Beta Phi Omega History


History never repeats! Once time has passed it is not possible to return to an exact situation or moment or event. “If only I had…” is the common lament of one who missed an opportunity in life. We say, “Time waits for no one.” So, if all this is true, and we’ll never be back to where we were why study history? Why document the history Of Beta Phi Omega 

Contemporary situations often mirror events of history. History doesn’t repeat, but we often speak of history repeating. Too often we feel pride in our accomplishments, which under deeper scrutiny are little more than rediscovering the wheel and reinventing a process, when we could have been more productive using knowledge already existing! 

History can be tantalizing. Documenting the history of Beta Phi Omega couldn’t be a transcription like the Congressional Daily Record or a statistical abstract. It had to be a selection of those stories that had substance, importance for future generations and like Mary Poplin’s “spoonful of medicine,” enough interest to hold a reader’s attention. 

In doing research for this book, I was frequently surprised by how often just under the surface of our modern practices and customs; little has changed in the principles and values of Beta Phi Omega. It was a pleasant revelation to know that our fraternity was still working as the founder’s intended. Survival of any organization lies in the ability to adapt to change without sacrificing key values. 


The Dayton Campus, the offspring of, and branch campus for, Ohio State University and Miami University, opened in the fall of 1964.  Word was, it should be a very good place to receive a college education and at a very reasonable price.  Maybe thanks, in part, by the military establishment located at WPAFB, or maybe, because of the easy commute.  Anyway…the time for any alternative point of view was at hand for those just out of high school.  The expanded awareness of people thought was college…lent itself to what they would actually experience during these times.

It was Beta Phi Omega's founders, who provided the inspiration, upon which the fraternity was built. They dared to be unique in their vision, foresight, ideals, and principles. They gave us the spirit of genuine democracy and challenged the fraternity to choose men not for their wealth, rank, or honor, but for their personal worth and character. They left the fraternity with a priceless heritage. 

The founders desired an organization different from that represented by the existing fraternities.  Their desire was to establish a fraternity in which the primary requisites for membership would be the personal worth and character of the individual rather than the wealth he possessed, the honors or titles he could display, or the rank he maintained on the social ladder.

One can not reflect on the 1960’s without experiencing “life moments” covering historical snap shots in time that range from: Vietnam, the Beatles, the Stones, Woodstock, to the Landing on the Moon, the New York Jets, to the Chicago National Democratic Convention, to Kent State, to Kennedy’s assassination. This was also the time for an experience of male bonding.  In some circles of the 1960’s, the perceptions of a Greek fraternal system to provide camaraderie, lasting relationships and exposure to people of diverse backgrounds was too much to ignore.  Not many at the Dayton Campus understood what a fraternity meant to its brotherhood, the college and the community.  Little did those who would form the longest standing fraternal organization realize the impact or it’s meaning on all of us. Shortly after the Dayton Campus became Wright State University, the fall of 1967, was the year in which Beta Phi Omega became, and still is, the Fraternity of choice.

Beta Phi Omega has a long and rich history, dating back to 1967. We try to preserve and remember this history, to serve as a reminder of where we've been, and a guide to help get us where we're trying to go. The following is a detailed history of the fraternity, from our origins to the present day.

In The Beginning
(1967 - 1968)

The Dayton Campus of Miami and OSU

In the fall of 1964, a single building standing in the middle of a farm pasture opened its doors to the 3,203 students registered for classes within its walls. That building, which housed faculty, administration, student services, and classrooms all under one roof, was Allyn Hall; but the institution was not yet Wright State University. That one building was the entire Dayton Campus of Miami University and The Ohio State University. 

However, those humble beginnings were the culmination of a dream by Dayton business and civic leaders to establish a public university in the Dayton area-a dream validated when the community raised $3 million in seed money to support the effort. For students accustomed to attending evening courses offered by OSU and Miami in Dayton-area high schools, the YWCA, and at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the new one-building campus was a godsend. 

