One of the oldest fraternal organizations in our nation’s history had its beginnings in an upper room of an old college building known as “Old Main” at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio. It was nine o’clock in the evening on August 8, 1839 when eight friends gathered, dissatisfied with the existing societies of the time, and conducted the first meeting of a fraternal order based upon “the honorable labors and aspirations of life, devotion to the cultivation of the intellect, unsullied friendship, and unfaltering fidelity,” noble ideals that helped shape them into the noble brotherhood we know today as Beta Theta Pi (Beta).
In its over 170 year history, Beta has initiated more than 190,000 members, with approximately 135,000 still living, and has 122 chapters across North America, composed of over 8,000 undergraduate men. While all Betas are high achievers, inspired by the example of their founders, many have truly excelled in life, such as Richard Lugar (former Senator; State of Indiana), Stephen Sondheim (Composer & Lyricist), Mike Brown (President & CEO; Cincinnati Bengals), Jay Chandrasekhar (Actor; Super Troopers, Beerfest, Arrested Development), and Sam Walton (Founder of Wal-Mart). With Brothers like these, it is easy to see why so many men want to wear the letters of Beta Theta Pi!
Beta understands the importance of supporting the development of all its members, and therefore several leadership programs are offered by the Fraternity, including The Wooden Institute, Leadership College, Leadership Summit, The Presidents Academy, and The Keystone Conference. In these programs, Brothers have the opportunity to discuss new ideas, delve more deeply into Beta ritual and history, develop personal goals, and gain valuable leadership experience that they can put to use in college and beyond.
Guided by The 5 Core Values of Mutual Assistance, Intellectual growth, Trust, Responsible Conduct, and Integrity, the Brothers of Beta Theta Pi set an example on campus, and in life, for all to follow. They choose to act wisely, are always ready to help their fellow Brothers as well as their communities, and continually hold themselves to only the highest moral and academic standards, fulfilling their Fraternity’s hope, “To develop men of principle for a principled life.”