1938: A Very Good Year
Maybe it was the fact that the Great Depression was finally starting to wane, or perhaps that Washington College experienced its largest enrollment in school history. Whatever the reason, undergraduates started to get active in 1938.
After five years of petitioning to join Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership fraternity, Washington College’s Silver Pentagon Society succeeded. The Silver Pentagon Society, originally conceived as an honorary leadership society, morphed into the Alpha-Psi Circle of ODK, with economics and government major Elton L. Wilmot ’38 as its first president.
On March 5, Omicron Delta Kappa recognized its 75th anniversary with the induction of more than 30 student leaders and six faculty members, including President Mitchell Reiss.
“We’ve been around for a long time, and there are a lot of great leadership stories among our grads,” says Michael Harvey, associate professor and chair of the Department of Business Management. “That’s very exciting.”
“Lifelong membership in ODK is prestigious nationwide and very selective at Washington College,” says ODK Circle President Eshan Patel ’13. “The candidates should be proud of their accomplishments.”
But ODK was not the single start-up in 1938. The ladies got to work too, establishing chapters of Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Chi Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha sororities.
The Sigma Tau Chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a luncheon in Hynson Lounge on April 14. One of the chapter’s founders plans to attend the event, and the sorority will also feature a speaker from AOPi Headquarters.
“Our records show that we have several founders who continue to support the chapter,” says Karen Tucciarone Bescher ’65.
A few weeks later on April 28, the College’s Beta Pi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a high tea on campus. Both current sisters and alumnae are invited to attend.
“It is truly something special to be able to celebrate 75 years of our chapter’s existence,” says Vice President of Fraternity and Ritual Appreciation Katie DeRosa ’13. “It will certainly be a memorable experience to know that each woman there shares a distinguished bond.”
November 2-3, the Gamma Beta chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha will host two events celebrating its 75th anniversary: an evening reception and a brunch, conceived with help from the sorority’s national organization and, as with all sorority celebrations, the Office of Alumni Relations & Alumni Giving. Both evens will be held on campus and will allow alumni to take tours of the campus to see what’s new.
“What I’m most excited about is getting the chance to see and talk with my sisters,” says Heather Evans ’04, who is chairing the 75th Anniversary Committee. “Not just the ones who I went to school with, but also the ones who helped form the chapter in 1938, the ones who kept us all going in the decades since, as well as the current sisters, who are the future.”