Over 100 sisters across all four undergraduate colleges.
Holding a wealth of executive board positions and internships in NYC.
philanthropy & Service
Dedicated to giving back and serving others on campus and beyond.
letter from our president
Welcome to Alpha Chapter! On January 2, 1897, our four founders, Stella, Bess, Jessie, and Helen, met in Columbia’s very own Low Library to establish a fraternity to emulate the strong friendships they found here at Columbia. They sought to establish an organization that was unique in its acceptance of diversity, desire for lifelong friendship, and commitment to service. As I look to the women in AOII, it is clear that our sisters live out our founders’ legacies each and every day.
Joining Alpha Omicron Pi was one of the best and most empowering decisions I made in my first year at Columbia. I have met my future roommates, travel companions, and bridesmaids, and surrounded by some of the strongest, most motivated, and passionate women I know, I have been inspired to be a better academic, leader, and friend. AOII gives each and every one of its members so much and we work to channel all the love we receive back out into the world around us. AOII has provided me with a wealth of love, inspiration, and an immense support system as the sisterhood pushes us all to become our best selves and to Exceed the Expectation in every aspect of our lives. At its core, AOII is about loyalty, sincerity, dignity, and lifelong friendships and the fact that our four founders pledged themselves to each other here at Columbia 119 years ago makes it all the more special.
Alpha Chapter seeks to provide a warm and welcoming community that accepts you and every version of you, exactly the way you are. Our mission statement “Women enriched through lifelong friendship,” isn’t just a lofty ideal, but a truth displayed in our sisterhood. My hope is that you find the same love, strength, and inspiration from Alpha Omicron Pi that I have.
The first chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi’s rich history began here, at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. Barnard was the first college in New York where women could receive the same rigorous and challenging education that was available to men. From the very beginning, Barnard was a place that took women seriously and challenged them intellectually. The idea for such a place as Barnard was bold for its time and it was in this setting that another bold endeavor developed. Barnard’s “Great and Glorious Class of ‘98” included four particularly outstanding 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 create and embrace for their lifetimes. So, from within the great history of Barnard College emerged the 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. In their junior year, on December 23, 1896, the four climbed the stairs in a small gallery of the old Columbia College Library (now Low Library), which led to an old and seldom used room, where the four pledged to each other.
On January 2, 1897, Alpha Omicron Pi was formally organized at the home of Helen St. Clair. Soon afterward, the four pledged AOII’s first initiate to AOII’s Alpha Chapter, Ann Richardson Hall. Over the next 100 years, we are proud to say AOII has expanded across the United States and Canada, adding to its ranks 204 collegiate chapters and over 155,000 initiated members. After Greek Life at Columbia was abolished in 1914, Alpha Chapter was finally reestablished in Spring 2013. 118 years since our founding, Alpha Omicron Pi boasts the most collegiate chapters of any other Panhellenic sorority in North America, and we are honored that this amazing organization all started on our campus. Wherever you go, you are bound to find a sister somewhere! Alpha Chapter is beyond privileged to be able to keep our Fraternity’s rich traditions and rituals alive today.
Fun Fact: The photo below is of our Founders and AOII's very first ever initiate, Anne Richardson Hall, walking down the steps in front of Low Library!