Yesterday, today and tomorrow Kappa Alpha Theta exists to nurture each member throughout her college and alumnae experience and to offer a lifelong opportunity for social, intellectual and moral growth as she meets the higher and broader demands of mature life.
Indiana Asbury officially opened its doors to women in 1867, but not without great uproar from the male students. The first women students at Indiana Asbury were looking for ways to make friends and find support and encouragement for their academic pursuits. They were reviled by their teachers, taunted by their classmates, and ignored by their girlhood friends who did the "right" thing and attended conservatories for girls. Among these students were Bettie Lock Hamilton, Alice Allen Brandt, Bettie Tipton Lindsey, and Hannah Fitch Shaw. It took these brave pioneers three years to found Kappa Alpha Theta, the first Greek-letter Fraternity known among women.
There were societies for women before 1867, and some of these had secret rituals with badges, passwords, mottos, and other symbols. But in 1870, Theta became the first women's Greek-letter fraternity because its primary founder, Bettie Locke, wanted full membership in a male fraternity. When the men asked her to wear their fraternity badge as a "mascot," she responded, "If you won't initiate me into your fraternity, I'll start my own." Thus, Kappa Alpha Theta was established on January 27, 1870. The Chi Chapter at Syracuse University was established in 1890.
Since March 14, 1870 when Bettie Locke, Alice Allen, Bettie Tipton, and Hannah Fitch first wore their new badges to chapel at Indiana Asbury, the kite-shaped pin has been a symbol of membership in Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity. The final design for those first badges was simple but elegant. At one inch by three-quarters of an inch, they were slightly larger than the current standard badge. The badge of 1870 contained many of the markings found on today’s badges: the white chevron with the Greek letters and two stars. From the standard plain badge to emeralds and pearls, members can choose from a variety of different stone options, as well as metal qualities, to personalize their badge.
A Very Very Very Fine House
Designed and built in 1928 by Marjorie Wright, the Chi chapter house was designed specifically with Thetas in mind. With kites in the windows, decor, and infrastructure, 306 Walnut Place has housed 30 sisters each year and been our home for over 125 years. Watching television in the KT, studying in the living room, or eating chef Carol's delicious food, we're always spending together in the gingerbread house. Our newly renovated second and third floor bathrooms, as well as an updated kitchen serving area and coat room, making living in Theta a once in a lifetime experience.
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