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Kappa Alpha Theta (ΚΑΘ), also known simply as Theta, is an international women’s fraternity founded on January 27, 1870, at DePauw University, formerly Indiana Asbury. It was the first Greek-letter fraternity established for women. The fraternity (the term "sorority" had not yet been invented) was founded by four female students, Bettie Locke Hamilton, Alice Allen Brant, Bettie Tipton Lindsey, and Hannah Fitch Shaw. The organization currently has 147 chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. The organization was the first women's fraternity to establish a chapter in Canada. Theta's total living initiated membership, as of 2020, was more than 250,000. There are more than 200 alumnae chapters and circles worldwide.
|Kappa Alpha Theta|
|Founded||January 27, 1870|
DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, United States
|Symbol||Kite, Twin Stars|
|Flower||Black and Gold Pansy|
|Publication||The Kappa Alpha Theta Magazine|
|Philanthropy||Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA),|
Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation,
The Friendship Fund
|Chapters||212 collegiate, 200+ alumnae|
|Headquarters||8740 Founders Road|
Indianapolis, IN 46268
|Website||Kappa Alpha Theta homepage|
Kappa Alpha Theta is a member of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), an umbrella organization that encompasses 26 social sororities found throughout North America. The organization's own headquarters are located in Indianapolis, Indiana.
This article reads more like a story than an encyclopedia entry.(June 2018)
The Alpha chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta was founded at Indiana Asbury College, now DePauw University, on January 27, 1870. The university began admitting women in 1867 after 30 years of a male-only student body. However, women were excluded from male-only clubs and societies. In response to the lack of women's organizations, the fraternity's founding members established the first Greek letter women's organization. The Founders were:
- Elizabeth McReynolds Locke Hamilton (Bettie Locke)
- Alice Olive Allen Brant (Alice Allen)
- Elizabeth Tipton Lindsey (Bettie Tipton)
- Hannah Virginia Fitch Shaw (Hannah Fitch)
Bettie Locke developed the idea for a Greek letter women's society through the encouragement of her father, a professor at Indiana Asbury and a member of Beta Theta Pi, and the members of Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) at Indiana Asbury, which included her brother. Initially, the collegiate men of FIJI offered Locke their badge as a token of their friendship, but voted against initiating her as a member. Locke refused to wear the badge as she did not know the secrets and purposes the badge represented, since she was unable to become a member. Ultimately, the fraternity gifted her a symbolic silver fruit basket instead to represent their relationship and fondness for her.
Upon discovering that there were no Greek letter fraternities for women in existence (only literary societies for women existed at the time), Locke decided to create her own Greek letter fraternity for women. Kappa Alpha Theta's ritual, organizational structure, badge, and coat of arms were influenced by those of Beta Theta Pi and Phi Gamma Delta due to her familial connections. Locke and her friend Alice Allen wrote a constitution, planned rituals, designed a badge, and sought out women on campus to become members. Along with Hannah Fitch and Bettie Tipton, the first initiation was held in secret on January 27, 1870, establishing the Alpha chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta.
In 1887, Theta became an international organization with the establishment of the Sigma chapter at The University of Toronto. This became the first Canadian women's fraternity.
Kappa Alpha Theta's colors are black and gold. The official symbols are both the kite and twin stars, while the official flower is the black and gold pansy. The fraternity does not recognize an official stone.
The badge is a black and gold kite with a white chevron in the middle.
The Kappa Alpha Theta MagazineEdit
Theta's Grand Convention voted to establish a magazine in 1885 and to place its editorship with Kappa chapter at Kansas. In the intervening years, Kappa Alpha Theta's magazine has undergone a change of title (from The Journal to The Kappa Alpha Theta Magazine), and a change of publication schedule (from monthly to quarterly). Today, The Kappa Alpha Theta Magazine is published in April, June, September, and December of each year.
