Beta Theta Pi
|Beta Theta Pi|
|Founded||August 8, 1839
Miami University, (Oxford, Ohio), United States
|Mission statement||Beta Theta Pi is dedicated to developing men of principle for a principled life.|
|Motto||Firmam Consensus Facit / Cooperation Makes Strength|
|Colors||pink and blue|
|Symbol||Dragon, Star, Diamond|
|Flower||Roses of the "June" or "Queen of the Prairie" variety|
|Publication||The Beta Theta Pi|
|Headquarters||5134 Bonham Road
Oxford, Ohio, United States
Beta Theta Pi (ΒΘΠ), is one of the oldest social collegiate fraternities in North America. It was founded in 1839 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The fraternity currently consists of 129 active chapters and colonies in the United States and Canada. Around 184,000 members have been initiated worldwide, with approximately 130,000 living initiated members. There are currently around 8,000 undergraduate members.1 Beta Theta Pi is one of the three fraternities that form the Miami Triad along with Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Chi.
Beta Theta Pi was founded on August 8, 1839, by eight students at Miami University. The group held the first meeting of the fraternity in an upper room of the campus building known as Old Main.
The eight founders were:
- John Reily Knox, 1839
- Samuel Taylor Marshall, 1840
- David Linton, 1839
- James George Smith, 1840
- Charles Henry Hardin, 1841
- John Holt Duncan, 1840
- Michael Clarkson Ryan, 1839
- Thomas Boston Gordon, 1840
In 1879 Beta Theta Pi became the first college fraternity to publish its constitution. The Fraternity continues to guard certain secrets about membership, however. Similar to other fraternities, Beta Theta Pi's code emphasizes fellowship, cultural development, and cooperation across borders.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (November 2013)|
In response to a number of institutional difficulties, the Men of Principle initiative was started during the 1998-99 academic year. Three chapters, Nebraska, Georgia and Pennsylvania were used as pilot chapters for the new program. After this first year of piloting, the Men of Principle initiative was officially introduced at the 160th General Convention in Oxford in 1999. Chapters that signed on to the Men of Principle initiative agreed to four non-negotiables:
- A five-person trained and active advisory team
- Alcohol-free recruitment
- Elimination of the rogue “National Test” (also known as “The Shep Test”)
- Commitment to a 100% "hazing-free" pledge program
Since the start of Men of Principle, Beta Theta Pi has seen improvement in the areas of academics and recruitment. Before Men of Principle, the Fraternity’s average chapter GPA was just above a 2.8. Today the Fraternity’s GPA has risen to a 3.17, the highest out of all fraternities. Average chapter size is 67.1 men, compared to 48.9 in 1997. In 1998 there was an average of 1.95 advisors per chapter. Today, an average of 7.0 advisors work with each one of the chapters.
As a result of the Men of Principle initiative, Beta created several leadership development programs and offers them to their undergraduates and alumni. In 1996, before the initiative, Beta sent four undergraduates to a leadership development program. Last year,when? over 1600 Betas attended one of the Fraternity's leadership development opportunities.
The fraternity has sent members to the John and Nellie Wooden Institute for Men of Principle, The Peter F. Greiner Leadership College, the Hugh E. Stephenson Jr. Leadership Summit, the Miller Nichols Chapter Presidents Leadership Academy (CPLA), and the Keystone Regional Leadership Conference.
In February, 2014, Miami University and Beta Theta Pi closed the fraternity's Alpha chapter due to recurring hazing allegations and alcohol violations over the previous few years. The fraternity plans to return to Miami University for the 2016-2017 academic year.2
- Brown, James T., ed., Catalogue of Beta Theta Pi, New York: 1917.