National History

Sigma Alpha Iota was founded on June 12, 1903 at the University of Michigan. Our founders are Elizabeth Campbell, Minnie Davis Sherrill, Frances Caspari, Leila Farlin Laughlin, Nora Crane Hunt, Georgina Potts, and Mary Storrs Andersen.


The first extension as a national fraternity came when requests from student groups brought the installation of the Beta Chapter at Northwestern University in December 1904; the Gamma Chapter at the American Conservatory in November 1906; and the Delta Chapter at the Detroit Conservatory in March 1907.

Since 1903, Sigma Alpha Iota has grown to be an influence on the musical community. Active collegiate and alumni chapters of SAI have been established across the United States. SAI has many publications, including a quarterly fraternity journal, Pan Pipes, and SAI’s national newsletter, Tempo!

SAI also has an active philanthropic organization, Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies, Inc., created in 1974 as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization. Its mission is to promote all aspects of music creation, performance and scholarship; and encourage service for and through music on the campus, in the community, in the nation, and throughout the world.