West Virginia Alpha image

West Virginia Alpha

West Virginia University

Founding date: 9/21/1918

Installing Officer:
Grand President Grand President May Lansfield Keller, Maryland Alpha

Philanthropic Events:
Dodge the Arrow
and Arrowspike

Installation at West Virginia Alpha

A local group, The Circle, was formed in 1916. The chapter was installed as an official Pi Beta Phi chapter on September 21, 1918. The day after Pennsylvania Delta’s installation, Grand President May Lansfield Keller, and four members of Pennsylvania Delta’s chapter accompanied her to Morgantown, West Virginia for the installation of West Virginia Alpha. The installation took place at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Francis Strickland, who was a Gamma Phi Beta at Syracuse University. The installation banquet was held at the Hotel Maderia. Many wives of faculty members and townspeople attended the banquet, representing Kappa Kappa Gamma, Chi Omega and Alpha Xi Delta. There were 18 women who were initiated as collegiate members and two initiated as alumnae.

Living at West Virginia Alpha

The West Virginia Alpha Chapter of Pi Beta Phi was founded on September 18, 1918. The newly initiated member began to look for a permeant meeting place to call home. The member first rented a house from from 1919 to 1931 located at 52 Campus Drive over looking Mountaineer Field, the house nor the football field stands today. The members then rented a location on Spruce Street near downtown from 1932 to 1939 which no longer stands.

In 1938, Alumna Nellie Trotter, for whom the front room in the current house is dedicated to, learned that Carroll and Ruth Price, a family well known for their furniture manufacturing, was selling their home located at 1493 University Avenue in the heart of the West Virginia University campus.

After obtaining two loans, one from a local bank and one from Pi Beta Phi National Corporation the deed was drawn on July 20, 1938. After less than 20 years, Pi Beta Phi Home Association, held a Mortgage Burning Ceremony on October 8, 1955 to commemorate ownership of the chapter house.

Since the house’s purchase, the CHC has aimed to keep its historical beauty as well as modernize and expand as the chapter has grown. For almost 80 years, the West Virginia Alpha house has stood as a symbol of sisterhood for its members. Members fall in love with the house’s classic lines and history. The house’s location across form the library has allowed hundreds of member’s easy access to campus and a safe, secure location to live. 

Panhellenic Groups on Campus

Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega, Delta Gamma, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi and Sigma Kappa

Philanthropic Service

The two main charitable events are Dodge the Arrow and Arrowspike.

Notable Alumnae

  • Honorable Elizabeth V. Hallanan, U.S. district judge for Southern District of West Virginia, appointed in 1983

Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award Winners from Virginia Alpha

  • Dr. Judie Fern Charlton (1998)

Grand Council Members from West Virginia Alpha

  • Vernah Stewart Gardner