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About Us

With nearly 150 years of experience, 138 collegiate chapters and nearly 300 alumnae clubs, Pi Beta Phi offers its members the opportunity to be part of an organization whose mission is to promote friendship, develop women of intellect and integrity, cultivate leadership potential and enrich lives through community service.

Being a Pi Phi means having …

  • A network of sisters and friends who support each other in achieving personal and professional goals, throughout life.  
  • The opportunity to make a difference in the community and in the lives of others through literacy service.  
  • Scholarship opportunities through Pi Beta Phi Foundation.  
  • Access to leadership development through our award-winning member development program, Leading with Values®.  
  • Opportunities for leadership and professional skill development through networking and biennial events, including leadership academies, convention and officer retreats.  
  • Lifelong commitment to and from Pi Beta Phi.  
  • The opportunity to give back, whether through volunteering time and talents or financially.  
  • Pi Phi friendships in college that will last a lifetime.   
  • The opportunity to continue the legacy established in 1867.  

But Pi Phi isn’t just something you participate in during college. Pi Beta Phi offers its alumnae a lifetime of benefits including a network of sisters world-wide, continued literacy service opportunities, graduate and continuing education scholarships through Pi Beta Phi Foundation and, of course, friendships with Pi Phis you’ll meet through work, alumnae clubs or even during a chance encounter.

For Parents

Pi Beta Phi Fraternity is a values-based organization for women. At the basis of the Pi Phi experience are six core values: Integrity; Lifelong Commitment; Honor and Respect; Personal and Intellectual Growth; Philanthropic Service to Others; and Sincere Friendship.

The opportunities Pi Beta Phi can afford your daughter are endless. Through the Fraternity’s signature Read > Lead > Achieve literacy initiative she will have the opportunity to make a difference in her community and in the lives of others through literacy service. Your daughter will also have opportunities for leadership development through our award-winning member development program, Leading with Values®, as well as professional skill development and networking through the Fraternity’s signature events. And let’s not forget the scholastic support, which includes undergraduate, graduate study and continuing education scholarship opportunities provided by Pi Beta Phi Foundation.

What’s even more amazing – her Pi Phi sisterhood will last her lifetime. As an alumna of Pi Beta Phi, she will have access to a worldwide network of sisters and friends who will support her in achieving personal and professional goals, throughout her life. As alumnae, Pi Phis continue to build friendships outside of their individual chapters through professional networking and alumnae clubs.

As a member of Pi Beta Phi, your daughter will be an essential link in a historically rich fraternity founded by remarkable women whose achievements were ahead of their time. She will belong to an organization with high ideals and purposes, whose keynote is friendship — warm, simple and sincere.

Fun Facts

Here's a little trivia, history and information from the vaults of Pi Beta Phi.

The Basics:

  • Pi Beta Phi's nickname is Pi Phi. The colors are Wine and Silver Blue.   
  • The flower is the wine (not red!) carnation.  
  • The badge is a golden arrow with 12 links in the chain. It can be plain or jeweled!  
  • The New Member pin is a golden arrowhead with the Greek letter Beta. Sometimes it's called a dart or a beta pin.  
  • Angels, the unofficial Fraternity symbol, became associated with Pi Phi in the 1930s.  

A Little History:

  • Pi Beta Phi Fraternity was founded on April 28, 1867, at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois.  
  • Pi Beta Phi was one of the nine founders of the National Panhellenic Conference.  
  • Pi Phi is the first women's fraternity to be modeled on the men's groups and the first to start a chapter at another college.  
  • Twelve amazing women started the Fraternity. We refer to them as our founders.  
  • Pi Phi is officially a fraternity, not a sorority. The word "sorority" hadn't been coined in 1867 when Pi Phi was founded.  
  • Pi Phi was founded as I.C. Sorosis. The name was changed to Pi Beta Phi in 1888.  

Extra Info:

  • Famous Pi Phis include: First Ladies Grace Coolidge and Barbara Bush; Actresses Jennifer Garner and Faye Dunaway; Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and many more!  
  • More than 280,000 women have been initiated into Pi Phi since 1867.  
  • There have more than 200 installed chapters across the United States and Canada.   
  • Our oldest chapter is our Illinois Alpha Chapter at Monmouth College installed in 1867.  
  • Our newest chapters were recently chartered in Spring 2015 at Chapman University and University of San Diego.  
  • Pi Beta Phi Foundation awarded 137 scholarships totaling more than $350,000 for the 2015–2016 academic year.  

