Pi Beta Phi
Pi Beta Phi is one of the oldest official sororities. Founded in Monmouth, Illinois, in April of 1867, the sorority was the first national “secret society” to be modeled after men’s fraternities using Greek letters. At the time of its founding, there were only a handful of sororities which were considered prestigious on a national level and only five state universities that even allowed women to attend. Originally, Pi Beta Phi was founded as a secret organization, named I.C. Sorosis.
It wasn’t until 1888 that the fraternity began using Greek letters and became known as the first national women’s fraternity. The twelve women who founded Pi Beta Phi simply wanted to create a society similar to those that college-aged men had the benefit of joining. Little did they know their secret society would become something truly great. Those twelve women were: Ada Bruen Grier, Clara Brownlee Hutchinson, Fannie Whitenack Libbey, Jennie Nicol, Inez Smith Soule, Fannie Thomson, Jennie Horne Turnbull, and Nancy Black Wallace.
Pi Beta Phi Symbols
The fraternity now has 200 chapters and 300 alumnae organizations. It’s one of the largest national fraternities for women, with more than 300,000 collegiate members. The women who join Pi Beta Phi stay members for life. Pi Beta Phi is represented by its official symbol, the arrow, and its official flower, the carnation. Its crest is in the official Pi Beta Phi colors, wine red and silver blue, and incorporates the crest of the Brownlee family. Lastly, the fraternity’s mascot is an angel, which members have lovingly nicknamed Angelica.
Pi Beta Phi's Mission and Values
Pi Beta Phi's mission is delivered through their core values. Those values are integrity, lifelong commitment, honesty and respect, personal and intellectual growth, philanthropic service, and friendship. Through these concepts, the fraternity promotes friendship, cultivates a spirit of leadership, encourages women to grow intellectually, and enriches lives through community service. The fraternity seeks to better the lives of its members and the world around them, creating a better society for all.
Pi Beta Phi and the NPC
Pi Beta Phi has shown innovation and leadership from its very beginnings. Not only was it the first national fraternity for women, but also one of the founding members of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC). The NPC is an organization for women’s sororities, and currently represents more than 4 million sorority members. The organization gives roughly $2.8 million in scholarships each year, and its members annually volunteer more than 500,000 hours in their communities.
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