Kappa Alpha Theta

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Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity (Founded at Drake on April 29th, 1921 - Present)

Originally submitted by: Emily Perry, Drake University, Oct. 7th, 2010

Kappa Alpha Theta's crest and symbol.

Origin of Kappa Alpha Theta

Kappa Alpha Theta was first founded by Bettie Locke Hamilton and her friends Alice Allen Brant, Bettie Tipton Lindsey, and Hannah Fitch Shaw. The organization was founded at Asbury College, which is now the current DePauw University, in 1867. This was the day in age where universities just began accepting women into their programs, but women were not allowed in the men's greek system. Kappa Alpha Theta is known for being the first women's fraternity, because it was founded before the term sorority was invented. Though there were most likely secret women societies before this, Theta was the first to bear greek letters like the rest of the men's fraternities at the time.

Bettie Locke first initiated herself standing in front of a mirror. She then turned and initiated her three best friends. The fraternity was held as a secret until March 14, 1870, when Kappa Alpha Theta was unveiled to Asbury College as four girls wearing Theta kite badges. The fraternity spread like wildfire, where women and many different universities were striving to get involved in greek life.

Kappa Alpha Theta became a national fraternity in May 1870, when Bettie Locke installed the Beta Chapter at Indiana University. Throughout the decades, more and more universities have added a Kappa Alpha Theta chapter into their greek system. There are now over 125 chapters in the U.S. Theta is now an international fraternity, with chapters located in Canada.

The mission statement of the Fraternity is: "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."

The fraternity purpose of Kappa Alpha Theta is: "The intellectual ambition of the Fraternity shall be the attainment of highest scholarship. The social aim of the Fraternity shall be to exercise the widest influence for good. The moral aim of the Fraternity shall be the standard of love."

Past photos of the Beta Kappa chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta, taken from the Beta Kappa chapter website.

The Beta Kappa Chapter

The Beta Kappa chapter was started at Drake University on April 29th, 1921. It was founded on the same weekend as four other sororities at Drake. The sororities all held simultaneous initiations, combined with a large Des Moines reception with not only members of the sororities but the townspeople as well.

The chapter has won many greek-organized awards for Drake University, including Letters in the Library and Greeks in the Gym for the 2009-2010 school year. So far this 2010-2011 school year, Thetas have won the Sigma Chi philanthropy Derby Days, as well as Delta Gamma's philanthropy Anchor Splash. The fraternity prides itself on consistently having the highest GPA on greek street, which is currently a 3.39.

The current location of the Beta Kappa chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta is 1335 34th St., Des Moines, IA 50311. Located on greek street, the house chooses one room every year to renovate during the summer. Over last summer, the chapter decided to redecorate the main room on the ground level of the house, which is separated into sections called Upper and Lower.

Some events that Theta puts on is Thiesta, Theta Formal, and the scholarship brunch. Thiesta is Kappa Alpha Theta's crush party, which is held at a different location every year. Theta formal is the annual fancy date party. The scholarship brunch is during parents weekend, hosted for the Thetas and their families.

Thetas today participate in many campus-wide activities and organizations. The girls participate in Theta intramural teams and there is at least one Theta sister in almost every club and organization that Drake University has to offer. The girls are also heavily involved in the relays and street painting.

CASA is Kappa Alpha Theta's national philanthropy.

Kappa Alpha Theta's philanthropy is CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. The organization provides advocates to children who suffer from abuse or neglect. Volunteers from this program speak for a child's behalf in court and ultimately help decide on a better future for neglected youth. This has been Kappa Alpha Theta's national philanthropy since 1989. This year at Drake, the Beta Kappa chapter is hosting "Cakes for CASA." Thetas held a widely successful pancake brunch where most of the proceeds went to the CASA foundation. The philanthropy event was unusual because tickets were sold not only to greek members, but also to the rest of the Drake community. The chapter plans to open the event to the rest of the Des Moines neighborhood in the future.

Another philanthropy which Kappa Alpha Theta supports the Theta Foundation, which is a scholarship program to help fellow sisters in the sorority afford tuition expenses. The foundation was created in 1960 by Thetas for Thetas, and it awards over $1 million annually to sisters in need in grants and scholarships. They award more than 200 scholarships annually. The foundation is independent from the Fraternity, though it gives Thetas support to excel in their education and further their intellectual studies.

Theta Quick Facts:

  • The national symbol of the Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity is the kite.
  • The colors which represent Kappa Alpha Theta are black and gold.
  • The Kappa Alpha Theta national flower is the black and gold pansy.
  • The nickname of Kappa Alpha Theta is Theta.
  • Kappa Alpha Theta's brother fraternity is Figi.
The Beta Kappa chapter house.


"CASA." Drake University Beta Kappa Chapter. Kappa Alpha Theta & Rawfactory Interactive, 2010. Web. 5 Oct 2010. <http://www.kappaalphatheta.org/chapters/betakappa/page/casa>.

"Chapter History." Drake University Beta Kappa Chapter. Kappa Alpha Theta & Rawfactory Interactive, 2010. Web. 5 Oct 2010. <http://www.kappaalphatheta.org/chapters/betakappa/page/chapterhistory>.

"Kappa Alpha Theta." Drake University. Drake University, 03 Aug 2010. Web. 5 Oct 2010. <http://www.drake.edu/life/greeklife/listing/kappa_alpha_theta.php>.

"Learn About Theta." Kappa Alpha Theta. Kappa Alpha Theta & Rawfactory Interactive, 2010. Web. 5 Oct 2010. <http://www.kappaalphatheta.org/learnabouttheta/?from=HomeAreaLink>.

"Theta Foundation." Drake University Beta Kappa Chapter. Kappa Alpha Theta & Rawfactory Interactive, 2010. Web. 5 Oct 2010. <http://www.kappaalphatheta.org/chapters/betakappa/page/thefoundation>.