Sorority Spotlight: Alpha Epsilon Phi leads women to sisterhood, success, fame

Most delegates reading this article know of currently serving Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Perhaps it isn’t as well known that she also joined a sorority during her collegiate years at Cornell University in the 1950s – Alpha Epsilon Phi. *

Judy Resnik, member of Alpha Epsilon Phi at Carnegie Mellon Universitym became the second female U.S. astronaut, however, was killed during the Challenger space craft explosion.

Another illustrious AEPhi is Florence Kyman, the first member to be president of CAPA, in 1968, as well as a long-time CAPA delegate. She is an alumna of Nu Chapter at the University of Pittsburgh, and served as a national dean (president) for the sorority from 1943-46.

Alison Borodkin, CAPA Treasurer, is the only other A E Phi delegate who has served as CAPA president. Alison is also the editor of the CAPA newsletter.

Alpha Epsilon Phi was founded by seven Jewish women at Barnard College in New York City, NY, on October 24, 1909. The sorority marked its Centennial on October 24, 2009, by returning to Brooks Hall at Barnard College to honor the memory of its founders and celebrate “all that we have become and will continue to be,” according to the aephi.org website.

To date, AEPhi has chartered more than 100 chapters and initiated more than 80,000 members. The sorority states: “We are a Jewish sorority, but not a religious organization, with membership open to all college women, regardless of religion, who honor, respect and appreciate our Jewish identity and are comfortable in a culturally Jewish environment.”

It further states, as of February 1996: The mission of Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority is to inspire and support exemplary women dedicated to friendship and a lifelong commitment to Alpha Epsilon Phi while building on the vision of our Jewish founders.

Some facts:

  • Flower – Lily of the Valley
  • Mascot – Giraffe
  • Colors – Green & White
  • Gem – Pearl
  • Badge – A E Phi symbols on a thin gold bar with 27 pearls
  • Crest & Logo – Three classic columns stand for faculty approval, student esteem and sorority fidelity.
  • AEPhi’s national office is in Danbury, CT.

For more information, please visit: https://www.aephi.org.

* For further reference, please note the following interesting, illustrated volume: The Young Readers’ Edition of NOTORIOUS RBG – The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik.

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