The History of the Northern Virginia Alumnae Club
The Northern Virginia Alumnae Club was founded in 1951 as the Arlington-Alexandria Alumnae Club and rechartered as the Northern Virginia Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi in 1962. The club has a 65-year track record of success, attracting a strong membership from over 80 Pi Phi chapters. Many members of the club have gone on to volunteer for Pi Phi above the local level, from serving on the Leadership and Nominating Committee to Grand Council. Club members have chaired Fraternity and Pi Beta Phi Foundation committees, served as Pi Beta Phi Foundation trustees and as Fraternity officers at all levels.
Both the club itself and its outstanding members have won many awards, ranging from the Emma Harper Turner and Evelyn Peters Kyle Angel Awards to Ideal Club and Club of Excellence awards.
In 1995, the club shifted its approach from fundraising solely for club operating expenses to focusing on fundraising for local and national organizations supporting literacy. The first Casino Night, designed as a community fundraising event, was held in 1996. The success of Casino Night and the prospect of future community fundraisers predicated the formation of The Arrow Foundation. The Arrow Foundation is a local non-profit 501(c)3 organization that raises and allocates funds to benefit local and national literacy outreach programs, including those of the Pi Beta Phi Foundation. Since its establishment in 1998, The Arrow Foundation has contributed more than $100,000 toward a more literate society. In 2014, the Literacy Ball replaced Casino Night as the major community fundraiser.
Over its long history, the club has benefited from a series of strong leaders and executive boards. Club presidents typically serve two one-year terms. The leadership pipeline is robust and with each president the club grows and diversifies. The club is known for its excellent communication skills and outreach, often receiving fraternity recognition in that area. The club supports numerous interest groups catering to the current needs of the membership. These groups morph to address members’ interests and are the heart and soul of the sisterhood found prevalent throughout the club. For example, Bon Appétit, a gourmet dinner group, has been going strong since the late 1970s and the club’s Golden Gals (Pi Phi Golden Arrows) meet monthly for lunch.
The club is a faithful and prolific supporter of local and regional Pi Beta Phi collegiate chapters. For many years, they supported Maryland Beta’s Alumnae Advisory Committee, and they currently supply many of the Alumnae Advisory Committee and Chapter Housing Corporation members of D.C. Alpha and Virginia Iota. Club members have also supported Virginia Epsilon, Virginia Eta, Virginia Delta, Virginia Gamma, Virginia Theta, West Virginia Alpha, Georgia Alpha, Pennsylvania Gamma, and Illinois Zeta, to name a few. The club has supported the installation of several chapters including Virginia Zeta, D.C. Alpha and Maryland Gamma, and it spearheaded the 2014 installation of the Virginia Iota chapter at George Mason University.
The club volunteers and donates through events and causes such as the Biennial Literacy Ball, Arlington Wreath Laying, supporting a local family in December and the Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Awards and Club Recognition
- Club of Excellence (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006)
- Excellence in Chapter Support (2006)
- Excellence in Communications (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994)
- Excellence in Programming (2013)
- Ideal Club (1999, 1998, 1996, 1979)
- Top 10 Alumnae Club in Foundation Giving (2015, 2014, 2010, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1996, 1994, 1993)
Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award
- Karen Chevalier (2015)
- Louise Foreman (2014)
- Mary Tanner (2009)
- Dr. Valerie Neal (1996)
Emma Harper Turner Award
- Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg, past Grand President
- Mary Tanner, Secretary for the Pi Beta Foundation Board of Trustees
- Karen Chevalier, past Grand Council member
- Gen. (Ret.) Trudy Clark, Member of Distinction