Washington Alpha image

Washington Alpha

University of Washington

Founding date: 1/5/1907

Installing Officer:
Grand Secretary Elda Smith, Illinois Epsilon

Philanthropy Events:
Read > Lead > Achieve® Events

Installation at Washington Alpha

A local group, Kappa Tau Tau, was formed in 1900. The group officially became a chapter of Pi Beta Phi on January 5, 1907. Washington Alpha was installed at the home of Roberta Frye, Delta Province President, and the ceremony began at 2:00 p.m. The entire afternoon was required to install the new chapter with its 13 charter members and to initiate the six young women first taken in by the new chapter. The Initiation Ceremony took place at the home of Maryland Alpha Roberta Frye (Wyatt).

Immediately after the alumnae had renewed their vows and the initiates had taken theirs for the first time, all went to the Butler Hotel for the first Pi Phi banquet ever held in Seattle. During the banquet, Lucy Hammond, Colorado Beta, was toastmistress and Pi Phi songs were sung. Other special guests included founder Inez Smith Soule and Past Grand President Rainie Adamson Small, Illinois Beta.

Living at Washington Alpha

The chapter's Chapter House Corporation recently remodeled the facility. The Chapter House Corporation strives to give members the best house experience possible. This summer they redid the hardwood floors downstairs and remodeled the TV room. The TV room is now an area where members enjoy watching movies together, play games and bond. The house holds 90 women in doubles, triples and quads. 

Some of the antiques the chapter has in the house are the small china dolls of each founder of Pi Beta Phi. These china dolls were donated by alumnae and sit upon the mantel in the solarium. These dolls are very special to the chapter because they remind the chapter of the twelve wonderful women who created the fraternity and brought Pi Phi women together. In addition, the chapter has many angel statues representing the Fraternity’s unofficial symbol. 

Panhellenic Groups on Campus

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

Philanthropic Service

One of the main organizations the chapter donates to is Read > Lead > Achieve®. Members have the opportunity to volunteer in programs funded by Read > Lead > Achieve and help kids struggling to read with one-on-one help. In addition, the chapter recently got involved in an organization called “Rent a Toy Chest.” To support this program, the chapter held a yoga sisterhood session and paid the instructor in books for children. The instructor and director of the “Rent a Toy Chest” organization then takes the books and fills a treasure chest to donate to low-income families who can’t afford books. 

Notable Alumnae

  • Fran Watson Bigelow, creator of Fran’s Chocolates
  • Imogen Cunningham, photographer
  • Lousie Henry Bryson, former President of Distribution for Lifetime TV

Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award Winners from Washington Alpha

  • Cathy Gustafson Hylton (2014)
  • Fran Watson Bigelow (2012)
  • Judith Strang Curran (2011)
  • Harriet Buckman Stephenson (2010)