A scrapbook which hasn’t been seen in decades is now giving members of Pi Kappa Phi a look at their chapter’s activities in the 1970s. Bound in leather string and a wood cover, the book features page after page of pictures from Beta Omicron Chapter from 1970 to 1979. Showing its age, the scrapbook has been preserved and is now on display in the chapter house.
Its journey home began in the early 1980s, when the old Pi Kappa Phi house on Northwestern State University’s Greek hill was being torn down. Alumni Bert “Big Nick” Nichols and Mike Allain saved the scrapbook and other memorabilia found in the attic. Nichols later gave the book to alumnus Robert Wagnon to be returned to the chapter. “It’s who we were at that time — a look back at time standing still.” Wagnon said he hopes the student chapter will show the album to future Pi Kapps. “I know I enjoyed looking back at the ‘good ole days.'”
In March, Alumni Chapter president Lane Luckie then took the hand-off and digitally scanned each page of the book, uploading more than a hundred photographs to the chapter’s online Facebook and Flickr pages. He also repaired the damaged binding and reattached many loose photos to their original place in the scrapbook.
With these new photos, the chapter’s digital photo archive has grown to more than 2,100 snapshots of Pi Kappa Phi memories, dating back to the local group’s founding as Phi Kappa Nu Fraternity in 1929. The 1970s collection includes gatherings at the chapter house, photos of officers, intramural football games, road trips, Founders’ Day banquets and Rose Ball formals. A copy of the B.O. Blast, the chapter newsletter, is preserved in the scrapbook, along with ‘This is Pi Kapp Country’ bumper stickers and other recruitment materials. Inside the front cover — an autographed picture of Pi Kappa Phi alumnus and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Fowler.
The scrapbook is the latest addition to a growing collection of historical artifacts on display in the Beta Omicron Chapter House. Numerous alumni have come forward in the last few years, donating member badges, paddles, Rose Ball souvenirs, shirts, awards, and photographs.