Beta Psi Chapter
- 1 Chapter History
- 1.1 Founding
- 1.2 The Early Years
- 1.3 Beta Psi Takes The National Stage
- 1.4 The Decline
- 1.5 Beta Psi And The Year Of The Phoenix (2008-2009)
- 1.6 The Current Chapter
- 1.7 Past Chapter Presidents
- 1.8 Initiate Classes
- 2 Chapter Events & Activities
- 3 Notable Alumni
- 4 Chapter Honors and Awards
- 5 Further Resources
- 6 In the News
On October 8, 1995, the charter class of the Beta Psi chapter was inducted at Middle Tennessee State University. The chapter owes its existence in large part to Betsy Jaquith, the director of expansion. Thanks to her hard work and the work of National Council and Staff, over 100 charter members were inducted. Thus would begin the tradition of excellence for the Beta Psi chapter.
The first year was focused on organization. Establishing an identity as a chapter and as brothers would prove crucial to Beta Psi's continued success. However, the social aspects, as important as they were, would not distract the chapter from its broader purpose. In its first semester, Beta Psi planned a canned food drive to help the Murfressboro community and began working with Toys for Tots. Fortunately, just one month after induction National Convention was held in Norfolk, VA. This would provide the chapter a chance to meet experienced brothers from all over the country and give us an idea of how a truly great chapter is run.
With the induction of the Alpha class in the spring semester, the chapter found that many of its charter members did not realize what it meant to be a brother. Led by our first chapter president, Julie Kraft, the chapter improved the initiation process and made clear the expectations of dedicated brotherhood. The number of brothers in the chapter decreased significantly during the first year, but those brothers willing to spend the time and dedicate themselves to the ideals of Phi Sigma Pi would go on to make the chapter stronger, a tradition that would eventually see Beta Psi become one of the best chapters in the nation.
The Early Years
After resolving to recruit only the truly best students from MTSU, Beta Psi would see several years of prosperity. The chapter began making name for itself on campus and in the community. In 1997, Beta Psi began participating in homecoming competitions. The chapter partnered with URHA and would submit entries in the float, banner, and fight song competition. After winning each of these competitions and having our homecoming queen candidate elected to the court, Beta Psi would go on to win the overall competition for non-Greek organizations.
Beta Psi also began participating in various service projects, helping establish it as a strong force in service to the community. In addition to working the The Salvation Army Angel Tree, MS Walk, and Teddy Bear drive, the chapter began a tradition of working with children by participating in Hobgood Elementary's Safe Halloween Trick-or-Treat night. Our second year would also see the first Southern Author's Forum, an open event designed to give authors a chance to discuss their work with those in the community.
In one of Beta Psi's proudest moments, the chapter rallied behind it's president, Jason Lawson, to promote him on campus in his bid for SGA president. After weeks of hard work by the brothers, MTSU's students would elect him to the position, the first SGA president from a non-Greek organization in many years.
Unquestionably, Beta Psi flourished in its first couple of years and would establish a sense of purpose that would carry on in the years to follow.
Beta Psi Takes The National Stage
Riding on a wave of success, the chapter continued in its work of service and would see some of its strongest and most dedicated brothers join the chapter. The chapter began to make a national name for itself as well. Through a contact at Beta Psi, the College of William and Mary would soon establish a Phi Sigma Pi chapter, Gamma Psi. The chapter would continue to participate in campus events, such as homecoming, and would continue to see success, winning the overall competition each year it participated until 2000. It would also begin participating in interchapter events with our closest neighbor, Beta Phi at Western Kentucky.
During this time, Beta Psi continued the Southern Authors' Forum, an event that would eventually help the chapter win its first national award. At the 2000 National Convention, Beta Psi was awarded the Eldo L. Hendricks Award for Scholarship and Programming. The excitement within the chapter, having won a national award after only 5 years, was truly indescribable. Over the next 4 years, the chapter would win another 3 national awards for its various works such as helping with renovations at a local domestic violence shelter. The awards, including the C. H. McClure Single Service Award and the Charles W. Chance Alumni Award, would reach a zenith in 2002 with the chapter's proudest achievement, the Joseph Torchia Outstanding Chapter Award.
