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Washburn University

Sep 15th, 1916

Founding Date

In September 1916, Alpha Phi installed the Upsilon chapter at Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas. The new chapter was formed by the members of “Beta,” a local organization at Washburn College, founded in 1904 with the goal of one day becoming part of Alpha Phi. At the 1916 Convention, Bertha Kitchell (Iota-Wisconsin) had made “a splendid display from Washburn College, and so well did she plead the cause of the petitioning group that a charter was granted.” Bertha’s youngest sister, Virginia, was a student at Washburn, and with the support of her other sister and Iota chapter member, Gertrude, the case was made successfully. The three Kitchell sisters were now also sisters in Alpha Phi. After the installation, a banquet was held at the National Hotel, where the tables were assembled to form a “U.” At a reception the following day, guests and dignitaries included the Governor of Kansas, Arthur Capper. “These Washburn girls give lively promise for the future,” the Quarterly noted. “They are girls of ability, of charm, of character—just what we are looking for—girls who will carry the high truths and ideals of Alpha Phi to the ends of the earth and tell all men of them—not with their words, but by their deeds.”