Kappa Alpha Theta has more than 143 active college chapters and more than 212 alumnae chapters across the United States and Canada. Alumnae chapters are alumnae groups that have been granted charters from Grand Council. The following is a list of the chapters of Kappa Alpha Theta: Active chapters and colonies listed in bold, inactive chapters listed in italics.
|Cincinnati Wesleyan||Ohio Wesleyan Female College||Ohio||1870–1871|
|Indiana Gamma||Moores Hill||Indiana||1871–1874|
|Millersburg College||Millersburg College||Kentucky||1871–1872|
|Gamma||Butler University||Indiana||1874–1886, reorganized 1906|
|Delta 1 ||Illinois Wesleyan University||Illinois||1875–1895|
|Epsilon||College of Wooster||Ohio||1875–1913 |
|Eta||University of Michigan||Michigan||1879–1886, reorganized 1893–2016|
|Iota||Cornell University||New York||1881–1965, reorganized 1980|
|Kappa||University of Kansas||Kansas||1881|
|Lambda||University of Vermont||Vermont||1881–2005, reorganized 2010|
|Gamma Deuteron||Ohio Wesleyan University||Ohio||1881–1882, reorganized 1924 |
|Mu||Allegheny College||Pennsylvania||1876–?, reorganized 1881|
|Nu||Hanover College||Indiana||1882–1899, reorganized 1959|
|Xi||Wesleyan University||Connecticut||1883–1887, reorganized 1989–2004|
|Omicron||University of Southern California||California||March 3, 1887–October 1, 1895, reorganized April 14, 1917 |
|Pi||Albion College||Michigan||1887–1908, reorganized 1955|
|Rho||University of Nebraska||Nebraska||1887–1889, reorganized 1896|
|Sigma||University of Toronto||Ontario||1887–1889, reorganized 1905–1941|
|Upsilon||University of Minnesota||Minnesota||1889–1891, reorganized 1892|
|Phi||University of the Pacific||California||1889–1892, reorganized 1959|
|Chi||Syracuse University||New York||1889|
|Psi||University of Wisconsin||Wisconsin||1890|
|Omega||University of California, Berkeley||California||1890|
|Alpha Beta||Swarthmore College||Pennsylvania||1891–1934, reorganized 2013|
|Alpha Gamma||Ohio State University||Ohio||1892|
|Phi Deuteron||Stanford University||California||1892–1944, reorganized 1978|
|Delta||University of Illinois||Illinois||1895|
|Alpha Delta||Goucher College||Maryland||1896–1950|
|Alpha Epsilon||Brown University||Rhode Island||1897–1912, reorganized 1984|
|Alpha Zeta||Barnard College||New York||1898–1915|
|Alpha Eta||Vanderbilt University||Tennessee||1904|
|Alpha Theta||University of Texas at Austin||Texas||1904|
|Alpha Iota||Washington University in St. Louis||Missouri||1906–1973, reorganized 1987–2000|
|Alpha Kappa||Adelphi University||New York||1907–1951|
|Alpha Lambda||University of Washington||Washington||1908|
|Alpha Mu||University of Missouri||Missouri||1909|
|Alpha Nu||University of Montana||Montana||1909|
|Alpha Xi||University of Oregon||Oregon||1909–1997, reorganized 2011|
|Alpha Omicron||University of Oklahoma||Oklahoma||1909|
|Alpha Pi||University of North Dakota||North Dakota||1911|
|Alpha Rho||University of South Dakota||South Dakota||1912|
|Alpha Sigma||Washington State University||Washington||1913|
|Alpha Tau||University of Cincinnati||Ohio||1913|
|Alpha Upsilon||Washburn University||Kansas||1914|
|Alpha Phi||Tulane University||Louisiana||1914|
|Alpha Chi||Purdue University||Indiana||1915|
|Alpha Psi||Lawrence University||Wisconsin||1915|
|Alpha Omega||University of Pittsburgh||Pennsylvania||1915–1999|
|Beta Beta||Randolph College (formerly Randolph-Macon Woman's College) ||Lynchburg, Virginia||1916–1960|
|Beta Gamma||Colorado State University||Colorado||1917–2006, reorganized 2014|
|Beta Delta||University of Arizona||Arizona||1917|
|Beta Epsilon||Oregon State University||Oregon||1917|
