Phi Upsilon Omicron Records

Identity elements

Reference code

UA 035.10

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Phi Upsilon Omicron Records


  • 1909-2006 (Accumulation)


8.25 linear feet (8 records center boxes, 1 oversize box)

Name of creator


Biographical history

In 1933, the students at South Dakota State College started the groundwork to apply to be chartered in Phi Upsilon Omicron, the Home Economics Honor Society. They were encouraged by Dean Edith Pierson and Laura McArthur. Ms. McArthur taught Home Economics Education courses and was an alumni member of Alpha Chapter. These two faculty members helped students gather information and provided contacts to help with the process. The seniors worked hard on the groundwork, Phi chapter was chartered on May 19, 1934, and the seniors graduated a week later. Members of Alpha and Beta Chapters organized the installation ceremony which was conducted by Priscilla Rowland, National Phi U President. The ceremony was held in the Foods Lab when it was in the Administration Building. / The following students were initiated in May 1934 and the seniors graduated a week later. The first President of Phi Chapter was Merle (La Mont) Gunsalus who was a junior during the Installation Ceremony. / In 2008, Phi Upsilon Omicron is a Family and Consumer Sciences Honor Society which stresses professional works and service to the campus and community. It is an honor to be accepted as a member of Phi U, but along with the honor goes the responsibility of being a member of an active organization. / One of the goals of the Phi U is to help members become professionals in their field. Professionalism is gained not only through a college degree, but also through experiences one receives in college and related activities. / Each year Phi U has a professional project that promotes involvement with the campus and community. Phi U also has activities with the alumni chapter. / Students who have a 3.2 GPA and who have accumulated 40 credit hours are invited to join. We look for qualities of excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service in possible members.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The collection is composed of material collected by the Phi Upsilon Omicron Phi Chapters at South Dakota State University. Included are correspondence, minutes, newsletters, annual reports, scrapbooks, member lists, financial information, publications, clippings, meeting minutes and agendas, and photographs.

Also included is "The Candle," the Phi Upsilon Omicron National Honor Society journal, covering the years 1930-2004, annual reports submitted to the national headquarters, Initiate information sheets, detailed ledger sheets starting in 1934, hand-made chapter programs, very creative from 1937 to about 1980, senior biographies from 1952-1971 which are very detailed and include photographs, and detailed secretaries notebooks.

The scrapbooks consist of photographs, cards, significant correspondence and programs for events held by the chapter. Some items of note include a Coat of Arms patch for Phi Upsilon Omicron, a Holy Bible presented to the chapter by Laura J. McArthur in December 1941, and a material related to a Fruitcake Fundraising project which includes photographs, but the fruitcake recipe could not be found.

The photographs are not well described; however, most are group shots of members.

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Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions.

The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Languages of the material

  • English

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Alternative identifier(s)




UA 35.10

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