A Ritual Conversation with Grand President Lisa Gamel Scott

Pi Beta Phi Ritual is more than the words we say, it’s the guiding principles by which we live. As we wrap-up National Ritual Celebration Week, we invite you to consider how our Ritual provides meaning to the things we say, think and do. We recently asked Grand President Lisa Gamel Scott to reflect on the importance of Pi Beta Phi Ritual in her life—below is what she had to say!  

Q: What does Pi Beta Phi Ritual mean to you?   

A: Pi Phi's Ritual reminds me of the deep love among sisters and friends, and the deep appreciation I have for an organization that means so much to me. 

Q: How have you grown from our Ritual? 

A: For me, the most meaningful part of Ritual is the Creed. This is Pi Beta Phi’s value statement which has transcended for more than 150 years with words to model and live by. 

Q: What have you learned from practicing our Ritual?  

A: Like so many Pi Phis, especially those who have led Ritual, I’ve memorized it. When you get to know Ritual this well, you have an opportunity to think about the impact of every word—both the meaning and intent. We know the words we use are important.  

While Ritual is an important guide for how I live my life and lead Pi Phi, not every word personally resonates with me.  I must remind myself that Ritual was created in the early 1900s by members who lived in an era steeped in Christian values and traditions. I love the organizational history of Ritual and I understand the meaning and the intent—it inspires me to do and be my best. I’ve also taken time to think about the impact of our Ritual and recognize that for some sisters the impact may not be today what was intended when Ritual was drafted over a century ago.  

So, I guess one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from reciting our Ritual is that I can’t just make Ritual a ceremony, I have to make it a conversation. I have to do more than say the words, but I have to listen and learn how Ritual impacts others. If you do this too, I think you may start to see the many layers our Ritual brings and how it ties us together.  

Q: How does Ritual keep us connected?   

A: I appreciate the traditions, history and foundations of all organizations. Whether a motto, pledge or other form of expression, it’s wonderful to have words and symbols that are meaningful to members . For Pi Phi, our Ritual connects each member of our sisterhood because it's something we all know and share. 

In honor of National Ritual Celebration Week, we encourage you to spend time reflecting on how you live our Ritual every day—whether it be proudly wearing your badge, living our core values or singing the Pi Phi Symphony. 

Published March 11, 2022