The meaning behind the Greek Letters
Did you know hundreds of years ago sororities were founded for women to have the cutest T-shirts on campus and to host the best 80’s prom theme parties in town?
Just like the flags we fly to represent our countries, the letters greek’s wear have history, meaning and represent so much more than we realize.
The very first secret society for women was founded by a hopeful and ambitious college freshman with a dream.
The year was 1851, and her name was Eugenia. A simple pastors daughter who was away from home for the first time. She wasn’t sure of her major, she had a crush on a guy, and she was trying to find her own way in life…just like you.
Sure she could press ahead and figure it out all on her own, but Eugenia knew something early in life: You are only as strong as the people who surround you.
She searched for the 5 sharpest women she knew. Women of integrity, respect, hard work, and noble character.
On a quiet night in May, after much prayer and deep thought, this simple college freshman began something extraordinary. Eugenia Tucker Fitzgerald and 5 of her dearest friends formed the first secret society for women and called it the Adelphean (later changed to Alpha Delta Pi).
When Eugenia decided to form a society, her dearest and most admired friends were asked to join her. (official website of Alpha Delta Pi)
This was something brand new. There was no google search bar, there were no books on “how to start a sorority” and no one to ask on how it was done before. To determine how her society should run, she only had to look to one place for a reason why.
In the Bible beside her bed, with its worn leather and tattered pages, she found the blueprint for her secret society:
Psalm 15 (CEB):
Who is invited Lord?
[Katie paraphrase: Lord, what is the character of our members?] The person who
lives free of blame,
does what is right,
speaks the truth sincerely;
who does no damage with their talk,
does no harm to a friend,
doesn’t insult a neighbor;
someone who despises
those who act wickedly,
but who honors those
who honor the Lord;
someone who keeps their promise even when it hurts;
someone who doesn’t lend money with interest,
who won’t accept a bribe against any innocent person.
Whoever does these things will never stumble.
Noble character, true friends, and women who honor and seek the Lord with their everything; this was the makeup of our founding members and the criteria for future generations to come.
Permission to speak freely here?
Our founding sisters had dreams that were much bigger than theme parties and cute T shirts. -Katie Bulmer
No matter how you’re wired, social butterfly or socially awkward, something in your soul longs for meaningful relationships with others. We treasure friendships that allow us to truly “be ourselves.” All of us long for a deep, authentic, and genuine community.
Eugenia knew this well. While I cannot travel back in time I would love to link arms with her (maybe throw some diamonds) and tell our future sisters these words:
I wish for you friends that don’t simply agree if you’re making poor choices, but lovingly tell you the truth you need to hear. I wish for you friends that see the potential in you and never let you settle for less. Just as iron sharpens iron, I pray your friends love you so much you can’t help but grow into the world changers they see in you.
More than I wish you have this type of friend, I pray you BECOME THIS FRIEND.
-Exerpt from Sorority girls can Change the world
Dear sorority friends, this is true sisterhood and the dream of all your founding members. Friendships like this are rare, beautiful, and the kind that spurs each other onto world-changing potential. Friendships like these are worth fighting for. In fact, they are more than friendships, they are more like sisters.
Today, over 150 years after Eugenia’s death, sororities are 9 million women strong with 26 different Panhellenic represented organizations. It all started because a simple girl wanted to walk in community with girlfriends who encouraged each other to become the best version of themselves.
The outfits are now cuter and the hairstyles require fewer bobby pins, but at the root of each sorority, you still find the same desire for community and sisterhood.
Sorority sisters, let’s get back to our roots, let’s sharpen each other, let’s change the world.
Photo Credit: Ashlyn Cathey