Why I Gave

Why I Gave

No matter how many times I drive down West Maple, I get a special feeling admiring all the beautiful sorority houses and their manicured landscaping. I feel a letdown when I see our special place at 502 and worry that rushees won’t feel what we all felt there years ago. It’s time for our exterior to live up to the image we have always enjoyed…the most outstanding sorority on campus! This new home will breathtaking and portray the image we want to uphold for the next century! I’m thrilled and all in!
Vanessa Brown Thomas Russell
Arkansas Alpha, 1981

During college, Pi Phi gave so much to me. I gained lifelong friendships, those who stood by my side as I married my husband, those who prayed for my child in a time of emergency and loved and served my family well, those who will laugh the hardest with me at the simplest things, those who I can call with the best or the worst news and know that they’re there no matter what. I gained a perspective on and experience of leadership and service, those which I still carry with me today in running a business and serving a community. As I have committed to Pi Phi after college, the thing that I have realized the most is that as I give back, Pi Phi continues to give to me time and time again. It truly is a lifelong experience, and one that I want to see continue to change college women for the better. Living in the house at 502 West Maple and all of the rich experiences that came with it is priceless. I believe that a new home will carry our legacy into the future, providing the opportunity for our collegians to grow their relationships and experiences. My sincere hope is that these young women will someday look back at their time in our home and feel that they had the best days and that their lives changed there for the better.
Jenessa Dyer Bailey
Arkansas Alpha, 2001

Since August of 1977, Pi Phi has been very special to me. It was almost my whole world during college and I loved every minute of it. Since college, I have loved the special bond that I have with our sisters, those I see frequently, and those I see rarely. There is still a bond of close friendship and sisterhood and this is so evident when we have our reunions. I will miss our old house where we have so many wonderful memories, however, I would like to be a part of the new house and to help make it possible for many girls in the future to have the special experience that is PI BETA PHI!
Malinda Rutledge Kirchner
Arkansas Alpha, 1978

As a Fayetteville native, my first exposure to the Pi Phi house was when I was about 5 years old and I tagged along with my babysitter for a visit to the “Pink Palace”. I remember laughter and every time I drove by in the backseat of the family station wagon, I smiled. Years later, after I transferred to the University for my sophomore year, I found myself gravitating again to the pink house on the corner with a houseful of happy girls. On Bid Day, I met my future husband, a planned introduction made by my new sisters. My two years living in the house were exactly how I imagined – fun! I cherish the lifelong friendships that I made, and those I have formed since because of a bond with Pi Phi. Having my sister, Melinda, pledge in 1982 and my daughter, Anne-Elise, pledge in 2008 forged an even stronger bond to our chapter. When the late Cindy Coates Miller asked me if I would spearhead a new house campaign, I was reluctant. Do I have the time, do I have the energy? After she passed away, her request lay heavy on my heart and I only needed a little bit of encouragement from others – especially Marilynn Moseley Porter – to commit myself to the project. I know how much this house means to me, I know how much this house meant to Cindy and those no longer with us, I know how much this house means to you. It will take all of us to build this house. No matter the amount you can give, your gift is important. Give for the memories, give for the future, give for the laughter that will always be in your heart!
Melissa “Misty” McIlroy Hawkins
Arkansas Alpha, 1981

College is a life passage for most of us, and to have the experience of “a sisterhood” adds a richness to the college journey. Being a Pi Phi certainly enriched my college journey and has made life’s journey sweeter too because of the memories, the lasting friendships and new friends gained as a result of being a member of Pi Beta Phi. I am involved in the Second Century Campaign because I want Arkansas Alpha to continue its long and strong presence in Greek life at the University of Arkansas. We need a new House…a new home where all the fun times start, the drama of group girl living happens, where life lessons are learned without even realizing it and friendships formed. Our common bond and camaraderie will continue to occur and the rich legacy of Pi Beta Phi will continue for generations to come yet a new House is a needed part for the next 100 years, I think, so I donated.
Mimi Myer Hurst
Arkansas Alpha, 1977

