The Strawberry Patch

Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross

by Blanche Pace
International Rushing Chairman
The Torch -- August, 1948

Paraphrased by Marilyn Ross

The symbols of Beta Sigma Phi are recognized and respected around the world today. There is great significance and promise for the future in the picture of 200,000 plus women living the aims and ideals expressed by these symbols.

We have the badge with the Greek letters Beta, Sigma, Phi; and the crest with the Latin inscription Vita Scientia Amicitia. These symbols mean Life, Learning and Friendship to us. They represent the foundation upon which our great organization has been built.

In life we enrich ourselves by giving and sharing. In learning we find the art of gracious living and mould our thinking to a deeper appreciation of the finer things of life. In Friendship we share all of these with better understanding and develop in ourselves, new charm and loveliness.

Every rushing season gives each of us an opportunity and privilege of extending Beta Sigma Phi to others.

In Beta Sigma Phi Rushing, at home or around the world, the ideal is the same, for wherever the Torch of Beta Sigma Phi is lighted in the heart of a new member, she is pledged to a finer life, a broader scope of learning and a truer appreciation of friendship.

Beta Sigma Phi became international because your thinking has been universal and you have extended the hand of friendship under the symbols of our motto. This fine thinking has brought strength and understanding and you have learned the value of tolerance and humility. In broadening the scope of Beta Sigma Phi many of your own personal activities and accomplishments can surpass anything you have ever dreamed of, because you have the courage to give and to share.

The symbols of Beta Sigma Phi are the visible reminders of Life, Learning and Friendship. The symbols inspire in us the true essence of spirit to give more and more so that we may grow and grow, both personally and as chapters. The ideals live and must continue to live in our hearts and minds. It has been said that "Man is most like God when he remembers, and from this gift of memory all else is derived; worship, history, civilization, experience, life itself."

Each of us is responsible for the happiness around us. Only as members and Chapters reach out and accept the challenge to increase their strength is the utmost benefit obtained.

Not to recognize our responsibility as an active participant, as an integral part of a great organization is an omission of vital concern to all members. Each member should play her part in keeping alive the universal honor and recognition which Beta Sigma Phis around the world have achieved.

Beta Sigma Phi lives around the world today and every member should be able to say, "This is true because of me."

The question has been asked--"Is it possible for Beta Sigma Phi to grow too big?" The answer is no, to the contrary we are growing too slowly--great books are read by millions--fine pictures and plays are viewed by millions--growth is necessary to any successful undertaking. Why shouldn't Beta Sigma Phi grow constantly? Is there any limit upon our desire for a fuller life? Is there any limit to acquiring greater learning? Is there any limit to our capacity for friendship? Then why should we in Beta Sigma Phi be reluctant to grow, to give and to share?

The inspiration which gave our great organization to you through our Founder, Walter W. Ross, did not vision in Beta Sigma Phi, a limited membership--had this been the plan, membership might have been closed before you yourself were pledged.

Are you, as a member--are you, as a Chapter--fulfilling your Ritual Pledge to "Carry the Torch?" Does your life truly reflect the symbols? Are you participating to the fullest extent in the privileges given to you in Life, Learning and Friendship?

The symbols of Beta Sigma Phi are the visible objects by which we are known. As each rushing season approaches, let every Beta Sigma Phi "Carry the Torch."

The symbols of Beta Sigma Phi keep faith with you and with me.

The symbols of Beta Sigma Phi hold promise for the millions of unpledged Beta Sigma Phis around the world.

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