The Beta Classics and Other Books by Betas

In 1879, William Raimond Baird, Stevens 1878/Columbia 1881, published “American College Fraternities” – the first comprehensive compendium of North American college fraternities and sororities. Five years later in a series of articles entitled “Fraternity Studies,” Baird would narrow his focus to the history of Beta Theta Pi, and in the process become the first of many prolific Beta writers to document the evolution of this Great and Good Fraternity.

Today, the Fraternity's collection includes 21 of Beta’s most celebrated books available in digital form, including titles from Baird; Francis W. Shepardson, Denison 1882/Brown 1883; Seth R. Brooks, St. Lawrence 1922; L.E. (Erv) Johnson, Idaho ’53; and others. The three-part series ("People," "History" and "Inspiration") presents almost 7,500 pages documenting the Fraternity’s cherished history, her most influential members, and their inspirational words, stories and songs. The Beta Classics are available to view and download for FREE via Issuu or for purchase via digital download on Kindle, iBooks and Nook. Many are also available in a hardbound format at

For even more books written by Betas on a variety of topics, see the growing list at the bottom of this page. To add your book to this list, contact Justin Warren.



Betas of Achievement
William Raimond Baird | 1914
A Who’s Who in Beta Theta Pi. Within its pages, readers will find brief biographies of some of the Fraternity’s most achieved members, from government officials to university presidents and beyond.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle


Beta Statesmen
L.E. (Erv) Johnson | 2010
Which Beta served as a U.S. vice president? A Canadian prime minister? This title celebrates these men and hundreds more who placed public service over personal gain.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |  Nook


Beta Heroes
L.E. (Erv) Johnson | 2011
“Beta Heroes” chronicles the accomplishments of Betas who have demonstrated true acts of heroism on and off the battlefield.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |  Nook  |


Betas in the Arts
L.E. (Erv) Johnson | 2012
With intellect follows an appreciation for the arts. This title profiles those Betas who have devoted their lives to the arts: visual, musical, performing and writing.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |  Nook  |


Betas of Achievement II
L.E. (Erv) Johnson | 2015
A century after Betas of Achievement, this sequel includes the achievements of more than 5,000 Betas from some 160 chapters.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |  Nook



40 Years of Fraternity Legislation
William Raimond Baird | 1916
For the legislatively inclined, this title includes the minutes from all General Conventions taking place in the Fraternity’s first 40 years.
Issuu (Free)  |  Kindle  |  Nook


The Beta Book
Francis W. Shepardson | 1927
Born from “The Handbook of Beta Theta Pi,” Shepardson recounts the Fraternity’s history from the first decade through World War I.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle


Beta Lore
Francis W. Shepardson | 1928
Where Beta Book examined the Fraternity’s history, Beta Lore magnifies the Fraternity’s story through sentiment and song from illustrious brothers such as Knox, Baird, Lozier, Robb and Chandler.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |  Nook


Beta Life
Francis W. Shepardson | 1929
A follow up to the previous year’s “Beta Lore,” Shepardson combines new stories of individuals, incidents and inspiration connected with the unfolding story of 90 years of Beta Theta Pi.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |  Nook


The Mystics and Beta Theta Pi
Karl W. Fischer | 1940
One of the most celebrated unions in Beta history, this volume recounts the history of the societies which made up the Mystic Seven Fraternity, and their ultimate merger with Beta Theta Pi in 1890.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |  Nook


Marching Along
K. Warren Fawcett | 1961
Commissioned in 1958, Fawcett provides a history of Beta for the 25-year period from 1935-1960.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle


The Faithful Home of the Three Stars
Peter J. Floriani | 1989
Can a computer programmer tell a compelling story of the Fraternity’s first 150 years? Indeed, this sesquicentennial title is every bit as compelling as “The Beta Book” published some 60 years earlier.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |  Nook  |


Sons of the Northern Stars
Ken Stephens | 2013
What was planned as a tribute to the Toronto chapter becomes an anthology of anecdotes and stories of Beta Theta Pi across Canada.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |


Beta Brotherhood
L. Martin Cobb | 2014
This coffee-table-book collection of Beta lore, imagery and quotes seeks to capture for a new generation the “best of the best” and reinforce the significance of what Beta Theta Pi can mean in a man’s life.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |


Son of the Stars
L.E. (Erv) Johnson | 2020/2016
The modern pledge manual, Johnson’s “Son of the Stars” builds on the work of W. Raimond Baird and G. Herbert Smith before him. Betas seeking a refresher on Fraternity lore need look no further than this recently revised staple. Note: 2020 update available on Issuu and; other outlets offer the 2016 edition.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |   Nook  |



Beta Letters
William Raimond Baird | 1918
This collection of letters sent between chapters shines a light on the conditions of the Fraternity in its earliest years.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |   Nook


Beta Bards
Francis W. Shepardson | 1936
A collection of poems and sentiments dating back to 1839, authored by 175 Betas whose lives are woven into the Fraternity’s fabric.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |  Nook


The Great Ones
A. J. G. Priest | 1956
The transcription of 10 iconic Convention addresses delivered by the principal wearers of our badge.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |  Nook


In Beta’s Broad Domain
Seth R. Brooks | 1967
This collection of Brooks’ memoirs and written and spoken words allows readers to catch a picture of the principles and ideas that have given the Fraternity enduring life.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |  Nook


Inter Fratres
Seth R. Brooks | 1986
A collection of the outstanding messages from Dr. Brooks’ “Inter Fratres” column, which appeared in The Beta Theta Pi magazine from 1951 to 1986.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  | Kindle  |  Nook


The Songs of Beta Theta Pi
Shelby L. Molter | 1993
This 26th edition preserves the beloved songs of Beta’s past while introducing contemporary tunes – all in four-part harmony.
Issuu (Free)  |  iBooks  |  Kindle  |  Nook


The Fraternity congratulates its Beta authors on publishing books on a variety of topics that are available to purchase online. To add your book to this growing list, contact Justin Warren.

"Bad Love Strikes" — Kevin Schewe, Missouri '79
"The College Man's Cookbook" — George Hirsch, Georgia '15
"The College Woman's Cookbook" — George Hirsch, Georgia '15
"First-Time Officiant" — Mike Scott, Miami '09
"A Fool's Errand" — Roy Cook, Oregon State '63
"Getting to Zero: How to Work Through Conflict in Your High-Stakes Relationships" — Jayson Gaddis, Utah '95
"A Global Nomad in Search of True Happiness" — Hani Khoja, Virginia '90
"The Good Husband: 50 Practices That Will Make You Nearly Perfect" — Danny Langdon, Idaho '61
"Hello: My Name Is" — Tom Viccaro, Northeastern '15
"The Lantern" — Frank Newell, Willamette '49
"The Magical Forest" — Brett Nelson, Kentucky '93
"Once Upon a Time" — J.C. Faris, Ball State '68
"The Other Oregon" — Thomas R. Cox, Oregon State '55
"Puzzle Man" — David McKinney, Oregon State '75
"Quest for Closure" — David McKinney, Oregon State '75
"Reborn of Crisis: 9/11 and the Resurgent Superhero" — Michael Harrison, Furman '98
"Understanding Therapy" — Rudy Nydegger,  Wichita State '65
"Wild Blueberries" — Peter Damm, Michigan '71
"The Wounded Healer: A Journey in Radical Self-Love" — Andy Chaleff, UCLA '93
"A Young Man In War" — Paul C. Pritchard, Missouri '66