Miss America 2017 on Alpha Tau Omega’s Founding Day

It’s September 11, and Miss America 2017 will be crowned tonight. See http://wp.me/P20I1i-2Hz for the list of sorority women who will be competing. I’ll be live blogging it.

Today, too, a day to honor those who were killed on that awful morning in 2001. In 1865, 151 years ago, three young Virginia Military Institute cadets who had seen up close and personal the ravages of war during the Battle of New Market founded Alpha Tau Omega. It was the first fraternity formed after the Civil War.

Otis Allan Glazebrook (Photo courtesy of VMI Archives)

Otis Allan Glazebrook (Photo courtesy of VMI Archives)

Could those three founders, Otis Allan Glazebrook, Alfred Marshall, Erskine Mayo Ross, have envisioned the world of 2016? Likely not. Today, we are so connected to our electronic devices. Greek-letter organizations have websites. While a website performs a public relations function, to highlight the things the GLO does and as a way to keep its membership informed, they are much more than that. Manuals and printed materials that were once sent in the mail are available on the website, including the organization’s magazine.

Those of a certain age can think back to the early 1990s. The use of the internet as a social tool was in its infancy. On October 4, 1994, Alpha Tau Omega began its on-line presence. The ATO Forum included message, library and conference sections. The announcement in The Palm gave this information, “ATO Forum and CompuServe services are available 24 hours a day/seven days a week. Subscribers have access to over 2000 business and professional resources, hundreds of libraries and periodicals. CompuServe Electronic Mail Service is the largest in North America and is accessible from 135 countries.”

The cost for a subscription to CompuServe’s basic service and the ATO Forum was $11.95 per month. Alumni who were already CompuServe subscribers could receive the ATO Forum for an additional $3 per month. The fraternity provided one membership to each chapter.

Alpha Tau Omega’s pioneering efforts were rewarded. In 1995, Alpha Tau Omega was the recipient of a Computerworld/Smithsonian Award for Information Technology in the field of government and non-profit for pioneering computer communications.


© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2016. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/

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