Founding

Korp! Amicitia first came into existence as a result of twelve young ladies from Tallinn wishing to serve their homeland, contribute to the cause of Estonian university students, as well as maintain the ties of friendships formed during their grade school years. Thus korp! Amicitia was founded. Its statutes were officially confirmed in Tartu on November 21st, 1924, which is considered to be the sorority’s date of establishment.

During the period between 1924 and 1940, sorority life was quite robust: the sorority library grew in size; English, German, and Russian language study groups came together; both a choir and a jazz orchestra were formed; even a sorority volleyball team started playing together. Afternoon tea and annual celebrations of winter and summer “holidays” together, among other things, became traditions over the years, and various presentation nights as well as literary evenings continued to be organized. As it flourished, Amicitia grew in popularity so much that they had no choice but to begin limiting the acceptance of new members. In 1939, the years-long friendship between Amicitia and a Latvian sorority, korp! Imeria, finally gained official recognization with the signing of a bilateral Treaty of Friendship between the two organizations.

 

The End… Or was it?

In 1940, occupying forces officially banned the activity of Amicitia and all other academic student organizations. Those members of Amicitia who had escaped deportation and fled West before the occupation went on to establish new chapters in Toronto—where Amicitia is very much active to this day—New York City, and Seattle. Even in Estonia, all sorority-related activity did not cease entirely: sorority anniversaries, birthdays, and other important events were surreptitiously celebrated by members, often in the guise of more innocent gatherings; meetings were held in secret; even membership dues were collected.

 

Re-establishment

Amicitia was re-established in 1989. The historical statutes were revised with the approval of surviving alumnae from the pre-occupation era, including two of the original founding members, and the revised statutes were approved by the Council of the University of Tartu on April 28th, 1989. Since 1991, Amicitia has enjoyed officially recognized friendships with korp! Imeria in Riga, and Wiipurilainen Osakunta at the University of Helsinki.