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Student Organizations. Strings Society and Pi Beta Phi Sorority Records

Finding Aid & Inventory

Strings Society was a sorority founded at Wake Forest University in 1946 that remained active as a local sorority until 1993 when the the group, like other Wake Forest societies, affiliated with a national sorority. Strings Society became the North Carolina Gamma chapter of Pi Beta Phi Sorority. The group has been inactive since 2010 when the national governing body of Pi Beta Phi revoked the Gamma Chapter's charter. This collection contains scrapbooks that cover both Strings and Pi Phi members, newsletters, photographs, and artifacts.

Biographical and Historical Note

The Strings Society was the first local female society at Wake Forest University. According to organizational files, Strings was founded by friends Huldah Lineberry ('51), Kay Williams ('48), and Edith Rawls ('49) in the attic of Johnson Dormitory on the original Wake Forest campus in 1946. As a response to Kay being invited to join the Tassels honor society, the friends referred to themselves as "Strings". The small group grew as it added more members and inspired the formation of other female societies.

Following a nautical theme, the symbols and traditions associated with Strings include the colors navy and white, whales, anchors, and sailor caps. The group's official flower was a white carnation and members were referred to as "threads" (pledges) or "ropes" (alumnae). Other associations include the "Allemande" chant and the Stringman mascot. They hosted the signature event, Frankfest, and heavily participated in the campuswide fraternity fundraising competition "Derby Days". Members of Strings were involved in social activities and participated in philanthropic endeavors that benefited charitable organizations such as the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and the big ongoing campus-wide fundraising efforts for cancer research in honor of former WFU football player Brian Piccolo.

By 1965 there were five women's societies on Wake Forest's campus: Strings, the Fideles, the Laureles, Les Souers, and the S.O.P.H's. The societies worked together to create the Inter-Society Council. The ISC developed and maintained standards for rush, it kept the societies connected to each other, and it served as a point of contact between the societies and campus administration. Under the guidance of the Dean of Women, Lula Leake, the female societies of Wake Forest College achieved official campus recognition in 1967.

Due to complex insurance and liability issues, the campus administration decided that the societies had to limit their operations or affiliate with a national organization. In April 1991, the Phoenix Society affiliated with Alpha Delta Pi and the other societies followed by affiliating with other groups within the National Panhellenic Conference. Strings moved to affiliate with Pi Beta Phi, known colloquially as Pi Phi, in 1992 and the organization was active on campus for 17 years. Pi Phi members held onto their local traditions and ceremonies while operating as Pi Beta Phi, which prompted the national organizing body to revoke the campus' charter in 2010.

Sources:

Edgeton, Caroline. "Pi Beta Phi sorority loses charter." Old Gold and Black, 2010 Aug 26, p. A1. Accessed via Old Gold and Black

"Strings Society," book. Vertical Files (Printed Materials) Collection (RG15), Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA

Collection Overview

Series 1 materials cover the Strings era from 1946 until 1993. This collection contains photographs, scrapbooks, historical materials, notebooks, and artifacts such as jewelry and textiles.

Series 2 materials cover the years that the organization was Pi Beta Phi. This collection contains photoalbums, notebooks, and, meeting notes

