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Gamma Chi

Portland State University

May 9th, 1959

Founding Date

The year 1959 marked the 100th Anniversary of the granting of Statehood to Oregon, and Oregon Alpha Phis were also celebrating, along with their Centennial, the founding of a fourth collegiate Alpha Phi chapter in the state. On May 9 and 10, Gamma Chi chapter of Alpha Phi was formally installed at Portland State College.


Gamma Chi chapter of Alpha Phi had been in existence as Vikes Sorority for ten years. It was the oldest women’s group at Portland State and had many fine ideals and traditions. The 39 collegiate members of Gamma Chi held a large portion of the elective offices at Portland State. 


Installation weekend for Gamma Chi took place on May 9 and 10 with Catherine Hansen Hillard (Beta Delta-UCLA), director of finance, and Helen Carson Plumb (Tau-Oregon), district governor, as installing officers. The installation committee was composed of Elizabeth Carson Sailor (Tau-Oregon), chairman, and Wilma Enke Baldridge (Tau-Oregon) and Janet Goresky Leovich (Tau-Oregon). They were assisted by many local alumnae including Dorothy Hall Grady (Tau-Oregon), Molly Cunningham Harrow (Tau-Oregon). Dorothy Cunningham McKelligon (Tau-Oregon), Phyllis Robideaux Wiener (Pi-North Dakota), Margaret Chambreau Lindgren (Sigma-Washington), Betty McCracken McDowell (Tau-Oregon), Charlotte Anderson, Nancy Hodecker Johnson (Tau-Oregon), Joann Jenkins, Catherine West Curry (Tau-Oregon), Eileen Carroll Massey (Tau-Oregon), Jeanne Aronson Wilhelm (Tau-Oregon), Florence Johnson Borquist (Tau-Oregon), Polly Jorgenson Johnson, Claudia Bartrum McMahon (Tau-Oregon) and many others.


The initiation ceremony was conducted by Beta Upsilon chapter assisted by Gamma Tau chapter on Saturday at the Dolph Park home of Wilma Baldridge and was followed by a formal banquet in the evening at the Rose Bowl of the Multnomah Hotel. Barbara Treece Ellison (Tau-Oregon), state chairman of Oregon, presented Alpha Phi bracelets to the outstanding junior girl from each of the four Alpha Phi chapters in the state.


The banquet theme was woven around the song “Alpha Phi Toujours.” Toastmistress was Helen Carson Plumb. Edith McPherson, president of the new group, responded with “Sing It When the Skies Are Bright,” followed by Catherine Hillard with “Speed the Message Swift and Clear” and Janet Leovich with “Mightier, Vaster Grows our Throng.” Wilma Baldridge read greetings from National Panhellenic from Ruth Knight Vos. Gifts to the new chapter were presented by Elizabeth Sailor. They included recognition pins for all the initiates, a white engraved Bible, a book of memorabilia from Alpha chapter, a guest book, two silver trays from the alumnae of Corvallis and Salem and the collegiates of Beta Upsilon and Gamma Tau chapters, and president’s pin from the Portland alumnae.


The reception, model meeting and installation ceremonies were held in the spacious lounge of the Student Center. Tau chapter conducted the model meeting and acted as hostesses at the reception along with representatives from Willamette (Gamma Tau) and Oregon State (Beta Upsilon). One of the events of the day was the informal singing by members of Oregon (Tau).