|Beta Zeta||Oklahoma State University||Oklahoma||1919|
|Beta Eta||University of Pennsylvania||Pennsylvania||1919–1979, reorganized 1988|
|Beta Theta||University of Idaho||Idaho||1920–1986, reorganized 2001|
|Beta Iota||University of Colorado||Colorado||1921|
|Beta Kappa||Drake University||Iowa||1921|
|Beta Lambda||The College of William & Mary||Virginia||1922|
|Beta Mu||University of Nevada, Reno||Nevada||1922|
|Beta Nu||Florida State University||Florida||1924|
|Beta Xi||University of California, Los Angeles||California||1925|
|Beta Omicron||University of Iowa||Iowa||1925|
|Beta Pi||Michigan State University||Michigan||1926|
|Beta Rho||Duke University||North Carolina||1928|
|Beta Sigma||Southern Methodist University||Texas||1929|
|Beta Tau||Denison University||Ohio||1929|
|Beta Upsilon||University of British Columbia||British Columbia||1930–1980, reorganized 2003|
|Beta Phi||Pennsylvania State University||Pennsylvania||1931|
|Beta Chi||University of Alberta||Alberta||1931|
|Beta Psi||McGill University||Quebec||1932|
|Beta Omega||Colorado College||Colorado||1932|
|Gamma Gamma||Rollins College||Florida||1933–2000|
|Gamma Delta||University of Georgia||Georgia||1937|
|Gamma Epsilon||University of Western Ontario||Ontario||1937|
|Gamma Zeta||University of Connecticut||Connecticut||1942–1971, reorganized 1979|
|Gamma Eta||University of Massachusetts||Massachusetts||1943–1979|
|Gamma Theta||Carnegie Mellon University||Pennsylvania||1944|
|Gamma Iota||University of Kentucky||Kentucky||1945|
|Gamma Kappa||George Washington University||Washington, D.C.||1946–1975, reorganized 2017|
|Gamma Lambda||Beloit College||Wisconsin||1947–1970|
|Gamma Mu||University of Maryland||Maryland||1947|
|Gamma Nu||North Dakota State University||North Dakota||1947|
|Gamma Xi||San Jose State University||California||1948–1975|
|Gamma Omicron||University of New Mexico||New Mexico||1948–1978|
|Gamma Pi||Iowa State University||Iowa||1948|
|Gamma Rho||University of California, Santa Barbara||California||1950|
|Gamma Sigma||San Diego State University||California||1951–2011, reorganized 2016|
|Gamma Tau||University of Tulsa||Oklahoma||1951|
|Gamma Upsilon||Miami University||Ohio||1951|
|Gamma Phi||Texas Tech University||Texas||1953|
|Gamma Chi||Fresno State University||California||1953|
|Gamma Psi||Texas Christian University||Texas||1955|
|Gamma Omega||Auburn University||Alabama||1957–2000, reorganized 2009|
|Delta Delta||Whitman College||Washington||1957|
|Delta Epsilon||Arizona State University||Arizona||1959|
|Delta Zeta||Emory University||Georgia||1959|
|Delta Eta||Kansas State University||Kansas||1961|
|Delta Theta||University of Florida||Florida||1962|
|Delta Iota||University of Puget Sound||Washington||1963|
|Delta Kappa||Louisiana State University||Louisiana||1963|
|Delta Lambda||University of Utah||Utah||1965–1988|
|Delta Mu||University of Rhode Island||Rhode Island||1965–1973|
|Delta Nu||University of Arkansas||Arkansas||1966–1989|
|Delta Xi||University of North Carolina||North Carolina||1966–1991|
|Delta Omicron||University of Alabama||Alabama||1967|
|Delta Pi||University of Tennessee||Tennessee||1969–1985|
|Delta Rho||University of South Florida||Florida||1969–1980|
|Delta Sigma||Ball State University||Indiana||1970–2008|
|Delta Tau||Montana State University||Montana||1971–1983|
|Delta Upsilon||Eastern Kentucky University||Kentucky||1972|
|Delta Phi||Clemson University||South Carolina||1972|
|Delta Chi||University of Virginia||Virginia||1976|
|Delta Psi||University of California, Riverside||California||1976–1998|
|Delta Omega||Texas A&M University||Texas||1976|
