Sigma Alpha Iota Records

Summary Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives
Sigma Alpha Iota. Iota Gamma chapter.
Sigma Alpha Iota Records
6.0 Linear feet
5 scrapbooks containing photographs, newspaper articles, telegrams, programs, yearbooks, and other mementos of the Iota Gamma Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota.

Preferred Citation note

Sigma Alpha Iota Records, Emporia State University Archives, Emporia State University.

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Biographical/Historical note

Sigma Alpha Iota was founded at the University of Michigan in 1903. Because a six-month waiting period was required to organize a local chapter, Pi Alpha Nu was organized at Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia on October 12, 1938, and became Iota Gamma chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota on April 29, 1939. A women’s professional music fraternity, members of Sigma Alpha Iota were required to be enrolled in at least 4 hours of music classes, maintaining a 3.0 grade point average in that curriculum and a 2.5 grade point average overall. Talent and professional promise were also considered. The purpose of this fraternity was modified over the years. According to the 1940 Sunflower yearbook, its primary purpose was to promote professional and scholastic ideals for the college’s women music students while also furthering the activities of the Music Department at the college and throughout the state. By 1943 that interest had been expanded to include developing stronger bonds of musical interest and understanding between America and foreign countries.

Members performed and composed musicales, participated and toured with the Madrigalians, held an annual Musical Tea, sponsored recitals and concerts, and hosted receptions following many guest and departmental performances. An Emporia Alumnae Chapter was established in 1976. Circa 1990, Iota Gamma chapter was disbanded and the fraternity ceased to function on campus.

A committee to re-petition Iota Gamma chapter was organized in December 1999 and spent the next year recruiting members, fundraising, and hosting campus events. A formal petition was finalized in November 2000 and a reactivation ceremony was held March 31, 2001. The chapter was disbanded in 2003.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of 5 scrapbooks that describe the history of Alpha Sigma Iota, Iota Gamma Chapter, at Emporia State University. Included are photographs of fraternity members and events, newspaper articles, congratulatory telegrams from when the chapter organized in 1939, programs from recitals and other events, an incomplete run of fraternity yearbooks from 1939/1940-1987/1988, sheet music and songbooks, paper napkins, programs from national conventions, wedding and commencement invitations, and information about honors earned by individual members. One scrapbook is devoted to the re-petitioning of the chapter circa 2000 and includes information about the Music Department as well as the by-laws and a history of Iota Gamma chapter. One scrapbook has a wooden cover created by Marlow Woodcuts of Americus, Kansas. The front cover features an inlaid wood seal and the words “Vita Brevis Ars Longa.” Some of the letters have been damaged and are missing pieces. The front and back covers are bound together with a leather strip.

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Arrangement note


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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives August 2007

1200 Commercial St
Campus Box 4051
Emporia, KS, 66801
(620) 341-6431

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Other records of Sigma Alpha Iota, Iota Gamma chapter (Nr:11sa), men’s honorary music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (Nr:11pm) and the Department of Music are located in record group ESU003.004.007. The Bulletin and  The Sunflower contain articles about the fraternity. The Normaliana Index lists several items by Catherine Strouse, first sponsor of Sigma Alpha Iota.

Separated Materials note


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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Emporia Kansas State College. Dept. of Music -- Student activities and organizations.
  • Emporia State University. Dept. of Music -- Student activities and organizations.
  • Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia. Dept. of Music -- Student activities and organizations.
  • Pi Alpha Nu.


  • Scrapbooks -- Kansas -- Emporia.
  • Students -- Kansas -- Emporia -- Societies, etc.

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Collection Inventory


Scrapbook, 1939/1940-1988/1989. 


Scrapbook, 2000. 


Scrapbook, 2000-2001. 


Scrapbook, 2002-2003. 


Scrapbook, 2003-2004.