Bethany College


Bethany, WV

Bethany College was chartered in 1840. Alpha Pi Alpha was organized by eleven students as a local fraternity at Bethany College in the Fall of 1925. Alpha Pi Alpha’s first house was on Pendleton Street, three lots from the present Post Office. The second was at Fair and Cramblet Streets and served the chapter until 1952. It was the first building built in Bethany as a fraternity chapter house. It was located across from a church which Sigma Nu remodeled into its chapter house in 1928. Sigma Nu Regent Rev. Wilson came to Bethany for a celebration of the remodeling, and visited the Alpha Pi Alpha chapter across the street. The visit led Alpha Pi Alpha to petition Alpha Kappa Pi, to which Rev. Wilson was advisor and de facto chief executive, for a charter. On June 1, 1929, Alpha Pi Alpha was installed as Lambda of Alpha Kappa Pi. The 18 charter members were Thomas Addleman, Walter Brock, Frank Dole, Edwin Elwell, Jr., Earl Eppling, Ralph Fasick, Frank Gay, James Harris, Robert Redden, John Hoch, William Horner, Arthur Markley, Herald Monroe, George Owen, Mark Reigard, Raymond Thomas, Thomas Walker and Oliver Loer. Dr. Wilbur H. Cramblet, Yale ‘12, Dean of the College, spoke at the installation. W. Howard Horner, Bethany ‘29, was first president of the chapter. The chapter won the IFC scholarship cup in 1928-1929, again in 1929-30, and retained it in the Fall of 1930. The chapter was again first in scholarship in 1933-34 and 1934-35. Dr. Wilbur H. Cramblet, Yale ‘12, was inaugurated President of Bethany College in 1934.

The chapter was revived after three years of wartime inactivity and re-designated Beta Gamma Chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity in 1946. Wilbur H. Cramblet, Yale ‘12, was President of the College and Grand Senior President of Alpha Sigma Phi when the Lambda of Alpha Kappa Pi was installed as Beta Gamma Chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi.

The chapter received the Alpha Gamma Upsilon Award for 1968-70. The chapter won the Bethany College Wookery Award for highest fraternity scholarship average 17 times since 1962. It won the Grand Council Scholarship Award for 1966 and the Summa Cum Laude Award for 1964 and 1965. The chapter won the Alpha Sigma Phi Service Award for 1962, the Tomahawk Award for 1971, and Chapter Newsletter Awards for 1982 and 1990.

In 1952 the chapter was assisted by Bethany College President Cramblet in arranging for the purchase of the Nave Mansion, which the College had been using as a residence hall, for $25,000.00 and the Fair Street house. The Grand Senior President was also instrumental in obtaining a $5,000.00 loan from Alpha Sigma Phi to purchase furnishing for the Nave Mansion. The chapter house from 1952 to 1996 was Point Breeze, the former Colonel Nave Mansion, built in 1899. The chapter house underwent complete exterior restoration beginning in 1990, but interior renovations and general upkeep proved beyond the chapter’s financial abilities. The chapter moved to other on-campus housing in 1996. Beta Gamma Chapter was the first chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi to computerize its alumni records when it placed its alumni roster and address list on an IBM402 computer in 1964. The chapter newsletter is “The Black Lantern.” The chapter hosted the 1982 National Convention and the 1987 National Educational Conference.

In 2010-11 the chapter membership diminished to nine members and chapter operations and finances were at a low level. Two of the undergraduate members, assisted by chapter alumni and Fraternity Staff set a path to revival of the chapter. A new member class of 14 was recruited, financial delinquencies mitigated, and the chapter’s members were active in a variety of campus activities including participation with the college’s football, track and field, and equestrian teams.

Robert Sandercox, Bethany ‘51, served as Grand Senior President of Alpha Sigma Phi from 1986 to 1988, and as a Trustee of the Alpha Sigma Phi Foundation. Brother Sandercox received the Distinguished Service Award in 1992. Arthur B. Keys, Jr., Bethany ‘64, won the Distinguished Merit Award in 2011. Lee D. Zalud, Bethany ‘81, was Alpha Sigma Phi Scholar of the Year in 1983. Joshua Orendi, Bethany ‘96, served on the Fraternity staff and as an Undergraduate Representative to the Grand Council, and is a co-founder and principal in Phired Up, a consulting firm for teaching effective recruitment techniques to Fraternities and Sororities. Orendi received the Delta Beta Xi Award in 2007. Chapter alumni Robert J. Jolly, Mark Riegard, Randall Cutlip, Robert Sandercox, Hiram Lester, Larry Grimes, William Allen, Patrick Flatley, Robert Sharp and Larry Jay Smith have all received the Delta Beta Xi Award.

Records show award name and year(s) received.

Alpha Gamma Upsilon Bronze Cup of Distinction 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 
Most Improved Chapter Award 1970

Records show brother's name, initiation year, and award received.

William B. Allen 1959 Delta Beta Xi Award
Randall B. Cutlip 1937 Delta Beta Xi Award
Patrick M. Flatley 1975 Delta Beta Xi Award
Larry E. Grimes 1961 Delta Beta Xi Award
Robert K. Jolly 1950 Delta Beta Xi Award
Arthur B. Keys, Jr. 1964 Distinguished Merit Award
    Delta Beta Xi Award
Hiram J. Lester 1967 Delta Beta Xi Award
Eugene Miller 1946 Distinguished Merit Award
Darren C. O'Toole 1994 Kleinoeder Graduate Scholar of the Year
Joshua A. Orendi 1996 Delta Beta Xi Award
Mark R. Reigard 1929 Delta Beta Xi Award
Robert A. Sandercox 1951 Varner Distinguished Service Award
    Delta Beta Xi Award
Robert M. Sharp, Jr. 1950 Delta Beta Xi Award
Larry Jay Smith 1968 Delta Beta Xi Award