This Just In: Alpha Epsilon Phi Records, 1947-2017

Alpha Epsilon Phi Mu Chapter Members, 1947

The Student Life and Culture Archives recently acquired the records of the Alpha Epsilon Phi Mu Chapter. These records, dating back to 1947, illustrate sorority and Jewish student life on campus through photographs, correspondence, and a complete set of meeting minutes 1958-1980. Also included are 15 scrapbooks from 1974 to 2017.

Alpha Epsilon Phi was founded in 1909 by seven Jewish women at Barnard College. The organization has initiated over 80,000 members nationwide. While it is an historically Jewish organization, AEPhi welcomes members of all faiths and backgrounds. [1] The sorority grew rapidly after its 1909 establishment and by 1929, 23 chapters were active in the United States. [2]

In November of 1918, local Jewish sorority Delta Alpha Omega was founded at the University of Illinois by students Lillian Lyons, Isabel Goldblatt, Edith Young, Genet Udelowich, Julie Ehrlich, and Rose Oltusky.

Scrapbooks from the Alpha Epsilon Phi Records

On May 4, 1920, Delta Alpha Omega was installed as the Mu Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Phi. The installation banquet was held at the Beardsley Hotel in Urbana. [3] Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the Mu Chapter was active in organizing social and philanthropic events on campus. They were particularly involved in fundraising efforts to build Memorial Stadium. In 1921, founding member Rose Oltusky wrote the music for “Fight Illini! The Stadium Song.” Proceeds from the sale of the sheet music helped raise money for the project. [4] Beginning in 1936, Alpha Epsilon Phi sponsored the Scholarships for Refugee Students project which helped fund tuition, books, and traveling expenses for Jewish refugees. [5] The Mu Chapter at the University of Illinois was the first to host a refugee at their chapter house. [6] Today, the Mu Chapter of AEPhi continues their philanthropic efforts by working with organizations like the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Sharsheret. [7]

Alpha Epsilon Phi Mu Chapter Group Photo, 1974

The Alpha Epsilon Phi Records are now available to researchers at the Archives Research Center.

Are you interested in donating your student organization’s records to the Student Life and Culture Archives? Contact Anna Trammell at trammel2@illinois.edu for more information.

[1] “AEPhi Today,” www.aephi.org.

[2] “The First 100 Years,” www.aephi.org.

[3] “Twelve Members of Delta Alpha Omega Receive Mu Charter,” Daily Illini, May 5, 1920.

[4] Rayman, Denise. “Fight, Illini! The Stadium Song,” Student Life and Culture Archives Blog.

[5] “100 Years of AEPhi-lanthropy,” www.aephi.org.

[6] “The First 100 Years,” www.aephi.org.

[7] “Philanthropy,” www.aephimuoperations.com

 

 

 

 

 

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