About The Beta Epsilon Chapter
Local Beginnings, National and Lifelong Dreams
Established in 1990 as the 53rd chapter of Theta Phi Alpha, our chapter at Southeastern has continued to grow and to excel as a chapter and as individual members.
In the fall of 1986, a group of nine women at Southeastern Louisiana University recognized the need for a new sorority—one that would broaden the choices for women desiring to be Greek and embody the spirit and ideals these women envisioned. They decided to form a local sorority, Sigma Theta Rho, while working toward their dream of national affiliation.
Throughout its brief history, Sigma Theta Rho established a positive presence on campus and grew to be accepted as an important contributor to the Greek community. The ΣΘΡ sisters excelled in their academic pursuits every semester and were widely regarded as campus leaders.
The Hard Work of “Going National”
As Sigma Theta Rho’s size and success grew, the women worked diligently to gain national affiliation. In the spring of 1988, Sigma Theta Rho contacted all NPC groups regarding its interest in national affiliation. After a presentation from Theta Phi Alpha, the ΣΘΡ women knew immediately that Theta Phi Alpha was the perfect match. They were thrilled at how closely the values and principles of Theta Phi Alpha aligned with those of Sigma Theta Rho and they felt a deep connection with the ΘΦΑ sisters.
Southeastern Louisiana University Colony of Theta Phi Alpha
The local sorority became a colony of Theta Phi Alpha on March 5, 1989. The colony period was very busy—from learning about Theta Phi Alpha, to developing education, recruitment, and scholarship programs, to expanding the chapter’s suite in Carter-Harris Residence Hall from one to two rooms.
One of the busiest periods was the colony’s first formal recruitment. Imagine what preparation was like for the very first time and with no clue of what to expect! On Bid Day that fall, the colony happily welcomed 12 new members, doubling our size!
Beta Epsilon Chapter was installed on February 3, 1990, as the 53rd chapter of Theta Phi Alpha. The jubilant (and nervous) colony women found out the initiation date only three weeks before it happened. The sisters were finally reaching their goal.
The Initiation was held on campus in the Teacher Education Center’s Kiva Room. The 20 collegians were initiated first, followed by nine alumnae. Each woman proudly signed the charter that now hangs in the Beta Epsilon Chapter house. The initiation was conducted by the National President of Theta Phi Alpha, with help from sisters from Alpha Beta Chapter and the New Orleans Area Alumnae Association. The celebration held that evening at Lynhaven banquet hall showcased the chapter’s activities and accomplishments as a local sorority and colony.
Beta Epsilon’s First Year
As a new chapter, the Beta Epsilon sisters continued working hard to accomplish their goals, tried out new ideas, refined old ones, experienced some growing pains, and throughout it all, just had fun being sisters. Their joy of becoming a national sorority was evident through their accomplishments during that first year. They raised enough money to purchase the chapter’s President’s Badge, sang in Songfest during Greek Week for the first time, and sisters wrote and choreographed the first “Sisterhood Through Time”-themed skit party, a theme which continued for many years. Perhaps the most cherished event was Beta Epsilon’s first Initiation ceremony as a chapter and its first Initiation retreat, creating a special tradition of celebrating with our newest sisters.
Beta Epsilon Through the Years
Armed with a strong foundation, and with respect and recognition on campus, the sisters could finally enjoy the traditions and sisterhood that began as the dream of nine women and that many women had worked so hard to bring to realization. Further, the tradition of excellence established during those early years, which was one of the founding core principles of the local sorority, continues through today.
Beta Epsilon Chapter is proud of so many accomplishments through the years, including winning Greek Week, having sisters become national officers, receiving national awards such as Presidents’ Cup (twice), and being one of the inaugural chapters to receive Theta Phi Alpha’s Circle of Excellence in 2008. Beta Epsilon Chapter has been recognized as the Most Outstanding Student Organization at SLU several times and the sisters were thrilled to move into our very own house in Greek Village in 2000.
Beta Epsilon is the only three-time recipient of Theta Phi Alpha’s Circle of Excellence Award, presented to outstanding chapters who maintain certain criteria according to national standards of achievement.
Relishing our History, Looking Forward to the Future
The tremendous strides made in our years as Beta Epsilon Chapter show how much can be accomplished when everyone works together toward common goals.