Tennessee Beta image

Tennessee Beta

Vanderbilt University

Founding date: 11/9/1940

Installing Officer:
Grand President Amy Burnham Onken,
Illinois Epsilon

Philanthropy Events:
Kick it with Pi Phi and Pi Phi Palooza

Installation at Tennessee Beta

The installation took place over the course of three days in 1940. There were buffet suppers, luncheons, initiation and a banquet that took place between the Pi Phi house, Centennial Club and Belle Meade Country Club. Grand President Amy Burnham Onken, Illinois Epsilon, installed the chapter.

Living at Tennessee Beta

The house has five bedrooms as well as an apartment for the House Director. Six members of the Executive Board live in the house each year. Tennessee Beta’s house is a beautiful place where members are able to gather for chapter meetings, sisterhood events and other activities. The house is special because of the main floor’s welcoming, open floor plan. Members love being able to have sisters hanging out, cooking, eating and studying all in the same space. It creates a sense of community, and there is always vibrant conversation. 

There are two brass arrows that hang in their chapter room; they are a gift from Nancy Fawn Wilkerson Diehl. She became a Pi Beta Phi in 1951 along with her sister Jane Wilkerson Yount. They were the sisters of Bill Wilkerson, for whom the Bill Wilkerson Center in Nashville was named. When the Bill Wilkerson Center was first started, the two were able to get Pi Phi to help with the center and with donations to the center. The Bill Wilkerson Center is still Tennessee Beta’s local philanthropy to this day and the chapter continues to have a strong relationship with the organization and with the Wilkerson family. 

Panhellenic Groups on Campus

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

Philanthropic Service

This chapter hosts several philanthropy events. This Fall, they hosted their first annual Pi Phi Palooza. This event benefits the Bill Wilkerson Center at the Vanderbilt Medical Center. This was a music festival-themed benefit with an informational talk from the Bill Wilkerson Center as well as musical performances from sisters and other student musicians. 

Nationally, Tennessee Beta’s philanthropic efforts support promoting literacy. With Read > Lead > Achieve®. Pi Beta Phi helps to inspire a lifelong love of reading that can unlock true potential creating a more literate and productive society. Their spring semester philanthropy supports Read > Lead > Achieve. This kickball tournament, Kick It With Pi Phi, is a campus favorite and they always have a great turn out from organizations from all parts of Vanderbilt.

Notable Alumnae

  • Madonna Badger, advertising executive at Badger & Winters and founder of #WomenNotObjects campaign
  • Virginia Bland Fry, former Executive Director of Central Office

Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award Winners from Tennessee Beta

  • Martha King Baird (2011)
  • Berenice Miller Denton (2010)
  • Kristi Peterson Lumpkins (2009)
  • Ann Sommovigo Moore (1992)

Grand Council Members from Tennessee Beta

  • Jane Houchens Tuten