Founded on September 19, 1897 by a group of five high school girls and their three teachers in Central High School in Muncie, Indiana, Psi Iota Xi was the first Greek letter organization of its kind in Indiana. Alpha chapter's purpose was for its members to find self-direction and personal growth while seeking to enrich the lives of others by furthering philanthropic enterprises.
Emma Cammack, one of the teachers, composed the original ritual, which endures today. The girls designed the diamond shaped pin, chose old gold and turquoise blue for their colors, and selected the white carnation for their flower. Later, the yellow rose became the sorority's choice.
Mary Louise Carmichael, one of the original members, edited the first Helicon. This was one of the main objectives in forming the organization and it is now the official annual publication of Psi Iota Xi. The Helicon derived its name from the “Abode of Apollo and the Nine Muses.” In 1899, Central High School assumed publication of the Helicon, but in1901, Psi Iota Xi resumed direct editorship and it has so remained throughout the years of our organization.
On December 26, 1900, the Beta Chapter of Evansville, Indiana became the second chapter. By 1910, there were ten chapters. Due to enactment of state laws banning secret organizations in Indiana high schools, all activities of this type had to be removed from high school. In order to remain active as an organization, no one could be pledged and initiated until after graduation.
Alpha Chapter sponsored the first convention in Muncie in 1903. Helen Spain from Delta Chapter, Indianapolis, wrote the words for the National song in 1905. In 1915, the sorority established the first National Scholarship fund. Two girls from the mountains of Tennessee were our first recipients. Since that time, thousands of scholarships have been given to deserving individuals.
During World War I, we purchased an ambulance for use in France and sent money to help support a French orphan. All chapters devoted themselves to very worthy war work. After the war, hospital work of some kind was agreed upon as our National project.
In 1932 Meyer and Alexander, Psi Iota Xi official jeweler at that time, donated the first achievement award to be given annually to the chapter making the most outstanding contribution. In the same year the jewelers designed and presented a National President's pin for the President to wear during her year in that office. At this time, the national jeweler continues to give a jeweled pin to the outgoing National President.
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