CORPORATE OFFICE Story
The sorority opened the first National Office in Chicago during 1949 out of the need for a professional staff to help manage a growing organization. The National Office was located in the Washington Park Bank Building. The sorority purchased its first permanent headquarters and second location in a four-story building at 5211 South Greenwood in October of 1952. The membership more than doubled between 1958 and 1978 and the services needed outgrew the location.
At the 1978 Boule, the delegates voted to sell that building and undertake a new Capital Improvement Project (CIP). The CIP was launched with a goal of raising $1 million to increase the building fund so that the sorority would own the building outright and be debt free. Chicago’s first woman mayor, The Honorable Jane Byrne, approved the land to be conveyed to the sorority because she wanted a group of women to own the property.
In July 1985, the Ivy Center was built for sorority members as a corporate office. The Center was dedicated at that time and named by Founder Lavinia Norman. The original design was a two-story, 16,800 square-foot building. However, more space was needed, and the international conference delegates voted to add a third floor and storage area. A capital assessment was imposed upon members to fund the costs of the addition. The Corporate Office Improvement Project (COIP) was launched and each member was assessed to ensure continual maintenance of the building. In 1992, The Ivy Center was renovated when the third floor was added.
In an effort to anticipate additional growth of the sorority, the International Building and Properties Committee formed a Corporate Office Renovation (CORP) team comprised of the International President & CEO, Board of Directors, and Corporate Office staff. CORP developed a process and timeline for the completion of a new design and renovation of the Ivy Center. Construction commenced in October 2016 and the project was completed at the end of 2017. On May 4, 2018, the Ivy Center Ribbon Cutting and Open House was held where the modern, newly-designed and renovated structure was unveiled.
The sorority remains debt free on the building.