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HistoryIT | We Give History A Future

Beta Iota

West Virginia University

Apr 10th, 1930

Founding Date

It was dinner on the evening of March seventh that brought the thrilling decree by telegram to the members in the Chi Delta Phi house. Not until at least an hour later could it be communicated to all the other members scattered about the town that a little scrap of paper 8 by 10 had revealed: “Chi Delta Phi petition favorably accepted by Alpha Phi. Congratulations! Letter follows.” How much those twelve words meant can never be described. Only the sight of that little yellow slip after it had been crumpled, with joy and uncrumpled dozens of times, and finally, smoothed carefully, framed, and hung proudly on the walls, might express the feelings then. The little plaque was an inspiration for weeks to follow. In the never-to-be-forgotten “special meeting” that evening they decided to keep their wonderful secret until a few nights before installation. That night, by coincidence, two of the members were treating the rest of the fraternity to a radio dance, but knowing smiles and shining eyes were all that even hinted that Chi Delta Phi had a secret. The days ahead brought an increasing realization of just how much there was to do in order to prepare themselves to become Alpha Phis worthy of the name. 


On Tuesday, April seventh, just a month after that telegram, it was announced to the world that Chi Delta Phi would soon be established as Beta Iota of Alpha Phi. It had seemed a long time to wait for the triumph but the flowers and messages that poured in upon them were the reward for their patience. It was a happy feeling knowing that they had friends who were glad that their dreams had come true. Mrs. Jones, the national president, and Mrs. Lindsay, the district governor, arrived on Thursday, April tenth, and the next day brought Flora Brown and Alice Onen from Zeta, and Jeannette Hayes, Helen Hotchkiss, and Lucile Pool from Rho, who were to take part in the installation. The new member ceremony was held on Friday. 


The banquet was held at the Country Club and congratulations were themed around “the tower of Alpha Phi.” Faith Lawrence served as toastmistress and began painting the inspiration surrounding that “tower.” Ruth Noer (Iota-Wisconsin) spoke of the journey new members were embarking on, while Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Lindsay discussed the building and caption of the “tower.” Flora Brown (Zeta-Goucher) and Alice Onen (Zeta-Goucher) spoke as “guides to the tower.” Lucile Pool (Rho-Ohio State) spoke about life in the tower, and Elizabeth Shriver (Beta Iota-West Virginia) shared a message from the initiates about entering the tower. The next day, a reception took place at Elizabeth Moore Hall on the university campus. Part of the themed toast read:


“While fond hearts turn

To days too swiftly gone,

Blest by the true and tender love

That made the many one

While yet we stand, a sister band

United strong, and free

Here, heart to heart, and hand to hand

I pledge you Alpha Phi.”