On April 17, 1893 at Lombard College, 10 young women got together to create a sisterhood which has held strong for 123 years. These women are role models and inspirations for many young women today and throughout the years who have found their home in Alpha Xi Delta.
Most importantly, these women are the squad goals we can only dream of becoming. For any sister who is wanting someone to inspire their life, either in the chapter or once they leave, they can take any one of the founding members and find their goals.
Cora Bollinger Block (1869-1944).
Some people think WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) when they need guidance, but for the Alpha Xi Delta we think WWCD (What Would Cora Do). Cora was the first President of Alpha Xi Delta as well as the first Grand President. Cora is the ultimate life goal.
Alice Bartlett Bruner (1878-1966).
Alice taught music at the Lombard Conservatory and she had two daughters who went on to be Alpha Xis. Alice also majored in piano and organ which I would definitely like to make my major.
Almira Lowry Cheney (1875-1946).
If you have dreams of becoming Chaplain of your sorority than you should take notes from Almira. Almira was a teacher who went on to pioneer religious education by becoming a minister of the Universalist Church and serving as director of Universalist Sunday Schools in Ohio. She was also Chaplain of the 12th, 13th, and 14th National Conventions for AXiD.
Frances Elisabeth Cheney (1869-1901).
Do you consider yourself a feminist? If so, you will love Frances. She was an advocate for women's suffrage and freedom. During in her time as an AXiD she served as chaplain, secretary, and president. She is also responsible for many of the Fraternity's early songs.
Bertha Cook Evans (1874-1957).
Of Bertha's three daughters, two went on to join Alpha Xi Delta. After her husband died, Bertha became a fraternity house director and an administrator for a home for the aged.
Eliza Drake Curtis Everton (1867-1934).
To all the VPs of Membership, Eliza is your girl. She became AXiD's second President following Cora so she was in charge of rushing and pledging. Eliza was already widowed when she came to Lombard. She majored in Divinity and became a Universalist pastor until she married the Reverend J.L. Everton, a Sigma Nu at Lombard. During World War I, Eliza became the executive director of the Sampson County, North Carolina Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Julia Maude Foster (1875-1948).
Julia Maude Foster speaks to the hearts of all NMOCs out there. She was a teacher in St. Paul, Minn. and was widely recognized for instilling American ideals in foreign children. Julia was also a member of the committee who drafted AXiD's first constitution.
Lucy W. Gilmer (1872-1939).
Lucy was the first Vice President of Alpha Xi Delta. She ended up transferring schools soon after 1893 and studied to be a physician. Although she never realized this goal, she was able to travel extensively as a nurse.
Harriet Luella McCollum (1874-1948).
Harriet and our girl Cora were roommates at Lombard, and they were the first to to make plans for Alpha Xi Delta. Not only was she a feminist who decided to keep her maiden name after marriage, she was also a woman who studied psychology in the early 20th century. Harriet wanted to abolish capital punishment and stressed the psychological causes of crime.
Lewie Strong Taylor (1867-1950).
We have Lewie to thank for our beloved Quill. She designed the first Quill and went on to help found the Beta Rho Chapter at the University of Utah. You can see Lewie's original stickpin badge at Fraternity Headquarters, it's the only Founders' badge in the Fraternity's possession.