The campus would go on to include three more buildings within the next three years, but initially the new institution boasted a faculty numbering 55 members and a campus comprising general college, science and engineering, Dayton academic center of Miami University, and graduate center of The Ohio State University. 

Gaining Independent Status

Although the campus was under the shared leadership of two universities, the need for academic leadership on campus led to the naming of Brage Golding as the first president of the Dayton Campus in the fall of 1966. Other pressures-political, community, and fiscal-began building as well, pushing the university to sever its ties from OSU and Miami and become an independent state university. It achieved that status on October 1, 1967, when its enrollment exceeded 5,000, which gave the campus the required size for full independence per Senate Bill 210. 

Wright State's independence was celebrated in holiday fashion. As President Golding, Vice President of Finance Fred White, and Director of Communications Al Brown returned from the Board of Regents meeting in Columbus with the official word of Wright State's independence, they were met by a welcoming campus crowd of more than 300 from the student body, faculty, and administration, celebrating with banners and refreshments. Later, students held a mock funeral service signifying the end of the "Dayton Campus" designation. A casket was buried in the woods to the north of Founders' Quadrangle. A tree was planted over the grave to commemorate the beginning of the new university. 

On October 21, 1967, the communities of Fairborn, Xenia, and Beavercreek sponsored a day-long celebration on the Wright State University campus. The theme was "The University-The Community-The Family." Festivities including an ox roast, a soccer game between the Wright State soccer club and Wilberforce, a performance by the Wright-Patterson Air Force Band, an art show and sports activities strengthened the ties between the university and the community.

Someone, in early September 1967, came up with the idea to start a fraternity.  Through the next couple weeks a collection of individuals contacted other friends and acquaintances to determine interest in being part of this fraternity.  This grew into several social get together’s with an official, planned gathering, on September 21, 1967. On this day the 16 founding fathers came together on the fourth floor Southeast corner of Millet Hall to officially designate a name and colors, and formulate the blueprints for the Fraternity. They gathered around a table in a small classroom and picked 5 each drew part of the name and the colors from an envelope. Beta Phi Omega was the second group of letters drawn.  The first group of letters was very similar to those of another Wright State Fraternity at this time; the first officers were elected. Beta Phi Omega is the only Fraternity founded at Wright State to survive, all the rest merged with a national Fraternity or they died out all together. It was at this meeting or at a later meeting that officers were elected.  Rich Roy was a major organizer and helped or directed most of the early activities. Rich was selected to design a Crest; another member was designated to order blazers which that member ordered through Price Brothers. One member was selected to have the Crest reduced to patches to be placed on the blazer and a fourth member was in charge of having our then members photographed. It was completed in consultation with a number of members and the fraternity voted on the four primary articles which were placed on the Crest.  These steps quickly produced the best looking and best organized fraternity at the college

They and were off and running.  They ordered shirts to wear around campus and to use for an intramural football team in the fall of 1967. It was through this football team that the first pledge came into contact with Beta Phi, the Founding fathers were playing in an intramural football game.  They were one man short for the team and needed an extra body or they would forfeit the game they saw Pat Moran sitting by watching them play. They looked at several candidates at the local Fairborn morgue, but settled on Pat.  He was fast, good hands…but more importantly, he was a warm body.  (He became more than that to the Fraternity as a President!) They asked him to play on their team. He volunteered and was listed on our roster.  All members of the team had to be members of an organization so they told the other team he was their pledge.  Pat was so impressed by the Founding Fathers that he asked to become an official pledge of the Fraternity after the game. At that time there was no pledge program in place so Pat didn’t go through any type of pledge program, as we know it today. His pledge period concluded with the completion of that first intramural league season.

Beta Phi formed a softball team the following spring and began to get involved in other organizations that Wright State provided.  This diverse involvement in the infrastructure became a common place occurrence around campus.  It appeared that there was a representative of Beta Phi involved everywhere in university life and contributing in many different ways.


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