Celebrating Lifelong Commitment
Every year, Pi Beta Phi recognizes and celebrates our 75-Year Diamond Arrows, 50-Year Golden Arrows and 25-Year Silver Arrows. In 2020, over 1,500 women celebrated their Lifelong Commitment to our Fraternity by joining the Order of the Golden Arrow. We asked two Golden Arrow members to reflect on their time in Pi Phi and share what lies ahead.
Judith McCusker Coblentz, Virginia Gamma
Over the years, Judy and her Virginia Gamma sisters have remained close. After graduation, many of the women frequently returned to campus for Homecoming events and activities. Judy says, “There was a group of about 15 that stayed connected through attending Homecoming.” While the sisters still kept up with one another, soon their interactions turned to holiday cards and letters as the women married and started their families.
Several years later, one of the women met a group of Pi Phis in their sixties who had been regularly meeting since their 50th birthdays. Judy remembers, “We started an email chain and decided to rent an Airbnb outside of Williamsburg for our 50th birthdays.” The group had so much fun they decided to do something similar every year – which they have until 2020.
While the pandemic cancelled their annual reunion, it couldn’t stop their sisterhood. Judy says, “Once everybody was quarantined, we started weekly Zoom calls to connect with each other. Now, we’re calling once a month to see each other and laugh nonstop.” This year has allowed the women to stay in touch more than ever before, but it hasn’t stopped the women from looking forward to their next in-person reunion. The Virginia Gamma sisters are hard at work planning a reunion for next fall to celebrate their 70th birthdays.
Nancy Holbrook Walker, Iowa Gamma
As a third generation Iowa Gamma Pi Phi, Nancy’s love for our sisterhood has always run deep. She recalls, “By the time I was six years old, I could sit at the dinner table and sing Ring Ching, Ching with my spoon on my water glass.”
Nancy’s Pi Phi ties provided a certain closeness to our sisterhood. Before she even reached college, Nancy knew she belonged in Pi Beta Phi. Her affection for our Fraternity grew even stronger after she joined the Iowa Gamma Chapter. Nancy remembers, “Our chapter house was our safety place. We knew we were safe when we were there with each other.”
After graduating from Iowa State University, Nancy kept in touch with many her sisters from the chapter and the Fraternity at large. She says, “I was active in the Quad Cities, Iowa-Illinois, Alumnae Club – serving as Alumnae Club President several times.” Today, Nancy stays in touch with her Iowa Gamma sisters through regular Zoom calls and occasional reunions.
As Nancy celebrates 50 years of Pi Beta Phi membership, she says, “I hope we can continue to keep in touch with each other. I wish the best for all of them and I hope we can hold fast to our Pi Phi memories.”
Are you celebrating a Pi Phi milestone this year? Tell us how you and your sisters are staying connected by sharing your story here.
Published November 13, 2020