Alpha Psi Omega

Alpha Psi Omega
Alpha Psi Omega/Delta Psi Omega
Founded August 12, 1925 (1925-08-12) (86 years ago)
Fairmont State University
Type Honorary
Emphasis Theatre
Scope  United States
Motto Seek a life useful (αιτειτε ψύχην ωφελιμον) (open)
Colors Moonlight Blue and Bastard Amber.
Publication The Playbill of Alpha Psi Omega and Delta Psi Omega
Chapters 551 (997 including inactives)
Headquarters Wichita, Kansas, USA

Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society (ΑΨΩ) is an American recognition honor society recognizing participants in collegiate theatre. The Alpha Cast (Alpha Psi Omega's term for "chapter") was founded at Fairmont State College (now Fairmont State University) on August 12, 1925 by professor Paul F. Opp.[1][2][3]

Alpha Psi Omega was founded after Opp was denied charter petitions by both Theta Alpha Phi (ΘΑΦ) National Theatre Honors Fraternity and the National Collegiate Players/Pi Epsilon Delta (ΠΕΔ), which were unwilling to charter a chapter at Fairmont State College, then primarily known as a "teacher's college." The first student members of the society were Elinor B. Watson and Robert Sloan.[1]

Membership is open to students (primarily undergraduate) who are active in collegiate/university theatre at four-year institutions (full colleges and universities). Most casts/chapters use a "point system" for determining eligibility of membership, with a certain number of points being dealt to a certain task in theatre. With some chapters there is an induction/training process, while other chapters choose members solely on merit, where the theatre experience is considered the induction process. Honorary membership may be conferred on certain individuals (usually department faculty) after obtaining permission from the National Officers.[4][3]

Delta Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society (ΔΨΩ), Alpha Psi Omega's "Sister Society," was founded in 1929 as the official junior-college division of Alpha Psi Omega. Both societies are governed by the same National Officers, yet have a separate coat-of-arms and induction ceremony. Delta Psi Omega is founded at two-year institutions (junior colleges/community colleges).[1][2]

Dr. Opp and Alpha Psi Omega were also instrumental in helping to organize the Thespian Society, now known as the International Thespian Society, the theatre honor society for high school students (also founded in 1929). With an original grant of $500, the society was able to help organize I.T.S. and help publish the first issues of the I.T.S. magazine. The International Thespian Society has since been assimulated into the Educational Theatre Association, but the influences can been seen in the similarities of both organizations' colors and induction ceremonies.[1][2]

Members are most commonly referred to as "APO's." However, due to some confusion with members of the national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, some campuses refer to their members as "Alpha Psi's" or "AYO's". Members of Delta Psi Omega are commonly known as "DPO's."[citation needed]

As was common practice in naming honor societies during that time, at the founding, Alpha Psi Omega was called "Alpha Psi Omega National Honorary Dramatic Fraternity" and used theatre-related terminology to refer to the honor society's officers and workings. Examples include:

  • President/National President - Director / Grand Director
  • Vice-President/National Vice-President - Stage Manager / Grand Stage Manager
  • Secretary-Treasurer/ National Secretary-Treasurer - Business Manager / Grand Business Manager
  • Chapter - Cast
  • Inductees - Understudies
  • National Officers - Grand Cast
  • National Convention - Grand Rehearsal

In 1997, upon pressure of anti-fraternity sentiments nationwide, the National Officers decided to update the public titles of the organization. This changed the official name of the society from "Alpha Psi Omega National Honorary Dramatic Fraternity" to "Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society."[citation needed]

The open motto of Alpha Psi Omega, written in ancient Greek upon their coat-of-arms, is "seek a life useful" ("αιτειτε ψύχην ωφελιμον"). A "secret" motto is used during the Induction ceremony.[citation needed]

The official colors of Alpha Psi Omega/Delta Psi Omega are moonlight blue and Bastard amber, from the names of the shades of lighting gels commonly used in Theatre Lighting .

The official magazine of Alpha Psi Omega/Delta Psi Omega is The Playbill.[5]

On record, Alpha Psi Omega/Delta Psi Omega has a total 1032 casts, making it one of the largest Greek Letter Organizations in the world. Chapters of Alpha Psi Omega are named with Greek Letter names according to the order in which they were chartered. Chapters of Delta Psi Omega are numbered.


Current National Officers of Alpha Psi Omega & Delta Psi Omega

The current National Officers of Alpha Psi Omega and Delta Psi Omega are as follows:[6]

Regional Representatives

Past National Officers of Alpha Psi Omega & Delta Psi Omega

  • Susan S. Cole - National President, National Vice-President
  • James Fisher - National Business Manager
  • Donald Garner - National President, National Business Manager
  • Jerry Henderson - National President, National Vice-President
  • Yetta Mitchell - National President, National Vice-President
  • Paul F. Opp - Founder, First National Business Manager
  • Russell Spiers - First National Vice-President
  • E. Turner Stump - First National President

Famous Alpha Psi Omega Members


  1. ^ a b c d Alpha Phi Omega History
  3. ^ a b Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities 20th edition (1991) p. VII-11
  4. ^ Alpha Psi Omega FAQ
  5. ^ Alpha Psi Omega Playbill
  6. ^ Alpha Psi Omega Our Officers

External links

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