In the fall of l941, the Arkansas Alpha chapter opened its door to me and I became a part of this unique organization which has had a profound impact on my life. My pledge sister, Connie Stuck, introduced me to her brother, Howard, who became my husband.  In 1955, the icon and a founding member of the chapter, Mary Campbell Gregory, asked me to chair the House Corporation board.  I traveled across the state from my home in Marked Tree to set up a committee and raise the funds that were used to build the current house on Maple which was dedicated in l957.  In the fifties, I went back to help with rush several years and made friends in a new generation of Pi Phis.  I was thrilled to contribute to the campaign to raise funds for the Pi Phi Gate, which represents our chapter on the U of A campus in such a meaningful way. Now, it is a privilege to respond to Misty and her committee as the work to raise funds for a much needed new Pi Phi home is underway. Friendship and its enduring bond was the founding principle of Pi Phi. We can strengthen and enrich that bond by supporting the housing needs of our new sisters as we contribute to the house fund today.
Dorothy Davis Stuck
Arkansas Alpha, 1942

When I pledged Pi Beta Phi in 2002, I remember spending countless hours in the “pledge room” located in the lower level of the Pi Phi house. We were required to meet here for weekly pledge meetings and study hall hours, so most of my early memories of the Pi Phi house were made in this room. One particular aspect of this room which always stood out to me was a hand-made post someone had put up on the wall. It included a list of ways to get involved with Pi Phi, and at the top of the poster it read, “Don’t be a boring angel.” Although the member who put up this poster probably only spent a few minutes making it and never thought about it again, the message sort of became my mantra during my years with Pi Beta Phi. Whenever I thought about missing a chapter meeting or skipping out on a clean-up day at Wilson Park, I reminded myself not to be a boring angel. I never wanted to be a member in name only; I wanted to be involved and to be a member who gave back. I may never have been chosen as “model pledge” or served as chapter president, but I gave back in ways that I could. When I received a letter about the Arkansas Alpha Second Century Campaign, it would have been easy to throw the letter away, to not worry about the process of building this gorgeous home. I realized that I did not want to simply admire the finished product, but I wanted to be involved in the process, no matter how small of a contribution I would be able to make. As Arkansas Alpha moves into its second century, I want to be a part of it. I want to know that I am contributing in some way. There is no way I will ever be able to give back to Pi Phi as much as it has given me, but I can still give back something in the hopes that the new Pi Phi house will be home to countless young women who refuse to be boring angels, who will strive to continue the legacy of Pi Beta Phi long after they have graduated.
Kelly Dale Hogan
Arkansas Alpha, 2002

When I think of college days, the Pink Palace is at the heart of my very best memories. Laughter and singing, joys and disappointments – all were shared there with sisters who would become lifelong friends. How diminished my life would be without those friendships! While it’s impossible to put a monetary value on all that Pi Phi has meant to me, the Building Our Legacy campaign has become a meaningful way to give back to Arkansas Alpha—a way to honor those who came before me, a way to celebrate my time in the house, and a way to help ensure that future Arkansas Alphas will have a home where their friendships can be made and nourished.  I’m very grateful for the leadership of Misty Hawkins, Jenessa Bailey, and their committees for the gift of this opportunity.
Becky Williams Williams
Arkansas Alpha, 1967

Like many young women encounter in their four years of college, unforseen circumstances came up in my life making room and board a serious concern. It was such a relief for both myself & my parents knowing that I had the Pi Phi house to live in where we knew I would have a safe, supportive place to rest my head at night as well as 3 full meals each school day. The Pi Phi house brought so much comfort and peace of mind in a time of need. I am committed to my pledge, my involvement in this project, and the project in and of itself because I truly and deeply feel that it is our responsibility and honor to ensure that every young woman that joins the sisterhood of the Arkansas Alpha chapter of Pi Beta Phi will have a safe and loving home at 502 West Maple Street.
Aaryn Wooldridge
Arkansas Alpha, 2006

