Eliza Curtis Everton
The oldest of Alpha Xi Delta's Founders, Eliza Curtis Everton was born on August 14, 1867 in Illinois. She married Charles Curtis immediately after high school but was widowed after only a few months of marriage. Eliza's ambition was to study religion, and she entered Lombard College's Divinity School in 1889, graduating in 1894 with a Bachelor of Divinity. She then accepted a call with the Universalist Church in Manchester, Iowa. Eliza married Rev. J. L. Everton, a fellow Lombard student and Sigma Nu who had helped with Alpha Xi Delta's organization. The Evertons moved first to Illinois and then to North Carolina, where Eliza became involved with missionary work, serving as the president of the Women's Missionary Association of North Carolina and organizing a local chapter of the American Red Cross during World War I.Eliza had a vibrant yet reserved personality and, according to co-founder Almira Cheney, was "sweet, gracious, of fine intellect and great kindness." Due to her age and "desire to give permanent form to friendships inspired by high ideals," she became one of the leaders in the founding of Alpha Xi Delta. She served as the second chapter president, and it was during her term that procedures for recruitment and pledging were established. Eliza died in May 1934.