We send warm greetings to each of you on the 122nd anniversary of AOII’s founding. AOII’s sisterhood means many things to many people, but Founders’ Day holds a special significance to each of us. It is a time to honor our history, celebrate our present and contemplate the bright future of our Fraternity.
In 1897, four young friends were determined to share their high ideals and promises with others. From those four, we have grown into a society that has been shared and shaped by more than 190,000 women. Our Founders firmly believed that the world needed Alpha Omicron Pi’s ideals then and would surely need them in the future.
As we look back on our founding, we recognize our Founders were wise, inspirational women ahead of their time. In later years, Stella, Jess, Helen and Bess would often remind us that they were not the only Founders of Alpha Omicron Pi. They stressed that every member who has taken our oath becomes a Founder. Stella once explained how our “wheat field would have ended its fertility after its first harvest had not ready hands, each season, prepared it anew, resowed, re-tended, re-gathered.” It is a thoughtful concept to ponder; we are all AOII Founders. Founders’ Day gives us the opportunity to pause for reflection on how successfully we have carried on the ideals and promises of Alpha Omicron Pi into the world around us.
Past AOII President, Jacinta Talbot, Pi (Tulane U) shared these impassioned words in the 1951 Founders’ Day Message, “May our lives so reflect the true spirit of Alpha Omicron Pi that all lives meeting ours may be touched by the spirit of boundless love which we so humbly share. Let your light so shine that where ere it casts its beam, the love of Alpha Omicron Pi may lighten a heart, lift a burden, soothe a soul.”
May our remarkable history inspire us to inspire others. Happy Founders’ Day sisters!
The 2017-2019 AOII Executive Board
Crystal Grafton Combs
Grace Cascio Houston
Debbie Packard Tam