Mu Beta Psi

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Mu Beta Psi
Founded November 5, 1925
North Carolina State University
Type Service
Scope National
Colors      Red and      White
Flower Red and White American Beauty Rose
Chapters 19 lettered, 1 alumni
Headquarters Raleigh, North Carolina
United States

Mu Beta Psi National Honorary Musical Fraternity (ΜΒΨ) is a service and music fraternity with chapters and colonies at universities throughout the eastern United States.

Although an honorary fraternity, Mu Beta Psi views itself as primarily a music service group. The national fraternity and several of its chapters run scholarship programs[1][2] and pride themselves on providing service to their music departments.

Any member of the fraternity is referred to as a "Brother" without regard to the member's sex. This practice comes from the fraternity's beginnings and is used in context as a designation of membership status, not gender.


Founding and Early Years[edit]

Mu Beta Psi National Honorary Musical Fraternity was founded on November 5, 1925 at North Carolina State College by Music Director Percy W. "Daddy" Price and a group of 12 men from the Class of 1926 who were involved in campus music organizations. The purposes of the Fraternity were to promote music in its proper place as an educational subject, foster a fellowship among musicians, and stimulate interest in music across the college campus. In the next few years, Price determined that the Fraternity was different from the other music groups on campus and deemed it worthy of growing into a national organization with multiple chapters.

With the addition of Beta Chapter at Davidson College in early 1929, Mu Beta Psi started to grow. Meetings of the two chapters in late 1929 and early 1930 resulted in the adoption of the Fraternity's Constitution, the founding of the National Organization, and the elections of the first National Officers. With a strong desire for Mu Beta Psi to realize its true potential, Price pushed hard for the Fraternity's expansion. Some of the earliest prospects included Wake Forest and William & Mary.

Unfortunately, Price's life was cut short by a heart attack in 1933. His successor as Music Director, Christian D. Kutschinski, continued to promote Mu Beta Psi. He became National Executive Secretary in the mid-1930s and sought to expand the Fraternity wherever and whenever possible.

Despite the challenges of the Great Depression and Beta Chapter going inactive, Delta Chapter was established at Clemson College in 1937. Alpha and Delta Chapters would remain active side-by-side for the next 68 years.[3]

World War II and the 1950s[edit]

World War II brought about new challenges for Mu Beta Psi. As many students graduated and others entered the armed forces to fight overseas, Chapter activity was limited. With the war's successful conclusion, Kutschinski helped Delta Chapter reorganize and increase its active membership. Alpha and Delta Chapters met for a National Convention in 1949.

The 1950s saw the majority of Chapter activities take place on the local level, with minimal collaboration between the Chapters. Despite a desire to meet for a Convention every year, they would not do so until 1957.

The 1960s and the Era of Development[edit]

The 1961 National Convention marked an important milestone for Mu Beta Psi. It was at this meeting that the National Constitution was amended to allow membership to women. Additionally, a national publication was created, which would become known as The Clef. New expansion efforts were also put into place. This Convention also became the first of an unbroken chain of annual Conventions that continues to this day.

The 1960s is considered the first Era of Development. The Fraternity saw additional changes in both leadership and expansion. Kutschinski stepped down as National Executive Secretary in 1962. Three years later, Ralph W. Daniel was elected to the position and would serve for the next 18 years. Two new Chapters were installed, the first in nearly two decades. One was Epsilon Chapter at Washington & Lee University in 1965, which would remain active for nearly 20 years. The other was Zeta Chapter at Michigan Technological University in 1967, which was the result of a successful merger with Tri-Beta Honorary Band Fraternity.[4] Zeta remains active to this day. 1965 also saw the adoption of the Editor of The Clef as a National Officer. "Hail the Spirit," written by Milton C. Bliss, was adopted as the Fraternity Song in 1967.

The 1970s and 1980s[edit]

The Fraternity continued a period of gradual growth in the 1970s and 1980s. The Alumni Association was formally established in early 1970, providing college graduates with a Chapter to continue their participation in the Fraternity's activities. The short-lived Eta Chapter was installed at VMI in mid-1970. Theta Chapter was established at Saint Augustine's College in 1973, and remained active for 13 years. Iota Chapter was established at Duke University in 1981 and went inactive 3 years later. Kappa Chapter was established at Wofford College in 1989 and stayed active for 7 years. The mid-1980s also saw the creation of the Permanent Board of Trustees for the purpose of ensuring stability in the organization. The first members of the Permanent Board included Wallace DesChamps, Charlie Emki, David Wilson and Bryan Reamer.

