Greek Life For Women

         In 1933-1934, women's fraternities were a large part of the social life on campus.  They each had two formals during the school year, one in the fall and another in the spring.  They also engaged in "record hops" at the fraternity houses.  However, stereotypes and social segregation based on which women's fraternity a person belonged to were rarely to never seen on campus.  There was instead, a pride and respect towards the choices each women had made whether it had been to become part of a particular fraternity or to remain an independent.

Women's Fraternities 1933-1934

Pi Beta Phi  Gamma 1903
171 West Louther Street

Members:  Pi Beta Phi senior women in 1934 were Jeanette Bastress, Margaret Davis, Priscilla McConnell, Christina Meredith, and Anna Morris.  Juniors: Mary Beale, Marion Brandt, Jean Black, Bernadette DeFalco, Elizabeth Flower, Mary Handshaw, Elizabeth Latham, Elizabeth Lodge, Margaret Martin, Harriet Matter, Margaret Poffenberger, Mary Prince, Kathleen Rickenbaugh, Lena Ritner, Alberta Schmidt, Ruth Shawfield, Dorothy Shearer, and Emmaline Shuck.  Sophomores:  Mary Bell, June Bietsch, Mary Jane Boswell, Charlotte Chadwick, Mildred Chase, Katherine Hoffman, and Margaret McWilliams.
Ideals:  "Pi Beta Phi holds before each chapter its responsibility as an organized group on its campus to stand for the best in college life, a reputation for true democracy, good sportsmanship, loyal cooperation with the Dean [Dean Meredith], high social standards, and unquestionable honesty and integrity."
History:  Phi Alpha Pi  was a local sorority from 1893-1903 and at that time Pi Beta Phi, a national sorority, was inaugurated onto campus.  Phi Alpha Pi was slowly absorbed as Pi Beta Phi in 1903 at Dickinson and still has an active chapter today.

Chi Omega Delta 1907
152 West Louther Street

Members:  Chi Omega senior women in 1934 were Elizabeth Billow, Kathryn Duncan, Helen Epler, Marie Formad, Mary L. Jacobs, Elizabeth Hibbs, and Barbara Rynk.  Juniors:  Elinor Brinser, Mary Duncan, and Lenore Myers.  Sophomores:  Helen Carl, Virginia Clark, Mary Elliott, Evelyn Gutshall, Barbara Harris, Marjorie Helms, Christine Keown, Marcia Lamb, Mary Stephens, and Elizabeth Stuart.
Ideals:  "Chi Omega is a society of college women devoted to fine friendship and progress - expressed in their motto as 'Hellenic Culture and Christian Ideals'.  Its badge is a gold monogram of the jeweled letter Chi over the Omega which displays the letters PBY HE, the skull and cross bones, and the owl in its and civic spirit is fostered by undergraduates through a prize awarded to the woman student excelling in politics, economic, and scientific investigations.  The Achievement Medal is an award made in recognition of the work of outstanding American women."
History:  Omega Psi was a local sorority from 1899-1907 and was adopted by the national sorority of Chi Omega in 1907 at Dickinson College.  In 1971, the sisters of Chi Omega returned their charter to nationals and formed the local sorority Delta Nu that still holds an active membership on campus today.

Phi Mu Beta Delta 1919
162 West Louther Street

Members:  Phi Mu senior women in 1934 were Frieda Brown, Elizabeth Hess, Lenore Severino, Ruth Royer, Sara Rowe, and Emma Wentzel.  Juniors:  Alma Corman, Dorothy Dout, Lois Eddy, Helen Jackson, Mary James, Thelma Smith, and Elizabeth Williams.  Sophomores:  Isabelle Byers, Adalaide Crouse, Idamae Folk, Pauline Gussman, Florence Smith, and Ruth Wieder.
Ideals:  "Phi Mu at Dickinson enjoys the reputation of being an all around sorority, for its members are active in athletics, religious work, student government and social affairs.  In addition to its general work Phi Mu has led sororities in scholarship and has had the honor of winning the scholarship cup for three consecutive years."
History:  The Beta Delta chapter of Phi Mu was formed out of the local sorority Alpha Gamma Psi that was on campus from 1917-1919.  From 1919-1968 Phi Mu held an active charter at Dickinson and in 1968 the members voted unanimously to withdraw from the Phi Mu national fraternity because of a disagreement concerning interracial pledging policies and reorganized into the local sorority Alpha Delta Epsilon that has since died out.

Zeta Tau Alpha Beta Beta 1924
301 North Hanover Street

Members:  Zeta Tau Alpha senior women in 1934 were Helen Baker, Audrey Kerns, Wilhelmina LaBar, Bertha Lynch, Katherine Mosser, Elizabeth Pyles, and Ruth Sharp.  Juniors:  Virginia Fickes, Bernice Gotshall, Madeline Lynch, Edith Machen, Frances Snyder, Kathryn Smith, Elaine Stradling, and Lenora Williams.  Sophomores:  Naomi Gibson, Emma Pflueger, Rene Reinert, Jannelise Rosse, Mary Ellen Williams, and Elizabeth Wiltfoot.
Ideals:  "Our girls on Dickinson's campus try to live up to the high standards and ideals that lead these women to success.  To carry out the object of our fraternity, "to intensify friendship, to promote happiness among its members and in every way to create such sentiments, to perform such deeds and to mould such opinions as will conduce to building up of a purer and nobler womanhood in t he world."
History:  The forerunner to ZTA was a local sorority named Zeta Eta Phi which held membership from 1921-1924.  The Zeta Tau Alpha Beta Beta chapter held membership from 1924-1969.  At that time the chapter disaffiliated from the national fraternity and the members disbanded.

Pan Hellenic Council 1933-1934
"It is to our credit to observe both the letter and spirit of the law."
President Ruth Sharp '34
Secretary-treasurer Elizabeth Flower '35

The purpose of this association was to regulate all matters of inter fraternity interest among women.  It regulated rushing, determined the date of pledging, and helped the college authorities in matters pertaining to the welfare of the fraternities.  The council published each year a hand book containing the Pan Hellenic constitution, histories of the four fraternities, and the rushing schedule for the season.  On March 24, 1934 the second Pan Hellenic sponsored dance in the history of Dickinson was held.  The Pan Hellenic Council used the Metzger Hall for this dance as well as many rushing activities.  The Council was the female counterpart to the Inter Fraternity Council, in that they both resided over many of the same types of issues concerning Greek life.


-Melissa Lareau 2003
Class of 1934     Chronicles

Dickinson College

Dickinson 1934 is a project of Prof. Osborne's History 204 Class, Fall Semester 2000.