Five years of collecting, scanning, organizing and researching will give hundreds of Pi Kapp alumni a glimpse into the storied past of Beta Omicron Chapter. A collection of photographs dating back to the late 1920s illustrates key moments in the formation of the chapter’s predecessor, Phi Kappa Nu. More images document the 55 years since Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity was established at Northwestern State University.
At the time of the chapter’s 50th anniversary in 2006, alumnus Lane Luckie began collecting photos for a slide show to be presented at the reunion. Since then, his desire to preserve the chapter’s history has grown include 1,065 photographs; each one telling a unique story. “I’ve always been a huge history buff, but I found a particular devotion in documenting Beta Omicron Chapter because of my personal connection.” After years of sorting through NSU Potpourri yearbooks, photo albums, chapter archives, Facebook, and by soliciting individual alumni, he’s organized a permanent digital collection. “The parallels are amazing,” said Luckie. “When you compare the early days of the chapter with the current group, we have more in common than anyone could imagine.” The pictures confirm that many traditions are still alive: from a standard-issue letter shirt to the practice of serenading a sweetheart at the annual Rose Ball. Within the thousand-plus collection, one will find photos of brotherhoods, social events, campus activities, and chapter leadership.
Luckie is quick to point out the project wasn’t a solo effort. “I had so much support from countless alumni who spent hours on the phone or in-person talking about memories and helping with captions. I also remember that alumnus Shayne Creppel helped me with researching the Phi Kappa Nu years at the NSU Library. We spent hours cross-referencing yearbooks to piece together the early history.”
Stored securely in triplicate, the digital collection is available for viewing to the public through Facebook. The photos are organized by major events and decades, complete with captions. Luckie said the social networking site offered enough storage space necessary for that number of photos. “You don’t need a Facebook account to access the pictures.” To browse the collection, visit the chapter’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pikappNSU and click the photos tab. If you’d like to submit a photo for inclusion or have a correction or suggestion, send an e-mail to pikappNSU@gmail.com .