Alpha Phi History

On October 10, 1872, ten forward thinking women at Syracuse University founded Alpha Phi Fraternity. These women, ten of the first twenty women admitted to Syracuse University, recognized the need for a social center for women, a tie of sisterhood that would unite a circle of friends, and so created Alpha Phi

Since the founding, Alpha Phi has flourished and grown to include over 150 chapters throughout the United States and Canada. It remains the strong sisterhood that our founders intended it to be, Alpha Phi sisters share a commitment to excellence and a strong desire to help one another and their communities. Alpha Phis are leaders, scholars, contributors, and lifetime members of a sisterhood valuing these traits.

Fraternity Crest

Adopted by Convention delegates in 1922 and displays Alpha Phi’s colors, Silver and Bordeaux. Inscribed on the scroll is the public motto, Union Hand in Hand. The upper half of the shield contains a Roman lamp in silver and the lower half the constellation, Ursa Major. The meaning of the symbols depicted on the crest is a significant part of the ritual witnessed at initiation. The use of the Fraternity crest is reserved for jewelry, sportswear and other Fraternity equipment befitting the dignity and honor of Alpha Phi’s heritage.

Fraternity Colors

Alpha Phi’s original colors were blue and gold. In 1879, noting that a fraternity had colors too similar to hers, Alpha Phi adopted the more distinctive colors of silver and bordeaux.

Members wear their colors, in the form of ribbons of silver/gray and bordeaux, under their badge to acknowledge special occasions such as the installation of a new chapter, the anniversary of their chapter’s installation or the celebration of Alpha Phi Founders’ Day each year on October 10. In modern day, these ribbons are often worn virtually in the form of social media badges.


The symbol of Alpha Phi is the ivy leaf with the new member badge taking its form. The flowers of Alpha Phi are the fragrant lily of the valley and the blue and gold forget-me-not.