At one time Phrateres existed at higher level learning institutions across North America. It was founded at the University of California (now UCLA) in 1924 by the Dean of Women. Members included those who lived in dorms, commuted to campus, as well as members of sororities. The club not only allowed female students to socialize with each other, but also allowed them to volunteer for various philanthropic causes. Word spread to other colleges and Phrateres grew.
However, due to a downturn in student participation as well chapters being forced to turn co-ed, chapters shut down at a high rate in the 1980s. By 2000 there were only two chapters left, Lambda at the University of Arizona and Theta at the University of British Columbia, as well as the Phrateres International Board based in Los Angeles. That same year the Arizona chapter closed due to low membership and the International Board of Trustees decided to disband in 2001. The Theta Chapter still exists at UBC in the form of an AMS (Alma Mater Society, UBC's student society) club.
The international governing board was comprised of Phrateres alumnae living in the Greater Los Angeles area. It collected fees from each chapter, as well as published a regular newsletter, "The Phraterean" with notices from each chapter. The Lura Heeter Award was a scholarship given to one collegiate member each year (began as a memorial award within the Zeta Chapter in 1985).
When the board disbanded, it gave its remaining funds to the Theta Chapter. Monies from the Lura Heeter Award were given to the Zeta Alumnae Chapter.
The board was lead by a Grand President:
In 2006, Theta celebrated 70 years of Phrateres at UBC with a gala celebration. Contacting alumnae proved difficult, unfortunately. Many members had married and taken new names. As well, records often only included the street address of the woman while she had been a student. Collegiate and alumnae members of the Theta Chapter were joined by spouses, parents, and a Rho Chapter alumnae, who had never been to Canada before.
During the late 1930s & 1970s, membership was large enough to support as many as 12 Sub-Chapters. Each Sub-Chapter had its own president and council, with all Sub-Chapters falling under the control of an executive council comprising the Rho Sub-chapter. Each Sub-Chapter also had a faculty advisor and recruited members separately. This led to a disparity in membership amongst the Sub-chapters, with some having less than 10 and others over 40 members.
Since the 1980s, membership has not exceeded 100 and the club presently operates as one unified chapter.
Each September they organize a Terry Fox Run on the westside of Vancouver. The 2005 Run commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope. That year, the run organized by Phrateres raised $26,000.
Each February the Theta Chapter volunteers time to answer phones during the Variety Show of Hearts Telethon. The telethon is a fundraiser for Variety - The Children's Charity The members usually take shifts from midnight to 4 am and/or 4am to 8am.
Each June the Theta Chapter participates in the 24 Hour Relay This event is organized by the B.C. Lions Society for Children with Disabilities, as a group under the umbrella of Easter Seals. Teams camp at Burnaby's Central Park and send runners and walkers on a 4 km route through the park, starting and ending in Swangard Stadium. In the 2008 relay, held June 14th-15th, the Theta Chapter fundraised $2,688.83 and the entire relay raised $1,315,304. All funds raised help send disabled children to specially equipped summer camps in British Columbia.
|Alpha||University of California (precursor to UCLA, home of the Rho chapter)||10 December 1924||?|
|Beta||University of Washington||18 February 1929||1970s|
|Gamma||University of Oregon||1948||1961|
|Delta||Los Angeles State College (now California State University, Los Angeles)||March 1950||?|
|Zeta||Carroll College (now Carroll University)||1932||?|
|Eta||Arizona State University||9 March 1958||1990s|
|Theta||University of British Columbia||01 February 1935||Still active|
|Kappa||Fresno State College (now California State University, Fresno)||May 1936||?|
|Lambda||University of Arizona||December 1937||2000|
|Nu||University of California, Santa Barbara||January 1939||?|
|Omicron*||Augustana College||30 January 1941||27 February 1945|
|Omicron*||San Jose State College (now San Jose State University)||February 1964||?|
|Rho||University of California, Los Angeles||April 1942||? (evidence of activity in 1985)|
|Sigma||University of Texas, El Paso||February 1945||?|
|Tau||Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, B.C.)||?||?|
|Phi||Centennial College (Toronto)||?||?|
|Psi||University of California, Irvine||April 1967||?|
|Omega||Victoria College (now the University of Victoria)||October 1961||?|
The collegiate Theta Chapter hosts an annual "Alumnae Tea" each February (celebrating date of installation at UBC). Theta alumnae, some of whom are from the established Theta Alumnae Chapter, are always present. The collegiate Theta Chapter is interested in hearing from any other Alumnae or Alumnae Chapters in existence.
Despite the short life of the collegiate Zeta Chapter, a strong Alumnae Chapter grew and was in existence as recently as 2001