Alpha Phi promotes values of loyalty and leadership in sisterhood


Submitted by: Alpha Phi sorority

Members of Alpha Phi on Bid Day.

Madison Graver

Fraternity and sorority life is a large part of many AU students’ lives. From the meaningful philanthropy to the weekly chapter meetings to the lifelong bonds made, it is safe to say that FSL has a solid presence on AU’s campus.

Each fraternity and sorority is special and unique in its own way, but the one being highlighted today is Alpha Phi.

Founded at Syracuse University in 1872, Alpha Phi International Women’s Fraternity was originally formed by 10 women at the university to create an organization to emphasize “the principles of the promotion of growth in character; unity of feeling, sisterly affection, and social communion among the members.”

The six core values that members are dedicated to improving and embodying include character development, scholarship, service, loyalty, leadership and sisterhood.

“We definitely look for members that uphold the same values as us because that’s what binds our whole chapter together,” said chapter president Abby Wilhelm. “We want people who are leaders, service oriented and just genuine.

The sorority has over 170 active chapters throughout the U.S and Canada and has been present at AU since April 1967.

Wilhelm credits the genuinity of the girls and the vast opportunities for leadership as the reasons why she was drawn to this sorority during recruitment.

As the President, she had the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles to meet with like-minded women and learn about the power of leadership.

Members outside of an Alpha Phi house at a different university. (Submitted by: Alpha Phi sorority)

“I was really drawn to the leadership opportunities that I felt like Alpha Phi could provide me with, and they have,” Wilhelm said. “It was something that I really wanted to take advantage of.”

Emma Harrell, director of community service and the associate executive administrator, also took advantage of the opportunity at leadership positions and believes it’s helped grow her confidence.

“When I got my position in Alpha Phi, I’m not as confident as I want to be, but I’ve gained so much confidence from that and having to speak in front of our chapter,” Harrell said. “Speaking in front of all 60 of us has really helped me grow in that aspect and I know I can take these leadership qualities with me in the future.” 

Besides being leaders within the sorority, Alpha Phi members also use their philanthropy to become leaders for a cause close to their hearts.

The Alpha Phi Foundation is an organization that is unique to Alpha Phi sororities nationwide and raises money and awareness for women’s heart health.

Members of Alpha Phi dressed up for the annual Red Dress Gala. (Submitted by: Alpha Phi sorority)

Throughout each year, the women of Alpha Phi hold fundraisers, plan events and fully advocate for this foundation and the importance of cardiac care. Some of the events that are organized every year include Mr. University, Cardiac Care Week, and Red Dress Gala.

Grace Brown, Alpha Phi’s vice president of marketing and director of formal recruitment, said that one of the main reasons she joined this sorority was because the philanthropy was personal for her.

“Our philanthropy is so important to us because most of us know people personally with heart disease so because we’re so close to it, we just put that much more into it,” she said. “It really brings us all together and we have those moments of educating each other and others about the importance of heart health.”

Members of Alpha Phi taking part in the bail out cages to raise money for their philanthropy. (Submitted by: Alpha Phi sorority)

In addition to raising money and awareness for heart health, the Alpha Phi Foundation also provides its members with over $150,000 in scholarships to help further their experiences.

“Through my experiences with Alpha Phi it’s helped me learn how to step out of my comfort zone, speak out and lead people,” Brown said. “I’m hoping the skills I’ve learned from my leadership positions I have here will help lead me in the future.”

As indicated on Alpha Phi’s official website, the ultimate goal of joining this sorority is to discover a supportive family of sisters who are excited to welcome you home.

“Without our members we wouldn’t be here,” Wilhelm said. “Everybody is so special, genuine, and is committed to our philanthropy and service.”