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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”


Since the start of Beta’s award-winning Men of Principle initiative in 1998, the Fraternity has seen significant improvements in the areas of academics, recruitment, risk management and leadership development. Before Men of Principle, the Fraternity’s average chapter GPA was just above a 2.8. Today the Fraternity’s GPA has risen to a 3.204, the highest of all fraternities. The average chapter/colony size is 74.4 men, compared to 48.9 in 1997. In 1998 there was an average of 1.95 volunteer advisors per chapter. Today, an average of 8.0 advisors work with each chapter/colony.

With the Men of Principle initiative, Beta gave new voice to the enduring values of the Fraternity. The Initiative was more than a program; it was a deep inner philosophy that demanded integrity from every chapter and all members of the Fraternity. Today, as it was back in 1839, Beta Theta Pi is a shining example across North America for all that is good and true when men come together in a brotherhood of purpose, friendship and fidelity.


Our Mission
To develop men of principle for a principled life.

Our Vision
Every member will live Beta Theta Pi’s values.

Core Values
To build lasting bonds of friendship and brotherhood, Beta calls for:


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.

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.

Betas preserve their character by doing what is morally right and demanding the same from their brothers.

To learn more about the general fraternity, check out

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