Gamma Phi Beta’s four original founders were a “serious-minded group of girls” who sought company and companionship from each other partially because they felt their gender alienated them. This was a common problem for women in the 1870s; although higher education for women was becoming more common, certain classes and college activities barred women; this included participation in fraternities and similar societies. The four founders of Gamma Phi Beta founded their first chapter at Syracuse University in 1874. They held the first sorority meeting on November 11 that year.
Originally, Gamma Phi Beta was a college literary society. However, they drafted the sorority’s first constitution during this time and developed a “secret grip.”
Gamma Phi Beta has a website dedicated to its long history and a sorority museum. Current sisters can submit historical achievements for their chapters, including photographs, online. These are considered for placement in the museum.
The sorority publishes its own magazine, The Crescent, which has been in circulation since 1900.
Current sisters regularly contribute stories to the magazine. The Crescent regularly spotlights chapters and sisters who embody the positive traits the sorority seeks to cultivate, such as leadership, academic ability, and compassion.
Gamma Phi Beta Symbols and Insignia
Gamma Phi Beta’s main symbol is the crescent moon. Its official colors are dark and light brown, although pink and brown are now widely used in sorority marketing and branding. The current Gamma Phi Beta badge is a black crescent moon that cradles the sorority’s Greek letters. Sisters can choose from several badge options, including gold or silver and jeweled or plain. The international president’s badge is always set with diamonds, while international officers’ badges are set with pearls.
The Gamma Phi Beta coat of arms is a shield containing a crescent moon on a black background, an open book, and a pink carnation, the sorority’s flower. The crest is a lamp. The bottom of the shield is emblazoned with the Greek letters and founding year.
Gamma Phi Beta Philanthropy
Gamma Phi Beta sisters participate in the REAL leadership program upon initiation. This involves a full introduction to sorority life, including Gamma Phi Beta’s philanthropic efforts. The sorority participates in Building Strong Girls, a local program that every chapter can tailor to fit the needs of its sisters. These programs help girls improve in every area, from physical fitness to academic performance, and seek to raise their self-esteem