Bettie Tipton Lindsey, Bettie Locke Hamilton, Hannah Fitch Shaw, Alice Allen Brant (Founders)


National Kappa Alpha Theta History
In explaining Kappa Alpha Theta's origins, Bettie Locke Hamilton once said, "The Fraternity was always second in my mind to coeducation. It was organized to help the girls win out in their fight to stay in college on a man's campus. We had to make a place for women in a man's world, and the Fraternity was one means to that bigger end." Thus Bettie, along with Alice Allen Brant, Bettie Tipton Lindsey, and Hannah Fitch Shaw, created Kappa Alpha Theta, the first greek-letter fraternity known among women. In addition to the women at Indiana Asbury, young women on ten other campuses became members of Kappa Alpha Theta in the 1870s: Indiana, Cincinnati Wesleyan, Millersburg College, Moore's Hill, Butler, Illinois Wesleyan, Wooster, Ohio, Allegheny and Michigan. Today, Theta has over 170,000 active members in the United States and Canada, upholding its place as one of the strongest national/international fraternities.
The University of Michigan's Eta Chapter was established nine years later in 1879.

Famous Kappa Alpha Thetas:

  • Ann-Margret, Actress (Grumpy Old Men and more than 41 other movies), twice nominated for an Academy Award
  • Laura Welch Bush, former First Lady of the United States
  • Lynne Vincent Cheney, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1986-1993; wife of the current vice president of the United States
  • Joan Ganz Cooney, Cofounder of Childrens' Television Workshop and creator of Sesame Street
  • Sheryl Crow, Grammy-award winning singer
  • Diane Fossey, Pioneer zoologist
  • Tillie Kidd Fowler, US House of Representatives, 1993-2001; in her position as Vice Chairman of the Republican Conference, 1998-2001, she was the highest ranking woman in the US Congress; currently serves on the US Commission on the Future of the US Aerospace Industry.
  • Barbara Hackman Franklin, Secretary of Commerce during the George H. W. Bush administration
  • Glenna Goodacre, Sculptor (creator of the Vietnam Women's Memorial and the gold Sacagawea one-dollar coin)
  • Amy Grant, Grammy award-winning singer (Alpha Eta Chapter)
  • Helen Hull Jacobs, Tennis champion (Wimbledon and the US Open); in 1933, she was the first woman to break with tradition and wear man-tailored shorts at Wimbledon
  • Nancy Landon Kassebaum, First woman elected to the US Senate in her own right
  • Rue McClanahan, Actress (The Golden Girls)
  • Julie Moran, Broadcast journalist (first woman to host Wide World of Sports)
  • Mary Kay Place, Actress (Being John Malkovitch, The Rainmaker, The Big Chill)
  • Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Yearling
  • Mary Louise Epperson Smith, First woman to chair the Republican National Committee
  • Melissa Stark, Sidelines reporter for ABC's Monday Night Football
  • Kerri Strug, Gymnast (gold medal in the 1996 Olympics, bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics, silver medal in the 1994 World Championship)
  • Marlo Thomas, Actress (That Girl) and author (Free to Be … You and Me), social activist
  • Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen, First woman to work as a professor and head of obstetrics in a coeducational medical school

Theta's colors are black and gold.

Theta's symbol is the kite-shaped badge.

Theta's flower is the black and gold pansy.

Theta's headquarters is staffed by approximately 25 women and men who manage administrative aspects of the Fraternity and Foundation. Headquarters is located at 8740 Founders Road, Indianapolis, Indiana 46268.


Courtesy of

Last Update: March 24, 2011