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In the fall of 1885, Professor James Hamilton Howe, dean of the music school at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, 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. Their desire was to form an organization that would provide both close companionship and support to its members. They believed that such a group would benefit the students, the university, and the musical arts.


Invitations of lifetime membership are offered to undergraduate women meeting our national membership criteria: character, personal development, leadership ability, academic interest, and financial responsibility. Alpha Chi Omega has over 170,000 members located throughout the world. Today, there are 132 collegiate chapters throughout the United States.


Rho chapter of Alpha Chi Omega was founded at the University of Washington on October 14th, 1910. Our chapter was chartered by 12 real, strong, women: Gertrude Niedergesaess, Hazel Hawks, Edith Greensberg, Theodora Maltbie, Ehel Jones, Vera Cogswell, Marjorie Harkins, Edith Hindman, Emily Rogers, Bess Storch, Gretchen O’Donnel, and Jean Rodgers.

The original location of the founding chapter was located on its current land at 4545 17th Ave NE. However, due to the exciting growth of Rho in its first years, the chapter house was relocated in 1924 to the corner of 50th and 17th Ave NE. 33 years later, Rho was back on its original plot in the heart of Greek Row, due to increased membership and the need for a larger facility to accommodate the amazing body of women who continue to make up our chapter.

The University of Washington chapter of Alpha Chi Omega has served as a powerful branch of the national fraternity. Within its first 25 years of founding, our chapter had four alumni serve as Province Presidents for the national fraternity, and one alumni serve as the editor for our national publication, The Lyre. 


Brand Tagline: Real. Strong. Women.

Open Motto: “Together let us seek the heights.”

Patron Goddess: Hera, guardian of women

Philanthropy: Domestic violence awareness, prevention and education

Badge: Grecian lyre, reflecting our musical heritage

Colors: Scarlet and olive green

Flower: Red carnation

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