1866–1876

  •  

    1866

    Ada Bruen (Grier) and Libbie Brook (Gaddis) rented a room from "Major" Jacob Holt in his home on First Avenue in Monmouth, Illinois in order to attend Monmouth College.

  •  

    1867

    I.C. Sorosis was founded on April 28, 1867, at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois.1867_frances-holt-and-two-founders.png

  •  

    1867

    The founders chose the arrow as their badge. The original pins were golden arrows, bearing the letters "I C" in black enamel on the wings. On May 14, 1867, the Founders walked into chapel, wearing their golden arrows for the first time, in their hair.

    1173-JHT-IC-badge.jpg

  •  

    1867

    The first convention was held at the home of Fannie Thomson in Oquawka, Illinois. 

     

  •  

    1868

    A second chapter was founded by Founder Libbie Brook (Gaddis) at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

  •  

    5924-a-KS-Alpha-monogram.jpg1873

    Kansas Alpha came into existence because of Sara Richardson, a member of the chapter at Lombard College. The chapter was chartered on April 1, 1873, with seven members.

  •  

    1873

    The first I.C. party at Kansas Alpha, one to honor Sara Richardson, was dubbed a "Cookie Shine" by the University Chancellor. The term so pleased the I.C.s that they immediately adopted it as their own.

1877–1886

  •  

    1882

    At the 1882 Burlington Convention, it was voted to publish, when funds permitted, a Fraternity magazine. However, it was not until the 1884 Iowa City Convention that the Kansas Alpha Chapter was given the responsibility of publishing the magazine and Kansas Alpha Mary E. Miller (Barnes) was elected Editor.

  •  

    1882

    Also at the 1882 Burlington Convention, a committee on Fraternity colors reported and as a result, Iowa Zeta Ella Ham (Robinson) moved "that we adopt the dregs of wine and light blue." After convention, the color was changed to "silvery blue."

  •  

    ARROWmay1885cover-(1).jpg1885

    The Arrow®'s first edition, Volume I, Number I, dated May 1885, was mailed on June 25, 1885. It was 20 pages and did not have advertisements. The title page read: "The Arrow, official organ of I.C. Sorosis, Pi Beta Phi."

  •  

    1885

    Pi Beta Phi's first literacy service project took place when Nebraska Alpha established a library in York, Nebraska, with 225 books. When the chapter closed in 1892, it gave more than 1,000 volumes to the city to help start the city's library.

1887–1896

  •  

    1888_handwritten-Ring-Ching-copy.png1888

    Iowa Alpha Louise “Lulu” Sawyers Linn wrote the song "Ring Ching, Ching" in response to a request from The Arrow Editor for song submissions.

  •  

    1888

    By convention vote, the name of the organization was changed from I.C. Sorosis to Pi Beta Phi. Some chapters had already been using the Greek motto for years before the change was officially made.

  •  

    1890

    Convention was held in Galesburg, Illinois. D.C. Alpha Emma Harper Turner presided in the absence of Grand President Rainie Adamson Small, Illinois Beta. Famed suffragist Carrie Lane Chapman Catt, Iowa Gamma, was a guest speaker.

    1890conv.jpg

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    wine-carnation-1.jpg1890

    The wine carnation was chosen as the official Fraternity flower.

  •  

    1890

    The Chapter Meeting Ritual was written by D.C. Alpha Anna Hazelton.

  •  

    1890

    D.C. Alpha Emma Harper Turner was elected Grand President.

  •  

    1892

    By convention vote, April 28 became known as Founders' Day to celebrate the founding of the Fraternity.

  •  

    6671-EHT-(1).JPG1893

    A national Alumnae Department was organized. D.C. Alpha Emma Harper Turner stepped down as Grand President to become the first President of the Alumnae Department.

1897–1906

  •  

    1899

    The "Songs of Pi Beta Phi" songbook was published on January 1, 1899. It was 117 Pages and contained 78 songs. It was the first official songbook compiled and published by the Fraternity.

  •  

    1901

    At the 1901 Syracuse Convention, Grace Goodhue (Coolidge) was Vermont Beta's delegate. Anna Nickerson (Robinson) was Massachusetts Alpha's delegate. A lifelong friendship between the future First Lady and future Grand Vice President was forged.4_Coolidge.png

  •  

    1902NPC.jpg1902

    Pi Beta Phi became one of the seven founding members of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC). Today, there are 26 member organizations.

  •  

    1904

    The Pledging Ceremony was adopted by the convention body, although its use was optional at that point.

  •  

    1906

    1906_Beta-Pin.pngThe convention body adopted a uniform pledge pin of an arrowhead in Roman gold mounted with the Greek-letter Beta in burnished gold.

