Sigma Alpha Iota was founded June 12, 1903 at the University School ofMusic in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The seven founders, “Solemnly pledged themselves to help each other with sisterly affection, stand for the highest possible musical scholarship, for nobility and uprightness of character, and for the maintenance of friendly and unselfish relations among women in the musical profession.”
SAI is a Greek fraternity for women. It is an organization whose purposes are to foster interest in music and to promote social contact among personal sharing an interest in music. Sigma Alpha Iota organizes its group life specifically to promote competence and achievement with music. As of August 2000, over 198 college chapters and 111 alumnae chapters are in existence.
Sigma Alpha Iota changed from a “sorority” to a “fraternity” in 1926. Fraternity comes from the Latin noun fraternitas, which refers to both men and women. While SAI only allows women as members, it is a fraternity because it is based upon a single academic discipline. It has been used by all music fraternities for years.
The last word in the fraternity name, Iota, is pronounced with a soft “i” to make the name sound more musical. The fraternity flower is a white rose and the fraternity colors are crimson and white. The motto is “Vita Brevis, Ars Longa” (Life is short, but art is long).
Theta Delta began long before a true chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota wasestablished on the University of Alabama campus. The Guild of Women Musicians was established in the spring of 1992 with the first official meeting taking place on September 21, 1992. The Guild of Women Musicians, nineteen members strong, began the long process of becoming a chapter that very year.
On April 13, 1994, the Guild of Women Musician at the University of Alabama was installed into chapter-hood and named the Theta Delta Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota. Accreditation was given Theta Delta by national officers, alumnae, and our neighboring chapter, Delta Zeta.
The seventeen original members of the Theta Delta chapter were:
Starting with seventeen committed women, the Theta Delta chapter has grown to more than thirty members. The average rush class has over eight new pledges every semester. Theta Delta is proud to continue the work of our seven founding sisters who’s vision to unite women in the interest of music still plays a vital role in this new century.