In 1922, Mr. Frank Brooks started the first chapter of Beta Beta Beta at Oklahoma City University. Over the next few years, several chapters were started at other midwestern colleges. In 1925, Beta Beta Beta was established as a national organization with the Delta Chapter at Southwestern College being one of the four founding chapters. The first chapter advisor was Dr. William M. Goldsmith, a colorful figure from Southwestern's history.
Dr. Goldsmith had a strong interest in evolution, genetics, and eugenics. He coupled these interests with a deep religious faith and a solid commitment to the school's mission. His lectures helped many of his students understand that their religious beliefs were not in conflict with the ideas of evolution and modern biology. His classes were quite popular and the biology department reached a size that would not be seen until the 1970's. His other activities at Southwestern included initiating the "College on Wheels" program in which biological student would travel around to different laboratories and field stations during the summer. This program later became the "Omnibus College" and can still be seen in its present day form as the May Module. A few years after the establishment of the Delta chapter, Dr. Goldsmith left Southwestern and the chapter dissolved in the absence of his leadership
There is very little other information on the first few years of the Delta chapter as all of the records of that original chapter including the charter and membership book are thought to have been lost in the fire of 1950. The spirit of Beta Beta Beta resurged after the fire as did much of the Southwestern campus. Luckily, the national organization had never given the "Delta" designation to any other chapter, as they had always hoped that the Southwestern chapter would be re-activated. In 1957, the Delta chapter was reestablished with a new charter under the guidance of Dr. Herbert Warfel, with our very own Max Thompson ('57) as one of the founding members.
There are several current and former Southwestern faculty members who are alumni of the Delta chapter including Charlie Hunter ('67), Jim Helmer ('72) and Gene Young ('89). Both Gene and Charlie served as chapter presidents during their undergraduate days. Another important associate of the Delta chapter is Lloyd Bertholf ('21), a distinguished entomologist and invertebrate zoologist. Although Dr. Bertholf was not a member of the Delta chapter (BBB was not in existence while he was an undergraduate at Southwestern), in later years he became an important figure in the national organization. He served as president from 1946-53 and was responsible for the creation of the Bertholf Award for Chapter Excellence.
Southwestern College's Delta Chapter has honored to receive the national award for Outstanding Chapter for the 2001 - 2003 academic year. This award named for former SC Alum and BBB National President, Lloyd Bertholf, is given each year to the chapter that best exemplifies the ideals of Beta Beta Beta.