Bertha Cook Evans
Described by one of her co-founders as "the salt of the earth," Bertha Cook Evans was quiet, musical, and literary, with a deep appreciation for nature. She was born in Beecher City, Illinois, on November 5, 1874. She often accompanied her father, a country physician, on his rounds, where she developed her love of outdoor life. At age 16, Bertha entered preparatory school at Lombard College; she graduated with an A.B. degree in 1896. After graduation, she married Orrin C. Evans, a pastor of the Universalist Church. The couple had three daughters.
Bertha was devoted to friends and causes, and she served as president of the Alpha Chapter in 1895. She was also part of the committee that drew up the first bylaws of Alpha Xi Delta. She was proud of her role in the founding of the Fraternity and was quoted as saying "Ponce de Leon should have found fraternity; then he would have discovered his fountain of youth. At least that is the way I am affected whenever I meet a group of Alpha Xi Deltas." One of her daughters, Gladys Evans Melick, was initiated into Alpha Xi Delta in 1952. Bertha died in January 1957 at the age of 83.