What’s in a Name?

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Oklahoma Alpha Julia Tevis Hillis grew up with family members from various Greek-letter organizations, so they would often talk about their experiences. Tevis decided she would participate in recruitment in order to find similar bonds that her family discussed about their organizations. Tevis’ mom gave her the advice to visit every organization with an open mind. But Tevis’ knew almost immediately where her heart was, “I walked into Pi Phi and felt like the girls already knew me.” So she called her mom to tell her she had to be a Pi Phi. Her mom told Tevis, “Go for it, you will have the best time there.”

Tevis believes it was the best decision and could not wait to share the news with her grandmother, Louisiana Alpha Julia Tevis Narz Ableson. Her grandmother was thrilled! Tevis helps her grandmother remember all the Pi Phi secrets and they create their own Pi Phi trivia to do together. Pi Phi really brings Tevis closer to her grandmother. At the formal dinner before initiation, Tevis was glowing hearing her sisters sing “Ring, Ching, Ching” because it was the same song her grandmother would sing to her growing up.

Pi Phi is not the only thing Tevis and her grandmother share; they also share a name. Both women are named after Julia Ann Tevis. In 1825 Julia Ann Tevis opened an all-girls school called Science Hill Female Academy in Shelbyville, Kentucky. Julia Ann directed the school for more than 50 years with a philosophy that focused on science and math studies for young women. Due to the importance of Julia Ann’s contribution, the name Julia Tevis has been passed down in the family. Julia is the sixth. Tevis’ mother is the seventh Julia Tevis “Polly” and Tevis is the eighth member of the family to carry on the name.

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