|Epsilon Epsilon||Baylor University||Texas||1976|
|Epsilon Zeta||University of Mississippi||Mississippi||1979–2018|
|Epsilon Eta||Centre College||Kentucky||1980|
|Epsilon Theta||Stetson University||Florida||1981–1993, reorganized 2016|
|Epsilon Iota||Westminster College||Missouri||1982|
|Epsilon Kappa||Dartmouth College||New Hampshire||1982–1992 |
|Epsilon Lambda||Dickinson College||Pennsylvania||1982|
|Epsilon Mu||Princeton University||New Jersey||1983|
|Epsilon Nu||Virginia Tech||Virginia||1983–2003, reorganization 2017 |
|Epsilon Xi||Villanova University||Pennsylvania||1983–1994|
|Epsilon Omicron||Randolph-Macon College||Ashland, Virginia||1984|
|Epsilon Pi||Bucknell University||Pennsylvania||1984|
|Epsilon Rho||Lehigh University||Pennsylvania||1984|
|Epsilon Sigma||University of California, Irvine||California||1985|
|Epsilon Tau||Yale University||Connecticut||1986|
|Epsilon Upsilon||Columbia University||New York||1986|
|Epsilon Phi||University of Chicago||Illinois||1986|
|Epsilon Chi||University of Guelph||Ontario, Canada||1987–1998|
|Epsilon Psi||University of Richmond||Virginia||1987|
|Epsilon Omega||Washington & Jefferson College||Pennsylvania||1988|
|Zeta Zeta||Colgate University||New York||1988–2008|
|Zeta Eta||Wofford College||South Carolina||1989|
|Zeta Theta||California Polytechnic State University||California||1989|
|Zeta Iota||Washington & Lee University||Virginia||1989|
|Zeta Kappa||University of South Carolina||South Carolina||1990–2001|
|Zeta Lambda||College of Charleston||South Carolina||1990|
|Zeta Mu||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Massachusetts||1991|
|Zeta Nu||University of California, Davis||California||1992|
|Zeta Xi||Harvard University||Massachusetts||1993|
|Zeta Omicron||Wake Forest University||North Carolina||1993–2002, reorganized 2013|
|Zeta Pi||Furman University||South Carolina||1994–1996|
|Zeta Rho||University of California, San Diego||California||1994|
|Zeta Sigma||Ohio Northern University||Ohio||1994|
|Zeta Tau||University of Delaware||Delaware||1995|
|Zeta Upsilon||University of Texas at Dallas||Texas||1996|
|Zeta Phi||Pepperdine University||California||1997|
|Zeta Chi||Johns Hopkins University||Maryland||1997–2009, reorganized 2013 |
|Zeta Psi||University of Southern Mississippi||Mississippi||1998–2008|
|Zeta Omega||Loyola Marymount University||California||2000|
|Eta Eta||College of Idaho||Idaho||2000|
|Eta Theta||University of Central Florida||Florida||2000|
|Eta Iota||University of San Diego||California||2001|
|Eta Kappa||John Carroll University||Ohio||2001|
|Eta Lambda||Santa Clara University||California||2003|
|Eta Mu||Occidental College||California||2004|
|Eta Nu||Lake Forest College||Illinois||2004|
|Eta Xi||Quinnipiac University||Connecticut||2006|
|Eta Omicron||University of North Florida||Florida||2007|
|Eta Pi||Case Western Reserve University||Ohio||2007|
|Eta Rho||James Madison University||Virginia||2007|
|Eta Sigma||Chapman University||California||2008|
|Eta Tau||University of Tampa||Florida||2010|
|Eta Upsilon||University of San Francisco||California||2011|
|Eta Phi||Belmont University||Tennessee||2011|
|Eta Chi||Boston University||Massachusetts||2012|
|Eta Psi||Tufts University||Massachusetts||2013|
|Eta Omega||Saint Louis University||Missouri||2013|
|Theta Theta||North Carolina State University||North Carolina||2013|
|Theta Iota||Georgetown University||Washington, D.C.||2014|
|Theta Kappa||University of Louisville||Kentucky||2014|
|Theta Lambda||University of Rochester||New York||2015|
|Theta Mu||Colorado School of Mines||Colorado||2016|
|Theta Nu||Georgia Institute of Technology||Georgia||2016|
