Alberta Alpha image

Alberta Alpha

University of Alberta

Founding date: 9/22/1931

Installing Officer:
Grand President Amy Burnham Onken, Illinois Epsilon

Installation of Alberta Alpha

A local group, Alpha Upsilon, was formed in 1928. The group officially became a chapter of Pi Beta Phi on September 22, 1931. The Initiation Ceremony took place in the home of charter member Ruth Shipley. In the afternoon, there was a Cookie Shine and members exchanged their pins. The day after initiation, there was an installation banquet at Athabasca Hall on campus to celebrate Pi Phi. The first chapter meeting took place on campus two days after initiation. The following were charter members:

  • President – Anita Gordon
  • Vice-President – Helen Reid
  • Recording Secretary- Margaret Durrell
  • Corresponding Secretary – Helen Smith
  • Treasurer – Evelyn Atkin
  • Panhellenic Representative – Elizabeth MacKenzie
  • Scholarship – Hilda McEwen
  • Executive Council – Hilda McEwen, Elizabeth MacKenzie, Margaret Smith, and Ruth Shipley
  • Censor – Ruth Bowen
  • Founding Member - Hazel Rutherford McCuaig

Living at Alberta Alpha

There are six bedrooms in the chapter house with seven women living in the house. The Alberta Alpha Chapter house is located in a neighborhood called East Campus Village, which is quiet and on campus. The house is mostly white, with a wine-colored door and a silver blue porch. Some members believe that there is a ghost named Timmy who lives here.

There is a tea set that was donated by the first President of Alberta Alpha, Anita Gordon Primrose. The chapter also has a set from the Pi Beta Phi Mothers club. The chapter uses the tea sets for alumnae tea events. There is also an antique dinner bell in the dining area.

Panhellenic Groups on Campus

Alpha Gamma Delta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta and Pi Beta Phi

Philanthropic Service

Alberta Alpha’s main philanthropy event is Pie a Pie Phi, which is held twice a year.

Notable Alumnae

  • Hazel Rutherford McCuaig, Charter Member, initiated 1931. She was one of the chapter's founding members. Her father, Alexander Rutherford, Alberta’s first Premier, was chancellor of the University of Alberta at the time. Sororities were banned on campus, and Hazel was unable to start a women’s fraternity of her own because of this when she was a student. She was very involved in the development of the new Pi Beta Phi chapter.
  • Judge Marjorie Bowker, initiated in 1936. She was the First Woman Graduate of University of Alberta Faculty of Law to be appointed a judge at any level. She holds several honors including being inducted into the Order of Canada in 1990 and being honored as one of seven pioneer women judges of Canada by the Canadian Judicial Council in 1995. She also holds honorary degrees from three universities including University of Alberta (LLD).

Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award Winners from Alberta Alpha

  • Alice V. Payne (1998)
  • Marjorie Montgomery Bowker (1995)
  • Marilyn Diamond Miller (1992)