Phi Tau Omega
Initiation Ritual

1953


Initiation of new members

Conducted by the CHAPTER PRESIDENT:
There are some questions you will be asked. You are to answer them either "yes" or "no."
Do you firmly believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Ruler of the entire Universe?
Are you prepared to enter into the mysteries of Phi Tau Omega, guard carefully the secrets of same and accept each member as a friend forever?
Do you realize the step you are about to take and wish to continue?
Then, raising your right hand, you will repeat after me the following vow:
"I do solemnly vow before God, Our Father, to keep the secrets of Phi Tau Omega Sorority, and uphold the ideals of same. Also to always adhere to the rules and principles of the sisterhood, as I firmly believe them to be honorable, just and beneficial to all. I will do my share toward the progress of the Sorority and will never forget that a Phi Tau Omega Member is my friend from now unto the end."
 

Solemn Ritual

GUARDIAN:
Pledges of Phi Tau Omega, we are embarking today on a strange and mysterious mission. The way is beset with obstacles, but ahead there lies a goal worth striving for membership in Phi Tau Omega Sorority.
It can be reached only through deliberate and conscientious effort, expended in a spirit of willingness and invested with a mark of sincerity.
Therefore, it is essential that you purge your minds and hearts of all save the serious and important tasks with which you are now confronted; that you follow with attentiveness the words you are to hear, the pledges you are to make.
We shall find, at the end of our journey, a chest in which reposes a treasure. However, its discovery alone may avail us nothing, for the lid yields only to six keys. The keys are to be obtained from six Muses FRIENDSHIP, SELF RESPECT, SERVICE, GODLINESS,
LOYALTY and FRATERNITY.
And thus, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Phi Tau Omega, I command the journey shall begin.
FRIENDSHIP:
Travelers rest pause here and listen unto my words of wisdom.
GUARDIAN:
Gladly will we pause, for the way is long and difficult.
FRIENDSHIP:
Welcome are you to partake of my hospitality and advice, for both I am famous.
GUARDIAN:
We, oh stranger, are seekers of a treasure chest and advice and warning to us are to be desired. Pray give us your name.
FRIENDSHIP:
My name is Friendship.
GUARDIAN:
Friendship! And you are the custodian of the first key; that which is necessary to unlock the treasure chest.
FRIENDSHIP:
True, it is necessary, but no more so than the five others.
GUARDIAN:
And will you give us the key?
FRIENDSHIP:
First I must make certain of your worth to receive it I must give you counsel as to the mode in which it may be used.
GUARDIAN:
Speak, oh Friendship, and we shall hear.
FRIENDSHIP:
In unity there is strength, and to achieve unity there must be friendliness.
The best way to gain friends is to be friendly to demonstrate your willingness to help another by sympathetic action and thought; to give the other person's arguments, regardless of merit, a fair and impartial hearing.
However, I would provide a word of caution. I would state that friends should be selected with care and prudence of a type exercised in the selection of each of you as members of the little band which is before me.
It is, therefore, with the belief you will remember my words and live by them that I, Friendship, entrust to your keeping this key. I charge you to use it with diligence and forethought. Alone it is useless; used with the others it will open the treasure chest.
GUARDIAN:
Into your keeping (using name of first pledge in line) do I give this key in behalf of all who participate in this quest.
The journey continues.
SELF RESPECT:
Again prospective members of Phi Tau Omega Sorority you must pause. I bid you welcome to my domain.
GUARDIAN:
We are, most esteemed stranger, in quest of a treasure chest, for which there are six keys.
SELF RESPECT:
It is I, Self Respect, who holds the second key.
Self Respect is, perhaps, the most essential thing in life. Though a good reputation is to be desired by all, it is unimportant when compared to the knowledge of right within one's self. What others think is important; what one knows is everything.
We have to live with ourselves, and it is of utmost moment that we respect and honor that which is within us, for that which must be kept secret from the rest of the world is a terrific reality when viewed by the inner self.
I believe that the human body is a temple and should he respected as such. To lie, to cheat, to steal, or to enter into any other act of which one is ashamed, finds its reward in the pangs of a bitter conscience, leaving an indelible print on the soul.
It is, therefore, with the belief you will remember my words and live by them that I, Self Respect, entrust to your keeping this key. I charge you to use it with diligence and forethought. Alone it is useless; used with the others it will open the treasure chest.
GUARDIAN:
Into your keeping do I give this key in behalf of all who participate in this quest.
SERVICE: Again, my friends, you must pause. I bid you welcome to my domain.
GUARDIAN:
We are, most esteemed stranger, in quest of a treasure chest.
SERVICE:
It is I, Service, who is custodian of the third key.
I am the moving force behind humanity, the agent of all that is good and progressive.
I live for tomorrow; ever eager and desirous of making the world a better place in which to live, forever opposing that which is wrong, always thinking of the welfare of my fellow beings. I am that ideal upon which one may give a backward glance of satisfaction as the shades of death begin to gather.
And thus to the end as we press into the battle of life, may each of you in spirit be able to say "I serve."
It is, therefore, with the belief you will remember my words and live by them that I, Service, entrust to your keeping this key. I charge you to use it with diligence and forethought. Alone it is useless; used with the others it will open the treasure chest.
GUARDIAN:
Into your keeping , do I give this key in behalf of all who participate in this quest.
GODLINESS:
Pause here, my friends.
GUARDIAN:
We are, most esteemed stranger, in quest of a treasure chest.
GODLINESS:
I am Godliness, the custodian of the fourth key.
GUARDIAN:
We come to you, Godliness, in a spirit of humility. Speak, oh Godliness, and your words shall be heard.
GODLINESS:
Throughout the ages mankind has realized that our destiny is controlled and our existence is dependent upon a Supreme Being; He who is all-powerful, forgiving and merciful, to whom we look in the hour of tribulation; the Giver of all great and perfect gifts; in whom we glory and to whom we sing praise.
We shall now bow our heads,

