Laureate Eta Nu is a career chapter and we meet the 2nd Thursday of every month at 7pm. Members are each assigned a month to host the meeting, program and a social and provide a “doorprize”. Host members determine where the meeting will be held, either member’s home or restaurant. Host members also plan the chapter social for their assigned month.
Our chapter began as a friendly venture chapter of Laureate Zeta Lambda (at that time it was known as Preceptor Epsilon Alpha). Margaret Heimberg, Pat Miller and Kay Shea were our Advisors. Their chapter, Laureate Zeta Lambda hosted a "rush tea" at Pat Miller's home in November 1993 and potential pledges attended their December meetings.
From this beginning emerged the first three members of the chapter - Connie Noble, Vickie Buschke and Laurie Musachia. Margaret Heimberg hosted our first "informal" meeting on January 10, 1994, whereby we voted to take the name "GAMMA CHI". We elected each other as officers pro-tem until we had a larger membership. Meetings were held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month. We began super active rushing! February/March meetings were held at Vickie Buschke's office, which we quickly outgrew.
By our April 27th meeting we had attended the Sweetheart Banquet, all Houston City Council meetings as guests, held a social, attended a social and filled our coffers by working the Houston International Festival with our advisors. By May 27, 1994, we were ten members strong and began official pledge training. Officers were elected and committee chairs appointed. The Ritual of Jewels Degree and installations were given to us at a beautiful candlelight ceremony at Vargo's gazebo among the azaleas in May of 1995. Laureate Zeta Lambda were our guests at the ritual and we all had champagne and dined together afterwards.
In May of 1999, members of Gamma Chi progressed to Exemplar status and we had a big celebration at Raveneaux Country Club, with all members of Houston City Council invited to attend. We had 26 guests! We kept the ritual name of Gamma Chi for one year in an effort to replace the chapter and keep it alive. In April of 2000, we progressed the chapter to Exemplar status and celebrated again at the beautiful Vargo's; this time with just our new chapter. Our new chapter name became “XI BETA”. We announced our new name by presenting a program at Houston City Council and giving all the attendees, photo albums with an announcement of the change on the cover.
In May of 2005, 13 members strong, 5 members of Xi Beta progressed to Preceptor and all members voted to progress the chapter to “PRECEPTOR ETA CHI” at a beautiful ritual presided over by Kathy Gamble’s mother, Marie Boston, a Beta Sigma Phi of over 50 years. We were all so honored to have Kathy's mother there as she introduced Kathy to "borority" and Kathy is one of the "founding members" of our chapter. Marie gave us all BSP champagne flutes to toast our new chapter and as a memento of the occasion. In May of 2006, 3 additional members progressed to Preceptor.
In 2007-2008, we added two new members, Trudi Spring and Lauren Nguyen who became involved, cherished additions. In 2008-2009, we welcomed another three new members; Gisele Medina, Kerry Bost and Carolyn Teague. We were very proud to have these ladies join us, and we became 15 members strong.
In 2011, Kathy Gamble’s Mother, Marie Boston, now residing in Houston, became a distinguished and honored member of our chapter. We were saddened when Marie passed away in July 2012, and we memorialized her in March of 2013 by giving her the Torchbearer Ritual.
In May of 2015, 8 members of Preceptor Eta Chi progressed to Laureate. The ritual was held in a beautiful private room at the lovely Brix Restaurant and Wine Bar in Vintage Park. Margaret Heimberg, Mary Jane Hue and Alice White were honored guests and officiants. One member, Lela Burgess, was given the Silver Circle ritual and Kerry Bost and Gisele Medina were given the Exemplar Ritual. We had appetizers and wine before the Rituals, then the Rituals, followed by a lovely dinner and more wine. The chapter was also progressed to Laureate, and the new chapter name became “LAUREATE ETA NU”.
In August of 2016, we held our first Beginning Day out of state, as we visited our President’s (Ivelysse Swan) retirement home in White Haven, Pennsylvania. Now in September of 2016, lives change and some members have left, however, we remain 13 members strong and are excitedly preparing to give Donna Barnes the Laureate Ritual. We also plan to “Put Our Hearts” into another fun year of programs and socials.
In August of 2018, Kathleen Killen transferred to our chapter, and we gave her the welcoming ritual and her first ride in a limo. Kathleen introduced us to crochet and her proud military background.
In November of 2019, 8 members of the chapter, Vickie Buschke, Connie Clark, Kathy Gamble, Judy Hood, Kristi Hopkins, Patti Kallus, Laurie Musachia and Connie Noble were given the Silver Circle Ritual. One member, Lela Burgess was given the Golden Circle Ritual. Kathleen Killen was given the Preceptor Ritual then later after retirement, decided to become a Member at Large.
We barely held our March 2020 meeting at the home of Connie Noble, when the country began to shelter in place on stay at home orders for the COVID-19 virus. We had to cancel our March social to Bolivar Peninsula and our April meeting and social to the Bluebonnet Festival; however, we held a zoom happy hour on April 8, 2020 with all members present, and we did our announcements. Reports for our April meeting were sent by email in anticipation of a short zoom meeting hosted by our President Kerry Bost on April 10, 2020. Officer nominations and elections were also held by email and Kathy Gamble will be the 2020-2021 President to lead us out of our quarantine.
HOUSTON CITY COUNCIL (“HCC”)
Since our chapter’s inception in 1994, our proud members have been very active in Houston City Council and have always given it our full support. We have entered every contest, and won every contest, many (including Council Participation, Chapter Participation and Yearbook), multiple times. We have had an HCC Queen, a Princess and a Sweetheart. We have served in every position on the HCC Executive Board, except Treasurer, and we have had three past HCC Presidents and a two term Parliamentarian. With the exception of the newly formed Website Committee and the Prism Committee, we have chaired and participated on all other HCC committees. We are very proud to have “Put Our Hearts” into HCC, and we greatly value the association.
LEGACY AND ENVOY II
Our history is incomplete without a listing of our cherished loved ones who have be inducted into the Legacy and Envoy II programs of Beta Sigma Phi. One of our members, Patti Kallus, was instrumental in having International create the Envoy II program for the beloved young men in our life. We have chaired and participated in many lovely Legacy (and Envoy II) Teas with themes including Alice in Wonderland, Bloom Where You Are Planted and even trips to the Zoo. The distinguished sponsored by our chapter are listed below:
Caitlyn Nunnellee Navarro (1995) Angelica Nicole Musachia (1996) Sarah Hood Romando (2001) Ellen Claire Bost (2010) Emily Kate Bost (2010) Aaliyah Arianna Hood (2011) Brenna Lynn Barnes (2011) Allison Gayle Barnes (2014) Hayley Grace Powers (2015) Josette Musachia (2016) Hope Musachia (2016)
Elijah Thayer Navarro (1st Envoy II in Beta Sigma Phi) (2011) Rayce Navarro (2016) Liam Michael Powers (2015)