1906: Pi Beta Phi installed


Iowa Gamma of Pi Beta Phi Reinstated After Absence of Fraternities from I. S. C. for Several Years. Success Due Largely to the Alumni at College.

For the first time since 1892 there is a woman’s fraternity at I. S. C. Iowa Gamma of Pi Beta Phi was reinstated at the college February 24th, by Miss Robinson, a member of the grand council. There were many guests from the neighboring chapters and from the Ames alumni. Iowa Zeta, of S. U. I. was represented by Misses Alstrand, Gabriel and Bull; Iowa Beta of Simpson by Misses Vale, Shea, Halley and Ingram; and Iowa Alpha of Iowa Wesleyan, by Misses Benjamin, Brooks, Shanklin, Turney and Medes. Those of the alumni from away, were Mrs. Swender of Carroll; Mrs. Marsh, Mrs. Quint and Mrs. Wallace, all of Des Moines; Mrs. Chase of Chariton and Whited of Eldora; Miss Cummins of Des Moines was among the guests.

At two o’clock the ladies assembled at the home of Mrs. Curtiss. The rooms were charmingly decorated for the occasion in characteristic fraternity style. It was here that seventeen young ladies were introduced with a beautiful and impressive ceremony to the ideals and the mysteries of Pi Beta Phi. The initiates were Mrs. Paxton, ’04 of Chicago, Ill.; Louise Rowe, ’04 of Boone; Ethyl Cessna, ’04 of Ames; Helen Prouty, ’05 of Humbolt; Celestine Pettinger, ’05 of Cumberland; Winifred Thompson, ’05 of Cambridge; Carolyn Gabrilson, ’05 of New Hampton; Keo Anderson, ’05 of Jewell; Mae Jackson, ’05 of Wood River, Nebraska; Mary Wilson, ’06 of Cincinnati, Iowa; Florence Pettinger, ’07 of Waukee; Luella Kilbourne, ’08 of Fort Dodge; Sophie Hargis, ’08 of Des Moines; Lilian Storms, ’08 of Ames; Vera Dixon, ’08 of Sac City; and Jennie Bechtle, ’08 of Le Mars.

At six o’clock the company went to Mrs. Stanton’s where an elegant seven course banquet was served. While they wended their way across the campus the chimes played Pi Phi songs. It was a merry crowd of fifty-eight that was seated at the long table which was beautifully decorated with a profusion of carnations and the Pi Beta Phi colors. Between courses the rooms rang with fraternity songs. At the close Mrs. Curtiss arose and after a few cheery words of greeting, introduced Miss Robinson. Mrs. Knapp was next to respond to the call for a toast, and Carolyn Gabrilson on behalf of the new chapter spoke a few words in appreciation of the efforts and the kindness of the resident alumni.

Pleasure now gave way to business and a short business meeting was held at Mrs. Curtiss’. Miss Jackson was elected president and Miss Gabrilson corresponding secretary.

On the whole the occasion was one of the most enjoyable and pleasant ever held at I. S. C. and the credit for the success of of the day certainly belongs to the resident members at Ames, Mrs. Knapp, Mrs. Stanton, Mrs. Spray, Miss Freed, Mrs. Tilden, Mrs. Beach, Mrs. Curtiss, Márgaret Stanton and Elizabeth McMullen.

The I.S.C. Student, “Pi Beta Phi Installation,” 3 March 1906.

Issue: 3 March 1906

After a 15 year absence, Pi Beta Phi returned to campus in spring 1906. The Iowa Gamma chapter was originally established on campus in 1877 as the first sorority at Iowa State. 

Pi Beta Phi had several residences in its early years. In spring 1907, the College Directory lists its residence somewhere “South” of campus. For the 1907-08 school year, it is at 118 North Hyland (today, it’s a parking lot), but spent the 1908-09 school year at a location somewhere in “Ames” – meaning on the east side of Squaw Creek. In fall 1909, the sorority moved to 209 Welch (about where Pizza Pit and Welch Avenue Station are today) and stayed there for two years. In fall 1911, it moved to 129 Ash, where it remained for a while.

Ames Evening Times, “Pi Beta Phi,” 6 Jan 1916.

Greek Community Re-establishing at Iowa State

Court upholds fraternity ban (1894)
Fraternities (re)approved (1904)

ORIGINAL TWO: Delta Tau Delta (1911) | Pi Beta Phi (1906)

NATIONAL FRATERNITIES: Acacia (1909) | Alpha Tau Omega (1908) | Beta Theta Pi (1905) | Kappa Sigma (1909) | Phi Gamma Delta (1907) | Phi Sigma Kappa (1911) | Sigma Alpha Epsilon (1905) | Sigma Nu (1904) | Theta Xi (1909)

NATIONAL SORORITIES: Alpha Delta Pi (1911)

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