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Friday, November 7, 2014

Pi Beta Phi was a little more than five years old when one of its most unique traditions was born. The Pi Phi Cookie Shine owes its beginnings to the Richardson sisters and John Fraser, the Chancellor of the University of Kansas. Sara Richardson from Lawrence, Kansas, became a charter member of Illinois Beta Chapter at Lombard College when it was chartered in April 1872. Sara’s three sisters, Alma, Florence and May, were students at the University of Kansas. Sara heard through the grapevine that a few Kansas men had formed a Beta Theta Pi chapter in the spring of 1873 and she encouraged her sisters to start a chapter of her beloved fraternity. Kansas Alpha was chartered on April 1, 1873. The chapter’s first social event took place several weeks later in June. The party at the Richardson home honored Sara for her help in establishing the chapter. Among the guests was the University’s Chancellor John Fraser, a native of Scotland. When he saw the spread of refreshments, Fraser declared it a “Cookie Shine,” his name for any informal social gathering brought together by accident or design. The name so captured the imaginations of the Pi Phis that they immediately adopted it as their own.

 Piedmont Pi Beta Phi, Fall 2014