Beta Theta Pi History and accomplishments
The Founding of Beta Theta Pi
At nine o’clock on the evening of the eighth day of the eighth month of the year 1839, eight earnest young men, all students at Miami University, held the first meeting of Beta Theta Pi in the Hall of the Union Literary Society, an upper room in the old college building (known as “Old Main”). The eight founders in the order in which their names appear in the minutes were:
John Reily Knox, 1839
Samuel Taylor Marshall, 1840
David Linton, 1839
James George Smith,1840
Charles Henry Hardin, 1841
John Holt Duncan, 1840
Michael Clarkson Ryan,1839
Thomas Boston Gordon, 1840
"of ever honored memory"
Mutual Assistance – Betas believe that men are mutually obligated to help others in the honorable labors and aspirations of life.
Intellectual Growth – Betas are devoted to continually cultivating their minds, including high standards of academic achievement.
Trust – Betas develop absolute faith and confidence in one another by being true to themselves and others.
Responsible Conduct – Betas choose to act responsibly, weighing the consequences of their actions on themselves and those around them.
Integrity – Betas preserve their character by doing what is morally right and demanding the same from their brothers.
Accomplishments of Betas
John Wooden, Purdue ’32 UCLA Basketball Coaching Legend
Sam Walton, Missouri ’40 Founder and Chairman, Walmart
Richard Lugar, Denison ’54 U.S. Senator, Indiana
Stephen Sondheim, Williams ’50 Broadway Composer
John Turner, British Columbia ’49 Prime Minister of Canada
Shahid Khan, Illinois ’70 Owner, NFL Jacksonville Jaguars
Bill Bowerman, Oregon ’65 Co-founder, Nike
Bruce Nordstrom, Washington '55 CEO, Nordstrom
John Backe, Miami ’54 CEO, CBS
Donald E. Petersen, Washington ’46 CEO, Ford Motor Co.
Howard Fineman, Colgate ’70 Huffington Post, MSNBC Analyst
Dale Mortensen, Willamette ’61 Nobel Prize in Economics
John Warnock, Utah ’61 Co-founder, Adobe Systems, Inc.
Jimmy Yen, Yale 1918 Humanitarian and Worldwide Educator
Ray Mabus, Mississippi ’69 U.S. Navy Secretary; Amb. to Saudi Arabia
Harold Hook, Missouri ’53 CEO, American General Corp. President, Boy Scouts of America
Bill Nelson, Florida/Yale ’65 U.S. Senator, Florida Astronaut
Owen D. Young, St. Lawrence 1894 President and Chairman, General Electric 1929 Time Magazine Man of the Year
Neil Everett, Oregon ’84 Broadcaster, ESPN’s Sportscenter
Hugh McColl, North Carolina ’57 CEO, Bank of America
Mike Schmidt, Ohio ’71 MLB Hall of Famer
Dan Carney, Wichita State ’63 Co-founder, Pizza Hut
Frank Shrontz, Idaho ’53 CEO, Boeing
William Anderson (Adam West), Whitman ’51 “Batman”
Ken Cameron, MIT ’71 Astronaut
Jay Fiedler, Dartmouth ’94 NFL Quarterback
Ed Roski, Southern California ’62 CEO, Majestic Realty Co-owner, L.A. Lakers, Kings and Staples Center
Dr. Bill Fox, St. Lawrence ’75 President, St. Lawrence University
Jerry R. Lucas, Ohio State ’62 NBA Hall of Fame, New York Knicks
David Mulford, Lawrence ’59 Ambassador to India
Stephen Bechtel Jr., Purdue ’47 CEO, Bechtel Construction
Glen Holden, Oregon ’51 Ambassador to Jamaica
Joe Albaugh, Oklahoma State ’74 Director of FEMA
Eric Javits, Columbia ’52 Ambassador to the OPCW (The Hague)
Mark Hatfield, Willamette ’43 U.S. Senator & Governor, Oregon
John Dolibois, Miami ’42 Ambassador to Luxembourg
James K. Arness, Beloit ’46 Marshal Matt Dillon on “Gunsmoke”
Stephen Sample, Illinois ’70 President, University of Southern California
George Peppard, Purdue ’52 Paul Varjak on “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Hannibal on “The A-Team”
Mike Bennet, Wesleyan ’87 U.S. Senator, Colorado
Stan Smith, Southern California ’69 Wimbledon Tennis Champion
Paul Weitz, Penn State ’54 Astronaut
John Rietz Jr. (Robert Reed), Northwestern ’54 Mike Brady on “The Brady Bunch”
Frank Murphy, Kansas ’36 Chancellor, University of Kansas & UCLA
Brian White, Dartmouth ’95 “Moesha,” “Stomp the Yard,” “CSI: Miami,” “Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse”
Spencer F. Eccles Sr., Utah ’56 Chairman and CEO, First Security Corp.
Donald D. Coryell, Washington ’47 Coach, NFL Cardinals and Chargers
James A. Collins, UCLA ’50 CEO, Worldwide Restaurant Concepts, Inc.
Don Nickles, Oklahoma State ’71 U.S. Senator, Oklahoma
Warren Staley, Kansas State ’65 CEO, Cargill
Colgate Betas: Kevin Heffernan ’91, Steve Lemme ’91, Erik Stolhanske ’91, and Jay Chandrasekhar ’90 Broken Lizard Comedy Group; “Super Troopers”
Barney Calame, Missouri ’61 Public Editor, The New York Times
John Warner, Washington and Lee ’50 U.S. Senator, Virginia
Joe Allen, DePauw ’59 Astronaut
Richard Heckert, Miami ’44 CEO, DuPont
David Holl, Clemson ’82 President and CEO, Mary Kay, Inc.
Dick Gephardt, Northwestern ’62 Congressman, Missouri
Jim Martin, Davidson ’57 North Carolina Governor
Robert F. Engle III, Williams ’64 Nobel Prize in Economics
Richard Karn, Washington ’78 Al Borland on “Home Improvement”
Melvern "Rivers" Rutherford, Mississippi ’89 American Singer-Songwriter
Art Collins, Miami ’69 Chairman and CEO, Medtronic, Inc.