The First Greek Letter Fraternity Known Among WOMEN

 

The Alpha Omicron chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta was founded on the Univerisity of Oklahoma's campus over 100 years ago in 1909. We exist to offer an encouraging and nurturing environment that provides women the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential during their undergraduate years at the University of Oklahoma. We truly are a chapter full of genuine, driven, and compassionate women aiming to achieve our highest aspirations and impact people’s lives through a commitment to the “widest influence for good,” “attainment of the highest scholarship,” and a “moral code of love.”

Bettie Locke—the daughter of a professor—was among the first women to enroll at Indiana Asbury 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—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 a chapter at Asbury. However, she couldn’t 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 coeds 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, and becoming the first fraternity for women to establish a chapter in Canada. It was an idea whose time had come.