On December 8, 1941, twelve ministerial students from Ouachita gathered together to pray over the Pearl Harbor attacks that occurred the previous day. This group of twelve men would later form a club and become the men of Beta Beta.
The founding members had to fight through the process of being approved by administration, because two other men’s clubs already existed on campus, and administration had to be convinced that this new club was needed. Eventually, they were approved.
The men chose the name Beta Beta because most of the founding members were ministerial students, and they could not seem to get a grade higher than a B in Greek. So, the Greek letter Beta seemed to fit their newly founded club perfectly.
Beta Beta was also the first club on campus to have a Greek name. They were not the first club on campus, but all other clubs just had English letters, or a nickname. The Betas wanted to be different and more like fraternities, so they chose the Greek letters.
The first few years of rushing and pledging were not extremely structured. It took a few years for traditions to be formed and solidified. But, because of traditions like sitting together at lunch, new members today don’t think about where to sit in the cafeteria. They know they always have brothers to sit with.
The men of Beta Beta truly are a brotherhood. Whether he is an alumnus or a new member, all members share a common bond and can easily share stories with an understood undertone that all members relate to.
“(We have) a general spirit of excellence, earned prestige and united vision,” said Tanner Thomas, a senior business major from Magnolia, Ark., and treasurer of Beta Beta.
Today, the Betas are active in many areas across campus and love to support the Ouachita Tigers. One of their favorite club activities is to tailgate and show up loud and proud at all the OBU sporting events. Football, volleyball, basketball and baseball are a few of their favorites to attend.
“We’re just trying to show our support for Ouachita. We’re the ones who scream and yell for our teams,” said Chandler Ferrell, a sophomore accounting major from White Hall, Ark., and secretary of Beta Beta.
One special tradition that the Beta’s have on campus are their serenades. Once a semester, the men go around to all the girls’ dorms on campus, only wearing boots, boxers and blazers, to serenade the girls.
“We sing beautiful songs with our beautiful voices to give a little comic relief to the girls’ nights,” Ferrell said.
The men of Beta Beta also host Beta Ski Lodge and Beta Blackout, events that everyone on campus is encouraged to attend. The club particularly enjoys these events because it gives people from every part of campus a chance to be unified and have fun for a night.
Tiger Tunes is a tradition that most people on campus love, and the Betas are no exception. They love it just as much as everyone else, even if their practice time does not exactly reflect that.
“Our strategy has been the same since the competition started. We realize that it’s just for fun. This is not Broadway,” Thomas said.
Generally, clubs practice around four hours a night for three weeks. That totals up to quite a few hours of practice come show-time. The Betas, on the other hand, practice for a grand total of six hours during those three weeks. And even that, according to Beta alumni, is getting close to too much practice.
“We’re not very serious about a lot of things. We’re just here to have a great time and make sure everyone else has a great time,” said Ancil Lea IV, a sophomore business major from Conway and social chair of Beta Beta.
It is no secret that the Betas aim for second place each year. However, there was one disgraceful show, completely thrown together in the weeks right before Tiger Tunes, that ended up being better than second place material. In 1984, the men of Beta Beta won Tiger Tunes.
“We tend not to talk about that one too much, because we don’t want first place,” Thomas said.
Another favorite aspect of Tunes for the men is the all-nighter. While most clubs are spending the last bit of practice time to clean movements and perfect harmonies, the Betas are hanging out, goofing off until it’s late enough to go mess with people. They disrupt the women of Tri Chi and the women of EEE during practice by running in the building like a bunch of wild banshees, and maybe, if the ladies are lucky, they will perform their show as a sneak preview of what’s in store.
“That’s always fun because you run in and the girls go wild, because, we’re here,” Lea said.
Speaking of the ladies, most men’s social clubs have sweethearts or lil sis’s, but the men of Beta Beta do not.
“Most clubs have sweethearts, but we consider every girl on campus a Beta girl,” Ferrell said.
Through all the fun of Tiger Tunes, tailgates, serenades and more, the Men of Beta Beta are ultimately here to excel and encourage others to excel spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically.
Written by staff writer, Katie Jo Henley