Iowa Gamma Chapter of Pi Beta Phi

Honored by:Iowa Gamma Chapter of Pi Beta Phi
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The Iowa Gamma Chapter of Pi Beta Phi was established in 1877 at Iowa Agricultural College now known as Iowa State University. Iowa Gamma began only ten years after the first Pi Beta Phi fraternity was founded in Monmouth Illinois. The charter members of Iowa Gamma embraced a difficult role; to reflect the interests and independence of progressive womanhood. Through their struggles for recognition and equality they paved the way for future generations. For this and for giving us the opportunity for sisterhood individuality and cultivated minds the present members of the Iowa Gamma Chapter of Pi Beta Phi would like to honor our founding members. In 1891 when Dr. Beardshear assumed his duties as president of the college the fraternities which had existed since the college began came to an untimely close. This banning of all fraternal organizations lasted until 1903. After two years of evaluation Pi Beta Phi was reestablished at Iowa Agricultural College. On February 24 1906 these seventeen women became the charter members of Iowa Gamma: Keo Anderson Jennie Bechtle Carolyn Gabrilsen Ethel Cessna Mary Wilson Helen Pronty Lillian Storms Winifred Thompson Celestine Pettinger Gertrude McClure Vera Dixon Mae Jackson Luella Kilbourne Emma Leonard Forence Pettinger Sophie Hargis Gertrude Curtiss Paxton Carrie Chapman Catt was the eighteenth member of Iowa Gamma. Pi Beta Phi takes great pride in having one of the greatest leaders for the women's suffrage movement as a member. Despite her busy life Mrs. Catt always found time to give generously of her interest her support and her influence to the causes of Iowa Gamma. With sincere gratitude immense pride and Pi Phi love we honor Carrie Chapman Catt and our seventeen charter members. 12/2/94


Iowa Gamma Founders

Keo Anderson
Gertrude McClure
Vera Dixon
Jennie Bechtle
Carolyn Gabrilsen
Mae Jackson
Ethel Cessna
Luella Kilbourne
Mary Wilson
Emma Leonard
Helen Pronty
Florence Pettinger
Lillian Storms
Sophie Hargis
Winifred Thompson
Gertrude Curtiss Paxton
Celestine Pettinger