We are proud to say our first Instagram contest was a huge hit! We received more than 190 submissions and we wish we could declare each of them the winner. We couldn’t even keep it to three finalists, so we broadened it to nine and one grand prize winner. We hope you enjoy these photos.
And the winner is…
We hope to get even more submissions in May! Check out our Instagram account today @pibetaphihq to see our May contest announcement. Remember that we love creative photos, so think outside the box. Ring ching!
Halfway through April, we here at Pi Phi Headquarters began the countdown to Founders’ Day! For the past two weeks, we have offered our “12 Ways to Celebrate Founders’ Day!”
Day 1 began with promoting the newest alumnae Leading with Values seminar created with Founders’ Day in mind. It will make a great addition to any Founders’ Day celebration!
Day 2 left us feeling nostalgic by remembering those wonderful alumnae who helped make sure Pi Phis across the country had a great collegiate experience. We encouraged everyone to pay it forward and volunteer to be an Alumnae Advisory Committee or Chapter House Corporation member.
Day 3 provided a strong call to action for our members. We asked you to reflect on why you should pay your $25 annual alumna dues. The answer is simple: your dues help support a variety of initiatives including leadership development opportunities for alumnae and collegians, production of The Arrow and technology improvements. Why not help support the sustainability of our organization?!
Day 4 reminded us of Pi Phi’s commitment to literacy, which started more than 100 years ago. We encouraged everyone to join the Pi Phi Virtual Book Club, Pi Phi Pages! We can’t help children learn to read, lead and achieve unless we do it ourselves!
Day 5 was a reminder to update your member profile on the Pi Phi website! Your sisters can’t connect with you if they can’t find you.
Day 6 leapfrogged off of Day 5 by challenging our members to pick one Pi Phi sister they haven’t heard from in a while, look her up in the Sister Search and send her a quick email or text to let her know you are thinking of her.
As we’re more than halfway through our countdown, Day 7 asked that we honor our founders with a gift to Pi Beta Phi Foundation! It’s one way to thank these pioneering women for the mission and inspiration they passed on to all of us. Gifts, both large and small, strengthen our sisterhood and create societal benefits that make our founders’ spirit shine.
Day 8 asked us to celebrate our founders by reading the latest issue of The Arrow. Just as it did in its first issue in May 1885, The Arrow continues to “report the business of the Fraternity and bind our members together for lifetime.”
Day 9 encouraged our members, who are now well-versed in “Sister Search,” to plan a reunion. Let the Fraternity’s official Travel Agent, Kansas Alpha Janet Duncan Nelson and her team of travel professionals at Jade Travel, help plan your next Pi Phi reunion or getaway!
Day 10 persuaded us to use social media in a Pi Phi way. By entering the April Instagram contest, Pi Phis have the chance to win this fabulous coffee table book, signed by Fraternity Historian and Archivist Fran DeSimone Becque. All we asked for were your Founders’ Day celebration photos!
Day 11 was a history lesson. Did you know the very first Pi Phi convention was held in August 1867 at Pi Phi Founder Fannie Thomson’s home in Oquakwa, Illinois? This June, Pi Phis from Ocean to Ocean can come together just as our founders did to celebrate our shared bonds of sisterhood. Don’t miss the fun in San Diego! The registration deadline is Wednesday, May 1.
And finally, Day 12 arrived. We showed the world what it means to be Pi Phi Proud by uploading the badge as our profile picture on Facebook!
It was 146 years ago today, 12 women at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, had the vision to form the first secret society for women, Pi Beta Phi. At a time when only five state universities were coed, these courageous women set the stage for a thriving organization that continues to enrich the lives of many during their collegiate years and beyond. Happy Founders’ Day!
With convention less than 90 days away, it’s time to start saving your pennies! While most chapters and alumnae organizations have money allotted for their convention delegates, it’s always a good idea to bring spending money. Here are some tips to help you start saving now.
- Cut out your daily/weekly/bi-weekly Starbucks habit. After all, you’ll want to treat yourself with the Starbucks in the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina at convention!
- Resist the urge to go shopping now. Save your spending money for shopping Pi Phi Express at convention!
- Do a clothing swap with other Pi Phi sisters. It’s a great way to put together new outfits for convention without spending a dime!
- Use your weekly free time between now and convention to bond with friends and sisters. Volunteer together or find free activities to do in your town!
- Find roommates for convention. A hotel room is much less expensive when split four ways.
Convention registration is open now. Click here to register today! We can’t wait to see you in San Diego!
This post is courtesy of Historian Fran Becque as part of her continuing series on Pi Phi heritage.
When our 12 founders created our Fraternity, they were familiar with the men’s fraternities then at Monmouth College — Beta Theta Pi and Delta Tau Delta. Beta Theta Pi’s badge is an eight-sided shield, the sides of which curve inward. Delta Tau Delta’s badge is a square shield with four concave sides.
Our founders were pioneers. Not only did they create a women’s organization based on the men’s fraternity model, but they also used a symbol, the arrow, as our Fraternity’s badge.
The Encyclopedia Britannica describes the arrow as a “a thin wooden shaft with a feathered tail.” It is fitted “to the string by a notch in the end of the shaft and is drawn back until sufficient tension is produced in the bow so that when released it will propel the arrow.” The simple and graceful arrow takes flight and soars to a goal.
