Grand President Amy Burnham Onken,
Installation of Ohio Epsilon
A local group, Pi Delta Chi, was formed in 1915. The group officially became a chapter of Pi Beta Phi on April 28, 1945. Amy Burnham Onken initiated 35 New Members and 35 alumnae on Friday afternoon in the home of Kansas Alpha Dorothy Rummel Hampe. A Cookie Shine followed, and was held in the Collingwood Presbyterian Church. The Toledo Alumnae Club hosted a chop suey dinner that evening. There was an arrow cake with 12 candles — one for each founder — and the Grand President made a speech before cutting the cake.
Living at Ohio Epsilon
The Ohio Epsilon Chapter house is special for many reasons. The chapter house is located in McComas Village, a set of houses dedicated to fraternity and sorority life at the University of Toledo. The Pi Phi chapter house is connected to Delta Delta Delta’s chapter house. Although there are two separate houses that share a common wall, it is very easy to open the two houses up and spend time with other Panhellenic sisters. This creates a fun environment that allows Pi Phis to do sisterhood events with Delta Delta Delta conveniently and within the Pi Phi chapter house as well. The McComas Village houses are arranged in a loop and all the houses are oriented toward each other. This also creates an exciting environment when the weather is warm. Students are able to enjoy activities and homework outside together in The Village.
The Ohio Epsilon Chapter house is also close to the Melissa Ann Herstrum memorial, which has great meaning to the Ohio Epsilon chapter. Melissa was a sister who was murdered in 1992. She was an amazing Pi Phi, and even to this day the chapter honors her and looks up to her as an example of Pi Phi values. For members of Ohio Epsilon, being able to walk by her memorial reminds members to live Pi Phi values every day.
The Ohio Epsilon Chapter houses 23 members comfortably, including one president’s suite, two singles, one double and six triples. “The Pi Beta” (as the chapter fondly calls it) is a great place to live with and hang out with sisters. The house also has a large first floor with a dining space, living room and kitchen. Sisters who live in the house love to cook meals together and are often found having a movie night in the living space. The basement of the house is used for many functions, but most notably for weekly chapter meetings.
An interesting item in the chapter house is the chapter’s staff. The staff has the letters of Pi Beta Phi on it along with a halo on the top. The use of the staff is a special tradition for organizations on The University of Toledo campus. Chapter members carry the staff to football games as well as when the chapter participates in parades. The staff is a much respected part of the chapter and is never allowed to touch the ground unless it is in a specific corner of the chapter house. It is an honor to carry the staff and members know they represent Pi Beta Phi whenever they carry it.
Panhellenic Groups on Campus
Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Phi Epsilon, Kappa Delta and Pi Beta Phi
The Ohio Epsilon Chapter has two huge philanthropic events each year which include Pi Phiesta and CARnival. At the University of Toledo, it is tradition for the fraternity and sorority community to hold philanthropy dinners to support their chapter philanthropy. These philanthropy dinners are held in the chapter house and are a great way to meet other members of the community, while also supporting philanthropies near and dear to member’s hearts. Pi Phi’s philanthropy dinner has a full taco bar where local restaurants generously donated chips, salsa and guacamole. This event brings in a lot of University of Toledo students and raises money for the Pi Beta Phi Foundation Friendship Fund and Literacy Fund.
CARnival is an extension to the Champion are Readers® (CAR) program that Ohio Epsilon and the local Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity organize together. The event aims to celebrate the success of the CAR program and all the hard work. CARnival is scheduled close to Dr. Seuss’® birthday and allows the Winterfield Venture Academy students, local daycare students and their families to celebrate literacy and the great author. The CARnival has carnival themed games, carnival food, face painting and bounce houses. When each child leaves the event they pick out their very own book to take home. For many students who attend this event, this is the only book they have ever owned. The chapter is able to reach around 400 students through this event. It is a truly amazing event that Ohio Epsilon Chapter members look forward to every year.