California Epsilon image

California Epsilon

San Diego State University

Founding date: 9/1/1949

Installing Officer:
Grand President Amy Burnham Onken,
Illinois Epsilon

Philanthropic Event:
Pi Phi Pizookie and Pie a Pi Phi week

Installation of California Epsilon

A local group, Phi Sigma Nu, was formed on January 19, 1925. The official Pi Beta Phi chapter was installed on September 1, 1949. The Initiation Ceremony took place at the Thursday Club on Point Loma, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The installation banquet was held in the Don Room of the El Cortez, a landmark hotel in downtown San Diego. The ceremony was themed “The Bonds of Wine and Blue,” and members first sang “Pi Phi Grace” and then sang “Speed Thee My Arrow” before dinner was served.

Living at California Epsilon

The California Epsilon Chapter house is special for many reasons. One of the most special events at California Epsilon takes place on the night before initiation. Cchapter members participate in a Cookie Shine and afterward the newly initiated members are surprised with a letter written by their parents and read to them by their big sisters.

The chapter house has 16 bedrooms, sleeping a little over 30 women. California Epsilons feel very lucky to be the only sorority house at San Diego State University with a backyard!

An interesting item in the chapter house is the grand piano in the chapter room. Chapter members are always welcome to come to the house to play music for everyone to enjoy. Another very lovely element is the tile mosaic of the Pi Phi crest.

Panhellenic Groups on Campus

Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma, Delta Zeta, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta and Pi Beta Phi

Philanthropic Service

The chapter’s main philanthropy event is Pi Phi Pizookie. The event typically takes place in March. Members presell shirts and tickets for boys and girls to come help us fundraise for literacy and also enjoy Pizookies, music and hanging out with Pi Phis! Recently, the chapter changed the normal fall philanthropy. The chapter transitioned from Pie a Pi Phi to a weeklong philanthropy event that included Pie a Pi Phi, a tabling event and even a talent show!

Notable Alumnae

  • Demi Marchese, founder of the online boutique 12th Tribe

Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award Winners from California Epsilon

  • Leslie Ann Armstrong Andio (2012)
  • Sharon Culver Considine (2007)

Silver Slipper Award for Excellence of a Chapter Vice President of Finance

  • Sarah Lewis (2018)