Nellie Gamble (Alpha, DePauw University) was born in Martinsville, Illinois on May 12, 1867, and spent most of her life there except for what she called "that fateful time" at DePauw. A bit of a tomboy as a child, Nellie gradually subdued her early wild impulses and began studying piano. Fellow Founder Olive Burnett Clark (Alpha, DePauw University) described Nellie as "the loveliest girl I had ever seen in all my life. Tall, slim, and graceful, with fair hair and blue eyes - gentle in voice and manner. At first she seemed timid, but acquaintance awakened a most friendly and sweet response. She was admired by all who knew her for her fine good qualities and personal charm, and loved by all her friends with rare devotion."
Nellie was an eager participant in the formation of the Fraternity from its earliest days. She was part of the committee chosen at the first meeting to consult with Dean Howe to plan for the future and was elected the first corresponding secretary. By February 1886, she had been elected President.
No explanation is known for why Nellie left DePauw early. She returned to Martinsville and soon after married Edward W. Childe, settling down to lead "a life of quiet influence for good." A naturally quiet and retiring person, Nellie seemed reluctant to accept the special honor and appreciation that Alpha Chi Omega reserved for its Founders. Nellie Gamble Childe died in 1960 at the age of 93.