The History of Texarkana, Arkansas-Texas Alumnae Club
Being an 80-year-old club is an accomplishment! A history of afternoon teas and Arrowcraft sales is part of the club’s history. Having members on Grand Council through the years is a great source of pride. Today the club’s profile is young and active, with many members having been out of school for less than 20 years. The club’s philanthropy mainly revolves around donating and delivering books to Wake Village Elementary School and to the Ace of Clubs House on Fraternity Day of Service.
The club has been fortunate to receive the FDS500 book grant for the past three years. One of the club’s area school districts is comprised largely of low socioeconomic families, and the book giveaway is a way to combat illiteracy and promote Read > Lead > Achieve® in Texarkana.
The Ace of Clubs House, owned by Olivia Smith Moore and her husband, is located in Texarkana, Texas. Upon Olivia’s death, the house was deeded to the Texarkana Museum System by the Moore family. The club was asked to decorate the living room of the House for Christmas. Members chose an angel theme accented with wine and blue. Arrows, angels, and wine and silver blue ribbons adorned the room, along with a tabletop tree that was decorated with miniature shoes. Olivia had a huge collection of shoes, all from Neiman-Marcus, which are displayed in her bedroom closet of the house.
When the Ace of Clubs House was deeded to the Texarkana Museum system, the club held a number of fundraising activities in order to refurbish Olivia’s bedroom and dressing room; members sought to display her Pi Phi memorabilia in a prominent manner. Many years later, Olivia’s Pi Phi legacy is still clearly represented at the house.
One quirky fact is the Texarkana city slogan is “Twice as Nice” because it covers two states, both Arkansas and Texas; out of the club’s 30 dues-paying members, six members have twins or are a twin themselves!
Awards and Club Recognition
- Olivia Smith Moore, Missouri Alpha, was always known as Miss Olivia. She was elected Grand Treasurer in 1952 and served until 1967. She became Grand Treasurer Emeritus in 1967. She served on the Arrowmont Board of Governors during those 15 years, and continued to serve on the Board of Governors until 1973. When attending conventions, she would invite collegians to her room to show them her extensive shoe collection. As a result of her love of shoes from Neiman Marcus, today the Silver Slipper Award honors the excellence of a chapter's Vice President of Finance.
Emily Russell Tarr, Texas Beta, held the office of Grand President from 2003-2009. She also served as Grand Vice President of Alumnae from 1999-2003. Prior to being on Grand Council, she served as a Fraternity Director and as a province officer. In her role as Grand President, she also served as a Foundation Trustee, ex officio.
- Julia Peck Mobley, Arkansas Alpha, embodies one of Pi Phi’s core values – Philanthropic Service to Others. As chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Commercial National Bank, Julia has been recognized for her numerous works in various philanthropic and civic efforts. Julia is a founding member of the Women’s Giving Circle, the National Museum of Women for the Arts and the Arkansas Women Leadership Forum. She was chosen by Arkansas Business Publishing Group to be recognized as one of the Top 100 Women in Arkansas in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. She received the public service award from the Sierra Club in 1998. She has served on the University of Arkansas Women and Philanthropy Committee and received the 1999 Citation of Distinguished University of Arkansas Alumni award. She is a Trustee of Hendrix College as well as a former member of the Dean’s Executive Advisory Board for the Sam M. Walton College of Business Administration at the University of Arkansas.
- Caroline Malone Craven, Arkansas Alpha, is known as The Honorable Caroline Craven and serves as Federal Magistrate Judge for the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. She has served as magistrate since 1998; at the time, she was the youngest person to ever hold that title at age 33. Caroline is also cross designated, meaning that she can also sit for the Western District of Arkansas because of the uniqueness of Texarkana being divided over two states.