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Zeta Eta

Newberry College

Apr 22nd, 1977

Founding Date

Zeta Eta chapter of Alpha Phi began in November 1975 as a social group which called itself “The Spirit of ‘76 Club.” This group of approximately twenty women, was told to inquire about all the different sororities they could over the Christmas holidays. In February of 1976, this group at Newberry College, Newberry, South Carolina, officially became a new chapter of Alpha Phi.


When formal recruitment came in the fall of that same year, only seven women of the original group remained. With much hard work and determination, they prepared to face recruitment. As few in number as they were, these seven women, along with the chapter adviser, Iris Rodelsperger, outsung and cheered the other two sororities and put on a first rate recruitment. At the end of recruitment, the number of Alpha Phis at Newberry College was thirteen. 


Two weeks after formal recruitment, informal recruitment was held. The next day bids went out, and the Alpha Phis added six more to the group. Now they numbered nineteen! Then, at a taffy pull, they recruited three more. 


On April 22, 1977, eighteen members were initiated as Alpha Phis. 


They traveled to Lander College, about forty miles away, for the initiation ceremony, conducted by the Alpha Phis of Epsilon Mu chapter.


Throughout the first year on campus, the Alpha Phis were associate members of Panhellenic by invitation of the other two sororities, Alpha Xi Delta and Kappa Delta. 


Beginning with the 1977-78 school year the chapter had a house in Carol Courts with the other sororities. The house was the smallest of the five houses, two of which were men’s fraternity houses, Kappa Alpha and Alpha Tau Omega. The house had four apartments, housing seventeen members.


Initiation, conducted by the Lander chapter Alpha Phis, was on Monday evening, April 24.


On Tuesday April 25, they had a reception at the home of the president of Newberry College, and his wife, Dr. and Mrs. Glen Whitesides. All the students, faculty and parents were invited to attend. A large turnout of guests witnessed the signing of the charter, which was presented to the chapter by Director of Chapters South Louise Strange McNeil (Beta Mu-Alabama). Attending District Governor Carole Boswell (Gamma Mu-Georgia State) and NPC delegate Betty Mullins Jones (Gamma-DePauw). 


There were thirty-five signatures on the Newberry charter. They represented both the members initiated in April 1977, and those initiated in April 1978. 


Following the chartering banquet, Betty Mullins Jones gave the main address. Dr. Whitesides extended a welcome to the chapter from the college.