Chapter History

Beta Sigma Omicron was the first national sorority to become resident on the Evansville College campus.  After a long and successful history, the collegiate group and many of its alumnae became a part of Zeta Tau Alpha.

Evansville College began in 1854 as Moores Hill Male and Female Collegiate Institute.  After a devastating fire in 1915, the school was moved to Evansville under a cooperative arrangement between the city and the Methodist Church.  It had a total enrollment of more than 4,000 at the time Zeta came to the campus.


The eventful weekend of installation under the general chairmanship of Frances Luichinger Klamer began on Saturday, September 26, 1964 with a tea sponsored by the Evansville City Panhellenic.  Zeta Alpha was formally installed on Sunday at Wheeler Hall.  Lucile Woodard Weck, National First Vice President, was installing officer, assisted by Noni Rosendale Todd, former BSO First Vice President; Doris Reynolds, former BSO Grand Council Member; Marilyn Addington Schaefer, Province President IX, and Irene Wilhelmus, District President IX.  After the charter was presented the following chapter officers were installed: Susan Roell, President; Patricia Tressel, Vice President; Mary Barlte, Secretary; Shirley Biddinger, Treasurer, and Nancy Morris, Membershp Chairman.

The new chapter was then introduced to the campus at a reception.  Greeting guests were Dr. Melvin W. Hyde, College President, and Mrs. Hyde, Mrs. Weck, Mrs. Todd, Miss Reynolds, Mrs. Schaefer, Miss Wilhelmus, Susan Roell, and Mary O’Neill Elles, Evansville Alumnae Chapter President.

The final affair was a banquet Sunday evening at Evansville Country Club with Mrs. Elles serving as Toastmistress.  Guest speaker was Dr. Virginia Grabill, Director of Women’s Counseling, who brought an inspiring message.  Gifts to the new chapter included the Baby Cup presented by Pat Cauble, National Chapter Counselor; a silver serving dish presented by Miss Wilhelmus from the District; a gift of silver presented by Mrs. Schaefer from the Province; a compote presented by Mrs. Edward Fritz from Evansville City Panhellenic, and a silver coffee urn and server and branched silver candelabra presented by Mrs. Weck from the National Fraternity.

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