the Rituals, Traditions and Jewelry
Committee (RT&J) help AOIIs LIVE our values. Through • C losed-toe shoes (Everyone
education initiatives, the committee is dedicated to wears either white or black shoes,
helping initiated members enhance their understandings depending on the chapter’s choice.)
and application of AOII’s philosophy (as expressed in our
Ritual). For example, RT&J revised the Book of Rituals • D etailed Ritual attire specifications are
Instructions and wrote the Ritual Education Manual to included in AOII’s Book of Policies.
help make our Rituals increasingly more accessible to
our members. These materials are designed to stimulate
interest, dialogue and understanding as initiated members
explore the timeless and meaningful language of our
The Promise • 34
Traditions International Events: Annual and bi-annual
gatherings provide opportunities for AOIIs to
The essential tradition of Alpha Omicron learn, love and laugh together. Each February,
Pi is that its Rituals and promises are to be the Leadership Academy for designated
considered working principles for life, not simply collegiate chapter officers and advisers provides
emotional expressions. Other traditions include: education designed to enhance leadership and
Wearing a Red Ribbon: Each collegian may
wear a piece of red ribbon under the badge In June of odd-numbered years, International
on the day a new collegiate chapter of AOII Convention is held to consider revisions
is installed. to the Fraternity’s Governing Documents,
elect and install International Officers,
Draping the Badge: Upon the death of a acknowledge outstanding chapter and individual
member of the current Executive Board or a Past accomplishments, and celebrate our sisterhood.
International President, members may drape
their badge over a small piece of black ribbon In June of even-numbered years, Leadership
for seven days in a gesture of mourning. AOII Institute offers education for representatives from
also announces plans to drape the badge for the all collegiate and alumnae chapters, International
death of collegiate chapter members. Volunteers, and all AOIIs interested in enhancing
their AOII experiences.
Candlelighting: Many chapters established this
tradition of passing a lit candle around a circle See page 59 for more specific information about
of members to excitedly announce an important each event.
occasion such as an engagement or pinning.
35 • Alpha Omicron Pi
AOII Days: AOII Days are opportunities for
collegiate and alumnae chapters in a geographic
area to come together for fun, education,
service, and sisterhood. Each event is planned
to meet the needs of the groups coming
Founders’ Day: December 8th, or a date as near
to it as is practical, is AOII Founders’ Day. Alpha
Omicron Pi was actually founded on January
2, 1897, but this date usually falls during school
holidays and during a hectic holiday season.
Thus, Stella George Stern Perry’s birthday,
December 8, was selected as the official day
A letter to myself before Initiation...
The Promise • 36
My Date of Initiation: My Big Sis with me at Initiation!
Who initiated me:
What stuck out to
me from the Ritual
HereSariestseorms eatoInf imtiaytinoenw. est Afterward I felt:
37 • Alpha Omicron Pi
Living Our Values
For A Lifetime
Your AOII journey never ends! Just as you learn about and exemplify your promise to live the Fraternity’s
values in your collegiate years, maintaining this promise as a connected alumnae member can be even
more rewarding. Networking with sisters and creating mentoring relationships in your chosen field can be
just some of the many benefits that AOII can provide in the transition from collegiate to alumnae member.
Just remember that as you will count on the wisdom of AOIIs with whom you network, you still have much
experience and a valuable perspective to offer fellow collegiate members.
As you move to a new city and look for ways to connect with your AOII sisters, alumnae chapters are there
to welcome you with new friends of all ages. Take advantage of this ready-made support network with
whom you already share a common bond. For those who have graduated within the last five years, your
international dues are waived! Despite being less expensive than collegiate dues, alumnae chapters plan all
types of social events. Get involved and you might learn something new or make a new friend!
The best way to get involved with an alumnae chapter is to talk with your current Alumnae Relations
Chairman. Tell her where you plan on moving, and she will be able to give you information on the nearest
collegiate and alumnae chapters.
