Founded On A Rock
On November 11, 1874, four women from Syracuse University created a society for women in a world where women were discouraged from entering college due to their "insufficient brainpower" and "delicate health." Now, over 135 years later, we celebrate the vision and dedication of those women and all who have come since then, who have built Gamma Phi Beta into one of the largest and most well-respected sororities in the world.
Helen M. Dodge, Frances E. Haven, E. Adeline Curtis and Mary A. Bingham were courageous women that could see beyond the limits of their time. They recognized the opportunity a women's society presented, and aimed to establish one that would promote literary culture and social improvement among its members.
On that November day, the four founders met in Dr. J. J. Brown's study for the first official meeting of Gamma Phi Beta. As The University Herald, Syracuse University's newspaper, reported the following spring, "A new ladies' society made its appearance at the close of last term, and is to be known as Gamma Phi Beta . . . The ladies have started on the right principle, are select in the choice of members, and we see no reason why a prosperous future is not in store for Gamma Phi Beta."
And so, Gamma Phi Beta became the first women's fraternity to be called a sorority. With an international membership of more than 175,000 members, Gamma Phi Beta International Sorority has 123 active collegiate chapters and 175 alumnae groups.