|Theta Xi||University of California, Santa Cruz||California||2017|
|Theta Omicron||University of North Carolina at Charlotte||North Carolina||2017|
|Theta Pi||Sacred Heart University||Connecticut||2017|
Some notable alumni of Kappa Alpha Theta include Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, Jenna Bush, Tory Burch, Amy Holmes, Sheryl Crow, Gretchen Whitmer, Kerri Strug, Rue McClanahan,Amy Grant, and Jennifer Cook O'Toole. Laura Bush was a member of the Beta Sigma chapter at Southern Methodist University. Her daughters Barbara and Jenna Bush were members at Yale University and University at Texas at Austin, respectively. Tory Burch, an American fashion designer, businesswoman, and philanthropist was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta at the University of Pennsylvania. Amy Holmes, an American journalist and political commentator was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta at Princeton University. Sheryl Crow was a member at the University of Missouri. Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan, was a Theta at Michigan State University. Amy Grant, a famous American singer, was a member of the Alpha Eta chapter at Vanderbilt University.
The Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation was founded in 1960 and is the philanthropic arm of the organization. The Theta Foundation awards annual undergraduate and graduate scholarships to its members, awarding more than $1.1 million per year. In addition to scholarships, the Theta Foundation also supports the sorority's educational programs as well as its international philanthropy, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA's) are community volunteers who serve as the voice for abused and neglected foster care children who are going through the court system. CASA's are appointed by a judge and their purpose is to ensure all legal actions made are in the child's best interest. In order to directly volunteer at CASA you must be 21 years of age or older.
Local chapter misconductEdit
In 2000, the chapter at the University of Cincinnati was temporarily suspended for hazing. The pledges were forced to endure several demeaning tasks, one of which included crawling up the steps of the sorority house for the amusement of their big sisters.
In 2014, the chapter at Columbia University was under national scrutiny after hosting a racially and ethnically insensitive event that went viral. Some of the costumes worn by sorority members were based on stereotypes meant to represent Mexico, Japan, the Netherlands, Ireland, Jamaica and other countries. The sorority publicly apologized for the event.
In 2016, the 137-year old chapter at the University of Michigan was suspended by the university for underage drinking and hazing. The chapter was disbanded by the national organization a few weeks later for violating the suspension.
In 2018, the University of Mississippi and Clemson's chapters were closed for failure to meet quota. There was a great deal of opposition, since members felt they were being unfairly punished, simply for being less popular than other National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) sororities on campus, and not for risk management or academic issues.
In 2019, the Randolph-Macon chapter's new president was found to have hazed members of the organization living within the chapter facility.
- Anson, Jack L.; Marchenasi, Robert F., eds. (1991) . Baird's Manual of American Fraternities (20th ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Baird's Manual Foundation, Inc. p. IV-43–46. ISBN 978-0963715906.
