Cora Bollinger Block
Cora Bollinger Block was one of the most active leaders in the establishment and growth of Alpha Xi Delta. She was born in Canton, Illinois, on September 14, 1868. She received her primary education in Davenport, Iowa, and developed an interest in geology and science as a member of the Agassiz and Audubon Societies. In 1891, Cora entered Lombard College, where she roomed with Harriet McCollum at 629 Day Street, the first meeting place of Alpha Xi Delta. Described as hospitable and interested in all things for the betterment of humans, she was part of the committee that presented the plans for the Fraternity to school officials. It was apparently her "clear thinking and vision" that made the presentation successful. Cora then served as the first president of the Alpha Chapter and chose, with Lucy Gilmer, the pink rose as Alpha Xi Delta's flower.After her time at Lombard College, Cora married Louis Block, an attorney and Sigma Nu. The couple settled in Davenport and had three sons. Cora remained active in Alpha Xi Delta: she was elected the first national president in 1902, and the first grand council meeting was held in her home. She led plans for the Fraternity's expansion, personally installing the Beta and Gamma Chapters, and rewrote parts of the ritual. She also presided at the first national convention in 1903. In addition to her work for Alpha Xi Delta, Cora volunteered with the Order of the Eastern Star, the Unitarian Church, and the Federation of Women's Clubs. She died at the age of 73 in 1941.