The Zeta Omega chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon of Illinois College was recently indicted. The ten new active members are: Gabe Knott, Hope Quarles, Amber Rak, Squire Prince, Sean Rose, Tamar Norville, Matthew Woodson, Zach Pruitt, and Skye Mibbs. Four will be graduating this May. Curious to know what this society was, I sat down with Gabe Knott ‘18, (Music Major of Vocal Performance, Pre-Opera) the Vice President of the Zeta Omega chapter.
I first asked what Mu Phi Epsilon is and where/how it originated. Knott said that Mu Phi Epsilon was founded on November 13th, 1903 in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Metropolitan College of Music as a music sorority. The founders were Elizabeth Mathias Fuqua and Winthrop Sterling. He then told me that in 1977, Mu Phi Epsilon became a professional co-educational fraternity. To get into Mu Phi Epsilon, one must have a GPA of 3.0 in music studies and a 2.5 in general studies. They also have to have a music major or minor. The fraternity is centered around service to our Illinois College campus, and our local community. I also asked Knott what all Mu Phi Epsilon does. He said that some of their possible project plans are to go to the Illinois School for the Deaf for a “Field of Music” session with the students, have a concert with the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired, and a recital at Heritage Health. He also said that Mu Phi Epsilon is going to have a kickstarter campaign and strongly encourages fans of the Illinois College music departments to donate.
Here is some more information about the sorority that peaked my interest. Since the sorority originated in 1903, there have been 128 collegiate chapters, 74 alumni chapters and an estimated over 75,000 members. The sorority became international in 1962 on November 13th at the Philippine Women’s University, which was the Alpha Tau chapter. It became a full fledged Honor Society in 1935 and was changed again to function as a Professional Music Sorority. In the first month of Mu Phi Epsilon’s existence, the sorority began to expand with the Beta Chapter at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts in 1903 on December 13th. The next year, the Gamma Chapter at the University of Michigan School of Music in Ann Arbor, Michigan was the next expansion on May 20th, 1904. The first chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon was the Alpha Chapter, which consisted of only eight members. One of those eight members was one of the founders, Elizabeth Mathias Fuqua. The first meeting consisted of deciding what the sorority would do and adopted the constitutions and bylaws of the newly founded sorority. They also decided what would be on the official flag and coat of arms.
Be on the lookout for any upcoming Mu Phi Epsilon events. If you have any questions about Mu Phi Epsilon or are interested in becoming a member, find Knott or Hope Quarles, President of the Zeta Omega Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon at Illinois College.
Hannah Hawkins, from Illiopolis, Illinois is a sophomore here at Illinois College and is majoring in Communication and Rhetorical Studies and minoring in Theatre. Hannah is a very active member in the theatre department and loves her dog more than most people.