History of Alpha Omega Epsilon
Alpha Omega Epsilon is the first and only professional and social engineering sorority in the nation. It offers sisterhood, personal growth, and lifelong friendships for the growing women in engineering and the technical sciences.
It was founded on November 13, 1983 at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by 27 lovely ladies. In the following months, the first elections of the Alpha Chapter were made, naming Mary Ruth Szews as the first president.
The first candidate class was initiated the following fall, almost doubling their size. Since then, a total of 45 chapters have been established with one colony currently working towards becoming a new chapter.
Rho Chapter History
We formed this sorority as a place for females who had never had female friends, as a chance for them to meet great girls with similar interests. Also for anyone looking for a support group, since Engineering is challenging. Lastly, as a chance to build professional skills to help girls after graduation.
– Maxine Turner, a colony founder
In September 2003, a group of female engineers, led by Lauren Raup, attempted to create a sorority called Chi Psi Chi, which would be for females in technical majors. Everything was going smoothly until we found out that we needed $1 million for insurance. Unable to raise that kind of money, we searched for other options. At the beginning of the 2004-2005 school year, a smaller group of six decided to petition to become a colony of the existing sorority Alpha Omega Epsilon. With little exposure, limited resources and waning interest, we were not sure if we would make it. Just by luck, over Thanksgiving break, Lillian Ng met with Jessica Linck, the International Executive Board (IEB) President of Alpha Omega Epsilon, and she promised to send a representative to Virginia Tech.
The IEB Vice President, Melissa Stambaugh, visited Tech on February 27, 2005 to help generate more interest. As a result, 12 women formed the interest group which would be dedicated towards bringing a chapter of Alpha Omega Epsilon to our campus. The group was installed as a colony on May 1, 2005. That summer, our new Membership Educator, Catherine Ross, worked hard to plan our first recruitment. In the fall, we bonded as a group and fulfilled the requirements to petition to become a chapter, and our Beta class added 9 new sisters to our colony. The 21 members became charter members of the Rho Chapter of Alpha Omega Epsilon on January 22, 2006.