Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was founded on January 9, 1914, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., by three African American students, A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse, and Charles I. Brown. Happy Founders’ Day, Phi Beta Sigma!
A goodly number of sports stars are members of Phi Beta Sigma, but the name that stood out for me on the list of baseball players was Lou Brock, the St. Louis Cardinals legend.
From the loubrock.com website comes this concise biography:
The journey of life for Lou Brock began when he ‘walked on’ the baseball field at Southern University as a non-athlete and became a baseball player.
The journey of life for Lou Brock reached new meaning when he ‘walked off’ the baseball field at Busch Stadium as one of the greatest players ever to play Major League Baseball.
While at Southern University, Brock became a member of Phi Beta Sigma.
Brock and his wife Dr. Jacqueline Brock are ordained ministers. The Hall of Famer is currently recuperating from the amputation of his left foot. According to November 2015 news report, his goal to make it to Cardinal Stadium on opening day in April, if not to spring training festivities before then. I wish him a speedy recovery.
January 9 is also the birthday of President Richard M. Nixon, an alumnus of Whittier College. Whittier does not allow national fraternities and sororities, although local “societies” consider themselves as Greek life on the campus, at least that is how the college’s website mentions the societies.
The Orthogonian society was founded in 1929 as a literary society. President Nixon was a founder and first president of the Orthogonians. (A link to the post about U.S. Presidents who are members of fraternities can be found on the top of this page.)
Today is also Pi Beta Phi’s Chapter Loyalty Day and the local Pi Phis will be getting together for lunch. This day was chosen as Chapter Loyalty Day because it is Carrie Lane Chapman Catt’s birthday and she was quite loyal to her chapter. She was an early initiate of the Pi Beta Phi chapter at Iowa State University.
She used her Pi Phi connections to network during her early years in the suffrage movement. She was a speaker at the 1890 Pi Beta Phi convention held in Galesburg, Illinois. She routinely spoke to chapters and alumnae clubs about suffrage. In 1924, she was the keynote speaker at the Eastern Conference of Pi Beta Phi, a one-time event between two conventions. The sole purpose of that event was to present the Howard Chandler Christy portrait of the First Lady, Grace Goodhue Coolidge to the United States.
One of my favorite pictures of Catt is one which was taken several years after her graduation from Iowa State. She taught school and served as a principal in Mason City, Iowa. In the picture taken during those years, she is wearing her arrow badge. There was no reason for her to wear her badge as an alumna, but she chose to wear it. Here are a few links to the previous posts (http://wp.me/p20I1i-yR, http://wp.me/p20I1i-rU, http://wp.me/p20I1i-hJ).
Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2014. All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/.