Phi Mu (ΦΜ) is the second oldest female fraternal organization established in the United States. It was founded at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. The organization was founded as the Philomathean Society on January 4, 1852, and was announced publicly on March 4 of the same year. Phi Mu is one of the two "Macon Magnolias," a term used to celebrate the bonds it shares with Alpha Delta Pi.
Today, Phi Mu has 123 collegiate chapters, 6 extending chapter, 145 alumnae chapters, and more than 180,000 initiated sisters. In its 164-year history, Phi Mu has chartered over 228 chapters. Phi Mu's National Headquarters is in Peachtree City, Georgia. Phi Mu's national philanthropy is Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. The organization's open motto is "Les Soeurs Fideles," meaning "The Faithful Sisters."
Phi Mu was founded on January 4, 1852 – though not publicly announced until March 4, 1852 – originally as a literary society referred to as The Philomathean Society at Wesleyan College by Mary Ann Dupont (Lines), Mary Elizabeth Myrick (Daniel), and Martha Bibb Hardaway (Redding). Wesleyan was the first institute to grant bachelor's degrees to women and is known as the birthplace of the collegiate sorority. However, some sororities predate the term "sorority" and are thus known as "fraternities for women." Phi Mu is one such sorority, as its formal name is Phi Mu Fraternity. The Philomathean Society joined the National Panhellenic Conference in 1904, taking on the Greek letters Phi Mu. Alpha Delta Theta, a small national sorority founded at Transylvania University, merged with Phi Mu in 1939. Philomathean is derived from the Greek philomath, which means a lover of learning.
Phi Mu's open motto is Les Soeurs Fideles ("The Faithful Sisters").
Initiated members wear the Phi Mu Badge which depicts a quatrefoil with black and gold enamel bearing ΦΜ, a hand engulfing a heart, and three stars. Sometimes the badge is partnered with a guard chain accompanied by the chapter's lettering (for example, the Kappa Omicron chapter of Phi Mu would have a ΚΟ assisting).
A Phi Badge is worn by Phi Mu's new, uninitiated members. It is a small gold and black quatrefoil pin bearing the Φ symbol.
The official open colors are rose and white. Rose symbolizes the womanhood celebrated by all women in Phi Mu, while white symbolizes truth and purity.
The official symbol is the barbed quatrefoil.
The official flower is the rose-colored carnation.
Phi Mu's official mascot is a lion named Sir Fidel. In addition to the lion, ladybugs are used as a secondary mascot.
Phi Mu has no official stone or gemstone.
Phi Mu's creed is the uniting statement that every member of Phi Mu is expected to know and live her life by. The creed defines what it means to be a noble woman, enumerating several practices. The second-to-last line of the creed sums up the most important Phi Mu belief: "To practice day by day love, honor, truth."
To lend to those less fortunate a helping hand.
- To think of God as a protector and guide of us all.
- To keep forever sacred the memory of those we have loved and lost.
- To be to others what we would they would be to us.
- To keep our lives gentle, merciful and just,
- Thus being true to the womanhood of love.
To walk in the way of honor, guarding the purity of our thoughts and deeds.
- Being steadfast in every duty small or large.
- Believing that our given word is binding.
- Striving to esteem the inner man above culture, wealth or pedigree.
- Being honorable, courteous, tender,
- Thus being true to the womanhood of honor.
To serve in the light of truth avoiding egotism, narrowness and scorn.
- To give freely of our sympathies.
- To reverence God as our Maker, striving to serve Him in all things.
- To minister to the needy and unfortunate.
- To practice day by day love, honor, truth.
- Thus keeping true to the meaning, spirit and reality of Phi Mu.
Phi Mu's interest in philanthropy is expressed in the first line of its Creed, "To lend to those less fortunate a helping hand," a guiding principle for Phi Mu. As the only sorority corporate sponsor for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, Phi Mu is committed to raising more than $500,000 for CMN every year. The money raised and donated is used locally to support one of the 170 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals nationwide. In total, Phi Mu has contributed over $8.5 million and countless hours in an attempt to improve the quality of life for sick children and their families throughout the country. Phi Mu has also established an annual "National Philanthropy Day" each October.
