Pi Phi Alumni Club plans 75th celebration - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Pi Phi Alumni Club plans 75th celebration

Released by: Pi Beta Phi Alumni Club

TYLER, TX - Seventy-five years ago, the East Texas oil fields were beginning to gush, the Blackstone Hotel was a center for commerce throughout the region, Bing Crosby was on the radio, and Mickey Mouse made his newspaper debut.

In a home on a bricked street neighborhood in Tyler in 1935, members of the Pi Beta Phi sorority decided to form an alumnae club.

Local Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club members will be celebrating 75 years of sisterhood with a birthday party in a private home not too far from that original meeting.

Mary Loy Tatum, National President of Pi Beta Phi, will be a special guest. Current alumnae club officers include Lucinda Kittrell, Leesa Hedge, Ann Brookshire, Beth Whitney, Cathy Krafve, and Lacy Mattek. Hostesses for the 75th birthday party are Sarah Jacobi, Jamie Landes, Sherry Simpson, Beth Whitney, Cynthia McAndrew, and Diana Eppler.

The 108 current members meet 5 or 6 times a year. True to the fraternity's national focus of advocating for literacy, the club supports the Tyler community with two philanthropies: the NANCY FAIR LITERACY FUND and the A*B*C* Angel Book Club. This year's recipients will be the Literacy Council of Tyler and Tyler Day Nursery. Previous recipients include the Salvation Army and St. Paul's Children's Clinic, and Tyler Junior College.

Pi Beta Phi is a national sorority founded in 1867 at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois.

"The 12 founders had a vision to form the first national secret society for women at a time when only five state universities admitted women," according to www.pibetaphi.org. It was the first women's organization with sisterhood at its core, but modeled on the men's fraternities.

The mission of Pi Beta Phi is to promote friendship, develop women of intellect and integrity, cultivate leadership potential and enrich lives through community service. Today there are collegiate chapters and alumnae clubs throughout the US, whose membership pledges to provide a lifetime of friendships, both personal and professional.

"Who would have ever thought that 12 young women in 1867 would make such an impact on the women of today. Their values of lifelong friendship, scholarship, and service to others are still with us today," said member Ann Brookshire.

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