California State University, East Bay
The installation of Eta Delta chapter at California State University Hayward on April 11, 1987, marked the eighth California State University campus on which Alpha Phi established a chapter. Eta Delta was the sixteenth Alpha Phi chapter installed in California since Kappa chapter, Stanford University, was installed in 1899.
Installation weekend began with the Court of Ivy Ceremony conducted by members of Zeta Gamma chapter, Santa Clara University. After the ceremony, Field Representatives Karen Ohnemus Lisko (Beta Epsilon-Arizona) and Renee Roux Burns (Beta Delta-UCLA) led sisterhood games and conducted song practice. The new members spent the night at the Beta Psi chapter house in San Jose. In the morning, the initiation ceremony was conducted by Beta Psi (San Jose State) collegians assisted by advisers, two Field Representatives, District Governor April Bishop (Gamma Delta-Kansas) and International President Sally McCall Grant (Gamma-DePauw). A model meeting followed the initiation ceremony.
In the afternoon, a reception was held in the beautiful Hayward Student Union overlooking the bay. Sheila Silcox (Beta Psi-San Jose State), was the installation chairman, and Michelle Marchant (Lambda-UC Berkeley), International Administrator of Standards, was the mistress of ceremonies. Representing the Alpha Phi Foundation, District Alumnae Chairman Lita Putnam Schaffer (Delta Gamma-Northern Colorado) presented a $1,000 check to Dean Van Metre, President of St. Rose’s Hospital (Hayward) for use in Heart Research. Lita also presented a traveling scholarship pin from the Alpha Phi Foundation to the Eta Delta vice president, Joanne Wilson.
International President Sally Grant conducted the chartering ceremony and presented the charter to chapter president Trixie Nerke, who responded with words of inspiration about her aspiration for the chapter. Chapter members entertained family and friends with Alpha Phi songs, and the exciting installation weekend was completed.
In the fall of 1984, Joanne Finamore Godfrey (Eta Delta-CSU East Bay) went to the Dean of Student Activities, Ed Reuling, and told him "I want to start a sorority!" He replied with a smile, "Are you sure?" He handed Joanne Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities and told her to read about sororities, their philanthropies and beliefs. After, he asked her to return and they would talk more. Joanne knew of a few sororities and read about them, thus making a list. There was only one other sorority on campus, Sigma Sigma Sigma and she didn't want that to be her only option. Her list included Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega and Alpha Chi Omega and Alpha Phi. Ed Reuling helped her compose a letter of interest and she spoke to a few friends about wanting to start a sorority. The first woman she spoke to was Sandee Tom and she spoke to her friend Joanne Wilson. They chatted with others and started having meetings around Joanne’s mom's dining room table, just the first six of them.
The women went through the proper steps via Cal State University Hayward and became a 'local' S.A.S. - Seeking A Sorority. They finalized the letter and sent it to those chapter headquarters. All said no, that their expansion schedules were full. Alpha Phi said yes, they had been interested in Cal State Hayward with the strong Alpha Phi presence in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 1985, the original six women gathered to meet with representatives of Alpha Phi who outlined what was needed to become a sorority. They learned about recruitment, meetings, and social activities. Once they learned the meeting procedures, they began to meet regularly establishing themselves on campus. As the women continued toward chapter establishment they learned all about chapter operations. They held socials with other Greek organizations and did a teeter-totter-a-thon and sold cherry lollipops to raise funds. They had the help of local alumnae and other chapters guiding them as well as Field Consultants.
There were growing pains, mistakes made, tears and some drama, but it never impacted the ultimate goal to become a recognized chapter of Alpha Phi. After more than two years of dedication and hard work, the women became members of Alpha Phi.
Kate Boyle Halfon – International Executive Board
• Jeanne Alves Wildman – 2002 Michaelanean Award Winner
• Courtney Andreas Gray - 2006 Michaelanean Award Winner
Apr 11th, 1987