Zeta Tau Alpha
is a women's fraternity
Fraternities and sororities are fraternal social organizations for undergraduate students. In Latin, the term refers mainly to such organizations at colleges and universities in the United States, although it is also applied to analogous European groups also known as corporations...
, founded October 15, 1898 at the State Female Normal School (now Longwood University
Longwood University is a four-year public, liberal-arts university located in Farmville, Virginia, United States. It was founded in 1839 and became a university on July 1, 2002...
) in Farmville, Virginia
Farmville is a town in Prince Edward and Cumberland counties in the U.S. state of Virginia. The population was 6,845 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Prince Edward County....
. The Executive office is located in Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...
. Zeta Tau Alpha is the third largest National Panhellenic
The National Panhellenic Conference , founded in 1902, is an umbrella organization for 26 national women's sororities.Each member group is autonomous as a social, Greek-letter society of college women and alumnae...
Group with over 206,000 initiated members and 244 chapters, as well as international sororities.
Zeta Tau Alpha was founded by nine young women:
Maud Jones Horner (Died August 20, 1920),
Della Lewis Hundley (Died July 12, 1951),
Alice Bland Coleman (Died June 11, 1956),
Mary Jones Batte (Died December 3, 1957),
Alice Grey Welsh (Died June 21, 1960),
Ethel Coleman Van Name (Died January 24, 1964),
Helen M. Crafford (Died September 17, 1964),
Frances Yancey Smith (Died April 23, 1977),
Ruby Leigh Orgain (Died October 22, 1984)
They shared similar beliefs and backgrounds and as their education went on, they were afraid that their strong friendships would fade since they did not have a formal bond to carry on this comradeship. This is when Maud Jones wrote: “For a whole year before our sorority was established, the need of such an organization was strongly felt. There were six or seven of us who used to frequently meet together and talk over and try to devise some way by which we could unite into a helpful and congenial band. We knew we sadly needed something, but we had no idea how that something was to be found. The beginning of session 1898–1899 our little crowd again at the Normal and just as eager as before, if not more, to find something to satisfy our desires.” This passion that the girls shared to find something more is how the desire to form a Greek-letter group aspired. They wanted to form this group in order to stay close and they hoped to continue this sisterhood after college. Even though they were determined to create this group, they waited on selecting an official name. With the help from Maud Jones and Frances Yancey Smith’s brothers—Plummer Jones, a member of Kappa Alpha Order
Kappa Alpha Order is a social fraternity and fraternal order. Kappa Alpha Order has 124 active chapters, 3 provisional chapters, and 2 commissions...
and Phi Beta Kappa member at the College of William and Mary, and Giles Mebane Smith, a Phi Theta Psi and Phi Beta Kappa member also at the College of William and Mary—the girls worked to form their Greek-letter organization. It took one year of work and thought, but the group finally chose the formal name of Zeta Tau Alpha, Themis—the patron goddess, and the badge as official name and symbols for their group.
From the charter granted to Zeta Tau Alpha by the State of Virginia, March 15, 1902:
The object of said association shall be to intensify friendship, promote happiness among its members, and in every way to create such sentiments, to perform such deeds, and to mould such opinions as will conduce to the building up of a nobler and purer womanhood in the world.
The Creed of Zeta Tau Alpha
To realize that within our grasp, in Zeta Tau Alpha, lies the opportunity to learn those things which will ever enrich and ennoble our lives; to be true to ourselves, to those within and without our circle; to think in terms of all mankind and our service in the world; to be steadfast, strong, and clean of heart and mind, remembering that since the thought is father to the deed, only that which we would have manifested in our experience should be entertained in thought; to find satisfaction in being, rather than seeming, thus strengthening in us the higher qualities of the spirit; to prepare for service and learn the nobility of serving, thereby earning the right to be served; to seek understanding that we might gain true wisdom; to look for the good in everyone; to see beauty, with its enriching influence; to be humble in success, and without bitterness in defeat; to have the welfare and harmony of the Fraternity at heart, striving ever to make our lives a symphony of high ideals, devotion to the Right, the Good, and the True, without a discordant note; remembering always that the foundation precept of Zeta Tau Alpha was Love, “the greatest of all things.” -- Written by Shirley Kreasan Strout, adopted by the 1928 ZTA Convention
To make a difference in the lives of our members by developing the potential of each individual through innovative programming, which emphasizes leadership development, service to others, academic achievement and continued personal growth for women, with a commitment to friendship and the future based on the sisterhood, values and traditions of the past.
The purpose of Zeta Tau Alpha is the intensifying of friendship, the fostering of a spirit of love, the creating of such sentiments, the performing of such deeds, and the moulding of such opinions as will be conducive to the building up of a purer and nobler womanhood in the world.