1907–1916

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    1910

    By convention vote, a plan was adopted to establish a Settlement School in the Appalachian Mountains. D.C. Alpha Emma Harper Turner presented the philanthropic project as a way to honor the founders and Pi Beta Phi’s founding. A committee was appointed to outline and develop the project.

    1910_plan-for-school-adopted.jpg

  •  

    1912_School-opened.jpg1912

    The Pi Beta Phi Settlement School opened in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. School began with 14 students and closed three months later with 33 students.

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    Color_Crest_jpg.jpg1912

    The Coat of Arms (crest) was copyrighted. It was previously adopted at the 1910 Swarthmore Convention.

  •  

    1912

    The song “Pi Beta Phi Grace” was adopted by the Fraternity. Today, some chapters sing the song, while others recite the words aloud.

  •  

    1913

    An Alumnae Advisory Committee (AAC) was organized for each collegiate chapter.

  •  

    1915

    Annual dues for collegiate members were raised to $7.

  •  

    1915

    "Convention Daily" newspaper was published for the first time. The newspaper was distributed to convention attendees and mailed to those who subscribed to it. It raised $80 which was donated to the Fraternity's loan fund.

  •  

    1915

    By convention vote, it was decided each alumnae club would meet at least four times per year. One meeting was to be devoted to the nearest chapter, a second to Founders' Day a third to the interests of the Settlement School and a fourth to the Constitution, historical documents and examination questions.

1917–1926

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    wwI.png1917

    The Golden Anniversary Convention celebrating 50 years was canceled abruptly due to the U.S.'s entrance into World War I. It would have taken place in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, from June 23–30, 1917.

  •  

    1918

    Scholastic requirements for initiation into Pi Beta Phi were adopted.

  •  

    1918

    After serving 10 years as Grand President, Maryland Alpha May Lansfield Keller was named Grand President Emeritus.

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    balfourfirstaward.jpg1921

    The Balfour Cup, the Fraternity’s highest and most prestigious honor for a collegiate chapter, was first awarded at the 1921 Charlevoix Convention to Virginia Alpha. The silver cup was originally known as the Ruth De Hass Balfour Memorial Cup. It was given to Pi Beta Phi by Lloyd G. Balfour, Sigma Chi and fraternity jeweler, in memory of his wife, Indiana Gamma Ruth De Hass Balfour.

  •  

    1923

    The Chapter House Building Fund was established.

  •  

    1923

    Chapter Executive Councils were created.

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    6_coolidge.png1924

    A portrait of First Lady Grace Goodhue Coolidge, Vermont Beta, was presented by the Fraternity to the White House. More than 1,200 members and Pi Phi mothers attended the portrait presentation. Famed suffragist Carrie Lane Chapman Catt, Iowa Gamma, spoke at the event. Grand Vice President Anna Robinson Nickerson, Massachusetts Alpha, was the banquet toastmistress. The portrait hangs in the China Room of the White House today.

  •  

    1925

    The creation of a Central Office was authorized.

  •  

    1925

    Alumnae dues were raised from 50 cents to $1.00 per year.

1927–1936

  •  

    1927

    A ritual for pledge meetings was approved at the 1927 Pequot Convention. It was prepared by Colorado Beta Emilie Engelbach King.

  •  

    1928

    The name Pi Beta Phi and the arrow badge were copyrighted by the Fraternity.

  •  

    1934_ABO-honorary-degree.jpg1934

    Grand President Amy Burnham Onken, Illinois Epsilon, was awarded an honorary degree from Monmouth College. Founder Margaret Campbell placed the doctoral hood upon her.

  •  

    1934

    At the 1934 Yellowstone Convention, it was voted that bronze markers should be placed on the graves of the founders.

  •  

    1934

    At the 1934 Yellowstone Convention, it was voted that there should be just 12 links in the chain of the badge, one for each founder.

  •  

    1935

    The first Amy Burnham Onken Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Campus and Community Leadership was given. Regional winners received a special guard designed by Lloyd G. Balfour with three modeled feathers in flight stemmed with a sapphire. The overall winner received a gold charm in the shape of the Fraternity crest with a diamond in the center.

1937–1946

  •  

    8_HoltHouse.png1940

    Through the efforts of a Pi Phi father, Hugh Moffet of the Monmouth Daily Review, Holt House was purchased for the Fraternity at a delinquent tax auction for the sum of $1,100. Mr. Moffet’s own lot adjoined the Holt property on the east.

  •  

    1941

    On April 26, 1941, Holt House officially opened. The Illinois Alpha Chapter and the Monmouth, Illinois, Alumnae Club entertained at a tea.

