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Chapter History

the first Greek letter fraternity for women

Fraternity History

Let's go back to January 1870.

Four bold women at Asbury College in Greencastle, Indiana established a society for women that would expand the horizons of collegiate women forever. This society was Kappa Alpha Theta, the first Greek letter fraternity for women.

It is now 2013.

Kappa Alpha Theta has grown to its current size of over 130 college chapters, over 195 alumnae chapters, and more than 250,000 initiated members. Kappa Alpha Theta was also the first women's fraternity to become international with multiple chapters in Canada.

asbury house 

Bold Beginnings
Bettie Locke was one of the first four women admitted to the newly co-ed Asbury in 1867. Because her father was a Beta Theta Pi and her brother a Phi Gamma Delta, she was familiar with the fraternity lifestyle. Bettie was also good friends with many of the brothers of Asbury's Phi Gamma Delta: such good friends that one asked her to wear his fraternity badge as a token of friendship. Though honored, Bettie declined the offer but was quite impressed with the fraternity ideal and wished to find a women's counterpart from which she would be able to form a chapter at Asbury. From that was born the idea of creating Kappa Alpha Theta - a fraternity for women, an innovative idea. Bettie told her friend, Alice Allen, of her new idea and together they wrote the constitution and by-laws, planned the ceremonies, designed a badge, and sought other women on the campus worthy of belonging to the new Kappa Alpha Theta.

Bettie Locke and Alice Allen soon singled out Bettie Tipton and made her a third party to their idea, then in the formative stage. She was enthusiastic and the three went about finding a fourth girl with whom to begin the new fraternity. Hannah Fitch was disappointed with the atmosphere at Asbury, but received a letter from her friend Bettie Locke, who urged her to return saying she had a secret to tell her. Hannah became the fourth founding member of the new fraternity.

The four initiated themselves on January 27, 1870 and proudly announced the new organization by wearing their black and gold badges to Asbury's chapel service on March 14. Soon, Alpha Chapter grew to 22 sisters and began establishing chapters at other colleges


Betty Locke Hamilton 




 Bettie Locke

 Alice Allen

 Bettie Tipton

 Hannah Fitch