Staehle, Carrie Washburne

From collection Member List

Staehle, Carrie Washburne
Carrie Washburne Staehle (Alpha 1924/Eastern Michigan) was born on April 11, 1900. She attended Eastern Michigan University or, as it was then known, Michigan State Normal College. Carrie received her pledge ribbons at the home of Ada A. Norton (Alpha 1899/Eastern Michigan) and joined the Sorority on January 12, 1924, beginning a journey that spanned more than 75 years. She is quoted as having once remarked that next to raising her sons, Alpha Sigma Tau was her most treasured accomplishment.

When Alpha Sigma Tau became a national sorority in 1925, Carrie Staehle (then Carrie Washburne) was elected National Treasurer. Although she had just graduated from Michigan State Normal College in Ypsilanti and was the youngest member on the National Council, she was already well known within the Sorority, having served a year on the committee to make plans for the first National Convention in Detroit. Carrie held the office of Treasurer until her election as President in 1934.

Upon her election to the office of National President, Carrie wrote, “I rejoice that back in 1924 I joined the Alpha Chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau. The friendship, inspiration, and ideals gained from sorority life have been most worth while.”

As National President from 1934 to 1949, Carrie was responsible for establishing an efficient business organization of the Sorority. She brought a feeling of unity to far-flung collegiate and alumnae groups and inspired many members to cooperate in a broader national-mindedness. Among her specific accomplishments were the establishment of the Central Office; appointment of alumnae representatives for every chapter; publication of sorority literature such as the Central Office Bulletin, alumnae newsletters, and others; increasing the financial resources through an endowment fund and life memberships; directing the beginning of national social service work; and instituting a program for cultural study in the collegiate chapters.

Carrie’s intelligent and foresighted leadership, unstinting devotion, and prodigious efforts on behalf of Alpha Sigma Tau have been an inspiration to Alpha Sigma Taus across the nation. Few others in the Sorority’s history have had as dramatic a lasting influence on its growth and development as Carrie Staehle.

Carrie passed away on April 10, 2001, one day short of her 102nd birthday.