The journey of Iota Phi from an interest group, to a colony, and finally to the successful chapter that it is today, was a very long and windy path. It began in the fall of 1996 when a local sorority on campus, Iota Sigma Nu, was having problems with recruiting new members. The members went to Jennifer Layton, the Greek Advisor, with this problem. At the same time two Quinnipiac students, Tara Gianni and Melissa Null, also went to Jennifer Layton and expressed an interest in bringing a new national sorority to the Quinnipiac campus. Jennifer decided that it would be best to combine the two efforts and have Iota Sigma Nu go "national". By doing this, the current as well as the alumnae sisters of Iota Sigma Nu would have the opportunity to go national and become part of the founding sisters of the new national sorority.
In early November of 1996, there were various information sessions held to introduce the newest addition to the current Greek system at Quinnipiac University. Of the many women that attended those sessions, only 23 women were chosen to be founding sisters. Once these women had accepted their bids to become part of the new sorority, they attended presentations given by the different national headquarters. The different organizations agreed to come and show what they had to offer not only to the founding sisters, but to the Quinnipiac community as well. Of the organizations that came, Alpha Chi Omega was chosen and a colony was formed on Sunday December 8, 1996!
After a long winter break, the founding sisters were eager for the spring and the excitement that was to follow. The women attended their ribbon ceremony at which they were given a calendar for the coming semester. On Saturday January 31, 1997 the women participated in the Rush Kick Off Casino Night to promote Alpha Chi. The following day they attended a Rush workshop, as well as the First Degree of Initiation. The Rush events were, Sunday: AXO The Brand That Fits; Monday: Mardi Gras; Thursday: Vogue Night; Friday: Preference Party. The following day, the women handed out their bids and welcomed their newest members into a loving sisterhood with a ribbon ceremony. After the ceremony, all the sisters went roller skating.
Between the time of the newest sisters' First Degree of Initiation, and the complete installation and Second Degree of Initiation, there was so much to be learned. Initiation weekend was the weekend of Friday, April 4th through Sunday, April 6th. It began with a very special meeting with the advisors, sisters, and the National President, Jan Manning Crandell. The women had breakfast together the morning of initiation and went as one to the initiation ceremony. Once the women had been fully installed, they enjoyed an Installation Banquet. That evening, the sisters and their families gathered together to celebrate all the hard work that had been throughout the previous months. After many pictures, speeches, and gifts, Jan Manning Crandell presented the women their Charter which meant that Iota Phi was officially a chapter of Alpha Chi Omega!