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Zeta Iota

University of Virginia

Dec 2nd, 1978

Founding Date

Mesmerized were all those present as forty-one newly initiated Alpha Phis signed their charter, showing to all that Alpha Phi had firmly planted herself at the University of Virginia on December 2, 1978.


Two and a half years earlier, three young women held the first “Alpha Phi” meeting at the University of Virginia. They continued meeting secretly, as they were unrecognized by the Inter-Sorority Council, and grew in numbers into the teens, naming themselves the Michaelanean Society. In the fall of 1977, the Michaelanean Society, then recognized as a local sorority, Phi Alpha, was joined by a chapter adviser and graduate counselor. By the springtime, Phi Alpha was established with more than thirty new members, an advisory board and a House Corporation Board, with a sorority house. The fall prior brought with it the Inter-Sorority Council’s and the university recognition of Alpha Phi, ten more new members, a local alumnae chapter and a host of visitors from Alpha Phi International. 


On October 28, 1978, the women participated in the new member ceremony in their chapter living room, at last wearing the silver ivy leaf. The ceremony was conducted by Linda Wood Pederson (Omicron-Missouri), District Governor, with aid from the advisers and two collegiate members from Epsilon Nu (Delaware).


The first weekend in December brought initiation and installation. A week of inspirational activities led by Joan Kelly (Epsilon Kappa-West Chester), Field Representative-Extension, was highlighted with the Court of Ivy. The ceremony on December 1 was conducted by Epsilon Eta (Old Dominion). 


Epsilon Nu (Delaware) initiated Zeta Iota on December 2 in the United Methodist Church Student Center. While Epsilon Nu and alumnae prepared for the model meeting, Mary Carr Boyd (Omicron-Missouri), International President, talked with the newest members. 


The banquet was at the Cavalier Inn. Nancy Wittgen Burks DeVoe (Gamma-DePauw), Vice President Extension, was the toastmistress. The main address was given by Mary Carr Boyd, International President. The banquet concluded with the Loving Cup ceremony conducted by Sue Robertson. 


On April 16, 2000, Alpha Phi officially celebrated the successful revitalization of the Virginia chapter. Foundation Chairman and former International President Mary Carr Boyd (Omicron-Missouri), International Executive Board Member Laura Malley-Schmitt (Zeta Phi- MIT) and Director of Membership Crista Cate Vasina (Delta Gamma-Northern Colorado) were special guests at the weekend event. 


Alpha Phi International hosted an alumnae reception in the chapter’s new house, with Crista Vasina presiding over the dedication ceremonies. New chapter members presented a plaque to House Corporation Board President Katharine Brenner Winn (Epsilon Upsilon-CSU Northridge) for her countless hours and continued support. 


Team UVa and Alpha Phi International representatives conducted Court of Ivy ceremonies at the university chapel on campus. Initiation was held at Winndom, a private Charlottesville estate. 


Alpha Phi welcomed Dean Aaron Lauschway to the installation reception. Congratulating the women of Zeta Iota, he spoke to collegians and their parents about the contributions Alpha Phis made to the university through the years. 


Mary Carr Boyd presented the Foundation’s scholarship pin to Scholarship Chair Megan Moynihan Bourque and a Foundation check for $1,000 in honor of the revitalized chapter to Dr. Dearing Jones of the University of Virginia Heart Center. 


A highlight of the weekend was the charter presentation by Laura Malley-Schmitt to former Chapter President Lindsay Forehand Angerholzer and Chapter President Jennifer Allen Wassum. 


The women presented picture frames to former Educational Leadership Consultants Megan Bouche (Epsilon-Minnesota) and Keri Miller Van Acker (Delta Rho-Ball State), who each spent a year as the chapter’s consultants.