It all began on April 5, 1895, at the University of Arkansas when four young women, with the help of a local dentist, established the secrets and symbolism that today bind over 260,000 women. This small band of women founded Chi Omega after realizing a need for an organization that would foster both friendship and respect for the potential and inherent value of women. Over the years, Chi Omega has provided its members with unique opportunities in leadership, scholarship, and lifelong friendship - striving to provide each Sister with a commitment to personal integrity, excellence in academic and intellectual pursuits, intergenerational participation, community service, leadership opportunities and social enrichment.
The Fraternity's Five Founders were Jobelle Holcombe, Jean Vincenheller, Ina May Boles, Alice Simonds, and Dr. Charles Richardson, a regent of the University and a national officer of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Dr. Richardson, a dentist by trade, crafted the first badge out of dental gold.
The six purposes of Chi Omega were established in order to preserve and enhance the values of each member:
- High Standards of Personnel
- Sincere Learning and Credible Scholarship
- Participation in Campus Activities
- Career Development
- Community Service
The Chi Omega Symphony was written in 1909 by Ethel Switzer Howard, a pledge of Xi Chapter at Northwestern University. She wrote the poem in preparation for her initiation and felt that the words exemplified goals to which every Chi Omega aspires.
Today, Chi Omega is the largest women fraternal organization in the world with over 300,000 initiates and 171 collegiate chapters.
Chi Omega's symbols are a visual representation of our purposes and ideals.
These symbols include:
The Crest The Owl
The Skull and Crossbones The White Carnation
The colors Cardinal and Straw The letters Chi and Omega
The Badge (pin)
The Tau Mu chapter of Chi Omega was installed at WashU on November 15, 2003. Since then, our chapter has grown to over 125 active members and is among the largest Chi Omega chapters in the country. Our sisters are well-rounded women who value the importance of scholarship, philanthropy, social involvement, and sisterhood. Chi Omegas are involved in over 200 different student organizations at Washington University, and they are leaders both in the Greek community and on campus.
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