Gamma Phi Beta ~ ΓΦΒ
Open Motto: "Founded Upon a Rock."
Mascot: White Seal
Colors: Brown and Mode
Flower: Pink Carnation
Gamma Phi Beta was founded at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY -- November 11, 1874. During a time when it was looked down upon - or thought unnecessary - for women to receive a higher education, four women banded together to provide support for each other and others like them by forming a sorority. Gamma Phi Beta's four founding members were Helen M. Dodge, Francis E. Haven, E. Adeline Curtis and Mary A. Bingham.
Dr. Erastus Haven - chancellor of Syracuse University at the time - enrolled his daughter into the school and maintained that women should have the opportunity to receive a higher education. Francis Haven was approached by the Alpha Phi Women's Fraternity (the only such organization at Syracuse at the time) but instead Haven decided to ask three friends if they would be interested in starting their own women's organization. They were delighted for the opportunity and with the help of Francis' father Dr. Haven, their brothers, two members from existing fraternities and college faculty they were able to form Gamma Phi Beta.
Gamma Phi Beta is part of the Syracuse Triad, which refers top the three sororities - or women's fraternities - founded at Syracuse University; Alpha Phi founded in 1972, Gamma Phi Beta founded in 1874 and Alpha Gamma Delta founded in 1907. All three of these sororities maintain a close bond.
There are currently 173 active chapters and 175+ alumnae chapters and 180,000 initiated members. The main goal of Gamma Phi Beta's philanthropic mission is to raise funds to support local camps. They have also partnered with Camp Fire USA and Girl Guides of Canada. According to the official Gamma Phi Beta website camping is very important to its members because:
"We strongly believe the experiences gained at camp play the same vital role in the lives of young girls today as they have in the past. Studies have shown a camping vacation benefits girls in ways that are remembered for a lifetime, and for that reason, it's a cause we resolutely support."