There is a house called “The Pink Palace” that brought me to a place where others saw things in me that I did not know were there. Graduating from a very large high school, 700 in my class, there was very little recognition or room for leadership for everyone. So I blended in, had fun, had many friends, and decided to go to The University of Arkansas in 1967. After all, I was used to BIG! So, with that history, I was amazed to receive a bid from Pi Beta Phi. That day began some of the happiest years of my life. The friends I made are still very important to me. The whole experience of sorority life showed me that others saw leadership skills in me. Being in a leadership position through Pi Phi gave me confidence to tackle other positions of leadership throughout my life. That valuable lesson is why I want to support The Arkansas Alpha Second Century Campaign for a new Pink Palace on The University Of Arkansas campus.
Pat Rose Carlton
Arkansas Alpha, 1969

Our family has a rich Pi Beta Phi history spanning generations of women – aunts, cousins, sisters, mothers and daughters. Some of us lived in the original house, others in the Pink Palace and we hope to have Pi Phis in the years to come live in our new home at 502 West Maple! We gave to The Second Century Campaign because we wanted to ensure that the legacy of our chapter continues for the next 100 years and that those Pi Phi’s can have the same wonderful memories and experiences that we cherish every day from our college years. The Pi Phi sisterhood might start in college but it has become an enriching aspect of both of our adult lives as well. We are honored to be a part of the next century of Arkansas Alpha Pi Beta Phi.
Beth Stuckey Rice                               Katie Rice Dimitrova
Arkansas Alpha, 1974                         Arkansas Alpha, 2001

It has been 30 years since our last night together in the Pi Phi House, yet the memories are still so vivid! I fondly remember Bid Day – running down Maple to the house and seeing the lawn filled with my new Pi Phi sisters and others cheering and welcoming us home – and, it was literally my home for 3 years. Friendships that were created there have lasted three decades thus far. Whether they are my Pi Phi sisters who gather each January for our annual trip or the ones I just saw for the first time in years at the August reunion, they are friends and sisters who hold a special place deep in my heart. I gave to The Second Century Campaign because someone went before us and gave years ago to build our first house. I was the beneficiary of that gift. As demands change and our chapter grows, I want our Arkansas Alpha Pi Phi sisters to have the same opportunity to live in the house and enjoy gathering together in that place to develop the memories and bonds that I hold so dear.
Harriet Morris Maclay
Arkansas Alpha, 1981

I am so honored and excited to have the opportunity to give to my Arkansas Alpha “Building Our Legacy” fund for our new home!! One of my greatest blessings in life is Pi Beta Phi and my dear Arkansas Alpha Chapter where my love and life long commitment to Pi Beta Phi began. From the moment I walked through the door at 502 West Maple on Senior Weekend in the spring of ’79, I knew I was “home”!!! I remember Sally Sloan, Gwen Williams and Anna McDaniel taking me under their wings and showing me the best time I have ever had in my life that weekend. I loved each of them from the minute I met them and felt as if I had known them my entire life already! That was the beginning of my love for my future chapter and home at Arkansas Alpha. As we all say, “If those walls could talk!” I love each and every one of my Arkansas Alpha Sisters and I am looking so forward to being a small part of this new chapter in our best of the best Arkansas Alpha Pi Beta Phi Chapter!
Audrey Miller Pennings
Arkansas Alpha, 1980


Thank you for choosing to make a donation to The Second Century Campaign in support of the new Pi Beta Phi Arkansas Alpha Chapter House! Donations made through our website will be sent directly to the Arkansas Alpha Chapter House Corporation and will NOT be tax deductible. For information on tax deductible donations or to make a pledge to the campaign, please download a pledge agreement here.

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All donations of $1,000 or more will receive a small brick paver in the new Courtyard. You will be contacted later in the year for exact wording of your paver.