Michigan Alpha chapter of Pi Beta Phi sorority cel­e­brates the national fra­ter­nity’s 150th anniversary. Jordyn Pair | Col­legian

The Pi Beta Phi sorority is cel­e­brating not one, but two, big birthdays this year.

The first national sorority in America,  Pi Beta Phi is turning 150. Hillsdale’s own chapter — the first chapter in Michigan — is turning 130.

The Michigan Alpha chapter was founded in 1887 and now has 57 active members. The chapter cel­e­brated by par­tic­i­pating in a sorority photo contest through the national head­quarters of the sorority, an event that included new members, active members, and alumni.

“Our chapter has always been a really strong chapter with a really strong history,” Pres­ident junior Char­lotte McFaddin said. “Having cel­e­bra­tions like this reminds us we’re part of a broader history.”

The Ring Ching Roadshow, a trav­eling car named after a founding member of Pi Beta Phi and driven by an alumna, also visited the sorority last month.

“She’s been trav­eling all over the country and Canada, as well, just sharing Pi Phi her­itage and cel­e­brating our 150th year,” McFaddin said.

Michigan Alpha has a strong network of alumnae, McFaddin added.

One Pi Phi alumna that attended the cel­e­bration was Hannah Weikart ’15, who joined the sorority her freshman year. Being in the sorority taught her about friendship and love, she said, but also about com­mitment.

“My favorite thing about Pi Beta Phi is that I pledged myself to women before knowing them,” Weikart said. “I pledged my best, not just to the people I knew, but the people I didn’t know.”

It’s a com­mitment still fol­lowing her.

“These people are still the people who show up for me, who I call in the middle of the night,” she said. “I’ve entered into a network of women.”

Recently, Weikart attended the funeral of a sorority sister’s mom. She wore her pin in support, she said.

“Pi Phi means showing up and loving people,” Weikart said. “It’s entering into some­thing bigger than yourself.”

The women in the sorority, however, are not just ded­i­cated to each other but also to their six core values: integrity, honor and respect, per­sonal and intel­lectual growth, phil­an­thropic service to others, sincere friendship, and, of course, lifelong com­mitment.

“I think having alumni there helps us remember we’re not just here for four years. Pi Beta Phi is a fra­ternity for our whole lives,” McFaddin said. “While we are all indi­viduals, we all hold these common values, and I think that’s what really brings us together.”

This com­mitment is a tra­dition within Hillsdale’s chapter of the sorority.

“To have 130 years at this college is won­derful,” said senior Lauren Renslow, vice pres­ident of com­mu­ni­ca­tions for the sorority.

“There’s a lot of history, and you can feel that not only with Hillsdale but with the sorority, too. We feel a con­nection to the women that have come before us.”

Renslow also said she hopes to create more of a national presence with her time in the sorority, since Michigan Alpha is a smaller chapter, but looks forward to the years ahead.

“This is a really special moment for our chapter,” she said. “I’m excited to come back for the 140th and to have the 150th here.”