The History of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Alumnae Club
The Baton Rouge Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club represents 80 years of very strong connections to Pi Beta Phi and Baton Rouge. The club has a long history of supporting Louisiana Beta. Local alumnae were instrumental in starting the this chapter, and have continued to support the chapter through the years. The club assists in honoring graduating seniors with luncheons, teas and suppers. Gifts at these events range from arrow necklaces, leather address books, cookbooks, recipe boxes and jewelry boxes. Sometimes, especially now, the alumnae club and chapter gatherings are co-hosted with the Mothers Club. Club members also participate in recruitment and often write Recruitment Information Forms (RIFs). There is also club participation in the chapter through the Alumnae Advisory Committee, Chapter House Corporation and the Slightly Older Sister mentors.
The club is proud of the many sisterhood events it hosts as well. Friendships span decades, and many women who graduated in the 1940s and 1950s still attend club events. And, women who were Alumnae Advisory Committee advisors or previously on Chapter House Corporation are now friends with younger members. To forge these friendships, members hold potluck suppers, a favorite of the club. Monthly coffee meetings and Dsessert and bridge parties have been held for more than 40 years, and in recent years have transitioned into Halo Happy Hours. The Angel Exchange at Christmas is another longstanding tradition that members always enjoy.
Club members are involved with the Louisiana Beta chapter in helping with Founders' Day celebrations, Halloween parties, Easter Egg Hunts, Homecoming and other celebrations such as the Louisiana Beta’s 75th Anniversary; members are also involved with the Fraternity as a whole. The club hosted the Canadian Breakfast at the 1960 Convention, as this was the first Convention in Lambda Province. The club also participated in the New Orleans Convention, and have had representatives attend many other conventions throughout the years.
The Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Alumnae Club is known for its long history of supporting the Settlement School and Arrowmont®. In 1949, the club’s members decided to host the Settlement School Benefit Coffee, selling items made at the school. These items included handwoven purses, brooms, linens, baby items, placemats and rugs. Proceeds were donated back to the Settlement School, and when Arrowmont was established, two annual scholarships were also funded. Sales continued until 1991. Arrowmont workshops were held by the scholarships recipients, upon their return from Arrowmont. Proceeds from the workshops were also used to fund the scholarships.
The club's Round About Town Calendar raises funds for the Baton Rouge Youth, Inc., and Arrowmont Scholarships. The club also hosts a Guest Day Luncheon and Fashion Show, and from 1986 to 1990 participated in Project Wildflower. Project Wildflower was a multi-year beautification project of local highways. Club members' Angel and Arrow Dues benefit the Pi Beta Phi Foundation and Arrowmont Scholarship, too.
- Laura Leach, Chairs Education First, an organization she started to stress the importance of funding education in Louisiana
- Jan Breen, President of St. Joseph’s Academy