It was on October 15, 1898 the girls chose the colors of Zeta Tau Alpha, turquoise blue and steel gray, the fraternity flower, the white violet, and the Fraternity motto, “Seek the Noblest”.
The Founders chose Themis to represent the Fraternity, and the name of Zeta Tau Alpha’s quarterly magazine which features collegiate and alumnae chapter news, photos, and achievements.
The five-pointed Crown is an official symbol of the Fraternity. Many examples of crown artwork can be found within ZTA, and all are acceptable as long as the crown contains exactly five points.
The flower of the Fraternity, chosen by Founder Ruby Leigh Orgain, is the white violet. Its symbolic meaning is explained in the Initiation Service.
Zeta Tau Alpha has 247 chapters and 3 colonies, all chapters are still active. Of the alumnae chapters there are more than 250 actives and 300,000 initiated members.
“ZTA has 150 volunteer National Officers and more than 2,000 additional volunteers working at the local level. These women are helped by a professional staff of 25 at the International Office”.
In the 2004–2006 biennium the ZTA Foundation raised $5 million that went toward scholarships for 150 members, promoted the Zeta Tau Alpha philanthropy, developed leadership opportunities, and educated our members on important women’s issues.
Zeta Tau Alpha provides programs on education and training for its members, including "GreekLifeEdu for college members, Stand Up! Stand Out!, LINKS—Member Enrichment Program and a variety of member enrichment and academic achievement programs”.
“The ZTA Fraternity Housing Corporation has assets of more than $25 million and is the leader in Greek housing; ZTA provides safe and competitive housing on all of our college campuses”.
The pins and badges of Zeta Tau Alpha include the Pledge Pin, the Badge, The Coat of Arms, the Order of the Shield pin, the White Violet Pin, Mothers Pin, and Recognition Pins. The Pledge pin is in the shape of a carpenter’s square and is given to those pledging to be a member of Zeta Tau Alpha. Once these pledging members go through initiation they turn in their pledge pin and receive the Zeta Tau Alpha badge that is a small shield, bearing a five-pointed crown with the letter ZTA arranged around it. This badge is only worn by initiated members of Zeta Tau Alpha and may be worn on all occasions except with informal athletic clothes. The Coat of Arms may also only be worn by initiated members and its meaning and significance is revealed only to initiated members. The Order of the Shield pin is given to Zeta Tau Alphas upon their 50th anniversary of membership. The White Violet Pin is given to ZTA alumnae as a 75-year charm. The Mothers Pin is a small turquoise and silver crown pin with a white violet sketched in the center. This pin is given to the mothers of initiated members.
“The purpose of Zeta Tau Alpha shall be the intensifying of friendship, the fostering of the spirit of love, creating of such sentiments, promoting happiness among its members, to the performing of such deeds, and the molding of such opinions as will be conducive to the building of a purer and nobler womanhood in the world.”
Zeta Tau Alpha's National Philanthropy is Breast Cancer Education and Awareness.
In 1992, Zeta Tau Alpha adopted Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Susan G. Komen for the Cure, formerly known as The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, often referred to as simply Komen, is the most widely known, largest and best-funded breast cancer organization in the US....
as its national philanthropy. In addition to Zeta's focus on the Komen Foundation, the fraternity also supports other educational means dedicated to fighting breast cancer through education, awareness and promoting breast health. Alumnae and collegiate chapters devote their service to Komen Race for the Cure, Courage Night, THINK-PINK!, Yoplait, and other local philanthropies that support the cause.
In the fall of 1999, the Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha developed a new community service project based on the already successful THINK-PINK! campaign by getting involved with their local NFL team, the Washington Redskins. At the first Redskins home game in October, ZTA collegians and alumnae from the metropolitan Washington D.C. area joined together to distribute 8,000 THINK-PINK! ribbons to fans, stadium employees and even the team owner. In the year 2000, ZTA expanded the program with NFL events in Indianapolis, Miami, New York, and again at Washington D.C. They distributed over 85,000 ribbons. In 2001, the association with the NFL spread tripled to 12 teams with support from the general office of the NFL and the ZTA Foundation. That year, new ribbon-stickers were introduced. The program continued in 2002 in nine NFL cities and with one NBA team. To date, ZTA chapters have worked with more than a dozen teams to participate in the ZTA THINK-PINK! campaign, reaching more than 500,000 football fans across the country. In 2006, ZTA and the NFL began selling black hats with the teams logo in pink with a pink breast cancer ribbon on the side of the hats. For the future, this program promises to continue its growth in spreading awareness.
