Researching Sigma Gamma Rho at Butler University
In honor of the Sorority’s 100th anniversary, Sigma Gamma Rho instituted a collecting initiative to gather materials from past Grand Basilei (Presidents) to document the Sorority’s history. These materials became the Sigma Gamma Rho Centennial Collection and are housed in the department of Special Collections, Rare Books, and University Archives at Butler University. The collection is not comprehensive in its holdings of the Sorority’s records but contains a selection of Board of Directors meeting minutes, Boulé programs, Sorority ephemera and artifacts, official publications—including a selection of issues of The Aurora—along with informational pamphlets and newsletters, scrapbooks made by chapters and Grand Basilei, and several photographs.
Butler University Libraries created a digital collection—entitled the Butler University Sigma Gamma Rho Centennial Collection—that provides access to hundreds more photographs from the physical collection. This digital collection is a work in progress and undergoing review to update content, verify information, and gather contributions from Sigma Gamma Rho Sorors. Additional items, related information, and edits will be added to this collection over time.
Researching student life on the Butler University campus can add context to what Sigma Gamma Rho members throughout the years have experienced. The Butler Collegian—the student newspaper—and The Drift—the student yearbook—are both great resources for learning more about student life and campus changes from a student perspective. Both are available to view—and keyword search—online through the Butler University Libraries’ .
Butler University Collections and Resources
The following list contains links to collections, digital collections, and other available resources to assist with the research of Sigma Gamma Rho and Butler University. These resources are made available by Butler University Libraries and held by Special Collections, Rare Books, and University Archives.
Sigma Gamma Rho
A Quick Guide to Accessing & Searching the Butler University Sigma Gamma Rho Centennial Collection, A Butler University Libraries Digital Collection [Digital Collection]
Sigma Gamma Rho Centennial Collection (MSS084) [Collection Guide]
Sigma Gamma Rho 75th Anniversary Time Capsule (MSS085) [Collection Guide]
Butler University Publications
A Quick Guide to Accessing & Searching the Digital Collection of the Butler Collegian, Butler University’s Student Newspaper [Digital Collection]
A Quick Guide to Accessing & Searching the Digital Collection of The Drift, Butler University’s Yearbook [Digital Collection]
George Waller. Butler University: A Sesquicentennial History. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2006.
Eliza Blaker Teachers College of Indianapolis Collection [Collection Guide]
Butler University Eliza Blaker Collection [Digital Collection]
A Quick Guide to Accessing & Searching The Digital Collection of the Butler University Buildings and Grounds Collection [Digital Collection]
Butler University Buildings and Grounds Collection (UA00.01) [Collection Guide]
Browse the Exhibit's Images
Special Collections, Rare Books, and University Archives at Butler University Website
Madge OberholtzerMadge Oberholtzer (1897–1925) as seen in the 1917 issue of The Drift, the Butler University student yearbook. After graduating from Manual High School—located then on the near south side of downtown Indianapolis—Oberholtzer attended Butler University on its Irvington campus from the fall of 1914 until 1917. As a student she was a member of the Pi Beta Phi Sorority. Oberholtzer worked as the manager of the Indiana Young People’s Reading Circle, a special section of the Indiana Department of Public Instruction.
September 15, 1948, Board of Directors’ Executive Committee Meeting MinutesSeptember 15, 1948, Board of Directors’ Executive Committee Meeting Minutes. The quota on Black students at Butler University ran from 1927—a year prior to the University’s move to its current campus—until 1948. The University’s Board of Directors meeting minutes provide no detail behind why the quota was started. This excerpt is from September 15, 1948, when the Executive Committee initially voted to rescind the quota: Dr. Ross presented the following resolution and moved its adoption. Be it resolved, that the Executive Committee recommend to the Board of Directors at their next regular meeting that a resolution be passed that no discrimination should be made against students desiring to enter Butler University on account of their race or religion and that all action discriminating against race or religion heretofore made, if any, is hereby set aside and declared void. Mr. James seconded the motion. All voted with the exception of Mr. Brown, voting “no”, and Mr. Reilly not voting."
For more information on Special Collections, Rare Books, and University Archives at Butler University, please visit the Department's website.