- Nuwer, Hank (1999). Wrongs of Passage: Fraternities, Sororities, Hazing, and Binge Drinking. Indiana University Press. p. 149. ISBN 0-253-21498-X.
- "Theta Facts | Kappa Alpha Theta". Kappa Alpha Theta. Kappa Alpha Theta. 2018-08-21. Retrieved 2018-08-21.CS1 maint: others (link)
- "The Breakdown: the origins of Greek life on campus". The Varsity. 2017-09-25. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
- Domhoff, G. William (2015). Who Rules America? (Seventh ed.). McGraw Hill College. p. 57. OCLC 912380768.
- "Our Badge". Kappa Alpha Theta. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
- "The Kappa Alpha Theta Magazine". Kappa Alpha Theta. Retrieved 2009-05-08.
- "Chapter Listing". Kappa Alpha Theta. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
- Not to be confused with Delta chapter formed in 1895 at Illinois. As was the practice at that time, this name was reused.
- Wooster's national Greeks were banned in 1913, but Theta's Epsilon chapter continued to thrive as a local organization first called the Imps, then as local sorority Zeta Phi Gamma, which still exists today. For many years, Kappa Alpha Theta HQ maintained friendly correspondence with its former Epsilon chapter. The matter is explained more fully here: List of fraternities and sororities at the College of Wooster.
- The Ohio Wesleyan chapter was first organized in 1878 as the Alpha chapter (founder) of Delta Chi Alpha, an early, non-NPC regional sorority. But within five years that sorority disbanded; the founding group sought out and joined Kappa Alpha Theta in 1881.
- Reestablished by adoption of local sorority Alpha Rho, which had existed on the USC campus since 1895, as explained by historian Fran Becque in a Notable Sorority Women post from 16 Mar 2021, accessed 16 Mar 2021. Alpha Rho had formed the same year that Omicron chapter failed, but this appears coincidental with no direct linkage between the two groups: In 1895 Omicron chapter had returned its charter "when enrollment decreased". In 1917, Alpha Rho accepted the invitation to revive Omicron chapter and become a unit of Kappa Alpha Theta. Previously, this article had indicated an 1870 installation year for the chapter, but this must have been an error as the school itself was founded in 1880.
- "Pi/Albion". Kappa Alpha Theta.
- Not to be confused with Randolph–Macon College, the site of ΚΑΘ's Epsilon Omicron chapter.
- Many of Dartmouth's Greek chapters have reverted to local status, as was the case with Theta's Epsilon Kappa chapter. See Dartmouth College Greek organizations#Epsilon Kappa Theta (ΕΚΘ) for additional information. The existing local has no legal connection with the national sorority.
- Not to be confused with Randolph College, the location of ΚΑΘ's former Beta Beta chapter.
- Alberta, Tim. "The Woman in Michigan' Goes National". Politico. Politico LLC. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
- Stony, Fatima (12 October 2016). "Designer Spotlight: Tory Burch". collegefashion. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
- Jeff Carlton (2000-02-20). "UC sorority suspended over hazing complaints". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
- Scott Powers (2000-04-12). "Sorority Chapter Is Shut Down At Rollins". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
- "Kappa Alpha Theta Receives 4-Year Suspension". The Colgate-Maroon News. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
- Tyler Kingkade (2014-02-24). "Columbia Sorority Criticized For Offensive Olympics Party". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
- Moran, Darcie (2016-02-24). "Disbanded U-M sorority chapter faced discipline problems for years, national president says". Booth Newspapers.
- Jesse, David (2016-02-23). "University of Michigan's oldest sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, disbanded". Detroit Free Press.
- "Kappa Alpha Theta to close Ole Miss chapter at semester's end". 5 November 2018.
- "Clemson sorority Kappa Alpha Theta told to shut down".