100-Years of Excellence at WSU

By - wsubeta
01.17.2020 09:00 AM


On January 17, 1920, the Gamma Theta Chapter of Beta Theta Pi was chartered. Today marks the 100th anniversary of our chapter at Washington State University. This extraordinary milestone should be noted and celebrated by all brothers of Gamma Theta, as well as the countless Friends of Beta who have supported our success over the years.

It was a long trail to get to that accomplishment on January 17, 1920. Though the history is still murky, we know several facts about our founding. Lantuama Club was founded by William Denver Love on January 17, 1912 at Washington State College (who was actually an ’08 graduate, but was a WSC graduate student then!). There were about 12 other men who joined Bill Love in that founding of a local fraternity on campus. By 1913, the Lantuama Club was renamed Gamma Delta Fraternity, again a local fraternity at WSC. By then, the men were living in a small chapter house in what is now the empty lot side lawn of our current chapter house.

Gamma Delta fraternity continued to flourish and grow on campus. By 1916/1917, the men of Gamma Delta were looking for a national fraternity to join. Upon much consideration and study, the choice of a national fraternity affiliation became unquestionably clear and unambiguous; Beta Theta Pi was the only nation-wide fraternity to consider pursuing a charter with. It appears that the events of the Great War (more commonly known as World War 1) caused Gamma Delta’s chartering aspirations to be temporarily placed on pause with Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. These fraternal ambitions would be set aside, while the nation as a whole, and especially young college-age men, dedicated their existence to the successful war effort.

After the war, there was a considerable renewed effort to gain a charter from Beta Theta Pi at WSC. The charter application from the men of Gamma Delta is an approximately 100-page document, which is still available in nearly pristine condition after 100-years at the Beta Theta Pi archives in Oxford, Ohio. The details of this charter application are testament to the dedication and character of the men of Gamma Delta.

With the sponsorship of the Gamma Gamma Chapter at the University of Idaho, the charter of the Gamma Theta Chapter of Beta Theta Pi was approved and enacted on January 17, 1920 in Pullman, WA. A grand banquet with white linen sheets and at least a hundred young men was held on that cold, winter day. Initiation took place, with 109 men initiated on that first day, including 3 men posthumously. Those three men were killed in the line of duty with the US Army during service in the Great War.

The lamp of Beta Theta Pi has burned brightly at WSC/WSU since 1920. As of this historic week, there have been 1788 men initiated into the rolls of the Gamma Theta Chapter of Beta Theta Pi.

Please join us in raising a glass to the men of the Gamma Theta Chapter of Beta Theta Pi on January 17th, 2020, our 100th anniversary.

Long live the Gamma Theta Chapter of Beta Theta Pi!


Fraternally and Yours in __kai__,


James M. Pappas ‘85

Chapter Counselor

Gamma Theta Chapter of Beta Theta Pi Installation Banquet 1.17.1920