Alpha Sigma Tau
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Alpha Sigma Tau
Alpha Sigma Tau
Alpha Sigma Tau crest.png
FoundedNovember 4, 1899; 121 years ago (1899-11-04)
Michigan State Normal College, (Ypsilanti, Michigan)
Vision statementEmpowering Women to Excel in Life
TaglineDefining Excellence
Colors  Emerald Green   Gold
FlowerYellow Rose
PublicationThe Anchor
PhilanthropyWomen's Wellness Initiative
Headquarters3334 Founders Road
Indianapolis, Indiana 46268

Alpha Sigma Tau () is a national Panhellenic sorority founded on November 4, 1899, at Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University).

Alpha Sigma Tau is a member of the National Panhellenic Conference,[1] an umbrella organization encompassing 26 national sororities or women's fraternities, which focus on service, education, scholarship programming and social activities. Once a sorority exclusively for teacher's/educational colleges, Alpha Sigma Tau became a full member in 1951,[2] and, as a social sorority, now admits members without limits based on major. Currently, there are 85 chapters around the US. [3]


In 1899,[4] eight women founded Alpha Sigma Tau's first chapter at Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University): Helene M. Rice, her sister Adriance Rice, Mayene Tracy, Eva O'Keefe, May Gephart, Mabel Chase, Ruth Dutcher, and Harriet Marx.[5] There were three other sororities on campus at the time: Pi Kappa Sigma (now inactive), Sigma Nu Phi, and Zeta Phi (now inactive). The name "Alpha Sigma Tau" was chosen, and emerald green and gold were chosen for the colors. It was initially founded as an educational sorority.

Effie E. Polyhamus Lyman was chosen patroness. During the first year of its existence, the sorority did not display any marked activity. The charter was not received until the second year, when Edith Silk, Myrtle Oram, Zoe Waldron, Grace Townley, Marie Gedding, Louise Agrell and Mable Pitts had joined the organization and, with the organizers, were the charter members. On the suggestion of Mrs. Effie E Polyhamus Lyman, Miss Abigail Pearce and Miss Ada A. Norton were asked to be patronesses.[6]

Six years later, the Beta Chapter was founded in 1905[7] at Central Michigan Normal College, which is now Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Alpha Sigma Tau held its first conference in 1926, in Detroit, Michigan, and joined the Association of Education Sororities that same year,[7] after refusing to join purely professional associations due to also having a social focus.[8] In 1947, AES merged with the National Panhellenic Conference, and the sorority became a Panhellenic group.[9] The merger allowed Alpha Sigma Tau and the other AES sororities to begin establishing chapters at any accredited school, though existing chapters were encouraged to have larger memberships for the next fall rush.[10]

In 1946, the sorority partnered with the Pine Mountain Settlement School and raised funds for the cause until 2016. During this time, the sorority also partnered with Habitat for Humanity.[7]

The sorority's National Headquarters were created in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1995, and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2009.[7]

National Presidents

Years Name Chapter
1925-1928 Grace Erb Ritchie Alpha
1928-1934 Luella Chapman Sigma
1934-1949 Carrie Washburne Staehle Alpha
1949-1955 Dorothy Bennett Robinson Pi
1955-1964 Mary Alice Seller Peterson Iota
1964-1972 Elizabeth Wilson Pi
1972-1984 Lenore Seibel King Psi
1984-1986 Gail Shockley Fowler Alpha Lambda
1986-1992 Patricia L. Nayle Phi
1992-1996 Mary Charles Ashby Chi
1996-2002 Martha Drouyor DeCamp Alpha
2002-2008 Patricia Klausing Simmons Delta
2008-2014 Christina Duggan Covington Alpha Lambda
2014-present Tiffany Street Delta Mu

The late Carrie Washburne Staehle and Lenore Seibel King have been recognized as Presidents Emerita.[11]


Alpha Sigma Tau's colors are emerald green and gold. Its flower is the yellow rose, its jewel is the pearl, and its symbol is the anchor.[12]

The sorority does not specify an official mascot.

Sorority badge

The badge is a black, kite-like polygon with a golden inscribed on the enamel, bordered by gold, sometimes inlaid with small pearls. Members with different roles may order badges with different jewels on the badge's four points: Regional or national volunteers have rubies, yellow topaz identifies NPC delegates, and emerald identifies National Council members and National Officers, while the badge used by all past and current National Presidents has a double border of gold inlaid with diamonds.[12]

Sorority crest

The crest of the sorority, which was designed by Ruth Mayers Glosser in 1922[12] is made of symbols important to the organization: an open book, a crown, 6 stars, and an anchor (counterclockwise starting from top right). At the top of the crest there is a candle with glowing rays, and at the bottom there is a banner with Alpha Sigma Tau written in Greek (? ). This crest is to be worn by initiated members only.


National foundation

The fraternity's National Council created the Alpha Sigma Tau National Foundation in 1982as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit to manage donations in support of the sorority. The donations go towards the sorority's educational programs and scholarships, and they were used to purchase the current Alpha Sigma Tau National Headquarters office.[13]


The sorority's official philanthropy is the Women's Wellness Initiative, which is a model where the national sorority partners with national organizations focused on empowering women and girls. Individual collegiate and alumnae chapters coordinate local philanthropic fundraisers and service projects. As of 2019, Alpha Sigma Tau has partnered with Dress for Success and Girls Who Code.[14]

Incorporated in 1982, the foundation provides a variety of resources, including: over 30 scholarships,[15] funds for a charitable project, permanent headquarters for the sorority, a place for the storage and display of Alpha Sigma Tau's historical records, and educational programming at the chapter, Regional Leadership Workshop, and National Convention levels.