The official badge was a topic of discussion for a week after the founding of I.C. Sorosis in the southwest second-floor bedroom of Major Jacob Holt’s home in the room he rented to Ada Bruen and Libbie Brook. Ada later said that the decision took that long because the founders did not want to come to a “hasty conclusion regarding anything so important.” They discussed the issue with Wilson Lusk, a Monmouth jeweler.
On May 5, 1867, the founders made the decision to choose the gold arrow as their badge. The letters “I C’ were on the wings in black enamel.
On the 14th of May, the women wore their arrows to chapel. As no standard placement of the badge had been agreed to, the women wore the badges in their hair. It would not be until 1906 that the badge was required to be worn on the left side over the heart. The early badges were a little longer than the present one-inch size.
After the name change of our organization from I.C. Sorosis to our Greek motto, Pi Beta Phi, in 1888, the badge took on the Greek letters where the “I C” had been. The enameling was white and, for the first time, jeweling of the badge was permitted. The first jeweled Pi Beta Phi badge was presented to Grand President Rainie Adamson Small, Illinois Beta, who presided over the momentous convention. Her badge contained diamonds and pearls.
Pi Phis have followed a tradition of purchasing badges with jewels on the shaft or in the point. Sapphires, emeralds, aquamarines, garnets, rubies and pink sapphires are among the jewels available on the Pi Beta Phi badge.
This post is courtesy of Historian Fran Becque as part of her continuing series on Pi Phi heritage.
Sincere Friendship is one of Pi Beta Phi’s core values. It is a value that was present in the very room where our organization was born. And today is the birthday of one of the two women who lived in that room.
Ada Bruen Grier was born on February 12, 1848, in Bloomfield in Orange County, New Jersey. When she was 15, she moved to Monmouth, Illinois. A year later, prior to attending Monmouth College, she taught school. When she entered Monmouth College in 1866, there were no residence halls at the school and nowhere on campus for the students to live. She and Libbie Brook rented the second floor southwest bedroom in Major Holt’s home. In that room at 402 East First Avenue, she and 11 friends founded I.C. Sorosis on April 28, 1867.
Ada later said, “None can tell in full the joys of those years we spent at Monmouth. As the days have come and gone since, the memories of the friends there have never been lost. Even many new friendships formed in other places and at other time have never replaced these of the old I.C.s”
Ada and Libbie would remain dear friends for their entire lives. Ada wrote of Libbie: “The brightest spots in my memory and the warmth of it has remained through all the years. Those Monmouth days were among the happiest of my life. My, but we had good times! Not that it was all play by any means; for college meant work, too, in these early times. The literary societies, with their open meetings, exhibitions, and contests filled a larger place in college life then than now.”
After Ada’s death on March 25, 1924, Libbie Brook Gaddis wrote, “The last letter I received from her has in it a message I will not forget: ‘Libbie – You are the best friend I ever had.’ This best expressed our deep friendship.”
Arizona Alpha Kaylee Higginbotham did not find her calling in life right out of school. After graduating from the University of Arizona in 2002 and Southern Methodist University School of Law in 2005, Kaylee took a job as an associate at a prominent law firm in Dallas, Texas. Representing large companies in all types of litigation, like most big-firm associates, she spent long days in her office researching, writing briefs and preparing for trials.
During one of her rare vacations, Kaylee visited Italy. Immediately, she knew she wanted to live there. But how? Throughout the next five years she frequently asked herself this question. She always loved entertaining friends and cooking. “Growing up in Texas, chowtime was my favorite time with family and friends,” says Kaylee. And in 2010, to learn as much as she could about cooking, she took a job as a kitchen aid at Sur la Table during her evenings after she left the office. She also took an Italian language class at the local university.
In 2011, after what she said was a hard day at the office, she googled on her home computer, “how to work in Italy.” Through her search she found the chance to spend a summer in Italy helping the owners of a gorgeous country home entertain and cook for their guests. So she took the plunge and quit her law firm job. She packed up her three-bedroom home, put her things in storage, said goodbye to her family and friends and chose to pursue a new (Italian) life.
At the end of her first summer in Italy, Kaylee knew there was no place else she wanted to be. “I knew after one week that I had made the right decision to leave my practice and follow my gut,” she says. And she wanted to share her experiences and the things that charmed her about Italy with others. She started her own business, aptly named Chow&Ciao, where she hosts guests for a week in the Italian countryside on the border between Umbria and Tuscany.
During the week, Kaylee’s guests stay at a villa overlooking the hillside and travel each day to different parts of Tuscany and Umbria, visiting wineries, learning cooking tips from a local Italian at his home, touring an olive mill to see how olive oil is made and tasting fresh oil, relaxing at a five-star spa and dining at well-renowned restaurants in the area. Additionally, Kaylee organizes and hosts guests for single day trips and shorter vacations.
“This experience has been a dream come true and I have never been happier or more sure that I am finally doing what I am supposed to be doing,” says Kaylee. Now, she is frequently asked by former colleagues how she decided to make the leap from law to the travel industry. In response, she encourages others to find their true passions and define what success means to them. And the most important things, she says: “is to face your fears. The fear of failure is the only thing that holds any of us back. Once you conquer those fears and believe in yourself, you free yourself to find your true calling and live it.”