Unfortunately, even as the chapter won awards for the work its brothers were doing, the ranks of Beta Psi saw discord creep in while facing a problem almost every chapter struggles with.
Each Chapter must find a way to decide what type of brothers it wishes to include in the Ritual. Beta Psi has always struggled with reaching a compromise between quantity and quality. Between 2000 and 2001 the number of brothers inducted began to fall though they proved how a few active brothers can accomplish more than large groups who have no sense of direction or purpose. This issue would continue to put a strain on the Chapter and would eventually lead to a period of great difficulty.
Beginning as early as 2001, the Chapter saw several years of good growth. It also saw brothers struggling to meet the stringent requirements set by the Chapter. As attendance requirements became more strict, a number of brothers began to express disagreement with this direction. The Chapter developed a rift between the two sides, a rift that would grow as serial initiate advisers began to recruit brothers with different ideals and goals. As would be expected, everyone began to take sides in the debate, and the relationships between us began to strain. Meetings would quickly turn into arguments and Chapter business would grind to a halt. History would show that this could not happen at a worse time. As this debate raged, most of the dedicated brothers who had led the Chapter in the past years and were pushing for higher standards for inducted brothers would start to graduate. The Chapter began to bring in more Brothers who saw Phi Sigma Pi as a resume opportunity or simply a social group rather than the active brotherhood it had been. Membership numbers began to dwindle and the Chapter began to lose touch with the ideals of Phi Sigma Pi, the Ritual becoming little more than formality. The once strong and proud Chapter that had only years before been recognized as one of the best in the nation was now on a road toward almost certain failure.
Beta Psi And The Year Of The Phoenix (2008-2009)
Struggling to maintain the brotherhood, the chapter numbers dwindled dangerously low. The majority of brothers became interested in Phi Sigma Pi simply to say they were part of an honor society. Fellowship between the brothers waned, as did the number and quality of events. A calendar once filled nearly every day with brotherhood events would see entire weeks with little but a chapter meeting. Fortunately, a chance encounter that easily might not have happened would lead to a reversal of the chapter's fortune and lead to a true rebirth of Beta Psi.
The chapter's president contacted Jennifer Clemans Stanley, the chapter faculty advisor and charter member, to sign some routine forms. Having been out of contact with the chapter for some time, Jennifer asked in passing how the chapter was doing. When she heard that only 8 active brothers remained, she began to attend the weekly meetings again. Realizing how difficult a time the chapter was having, she called one of the chapter's alumni advisers, Katie Martin Peachey, for help. Katie and her husband, Matt Peachey, began attending the chapter meetings as well, trying to find out what had brought the chapter to such a perilous state. After seeing the dangerous situation the chapter had fallen into, all three began working to strengthen a very shaky brotherhood.
Over the course of Spring 2007, along with the chapter president Michael Binkley, the alumni began to teach the brothers about the chapter's history and what the chapter had accomplished only a few years prior. But more importantly, they reminded them how it had been done. With their help, the chapter began to open lines of communication with all the chapter alumni and moved toward establishing a stronger sense of purpose within the chapter itself. Held together through the efforts of Michael and his executive board, Beta Psi's turnaround was started with a very successful alumni picnic, with 30 alumni present after many years without much success in alumni events. At the end of that semester, with only a minimum of brothers, the chapter would elect one of its most important E-boards. As a sign of the change in the winds, the chapter voted at its last meeting of the spring to change the chapter mascot to the phoenix, the brilliant mythological firebird who after death, rises from its own ashes, born anew; a fitting symbol of what this chapter hoped to accomplish.
