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University of Oklahoma

Sep 16th, 1917

Founding Date

On September 14, 1917, a “very hot day,” eight new Alpha Phis were welcomed by Frances Merriweather (Omicron-Missouri) and initiated into a new chapter: Phi chapter at the University of Oklahoma, which was judged to be “a growing institution of good standing and fine ideals.” The new sisters themselves were “girls who stand well in their work,” as Frances observed. One of Phi chapter’s charter members, Lucille Johnson Williamson, explained the chapter’s origin. She and several other students had formed a local group, known as Alpha Omega, at the university, and, “strange as it may seem,” she explained, “none of us had ever known an Alpha Phi, nor did we know anyone who knew any, but in true Sooner spirit we began our race to stake a claim in Alpha Phi.” Friday the thirteenth of July 1917, turned out to be a day of good luck for the eight Alpha Omegas when they received the telegram notifying them that their charter had been granted.


Years of planning culminated in a celebration on March 11, 2007, with the installation of Phi chapter at the University of Oklahoma.


The Court of Ivy ceremony was conducted on March 9 at the First Presbyterian Church in Norman, Oklahoma. The following evening, the new chapter joined together with alumnae and Team Sooner members in a songfest led by Judy Kay Schmidt Mead (Delta Gamma-Northern Colorado). International President Laura Malley-Schmitt (Zeta Phi-MIT) presided over the initiation of the collegiate and alumnae initiates with the assistance of Past International President Phyllis Sims Selig (Gamma Delta-Kansas). The initiation banquet was held in the Oklahoma Memorial Union Molly Shi Boren Ballroom. More than 350 members, parents, alumnae and special guests were in attendance. University Vice President of Student Affairs Clarke Stroud and Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life Beth Stathos spoke on behalf of the school.


The reestablishment started in August 2006, with a blitz welcoming nearly 100 members into the sisterhood. Fall saw the new chapter take first place in Homecoming, hold a chapter retreat, enjoy a group breaking ceremony, hold officer elections, enjoy a pajama charter family event and welcome the new Norman alumnae chapter. Spring had then arrived, and the chapter kicked off with an excellent Scandals tryout performance, attendance at the South Central Regional Conference and a fun-filled Queen for a Weekend event attended by National Panhellenic Delegate Sally McCall Grant (Gamma-DePauw) and Laura Malley-Schmitt. The installation and initiation seemed fitting events as spring break quickly approached.