GAMMA THETA CHAPTER
WHO WE ARE
Bettie Locke, the daughter of a professor was among the first women to enroll at Indiana Asbury College (DePauw University) in 1867. During her sophomore year, a member of one of the Greek-letter fraternities asked Bettie to wear their badge. When she learned, however, she would not become a member, but simply a welcomed supporter of the group, she declined the opportunity. Desiring full membership in an organization offering friendship and support, Bettie hoped a Greek-letter fraternity for women might form. However, she could not identify such an organization existing on any other campus. With her father's encouragement, Bettie decided to create one.
From the beginning, it was her desire the organization would continue to grow, supporting co-eds on multiple campuses into the future. She asked fellow student Alice Allen to work with her to make the dream come true. Their tasks included designing a badge, developing a constitution and bylaws, and identifying potential members women of outstanding character determined to excel academically. The following autumn, Hannah Fitch and Bettie Tipton were invited to join them. Now, four in number, the women carefully completed their plans. On January 27, 1870, the first official meeting of Kappa Alpha Theta was held. And so, the first Greek-letter fraternity for women was formally established. Obviously meeting a need, the Fraternity grew exponentially spreading East and West, from North to South, becoming the first fraternity for women to establish a chapter in Canada. It was an idea whose time had come.
Sisterhood is the bonds Thetas make with the other girls within our sorority. It is the memories, laughs, and late night talks that make joining Theta and being in college some of the best years of a Theta's life. From always having someone to lean on to a safe place to just be yourself, Theta provides a home to all of its members. This is sure to be seen by our sisters around campus - getting food, studying, exercising and hanging out together. It's what makes Theta, well, Theta!
A commitment to service is one of the pillars of being a Theta. This commitment can be seen from the incredible amount of hours members of Theta put in each semester. For the 2017-2018 school year, Theta totaled 1,815.5 hours of service - the second most of any other Greek organization on campus. Although each member is only required to complete 5 hours of service, we are proud to say that each member completes on average 23.58 service hours per semester.
Members complete this through events organized by Theta, but also individually. As a group, we organize monthly visits to the Boys and Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania, many times visiting with another Greek Organization. These trips give sisters a chance to not only give back to the community but also to meet other members of Greek Life. We donate our time as SafeWalk volunteers and participate in 1000plus Day of Service - in Fall 2018, over half of our sisterhood was involved in 1000plus, as day of volunteers, site leaders, kick-off committee members and executive board members! As well, each Fall we plan a Theta Day of Service around our founder's - Bettie Locke Hamilton's - birthday, where we contact our local CASA to find out their needs, invite alumnae and do service together to fulfill some of the needs.
Outside of Theta, sisters are involved in service organizations including Camp Kesem, SAFE, and Alpha Phi Omega. We encourage sisters to not only participate in Theta service events, but also get involved in a cause they are passionate about.
LETTER FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Welcome to the Gamma Theta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta at Carnegie Mellon University! Founded in 1870, Kappa Alpha Theta is the first Greek-letter Fraternity known among women. The Gamma Theta chapter joined the Carnegie Mellon campus in 1944 as one of the first sororities on campus. Since then, our sisterhood has grown to 90 undergraduate women and hundreds of alumnae committed to Theta's values of service, scholarship, leadership and personal excellence.
Thetas strive to be leaders both in and out of the classroom. From teaching assistants to conducting cutting-edge research, varsity athletes to service club presidents, I can confidently say that if there's something happening on campus, there's likely a Theta behind it. We also dedicate our time to raising money for our national philanthropy, Court Appointed Special Advocates, and the Theta Foundation, a scholarship and grant-giving foundation a Theta can use at any point in her life. We love getting to support our fellow Sororities and Fraternities in their respective philanthropy events, and participate in campus traditions such as Greek Sing and Booth. Our sisters truly experience everything our campus has to offer.
With the incredible sisterhood I found in Theta and the network of alumnae who came before me, I have excelled during my time here at CMU and have a foundation for success that will last me a lifetime. I am honored to call Thetas my sisters.
I invite you to explore our website, learn more about our chapter and get a taste for what being a Theta is all about!