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University of Montana

May 30th, 1918

Founding Date

At the University of Montana, the group of women who had petitioned for a charter, were in the midst of a baseball game when, suddenly, Ina Gittings, an Alpha Phi from Nu chapter and a member of the university faculty in the physical education department, had news to share. She “drew one of the girls aside and, with that characteristic gleam of mirth in her eyes, as she pointed to her pocket, said, ‘Call a meeting at the house at one o’clock to hear the contents of this telegram.’ The message flew from ear to ear like lightning.” Many Sigma chapter members attended the installation of Chi chapter on May 30, 1918, and at the banquet all the toasts played on a military theme from “reveille” to “first call” to “drill.” As the university “is typical of the great and free spirit of the West,” observed Sigma’s Helen Bennett, “so is Chi Chapter of Alpha Phi, of which we are all so proud, representative of the highest ideals of the university.”