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Timeline

Timeline

Pi Beta Phi has a long record of leadership. Here are some of the most important dates in Pi Phi history.

1636 Harvard University was established to provide the colonies with educated clergymen.
1776 Phi Beta Kappa, the first Greek-letter society, was founded.
1837 Oberlin College admitted women making it the first coeducational institution and Mount Holyoke College was established as the first women's college.
1867 I.C. Sorosis was founded on April 28,1867 at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois.
1867 The first convention was held at the home of Fannie Thomson in Oquawka, Illinois.
1868 A second chapter was installed by Libbie Brook at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
1874 Monmouth College ordered all fraternities to disband, the chapter continued to exist sub rosa (underground) and members were initiated as late as 1883.
1882 The colors, wine and silver blue, were adopted at the Burlington Convention.
1884  At the Iowa City Convention, the Alpha Chapter was asked to give up its charter because it ceased to exist.
1885 The first edition of The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi was published by Kansas Alpha at the University of Kansas. The journal was identified as the Official Organ of Pi Beta Phi.
1888 By convention vote, the organization's name changed from I.C. Sorosis to Pi Beta Phi. The three Greek letters had been the Fraternity's motto. The collegiate chapters had been using the Greek-letters before the change became official. The organization remained the same. To signify the oneness of the organization, the eagle in the coat of arms holds an IC in one talon and a Pi Beta Phi badge in the other.
1891

Two delegates met with representatives of six other women's fraternities in Boston at the invitation of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Much was discussed but little was accomplished.

1893 A National Alumnae Department was organized. Emma Harper Turner was its first president.
1902 Pi Beta Phi became one of the seven founding members of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC). The seven groups met in Chicago at the invitation of Alpha Phi. 
1908 Ontario Alpha was installed as Pi Beta Phi's first Canadian chapter. May Lansfield Keller installed the chapter at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. 
1910 The Swarthmore Convention body voted to establish a settlement school in the Appalachian Mountains.
1912 The Pi Beta Phi Settlement School opened in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Della "Miss Dell" Gillette (Morgan), Illinois Zeta, was the first Pi Beta Phi member to teach at the school.
1913 An Alumnae Advisory Committee (AAC) was organized for each collegiate chapter.
1924 A portrait of First Lady Grace Goodhue Coolidge, Vermont Beta, was presented by the Fraternity to the United States. More than 1,100 Pi Phis gathered at the White House for the portrait's unveiling.
1925 A Central Office, a room in a chapter officer's home in West Hartford, Connecticut, was established as the first national Headquarters.
1928 Illinois Alpha was reestablished at Monmouth College. Five of the six living Founders – Libbie Brook Gaddis, Clara Brownlee Hutchinson, Fannie Whitenack Libbey, Inez Smith Soule and Margaret Campbell – attended the festivities. Only Jennie Horne Turnbull was unable to attend. 
1940 Holt House, at 402 East First Avenue in Monmouth, Illinois, founding place of Pi Beta Phi, was purchased at a delinquent tax auction. 
1946 The Emma Harper Turner Memorial Fund was established to help Pi Phis in need. 
1952 A Canadian Philanthropy Project was established.
1967 Arrow in the Arctic, a philanthropy project providing books to libraries in the northern Canadian provinces, was established.
1967 Pi Beta Phi celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding with a centennial project—the development of an arts and crafts school in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, known as Arrowmont. A highlight of that year’s Convention in Chicago, Illinois, was a bus trip to Monmouth, where a $50,000 gift toward Monmouth College’s new library was announced. 
1970 The Emma Harper Turner building at Arrowmont was completed. It contains classrooms, administrative offices, art galleries, a library, and a book and art supply store. at Pi Beta Phi Settlement School.  
1980 A Friendship Fund was established to allow alumnae the opportunity to ensure the future of the Pi Beta Phi sisterhood through annual giving.
1990 The Links to Literacy program, focusing on service to local communities, debuted.
1990 Pi Beta Phi Foundation was founded to enable the fraternity to realize its mission and ensure the future of the sisterhood. The Foundation is a vehicle whereby tax deductible donations can be made to fund qualifying programs. These programs include scholarships, educational programming, fraternity heritage, philanthropic efforts and charitable programs.
1992 The Marianne Reid Wild Society for planned giving was established to provide members the opportunity to remember the Pi Beta Phi Foundation in their estate planning. 
1993 The alumnae department celebrated its 100th year.
1995 Pi Beta Phi assumed a two-year chairmanship of NPC. Past Grand President Jean Wirths Scott, Pennsylvania Beta, served as National Panhellenic Conference Chairman for the 1995-97 biennium.
1997 The Fraternity’s first website was launched.
1999 Alcohol-free Housing Resolution was adopted. No alcohol is permitted on Pi Beta Phi property. Pi Beta Phi property includes property either owned or leased by a Pi Beta Phi chapter or Chapter House Corporation or Fraternity Housing Corporation or designated for the use of a Pi Beta Phi chapter such as a chapter suite in a university dormitory.
2002 The Pi Beta Phi Headquarters building in Town & Country, Missouri was completed and a grand opening was held. 
2003 Champions are Readers® (CAR) third-grade reading program was adopted.
2003 A groundbreaking Leading with Values® member development program was introduced.
2005 A partnership with the National Education Association's Read Across America partnership was formed. Pi Beta Phi also partnered with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.
2005 The Sister-to-Sister Emergency Relief Fund was founded after Hurricane Katrina and continues today in the Emma Harper Turner Fund.
2005 AlcoholEdu® was introduced to undergraduates, with completion of the course a prerequisite for initiation.
2007 Pi Phi partnered with First Book® to bring brand-new books to children from low-income families in communities across the United States.
2008 Pi Beta Phi announced a multi-year $1 million partnership with First Book, which would provide 1 million new books to children in need.
2010 The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi celebrated 125 years of continuous publication.
2010 Pi Beta Phi Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary.
2011 The Fraternity completed its multi-year $1 million partnership with First Book a year and half early. The Fraternity donated 2 million books to children in need through its partnership with First Book.
2011 Pi Beta Phi unveiled a new literacy platform, Read > Lead > Achieve. and new literacy vision, Pi Beta Phi leads the way to a more literate society, at the 2011 Convention in Orlando, Florida.