The History of the Pensacola, Florida, Alumnae Club
In the early 1950s, when Panhellenic rules were less defined regarding interaction with prospective new members, the alum club hosted “rush” parties with alums and collegians.
A favorite former event was the Gulf Coast Gathering of Angels, organized by the club in 2007 and attended by Ann Shaw, ARD. Alumnae clubs from Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama met for lunch at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama, then shopped at an angel shop in Fairhope, Alabama.
Members come together to socialize at least once a month. In addition to the club’s annual events (Founders’ Day, Christmas Brunch, Fraternity Day of Service, and Philanthropy meeting), members enjoy going to the theater together, supporting the club’s minor league baseball team, and meeting for lunch at local restaurants. A favorite meeting place of the club is Turner’s Camp (built in 1934), the charming family retreat of mother-daughter alumnae Sally and Sarah Turner. The venue is nestled among old oak trees draped with Spanish moss, and members may sit on the extra-large screened front porch overlooking Pensacola Bay. The Pensacola, Florida, Alumnae Club has recently expanded and now encompasses an area of more than 200 square miles, from Lillian, Alabama, in the west to Destin, Florida, in the east, and from the Gulf Coast in the south to the Alabama state line.
In keeping with Pi Phi’s literacy initiative, the club has participated in Read Across America every year since 2007. Partnering with the Escambia Education Association, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million book stores, they hang the club’s Pi Beta Phi banner on a table where they help children with fun, hands-on, literacy-promoting projects.
For two consecutive years, members have donated 500 books, acquired through Pi Phi’s FDS500 grant program, to a First Book recipient school. Throughout Literacy Week, Pi Phi alums serve as guest readers in classrooms at the school, and continue to volunteer in classrooms throughout the year. This year they will again distribute books to an underprivileged school, thanks to Pi Phi’s FDS500 grant program.
Past philanthropic projects include selling items ordered from the Arrowcraft Catalog to raise money for Arrowmont.
Awards and Club Recognition
- Club of Outstanding Performance (2016)
- Club of Superior Performance (2007, 2015)
- Excellence in Communications (2007)
- Excellence in Communications - Region Two (2015)
Evelyn Peters Kyle award (Xi Province)
- Jo Elen Eyster Bailey, Florida Beta, is a nationally known portrait artist who paints in the 19th Century style of John Singer Sargent and Robert Henri. Since graduating from Florida State University, Bailey has been a professional artist for 53 years. She has paintings and portraits in collections throughout the country. These collections include Emory University, the Georgia State Capitol and the Florida State Senate. She recently completed painting a 33' x 9' mural of the fishing community and Pensacola's iconic waterfront. The mural is in one of Pensacola’s landmark restaurants. Considering that she is 76, this mural is no small task!
- Cathy Schipman Boehme, Alabama Alpha, winner of the 2013 Teaching Excellence Award in Florida was a former teacher who recently retired. After 31 years of teaching in the classroom, Cathy retired to take a position at the Florida Education Association as a legislative specialist in education policy and advocate for public education. She has been instrumental in developing programs for mentoring and evaluating beginning teachers in Florida, as well as leading a state wide group of teachers in conducting educational research and policy and curriculum development. In 2016, she was invited to present to the National Council of State Legislators International Study Group, comparing school reform initiatives in this country to high performing systems in other countries. Cathy served her Pi Phi chapter as secretary and president.
- Jane Fell Greene, Indiana Delta, author of numerous books including LANGUAGE! The Comprehensive Literacy Curriculum; fellow, Academy of Orton Gillingham Professionals and Educators; President, National Institute for Continuing Education; Board of Directors, International Dyslexia Association; President, Basics Plus
- Meg McNamara, California Nu, joined WEAR Pensacola in 2014 as the weekend weather anchor. She came to Pensacola from Lewiston, Idaho, where she was the main anchor at the CBS affiliate, KLEW-TV. In addition to anchoring the 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. newscasts, Meg filled in for weather broadcasts and hosted her own cooking segment. Meg graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where she graduated with a degree in theater arts. During her senior year, she interned at the Dr. Phil Show, making enough of an impression that they immediately offered her a full time position. Meg spent two years there as the talent coordinator and then returned to Seattle, her hometown, to begin her broadcasting career as an online reporter at the CBS affiliate, KIRO.
- The Rev. Sally Moure Trimble, Florida Beta, received her master’s in Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary. Sally is the daughter, niece and first cousin of Florida Beta Pi Phis. When she started college at FSU in 1958, Sally wanted to be “independent” and pledge a different sorority. Of course, she fell in love with Pi Phi decided to join. A dozen or so of her class of 1962 still gather for reunions; one the most memorable events happened when they attended her ordination to the diaconate. Sally has served congregations in Virginia and Florida; while stationed in Washington, D.C., Sally was in charge of hosting the Marine Corps Ball.
- Sarah Mallory Turner, Alabama Gamma, Art Director, E. W. Bullock Associates, advertising and public relations firm, graduated from Auburn University with a degree in commercial art and in art education. She joined the Bullock firm in 1984 as a graphic designer. Sarah has won numerous American Advertising Awards (ADDYs) on District, Regional and National levels. The ADDY Award is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition. Sarah has also won National Healthcare Advertising Awards and several poster competitions for wine, jazz and seafood festivals on Florida’s gulf coast. Sarah has served as treasurer and secretary of the Pensacola Alumnae Club.