Epsilon Chapter of Beta Theta Pi officially moves back to Greek Row

Posted by Centre News in Greek Life, News 14 Oct 2014

betaCentre College has a strong tradition of Greek life, with six fraternities and four sororities committed to serving the community. In the past year alone, these Greek organizations raised a combined $68,000 for various charitable organizations through philanthropic initiatives and recorded over 8,700 community service hours. Now, with the recent move of Epsilon Chapter of Beta Theta Pi (Beta) into the Breeze House, Centre welcomes another capable organization back to Greek row.

The move into the Breeze House comes after Beta, founded in 1848 on Centre’s campus, spent the past three years recolonizing. The fraternity recently received their official charter, though according to Beta President Gray Whitsett ’16, the process of recolonization was not an easy task.

“We struggled with numbers early on, and it was difficult to really function with a lack of funds,” says Whitsett.

Fortunately, the chapter did not have to go through the process on their own.

“We were extremely fortunate for the strong alumni base that we had. They stepped in and provided us with the funding and guidance to be competitive and recruit the numbers that we needed,” says Whitsett.

“Centre alumni, such as John Kinkade ’95 and Shawn Lyons ’81, were a tremendous help to us as well,” Whitsett continues. “We were fortunate to have that alumni connection right here on campus.”

After successfully meeting their requirements for the recolonization progress, the chapter received their charter from the Beta’s national administration on Aug. 9, officially restoring them as the Epsilon Chapter of Beta Theta Pi.

With requirements completed for recolonization, Beta has moved into the recently renovated Breeze House on West Walnut Street, next to the Combs Center.

James Martin ’15, who currently serves as Beta’s house manager, reflects on his four-year journey as a member of Beta, from a young first-year member to his role in the fraternity’s new house.

“Essentially, we conducted recruitment out of our previous space in the basement of the Yerkes House for two years, and this really puts things in perspective for me looking back—I’m grateful that we have a place to start again, and I’m proud that we’ve come such a long way.”

According to chapter advisor and alumnus Jerry Blesch ’57, the move into the Breeze House is especially significant given the fact that Bill Breeze ’45, for whom the house is named, was himself a Beta.

“The chapter is very happy and thankful to have such a beautiful and meaningful house,” says Blesch. “Although it will be known as the Beta House, we all know and appreciate that Bill Breeze is a Beta and his picture will always hang in the entranceway.”

by John Ross Wyatt ’15

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