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Tau

University of Oregon

Jan 8th, 1915

Founding Date

In 1912, Mabel Holmes Parson (Theta-Michigan) was appointed assistant professor at the University of Oregon. It was she, along with Kathryn Deuel Duryea (Alpha-Syracuse), also a professor at the university, who would help bring a new chapter of Alpha Phi to another western university. On January 8, 1915, owing to Mabel’s “tireless efforts and never failing optimism,” coupled with “the enthusiastic assistance of the Portland Alpha Phis,” Alpha Phi happily welcomed its newest baby chapter: Tau chapter at the University of Oregon. Alpha Phi would be the eighth sorority to come to the Eugene campus, but, as the new sisters, who called themselves the “Beth Reah” group, reported, “there is a place which she must fill and each and every one of the sixteen charter members is determined to do her best to make the baby chapter one which Alpha Phi will be proud to call hers.” 

 

With great fanfare the chapter was installed, with Frances Staver Twining performing the initiation at the charter members’ rented home on the banks of the Mill Race River. Frances was as delighted to attend the initiation as the new chapter was honored to have her. “The appeal which a college town, and especially college girls, always makes on my imagination and sympathies was fully apparent in the happy anticipation with which I boarded the train for my little journey up the Willamette Valley to Eugene,” Frances reported, “and from the moment that I entered the welcoming atmosphere of the Beth Reah house, I felt myself indeed back again in the good old days.” Following the initiation, a banquet, hosted by Portland Alpha Phis, was held at the Japanese Tea Room of the Osborne Hotel. The event was a delight, with its “artistic menus in bordeaux and silver” and happy toasts. The next day, the sixteen charter members welcomed four hundred guests to a reception at their house. “At the close of the installation service as I stood facing these sixteen founders of our new chapter,”Frances wrote of the installation, “the impression which came most forcibly to me, the message from those eager faces, each with its own peculiar promise of gracious womanhood— was that of poise and strength; the poise that comes from a natural sweetness of mind and heart and of impulses under control, and the strength that comes from a unity that has already been tried and not found wanting.”