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Theta celebrates 50 years as a social service club

Oklahoma Christian University’s oldest social service club, Theta Theta Theta, will celebrate a half-century of Spring Sing victories, service and sisterhood during homecoming week this year.

Only co-educational clubs existed on campus prior to 1968, according to Theta alumna and former president Lauren Tallon. Unhappy with this system, a small group of female students began researching how gender-specific clubs at other universities operated.

“Some girls decided they wanted to start their own club, so they drove down to Abilene [Christian University], visited some women’s clubs there, got some information and came back,” Tallon said. “When they came back, they said, ‘Let’s do this.’ This happened kind of around the feminist movementthey just wanted to be their own.”

The first decade of Theta centered around service and on-campus projects, current president Elizabeth Freeman said. The club also dominated spring sing, winning eight out of nine titles from 1970 to 1979.

By the late 1970s, standing Theta traditions including the dove mascot, tulip flower and blue book constitution were born. They also formed a brother club partnership with Delta Gamma Sigma.

While other clubs on campus have formed, disbanded and changed significantly over the past 40 to 50 years, Theta’s fun-loving and unified culture has stood the test of time, according to Freeman.   

“Every club goes through cycles, because personalities change and times change culturally,” Freeman said. “Theta has always had this unity amongst us. To others, we might come across a little bit like the serious girls, but I think Theta has always been super fun-loving and always ready to have a good time.”

In commemoration of the 50-year milestone, more than 200 current members and alumnae from the past six decades will gather Saturday night at the Petroleum Club in Oklahoma City. Preparations for the eventincluding tracking down and interviewing alumnae from the original 1968 classhave been ongoing since August, Tallon said.

“We have a video that’s going to kind of highlight the last 50 years,” Tallon said. “They’ve interviewed alumni from every decade, so it will be interesting to see what everyone remembers and kind of how Theta started, the traditions that started in 1968 and the ones we still have today.”

In addition to planning the dinner, Theta members have also been hard at work trying to secure a homecoming victory, Freeman said.

“I can speak for our float, because I’ve been working on it, and say it’s going to be really awesome,” Freeman said. “Also, the rush class we got this year is super involved, super pumped and excited just to be a part of homecoming with us. It’s going to be an exciting year.”

Looking forward to the next 50 years, Tallon said Theta will remain strong if members stay dedicated to service and a strong Christian faith.

“We ultimately want to keep where we came from in mind,” Tallon said. “We don’t want to stray too far from the original values and vision that those women had 50 years ago. We want to keep continuing to grow and place the focus on being strong, Christian women. Our motto is ‘Christian women in scholarship, leadership and service,’ and I hope the girls can continue that on.”

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