Beta Theta Pi Celebrates 150 Consecutive Years
Beta Theta Pi celebrated its 150th anniversary on Wittenberg’s campus in a weekend celebration featuring a meet-and-greet between current Wittenberg students and alumni, and an honorary dinner for distinguished Wittenberg alumni throughout homecoming weekend.
Most notable of this 150th anniversary is that Wittenberg is only one of three Beta chapters who have reached 150 consecutive years of retaining its chapter.
“It was interesting to hear all of their stories from when they were college students themselves,” James Hagerman, ’20, said. “Seeing Betas from every generation represented was very surreal.”
140 guests attended the celebration at the Springfield Country Club on Saturday night, following a mingling at the chapter house on Friday night.
Two alumni initiated in 1954 were honored for their 63 years of activity in Beta Theta Pi, and three members initiated in 1967 for their 50 years of contributions.
Current Wittenberg President Michael Frandsen also spoke to attendees at the country club, along with a representative from the National Fraternity Office.
There are currently 38 active members of the Alpha Gama chapter of Beta Theta Pi at Wittenberg, with the current chapter being opened in January of 1867.
Some notable Beta Wittenberg alumni include John Ruthrauff, Wittenberg’s fifth president, Charles Heckert, Wittenberg’s sixth president, professor Edwin Weaver, Harry Kissel, Dean of Students Charles Schatzer and Charles Zimmerman.
In 1931, Woodlawn Hall was built and dedicated as a chapter house for Beta. In 1940, Woodlawn was sold to the university, with a new chapter house being built and dedicated at the current chapter house in 1955.
At the 125th anniversary in 1992, a plaque was bestowed upon Woodlawn Hall in commemoration of housing the Betas for nine years.
Many current Wittenberg Betas thoroughly enjoyed the event, evident in the way they talked about the weekend following its conclusion.
“I really enjoyed seeing a ton of alumni talk about their favorite memories of both Wittenberg and Beta,” Evan Fetter, ’20, said.