127th Founders’ Day Message

in Executive Board, Foundation, General News

Happy Founders’ Day, Sisters!

January 2, 2024, Alpha Omicron Pi officially celebrates 127 years of AOII sisterhood! Stella, Jessie, Helen, and Bess founded Alpha Omicron Pi in an effort to develop lifelong friendships while enhancing one another’s lives through scholarship and service. Each of us has been a benefactor in their ambition as AOII today teaches us the same principles to let our light shine, to strive for that which is virtuous, to practice kindness and tolerance, and to guard what we love. AOII truly is a bond that lasts forever.

Party Like It's 1897

Anniversaries are worth celebrating, and that’s just what we’ll be doing during the month of January on our social media pages. We invite you to join along, reminisce memories of your past Founders’ Days, and send well wishes to other chapters in their celebrations. Use #PartyLikeIts1897 on your posts so that we can all enjoy the festivities together!

Please see below for more information on our history, planning a Founders’ Day event and our 2024 Founders’ Day and Ruby Fund messages.



The History of AOII Founders’ Day

Through the years, AOII Founders’ Day has officially been celebrated on several different dates. After our Founders’ pledged themselves to one another on December 23, 1896 on the window seats above the old Columbia College Library, they gathered again to formally organized Alpha Omicron Pi at the home of Helen St. Clair Mullan on January 2, 1897. That was the date chosen by our Founders and stood as the official date for our first quarter century.

However, with so many colleges and universities not in session in early January, it became increasingly difficult to gather with sisters for celebrations. Therefore, at the 1921 AOII International Convention, Founders’ Day was officially changed to December 8, which is Founder Stella George Stern Perry’s birthday. The two dates, as well as them falling in two different years, often led to confusion. To rectify this confusion, the AOII Executive Board voted unanimously, in 2020, to amended the Standing Rules to return the official observance of AOII’s Founders’ Day back to January 2. Collegiate and alumnae chapters are invited to continue celebrating with events locally on a date most convenient for their members. However, the Fraternity will recognize January 2, 1897 as the official date of AOII’s founding.

Participation in Founders’ Day Events

Every AOII chapter is expected to participate in a Founders’ Day activity. There are countless ways to celebrate Founders’ Day, and this resource includes five sample events to provide inspiration, along with usable graphics for promotion, invitations, and programs. The goal is to celebrate AOII’s rich history and create a memorable celebration with sisters. 

Promotion of the AOII Foundation’s Ruby Fund

Traditionally, Founders’ Day is the event set aside to promote the Ruby Fund. The fund was established in 1946 to assist an AOII Founder in dire need and is said to be the “heart” of AOII. Dollars have supported hundreds of sisters through the years, and thanks to generous donors, the fund continues today in support of members suffering from illness, natural disasters, job loss or other forms of need. Please promote the Ruby Fund during your Founders’ Day celebrations. How to Donate information is provided here. 

The AOII Executive Board voted unanimously to change the official observance of AOII Founders’ Day to January 2, rather than December 8, Founder Stella Perry’s birthday. The Fraternity will now celebrate Founders’ Day on our actual founding date of January 2.

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