May 6, 2021
Justin Warren, Director of Media Relations
Beta Theta Pi Fraternity
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Beta Theta Pi Fraternity Closes Chapter at Willamette University
OXFORD, OHIO, May 6, 2021 – Today Beta Theta Pi is announcing the closure and disbandment of its Gamma Sigma Chapter at Willamette University.
This difficult decision largely stems from the chapter’s inability to consistently recruit and retain members, which has led Gamma Sigma to fall behind in a number of other operational areas critical to creating a positive, viable Beta experience for its brothers and ultimately dwindle to only two active members.
The chapter’s challenges are widespread at Willamette and are currently paralyzing fraternity and sorority life there as a whole. In 2016, 30% of the campus undergraduate population was affiliated with a Greek-letter organization. That number has since fallen to just 12%, which has recently led to the closure of another peer fraternity (Phi Delta Theta) and new member classes of less than 10 men for all remaining chapters. The added difficulties presented by COVID-19 have made this an even steeper uphill climb – one that is seemingly insurmountable for Beta Theta Pi under current conditions.
“Advisors, university representatives, Administrative Office staff members and undergraduates have worked hard over the years to make Beta successful at Willamette," said General Secretary S. Wayne Kay, Virginia Tech ’73. "Although these efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, they were, no doubt, significant and sincere."
Founded in 1947 in Salem, Oregon, Gamma Sigma is home to some 950 living alumni. The chapter’s charter will remain suspended and in care of the Board of Trustees throughout this period of disbandment.
Beta Theta Pi is a college fraternity committed to developing men of principle for a principled life. Founded in 1839, today Beta serves more than 10,000 undergraduate members on 137 campuses across North America, 138,000 living-alumni members and 1,800 volunteers. The Fraternity’s Administrative Office is located near its founding site at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Name: Justin Warren
Position: Director of Media Relations & Senior Writer