The Promise • 38
“Thank you, AOII, for all the opportunities of leadership, service and friend-
ships that you offer. Your Ritual reminds me daily of how I want to live my life,
and Life Loyal AOII membership is a reaffirmation of my commitment to you.”
Dotti Cutlip, Nu Iota Alumna (Northern Illinois U)
Becoming Life Loyal: As a new member you learned about becoming Life Loyal. Now is a perfect
time to consider becoming an AOII Life Loyal member. Life Loyal members exemplify the achievement,
leadership, loyalty and sisterhood we strive for as an organization. Your Life Loyal commitment will secure
the future, spirit, and heritage for AOII and its membership in years to come. To join or learn more, contact
the Assistant Director of Alumnae Engagement.
Join an Alumnae Chapter: There are countless ways to get involved as an alumna member after
graduation. You can join an alumnae chapter where there are opportunities to make new friends, participate
in philanthropic activities, network with other AOIIs, discover new interests and have fun.
If there is no local alumnae chapter in an area, there are four specific ways AOII offers for alumnae to stay
connected through our FOUR initiative. One of the greatest aspects about FOUR is that it allows alumnae to
give back in a way that best suits their lifestyle. These opportunities to connect with sisters include:
Join the International Alumnae Association: The International Alumnae Association is similar
to your alma mater’s alumni association. Wherever life has taken you and whatever your circumstances,
your membership allows you to stay connected through Fraternity updates, To Dragma, and an annual
stewardship report for an annual fee of $35.
Support a collegiate chapter of your choice through the Fraternity’s Foundation:
You can now give a tax-deductible gift to the AOII Foundation to support the educational needs of a chapter
of your choice—your chapter of initiation, a chapter you are advising, or a chapter that is close to your
heart. The AOII Foundation will set up a special fund for the chapter so your gift, along with others, may, for
example, be used to send an officer to a leadership event or to enhance the chapter’s study space.
Serve as a local or international volunteer: Apply for a local or international volunteer
opportunity: Volunteering within AOII has many different faces. Whether you’re volunteering as an adviser
for a nearby AOII collegiate chapter, serving as a local alumnae chapter officer, or holding a position within
the international realm of AOII, there really is a place for everyone. We encourage you to submit your
application and let us know where you would love to volunteer.
39 • Alpha Omicron Pi
ALPHA OMICRON PI is dedicated to supporting the efforts of all members
to be women who strive to grow intellectually and be vital participants in the world
around them. Through active involvement in a collegiate and later an alumnae chapter,
women are challenged to learn and to lead. To assist in these efforts, AOII is continually
developing educational materials to be shared within individual chapters so these
members can influence and impact their communities. With deep roots of scholarship
anchoring our organization for over 100 years, AOII seeks to instill the ideals of
scholarship in every collegiate chapter that is chartered.
One of our collegians described her AOII experience in this way: “I joined AOII to meet
people, to make friends, and it was the right thing to do. But it became much more than
that–I learned leadership skills, study habits, social skills, and gained self-esteem. My
eyes were opened to a whole new world of possibilities.”
“As an AOII I have learned
to manage my time, infuse
passion in my work, and
build relationships with
everyone around me.
With AOII I have learned
how to hold others and
myself accountable and
how to address difficult
conversations with love
Becca Cessna, Lambda Sigma
(U of Georgia)
A Promise To Learn
As a member of AOII, you make a promise to learn, and in return, the Fraternity vows to provide you with
the necessary tools for your educational journey. In this section we provide you with tips on how to be
successful, not solely in education, but in life as well.
“There are so many skills you can
learn in college, but what your sisters
can teach you – no one holds a candle
Kat Wolf, Nu Omega (Northern
The Promise • 42
Fulfilling The Promise
Intended to continue AOII’s
commitment to lifelong learning,
the Fulfilling the Promise
portion of the AOII website was
developed with the Fraternity’s
entire membership in mind. Our
Fulfilling the Promise website
focuses on continuing education
and furthering awareness about
the topics important to women
of all ages. It’s the promise that
AOII made to each member
that learning isn’t just about the
lessons you are learning today—
it’s for a lifetime.