In 2010, the Phi Mu chapter at the University of Texas at San Antonio was disciplined for hazing and humiliating pledges. Pledges were blindfolded, roped, and forced to a remote barn to recite the sorority's creed and imitate animals for the amusement of their big sisters.
In 2011, the sorority made national headlines after the chapter at the University of Southern Mississippi dressed in blackface for a "Cosby" themed party. The sorority members involved were placed on probation by Phi Mu's national headquarters and offered a public apology for their misconduct.
Arts and Entertainment
- Susan Harling (Kappa Iota) - inspiration for the play and movie Steel Magnolias
- Elizabeth Horton (Gamma Tau)- Miss North Carolina (2006), contestant in Miss America (2007)
- Ashley Hatfield (Alpha Delta) - Miss Illinois (2007), contestant in Miss America (2008)
- Dana Ivey (Alpha Omega) - actress (The Addams Family, Sleepless in Seattle, Orange County), five-time Tony nominee
- Pam Long (Theta Alpha) - Miss Alabama (1974), contestant in Miss America (1975) and head writer for CBS' Guiding Light
- Leah Massee (Kappa Beta) - Miss Georgia (2007), contestant in Miss America (2008)
- Amy Mulkey (Alpha Alpha) - Miss Georgia (2002), contestant in Miss America (2002)
- Mary Wickes (Zeta Epsilon) - actress, (Little Women, Sister Act)
- Kimberly Schlapman (Alpha Gamma) - member of Little Big Town
- Madeline Mitchell (Alpha Zeta)- Miss Alabama USA (2011) - Top 3 in Miss USA 2011 pageant, Mrs. America 2015
- Rachel Reilly (Gamma Mu)- Big Brother (Seasons 12 & 13 winner) Amazing Race (Seasons 20 & 24) The Bold and the Beautiful actress BiteSizeTV Host, Producer Hollywood Today Live correspondent Actress;
- Andi Dorfman (Alpha Eta)- The Bachelorette (2014)- Author “ It’s Not Okay” and “Single State of Mind.” Previous contestant on the Bachelor, The Bachelorette.
- Courtney Byrd (Alpha Delta)- Miss Mississippi USA (2015)
- Arlie Honeycutt (Lambda Iota)- Miss North Carolina (2012) Honeycutt received the Miss North Carolina Overall Talent award as well as a Talent Preliminary award at the Miss North Carolina 2012 competition. She received a Most Talented Non-Finalist award at the 2013 Miss America Pageant.
- Anna Laura Bryan Strider (Alpha Gamma)- Miss Alabama (2012) Received the Quality of Life Award and Top 12 in Miss America
- Meg McGuffin (Alpha Mu)- Miss Alabama (2015) Fourth Runner- Up to Miss America 2016
- Jerrie Mock (Psi) - first woman to fly solo around the world
- Mary Weber (Delta Epsilon) - astronaut
- Hayley Lewis (Theta) - Miss Tennessee
- Leyanis Diaz (Theta Gamma) - Miss Black Florida 2016-2017
- Evett Simmons (Alpha Tau) - president of the National Bar Association (2000)
- Pat Mitchell (Alpha Alpha) - president, PBS
- Toria Tolley (Beta Nu) - VP/consultant, The Psychological Advantage, former CNN weekend anchor
- Tammy Cohen (Alpha Lambda) - owner and founder of Employers Reference Source, Inc. (ERS),
- Kristin E. Watts (Theta Beta) - Senior National Advertising Account Executive; Cox Enterprises, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Politics & Public Service
- Carol Laise (Gamma Delta) - U.S. Ambassador to Nepal 1966-1973, first woman director general of the Foreign Service
- Betty Montgomery (Delta Kappa) - first female Attorney General of Ohio
- Melinda Schwegmann (Alpha Eta) - first female Lt. Governor of Louisiana
- Elizabeth Weaver (Delta) - former Michigan Supreme Court Justice and chief justice
- Tova Wiley (Eta Alpha) - first woman to hold the rank of Commander in the U.S. Navy, winner of the Legion of Merit Award
- Beverly B. Martin (Alpha Iota) - U.S. Federal Judge, sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- Hadley Heath Manning (Gamma Lambda) - 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30: Law and Policy - Director of Health Policy, Independent Women's Forum
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