The History of the Dallas, Texas, Alumnae Club
The alumnae club was officially established in November, 1914 by 16 Dallas area alumnae. These women had lofty goals, including the establishment of the Texas Beta chapter at Southern Methodist University. Subsequently, the club’s charter was received in 1915, and the dream of Texas Beta chapter became a reality. It was not long before the club began supporting literacy through the Pi Beta Phi Settlement School in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Emily White Marshall was the first president of the club’s newly chartered alumnae club. By the end of her second presidential term, the alumnae club had grown to 30 members whose primary objectives were the Settlement School and the support of the newly formed Texas Beta chapter. At this time, the alumnae club was raising money for the Settlement School by selling items sent from the school, and by organizing a large bridge tournament each year. Indeed, much has been accomplished through the hard work and vision of the club’s gifted and farsighted alumnae club founders. These brave women, who did not even have the right to vote at the time, set the stage for determination and service to others that would be the hallmark of the club’s alumnae club.
One hundred years later, the Dallas, Texas, Alumnae Club has grown to over 700 dues paying members, with cumulative fundraising efforts of well over a million dollars for the support of literacy and other educational initiatives in the city of Dallas. The ingenuity, hard work and desire to perpetuate the Pi Beta Phi bonds of friendship inspire the club to continue to reap the rewards of the legacy of friendship and giving.
The Dallas, Texas, Alumnae Club shares the club’s gifts with the community. They rotate every other year between a Style Show Fundraiser and an Ungala Garden Party to benefit local literacy organizations. At Christmas time, the club members raise money and gifts through Touched by An Angel Heavenly Market, which benefits West Dallas Community School. Work with Read > Lead > Achieve® and book drives are also conducted annually.
Awards and Club Recognition
- Pi Beta Phi Foundation Top 10 Alumnae Organization for 11 consecutive years
- Paula Pace Shepherd, Grand President
- Mary Loy Tatum, many years of service on Grand Council, including time as Grand President