By navigating through the site, you can access trainings, resources, and tools customized to fit the
needs of your involvement in AOII. Whether you are a new member looking for ways to develop
healthy habits, a collegiate or alumnae chapter officer enhancing your skills as a leader, or a volunteer
trying to find resources for the AOIIs you support–you can find it here!
To become the best possible you, familiarize yourself with the modules within Alpha Essentials,
a curriculum of personal development trainings based on your academic year or alumna status.
Complete any trainings created to help you have an enjoyable and worthwhile term serving your
chapter or the Fraternity. Review the resources in the Officer Resource Library and perhaps add a few
to your favorites for easy access. Peruse the Idea Bank to find new ideas for engaging your collegiate
or alumnae chapter or submit your chapter’s best practices for other sisters to implement in their
chapter. Browse your contacts when looking for how to reach the volunteers and staff with whom you
Visit edu.alphaomicronpi.org to access these features.
43 • Alpha Omicron Pi
There are many different types of learning, and discovering what works best for you is
important to succeeding in school.
Visual learners tend to receive, process, internalize, and retain information readily by
viewing or reading about a topic.
If you retain what you hear in a lecture or recall information when you have discussed it or
been quizzed orally, then you may be an auditory learner.
Finally, kinesthetic learners learn by actively participating in the subject matter or
incorporating activity into the presentation of the topic.
Here are some quick tips for each style: Your university offers resources to
their students on effective study
If you are a visual learner: habits. Visit your student life office or
• Take lots of notes campus website for more information
• Make detailed outlines on writing centers, math labs, and
• Color code and underline important words/topics tutoring services available.
• Create flashcards
My campus resources are:
If you are an auditory learner: _____________________________
• Record lectures with a tape recorder if allowed _____________________________
• Study in group settings and discuss the material _____________________________
• Make a recording of yourself reading your notes _____________________________
If you are a kinesthetic learner:
• Study in short spans and allow yourself to move around
• If possible, visit a museum about the information you are learning
• Role play the material with others in the class
The Promise • 44
Let AOII Help!
Your chapter’s Vice President of Academic Development is eager and willing to help you do your best
academically. Talk with her about the opportunities she can offer you through AOII. Many of our chapters
host tutoring sessions between sisters and offer academic files containing past notes and study guides
from sisters who have already taken the class. Your chapter sisters are great resources for advice on
classes, majors and professors!
My major is: AOII’s Academic Policies
My university adviser is:
An older sister with my major is: Member Expectations: Chapters must require a 2.5 minimum
M_____y__________a________c_____a________d________e________m____________i____c___________g________o________a_______l___s_________a_______r______e________:_________________________________________________________________________________________ semester or quarter GPA for members to be elected to a Leaders’
Council position and a 2.0 minimum semester or quarter GPA for
all other elected and appointed officer positions. Chapters may
establish higher requirements for members to be elected to office if
so approved by chapter vote and included in the chapter bylaws.
A collegiate member can be placed on International Probation for
failure to achieve a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent grade
requirement) for two consecutive terms.
Members with Learning Disabilities: Members with learning
disabilities are equal in stature with every other member of Alpha
Omicron Pi, and the expectations of membership are the same. If
any member falls below the chapter’s minimum GPA requirement,
as stated in the chapter bylaws, that member should be placed on
academic probation. However, terms of probation are individualized
to meet both the needs of the individual member and the needs
of the chapter. The Academic Development Adviser and VP of
Academic Development should meet with each member on
scholastic probation and set terms based on what is shared during
For more details on how collegiate chapters are to hold members
accountable, see the Governing Documents, Collegiate Academic
Did you know there are several academic resources available to you in the Officer
Resource Library? Check out the Professors and Their Expectations Handout and
Test Taking Workshop in the Academic Development tab.
45 • Alpha Omicron Pi
Creating An Effective
While it’s very important to learn the material discussed in your courses, it’s equally, if not more,
important to learn how you effectively study. The following information helps you create and
control an effective study location.
