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Janae (Terp) Mitchell
Dalene (Blanton) Peavey
Linda (Yager) Richards
Sandy (King) Riedel
Kelley (Stahlhut) Hartman
Rachelle (Richmond) Tieszen
Karen (Skold) Tow
Dedication of Brick, The Women of Alpha Phi April 19, 1997
Plaza of Heroines, Carrie Chapman Catt Hall
It is so fitting that we have come together today on the 20th Anniversary of the founding of Zeta Delta Chapter of Alpha Phi at Iowa State University to dedicate a brick in the Plaza of Heroines in honor of all the women of Alpha Phi.
The Plaza of Heroines was designed to honor women for their contributions to society, whether in the national or international arena or in the circle of their friends and homes. Heroines are women who are "admired and emulated for their achievements and qualities." Certainly that defines what we admire about our Alpha Phi sisters and particularly the founders of our fraternity.
The ten founders of Alpha Phi were among the first 20 women to enter Syracuse University in 1872, the year that Syracuse first opened its doors to women. Those coeds felt opposition from their male collegians. Our founder, Kate Hogoboom Gilbert, wrote that they created a society for women as a means of, "strengthening our position and unifying our forces" in their male-dominated university. They needed a circle of friends and a place to gather for social and emotional support.
Today, Alpha Phi continues to provide "a tie which unites a circle of friends" for young women on campuses throughout the United States and Canada. From Stanford, to MIT, and at Iowa State University as well, Alpha Phi provides support for women striving for access to fields of study and careers previously dominated by men.
Striving for access and improving the lives of women are two of the heroic qualities our founders and their successors had in common with Iowa State alumna Carrie Chapman Catt, who was a leader of the women’s suffrage movement and founder of the League of Women Voters. Mrs. Catt gave high praise to her fellow suffragist Frances Willard, the first Alpha Phi alumna initiate. "There has never been a woman leader in this country greater than nor perhaps so great as Frances Willard," said Mrs. Catt.
Frances Willard was the first woman to be recognized by the U.S. Congress with a statue in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. In her own words she worked for, "a world republic of women without distinction of race or color with no sectarianism in religion and no sex in citizenship. " Whatever touches humanity," she said, "touches us."
It is that heroic and humanitarian legacy that we celebrate by placing a brick in the Plaza of Heroines in honor of the women of Alpha Phi.
Submitted by Karen Skold Tow ISU ‘67 Dedicated on April 19 1997 4.19.97