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Integrity

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Lifelong Commitment

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Honor and Respect

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Personal and Intellectual Growth

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Philanthropic Service to Others

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Sincere Friendship

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Integrity

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Lifelong Commitment

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Honor and Respect

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Personal and Intellectual Growth

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Philanthropic Service to Others

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Sincere Friendship

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Integrity

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Sincere Friendship

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Lifelong Commitment

History of Texas Epsilon

 old pi phis  

 The Texas Epsilon Chapter of Pi Beta Phi was founded in the fall semester of 1971 at the University of North Texas. Originally starting out as a local Christian sorority known as Omicron, the women of Texas Epsilon paved the way as one of the top houses on campus. The President of the University at that time was C.C. Jitter Nolan, who was a favorite among students at the time. Omicron’s quickly became known as the most reliable women on campus, and were called on to serve as Jitter’s personal hostesses during important University functions.   

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history 1

      At the time that Omicron came on the scene, there were 11 National sororities on our campus. They included: Kappa Delta, Delta Gamma, Zeta Tau Alpha, Alpha Phi, Delta Phi Epsilon, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Delta Sigma Theta, Chi Omega, Delta Zeta, and Alpha Kappa Alpha. There were 14 men’s fraternities on our campus at the time and included: Lambda Chi Alpha, Kappa Alpha, Kappa Sigma, Sigma Alpha Mu, Omega Psi Phi, Theta Chi, Sigma Nu, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Phi Kappa Theta, Phi Kappa Sigma, Phi Gamma Delta (A colony), and Pi Kappa Phi. 

      omicron combined

It didn’t take long for the Omicron’s to realize that their next step was to become a National Greek organization. They began their search for the Panhellenic sorority they wanted to affiliate with, taking a good look at Kappa Kappa Gamma, Delta Delta Delta, and Pi Beta Phi. Knowing that if they were going to be National they had to be the best, they invited the officers of Pi Beta Phi’s Grand Council to visit their chapter in January of 1975. At that time Pi Phi was not expanding to many campuses, but was so impressed with what they saw at UNT that by March of 1975 they decided to build a chapter on our campus. On January 28, 1976 thirty members of Omicron officially became Pi Beta Phi’s. The presiding officer of TX Epsilon’s Installation was former Grand  President Elizabeth Turner Orr. The Installation ceremony took place in the Crystal Room of Marquis Hall (a building that still stands on our campus today!) back when the University of North Texas was still known as North Texas State University. The Initiation ceremony took place at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on the Downtown Denton Square.     

    Upon the occasion of Installation, our chapter received many beautiful gifts, including a silver punch bowl and tea set given by the very woman who began Omicron in the early 1970’s. Our International Magazine, The Arrow, documented our colonization in the 1975 issue in an article entitled “Colony Pledges’ Dream Come True.”      

    As Omicron’s, they lived in a house on Avenue D for 4 years before deciding to join a  National organization. From 1972-76 the Omicron’s lived in a beautiful house right on campus, but were forced to give it up when they affiliated with Pi Beta Phi. After giving up their Ave. D home, Texas Epsilon’s first chapter meeting as official Pi Phi’s was held at the College Inn. At that time there were no houses on campus for sorority women, so they all shared the College Inn dorm as living quarters and as a meeting place. Although it was always their dream to have a house, it wasn’t until 2004 that this dream became a reality for Pi Phi at the University of North Texas. Now we proudly call 510 Bernard St. our chapter home, a place of sisterhood and memories, and a place where Alumnae can come back and remember the dream they had when they were in college.    

      Some interesting items that we still keep pertaining to our founding at the University of North Texas include: A program from the Initiation and Installation of Texas Epsilon,The Arrow article featuring our Installation, the original Constitution of Omicron Sorority, the Pi Beta Phi Initiation certificate of Ruthie Hejl (the first woman to start Omicron), a list of all Pi Beta Phi chapters in the U.S. at the time of expansion, the original symbols, colors, and ritual of Omicron Sorority, a list of all important University officials at the time of founding,a list of Omicron officers, a letter to Ruthie Hejl from her Omicron sisters thanking her for starting the sorority and letting her know they love her, a letter dated from 1974 to all Omicron alumnae updating them on the years events, several letters concerning the expansion of Omicron to Pi Beta Phi, local newspaper articles covering the expansion and a list of all sororities and fraternities on campus at the time.    

    Our Charter proudly hangs in our Chapter Room, with 45 women’s names (including alumnae initiates) adorning a plaque of Wine and Silver Blue. Our deepest appreciation goes to those charter members, because without them we would not be where we are today!