Beta Phi Alpha

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Beta Phi Alpha (ΒΦΑ) was a national collegiate sorority operating in the United States from 1919 until 1941. It was absorbed by Delta Zeta sorority.

History[edit]

On the campus of the University of California Berkeley, Beta Phi Alpha began as Bid-A-Wee, a group created to meet the needs of a "very difficult housing situation" (Miner, p. 144).

In 1912, the name changed to Aldebaran, after the star.

In 1919, the group became a Greek letter organization with the name Kappa Phi Alpha (University of California Chronicle, p. 38). By 1920, the sorority took on its final name, Beta Phi Alpha.

Beta Phi Alpha then began the process of nationalization and expansion. In 1923, it was granted membership in the National Panhellenic Conference. Thirty five chapters were installed by 1936, but not all of them were active. Many of them suffered from the Great Depression.

In 1941, Beta Phi Alpha was absorbed by Delta Zeta sorority (Miner, pp. 144– 145).

Legacy[edit]

Beta Phi Alpha's Convention Lights is still sung at the close of Delta Zeta national conventions.

The gavel which opens Delta Zeta's convention is an artifact of Beta Phi Alpha. It was given to Beta Phi Alpha's Elsa Ludeke. The gavel is inscribed with the names of both sororities' founders and national presidents (Miner, pp. 144– 145).

Final Benedictory[edit]

Given at the final Beta Phi Alpha convention in 1941

By Julia Wells Bower

Sisters in Beta Phi Alpha, we have long traveled a star-lit road together. We have given loving service, have formed priceless friendships, and have learned true wisdom as we traveled that road. Now the warm glow of a brightly burning Lamp joins the soft radiance of our star to light our path. May we be worthy bearers of the Lamp as we are faithful followers of the star!" (Miner, p. 144)

Creed[edit]

We believe in service, the keynote of our daily lives, the foundation of our Fraternity and its power to reveal the worth of woman. We believe in knowledge and its broadening influence, in understanding and unselfish love as the creators of our happiness.

We pray for grace to meet success with humility, for strength and courage to rise above failure with spirit renewed, for wisdom to judge man by the spiritual values he may possess. We strive to keep faith in ourselves. We believe in the brotherhood of man and in our kinship to God, our Creator. (Miner, p. 145)

Insignia[edit]

Delta Zeta's history book (1983) described the insignia as follows:

The badge "was a pearled Φ with Greek letters Β and Α embossed on a field of black enamel at either side of the Φ's stem".

Colors were kelly green and gold.

The flower was the yellow tea rose.

The open motto was "Scientia, Virtus, Amicitia- Knowledge, Virtue, Friendship"

Chapters[edit]

Delta Zeta's history book (1983) included the names of the earliest and final chapters:

References[edit]

Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (multiple volumes)

Miner, Florence Hood (1983). Delta Zeta Sorority 1902- 1982: Building on Yesterday, Reaching for Tomorrow. Delta Zeta Sorority, Comploith Graphics, Muary Boyd and Associates, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana.

University of California, University of California Chronicle, University of California Press, 1920, v. 22.