Grace Lass Sisson,
Wings of an Angel
Installation of Indiana Gamma
The Indiana Gamma chapter was an outgrowth of a local organization in existence at Butler University as early as 1894. It was organized through the effortd of Indiana Beta Bertha Holland. Pi Beta Phi was the third Greek letter sorority at Butler after Kappa Alpha Theta and Kappa Kappa Gamma.
On the evening of November 19, 1894, six women met at the Delta Tau Delta house on campus and organized a local fraternity. They drew up and signed a short constitution. A few days later, they met again at the house of one of the women, where the name Alpha Phi Psi was chosen, the constitution enlarged and the colors of crimson and light blue were chosen.
In the winter of the third year, 1896, with only five active members, plans were started for obtaining a national charter. After careful consideration of existing women’s fraternities, Pi Beta Phi was chosen on April 12th. At the end of May, a letter was received from pi Beta Phi’s Grand Secretary stating the charter would be granted in a few days. Less than two weeks later, another letter was received from the Grand Treasurer, who had voted against the charter because she felt that Butler was too small in enrollment and size. Without a unanimous vote of Grand Council, a charter would not be granted.
Alpha Phi Psi decided to appeal to Pi Beta Phi’s Convention, which was being held that summer in Madison, Wisconsin. Ethel Boor (Roberts) was chosen to go to the convention at their representative. The Grand Treasurer did everything to discourage the establishment of a Pi Beta Phi chapter at Butler University, but with the help of Professor Sober of Wisconsin, the charter was granted July 18, 1897. The charter included the condition that if at the end of three years, the standard of the university had declined, the charter would be withdrawn.
Installation of the Indiana Gamma Chapter of Pi Beta Phi was August 27, 1897. There was a banquet that followed the Installation Ceremony at Annie and Mary McCollum’s home. After the banquet, Grand President Grace Lass Sisson gave an informal speech. The charter members were Mabel Gertrude Hauk, Edith Boor Roberts (Loop), Ethel R. Curryer, Annie Mercer McCollum, Olive Inez Phares (Tittsworth), Jessie Lanier Christian (Brown), Emily Matilda Helming, Elizabeth Moxon Banning, Annette Maybelle Seeley, Mary Gertrude McCollum (Moorhead) and Marietta Lamb Thompson (Sprague).
Living at Indiana Gamma
The Indiana Gamma Chapter house is home to 50 collegiate members each year. Indiana Gamma’s house is known for its beautiful white exterior with its bright red door. One of the most unique attributes to the house is the option to live either in a more intimate double dorm room or in a large cold dorm (sleeping porch).
The Indiana Gamma Chapter house is about to celebrate its 120th anniversary. Since its start as a large family home, it has undergone an addition and many renovations to make it into a place 50 members can call home. Its original character is still present in the “old” side of the house, while the “new” side of the house is more modern. Some of its most notable features include a family tree painting with pictures of each of the chapter's family branches and the house's large outdoor porch. The family tree, a newer addition to the house, is a large painting to the left of the staircase that helps showcase sisterly bonds. The large outdoor porch has large, white Greek style pillars. The porch has many uses including social events, philanthropy events, and a place for sisters to study. Off of the porch, large banners will fly in support of events occurring on campus.
Panhellenic Groups on Campus
Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Phi, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi
Wings of an Angel is Indiana Gamma’s fall philanthropy event where the chapter members sell chicken wings and veggies.
- Donna Burgard received the Evelyn Peters Kyle Angel Award for Club Service in 2010
- Madge Oberhotlzer, whose death and the subsequent murder trial contributed to taking down the Indiana chapter of the Ku Klux Klan
Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award Winners from Indiana Gamma
Grand Council Members from Indiana Gamma
- Betty Blades Lofton
- Doris Brown Fawcett