Gamma Phi Beta

Gamma Phi Beta

Infobox Fraternity
letters= ΓΦΒ
name= Gamma Phi Beta
founded=Birth date and age|1874|11|11
birthplace= Syracuse University, (Syracuse, New York)
type= Social
scope= International
motto= Founded Upon A Rock
colors= Brown and Mode
symbol= Crescent Moon
flower= Pink Carnation
jewel= Pearl
philanthropy= Campfire USA
members= 150,000
address= 12737 E. Euclid Drive
city= Centennial
state= Colorado
country= USA

Gamma Phi Beta (ΓΦΒ) is an international sorority that was founded on November 11, 1874 at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York by Helen M. Dodge, Frances E. Haven, E. Adeline Curtis, and Mary A. Bingham. The sorority's national headquarters are located at Centennial, Colorado. Gamma Phi Beta currently has over 150,000 initiated members, 116 active collegiate chapters and 160 alumnae groups across the United States as well as Canada. Gamma Phi Beta was the first to use the word "sorority" (as opposed to a female fraternity) in the country.

The official symbol of Gamma Phi Beta is the crescent moon. The pink carnation is the official flower. The pearl is the sorority jewel. The Gamma Phi Beta badge was designed by Tiffany & Co.Fact|date=February 2007 The jeweler delivered the first badges on December 16, 1874.

Gamma Phi Beta's primary objective is to promote the highest form of womanhood. Its creed is Love, Labor, Learning and Loyalty.


Colleges and universities admitted few women students in the 1870’s. In fact, administrators and faculty members gave women a rather reluctant welcome. They argued women had inferior minds and could not master mathematics and the classics. In this controversy, Dr. E. O. Haven, Syracuse University chancellor and former president of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University, maintained that women should receive the advantages of higher education. He enrolled his daughter, Frances, at Syracuse.

After considering an invitation to join the then two-year old Alpha Phi, Frances instead asked three friends to assist her in organizing their own society. They sought the advice and help of Dr. Haven, their brothers, the faculty and members of two existing fraternities. Gamma Phi Beta was subsequently founded by Helen M. Dodge, Frances E. Haven, E. Adeline Curtis and Mary A. Bingham on November 11, 1874 at Syracuse University.

Dr. Frank Smalley, a professor at the University, first coined the word sorority with respect to Gamma Phi Beta. The sorority changed its colors, originally light and dark blue to light and dark brown in 1875 to honor Dr. J.J. Brown, whose study was used for Friday afternoon meetings of Gamma Phi Beta.

The first initiate, Clara Worden, was initiated in March 1875.

Gamma Phi Beta is a member of the Syracuse Triad along with Alpha Phi and Alpha Gamma Delta.

Frances E. Haven went on to assist in founding the Omicron chapter at the University of Illinois. Omicron is the only other chapter founded by one of the original founders. Frances E. Haven is also buried in a cemetery on campus at the University of Illinois.

Every initiated member has a life-long membership to Gamma Phi Beta with the opportunity to participate in the Gamma Phi Beta world as long as she chooses.

Mission of Gamma Phi Beta

"To foster a nurturing environment that provides women the opportunity to achieve their potential through lifelong commitment to intellectual growth, individual worth and service to humanity."

The Object of Gamma Phi Beta

The object of Gamma Phi Beta is "To Promote The Highest Type of Womanhood through education, social life, service to country and humanity".

Philanthropy and Community Service

Although Gamma Phi Beta was not founded as a philanthropic organization, the sorority has a long history of community service and philanthropic participation. Gamma Phi Beta supports Camp Fire USA and other community service activities for many reasons. Camping for girls has a visionary cause. It never goes out of style and is able to adapt to the needs of society. It also allows girls of diversity to come together as one. There are many local community involvement opportunities associated with camping as well as environmental appreciation that links young girls back to nature. By focusing on camping for girls, Gamma Phi Beta is able to provide more money for girls' programs, which have been under funded when compared to boys programs. More than $57,000 has been donated to Camp Fire USA and its local councils. Gamma Phi Beta does support other philanthropies including Children's Miracle Network, Sick Kids Hospital, March of Dimes, Breast Cancer Society, battered women shelters, American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, United Way, Cerebral Palsy, M.A.D.D., Ronald McDonald House, AIDS Canada, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Leukemia Society, The I Have a Dream Foundation, and Oprah's Angels.

Notable Alumnae

"For a full list of notable Gamma Phi Beta alumnae please visit here. [] "

*Jocelyn Birch Burdick (Epsilon) - North Dakota Governor appointed her to US Senate seat held by her late husband in 1992.cite web| url =| title = Prominent Gamma Phi Betas| publisher =Gamma Phi Beta | accessdate =2007-07-03]
*Carol Ryrie Brink (Xi) - Author of "Caddie Woodlawn" and winner of the Newbery Medal.
*Kristin Chenoweth (Beta Omicron) - Tony Award winning actress.
*Dr. Laurel Clark (Gamma) - NASA Astronaut on the Columbia.
*Jeannie Panton Deakyne (Alpha Epsilon) - Mrs. U.S. Beauties 2008, Mrs. Texas International 2005 and Bronze Star Medal recipient. [cite news|date=July 1, 2005 |title=Spotlight On: Life Abroad |url= |publisher=The Crescent of Gamma Phi Beta |accessdate=2008-06-24]
*Jennifer Dunn (Lambda) - Former U.S. Congresswoman('93-'05)- WA 8th District.
*Alex Wystrach Flanagan (Alpha Epsilon) - Sports reporter for ESPN.
*Marguerite Higgins (Eta) - UC Berkeley, Pulitzer Prize Winner in 1951.
*Dr. Karen Holbrook (Gamma) - Ex-President of The Ohio State University.
*Susan Howard (Alpha Zeta) - Actress, in the TV series Dallas.
*Cloris Leachman (Epsilon) - Actress, Academy Award Winner.
*Lynn Morley Martin (Omicron) - Secretary of Labor under President Bush.
*Kelli McCarty (Beta Chi) - "Beth" on NBC's "Passions," Miss USA 1991.
*Kelli O'Hara (Beta Omicron) - actress, Tony Award nominee for "The Pajama Game" and "The Light in the Piazza".
*Mary Beth Peil (Epsilon) - Tony Award nominated singer and actress ("Dawson's Creek").
*Hope Summers (Epsilon) - actress ("The Andy Griffith Show").
* [(Kellie Sprinkle)} (Zeta Omega) - Grammy Award winning singer.


External links

* [ Gamma Phi Beta/Gamma Phi Beta International]

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