Choose a Study Space: Set aside a fixed place for studying and nothing but studying. This
area needs to be shaped in such a way that it becomes the best environment for academic
work. It should be reasonably quiet and relatively free of distractions like radio, TV, and
people. Having a place that you can designate for studying and nothing else will help create an
environment of habit where your instincts will focus on review.
Set Study Goals: Before you begin an assignment, write down on a sheet of paper the
time you expect to finish. Setting small goals will make the workload easier to split up and finish.
Divide your assignment into subsections and set a time for when you will have each section
finished. If you are doing math, set a time goal for the solution of each problem. If you are reading,
set a goal for each section or chapter. You will find that this is a way to increase your ability to
study without daydreaming. Keep a record of your goal setting. It may put just the slightest bit of
pressure on you, enough so that your study behavior will become instantly more efficient. Keep
the record of your goals as a measure of your study efficiency. Try setting slightly higher goals
each time you study, focusing on small, successive wins.
Finish Other Business Before Studying: Don’t start any unfinished business just
before the time to start studying. Most people tend to think about jobs they haven’t finished or
obligations they have to fulfill much more than things that they have done and gotten out of the
way. Uncompleted activities tend to be remembered much longer than completed ones.
Use a Reminder Pad: Another trick that helps increase your ability to concentrate is to
keep a pencil and paper by your study materials. If, while you’re studying, you happen to think
about something that needs to be done, jot it down. Having written it down, you can go back to
studying. You’ll know that if you look at the pad later, you will be reminded of the things you
have to do. Worrying about forgetting the things you have to do later might interfere with
The Promise • 46
Limit technology and Keep a master calendar Get ready for tomorrow today
social media up to date
Spend the last few minutes before
Wonder where all your time goes? Each day has to have some sort of bed to do a few things that will
We are deluged with information structured plan. How structured that get you started on the right foot
and with mobile internet you can is depends on the personality of each tomorrow morning. Set aside your
have data and demands coming person. Planning actually helps you outfit, put together any meals or
at you 24/7. No wonder people become more spontaneous because snacks you will need, prepare your
are starting to run workshops on you’ll know exactly what you need to gym bag, and set your keys in a
“digital stress.” Are you spending rearrange and when you can do it. visible place.
too much time on Facebook,
Twitter and other social sites?
The Fraternity’s Director of Communications, Mariellen Sasseen, declared, “a shockingly in-
disputable truth–you and I can not manage time-we can only manage ourselves. If life were a
science experiment, time would be the constant and we would be the variables. What an em-
powering concept! It is human nature to spend too much energy trying to control time instead
of changing our own behaviors. Even making a few minor changes can add up to that evasive
extra hour per day that we all so desperately covet.”
Shop/run errands efficiently Sleep and exercise Start meetings on time
Group your errands together and These two activities both take time If you always wait to start a meeting,
plan certain errands for certain and save time. Getting a good night’s everyone knows they can wander
days or in conjunction with a sleep and regular exercise are in late and still be on time. Start on
route you will already travel essential to a healthy lifestyle. Wake time and let them catch up on what
to class or to work. There are up feeling rested and refreshed they missed. Eventually, everyone
numerous ways to streamline and you will have more energy to will start arriving on time.
what you do if you just face the day. That energy will keep
plan ahead. you on schedule and help keep you
healthier. Plan exercise into your daily
schedule so it will actually happen.
47 • Alpha Omicron Pi
One of the most difficult transitions to college life includes learning to navigate money matters. A very
basic way to manage your money is to make a budget. There is no glitz or glamour to the process or
the end result, but it can enable you to enjoy more while spending less! A budget is simple and easy to
create. Best of all, it is personalized to what you need based upon your income.
Use a chart like the one below to make a plan for your financial success. Fill in your own information
and be sure that your income is equal to or greater than your expenses. If it is not, then you can look for
ways to increase income or determine expenses that can be reduced or even eliminated. To maintain your
budget each month, consider logging your spending in one of the many budgeting apps, such as Mint or
Total Fixed Expenses
Total Variable Expenses
Total All Expenses
Income - Expenses =
The Promise • 48
Advice from Barb Zipperian, AOII Past International President
and Executive of The Lawrence Group
I know that most of us are doing fine when it comes to spending! That’s where we as women usually
shine. But along with spending I also need to mention the words ‘budget’ and ‘debt.’ We spend our
money on the things that are important to us and step one is to figure out how we spend our money.
