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Alpha Omega Alpha, 1919 - 2017

Identifier: RG-17-1-14

Scope and Contents

From the Series:

This series consists of the records of student organizations sponsored by the School of Medicine. These records include, but are not limited to charters, bylaws, membership lists, leadership information, significant photographs, web pages, meeting minutes, and audiovisual recordings. This series also includes student publications including, but not limited to, student-produced newsletters, weblogs, and yearbooks.


  • Creation: 1919 - 2017

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access to student organization records and student publications.

Biographical / Historical

Alpha Omega Alpha was founded in 1902 and is the national medical honor society. It started at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago when a small number of medical students, led by William Webster Root, wanted to foster professional values and good conduct in fellow medical students and sometimes in their faculty. Modeled after Phi Beta Kappa, they stated that membership in the new society would be based on both academic achievement and professional conduct.

By 2012 there were more than 130 chapters in medical schools throughout the United Sates. The AOA mission statement found on their website indicates that it is “dedicated to the belief that in the profession of medicine we will improve care for all by recognizing high educational achievement, honoring gifted teaching, encouraging the development of leaders in academia and the community, supporting the ideals of humanism, and promoting service to others."

The University of Virginia chapter started in 1919 and was the 23rd member. The first school in Virginia to join, its chapter is named Alpha Virginia. Each chapter may elect to membership no more than one-sixth of the anticipated number of graduates. Those elected must come from the top quartile of students academically. According to the UVa School of Medicine Student Handbook on the SOM website, those chosen from UVa must not only exhibit the necessary academic attainment, but also leadership, professionalism, a sense of ethics, promise of future success in medicine, and commitment to service. At UVa generally 6-9 students are elected by their peers after their second year, and another 17 or so are elected after their third year.


From the Collection: 71 Linear Feet (11 Records boxes, 76 document boxes, and (approximately) 22 linear feet of bound material.)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Three volumes from to the Alpha Omega Alpha records were originally processed as a distinct collection, labelled MS-53. These three volumes consisted of a chapter roll and minutes book from 1919 to 1955, a roll and minutes book from 1955 to 1969, and a treasurer's ledger covering 1922 to 1978.

Repository Details

Part of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library Repository

Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue
P.O. Box 800722
Charlottesville Virginia 22908-0722 United States