  •  

    1941

    Founder Fannie Whitenack Libbey died in Lake City, Minnesota at 95. At her death, she was the last surviving founder.

  •  

    1942 & 1944

    On account of World War II, convention was canceled in both 1942 and 1944.

    1942_GGC-and-WAVs.JPG

  •  

    1945

    Past Grand President Amy Burnham Onken, Illinois Epsilon, was installed as Chairman of the National Panhellenic Conference. She served in the role for two years. During her term, she oversaw the merger of the Association of Education Sororities into the Conference.

  •  

    1946

    The Order of the Golden Arrow was established to recognize members celebrating 50 years of membership in Pi Beta Phi. Originally, the carnation guard was the symbol of the Order. It was replaced by the circle pin in 1987.

  •  

    1946

    1946_CCC-Chapter-Loyalty-Day.jpgAt the 1946 Swampscott Convention, January 9 was designated as Chapter Loyalty Day. The day was set aside in recognition of the example that famed suffragist Carrie Lane Chapman Catt, Iowa Gamma, set for the Fraternity in her abiding, lifelong loyalty to her chapter. The date is Carrie's birthday. On this day, each alumna is to remember her own chapter.

  •  

    1946

    The Emma Harper Turner Memorial Fund was established with a $50,000 endowment. The fund exists today through Pi Beta Phi Foundation and grants financial assistance to alumnae and collegians in dire financial need.

1947–1956

  •  

    1948

    An Officers Workshop was authorized to take place in the years when there was an in the interim from of convention.

  •  

    1950

    Senior dues and annual alumna dues both increased to $2.50 per year.

  •  

    1952

    Pi Beta Phi grew to 97 active collegiate chapters and 56,000 ever-initiated members.

  •  

    1954

    The Canadian Loan Fund was approved and interest-free loans were made available to Pi Phi graduate students studying social work.

  •  

    1956

    The first Chapter Service Award for Outstanding Servant Leadership was awarded. Silver arrows were given to regional winners. A bracelet was given to the overall winner.

  •  

    1956

    Chapter accounts were placed into in the hands of professional staff members at Pi Beta Phi's Central Office.

1957–1966

  •  

    1962

    The Chapter Executive Council was increased from seven members to 11 members to better assist with growing chapter needs.

  •  

    1962

    Past Grand President Sarah Ruth "Sis" Mullis, South Carolina Alpha, attended her first convention. She was a newly-initiated member of Pi Beta Phi at the time. She has not missed a convention since. At each convention, during the convention countdown, Sis is the last Pi Phi standing. She has attended more conventions than any other living Pi Phi.

  •  

    1964

    Each chapter was required to have a Chapter House Corporation and local maintenance fund. At the Victoria Convention, the project committee proposed the idea of creating an arts and crafts center.

  •  

    1964

    At the 1964 Victoria Convention, the project committee proposed The Centennial Project, an arts and crafts center to be developed on Fraternity property in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in honor of the Fraternity's 100th anniversary. The project was approved and work began.

  •  

    1966

    A mini-convention, consisting of a three-day working session, was held in Gatlinburg. The purpose of the mini-convention was to plan the 1967 Centennial Convention.

  •  

    1966

    By 1966, Sevier County took over the administration of the former Pi Beta Phi Settlement School. The existing facilities were remodeled and/or built new and called Pi Beta Phi Elementary School. At that time, the Fraternity also deeded the land the school was built on to the county.

  •  

    1966

    Past Grand President Marianne Reid Wild, Kansas Alpha, was named Grand President Emerita.

1967–1976

  •  

    1967

    The Northern Libraries Project was adopted to commemorate the centennials of Canada and Pi Beta Phi. The project was later renamed Arrow in the Arctic. It was the first Canadian philanthropy established by a National Panhellenic Conference group.

  •  

    1967

    The book, "A Century of Friendship in Pi Beta Phi," was published. It covered Fraternity history from 1867 to 1967. Pi Beta Phi Historian Jean Orr Donaldson, Oklahoma Beta, used the work of Past Historians, issues of The Arrow, Fraternity correspondence and archives materials including letters and pictures to write the book.

  •  

    1967

    As part of the 1967 Chicago Convention, attendees took a trip from the city to Monmouth, Illinois, to tour Holt House and Monmouth College.

  •  

    11_travelingtwins.png1968

    The Traveling Graduate Consultant (TGC) — now Leadership Development Consultant (LDC) — program officially began. Previously From the 1940s, Grand Council would assign recent graduates had assigned outstanding Pi Phis to work with new colonies and chapters only on an as-needed basis. Past Grand President Beth Van Maanen Beatty, Texas Gamma, served as one of these early consultants in 1958.