There are many tools available to record money earned and spent. After recording a month of
spending, prepare some realistic financial goals. Remember: it’s better to accomplish three goals than
to become frustrated with 10 unattainable ones. Think of a budget as “planned” spending. A budget
is telling your money where you want it to go, rather than wondering where it went! For many of us,
setting up a monthly budget is easy compared to actually being able to stay within the budgeted
amounts. Here are a few ideas that I’ve used to help in this area:
• Use cash in envelopes for entertainment, recreation, clothing, and miscellaneous. Once the
envelope is empty, those budget categories have been spent for that month.
• Add up your non-monthly expenses and calculate the annual amounts needed to cover those
expenses. Divide by 12 and put that much away in a savings account each month. When those bills
are due, pay them from the savings account. This works well for car maintenance, non-monthly
insurance payments, Christmas and birthday gifts, vacation, and other seasonal expenses.
• If your income fluctuates or is not predictable, such as that of a self-employed person or a
commissioned sales person, make a conservative estimate of what you anticipate as your yearly
income and divide by 12 to determine your average monthly income.
• If you do receive a larger sum of money from a bonus or inheritance, place some or all of it in a
Money Market Account and borrow from it as you would a credit card, paying yourself back each
month until you repay the amount you borrowed. Your money is earning interest and you aren’t
paying interest to the credit card companies.
For more of Barb’s advice about debt and saving, take a look at the Finding Your Way
to Financial Freedom article within Dollars and Sense, found in Alpha Essentials on
Fulfilling the Promise. In Dollars and Sense you’ll also find information about building
and maintaining credit.
49 • Alpha Omicron Pi
Being health conscious in college can be hard given our crazy schedules, but being the healthiest you
is easier than you think! AOII’s Heart of Health program was created with the help of Joe Malone, PhD,
who specializes in college-aged women’s health-related fitness and health psychology. To learn more
about this program’s offerings check out the Heart of Health section of Alpha Essentials on Fulfilling the
Eat Healthy Foods: A balance of proteins, Get Enough Sleep: Are you feeling like there
vegetables, and whole grains offers steady is too much to do and too little time for sleep?
energy throughout the day. Foods that are fresh, Sleep is the only way your body can recharge, so
baked, or broiled tend to have more nutrients and the quantity and the quality of sleep are equally
less fat than those that are fried or sautéed in oil. important. The quantity of sleep that is needed
varies by individual but generally about seven to
When selecting foods, think color! The brighter eight hours of sleep per night is ideal. Studying
the vegetables, the more vitamins they often late into the night before a big exam can be
contain. Avoid high sugar snacks and drinks for counterproductive if lack of sleep undermines the
energy as these have little nutritional value and academic effort put forth.
can have a boomerang effect when blood sugar
plummets. Beware of any quick fix for energy. It is easiest to get good, sound sleep by keeping
Generally, 300 milligrams of caffeine per day is as consistent sleep/wake schedule as possible
considered “moderate,” and pours out to three throughout the week. Exercise and sunlight
cups of coffee. exposure early in the day are two important
factors that help you sleep at night. Both raise
Water is the most important essential nutrient. In serotonin in the body which is converted to create
the morning when we wake up, we are about a melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall asleep,
quart of water short of what we need because when encountering darkness at night. Also avoid
of the respiration that takes place in our sleep. light from phones, computers, TVs, and other
Because of this shortage, try drinking about 16 digital screens as the blue light emitted depletes
ounces of plain water to rehydrate for the day. melatonin in the body.
You can then maintain your hydration by drinking
smaller amounts of water throughout the day. Did you know that the temperature of our brains
needs to drop by about one degree in order for
us to sleep? Having a place to sleep that can be
The Promise • 50