ROCKLAND, Maine — Beta Sigma Phi, the largest Greek letter women’s organization in the world, is celebrating its 80th year. Founded in 1931, the organization is devoted to social, cultural,and service projects of all kinds. It is not connected with any school or college, and is nonpolitical and nonsectarian.
The Rockland, Camden area Preceptor Beta Chapter will celebrate Founder’s Day with a dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 3, at The Craignair Inn, Clark Island, St George. Any former member of the organization is invited to attend. A Beta Sigma Phi Chapter started in the Rockland area in 1945 and the first meeting was held in the old Thorndike Hotel.
Members are women of all ages, from all walks of life. Beta Sigma Phi has a membership of more than 165,000 women in over 20 countries throughout the world. The first Beta Sigma Phi chapter was founded in Abilene, Kansas in the midst of the Depression. At that time, many women who ordinarily would have gone to college were obliged to remain home and help support their families. Beta Sigma Phi provided these women a chance to have intellectual and social experience among themselves.
What ordinarily began as a social and cultural group soon turned into a service group, as well. Today, our members have given more thatn $2 million through their International Endowment Fund, which provides financial support to a wide variety of health research and charitable organizations. Our local chapter donates yearly to Area Interfaith Outreach and Meals on Wheels plus various other charities. A yearly nursing scholarship in memory of Beryl Borgerson is given to a student entering the field of nursing.
Cultural and social activities are an integral part of every chapter. Each year, members participate in programs that enhance cultural understanding. Members also plan social events throughout the year. For information, call Dottie at 207-596-6032