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Ohio Beta

Ohio State University

Founding date: 4/5/1894

Notable fact: Alumna Sally Lanyon is the co-creator of Brutus Buckeye

Installing Officer:
May Copeland (Drybread-Reynolds), Michigan Alpha 

Installation of Ohio Beta

The chapter was installed on April 5, 1894. Installation activities took place at the home of charter member Agnes Chalmers, who helped bring Pi Beta Phi to the University. After initiation was held, the women enjoyed a meal in a room decorated with the flower and colors of the Fraternity. Ohio Beta was organized by May Copeland (Drybread-Reynolds), Michigan Alpha, with assistance from Ohio Alpha and the following charter members: Anna Houston Blackiston (Powell), Mona Liggett Fay (Gee), Agnes Florida Chalmers, May Baxter Porter (Miseldine), Gertrude Plimmer (Sargent) and Ruth Houseman (Belknap).

Living at Ohio Beta

The Ohio Beta Chapter house is one of the largest sorority houses on Ohio State’s campus. The house is home around 60 women with 29 rooms comprised of four singles, 19 doubles and six triples. There is a large chapter room that is able to fit the entire chapter, several common living spaces such as a formal living room, a study room and large formal dining room. There is a newly renovated part of the house and an original wing or “old” side.

The original photo of the Ohio Beta Chapter house is on display and one very symbolic aspect of the house are the large white pillars in the front, with Pi Beta Phi written in black cursive font above the front door frame. There are six pillars, symbolizing Pi Phi’s six core values.

The Ohio Beta Chapter house is located in Columbus, which is Ohio’s capitol. Before moving downtown, many municipal buildings were closely located to campus. The Ohio Beta house was the servants' quarters and the Kappa Sigma house on top of a hill, directly across the street from the Pi Phi house, was the Governor’s Mansion. Both houses are connected by an underground tunnel, which is no longer accessible. Perhaps the most interesting fact about the Ohio Beta Chapter house is that historical documentation stating the house was a stop on the Underground Railroad. The tunnel mentioned above was used to hide runaway slaves during and after the Civil War.

There are many important pieces of Ohio Beta stored in the archives, but some of the precious items on display in the house include an original photo of the house, chandeliers donated in memory of lost sisters, older composites that have been restored and framed and a diamond-studded arrow passed down to a sister who displays academic excellence. There are records and photographs of every single new member class, different events and even props and signs used at past Bid Days. There is also a diamond and ruby pin that was donated to the chapter by Ohio Beta Patti Rogers.

The Ohio Beta Cookie Shine sheet is very special to the chapter because all members embroider their names onto the sheet before graduating. There is also an inspiration book that members pass along and write letters to read to a significant person in Pi Phi who embodies Pi Phi values and mission. These are read aloud during chapter meetings, and the book has been passed down for many generations in Pi Phi. Another special item is a pair of life-sized wings on two boards that the senior class of 2016 painted as a senior farewell gift. They are often the background of photos and a gorgeous addition to the house.

Panhellenic Groups on Campus

Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Epsilon Phi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Pi Beta Phi and Zeta Tau Alpha

Philanthropic Service

Ohio Beta participates in Pi a Pie Phi, Arrow Spike, Pi Phi Gives You Wings, Pi Beta Phive K, Book Drive, and the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity Day of Service.

Notable Alumnae

  • Abbey Cleland, writer
  • Sally Huber, co-creator of Ohio State mascot Brutus Buckeye
  • Barbie Tootle, noteworthy leader in Greek/student life affairs office under the University President and an acclaimed writer and public speaker; Barbie also started a literary non-profit organization
  • Liz Adams, fashion and lifestyle blogger in Chicago

Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award Winners from Ohio Beta

  • Jane Conyers Fitzpatrick (2001)
  • Eileen Heckart Yankee (1994)
  • Linda Myers Taylor (1991)

Grand Council Members from Ohio Beta

  • Helen Boucher Dix