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Beta Chi

Bucknell University

Feb 14th, 1948

Founding Date

Margery Robinson Phillips (Sigma-Washington), served as director of extension and recruitment on the Executive Board from 1946-48 and led the Fraternity into a new expansionist era. Until this time, Alpha Phi had preferred to remain small, cautious and elitist, a policy the Fraternity thought would result in strength. The Fraternity boasted it had never lost a collegiate chapter. 


However, many women’s fraternities surpassed Alpha Phi in size. For years, the Fraternity favored placing chapters on university, not college campuses and preferred those with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. By 1943 Alpha Phi had only 39 collegiate chapters. Margery Phillips noted Delta Gamma’s rapid expansion during the 1940s and felt Alpha Phi must do the same. Eleven new chapters were installed during the 1940s, Beta Chi among them. Beta Chi was welcomed into the Sisterhood at the June 1948 Convention in Colorado.


Alpha Phi’s Beta Chi chapter began as a local sorority, Phi Tau Sigma, in 1946 on the Bucknell campus. The chapter was one of eleven new chapters installed during the 1940s, which increased the number of Alpha Phi chapters by 30%. Phi Tau Sigma became the Beta Chi chapter of Alpha Phi on February 14, 1948. It was the first chapter established in Pennsylvania. 


The appeal of the Greek system meant that you could live in the best building on campus in those days—Hunt Hall—in junior and senior years. Women were required to live on campus, and Alpha Phi’s “suite” was on the first floor—very appealing because at that time there were no elevators in any of the buildings. Hunt Hall is still where women’s fraternities are housed. Very few people are allowed to live off campus, even now.