American University’s involvement in Greek Life is full of a rich history. Currently there are seven established chapters of the National Panhellenic Council at AU. They are Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Epsilon Phi, Chi Omega, Delta Gamma, Phi Mu, Phi Sigma Sigma, and Sigma Delta Tau. Also, this year American University’s NPC has expanded to include a new colony, welcoming Alpha Xi Delta to campus. Great Women Go Greek is the tagline for National Panhellenic formal recruitment, and this saying definitely holds true for AU. Each chapter is comprised of amazing women dedicated to scholarship and service. The NPC organizations that we have on campus also have notable women from other chapters from universities across the United States. So, lets show some Panhel love and celebrate some of these wonderful alumnae.
Alpha Chi Omega
Condoleezza Rice (Gamma Delta)
Condoleezza Rice was a member of the Gamma Delta Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega at the University of Denver. She is most well known for her career in academics and politics. She is a political science professor at Stanford University. Also in 1993, she became the first woman and first African American to serve as provost for Stanford. She held that position for six years. Her political career is also very varied. In 1989 she became Soviet and Eastern European affairs with the National Security Council and in 1997 she served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender Integrated Training in the Military. In 2001, Rice was appointed national security advisor in the George W. Bush Administration and later was appointed Secretary of State in 2004 and served from 2005 until 2009. She was the second woman to hold the post and first African American woman to have the title. Pretty stellar, right?
Agnes Nixon (Gamma)
Agnes Nixon was a member of Northwestern University’s Gamma Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega. She made her career as a writer and producer and is known as the Queen of the Modern Soap Opera because she created the soap operas, One Life to Live, All My Children, and Loving. Nixon has won many awards for her time in daytime television including the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay Daytime Serials.
Harper Lee (Nu Beta)
Harper Lee was a member of The University of Alabama’s Nu Beta chapter of Chi Omega. She is most known for her Pulitzer Prize winning novel To Kill A Mocking Bird, which you may have read in school. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007 for her contribution to literature.
Lucy Liu (Eta)
Lucy Liu was a member of Chi Omega’s Eta Chapter at the University of Michigan. She is an actress, model, artist, director, and producer. Some of her acting roles include Ling Woo on Ally McBeal, The Charlie’s Angels movie franchise. She currently plays Joan Watson in the television show Elementary. Among other involvements with charities, Liu was appointed as an ambassador for UNICEF in 2004 and became a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign in 2011.
Alpha Epsilon Phi
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Kappa)
The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsberg is an associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Ginsberg was a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi’s Kappa Chapter at Cornell. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton and assumed office in 1993. She is the second female Supreme Court justice and is the first Jewish female justice. Before being appointed to the Supreme Court, she was a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union and was a member of its board of directors and a member of its general counsel in the 1970s. She also taught law at Rutgers University School of Law in Newark, and at Columbia University. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Lauren Weisberger (Kappa)
Lauren Weisberger is a writer and journalist best known for her 2003 best-selling novel, The Devil Wears Prada. She was also a member of the Kappa Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Phi at Cornell. The novel is speculated to be about Weisberger’s time at Vogue as an assistant to the magazine’s editor- in- chief, Anna Wintour. She also wrote a sequel to the novel titled, Revenge Wears Prada which was published in June 2013.
Kimberly Schlapman (Alpha Gamma)
Kimberly Schlapman is a founding member of country music group Little Big Town. She was a member of the Alpha Gamma chapter of Phi Mu at Samford University. As a group Little Big Town have won multiple music awards including the CMA award in 2012 and 2013 for Vocal Group of the Year and CMA Single of the Year for “Pontoon” in 2012. They also have won the ACM award in 2007 for New Vocal Duo or Group, the 2013 Award for Music Video of the Year and 2013 Vocal Group of the Year. Little Big Town has also won the 2013 Grammy for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and the ACA Music Video of the Year: Group or Collaboration in 2012 for “Pontoon.”
Kathryn Stockett (Alpha Zeta)
Kathryn Stockett was a member of the Alpha Zeta chapter of Phi Mu at the University of Alabama. She is best known as the author of the 2009 novel The Help which was turned into a major motion picture in 2011. Stockett’s book was recently added to the Department of Labor’s Books that Helped Shape Work in America List. Current Phi Mu Gamma Delta sister at American University, Amanda Kraft, has helped contribute to this list.
Sigma Delta Tau
Remy Zaken (Gamma Tau)
Remy Zaken is a Broadway Actress who was a member of Columbia University’s Gamma Tau Chapter at Columbia University. She is most well known for being an original cast member in the Broadway production of Spring Awakening playing the role of Thea. She was one of the youngest cast members at the time. She performed in the show until July 2008.
Marilyn Salenger (Upsilon)
Marilyn Salenger was a member of the Upsilon Chapter of Sigma Delta Tau at Indiana University. She is an Emmy award winning anchorwoman for her time at CBS. She was the first woman hired by CBS for their newsroom in Cincinatti, Ohio and she was the first woman to solo anchor a newscast in Boston. Salenger also created, co-produced, and anchored the first all women’s television news program in the United States. She also became one of the first correspondents on the news and entertainment program “Entertainment Tonight.” Lastly, she is the founder and president of Strategic Communications Services Inc.
Alpha Xi Delta
Betsey Johnson (Eta)
A member of Alpha Xi Delta’s Eta Chapter at Syracuse University, you might know this fashionista by her crazy antics. She is a fashion designer known for her feminine and whimsical designs as well as her cartwheel at the end of each of her fashion shows. Her career began when she was an intern at Mademoiselle Magazine. She opened a boutique called Betsey Bunky Nini in New York’s Upper East Side in 1969. In 1970 she took control of the “Alley Cat” Fashion Label. Then in 1978 she began her own fashion line and in 2012 the line celebrated 40 years.
Carolyn Rafaelian (Beta Upsilon)
Carolyn Rafaelian was a member of Alpha Xi Delta at the University of Rhode Island’s Beta Upsilon Chapter. She is a designer, philanthropist, and businesswoman. Rafaelian is the owner and founder of Alex and Ani, which began in 2004. She is also the owner of Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard a Rhode Island Winery and a café franchise called Teas and Javas.
Lizz Winstead is a comedian, radio and television personality, and a blogger. She is co-creator of The Daily Show on Comedy Central. She also served as head writer until she left the show in 1998. She has numerous television appearances as well including shows on CNN and MSNBC. Since 2005 she has also been a contributing blogger for The Huffington Post.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Sigma)
Actress Julia Louis Dreyfus was a member of the Sigma Chapter of Delta Gamma at Northwestern Univrsity. She was part of Saturday Night Live from 1982 through 1985. She then went on to star as Elaine on “Seinfeld” for nine years. Her next television role was as Christine Campbell in “The New Adventures of Old Christine.” She currently stars as Selina Meyer in the HBO series Veep. She’s won one Golden Globe, four Emmys, six Screen Actors Guild Awards, and five American Comedy Awards.
Phi Sigma Sigma
Alicia Scott, Ph.D. (Beta Psi)
Alicia Scott Ph.D. member of the Beta Psi Chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma at the University of Florida, serves as Grand Archon of the sorority, meaning that she serves as corporate president. She is also a licensed school Psychologist. She is also a part-time core faculty member in the School Psychology Program at Nova Southeastern University.