Oh, Heavenly Father, take us, your children, to your bosom; nurture us on the food of life and living; guide, guard and protect us. May our lives be dedicated to doing thy will-fighting always for the hard right rather than submitting to the easy wrong. Help us, oh God, to live in the manner of He who taught us to pray:
Lord's Prayer.

It is, therefore, with the belief you will remember my words, and live by them, that I, Godliness, entrust to your keeping this key. I charge you to use it with diligence and forethought. Alone it is useless; used with the others it will open the treasure chest.
GUARDIAN:
Into your keeping do I give this key in behalf of all who participate in this quest.
LOYALTY:
Pause here for a while prospective members of Phi Tau Omega Sorority.
GUARDIAN:
We are, most esteemed stranger, in quest of a treasure chest.
LOYALTY:
I am Loyalty, the custodian of the fifth key.
Loyalty is kindred to duty. In our daily walks of life, we find it vital to accept the responsibilities incident to duty; to give measure for measure to those by whom we are employed, to our parents, to our friends and most important to ourselves, forever holding uppermost the factors of fairness, honesty and truth. It is, therefore, with the belief you will remember my words and live by them, that I, Loyalty, entrust to your keeping this key. I charge you to use it with diligence and forethought. Alone it is useless; used with the others it will open the treasure chest.
GUARDIAN:
Into your keeping do I give this key in behalf of all who participate in this quest.
FRATERNITY:
Again, my friends, you shall pause, and this for the last time before your goal is reached.
GUARDIAN:
It has been a beautiful journey, esteemed stranger, and now only one key is lacking.
FRATERNITY:
It Is I, Fraternity, who holds the final key. I bid you welcome and I offer you counsel.
You are about to cross the threshold of Phi Tau Omega Sorority and it is, therefore, essential that I should explain the precepts of my being. For you, it is a new sisterhood; in it may you find joy and companionship. May each of you, individually and collectively work for the well-being of the organization.
I, Fraternity, look with great disfavor on discord. I stand for cooperation and harmony; I entreat you, as future members of Phi Tau Omega, to forever work for the good of the group, to cast aside petty differences, to bring about a sustained and unbroken interest in the welfare of the group; to always hold high your heads and speak with pride of the Sorority of which you are about to become members; to foster and encourage its betterment in every possible way. I caution you to select future members with care and prudence; I enjoin you to keep faith with those who gave life to this order.
It is, therefore, with the belief you will remember my words and live by that that I, Fraternity, entrust to your keeping this key. I charge you to use it with diligence and forethought. Alone it is useless; used with the others is will open the treasure chest.
GUARDIAN:
Into your keeping do I give this key in behalf of all who participants in this quest.
 