Pi Phis After College:

  • After graduation, members have the option of joining their local alumnae club. There are nearly 275 alumnae clubs worldwide! Alumnae clubs offer leadership opportunities, community service, social events, and general networking.   
  • Pi Phi’s Members-Only section of www.pibetaphi.org connects you with Pi Phis across the nation and world! By keeping their profiles up-to-date, members can reconnect with old friends, and network with others in similar professional fields.  
  • Pi Beta Phi gives all of its members the opportunity to give back, whether through volunteering your time and talents or financial resources.  
  • Pi Beta Phi Foundation offers alumna scholarship opportunities for graduate and continuing education.  

History

Pi Beta Phi was founded on April 28, 1867, at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. Our 12 founders had the vision to form the first secret society for women patterned after men’s groups at a time when only five state universities admitted women. These courageous women set the stage for a thriving organization continuing to enrich the lives of many during their collegiate years and beyond.

The philosophy of Pi Beta Phi began when the founders created the Fraternity to cultivate lifelong bonds between its members as well as inspire them to achieve the highest and best in life. Throughout its history, Pi Beta Phi has helped young women develop meaningful relationships with others while reaching their personal potential. These relationships help sisters adapt to college life by providing a sense of belonging, mutual support and guidance.

Leadership

At Pi Beta Phi, we consider each member a leader. We have developed a leadership model based on the principles of servant leadership. This model guides our efforts as we strive to develop leadership potential in all of our members through a variety of chapter-based and Fraternity-sponsored programming.

The Fraternity-sponsored Leadership Academies focus on personal and leadership development as well as the mechanics of chapter leadership through a series of general sessions and small group programs. Pi Beta Phi’s convention is not only the biennial business meeting of the organization, but also provides wonderful opportunities for the celebration of sisterhood and honing of leadership skills.

The chapter-based “Members as Leaders” workshop is delivered through Leading with Values®, Pi Beta Phi's member development program, and encourages all members to develop their own potential and to lead through service.

Check out Pi Beta Phi's award-winning member development program, Leading with Values.

Our Fraternity offers many opportunities to be a leader in the chapter, depending on your interests. (Chapters list committees here.)

Philanthropy

Philanthropy: Read > Lead > Achieve®  

At Pi Beta Phi, we believe in the power of reading.

We believe reading always has been – and always will be – a powerful step toward a life of enduring impact. We believe that when one out of four children cannot read, that is one too many. 

We believe in inspiring readers, sparking imaginations and igniting the desire to learn. We believe that readers become leaders. And, we believe reading is the foundation of all that we can achieve in life.

For more than a century, we’ve committed ourselves to creating a more literate and productive society. We’ve changed with the times, but never shifted our vision. So at Pi Beta Phi, we honor the past while we build for the future…

One child … one moment at a time… one life changed forever.  

The Story of One  

Pi Beta Phi believes deeply in the power of reading to help create a more literate and productive society. As Pi Beta Phi’s signature philanthropy, Read > Lead > Achieve draws on more than a century of service and thousands of volunteers to inspire a lifelong love of reading that can unlock true potential.

By the time we celebrate our 150th anniversary in 2017, Pi Beta Phi intends to have built on its legacy of literacy service by positively impacting 1 million lives through Read > Lead > Achieve and The Story of One. All of Pi Beta Phi’s reading initiatives are built on one simple premise, which is the impact we can have when we connect with a child through the power of reading.

To watch The Story of One video, visit www.youtube.com/pibetaphihq.

Read > Lead > Achieve reading initiatives:  

First Book®
In June 2007, Pi Beta Phi announced its corporate partnership with First Book, an international nonprofit organization founded in 1992 with a single mission to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. Together, through innovative programs, First Book and Pi Beta Phi are committed to bringing new books to children from low-income families in communities across the United States and Canada.

Fraternity Day of Service
Since 2005, Pi Phis have been giving their time, talents and treasures to their local communities to promote reading in honor of Fraternity Day of Service on or around March 2. Through Read > Lead > Achieve initiatives like Fraternity Day of Service, Pi Phis make a huge impact in their communities by creating awareness around the importance of reading to children and providing service to others.

Champions are Readers®
Pi Beta Phi’s unique program, Champions are Readers® (CAR) is a reading enrichment program for students in prekindergarten through third grade. The program focuses on providing a mentoring relationship between volunteers and students while focusing on reading strategies for learning. CAR Connect links CAR classrooms with First Book to provide free books to the children being served in the program. Since its launch, more than 30,000 students have participated in the CAR program in the United States and Canada. 

