National Fraternity History

Sigma Alpha Iota, International Music Fraternity, is a Greek music fraternity for women. It was created to help foster interest in music and to promote contact among people with an interest in music. SAI is a specialized fraternity, confining its membership to persons interested in and devoted to music. SAI has over 320 collegiate and alumnae chapters all over the United States.

Sigma Alpha Iota was founded on June 12, 1903, at the University School Of Music in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The founders were seven upper-class and undergraduate students:

  • Elizabeth Campbell
  • Georgina Potts
  • Frances Caspari
  • Leila Farlin-Laughlin
  • Mary Storrs Andersen
  • Minnie Davis Sherrill
  • Nora Crane Hunt

Purposes of Sigma Alpha Iota

These statements form the backbone of what Sigma Alpha Iota follows at all times.

  • To form chapters of women college students and alumnae who have a sincere interest in music
  • To uphold the highest standards of music
  • To further the development of music in America and throughout the world
  • To give inspiration and encouragement to members
  • To organize the cultural life of Sigma Alpha Iota members as a contributing factor to their educational growth
  • To support the ideals and goals of the member's Alma Mater (GO DAWGS!)
  • To adhere to the highest standards of citizenship in school, community, and fraternity life

Iota Zeta History

The Iota Zeta Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota received its charter at the University of Georgia on January 30, 1940. The chapter is a part of the Tau A province. The first meeting was held on January 30th in the studio of the first faculty advisor, Miss Lucile Kimbel. Fifteen members attended, as well as Mrs. Mildred Sale, the National Executive Secretary, and Miss Lindloff, the Province President.

The chapter's first goals were "to sponsor an annual student concert, to help promote the weekly Music Appreciation programs and to give receptions for visitors during the Music Festival each year." Members agreed that the purpose of the fraternity as a whole was to raise the standards of productive musical works and to uphold the highest ideals of music education. Total membership for the 1939-1940 school year grew to twenty-four.

Originally, Iota Zeta met twice a month for formal business meetings on Thursday nights at 7:00 in Phi Kappa Hall. The first year, there was no formal pledge class; members were simply extended an invitation to join. Dues were one dollar per month and fines were 25 cents. Some early projects of the Iota Zeta chapter included monthly musicales, a national composition contest, and a music festival. During the first five years of their existence, the chapter held numerous receptions, bought a piano, discussed setting up a scholarship fund, nominated members for fraternity awards, initiated patronesses, and set up committees to handle fraternity business.

In the late nineties, Iota Zeta grew to be one of the largest chapters in the nation. In 2008 there were about 45 active members. Iota Zeta has expanded its duties and its goals to adapt to the changing times. Some activities are held jointly with Phi Mu Alpha, the men's music fraternity on campus. Among these are the All-American Musicale and Christmas Caroling.

Iota Zeta also holds annual fundraisers, such as the Dreaming of the Redcoat Band Day and the Spring 5K, and gives out two annual scholarships. Iota Zeta believes that by helping each other, our University, our community, and our country, we give ourselves through Sigma Alpha Iota so that others may also enjoy music and the arts.

Contact Us

Sigma Alpha Iota
The University of Georgia
250 River Road
Athens, GA 30602-7278

sai@uga.edu