Founding Father John Reily Knox

Eight earnest young men.....

Beta Theta Pi was founded August 8, 1839, at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Today, Beta has some 140 chapters and colonies in Canada and the United States Being a Beta means many things: respect for tradition, lifelong friendship, devotion to academic excellence, dedication to responsible leadership, commitment to community service and high standards of moral conduct.

While brotherhood serves as the cornerstone of Beta Theta Pi, this lasting bond of friendship is cultivated by being a part of a group of individuals who share the same goals and values, constantly supporting each other in the pursuit of social, moral and cultural excellence. Founder John Reily Knox described it as, "What a few men who are united in common purpose and effort are determined to do, can be done. More than that, such associations teach us just how far human friendships can carry us."


Beta Firsts:

-First college fraternity founded west of the Allegheny Mountains (August 8, 1839)
-First and oldest continuously published college fraternity magazine (1872)
-First college fraternity to publish an open constitution for public distribution (1879)
-First fraternity in 13 states — more than any other fraternity.
-First fraternity to establish a chapter west of the Mississippi River (1866)
-First fraternity to have general officers (1872)
-First fraternity to create alumni chapters (1867)
-First fraternity to have a General Convention and one of few to have annual Conventions
-First to host an interfraternity event and meeting
-First fraternity to adopt a 2.5 minimum GPA for a chapter (1984)
-First fraternity to adopt a 2.5 minimum GPA for each member (1997)
Beta Facts:

-A leader among college fraternities with members listed in Who’s Who in America and Canadian Who’s Who — more than any other fraternity

-There was a Beta on the Supreme Court from 1877 to 1975, including the late Justice William O. Douglas, Whitman ’20. In 1911 there were four members who were Betas.

-Between 1881-1889 three members of the court were Betas.

-More than 80 Rhodes Scholars — more than any other fraternity

-More than 197 have been members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives - more than any other fraternity

-Twenty-three states have had a Beta as Governor

-Six Betas have won the Medal of Honor

-Nearly 165,000 initiated members; almost 114,000 living members; approximately 6,200 undergraduate members on 141 campuses in the United States and Canada

-100 alumni associations in cities throughout the United States and Canada
Beta Theta Pi Leadership-Scholarship Awards total more than $90,000 annually for under-graduates and graduate members