Reorganization and Expansion in the 1990s[edit]

A second Era of Development began in the early 1990s. The National Organization underwent a reorganization with the division of responsibilities and the creation of new national offices, including the Vice President of Chapter Maintenance, Vice President of Expansion, National Treasurer, and National Historian. The National Constitution was revised and approved in 1996. Three members of the Permanent Board resigned and were replaced by Joseph Bledsoe, Timothy Kudlock, and Gayle Kirby. Another resignation a few years later resulted in confirmation of Benjamin Griffeth to the Board. In terms of expansion efforts, Lambda Chapter was established at Anderson College in 1991, only to go inactive a year later. Mu Chapter was established in 1993 at UNC-Chapel Hill, and it would remain active for 19 years. The Fraternity also extended northward with the establishment of Nu Chapter at SUNY Oswego in 1994 and Xi Chapter at Saint Vincent College in 1996. Nu is currently active and Xi remained active for 10 years.

The 21st Century[edit]

The 2000s saw Matthew Zander and Andrew Fleming confirmed to the Permanent Board. The Fraternity also saw the establishment of five new Chapters—the largest period of growth to date. Omicron Chapter was established at Roanoke College in 2001. In 2007, the Brothers of Mu Upsilon Alpha (the Honorary, Co-Educational Service Fraternity of the Rutgers University Bands) at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, merged with Mu Beta Psi to establish Pi Chapter.[5] Rho Chapter was established at Northern Michigan University in 2008. A year later, Mu Beta Psi crossed the Mississippi River for the first time with the establishment of Sigma Chapter at Saint Louis University in 2009, although it would quickly go inactive. In 2011, Mu Beta Psi established Tau Chapter at American University in Washington, DC.

Over the years, through the accomplishments and the challenges, the purposes of Mu Beta Psi have remained the same. Brothers remained steadfast as musicians on their college campuses, and sought to promote, advance, and celebrate music in both their schools and their communities. They remained committed to service and volunteered their time and talents to ensure that their musical programs were successful. Mu Beta Psi brings together individuals from every background imaginable, united through a common love of music and a desire to advance it wherever possible.


The chapters were named in order of their acceptance to Mu Beta Psi. Chapters are:

Chapter Location Chartered Status (Inactive Date)
Alpha (Α) North Carolina State University November 5, 1925 Active
Beta (Β) Davidson College February 9, 1929 Inactive (ca. 1935)
Gamma (Γ) Never Chartered† N/A N/A
Delta (Δ) Clemson University January 16, 1937 Inactive (2005)
Epsilon (Ε) Washington and Lee University April 11, 1965 Inactive (ca. 1986)
Zeta (Ζ) Michigan Technological University November 23, 1967 Active
Eta (Η) Virginia Military Institute May 5, 1970 Inactive (1971)
Theta (Θ) St. Augustine's College November 22, 1973 Inactive (ca. 1987)
Iota (Ι) Duke University March 1, 1981 Inactive (ca. 1984)
Kappa (Κ) Wofford College February 19, 1989 Inactive (ca. 1996)
Lambda (Λ) Anderson University April 24, 1991 Inactive (1992)
Mu (Μ) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill April 4, 1993 Inactive (2012)
Nu (Ν) State University of New York at Oswego April 10, 1994 Active
Xi (Ξ) Saint Vincent College November 17, 1996 Inactive (2006)
Omicron (Ο) Roanoke College March 31, 2001 Inactive (2017)
Pi (Π) Rutgers University October 7, 2007 Active
Rho (Ρ) Northern Michigan University November 16, 2008 Active
Sigma (Σ) St. Louis University November 7, 2009 Inactive (2010)
Tau (Τ) American University April 10, 2011 Active
Alumni Association‡ N/A March 21, 1970 Active

† Gamma Chapter was never formally designated; Percy W. Price died before a school could be finalized and a Charter issued, and the effort was lost. Records indicate that Gamma Chapter was to be established at The College of William and Mary, but colonization efforts were ultimately unsuccessful.

