On May 3, 1997, 62 collegiate women became the first members of Iota Beta chapter at St. Mary’s in San Antonio, Texas.
Court of Ivy took place on May 2. Laura Brockman (Epsilon Omega-Texas A&M) and Kara Metz Hallenberger (Epsilon Omega-Texas A&M) conducted the ceremony. Assisting with the ceremony were collegians from Omega (Texas), Epsilon Omega (Texas A&M) and Delta Beta (Texas A&M Commerce).
After initiation, new members and guests attended a reception at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel. International representatives, local alumnae, university officials, family and friends attended the celebration. Valerie Lawlor (Omicron-Missouri) served as toastmistress of ceremonies.
After the presentation of the charter members, Karan Johnson (Alpha Lambda-Alumnae Initiate), St. Mary’s dean of student affairs and campus adviser, thanked International and congratulated the women on their accomplishments. Cammie Arnold Todd (Gamma Omega-Midwestern State), president of the San Antonio, Texas, alumnae chapter, presented Chapter President Gladys Del Fierro (Iota Beta-St. Mary’s) with a Lazy Phi badge.
On behalf of the Alpha Phi Foundation and in honor of the new chapter, Board Member Sheila George Bright (Gamma Iota-Texas Tech) presented a $1,000 donation to Rose Ann Fely of the University Health Systems Development Corporation.
Vice President-Finance Barbara Thomas (Gamma Iota-Texas Tech), Foundation Director Deana Koonsman Gage (Gamma Iota-Texas Tech), Darcell Atwill Weller (Gamma Iota-Texas Tech) and Director of Training and Development Denise Jung Reens (Epsilon Delta-Northern Illinois) also attended the reception. Jennifer Smith (Gamma Iota-Texas Tech) served as field consultant during the establishment.
Before Alpha Phi installed Iota Beta-St. Mary’s, these women called their group In Pursuit of Something Challenging. The bond between these women and Alpha Phi was instant, with many of the women remarking that they felt an immediate connection after Alpha Phi’s formal presentation in October.
The women were formally pinned in November and established in February. After a few months of aggressive member recruitment, these women achieved their goals for installation.