by Mary Matarazzo Bryant, Delta Omega (Murray State University), Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee
Traditions are an essential part of Alpha Omicron Pi. Traditions traverse the changes in our lives. There are times for endings as well as beginnings as part of Alpha Omicron Pi. School terms end and alumnae chapters welcome seniors. Collegiate chapters prepare for recruitment and anticipate the New Members who will come in the year ahead.
One of our traditions, a part of these beginnings and endings, is the Epsilon Chapter Song. Though the exact composer is unknown, it did originate with AOII’s 12th chapter, Epsilon (Cornell University), which was chartered in 1908.
The song is part of Formal Pledging, Candle Lighting, Founders’ Day celebrations, and other AOII events and gatherings. We sing it while standing hand in hand in a circle of friendship. Wherever AOII sisters are together, the Epsilon Chapter Song is known by everyone regardless of their chapter of initiation. Whether we are teaching a new member the tune for the first time or sharing the song with a 75-year member, this song threads through our hearts.
Alpha Omicron Pi,
Friends as the years go by,
Loving sisters are we,
Alpha to thee.
This tradition is a reminder of our bonds of friendship. An unknown author stated, “Friendship isn’t a big thing; it’s a million little things.” Rephrased to match the traditions of our Fraternity it might be “AOII IS one big thing made up of a million little things we do for our communities, universities, chapters and sisters.”
AOII is there wherever we are in endings and beginnings. Our AOII core values and principles continue to be things to honor by putting them to work throughout our lives. AOII connections grow through service to the Fraternity. We have found that it is never a one-way street. As we contribute our time and resources to AOII, the Fraternity is always there giving us opportunities to serve, to contribute, to mentor and to grow.
The tradition of singing the simple Epsilon Chapter Song connects us as sisters throughout our lives. It is a song of startling simplicity in melody and lyrics, but a powerful reminder of our AOII traditions of loyalty, friendship, and purpose.