New Mexico Alpha Alex Doyle Beach has attended seven Pi Phi Conventions, and she will never forget the wonderful memories she made at her first one.
In 1967, Pi Beta Phi Fraternity celebrated a huge milestone of 100 years of sisterhood, and one aspect of these celebrations included a Centennial Song competition. The Centennial Song submitted by the New Mexico Alpha Chapter had the melody from a song written by Henry Mancini called “The Sweetheart Tree,” which was sung by Natalie Wood in the movie “The Great Race.” New Mexico Alphas Vivian Bandoni and Lin Meerdink wrote the lyrics, with help from Kay Bratton, Becky Wilson and Marilyn Miller. The women of the chapter submitted a tape recording to be considered for the contest.
Alex was appointed her chapter’s alternate delegate, and boarded her first commercial flight of her life, from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Chicago, Illinois. She and Chapter President Debbie Culver Doak were representing New Mexico Alpha and headed to the Edgewater Beach Hotel together for Pi Beta Phi’s Centennial Convention.
“[What] I remember most about learning that New Mexico Alpha had won the song contest was when the song played at Convention,” she recalls. “I cried because I could picture those five women with their guitar, recording it in the living room of our chapter house.” This recognition of her own chapter, in front of hundreds of Pi Phi sisters, was the highlight of her trip.
“I also remember the lights dimming and a huge cake with 100 candles was brought in. We all sang Happy Birthday Pi Beta Phi.” It was an extremely rewarding experience for Alex, one she vividly remembers. They are imprinted in her mind; memories of a wonderful first convention.
Alex celebrates her Golden Arrow year this year, commemorating 50 years as a member. Her impact is known by generations of Pi Phi women who have come through the door at New Mexico Alpha. Alex has served on New Mexico Alpha’s Alumnae Advisory Committee (AAC) since 1974, and was asked to be the Province President for Rho Province in 1980. She has also been recognized by the Fraternity and Sorority Life community being selected the Advisor of the Year twice by Greek Life and was named an Alumna of Distinction by Greek Life in 2010. Alex is an absolute treasure for New Mexico Alpha and the Fraternity.
Alex promises to do her best to attend Convention 2017 in St. Louis as we celebrate the hallmark 150 years of sisterhood.