Arrow in the Arctic
Pi Phi's Canadian philanthropy, Arrow in the Arctic, supports literacy in Canada's Northern library systems: the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Established at the 1967 Convention to commemorate the centennials of Canada and Pi Beta Phi, Arrow in the Arctic donations are also helping to preserve the language and culture of the north's Inuit and First Nations. 

Read > Lead > Achieve and Pi Beta Phi Foundation
The Literacy Fund at Pi Beta Phi Foundation provides the financial support for all Read > Lead > Achieve reading initiatives. Chapter support of The Literacy Fund is critical to the success of Read > Lead > Achieve and The Story of One campaign, which will positively impact 1 million lives through reading over the next four years. Click here to learn more about the Foundation and its support of Pi Beta Phi and reading.

Recruitment

Pi Phi chapters use our six core values to help determine recruitment decisions. The movement towards values-based recruitment focuses conversations on organizational values, principals, and standards – ensuring that PNMs are joining a sisterhood that reflects what they hope to get out of the sorority experience. Values-based recruitment provides a more realistic setting for a PNM to learn about membership expectations and what life looks like after joining an organization. Click here to learn more about Pi Phi’s six core values!    

The following eleven statements are either true or false. When using the provided text on your chapter’s website, please be sure to copy and paste not only the statement, but also the answer!  

1. Every Potential New Member (PNM) needs a recommendation letter submitted on her behalf in order to receive a bid to membership.  

FALSE! Pi Phi’s recommendation letter is called the Recruitment Information Form, or RIF. RIFs are not required, but they are very helpful! Only Pi Phi alumnae are allowed to complete and submit a RIF. If a PNM does not know a Pi Phi alumna to write a RIF for her, she may email recruitment@pibetaphi.org to be put into contact with an alumna from her area.  

2. Academic achievements, community involvement and leadership roles during both high school and college will benefit a PNM during the recruitment process.  

TRUE! According to the National Panhellenic Conference Unanimous Agreements, a college Panhellenic may not require a scholastic grade point average as a condition for a woman's participation in the membership recruitment process. Panhellenic members on campus will notify women going through recruitment of individual chapter GPA requirements. To become an initiated member of Pi Beta Phi, a New Member must have a GPA of 2.0 or above.   

3. A copy of your resume, your transcripts, and multiple photos must be submitted to the collegiate chapter in order for your RIF to be written by an alumna or accepted by a chapter.  

FALSE! All that must be sent to the chapter is one completed RIF.An alumna is welcome to submit a photo and/or resume to the collegiate chapter along with their completed RIF, however when the PNM signs up for formal recruitment through the university, she is often required to provide that information herself. High school transcripts do not need to be provided to the chapter, as a GPA is requested on the RIF or can be provided by the university. One RIF is all that is necessary.   

4. A PNM with multiple RIFs has a better chance of receiving a bid.  

FALSE! One RIF is all that is needed. Multiple RIFs or letters of recommendation do not increase the chances that a chapter will pledge a PNM! Chapters consider whether or not a PNM has sponsorship, not the number of endorsements she has from alumnae.   

5. RIFs must be submitted to an alumnae club or to Pi Beta Phi Headquarters.  

FALSE! Once an alumna completes the RIF, she should mail it directly to the collegiate chapter. The chapter’s address and Vice President of Membership’s information can be found on www.pibetaphi.org. RIFs do not have to be mailed to an alumnae club unless requested by the club’s Alumnae Club Recruitment Information Chairman, or ACRIC. Do not mail RIFs to Headquarters.   

6. An alumna can submit a RIF for a PNM participating in recruitment at any university where a Pi Phi chapter exists.  

TRUE! An alumna can submit a RIF for a PNM participating in recruitment at any university where a Pi Phi chapter exists.    

7. Both collegiate and alumnae members of Pi Phi can submit a RIF.  

FALSE! An alumnae member can complete both a Legacy Introduction Form and a RIF for the same PNM. A collegiate member cannot submit a RIF, but can submit a Legacy Introduction Form.   

8. A legacy of Pi Beta Phi isa daughter, sister, or granddaughter of an initiated member of Pi Phi.  

TRUE! According to Pi Beta Phi’s Constitution and Statutes, a daughter, sister, or granddaughter of an initiated member shall be considered a legacy of the Fraternity. Special consideration shall be given to legacies whose qualifications are comparable to those of other PNMs. Keep in mind that not all National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) groups have the same definition of a legacy; this definition is specific to Pi Phi.   

