Oregon Gamma image

Oregon Gamma

Willamette University*

Founding date: 6/3/1944

Installing Officer:
Grand Vice President Ruth Barrett Smith, Iowa Gamma

Philanthropy Event:
Pie with a Pi Phi

Installation at Oregon Gamma

A local group, Beta Chi, was formed in 1919. The group officially became a chapter of Pi Beta Phi on June 3, 1944. Formal initiation and installation took place at the First Methodist Church in Salem and Grand Vice President Ruth Barrett Smith, Iowa Gamma, presided over the ceremony. The formal Installation Banquet was held the night of June 3 in the Mirror Room of the Marion Hotel. There were 110 members and alumnae seated at the tables decorated in the color scheme of wine and delphinium and valerian, flanked by pink and blue candles. Customary Pi Phi songs were sung throughout the banquet by an Oregon Gamma trio of women, and the banquet was concluded with the traditional Loving Cup Ceremony, which is a ceremony no longer recognized by Pi Beta Phi. 

The chapter relinquished its charter in 2021. 

Living at Oregon Gamma

The chapter house sits on the small, square block campus, which allows members to stay involved with everything that happens on campus. Oregon Gamma’s chapter house was built in 1963 and the university allowed members to design it. The chapter moved in from their off-campus home a couple blocks away and have lived in the same house since. The chapter loves touring alumnae through the home when they stop by for Founders’ Day, the university's Alumni Weekend and when alumna drive through town. The chapter house has 23 rooms and its maximum capacity is 47 women. The chapter rooms are all doubles with the exception of one triple. There are three larger doubles that are reserved for the Chapter President, the Vice President of Finance and the two members with the most housing points. 

The chapter owns a nice cabinet that was donated by Nancy Black Wallace’s family. She was buried in the pioneer cemetery a few minutes away from campus, and her family donated this antique so that the chapter would always have something to remind them of the connection between the chapter and Pi Beta Phi’s founding. Chapter members visit Nancy Black Wallace’s gravesite annually with Leadership Development Consultants, or when members of the Regional Team or other Headquarters staff visit. 

Panhellenic Groups on Campus

Alpha Phi, Alpha Chi Omega, Delta Gamma and Pi Beta Phi

Philanthropic Service

Oregon Gamma’s main philanthropy event is Pie with Pi Phi, held in the fall semester each year. This event is open to all of campus and they sell pizza, apple pie and pumpkin pie. The chapter also has whip cream pies to pie their members. The Oregon Gamma women hold an auction for the opportunity to pie Willamette celebrities like campus administrators, team coaches and other beloved staff members. The chapter typically raises anywhere from $700 to $1,200 at this event.

Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award Winners from Oregon Gamma

  • Dr. Addyse Lane-Palagyi (1993)‚Äč