  •  

    1971

    The first Evelyn Peters Kyle Angel Award for Club Service was awarded. The award recognizes an individual alumna who has served her alumnae club by performing those duties that often go unrecognized but serve to enhance the success of a club. The first award was a handmade ceramic angel wearing a silver blue dress.

    1971_EPK-Angel-Award.jpg

  •  

    1975

    The Canadian convention delegates determined there was no longer a need for the Canadian Loan Fund, so it was dispersed.

1977–1986

  •  

    1981

    Annual alumna dues and senior dues were raised to $6 per year.

  •  

    1981

    A policy was enacted requiring publicity in any national print publication, or on any film, radio or television program, to have the pre-approval of Grand Council.

  •  

    1983

    A large Pi Beta Phi coat-of-arms, or crest, banner was presented by Grand Council to the Fraternity at the 1983 Louisville Convention. The banner continues to be displayed at each biennial convention.

    1983_Crest-banner-(1).jpg

  •  

    1985

    In anticipation of Pi Beta Phi rotating onto the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) Executive Committee, the NPC Delegate was removed as a member of Grand Council and made an appointed office. At that time, Past Grand President Jean Wirths Scott, Pennsylvania Beta, was named NPC Delegate. She would serve in that role until 2003.

  •  

    1985

    The initiation fee was set at $85, including and included a gold-filled badge.

  •  

    1985

    Probationary terms for New Members and initiated members were clarified, as well as terms for Automatic Financial Probation.

  •  

    1985

    A stronger statement that hazing was in violation of Fraternity standards was issued.

  •  

    1985

    1985_Arrow-Magazine-Centennial.jpgThe Arrow magazine's centennial was celebrated with a special anniversary issue of the magazine, featuring historical information and greetings from Past Arrow Editors and Past Grand Presidents. 

1987–1996

  •  

    1989

    Three of Founder Jennie Horne Turnbull’s granddaughters were present at the 1989 San Diego Convention. They had with them the badge their grandmother wore to chapel when I.C. Sorosis made its debut at Monmouth College in 1867.

    6746-JHT-s-granddaughters.jpg

  •  

    1990

    The Links to Literacy program debuted. Chapters and alumnae clubs were encouraged to provide literacy service to their local communities.

  •  

    1990

    Pi Beta Phi Foundation was created to ensure a financially sound future for the Fraternity, and provide support for its members, through scholarship opportunities, educational and leadership development programming, Fraternity heritage, philanthropic efforts and other charitable programs.

  •  

    1990

    The Spring 1990 Arrow told of the establishment of Pi Phi Express. The tagline was “Think Pi Phi — Shop Pi Phi.” Its establishment was concurrent with the initiative to ensure all commercial use of Pi Beta Phi’s trademarks on logo apparel and merchandise were administered through a license agreement with the Fraternity.

  •  

    1991

    The first Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Awards were given to outstanding alumnae distinguished alumnae who exhibited excellence and outstanding leadership in their career or volunteer service to their communities.

  •  

    1991

    Alumnae dues were raised to $12 per year.

  •  

    banner.jpg1991

    The Chapter Banner Parade debuted at the 1991 St. Louis Convention. Each chapter with living alumnae had a banner in the parade. Active chapters designed and prepared their own banner with symbols specific to their campus. Those banners are proudly carried across the convention stage today.

  •  

    5914-MRW_crop.jpg1992

    The Marianne Reid Wild Society for planned giving was established by
    Pi Beta Phi Foundation.

  •  

    1993

    The alumnae department celebrated its 100th year.

  •  

    1993

    Groundwork for revision of the Fraternity’s governing documents began after the convention body authorized a committee to review the documents. Fraternity Parliamentarian Carrie-Mae MacNair Blount, Maryland Alpha, chaired the committee. The documents were enthusiastically approved at the 1995 Palm Desert Convention.

  •  

    1994

    The first Emma Harper Turner Award for Alumnae Club Leadership was given.

  •  

    1995

    Past Grand President Jean Wirths Scott, Pennsylvania Beta, became National Panhellenic Conference Chairman. The practices she helped put into place continue to ensure the Conference remains a vital force in the fraternity and sorority community today.

  •  

    1996

    Due to the demands of institutions with Pi Phi chapters, a streamlined New Member orientation program was created.

1997–2006

  •  

    1997

    National Panhellenic Conference's International Badge Day became an annual event to encourage sorority women of all ages to celebrate the power of sorority by wearing their badge or letters on that day

  •  

    1997

    The Fraternity’s first website launched. At its start, it averaged 77 visits per day.

