In 1967 an exploratory luncheon on the campus of Texas A & M University at College Station between members of the AGR's "Standing Committee on Extension," AGR alumni on the faculty and university administrators concluded that the climate was not conductive for Greek organizations. The culture of the "Corps," known as the campuses' largest "non-Greek" fraternity, and an absence of other fraternities would make the going very difficult.
A decade later circumstances had changed dramatically. Women comprised forty-seven percent of the 28,000 undergraduate student body. On campus were nine new sororities, four national men's fraternities and five fraternity colonies. A February 1, 1975 letter from Fred McClure, National FFA Secretary and an Aggie student, to Maynard Coe asked about the possibility of forming a chapter of Alpha Gamma Rho. In addition there were several reasons for wanting to establish a colony at Texas A & M: (1) It had one of the largest and best agriculture schools in the nation; (2) It was one of the few land-grant universities without a chapter; (3) It would strengthen Alpha Gamma Rho ties in a big and important agricultural state; (4) and, the colony would have a large and engaged local AGR base of alumni support, including leaders such as Hal Taylor, Missouri, Lean "Bill" Pope, Michigan State, Vernon Schneider, Missouri, Bart Cousins, Texas A & M, Wayne Hayenga, Illinois, Ray Sis, Kansas State, Roy Snyder, Iowa State, Merritt Taylor, New Mexico State, James Telford, Oklahoma State, William Beach, Iowa State, Bruce Blanchard, Oklahoma State, John French, California-Davis, Clayton Humphries, Louisiana State, Donald Levi, Missouri, John Nichols, Cornell and Warren Wilkes, New Mexico State.
On April 25, 1977 the colony at Texas A & M was established. Bobby Tucker, 1976 National FFA President, was its new president; John Sykes was Vice President; Mark Sis, Secretary; and Dan Beachy, Treasurer. Advisors were Vernon Schneider, John Nichols and Ray Sis. A house was leased at 418 College Main and the colony was underway. Dr. Bill Pope, a strong supporter of the colony, had moved to New Mexico State as Dean of Agriculture and his Texas A & M successor was brother Dr. Terry Greathouse, Illinois.
The 1984 convention approved chapter status for the colony, which was installed September 13, 1986 by a team of brothers from Pi Chapter at Oklahoma State University. Also assisting were Grand President Zane Akins; Executive Director Phil Josephson; Regional Vice President Linn Cheatham and Jeff Warner, Chapter Service Consultant. Following the initiation of 37 brothers, half of whom were undergraduates, a ground-breaking ceremony was held on Fraternity Row for a new 60-man house, the first in that location.
As so often has been the case for colonies and chapters, the involvement and leadership of alumni is a necessary condition for success, but it alone is insufficient without an equal commitment from the undergraduate members. The years since 1986 have been a challenge and at time a struggle for Beta Nu. In spite of the resources, the chapter seldom had enough brothers living in the house to break even. The potential seemed ever present, but just beyond reach. In due course the house was lost, but even the University vision for Fraternity Row never materialized. Today, Beta Nu remains a strong chapter with re-scaled housing plans to better fit the circumstances of a moderate sized chapter.