Beta Sigma History
Sigma Kappa has a long standing history at Purdue University which has lived on for more than half a century. In 1946, just after WWII, a woman named Penny Pennington and a few other Windsor Hall residents formed a local sorority called Beta Xi. From the beginning, the women of Beta Xi had hoped to colonize with a national sorority. In 1948, Sigma Kappa Sorority accepted its invitation to colonize at Purdue University. The Beta Xi women were thrilled that their dreams of becoming part of a national sorority were becoming reality. The local sorority of Beta Xi dissolved and its members became the first initiates of the Beta Sigma chapter.
Beta Sigma's first house was located at 146 North Grant Street. We are fortunate enough to still have one piece of furniture from our original house. The pale green sofa affectionately nicknamed "The Bean" (due to its shape), remains a favorite lounging space among many of our sisters.
On October 5, 1952, construction on Sigma Kappa's brand new home was finally completed and a formal dedication was held. The house underwent major expansion in 1981, when additions to the first, second and third floors were commissioned. Since then thousands of amazing women have called 427 North Russell Street their home.
Because our house and sisterhood is deeply rooted in tradition, Beta Sigma has accumulated a number of traditions and legends over the years. Listed here are a few of our favorites:
The President's Pin is a special, emerald pointed pin that the president of the Beta Sigma chapter wears during her term. The pin is in honor of Michelle Ruth, a past president who was tragically killed in a car accident. The pin was donated by Michelle's parents. A larger version of the pin (which is lit at night) is featured in the front of the house, outside the president's window.
The Bean is the only piece of furniture from the original Beta Sigma house. According to the legend, if a sister is caught kissing a man on The Bean, it will be the man she is going to marry. Perhaps this is the reason so many sisters like sitting on it - and why so many boyfriends are afraid to!
The Pin Board is a triangular board located in our basement room that holds wooden plaques with crests of all of Purdue's fraternities painted on the front. When a sister gets lavaliered, pinned, or engaged, a pinning circle is held. All of the lights are off and together we stand in a circle and link arms. As we sing, a candle is passed around the circle. When it reaches the sister who was recently lavaliered, pinned, or engaged, she blows out the candle and moves to the middle of the circle to tell the story of how it happened. Afterward, she gets to write her name, his name, and the date on the back of the plaque that corresponds to his fraternity. If he is not Greek, there is a plaque with crest of Sigma Kappa that she may use instead.