Beta Gamma Epsilon was founded in 1919 by a group of engineers studying at Northeastern University. The founders, a group of brothers who had met in the Northeastern ROTC program, bonded over their similar hobbies and interests, as well as their experiences in the College of Engineering. In light of this friendship, the Brothers decided they wanted a stronger, life long bond of solidarity, and, with these ideals, founded Beta Gamma Epsilon.
Carl Mead and Chester Phipps, Two of BGE’s Founders
After its founding, Beta Gamma Epsilon grew rapidly in terms of size and sophistication, while its brothers began to make an impact as well. During World War II, BGE only had one active member because nearly every member of the fraternity served to defend America. Captain John Alvord, a BGE brother and Northeastern graduate, became a decorated fighter pilot in the Pacific and fought in battles such as the Battle of Midway before being shot down due to overwhelming enemy forces. These actions earned him the Navy Cross and exemplified the principles that unite the brothers of Beta Gamma Epsilon. Brothers have served the nation in many wars of the past century, and several are buried in notable locations such as Arlington Cemetery.
Captain John Alvord, Navy Cross recipient, and his fighter squadron, the VMF-221 Fighting Falcons
After World War II ended and brothers returned to Boston, Beta Gamma Epsilon grew in size and eventually eclipsed its housing. With new housing needed, Beta Gamma Epsilon’s new alumni banded together to purchase 234 Commonwealth Avenue in 1947. Beta Gamma Epsilon has remained in this house until present day, continuing to leave our mark and improve the house, including the beginning of major renovations on our roof deck in 2013.
The beginning of the 2013 roof deck renovations
Recently, Beta Gamma Epsilon has continued to strive for better and live up to our proud heritage. After the Boston Marathon bombings, brothers made food and coffee for the police and firefighters responding to the crisis and protecting the city in the days following the attack. Our yearly volunteer event in support of the Boston Marathon has also become one of our largest annual philanthropy events. As we enter our 100th year, we are doing everything we can to honor the men who founded Beta Gamma Epsilon.