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Throughout the years, DePauw University has proved to be a fertile ground for the development of Greek life. A Few of the first fraternities were founded in this soil as well as many of the early chapters installed on this campus. The environment conducive for Greek life inspired the women of Alpha Phi to pursue the idea of establishing a chapter on DePauw's campus. The chapter, founded in 1887, has undergone many changes through the years. With six original women, the membership has since grown to over 100 women in the collegiate chapter today with alumnae across the country. The lives of these women, what they studied, their campus activities, and their life after DePauw has also changed through the years. In order to understand these changes, the lives of the women of Alpha Phi from the years 1900 to 2000 will be examined, looking particularly at the make-up of the chapter in 1900, 1950 and 2000. The lives of the women in this chapter during those years will provide insights into the many changes not only in the Gamma chapter of Alpha Phi, bus also on DePauw University's campus and patters and trends in the United States at the time. Initially hoping to prove that the trends of martial and career patterns as well as general community trends did not apply to this set of women attending a university in the Midwest, the research instead revealed that the lives of these women followed the national patterns conveyed by scholars such as Stephanie Coontz and Steven Mintz.


Clifton J. Phillips Archives Research Award Winner



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