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Zeta Xi

Elmhurst University

Feb 2nd, 1980

Founding Date

“Zeta Xi.” It rolls right off the tongue and has a nice ring to it,” Nancy Wittgen Burks DeVoe (Gamma-DePauw), International Vice President Extension, said Saturday, February 2, as she welcomed thirty-two initiates from Elmhurst University, Elmhurst, Illinois, into Alpha Phi sisterhood. 


Warm wishes and laughter chased the chill out of the frigid February morning after members of Epsilon Delta of Northern Illinois conducted the initiation ceremony in Elmhurst University’s Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel. The initiation ceremony was followed by a model meeting, also conducted by Epsilon Delta (Northern Illinois) chapter. 


Before the meeting adjourned, Extension Director Joan Kelly and Extension Field Representative Cindy Bishop (Beta Upsilon-Oregon State) had a hand in “prepping” the initiates for the Loving Cup Ceremony. 


Court of Ivy, conducted the previous evening, was hosted by Beta-Northwestern in the Beta chapter house on the Evanston campus. 


Some of the Zeta Xi charter members had been working toward initiation since March, 1979. Others joined between then and the end of formal recruitment in October, quickly became caught up in the excitement of being “pioneers” and working toward a common goal. With no upperclassmen to fill them in on the Alpha Phi traditions, new member advisers played (but mostly worked) a vital role. 


Coaching the “recruits” with enthusiasm and seemingly endless energy were Jackie Pettit Burd (Delta Iota-Roanoke), chapter adviser, Joan Zealley Sokolowski (Iota-Wisconsin), recruitment adviser, Sara Stassel Lee (Delta Mu-Purdue), standards, Carrie Conner (Delta Mu-Purdue), scholarship, Sally Haas Wood (Epsilon Delta-Northern Illinois), finance, and Pam Boucher (Zeta Delta-Iowa State), fraternity education. 


Following initiation an afternoon program came together beautifully, thanks to careful planning by installation co-chairmen Nancy Zinns Johnson (Beta-Northwestern), and Linda Burk Coffman (Epsilon Delta-Northern Illinois). The two organized a luncheon program that was highlighted by an address by Executive Board member Sharon Vuinovich (Delta Mu-Purdue), Vice-President Finance. 


Parents of many initiates were numbered in the luncheon of more than one hundred. Joyce Lueth Shumway (Beta-Northwestern), general manager at the Executive House, sent a welcoming message on behalf of Alpha Phi International. The message was read by Nancy Wittgen Burks DeVoe (Gamma-DePauw), serving as toastmistress. 


Sue Schroeder Schultz (Delta Sigma-Wisconsin Stevens Point), District VI Governor, welcomed Zeta Xi, and Elizabeth Murray (Epsilon Delta-Northern Illinois), president of Epsilon Delta chapter, spoke on behalf of Alpha Phi collegians. 


District VI Alumnae Chairman Mary Addington Johnson (Iota-Wisconsin) had the pleasant task of presenting an array of gifts to the newly formed chapter. Those gifts included ceremonial equipment and Loving Cup from Alpha Phi International Executive Board; Bible and gavel from International President Mary Carr Boyd (Missouri-Omicron); president’s pin, set with turquoise, from Chicago Western Villages alumnae; frame for the charter from North Shore and DuPage Valley alumnae; engraved silver Revere bowl from Northwest Suburban alumnae, engraved stationery from Lake Shore alumnae; a traveling new member bracelet from Rockford alumnae; photo album from South Suburban alumnae, a silver tray from the Zeta Xi advisory board, and ceremonial equipment from Northwest Countryside and Champaign-Urbana alumnae. 


Immediately following the luncheon and Loving Cup ceremony, conducted by Kathryn Hall Tobinson (Beta-Northwestern), District VI Governor, initiates’ guests and parents met many Alpha Phi alumnae and officers at the reception. These parents and friends were on hand for the chartering ceremony and watched as each initiate signed the charter establishing Zeta Xi.