Alpha Chi Omega was founded on October 15, 1885, at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Professor James Hamilton Howe, Dean of the Music School, invited seven young women from the school to attend a meeting for the purpose of forming a society. The seven young women chosen to attend this first meeting were Anna Allen, Olive Burnett, Bertha Deniston, Amy DuBois, Nellie Gamble, Bessie Grooms and Estelle Leonard. They wanted to form an organization that would provide both close companionship and support to its members.The young women met regularly in a small room in the music building. One week after their initial founding, Alpha Chi Omega's Founders and their first new members made their presence known. Although founded within the school of music, Alpha Chi Omega is now open to all undergraduate female students meeting our National Membership Criteria.
As musicians, our Founders included three pianists, a cellist/violinist/bassist, a composer and two singers. As collegians, they sought “friendship, artistic society and advancement of the ‘principles of true womanhood.”