A Fabulous 150th Pi Beta Phi!

The women of I.C. Sorosis are in St. Louis celebrating a century and a half. One hundred and fifty years is a long time and the world of 1867 is vastly different from the one of 2017. The young women who dared to create a fraternity for women based on the ones for men that were at Monmouth College in 1867 chose to use I.C. Sorosis as their name with Pi Beta Phi as their secret motto. The gold arrow with an I and a C on the wings was the organization’s badge.

Between 1867 and 1881, when Alpha Phi’s second chapter was founded at Northwestern, only four of today’s National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) organizations were extending beyond the founding campus. The women of I.C. competed with the Kappa Alpha Thetas, Kappa Kappa Gammas and Delta Gammas. Some of the chapters began using the secret motto, Pi Beta Phi in the early 1870s. The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi debuted in 1885. Produced by the Kansas Alpha Chapter at the University of Kansas, the first page stated, “An organ of Pi Beta Phi.” The name change became official at the 1888 convention. There was never any discussion as to what the name of the organization would be as the Greek letters had been with us since the beginning.

So how did we celebrate? In grand style, of course! The Scottrade Center, home of the St. Louis Blues hockey team, was the venue for the Dinner by Chapter and Banner Parade (on a 150 foot long catwalk!).

The Pi Beta Phi Fraternity banner begins the banner parade of chapters beginning with the banner of the chapter where it all began, Illinois Alpha at Monmouth College.

Grand President Paula Shepherd with baton in hand at the 150th birthday celebration.


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