Chapter:Alpha Chapter, UC Berkeley
Colors:Blue & White
Established in 1930 at San Francisco State University, the Alpha chapter of Sigma Omicron Pi is the first Asian interest sorority at the University of Califoria, Berkeley. We are also the first national Asian American interest sorority with 13 chapters nationwide. Our sisterhood is built upon our four objectives: unity, friendship, leadership, and service.
The sisterhood of Sigma Omicron Pi was established at San Francisco State University in 1930 by ten Asian American women: Elizabeth Hall, Frances Hall, Dorothy Lau, Gertrude Lee, Hannah Lee, Louise Lee, Fannie Lim, Nancy Lim, Emma Lum, and Beatrice Ng, pursuing the interest of teaching. They chose the Greek letters, Sigma, Omicron, and Pi to represent themselves as the "Sisters of Pedagogy." The Constitution was derived from an existing "Honorary Society of Education."
The sorority was active in the Asian Community for the next fifteen years. At the advent of World War II, the organization was forced to become inactive. In 1946, a group of women from the University of California, Berkeley re-established Sigma Omicron Pi on their campus. Since its inception, Sigma Omicron Pi has grown in membership with 13 student chapters today.
Though, the sorority, no longer centered around the interest of teaching, it still maintained its commitment to the Asian American community. All of the chapters became extremely involved in their respective communities, volunteering their time at community agencies and raising money to donate to favorable charities. Sigma Omicron Pi earned a respectable reputation as a benefactor to the Asian American cause.
Each one of our sisters has different interests and aspirations, yet we all share one common ground - SOPi. We have based our sisterhood on four objectives: unity, friendship, leadership, and service. In addition, Sigma Omicron Pi has a tradition of lifelong friendship that has prevailed for over eight decades.
Elizabeth Hall, 1911 - 2003
"Elizabeth Hall- Broke Barriers in San Francisco Schools" Heather Knight, Chronicle Staff Writer Wednesday, August 12, 2003
Elizabeth Ling-So Hall, was San Francisco school district's first Chinese American principal in 1953. Ms. Hall was born in San Francisco on May 19, 1911, shortly after her family emigrated from China.
Elizabeth Hall was one of the city's few Asian American children who didn not attend Chinatown's Oriental School, which was renamed Commodore Stockton School in the mid-1920s. Instead, she was granted special permission by the district to attend Pacific Heights School near her family's home. After graduating from Polytechnic High School -- where she was the only Chinese American girl -- Ms. Hall won a scholarship to UC Berkeley, taking the ferry across the bay to her classes. She later transferred to San Francisco State University to enroll in its education courses.
Along with nine other women, Ms. Hall founded Sigma Omicron Pi, the school's first Chinese sorority, and served as its first president. Each spring, the group put on a fashion show along with the UC Chinese Alumni Association to raise money for scholarships. The sorority now has chapters around the country, including local branches at San Jose State University, UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz.
With a rich 86 years of history, Sigma Omicron Pi has an extensive alumnae network that continues after graduation and all over the world. As SOPis, we pride ourselves in being a close knit sisterhood where sisters of all classes are able to remain in contact with each other even after college graduation, even attending each others' weddings as bridesmaids, living with each other post-grad, and holding weekly alum lunches in San Francisco. At events such as rush, alumnae luncheon, and formals, our alumnae come out to meet all the new sisters and remembertheir years at UC Berkeley as an SOPi. Our alumnae network provides sisters guidance and resources in various career fields and support each other in all of their future journeys in education and experience.