Alpha Chi Omega

DIGITAL HISTORY

Alpha

Alpha chapter was founded at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana on October 15, 1885.

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Bertha Cunningham with Books Photograph, December 9, 1934

Founder Bertha Deniston Cunningham (Alpha, DePauw University) poses in her living room with 16 war books and five Alpha Chi Omega scrapbooks.

Bertha Deniston Cunningham Badge, 1885

The only original badge known to still be in existence, this badge belonged to Founder Bertha Deniston Cunningham (Alpha, DePauw University) and was created in 1885. The 3/4-inch badge features 28 pearls and seven garnets. Unlike many later badges, which feature twisted lyre strings, the strings on this badge are flat. Each new chapter is presented a copy of this badge for the chapter president to wear during her term. The president's badge is then passed from president to president.

Bertha Deniston Cunningham Portrait Cabinet Card

When Bertha Deniston Cunningham's (Alpha, DePauw University) parents decided their musically advanced daughter should continue her studies at DePauw, she had to play for Dean Howe to determine just how advanced she was. She went on to become the envy of the school’s music students because of her composing skills. She also was an accomplished performer and successful teacher in the School of Music for 10 years. Hers is the only one of five original badges that exists today.

Bertha Deniston Cunningham to Beta Beta Chapter Letter, September 5, 1946

Founder Bertha Deniston Cunningham (Alpha, DePauw University) sends her thoughts to Beta Beta (Indianapolis, Indiana) chapter and reminisces about old times.

Bertha Deniston Cunningham, Founder Burial Marker

DATE OF BIRTH: July 28, 1869 DATE OF DEATH: October 2, 1950 CEMETERY South Park Cemetery 405 S. East Street Greensburg, IN 47240 The Cunningham family is located in a mausoleum on the cemetery grounds.

Bessie G. Keenan to Miss Siller Letter, May 2, 1910

Founder Bessie Grooms Keenan (Alpha, DePauw University) writes to Mabel Siller Nafis (Gamma, Northwestern University), author of the 1916 edition of The History of Alpha Chi Omega, about the founding of Alpha Chi Omega and details of her family.

Bessie Grooms Keenan Portrait Reproduction Photograph

Bessie Grooms Keenan (Alpha, DePauw University) began studying music as a young child and was an accomplished pianist by the time she entered DePauw. Near the end of her first year there, she strained the muscles of her left hand from over-practice and had to give up the ambition of her life. However, she gave much of her time to help build Alpha Chi Omega. Her daughter, Hannah Keenan, eventually became director of Alpha Chi’s central office, today known as headquarters.

Bessie Grooms Kennan, Founder Burial Marker

DATE OF BIRTH: April 28, 1866 DATE OF DEATH: November 4, 1920 CEMETERY Oak Grove Cemetery LeRoy, IL 61752 Bessie Grooms Keenan (Alpha, DePauw University) shares a headstone with her husband, Luther Courtland Keenan. Her daughter's stone lay next to hers, Hannah Kennan (Alpha, DePauw University).

Beta Tau Chapter Installation Program, December 13-14, 1941

This program includes a schedule of events for the weekend and the banquet, a list of the installing officers, the banquet menu, and lists of charter members and patronesses.