The History of the Lowcountry, South Carolina, Alumnae Club
The Lowcountry, South Carolina, Alumnae Club was chartered on October 26, 2006 under the leadership of Co-Presidents Janet Wickham Gregory and Edie Smith. The club is based in Beaufort, South Carolina, which is located between the Charleston, Hilton Head, and Savannah Alumnae Clubs. It is a retirement area and the club is so excited to share its Pi Phi roots with the new sisters from the many states who have settled here. This is an active and social club with many Golden Arrows.
After a visit from Hurricane Matthew this fall and lots of rescheduling, the club is off and running. The current club theme is “Celebrating 150 years of Pi Beta Phi." The club's mission is “To share our bonds of sisterhood and promote literacy in the Lowcountry," and the club's motto is “Friendship, fun, philanthropy, and food." There are five general meetings a year, which include the Beaus and Arrows couples event; the “The BLUES – books, lunch, and you” literacy luncheon; the Christmas luncheon at the Beaufort Inn; various themed meetings over the years such as “College Memories,” “Here’s to the Pi Phi Cookie Shine,” “Southern Cooking Demonstration with Historic Pi Phi recipes,” “Hearts and Health,” floral arranging and the traditional Founders’ Day Celebration.
The club also has many interest groups. “The Darts" (Dinner and the Arts) have attended several shows at the Beaufort Performing Arts Center. One of these shows was the Hen Party, where two of our club members, Janet Gregory and Nancy Law, members of The Beaufortettes (Tap Dancing Divas), opened the show. "The Arts" (Angel Road Trips) have traveled to the Monet Exhibition at the Telfair Museum in Savannah, taken the Historic Home Tour in Charleston, and toured Middleton Plantation. The Mah Jongg group donates their winnings to support local literacy efforts. The club is excited to host a joint 150th Founders’ Day this year and have invited the three surrounding alumnae clubs to attend. The Region Two Director, Harper Whitten, and Foundation Trustee, Kathy Ewing, will be the special guests at this event.
The club has participated in the Fraternity Day of Service and presented the Champions Are Readers® program yearly. Members held a Panhellenic Literacy Luncheon to fund the CAR program when it first began, and are now pleased that the Pi Beta Phi Foundation supports the program for the clubs. Members have presented the CAR program in past years at public and private elementary schools, the YMCA pre-school and after school programs and the “Thumbs Up” program. Members are most excited that this year, the club secured a grant of 500 books from Pi Beta Phi Foundation for the local Saint Helena Elementary School.
The club boasts Judge Jane Fender, and two authors. Stephanie Austin Edwards wrote “What We Set in Motion” and Rebecca Sprecher wrote “Flying – A Novel.” Becky is also a new alumnae initiate of the Lowcountry Alumnae Club. Club President Janet Gregory was featured in the Summer 2016 Arrow as Dance Captain of Beaufortettes (Tap Dancing Divas) for realizing her dream since high school to be a Rockette and using her dancing skills as a celebrity reader for the Signature Fraternity Day of Service in Columbia, South Carolina. In November she was surprised by The Today Show and, at age 69, actually danced with the real Rockettes in Radio City Music Hall, with her story going viral with over 1.5 million views on Facebook.
The club has a very special Cookie Shine Sheet created for them by President Ann Ruebensaal Morrow. They gave their past presidents oyster shell angels at their tenth anniversary Founders’ Day Celebration last year and to a very special visitor to their club and the South Carolina Lowcountry, Past Grand President Sis Mullis.
Awards and Club Recognition
- Club of Excellence (multiple years)
- Club of Superior Performance (multiple years)
- Evelyn Peters Kyle Club Service Award, Region Two - Gay Farmer (2013)
- Premier Small Club (2017)
- Spirit Award - Region Two (2015)
Emma Harper Turner Leadership Award