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Zeta Upsilon

Washington University

Oct 8th, 1983

Founding Date

The Zeta Upsilon chapter was installed on Saturday, October 8 in St. Louis, Missouri. The installation capped a most successful page in Alpha Phi’s history of extension. Beginning with an exemplary establishment recruitment in January 1983, Zeta Upsilon made rapid progress toward full participation in Washington University’s Greek community and was quickly in line to become installed as a chapter. This smooth development was facilitated by many: an outstanding advisory board headed by Claire Rittendale DeVoto (Omicon-Missouri); a dedicated corporation board led by Sally Forbis Poole (Omicron-Missouri), and collegiate chapter members from Missouri and Illinois. 


Installation activities began with Inspiration Week, hosted by alumnae from the St. Louis area. A different function was held each night, and the week was concluded with a lovely Court of Ivy led by members of the Delta Chi (William Woods) chapter. The initiation ceremony was performed by members of the Omicron (Missouri) chapter, together with installation officers Phyllis Sims Selig (Gamma Delta-Kansas), International Ceremonies and Ritual Chairman; Nancy Wittgen Burks Devoe (Gamma-DePauw), International President, and Valerie Lawlor (Omicron-Missouri), International Vice President-Extension. 


In addition to the 50 new collegiate initiates, four alumnae initiates participated in the installation. Over 150 members, friends and guests attended the celebration brunch at Cheshire Inn following the initiation service. Dean of Students Harry Kisker brought greetings from the university and congratulated Alpha Phi for the excellent addition it had made to the campus. Other greetings were brought from Alpha Phi’s collegiate chapters by Peggy Bowsher Aoki (Omicron-Missouri), president of Omicron chapter, and from alumnae chapters by Karen Alumbaugh Simpson (Upsilon-Washburn), District IX Governor and Sandy Gower (Delta Eta-Adrian), president of St. Louis Gateway Alumnae Chapter. 


Betsy Burns Beisecker (Gamma Delta-Kansas), representing the Alpha Phi Foundation, commemorated the occasion by presenting a gift of $1,000 to the Children’s Cardiology Division of the St. Louis Children’s Hospital. 


International President Nancy Wittgen Burks DeVoe (Gamma-DePauw) welcomed the newest members to the Fraternity with a reminder that each woman should “…conduct herself morally, mentally and physically in a manner that bespeaks pride in self and respect for the goals and ideals of our Fraternity.” Chapter president Lisa Miller Lanier (Zeta Upsilon-Washington University) responded to this challenge with the promise to “…reach even greater heights in the years to come.” 


The culmination of the day was the reception, at which the members of Zeta Upsilon signed their chapter’s charter. Panhellenic guests were on hand to congratulate the new chapter and honored the occasion with the presentation of a crystal bowl for the new Alpha Phi suite. 


The exciting week was made possible by the efforts of Mary Beth Peterson Powell (Gamma Gamma-Drury), installation chairman, and her assistant, Extension Director, Kathy Clifford.