Aside from participating in local philanthropy, undergraduate chapters and members have educational programming. Members may join as undergraduate or graduate students.[16] At the 2008 National Convention, the Sorority raised the minimum collegiate GPA from 2.3 to 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (at B-C average). All sisters who have joined after the fall 2008 semester are required to meet this national standard.[17]


  • THE ANCHOR is the sorority's magazine, published twice annually. Its articles pertain to Alpha Sigma Tau, Greek life, and issues affecting women today.[18]
  • Alpha Signal is a monthly newsletter distributed to National Staff and to chapters, both collegiate and alumnae. This bulletin relays messages from National Council and Staff and discusses upcoming events and other items of importance to the Sorority.[18]
  • The Crest is the sorority's magazine that focuses on alumni news, is published at least biannually,[19] and is viewable online.[20]
  • The Foundation Circle is an electronic newsletter delivered monthly to supporters of the Alpha Sigma Tau Foundation.


Active chapters and colonies

Alumnae associations

Alpha Sigma Taus across the United States participate in alumnae associations. These associations include alumnae chapters, clubs, social teams, support teams, and hope groups.[21] Alumnae sisters who live more than fifty miles from an active alumnae association are invited to join the Anchor Chapter[permanent dead link] or to form their own association with local alumnae.[21][22]

In addition to joining a local association or the Anchor Chapter, alumnae may be invited to join the Emerald Chapter.[23] The requirements for becoming a member of the Emerald Chapter include serving a minimum of four years as National Council or Staff or attending a minimum of three National Conventions.[24]

National Headquarters

National Headquarters is the home of the Sorority's archives and publications. Photographs, awards, and other historical documents are on display. Additionally, Headquarters can connect people with collegiate and alumnae chapters, National Council and Staff, and the Alpha Sigma Tau National Foundation, Inc.[25]

The original location of the National Headquarters was St. Louis, Missouri, adopted in 1949 by National President Dorothy Robinson. National Headquarters was relocated to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1994 for 16 years.[25] In 2009, Alpha Sigma Tau[26] moved its National Headquarters to Indianapolis, Indiana, the home of over 30 other Greek organizations.

Notable alumnae

See also


  1. ^ "Our Member Organizations". National Panhellenic Conference. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "National Panhellenic Conference". 2009-09-05. Archived from the original on 2009-09-05. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Find a Chapter". Alpha Sigma Tau. 2015-11-30. Archived from the original on 2019-08-06. Retrieved .
  4. ^ LaRon Torbenson, Craig; Parks, Gregory, eds. (2009). Brothers and Sisters: Diversity in College Fraternities and Sororities. Associated University Presse. p. 179. ISBN 978-0-8386-4194-1.
  5. ^ "Alpha Sigma Tau Celebrates 100th Anniversary". Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 105th Congress, Second Session. 144 Part 9. United States Government Printing Office. 1998-06-23. pp. 13418-13419. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "Who We Are - History",
  7. ^ a b c d "History". Alpha Sigma Tau. 2015-12-02. Retrieved .
  8. ^ Council of Alpha Sigma Tau (October 1944). "The Report of the Association of Education Sororities Representatives". The Anchor. p. 20. Retrieved .
  9. ^ "History". National Panhellenic Conference. Archived from the original on 2008-08-29. Retrieved .
  10. ^ Alpha Sigma Tau (January 1948). "Alpha Sigma Tau Is Now an Associate Member of the National Panhellenic Conference". The Anchor. p. 3. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Past National Presidents". Alpha Sigma Tau. 2015-12-02. Retrieved .
  12. ^ a b c "Emblems & Symbols". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "Foundation". Alpha Sigma Tau. 2015-11-30. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Women's Wellness Initiative". Alpha Sigma Tau. 2016-06-17. Retrieved .
  15. ^ "Why join ?". Alpha Sigma Tau. Archived from the original on 2008-04-19. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "Order of the Open Book". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved .[dead link]
  17. ^ "National Convention". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved .[dead link]
  18. ^ a b "Publications". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved .[dead link]
  19. ^ "THE CREST". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved .[dead link]
  20. ^ "The Crest",
  21. ^ a b "Establish an Association". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved .[dead link]
  22. ^ "Anchor Chapter". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved .[dead link]
  23. ^ "Emerald Chapter",
  24. ^ "Emerald Chapter". Alpha Sigma Tau. Retrieved .[dead link]
  25. ^ a b "National Headquarters". Alpha Sigma Tau. Archived from the original on 2008-04-30. Retrieved .
  26. ^ "History". Alpha Sigma Tau. 2015-12-02. Retrieved .
  27. ^ Becque, Fran; Ph.D. (2016-03-14). "#WHM - Mildred Doran, Alpha Sigma Tau Aviator, #notablesororitywomen". Fraternity History & More. Retrieved .
  28. ^ James, Sheryl (March 1, 1999). "Gwen Frostic: Michigan artist crafts nature into a rich life". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on 2001-05-06. Retrieved .
  29. ^ "Jessica Furrer". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved .
  30. ^ Alpha Sigma Tau (1982). "1982 Fall ANCHOR". Issuu. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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