Grand President May Lansfield Keller, Maryland Alpha
Installation at Oklahoma Alpha
A local group, Phi Delta Gamma, was formed in 1907. The chapter was installed officially as a Pi Beta Phi chapter on September 1, 1910. The Installation Ceremony took place that evening, at the home of Nannie Miller, charter member of Oklahoma Alpha.
The Grand President’s suitcase had failed to arrive that afternoon (a suitcase full of the necessary paraphernalia for initiation). Later that afternoon, telegrams flew back and forth and phones lines were busy; every train was met by an excited and anxious group. But, the suitcase never arrived. Luckily, Grand President May Lansfield Keller had the Pi Beta Phi ritual committed to memory, and initiated the members. A five-course meal was served at the installation banquet, and the home was elegantly decorated with floral arrangements in the colors of the University. At midnight, the 17 Oklahoma Alpha women sat down to have the first Cookie Shine of the new chapter. The members quickly learned “Ring Ching, Ching” and sang it proudly. The following day, the ladies from Kappa Alpha Theta gave a reception in honor of the new Pi Beta Phi’s to welcome them into the fraternity life.
Living at Oklahoma Alpha
In 1925, 15 years after the installation of the Oklahoma Alpha Chapter at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, the chapter first acquired a home of its own when it purchased a house at 518 Lahoma for $45,000. As the chapter size increased, a sleeping porch and study hall were added.
Then in 1935, to accommodate its increasing size, the chapter moved to a larger home at 702 Lahoma. This house, along with an annex on Chautauqua and Brooks Streets referred to as “The Outpost,” served as Oklahoma Alpha’s home until 1958.
Since 1958 the stately red brick chapter house at 1701 Elm Avenue has been home to Oklahoma Alpha. In the mid 1980s, a new chapter room was added and then in the early 2000s a new bedroom wing referred to as “the suites” was built as a second floor above the chapter room. The chapter house is unique from other sorority houses on campus because of its large open living areas and sweeping lawn at the end of Elm Avenue. It currently houses 91 members as well as the live-in house director.
In preparation for and celebration of Oklahoma Alpha’s Centennial Celebration in 2010, the social areas of the house underwent extensive cosmetic remodeling. Each year Oklahoma Alpha’s Chapter House Corporation works to maintain a safe and secure home for its members, as well as maintaining and updating the chapter house to accommodate its members’ contemporary needs and demands. CHC views its job as both an immense responsibility, but also an honor, as it is the physical tie that binds members to the OU campus. Members take immense pride in Oklahoma Alpha’s home at 1701 Elm Avenue.
Panhellenic Groups on Campus
Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappy Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi
In past years, Oklahoma Alpha has paired with the fraternity Delta Upsilon to throw the philanthropy event Food Trucks, Arrows and Ducks. Recently, the chapter changed it up and made a new philanthropy event that raised more than $9,000. “Pops with Pi Phi” is hosted in the spring semester on the front lawn. Anyone can join chapter members at the house and enjoy Oklahoma Alpha’s very own popsicle flavor from Epic Pops. Spikeball, volleyball, badminton and music are played while people can also enjoy a refreshing Sprittle drink, made of Sprite® and Skittles. Another successful Pi Phi Philanthropy event in the fall is “Pi Phi Phloats.” Everyone can enjoy a root beer or Dr. Pepper® float made by chapter members in the beautiful back yard while listening to great music and spending time with friends.
- Robin Cauthron, United States Federal Judge
- Patience Sewell Latting, American politician and first female mayor of Oklahoma City
Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award Winners from Oklahoma Alpha
- Betsy Guthrie Brunsteter (2014)
- Hilarie Hefton Blaney (2012)
- Kathryn Taylor (2011)
- Kathie Compton Papera (2008)
- Diana Caylor Galloway (2007)
- Dr. Joanna Burkes Callan (2005)
- Isleta Gayle Braun (2003)
- Jenonne Walker (2003)
- Sue Ann White Hyde (2002)
- Karen Cullen Luke (2001)
- Robin Johnson Cauthron (1996)
- Jane Bienfang Harlow (1996)
- Sarah Caton Maddox Hogan (1992)
- Patti Patton Leeman (1991)
Grand Council Members from Oklahoma Alpha
- Louise Rosser Kemp
- Lou Ann Montgomery Carter