Beta Theta Pi's History

Beta Theta Pi

Beta Theta Pi has the highest collective GPA among fraternities at 3.204. It’s also one of the oldest fraternities. Eight young men founded Beta Theta Pi at Miami University in Ohio in 1839. Many people recognize the society as a pioneering and leadership organization. Beta Theta Pi has a simple but pervasive mission: “to develop men of principle for a principled life.” Twenty-three states have had a Beta as a governor at some point, and the nation awarded the Medal of Honor to six Beta war veterans. Initiates of Beta Theta Pi must help others complete acts of mutual assistance, cultivate their intellects, live a life based on internal and external trust, and act responsibly and with integrity in all things. 


Beginnings and War

The founding members of Beta Theta Pi were members of university-recognized literary societies considered more noteworthy than fraternities at the time. The founders moved forward with their first meeting on August 8, 1839, and the fraternity has grown since.

Twenty-two years after the first meeting, the Civil War tested the members of Beta Theta Pi. Some fought for the Union; others for the Confederacy. The phrase “brother against brother” rang true, as many fraternity members lost their lives or livelihoods during that time. 

The Power of Song and Symbols

Beta Theta Pi is a musical fraternity. Since 1847, the nation has referenced the fraternity as the “singing fraternity,” and songs are a strong part of the society’s rituals and fraternal bond. Pink and blue distinguish Beta Theta Pi from other fraternities, and you may notice the symbol of the dragon on branded publications, banners, and gear. The official flower is the rose, and the society’s motto is “firmam consensus facit” (cooperation makes strength). 

Men of Principle Initiative

The Men of Principle Initiative is the driving force behind societal changes over the last several years. Beta Theta Pi spearheaded this enterprise out of a need to reverse several unfortunate trends within its many chapters. Fraternity GPAs were falling, there was a Greek housing crisis, and alumni involvement rates were down. The society made a commitment to reformation and get back to its original mission and purpose. Today, the organization uses modern language, demonstrable achievement goals, and program-based leadership training to promote excellence at every level

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