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  #1  
Old 01-16-2008, 09:57 AM
oldu oldu is offline
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What happened to Iota Alpha Pi?

I have had a request to research a former NPC sorority, Iota Alpha Pi, which voted to dissolve itself in July 1971. Here is what I have uncovered (much from old Baird's Manuals). Hopefully some of you can add further details.

Iota Alpha Pi was founded in March 1903 at New York Normal College which later became Hunter College. It was the oldest national sorority founded by Jewish women. It did not add a second chapter until 1913 and a third until 1922. The first five chapters were all in the New York City area. From that point forward its expansion policy was much more conservative than the four leading predominately Jewish sororities. By 1930 it was only half or one-third the size of the other groups.

Bairds Manual shows a total of 23 chapters granted by 1966 (the last time the sorority was listed). It indicates that approximately 6,000 women had been initiated by the sorority (a figure likely exaggerated). Wilson Heller, in a report at the time of the sorority's demise, says that three additional chapters were granted by 1969. On supposedly was at University of Baltimore and another at the Hunter-Park Avenue Branch.

Also, per the Wilson Heller report, Iota Alpha Pi was reasonably strong until 1968 when the sorority began to suffer dramatic drops in membership. This was a very trying period for all groups; however, the primarily Jewish groups suffered even greater because of the cessation of "Christian only" policy by a large number of fraternities and sororities further reduced the number of available candidates. Several predominately Jewish fraternities were absorbed by stronger groups. As with any failing organization, the lack of funds created a situation where the remaining chapters were more or less operating as locals under the same name. Although the listing in Baird's indicates that approximately a dozen chapters were operating at the time of the closure, according to Heller's report at least half were in name only.

The question has been asked why the remaining chapters did not merge with another sorority on campus. It would be very interesting to hear from some sorority women who were at those institutions in 1971. My guess is that the chapters were so weak, probably with mostly upper class members, that it was simpler to close than to pursue membership in another sorority.

Interestingly, there is a trace of one of the chapters existing today. A chapter of Iota Alpha Pi was installed at Rider University in 1947. In 1955 it withdrew and took the name Iota Sigma. One year later it merged with another group and became Iota Sigma Pi. In 1962 Iota Sigma Pi became Delta Sigma chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon.

Originally the headquarters was in New York City. At the time of its closure it had been relocated to Philadelphia. It was one of the very first sororities to engage in a philanthropic project -- settlement work in Lower East Side Manhattan. For many years it had a semi-annual publication called "The Heights." I have seen a picture of the Iota Alpha Pi pin on a Greek Chat site somewhere. If it can be located by someone it would be fitting to add it to this report.
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2008, 09:59 AM
oldu oldu is offline
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Correction folks, it was University of Maryland at College Park, not University of Baltimore. Sorry.
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2008, 10:12 AM
scbelle scbelle is offline
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http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/sh...threadid=31666

that's the thread that includes a picture of a badge, as well as some members from Iota Alpha Pi who have posted on GC.
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2008, 10:53 AM
OrigamiTulip OrigamiTulip is offline
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This is their badge, after it was modified to join the NPC.
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  #5  
Old 01-16-2008, 11:26 AM
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NutBrnHair NutBrnHair is offline
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Very cool -- I love the red enamel
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2008, 11:40 AM
DEVODUDE DEVODUDE is offline
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In our centennial book, "There's To Our Fraternity 1898-1998," it mentions that 2 of ZBT founders married 2 IAII founders and that both ZBT and IAII were the only 2 national Jewish organizations in operation between 1903 to 1909. Ironically, both ZBT and IAII had University of Denver as their Iota chapters. In 1909 Sigma Alpha Mu (Sammy) and Phi Sigma Delta (Now ZBT) fraternities were founded, as well as Alpha Epsilon Phi (AEPhi) sorority.

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Old 01-16-2008, 12:09 PM
DEVODUDE DEVODUDE is offline
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[quote=DEVODUDE;1582101]In our centennial book, "Here's To Our Fraternity 1898-1998," it mentions that 2 of ZBT founders married 2 IAII founders and that both ZBT and IAII were the only 2 national Jewish organizations in operation between 1903 to 1909. Ironically, both ZBT and IAII had University of Denver as their Iota chapters. In 1909 Sigma Alpha Mu (Sammy) and Phi Sigma Delta (Now ZBT) fraternities were founded, as well as Alpha Epsilon Phi (AEPhi) sorority.

Also, a few of our older Alumni Brothers that serve on our National Assembly are married to IAII sisters.
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2008, 12:42 PM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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I can remember seeing a pledge pin for Iota about 2 years ago. It was a pale blue diamond, with a "shadow" diamond of gold behind it - sort of like <<> . I admit, I wondered if it had anything to do with ADPi at first, because of the pale blue diamond!
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2008, 01:00 PM
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NutBrnHair NutBrnHair is offline
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Adding a bit more...

From Baird's: The colors of Iota Alpha Pi were red & black. The flower was the red rose. The pledge pin was diamond-shaped, having a gold shaft on a scarlet field. The recognition pin was IAII in gold.

honeychile, wonder where the light blue came in?
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  #10  
Old 01-16-2008, 01:05 PM
AlphaFrog AlphaFrog is offline
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Originally Posted by OrigamiTulip View Post


This is their badge, after it was modified to join the NPC.
Why did it have to be modified to join NPC?
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:16 PM
OrigamiTulip OrigamiTulip is offline
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I know we've discussed it here before , but I can't find the link - it had something to do with looking too much like ADPi's badge, so they added the gold roses to the corners of the diamonds. Similar to how DPhiE changed their badge by adding the scroll at the bottom when they joined the NPC.
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  #12  
Old 01-16-2008, 03:33 PM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NutBrnHair View Post
From Baird's: The colors of Iota Alpha Pi were red & black. The flower was the red rose. The pledge pin was diamond-shaped, having a gold shaft on a scarlet field. The recognition pin was IAII in gold.

honeychile, wonder where the light blue came in?
I have zero idea! The minute I saw the light blue, I was so sure it was somehow related to ADPi. This pin was on ebay, so who knows? It could have been a pin from a colony or such?
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  #13  
Old 01-16-2008, 07:47 PM
Drolefille Drolefille is offline
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Why did it have to be modified to join NPC?
Looked too much like another diamond badge perhaps? Was it Tri Sigma or DPhiE that had to change their triangular badge a bit? (Or someone else entirely)
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:19 AM
ForeverRoses ForeverRoses is offline
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Originally Posted by Drolefille View Post
Looked too much like another diamond badge perhaps? Was it Tri Sigma or DPhiE that had to change their triangular badge a bit? (Or someone else entirely)
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrigamiTulip View Post
I know we've discussed it here before , but I can't find the link - it had something to do with looking too much like ADPi's badge, so they added the gold roses to the corners of the diamonds. Similar to how DPhiE changed their badge by adding the scroll at the bottom when they joined the NPC.
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  #15  
Old 01-17-2008, 10:49 PM
Drolefille Drolefille is offline
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Psh, I only read every OTHER post.

Sorry OrigamiTulip!
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