Collection Inventory

  • Strings Society
    • S' embroidered dress (circa 1960s) box 1, 8, 15, 11 object 1
    • Susan Nance Strings Society pledge scrapbook (Spring 1968) box 8 object 1
    • Mary Gail Nesbit Strings Society sweatshirt (1957) box 2-6, 14 object 1
    • Elizabeth Douglass Strings pledge scrapbook (Spring 1978) box 9 object 1
    • Senior Strings t-shirt (circa 1980s-1990s) box 5 object 1
    • 40th Anniversary t-shirt (1986) box 4 object 1
    • Strings initiation t-shirt (circa 1980s-1990s) box 3 object 1
    • Strings Greek Week t-shirt (1984) box 3 object 2
    • Strings Society photograph album (1983-1984) box 8 object 2
    • Mary Dalton Strings hat (Spring 1981) box 6 object 1
    • Mary Dalton Strings pledge scrapbook (Spring 1981) box 10 object 1
    • Mary Dalton Strings pledge cup (1981) box 11 object 1
    • Mary Dalton Strings 45th Anniversary t-shirt (1991) box 7, 9-10, 12-13, 16-20 object 1
    • Mary Dalton Strings name t-shirt (circa 1981-1985) box 7, 9-10, 12-13, 16-20 object 2
    • Strings 1981-1982 member portraits (1981-1982) box 20 object 1
    • Photograph memory box (1981) box 20 object 2
    • Mary Dalton initiation photograph (1981) box 11 object 3
    • Susan Nance, String ring (1968) box 11 object 2
    • 1971 Strings member ring (1971) box 11 object 3
    • Susan Nance, "Outstanding Pledge" bracelet (1968) box 11 object 4
    • Strings Threads pledge pin (1968) box 11 object 5
    • Strings wooden decorative crest (1981) box 11 object 6
    • Strings 45th Anniversary history book (1992) box 12 folder 1
    • Pledge book belonging to Susan Nance (1968) box 12 folder 2
    • Inter-Society Council new member rush information (1967-1972) box 12 folder 3
    • Administrative information (circa 1980s) box 12 folder 4
    • "Constitution of the Strings Society (circa 1960s) box 12 folder 5
    • Member invitation bid card (1978 March) box 12 folder 6
    • Society songbooks (circa 1970s) box 12 folder 7
    • Songs and chants lyrics belonging to Susan Nance (circa 1970) box 12 folder 8
    • 1992 pledge group party song (1993) box 12 folder 9
    • On-campus member directories (circa 1978-1982) box 12 folder 10
    • Traditional skit performance scripts (circa 1970s-1990s) box 12 folder 11
    • Member newsletters (1971-1992) box 12 folder 12
    • Derby Days book and letter (1992) box 12 folder 13
    • Dorm prank newspaper clipping (circa 1970s-1980s) box 12 folder 14
    • Photographs (circa 1970s-1980s) box 12 folder 15
    • Derby Days photographs and negatives (1963 July) box 12 folder 16
    • Pledge activities, photocopies (circa 1968-1972) box 12 folder 17
    • Photographs of pledge performances (1972 March) box 12 folder 18
    • Strings blanket ritual, Old Campus photograph (circa 1946-1955) box 12 folder 19
    • Zenia Raudsepp pledge period activities calendar (Fall 1982) box 12 folder 20
    • Strings initiation tests (2011) box 12 folder 21
    • Pledging society information (circa 1990s) box 12 folder 22
    • S.O.P.H information cards (circa 1990s-2000s) box 12 folder 23
    • Pledge card binder (2001) box 14 object 1
    • Pledge card binder (2001) box 14 object 2
    • "In Activity" AI box-light letters (circa 2000s) box 16 object 1
    • Photoalbum (1990-1991) box 19 object 1
    • Photoalbum (1991-1992) box 19 object 2
    • Annual member portraits (1973) folder 1 object 1
    • Annual member portraits (1974) folder 1 object 2
    • Annual member portraits (1978-1979) folder 1 object 3
    • Annual member portraits (1979-1980) folder 1 object 4
    • Annual member portraits (1981-1982) folder 1 object 5
    • Annual member portraits (1983) folder 1 object 6-7
    • Annual member portraits (1985-1986) folder 1 object 8
    • Annual member portraits (1991-1992) folder 1 object 9
    • Annual member portraits (1992-1993) folder 1 object 10
    • Threads, pledge list (1989 Fall) box 13 folder 14
    • Winter newsletter (1992 December 28) box 13 folder 15
    • "The Constitution of the Strings Society" (circa 1980s) box 13 folder 16
    • Great Grubba ceremony, information and questionnaires (circa 1980s) box 13 folder 17
    • Meeting notes (1989) box 13 folder 18
    • Meeting notes (1989) box 13 folder 19
    • Threads, pledge list (1988 Fall) box 13 folder 20
    • Summer newsletter (1991 July 24) box 13 folder 21
    • Pledging information and rules (circa 1980s) box 13 folder 22
    • 1992 officers contact list (1992) box 13 folder 23
    • Letter to alumnae (1992) box 13 folder 24
    • The Anchor', newsletter (1988 Fall) box 13 folder 25
    • 45th Anniversary bulletin (1991) box 13 folder 26
    • The Anchor', newsletter (1991) box 13 folder 27
  • Pi Beta Phi (1992-2010)
    • Wooden 'VP' pendant (circa 1998) box 11 object 7
    • Jennah Dieter, member, letter to new pledges (Spring 1999) box 12 folder 1
    • Social events and meetings photographs (1995) box 12 folder 2
    • Correspondence (1996) box 12 folder 3
    • "Ritual of the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity" pamphlet and photocipes (circa 1993) box 12 folder 4
    • Pi Beta Phi guidelines and administrative information (1996-1997) box 12 folder 5
    • Pi Beta Phi Fraternity Constitution and Statutes (2003) box 12 folder 6
    • Kristy Eyler Pi Beta Phi membership card (1998) box 12 folder 7
    • Pledge and sister information sheets (circa 1998-2007) box 12 folder 8-9
    • Group photographs (2001-2008) box 12 folder 10
    • Wake Forest Magazine with article about sorority affiliations (1993 December) box 12 folder 11
    • Pi Beta Phi WFU chapter member statistics (circa 2000s) box 12 folder 12
    • Note from Pi Phi pledges (circa 2000s) box 12 folder 13
    • Photograph album (circa 2000s) box 15 folder 1
    • Pledge journal (circa 1990s-2000s) box 15 folder 2
    • Scrapbook photograph album (Fall 2005) box 17 object 1
    • Scrapbook photograph album (2007) box 18 object 1
    • Scrapbook photograph album (Spring 2008) box 18 object 2
    • Annual member portraits (1994-1995) folder 1 object 11-12
    • Annual member portraits (1995-1996) folder 1 object 13-14
    • Annual member portraits (1996-1997) folder 1 object 15
    • Annual member portraits (2000-2001) folder 1 object 16-18
    • Group photograph (Spring 2001) folder 1 object 19-20
    • Group photograph (Spring 2010) folder 1 object 21

Summary Information

Repository
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives
Title
Student Organizations. Strings Society and Pi Beta Phi Sorority Records
ID
RG8.35
Date [inclusive]
1960-2010
Extent
30 Linear Feet
Mixed Materials [box]
7, 9-10, 12-13, 16-20
Mixed Materials [box]
2-6, 14
Mixed Materials [box]
1, 8, 15, 11

Administrative Information

Publication Information
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives
Access Restrictions
Collection is open for use. 
Copyright Notice
The nature of the WFU Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of ZSR Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. 
Preferred Citation
Student Organizations. Strings Society and Pi Beta Phi Records (RG8.35), Z. Smith Reynolds Special Collections and Archives, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA. 

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