‡ The Mu Beta Psi Alumni Association is a separate organization, but considered an active chapter. The Alumni Association is open to alumni of all Mu Beta Psi chapters, active or otherwise.

National Presidents[edit]

The following is a list of the National Presidents of Mu Beta Psi since the establishment of the Fraternity's National Organization in 1929. The Office was vacant on two separate occasions. The first was from 1932 through 1957, although Christian D. Kutschinski used the title National President interchangeably with National Executive Secretary during that time. The second instance was between 1958 when Wade Hicks resigned and the 1961 National Convention.

No. Name Chapter Tenure
1 Joseph Carson Matthews, Jr. Alpha 1929-1930
2 Paul Brown Fry Beta 1930-1931
3 John Perkins Rabb Alpha 1931-1932
* Office Vacant * 1932-1957
4 Wade H. Hicks Delta 1957-1958
* Office Vacant * 1958-1961
5 George M. "Buddy" O'Kelley Delta 1961-1963
6 Ralph W. Daniel Alpha 1963-1964
7 Horace E. Hudson Delta 1964-1965
8 Thomas J. Tisdale Delta 1965-1966
9 Robert B. Kirkpatrick Delta 1966-1967
10 Owen Cordle Alpha 1967-1968
11 James W. Chaney Alpha 1968-1969
12 Jacob A. Houck Alpha 1969-1971
13 William M. Agee Epsilon 1971-1972
14 David A. Powers, III Epsilon 1972-1973
15 Thomas L. "Larry" Sloan Delta 1973-1974
16 Timothy Lipsey Delta 1974-1975
17 Tony R. Stapleton Delta 1975-1976
18 Quentin Jackson Theta 1976-1977
19 Jeff Paulson Zeta 1977-1978
20 Kerney D. Smoak Delta 1978-1979
21 Jeff Smith Zeta 1979-1980
22 Richard D. Witt Delta 1980-1981
23 Cindy Sharp Alpha 1981-1982
24 Larry Perry Alpha 1982-1983
25 Gayle E. "Charlie" Murray Alpha 1983-1984
26 Mary A. Seabrook Delta 1984-1985
27 Wallace P. DesChamps, Jr. Delta 1985-1987
28 Laura Rencontre Zeta 1987-1988
29 Tamron L. "Tammy" Tant Delta 1988-1989
30 Timothy S. Kudlock Delta 1989-1991
31 James K. Brock Alpha 1991-1992
32 Timothy "Tyler" Clark Alpha 1992-1994
33 Jeffrey R. Bodway Zeta 1994-1996
34 Allison Schwamberger Alpha 1996-1997
35 Matthew Rushing Alpha 1997-1998
36 Kelly Smith Nu 1998-1999
37 Christopher D. Rodkey Xi 1999-2001
38 Jonathon R. Fielbrandt Zeta 2001-2002
39 Ryan R. Hauck Delta 2002-2004
40 Phillip G. Staten Omicron 2004-2007
41 Andrew J. Fleming Zeta 2007-2009
42 Garrett Cooperman Nu 2009-2011
43 Christopher Ciarlariello Pi 2011-2013
44 Ariane Osterwald Tau 2013-2014
45 Ian Schaefer Rho 2014-2015
46 Sarah Feutz Alpha 2015–2016
47 Chrissy L. Fleming Mu 2016–2017
48 Ashley Ford Alpha 2017–Present

Notable alumni[edit]

