The Epsilon chapter of Alpha Chi Omega was founded at the University of Southern California on June 16, 1895, making it the first chapter of Alpha Chi Omega west of the Mississippi and fifth overall. This marks our 116th year at USC, making us the oldest continuous sorority on campus! Talk about proudly wearing the lyre!
Nationally, the Alpha chapter was founded on October 15, 1885 at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.
Though originally founded with music in mind, the founders welcomed sisters from other areas of study as well. The importance of a life rich with music and an appreciation of fine art, though, was always stressed and is still a much beloved part of our heritage. Today, we recognize MacDowell Month every February. During MacDowell Month, our members are encouraged to attend exhibitions, see plays, take in concerts, and otherwise celebrate the arts.
The Alpha Chi Omega symbol is the golden lyre, the first instrument created by Orpheus and played for the gods on Mount Olympus and again in recognition of our musical origin. Our jewel is the pearl, often found adorning the lyre badges worn by our initiated members.
The Alpha Chi Omega colors are scarlet red and olive green, commemorating the changing autumn leaves at our founding in Indiana. Our flower, the red carnation, also exhibits these colors chosen at our founding.
Their open motto is “Together let us seek the heights.”