Led by the new president, Brittney Oliver, Beta Psi began a long journey toward rebuilding itself in the fall of 2008. The beginning of the semester was racked with difficulty as some brothers did not agree with the chapter being more active and having more stringent requirements, an all too familiar battle. However, the E-board persevered and interest in Phi Sigma Pi blossomed. The Alpha Beta class of initiates would show a promise not seen by Beta Psi for many months. Remarkably, despite several hiccups in the recruitment and initiation process, eleven new dedicated initiates resolved to become a part of our fraternity and showed an independent resolve to bond to each other in fellowship, knowing that they would be the new foundation for the chapter's endeavors. Having more than doubled their ranks, the chapter looked forward again with plans to expand every aspect of the brotherhood and its works in the community and on campus. After poor recruiting for years before, the chapter began to get their message out and found a large pool of interested students from every class and of every interest. Their excitement only grew as Spring 2009 saw Beta Psi's largest initiate class since 2002 join our ranks, swelling the chapter to its largest numbers in almost a decade. Remarkably, the new Alpha Gamma class showed more individual dedication to the fraternity than had been seen in many years. During their initiation, they displayed an energy and curiosity about the fraternity fitting of true scholars. Through the example of their big brothers and a united chapter, immediately they began to fill some of the most important offices of the chapter with all the faith and confidence of much older brothers, once again showing what a small group of dedicated brothers can accomplish when they share a common purpose. From struggling with only 8 brothers just a year before, the chapter had grown to over 30 brothers, eager to learn where this new impetus could take them. Just like the phoenix they chose to represent them, the chapter was set not only to return to its former accomplishments, but to reach beyond its history and take a place amongst the all-time best chapters of Phi Sigma Pi.
The Current Chapter
The original chapter mascot was the purple panther, chosen for its color and alliteration. As of spring 2008, the official mascot was changed to the phoenix, symbolizing the rebirth of the Beta Psi chapter from its lowest point during the Fall of 2007. Our current version of the mascot was designed and created by alumnus Michael Binkley and made official in April 2009.
"We Are Beta Psi" sung to "Miss Lucy"
We are Beta Psi, An MTSU hit, We are the best we can be, We know we are the...
Sure we have great brothers, Our chapter's full of luck, We love to do great projects, And we really like to...
Find new ways to do things, As anyone can tell, And those who do not like it, Can up and go to...
Hello everybody! We are Beta Psi. The best damn chapter of them all, PHI SIGMA PI !!
Beta Psi from Tennessee/ Showin' everybody what a brother should be/
Scholarship, fellowship, leadership, too/ MTSU, GO BIG BLUE!!
"Beta Psi" sung to "Edelweiss"
Beta Psi, Beta Psi, Leading our scholarly fellows/
All our lives, Beta Psi, your love and honor we'll hallow/
Always show your purple and gold, Purple and gold forever/
Beta Psi, Beta Psi, We pledge our hearts to you always!
Beta Psi continues on a path to bring its Brothers together and reclaim its position of prominence at MTSU and within our fraternity.
Long term, the chapter seeks to return to its days of national success.
Chapter Officers (2017-2018)
- President - Miranda Frye
- Vice President - Luke Mitchell
- Secretary - Taylor Downs
- Treasurer - Benez Holmes
- Initiate Advisor - Kara Stevenson
- Parliamentarian - Makayla Sheppard
- Historian - Kenneth Goit
- Brother-at-Large - Brooke Haskins
Chapter Faculty Advisor
- Leigh Tudor Walls
Past Chapter Presidents
- Julie Kraft (1995-1997)
- Jason Lawson (1997-1998)
- Kyle Heckman (1998-1999)
- Beth Brown (1999-2000)
- Christy Southworth (2000-2001)
- Katie Martin Peachey (2001-2002)
- Christina Nicholas (2002-2003)
- Bethanie Poe (2003-2004)
- Jenny Riley (2004-2005)
- Liz Demetriou (2005-2006)
- Christina Batts (2006-2007)
- Melissa Hatch (Fall 2007)
- Michael Binkley (Spring 2008)
- Brittney Oliver (2008-2009)
- Bryan Lambert (Fall 2009)
- Jaimie Ide (2009-2010)
- Robin Martin (2010-2011)
- Shawn Brady (2011-2012)
- Tim Edgemon (2012-2013)
- Kelsey Hendrixson (2013-2014)
- Wesley Doyle (2014-2015)
- Brooke Ray (2015-2016)
- Kenneth Goit (2016-2017)
- Miranda Frye (2017-Present)
Main Article: List of Beta Psi Chapter Initiate Classes
Chapter Events & Activities
Beta Psi celebrates the Chapter's founding each October 8th. The chapter does not have a fixed celebration, so any suggestions are appreciated!
