The History of the Richardson-Plano, Texas, Alumnae Club
Back in 1962, a group of Pi Phis who lived in Richardson found each other. Loydell Seward, Judy Allen, Tat Osterhout and Mary Tatum began to carpool together to the then-active Junior Suburban group of the Dallas Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club. As they grew closer, they found they all shared feelings of the true values of Pi Phi and began to talk of forming a Richardson Alumnae club. Richardson was growing; new Pi Phis were moving to town and a local club would give them a chance help with the rush of Richardson women.
At about this same time, an article appeared in the Richardson Daily News announcing the forming of a Panhellenic group and inviting all Greeks in the area to attend. Tat Osterhout and Nancy Moorhouse each decided to go and renewed a friendship that started when they were sisters at Iowa Gamma. They immediately began to discuss the possibility of forming a Richardson Pi Phi group.
Texas was then in Nu Province and the Alumnae Province President, Elinor Evans, was making a tour to meet with the clubs. The Dallas Club had a luncheon board meeting at Love Field with Mrs. Evans, and invited Tat to attend. At this meeting, Tat inquired as to the advisability of forming a club in Richardson. Mrs. Evans and the Dallas board members enthusiastically supported her. Mrs. Evans submitted the shorted application along with the requirements for chartering a new club.
In the spring of 1964, 21 Richardson Pi Phis met at Virginia Tomlinson’s home and signed a petition to charter a club. Tat Osterhout, who had put a lot of effort into getting the club formed, was selected to serve as the first president. Serving with her were Peggy Neary, Marth Knoll, Loydell Seward, Suzanne Estle and Lucy Kindred. Tat now lives in Sherman and Lucy lives in Dallas, but the rest of this first cabinet still lives in Richardson. Melinda Olson was chosen as Panhellenic Representative, an appropriate job for her since her mother was then serving as Pi Phi’s National Panhellenic Delegate.
Mary Tatum, Charlene Gaither and Judy Allen set out to plan a year of programs to interest Pi Phi alums. The “Pi Phi Tie” was initiated, a short statement each month of some of the “secret” meanings of Pi Phi that would be both enjoyable to learrn about and valuable in supporting the club's purpose as a true fraternal organization.
The members felt that a special honor should be given to Tat because of the dedication she had shown in getting the club started. They decided that an I.C. pin should be given to the club in Tat’s name. This pin is now worn by each of the presidents during her year, and has engraved on the back of it: K. Osterhout (Tat’s name is really Katherine) – 1964 (for the year the club was chartered).
The club has another special item in its possession. Mary Blair, the second president, was installed with a gavel given by Marilyn Cazort. This gavel had previously been presented to Marilyn by the Texas Alpha Chapter after she had served as their chapter president for two years.
In recent years, the club has conducted Fraternity Day of Service events supporting Read > Lead > Achieve®, including book drives, book giveaways and hosting a Fraternity Day of Service Signature Event in 2017.
The club has also given an outstanding sophomore award for over 40 years! The award is for a sophomore member of a Pi Beta Phi chapter in Texas who exhibits qualities of scholarship, fraternity service, campus and community activities, leadership and character. This award is named in honor of the club’s own former Grand Council member and Richardson, Texas, resident Carolyn Pavletich Lesh, Texas Delta. It is presented each April during the club’s Founders' Day celebration. The recipient receives an engraved silver traveling tray for her chapter to display and an engraved mint julep cup for her to keep in remembrance of this award.
Awards and Recognition
- Club of Excellence (2015, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006)
- Excellence in Communication (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2002, 2001, 1996)
- Ideal Club (2002, 1994)
- Top 10 Alumnae Club (2003, 2002, 2001, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1990)
Evelyn Peters Kyle Award
Fraternity Education Award
- Jessie Moeur French (2001)