Alpha Sigma Alpha is a National Panhellenic Conference social sorority with over 175 chapters nationwide and more than 120,000 members. Alpha Sigma Alpha was founded by Virginia Lee Boyd, Juliette Jefferson Hundley, Mary Williamson Hundley, Louise Burns Cox, and Calva Hamlet Watson at Virginia’s State Female Normal School (now Longwood University), in 1901. While they initially hoped to join a sorority already at the Normal School, they did not want to split up their group of friends and decided to found their own sorority, the fourth national sorority founded at the school. With the help of Judge George J. Hundley, they officially chartered Alpha Sigma Alpha on November 15, 1901. After a prosperous first decade, followed by failing membership and the disbandment of several chapters, ASA contacted Ida Shaw Martin author of the Sorority Handbook for advice, she would later become an honorary member and National President. Her leadership led ASA to become a professional sorority within the field of education in 1911 and then in 1915 ASA founded the Association of Education Sororities (AES) along with Sigma Sigma Sigma, to help develop common standards for educational sororities. However, her restructuring also led ASA to become the first educational sorority to limit membership to four-year teacher colleges. While this helped the organization expand nationally, it forced Alpha Chapter to be dissolved. After their dissolution, members of Alpha chapter reorganized as a local sorority, Delta Sigma Chi, which formed in 1919 and existed until 1933. In May 1933, Alpha Chapter of Alpha Sigma Alpha was officially reinstated at the then State Teachers College (now Longwood University). Alpha Sigma Alpha became a full member of the National Panhellenic Conference in 1947 when the Association of Education Sororities was dissolved.

Provenance

Items in this collection were donated to the Greenwood Library Archives by Julie Wiley Ramsey, Membership Education Advisor to the Alpha Chapter of Alpha Sigma Alpha, on January 9, 2020.

Scope and Content

This collection includes a variety of materials, including scrapbooks from 1933-2011, composites from 1949-2018, photographs, VHS tapes, memorabilia and membership records.

Size

This collection consists of 31.79 linear feet contained in 29 flat boxes, 1 legal archival storage box, 1 letter size storage box, 1 photographic binder, and 1 oversize folder. Composites are stored loose without enclosures.

Notes

Membership books and records are restricted to library staff and Alpha Sigma Alpha, Alpha chapter members upon request, all other items are available to access or use for research purposes.

The Delta Sigma Chi Collection, LU-068 contains materials of the local sorority created in Alpha Sigma Alpha’s place from 1919-1933.

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Browse the Alpha Sigma Alpha Collection, LU-347 Collections:

Alpha Sigma Alpha Composites

Alpha Sigma Alpha Scrapbooks