    Screen-Shot-2017-01-09-at-3-58-57-PM.png

  •  

    1998

    A new chapter officer, the Risk Management Educator, was added. The officer was to facilitate two special programs a per year. Topics included health issues, alcohol/drug abuse, eating disorders, etiquette and personal safety.

  •  

    2000

    New terminology was enacted. Rush became recruitment. Rushee became Potential New Member. Pledge became New Member. The preference card became formal membership recruitment acceptance.

  •  

    2000

    The Order of the Diamond Arrow was established for those Pi Phis celebrating 75 years of membership. Recognition of this Order included a letter of congratulations and a framed certificate, signed by the Grand President.

  •  

    2001

    The Silver Arrow Society was eastablihed for those Pi Phis celebrating 25 years of membership. . A new recognition pin featuring the official Pi Beta Phi Crest on the shaft was approved.

  •  

    HQ-Ribbon-Cutting-1.png2002

    A grand opening celebration was held for the brand-new Pi Beta Phi Headquarters building in Town & Country, Missouri. The celebration included a ribbon cutting, tours of the building and a reception.

  •  

    2003-Spring.JPG2003

    The Arrow was redesigned with formatted pages, more color pictures and larger images.

  •  

    2003

    Champions Are Readers® (CAR), Pi Beta Phi's own reading enrichment program, was launched.

  •  

    2003

    Leading with Values®, Pi Beta Phi’s Member Development Program based on the core values of the Fraternity, was introduced.LWV_CMYK.png

  •  

    2003

    Pennsylvania Beta Jean Wirths Scott was named Grand President Emerita.

  •  

    2003

    North Carolina Beta Carol Inge Warren became Pi Beta Phi's National Panhellenic Conference Delegate. She would go on to serve the Conference for 14 years.

  •  

    2005

    Pi Beta Phi partnered with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

  •  

    2006

    The first Fraternity Day of Service took place. Pi Phis found a range of activities to celebrate the day. Many events included the distribution of books. The events also brought visibility to Pi Beta Phi's work to promote literacy. Fraternity Day of Service is celebrated on or around March 2, the date of Dr. Seuss® birthday.

    DSC_0004.jpg

2007–2016

  •  

    2007

    The Fraternity began its partnership with First Book® to give brand-new books to children across North America.

  •  

    2008

    The Fraternity Housing Corporation (FHC) was established to ensure our members receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live, learn and grow together. FHC oversees housing on an international level, and helps local Chapter House Corporations operate effectively and efficiently. FHC strives to provide a living environment that supports members' education, meets their expectations for safety and is competitive with other housing options on or near campus.

  •  

    2009

    Holt House received its historical landmark status from the Illinois State Historical Society. Some of the recent improvements at Holt House include a new lit parking lot, a renovated kitchen and powder room, a new furnace and new air conditioning units.

  •  

    ReadLeadAchieveLogo.jpg2011

    Pi Beta Phi unveiled a new literacy platform, Read > Lead > Achieve, and new literacy vision: Pi Beta Phi leads the way to a more literate society.

  •  

    2012

    One hundred years of literacy service were celebrated in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The dedication of a plaza featured a life-size bronze sculpture of Pi Beta Phi Settlement School’s first Pi Phi teacher, Della “Miss Dell” Gillette (Morgan), Illinois Zeta, handing a book to one of her students.

  •  

    2015

    A new goal to impact one million lives through Read > Lead > Achieve began. Because when one out of four children cannot read, that is one too many.

  •  

    monday722.jpg2015

    Libbie, the Ring Ching Roadshow car, made her debut at the Chicago Convention.

  •  

    2015

    Angelica (Tennessee Gamma Kathy Swinea Nevill's alter ego) helped the Foundation raise more than $140,000 at the Chicago Convention.

  •  

    15_RCRS.png2015

    To celebrate 150 years of sisterhood, the Ring Ching Roadshow made its debut at the 2015 Chicago Convention. The Pi Phi car, Libbie, began her two-year road trip to gather stories from coast to coast. Libbie was named after Founder Libbie Brook Gaddis, who started our second chapter.

  •  

    CC_CMYK.png2016

    Pi Beta Phi launched its risk-prevention education programming, Critical Conversations®.

  •  

    2016

    Pi Beta Phi Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary.

  •  

    15_BreakingGround.png2016

    More than 4,000 square feet were added onto the back of the Headquarters building. The addition included more office and meeting space as well as a larger kitchen and shipping area.

  •  

    2016

    The inaugural Pi Beta Phi Leadership Institute was held to develop confident women leaders who contribute to making the impossible the inevitable.