  • James L. Adams (Eta) -- Executive Vice-President of the VMI Foundation (1998-2009)
  • Joseph A. Cannon, Jr., (Beta) -- Mayor of Greensboro, NC (1956-1957)
  • Chatham Calhoun Clark (Beta) -- North Carolina State Senator and State Representative, serving the town of Elizabethtown and Bladen County, elected as a Democrat
  • Wayne Arthur Corpening (Alpha) -- Mayor of Winston-Salem, NC (1977-1989), elected as a Democrat—Corpening Plaza is named in his honor
  • Paul Moncier Cox (Alpha) -- Mayor and Alderman of New Bern, NC
  • Timothy Bennett (Delta) -- Singer-songwriter of Contemporary Worship music under stage name T. Culler
  • Rev. Ernest Krikor Emurian (Beta) -- Hymn composer and Pastor of Cherrydale United Methodist Church, Arlington, VA (1962-1981) -- he wrote over 80 hymns, including "Bless Thou the Astronauts," "Little Dreams we Forgot," "Angel Vision Christmas," and a parody hymn about the Watergate scandal entitled "When They Play That Great Tape in the Sky"—he also composed "Arlington," which was adopted as the official song of Arlington, VA in 1970
  • L. Macon Epps (Alpha) -- Inventor and Engineer who worked for the Grumman Aerospace Corporation for 37 years—most notably he worked on the Apollo Lunar Module as the Assistant Program Manager—as an inventor, he received a patent in 1978 for a "combined water heater and sauna room heater device"
  • William H. Frazier, Jr. (Delta) -- Major, US Army; Executive Officer, 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. Killed in Action near Pugwan, Korea on November 13, 1950.
  • Edwin J. Freeman (Delta) -- Professor, band advisor, and founder of the Industrial Engineering Department at Clemson University (then Clemson College). Also composed "Tiger Rah!", Clemson's official fight song from 1935 through 1947. His son, Edwin A. Freeman, was also a professor of music at Clemson, an initiated Delta Chapter brother, and Delta Chapter's advisor for several stretches from the 1960s through the 2000s.
  • Paul Brown Fry (Beta) -- Teacher of Musical Education and Charter Member of the American Choral Directors' Association
  • Stephen Grove (Epsilon) -- Historian of the United States Military Academy (1978-2008)
  • John Linwood Hall (Beta) -- North Carolina State Representative, serving the city of Burlington and Alamance County, elected as a Republican
  • Samuel Middleton Hines (Beta) -- 25-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (1949-1974), including several years as Budget Director
  • Christian David Kutschinski (Alpha) -- Director of Music, North Carolina State University (1933-1956)
  • Lachi (Mu) -- Singer-songwriter, Producer, Author, and Founder of the UNC Cadence
  • Hugh Frederick MacMillan (Beta) -- Senior Executive at The Coca-Cola Company and namesake of the MacMillan Law Library at Emory University
  • Arnold Miller (Alpha) -- Served in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day and was killed in action on June 11, 1944
  • George Ivison Mims, Jr. (Delta) -- Captain, US Air Force, 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, 8th Tactical fighter Wing (Ubon RTAFB), 13th Air Force. Killed in Action over Hanoi, North Vietnam, December 20, 1965. His body was not recovered and he was listed as POW/MIA until April 1973. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu HI; and on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, Washington DC.
  • Rockford "Lance" Olive (Alpha) -- Mayor of Apex, NC (2015–Present), and former Member of the Apex Town Council, elected as a Republican
  • Robert Bradford Orr (Beta) -- Chairman of the Anesthesiology Department of the Lahey Clinic in Boston, MA from (1966-1971) -- During his career he performed anesthesia, by request, on actor Charles Raines, boxer Gene Tunney, Red Sox player Ted Williams, Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, and British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden among countless others
  • Percy W. "Daddy" Price (Alpha) -- Director of Music, North Carolina State College (1924-1933)
  • Gilbert C. Robinson (Alpha) -- Head of the Ceramics Department at Clemson University and namesake of the The Gilbert C. Robinson Department of Ceramic Engineering
  • Christopher Rodkey (Xi) -- Pastor of St. Paul's United Church of Christ, Dallastown, PA
  • Jonathan Santore (Iota) -- Composer, Conductor, Professor, and Chair of the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire
  • Robert Schlegel (Epsilon) -- Commander in the U.S. Navy assigned to the Pentagon and was a casualty of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks
  • Isaac William Thorn (Alpha) -- Served on General Dwight Eisenhower’s staff as a member of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) in preparation for the D-Day invasion at Normandy
  • Robert C. Vaughan, III (Epsilon) -- President of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
  • Ebissa Grainger Williams (Beta) -- Served on the staff of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet during World War II and was President of Williams & Rosen Insurance Agency (1965-1976)


External links[edit]