 
Balance of Initiation Ceremony

We will now place the Sorority flowers over your heart, thus binding yours to ours in a bond of friendship. Rose as a symbol of love and the forget-me-not a symbol of remembrance remembrance of this occasion which I hope will long live in your memory.
Place flowers on girls.

I will now present you with your membership card and declare you members of Phi Tau Omega Sorority.
I wish to congratulate each of you. (Present Constitution and By-Law booklets, identification card, and gifts from chest.)
Phi Tau Omega of which you are now members is a National Social Sorority founded on the basis of friendship.
The meaning of our name is "Pais True Unto the End."
 

History of Phi Tau Omega

On March 8, 1925, the first meeting was held by a group of friends to form our Sorority, with the thought in mind to bring together a congenial group of girls in a bond of friendship for social, charitable and moral purposes. At this first meeting the name, Phi Tau Omega, was chosen meaning "Pais True Unto the End."
At later meetings the founder members, Aurelia Voelker, Marie Fluegel, Adelaide Fluegel, Millie Meistrel, Ethel Voelker, Hazel Waechter, Peggie Weiman and Millie Weiman designed our crest, our pin, our pledge pin and other Sorority jewelry; chose our colors, rose and blue; and our flowers, the rose signifying love, and the forget-me-not for remembrance; wrote our constitution and by-laws; and secured a charter, which was filed with the State of Missouri on February 5, 1926.
The original intention was to become a National organization and to this end the Founders worked. After the fourth chapter had been installed, it was decided to hold yearly conventions the first of which was sponsored by Alpha Chapter in the Fall of 1930.
Delta was hostess in 1931 and Gamma Chapter was hostess in 1932. Other than a small registration fee, these chapters took over complete financial responsibility as no National Treasury was in existence. Millie Meistrel, the first Alpha Chapter President, was called the Grand President and was given the place of honor at the conventions. However, the hostess chapter President presided at the business meetings and all members had a voice in the discussion. The vote was only permitted by the delegates ratio being one delegate for every eight active members. By the Fall of 1932 seven chapters had been installed, so it was decided to establish a National Treasury and elect National Officers. This was done at the 1932 convention and Hazel Waechter of Alpha, one of the founder members, was elected the first National President.
Since that time we have continued to grow. From our small number of eight, we have truly carried out the symbol of our pin, representing an acorn, "Which though small in the beginning will result in the growth of the 'Mighty Oak'," as our present membership totals more than one thousand.
Our Secretary will acquaint you with the handshake, song, f1owers, etc.
Prayer.
Closing.

 

Pledge Ceremony

Conducted by the CHAPTER PRESIDENT:
You girls have been chosen as prospective members of Phi Tau Omega Sorority because we are sure you will try to uphold the rules and aims of this organization.
The purpose of our Sorority is to organize a body of congenial girls for social, charitable, and moral purposes.
Upon being pledged, each of you will receive a pledge pin which it is an absolute duty that you wear continually during your pledge term.
Your term of pledgeship will be judged according to the number of black marks you receive. These marks will be given you in case of lapse of duty. By this, we mean failure to wear pledge pin at all times, failure to do what is requested of you by the members of the Sorority, and for tardiness and absence from all Sorority meetings and affairs.
Each of you will now be asked to make a vow which I am sure you will consider sacred.
Raising your right hand, you will repeat the following after me:
"I do solemnly vow, that I will do everything within my power to uphold the name of Phi Tau Omega Sorority, and will keep everything that is told me about the sorority, during my pledgeship, a complete secret.
"So saying, I hereby pledge myself to a term of pledgeship, not exceeding four months and not less than one month, and during which time I will do everything that is possible and within my power asked by the members of Phi Tau Omega Sorority."
I will now seal your pledgeship by placing a pledge pin over your heart.
, our Sergeant-at-Arms, will now close the ceremony with a prayer.
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS:
"Oh God, Our Father, look down upon us, the members of Phi Tau Omega Sorority with infinite mercy and guide our footsteps always to the right.
"We ask a special blessing upon our newest pledges so that their paths may bc made a little more smooth and their trials and tribulations few.
"Almighty Father, guide us for we are your children.
AMEN."