Current Alumni Council
Chapter Service Key Winners
- Julie Kraft
- Jason Lawson
- Mindy Sands
- Kyle Heckman
- Tony Wolfe
- Christie Irvin
- Katie Martin Peachey
- Christy Southworth Bratton
- Matt Peachey
- Christina Nicholas
- Jennifer Clemans Stanley
- Samantha Egbers
- Novella Greer
Notable Accomplishments of Beta Psi Alumni
- Jason Lawson elected MTSU Student Body president (1998)
- Katie Martin Peachey member of the Triad committee (2000-2001)
- Matt Peachey chosen to sing on the official recordings of "Brothers Are We" and "Brother" (2002)
- Katie Martin Peachey elected as first Vice President of Philanthropy Development for Phi Sigma Pi (2010)
- Beth Brown elected as Vice President of the Tennessee Education Association (2014)
- Katie Martin Peachey and Matt Peachey awarded Distinguished Service Keys at Grand Chapter 2014 - Atlanta, GA
- Katie Martin Peachey elected as President of the Phi Sigma Pi Foundation (2014-2015)
Chapter Honors and Awards
Each semester the chapter presents several awards to its brothers:
- Outstanding Scholarship
- Outstanding Leadership
- Outstanding Fellowship
- The Tripod Award - to the brother that best represents all the ideals of Phi Sigma Pi
- The Lamp of Knowledge Scholarship - an alumni contribution to the initiate who scores the highest grade on the National Exam each semester
- 2000 Dr. Eldo L. Hendricks Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Programming - for establishing the Southern Authors' Forum
- 2001 C.H. McClure Single Service Award - for work with the Rutherford Co. Domestic Violence Shelter
- 2002 Joseph Torchia Outstanding Chapter Award
- 2002 Top Ten Chapter
- 2004 Charles W. Chance Alumni Award
- 2011 Sanders P. McComsey Most Improved Old Chapter Award
- 2011 Top in Region Award, Bluegrass Region
- 2018 Sanders P. McComsey Most Improved Old Chapter Award
- 1997 - Winner, overall homecoming competition (non-Greek class)
- 1998 - Winner, overall homecoming competition (non-Greek class)
- 1999 - Winner, overall homecoming competition (non-Greek class)
- 2010 - 2nd Place, Homecoming Chili Cook-off (Student Organizations category)
- 2016 - Overall Champion, Homecoming Chili Cook-off
In the News
|Beta Psi Chapter|
|Founded October 8, 1995 • Middle Tennessee State University|
|Presidents||Julie Kraft • Jason Lawson • Kyle Heckman • Beth Brown • Christy Southworth • Katie Martin Peachey • Christina Nicholas • Bethanie Poe • Jenny Riley • Liz Demetriou • Christina Batts • Melissa Hatch • Michael Binkley • Brittney Oliver • Bryan Lambert • Jaimie Ide • Robin Martin • Shawn Brady • Tim Edgemon • Kelsey Hendrixson • Wesley Doyle • Brooke Ray|
|History||List of Beta Psi Chapter Initiate Classes • List of Beta Psi Family Lines|
|Chapter Service Keys||Julie Kraft • Jason Lawson • Mindy Sands • Kyle Heckman • Tony Wolfe • Christie Irvin • Katie Martin Peachey • Christy Southworth Bratton • Matt Peachey • Christina Nicholas • Jennifer Clemans Stanley • Samantha Egbers • Novella Greer|
|National Council Members||Katie Peachey • Matt Peachey|