The Iota Epsilon chapter of Alpha Phi was installed on September 24, 2000 at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan.
The chapter was founded after a local sorority, Beta Sigma Phi, dissolved their charter and members had the choice to also initiate as Alpha Phi. Some went alum remaining only 'Beta Sig' yet most opted in to becoming Alpha Phi. The majority of men's organizations on campus had also started out as locals that later converted to inter/national chapters and Beta Sigma Phi was the last Greek Council organization on campus to follow suit seeking more support and sustainable growth from a larger parent organization. The double honor was becoming part of Alpha Phi and Alpha Phi becoming part of us was incredibly impactful in the decision making process. Kettering is a co-op university with students rotating academic terms with work terms resulting in two student bodies, A-Section and B-Section. The B-Section Beta Sig's retained their charter and thus Alpha Phi was only on campus half the year in summer and winter terms. One of the many things that appealed to the women that had opted in from Beta Sig was Alpha Phi's symbol the phi bear. The Beta Sigs also used a teddy bear as one of their symbols and it was a way of subtly connecting past with present and future to continue that legacy forward. Iota Epsilon continues a Beta Sig tradition, the Teddy Bear Ceremony for new initiates that every single Iota Epsilon initiate has participated in. Each Big will bring her bear and a bear for her Little(s). Each bear is customized to represent the woman joining the chapter as designed by her Big as a gift to her Little emphasizing the new initiate's personality and traits she brings to the sisterhood. The bears are hidden when the new initiates enter the room. Members that have previously attended a teddy bear ceremony will go around and share their bear with the chapter, holding up the bear, presenting her by name, and sharing the bear's backstory. Once around to women who have Littles receiving bears, the Big will share her own bear and then unhide the bear for her Little to present to her with the bear's name and backstory.
500 N Chevrolet Avenue, Flint, Michigan
Sep 24th, 2000