In 1897, four close friends determined that their lifetime friendship with one another would never end, From this friendship and commitment, AOII began, The values that brought them together as friends formed the cornerstone of the Ritual they would write and the Fraternity they would create.
Our founding members were Stella George Stern Perry, Jessie Wallace Hughan, Elisabeth Heywood Wyman, and Helen St. Clair Mullan. The four climbed the stars in a small gallery of the old Columbia College Library which led to an old and seldom used room. Amid the old, grey mullioned Gothic windows with sunlight streaming gently though, they pledged each other, Alpha Omicron Pi was founded on January 2, 1897, at Barnard College of Columbia University.
What motivated these young women to create Alpha Omicron Pi rather than join an established society? The founders were certain that they wouldn't find elsewhere an organization to celebrate their deep friendship. Stella explains, "The only way to be sure was to build from themselves a fraternity in which simplicity and character and good fellowship and high idealism should attempt to become eternalized in helpful sisterhood."
Though our founding date is January 2, we celebrate Founders; Day on December 8, the birthday of Stella George Stern Perry, our first National President.