9. A Legacy Introduction Form is the same thing as a Recruitment Information Form.  

FALSE! The Legacy Introduction Form is different from the Recruitment Information Form, or RIF, and does not take its place. Although not required, Pi Phi’s Legacy Introduction Form is a great way to inform a chapter that a legacy may be interested in recruitment. This form can be completed by an alumnae member, collegiate member, or friend of a PNM via Pi Phi’s website. A RIF provides sponsorship to a PNM for membership in Pi Phi; a Legacy Introduction Form does not. The RIF must be completed by an alumnae member and mailed directly to the chapter.

10. A Pi Beta Phi legacy will always receive a bid for membership.  

FALSE! Pi Beta Phi recognizes the value of the special relationship between legacies. However, recruitment is a mutual selection process between a PNM and a Pi Phi chapter. Collegiate chapters must invite legacies to a minimum of one invitational round. Should a legacy be invited to Preference Round, she shall be placed at the top of the chapter’s bid list.Please visit www.pibetaphi.org/recruitment to learn more about Pi Phi’s legacy policy.

11. If a woman accepts a bid for membership but later decides that sorority is not a right fit, she has the ability to join another organization.  

TRUE! Any woman who signs a Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement (MRABA) and receives a bid at the end of the membership recruitment will be bound by the MRABA until the next primary membership recruitment period at the same college or university, according to NPC. This means that if a woman decides to break her pledge to an organization, she must wait until the next formal recruitment to pledge to another organization. However,if a woman is or has ever been an initiated member of an existing NPC fraternity, she shall not be eligible for membership in another NPC fraternity.  

Still have questions about Pi Phi policies or the formal recruitment process? Please email Pi Beta Phi Fraternity Headquarters at recruitment@pibetaphi.org

Symbols

Symbols are an important part of the understanding and appreciation of the Fraternity, serving as outward signs of unspoken ideals that all Pi Phis share.

The Badge
The badge of I.C. Sorosis, which was chosen by the founders in 1867, consisted of a golden arrow with the letters "IC" on its wings. When the name of the Fraternity was changed to Pi Beta Phi, the Greek letters replaced the "IC" on the wings. At the Yellowstone National Park Convention in 1934, the convention body voted to limit the links in the chain of the badge to 12 — one for each founder.

Upon initiation, a member is given a gold-filled arrow badge. If she wishes, she may order a jeweled badge through Headquarters at nominal cost. Only initiated members of Pi Beta Phi wear the golden arrow badge, over the heart, with the tip of the arrow pointed up.

The Crest
The crest, or coat of arms, of Pi Beta Phi is a lozenge blazoned with the Brownlee family crest. An eagle is displayed in the middle, on top of which is the seal of Monmouth College (where Pi Phi was founded). The blazing sun, with the Latin word LUX in the center, is on the eagle's chest. In the eagle's right talon is the monogram "IC," and the left talon holds the arrow of Pi Beta Phi.

The lozenge signifies that the arms represent a women's organization; the eagle, by holding the "IC" in one talon and Pi Beta Phi arrow in the other, signifies the absolute identity between I.C. Sorosis and Pi Beta Phi Fraternity. The coat of arms was adopted as the official fraternity crest at the 1912 Evanston Convention.

The Carnation
Adopted at the 1890 Galesburg Convention, the wine carnation became the official flower, with these words: "The roots of the flower are the founders, for from them the whole plant grew ... the stem represents the Grand Council. It gives to us what was received from the roots. It gives us height and strength ... the leaves of our flower are the alumnae. They stand nearest the stem and assist it in its work.

They are in communication with the world and breathe in for us the best of the world's ideals ... the petals are red for the girls are loyal. As it is the rich, wine color that makes the flower attractive, it, too, is the warm fervent loyalty of its members making Pi Beta Phi beautiful in the eyes of everyone. The pistil is the spirit, and the stamens are ideals of Pi Beta Phi. The petals stand closely united around these to defend and protect them."

The Pledge Pin
The pledge pin is an arrowhead of Roman gold mounted with the Greek letter B (Beta) in burnished gold.

The Angel
Fraternity history tells of songs about Pi Phi angels becoming popular in the late 1930s and early 1940s with skits depicting Pi Phis as angels often used in recruitment. Angel collections are popular among many Pi Phis. The founders did not choose the angel as a fraternity symbol; however, it is a worthy unofficial symbol of Pi Beta Phi.

Colors and Motto
The colors of the Fraternity, wine and silver blue, and the first Greek motto, Pi Beta Phi, were adopted at the 1882 Burlington Convention.

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