Early Alpha Phi Quarterly
The Founders and early members of Alpha Phi were devoted to their studies. In their weekly meetings they focused on improving their scholarship: they held orations, declamations, mock trials, and "spelling school" to assist each other in matters of grammar. Perhaps owing to the fact that the university's newspaper, the University Herald, barred women from serving on its editorial board, they also launched their own literary journal, "The Literary Cabinet." The "Lit Cab" included original poems and essays written by Alpha Phi members, with a system of rotating editors for each handwritten edition. Later, in 1875, they launched the "Alpha Phi Weekly," which was "an excellent little paper devoted to the current topics of the day."
In July 1888, the Alpha Phi Quarterly made its debut. Many years of discussion and planning made the first issue possible. With 186 members now a part of Alpha Phi, the publication served a basic need: it provided a central place for the exchange of information. And, in keeping with the tradition of the Literary Cabinet, the publication was intended to serve, in part, as a literary journal and highlight the scholarly prowess of Alpha Phi members. On the first page of the first issue, this aspect was evident: "The Old Oak's Soliloquy," a poem by Mary Henry Rossiter(Beta-Northwestern) was followed by an essay, "The Bible and Science," by Lizzy H. Leek (Beta-Northwestern). Next, history was highlighted in essays that traced the Fraternity's founding and recounted the story of the Alpha chapter house, accompanied by an engraving of the house by A. Zeese and Co, Chicago. Founder Martha Foote Crow contributed a travelogue in two parts, regaling readers with an account of a visit to Pike's Peak.