Olivet College’s Greek societies Alpha Lambda Epsilon and Kappa Sigma Alpha have recently celebrated their 100-year anniversaries. “Alpha E” was founded on Jan. 22, 1922, by nine women who wanted to create a more inclusive society that was focused on academics. A short time later, their cousin house, “Kappa Sig,” was founded on Feb. 3, 1922, based on the moto “wisdom conquers all.”
Alpha E is just one of the houses on OC’s campus that helped pioneer Greek culture in America. In 1975, the society reorganized its membership to admit men, becoming the first co-educational literary/social society in the nation — a strong point of pride of the organization still today. Alpha E President Trace Merrill said that he thinks their house is unique because it is the only co-ed house on campus. “We create community amongst ourselves through a strong system of love and support for one another,” Trace said.
Alpha E celebrated their 100th anniversary during the spring semester by hosting an alumni gathering at their house, and they are currently in the process of planning more events and fundraisers to engage alumni and the campus community throughout the year.
Sophomore Aaron Garcia, Kappa Sig’s house manager, said that the fraternity also celebrated their anniversary by inviting alumni to campus. Many current actives hadn’t had the chance to meet alumni yet, so the event served as an opportunity to share memories and network.
Aaron expressed that he thinks Greek life is important because it helps you create connections with alumni who want to see you succeed. “Greek life has truly changed my life, and it has caused me to meet a lot people and broaden my horizons,” Aaron added.
Both Aaron and Trace believe that Greek life creates a more vibrant campus culture at Olivet College. “We always give a hand to anyone in need, including other Greek houses,” Aaron said. Trace also said, “Alpha E contributes to the campus community through our progressive values and inclusion of LGBTQ+ individuals and supporting their rights.”
When it comes to high school students, Trace said, “I would want them to know that even if they don’t think they aren’t interested in joining Greek life they should at least go to an event or two. I was never interested in high school, but I went to Alpha E’s rushing events and it ended up being one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made. When it comes to Alpha E, I would want incoming students to know that Alpha E is a very inclusive and welcoming house, and that we would love to have them stop by at some point!”
“Greek life on Olivet’s campus is not like what is shown in movies or on TV shows. It is a true brotherhood. I am in the military, and from my own experience I can say that the guys in my house are as close to me as the guys in my military unit. It is literally a home away from home,” Aaron said.
Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admission at 800-456-7189 or email@example.com.
This piece was written by Julia Bidelman, a senior majoring in media production and communication. She serves as an intern in the marketing and communications department and is especially interested in social media. After graduation, Julia plans to continue her work as a content creator, photographer and social media manager, and she hopes to work in the field of social media for a small business or nonprofit organization.