- Erin Andrews
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(Gamma Iota) - ESPN reporter, Member of the Gator basketball dance team from 1997–2000
- Susan Ford Bales
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(Alpha Upsilon) - Daughter of President Gerald Ford, Spokesperson for the National Breast Cancer
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- Brigadier General Margaret A. Brewer
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, U.S.M.C. (Alpha Gamma) - First Woman General of the United States Marine Corps.
- Betty Buckley
Betty Lynn Buckley is an American theater, film and television actress and singer. She is a Tony Award winner and Grammy Award nominee.-Early life:...
(Gamma Psi) - Tony Award
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winning theater, film, and television actress; (Cats
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, Eight is Enough
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, Tender Mercies
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- Faith Daniels
Faith Daniels became nationally known for her role in anchoring some of America's most popular news and talk show programs....
(Theta) - News personality; (48 Hours
48 Hours is a documentary and news program broadcast on the CBS television network since January 19, 1988. The program originally presented documentaries of various events related to a particular subject occurring within a 48-hour period, and is credited as one of the first to air a "reality show"...
, Sunday Morning
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, The Today Show, CBS Morning News
For CBS's main morning news program, formerly known as CBS Morning News, see The Early Show.CBS Morning News is the half-hour daily television broadcast from CBS News that airs following Up to the Minute and features late-breaking news stories, weather forecasts, and sports scores...
, A Closer Look)
- Phyllis George
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(Gamma Phi) - Miss America
The Miss America pageant is a long-standing competition which awards scholarships to young women from the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands...
1971, Emmy Award
An Emmy Award, often referred to simply as the Emmy, is a television production award, similar in nature to the Peabody Awards but more focused on entertainment, and is considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards .A majority of Emmys are presented in various...
winning television host and sportscaster (The NFL Today
The NFL Today is an American sports series that precedes the American football program The NFL on CBS on CBS Sports. The program usually airs at noon on Sundays of the National Football League regular season...
) and author
- Shannon James (Eta Kappa) - model, Hooters Billboard Girl, and Miss May 2007, Playboy
Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...
- Geralyn Lucas
-Career:Lucas attended Columbia University School of Journalism, where she graduated with honors. After graduation, she went to work at ABC and was an editorial producer at the ABC News newsmagazine 20/20 for seven years...
(Special Initiate of Theta Xi) - author and Director of Public Affairs for Lifetime Television
Lifetime Television, often referred to as Lifetime TV, or most commonly, Lifetime, is an American cable television specialty channel devoted to movies, sitcoms and dramas, all of which are either geared toward women or feature women in lead roles. The cable network is owned by A&E Television Networks...
- Deborah Platt Majoras
Deborah Platt Majoras is the former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, appointed May 11, 2004, by President George W. Bush and sworn in on August 16, 2004. President Bush had announced his intention to appoint her to the position on July 30, 2004...
(Delta Omega) - former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act...
- Jenna Morasca
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- Winner of Survivor: The Amazon
Survivor: The Amazon is the sixth season of the United States reality show Survivor. It was filmed in 2002 and 13 episodes aired weekly in the United States on CBS from February 13 - May 11, 2003....
, and contestant on Survivor: All Stars
- Betty Nguyen
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(Kappa) - CNN journalist
- Nicole Paggi
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(Theta Psi) - Actress
- Lynda Bird Johnson Robb
Lynda Bird Johnson Robb is the elder of the two daughters of United States President Lyndon Baines Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird Johnson...
(Kappa) - Daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson, wife of Charles Robb
- Brittany Toll
Brittany Toll was Miss New Mexico Teen USA 2005 and a Top 10 finalist at Miss Teen USA 2005. She is currently Miss New Mexico USA 2011 and competed in the Miss USA 2011 pageant. She was voted Fan Favorite by voters on MissUSA.com and NBC.com, which allowed her to place in the Top 16...
(Beta Nu)- Current Miss New Mexico USA, top 16 finalist at Miss USA and "Fan Favorite" and former Miss New Mexico Teen USA
- Dr. Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (Beta Gamma) - First female to win the Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...
in music and to receive a doctorate in music composition from Juilliard.
- Shonda Schilling
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(Iota Delta) Founder of SHADE, The Curt and Shonda Schilling Melanoma Foundation of America, wife of Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and a member of Major League Baseball’s American League Eastern Division. Founded in as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park since . The "Red Sox"...
pitcher Curt Schilling
Curtis Montague "Curt" Schilling is a former American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. He helped lead the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series in and won World Series championships in with the Arizona Diamondbacks and in and with the Boston Red Sox. Schilling retired with a...