Beta Theta Pi

Beta Theta Pi
Beta Theta Pi
Beta Theta Pi seal.png
Founded August 8, 1839 (1839-08-08) (172 years ago)
Miami University, (Oxford, Ohio) United States
Type Social
Scope International
Mission statement Beta Theta Pi is dedicated to building men of principle for a principled life. Our brotherhood aids the individual, builds the Fraternity and strengthens the host academic institution through lifelong devotion to intellectual excellence, high standards of moral conduct and responsible citizenship.
Motto Firman Consensus Facit / Cooperation Makes Strength
Colors Delicate shades of Pink and Blue          
Symbol Dragon, Star, Diamond
Flower Roses of the "June" or "Queen of the Prairie" variety
Publication The Beta Theta Pi
Chapters 138+

190,000+ Initiates[1]

7,300 Collegiate[1] collegiate
Headquarters Oxford, Ohio, United States
Homepage Beta Theta Pi Fraternity Website

Beta Theta Pi (ΒΘΠ), often just called Beta, is a social collegiate fraternity that was founded in 1839 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, USA, where it is part of the Miami Triad which includes Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Chi. It has over 138 active chapters and colonies in the United States and Canada. Over 190,000 (2010) members have been initiated worldwide, with approximately 133,000 living initiated members.[1] Beta Theta Pi currently has more than 7,300 undergraduate members.[1] Beta's Administrative Office is located at 5134 Bonham Road, Oxford, Ohio. In 2006, the driveway up to the administrative office was renamed "Lugar-Bates Drive" in appreciation for the work that Senator Richard Lugar Denison '54 and Bert Bates Missouri '56 performed in the $20 million "Upon These Principles" capital campaign.



At nine o'clock on the evening of the eighth day of the eighth month of the year 1839, eight earnest young men, all students at Miami University, held the first meeting of Beta Theta Pi in the Hall of the Union Literary Society, an upper room in the old college building (known as "Old Main.")

The eight founders in the order in which their names appear in the minutes were:

"of ever honored memory"


The purpose of Beta Theta Pi was laid out publicly in 1879, when Beta Theta Pi became the first college fraternity to publish its constitution. The Fraternity continues to guard certain secrets which are reserved for its members; however, it offers wide knowledge of the objects and aspirations of Beta Theta Pi. The Code of Beta Theta Pi lays out the objects of the Fraternity as follows:

It shall be constituted as hereinafter provided and shall have for its objects, the promotion of the moral and social culture of its members, the establishment of confidence and friendly relations among the universities and colleges of the United States and Canada, in securing unity of action and sympathy in matters of common interest among them, and the building up of a fraternity that recognizes mutual assistance in the honorable labors and aspirations of life, devotion to the cultivation of the intellect, unsullied friendship, and unfaltering fidelity as objects worthy of the highest aim and purpose of associated effort.

-The Code of Beta Theta Pi, Article 1, Section 2

Again, the Beta is distinguishable and distinguished from all other kinds of fraternity men whatsoever by just a little warmer and stronger, just a little tenderer and more enduring fraternity feeling than any of them can attain to. For it was always so. I do not in the least know how it happened, nor why it persisted after it happened, but a long time ago there came into Beta Theta Pi a fraternity spirit that was, and is, and apparently will continue to be, unique. We know it, who are inside, and they see and record it who are outside the Beta pale. Whether young or old, in college or out, from the small school or the great university, we are conscious of a heritage of genuine fraternalism that has not been vouchsafed in like measure – I say it deliberately – to any other of the great college fraternities. And we cannot doubt that in this, as in other respects, our 'future will copy fair our past, and that in the world of fifty years from now, as in that of years ago, as in that that lies around us today — the first mark of a Beta will be his Beta Spirit.

-Willis O. Robb, Ohio Wesleyan 1879

Leadership Programs

The Wooden Institute

The award-winning John and Nellie Wooden Institute for Men of Principle is an opportunity for initiated Betas that focuses on the ritual of Beta Theta Pi and becoming a better leader. The Wooden Institute allows Betas to interact with brothers and Friends of Beta from across North America. Participants share ideas, dissect Fraternity ritual, partake in challenging activities that focus on leadership skills, learn more about the history of Beta Theta Pi and reflect on the Fraternity’s heritage.

Leadership College

The Peter F. Greiner Leadership College provides leadership and personal development training and education for undergraduate members of Beta Theta Pi. Conducted during the Fraternity's General Convention, the Leadership College curriculum aims to provide participants with time-tested concepts and skills that can be put to use in college and beyond.

Leadership Summit

The award-winning Hugh E. Stephenson Jr. Leadership Summit provides an opportunity for all district chiefs, assistant district chiefs and regional directors to meet annually to focus on the future of Beta Theta Pi.

Thanks to the generosity of James J. Ellis, Missouri ’55, and his wife Van, the Beta Theta Pi Foundation is able to provide this educational opportunity. The curriculum will include activities with an emphasis on facilitation techniques, methods of recruiting and assisting volunteers and strategies for working effectively with university students. Participants will be given training and practice in utilizing all available resources of the Fraternity.

The Presidents Academy

The award-winning Miller Nichols Chapter Presidents Leadership Academy (CPLA) provides an opportunity for all chapter and colony presidents to visit the Fraternity's founding site in Oxford, Ohio. What follows is three days of intense leadership training and networking with other undergraduate presidents. This program concentrates on personal and chapter leadership.

Presidents learn to become more effective leaders, develop personal officer goals and design a framework for chapter success. The curriculum also includes reviewing Standard Chapter Operating Expectations and networking with top university professionals, General Fraternity volunteers and Administrative Office staff.

The Presidents Academy was named and endowed by the Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation in memory of Miller Nichols, Kansas '33.

This program received the HRH Fellow for Educational Program Development Award from the Fraternity Executives Association (2005), the Most Outstanding Use of a Foundation Grant Award from the North-American Interfraternity Conference (2005) and the Excellence in Educational Programming Award from the Association of Fraternity Advisors (2006).

Keystone Conferences

Keystone Regional Leadership Conference is a regional education experience focusing on chapter officer development, principled leadership and volunteer training. 2009 marked the final phase of Keystone's expansion as it now services all chapters of the Fraternity. Five Keystone programs were offered in 2010 (a sixth was cancelled due to inclement weather).

During Keystone, chapter officers attend individual officer tracks, learn how to lead their chapters and set goals with the executive team. Each chapter sends the following eight officers: president, vice president, treasurer, risk manager, recruitment, pledge educator, alumni relations and ritual.


Alumni Associations

Famous Betas


External links


  • Brown, James T., ed., Catalogue of Beta Theta Pi, New York: 1917.

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