In 1837, Indiana Asbury College (now DePauw University) was established by the Methodist Church in Greencastle, Indiana. Typical of most colleges at the time, the Asbury student body was all-male. Thirty years later, the college's board of trustees opened Asbury's doors to women. But the coeds admitted in 1867 were not readily welcomed by all students. Many feared acceptance of females would diminish the college's reputation. Initially, the women were taunted by male students and met disapproval from friends and townspeople.
The women persevered. They proved to hold their own academically, and gradually gained greater respect. But the first coeds were excluded from membership in the clubs or societies that existed at the college in the 1860s. Theirs was a lonely existence.
Bettie Locke, Alice Allen, Hannah Fitch, and Bettie Tipton decided to change that. These four women desired membership in an organization that offered friendship, support, and equality to women unconditionally. Unable to find that on their campus, they set to work formally creating the first Greek-letter fraternity known among women. They wrote a constitution and bylaws, designed badges, and encouraged like-minded women to join.
After months of hard work, the first official meeting of Kappa Alpha Theta was held on January 27, 1870. It’s safe to say that things went really well—Kappa Alpha Theta spread from coast to coast, and is now a sisterhood with over 170,000 initiated members.
The Eta Phi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta was chartered at Belmont University on November 6, 2011. The founding class, comprised of 122 of Belmont's finest women, took a leap into uncharted territory. With the promise of a sisterhood founded on the values of social, intellectual, and moral growth, the work of creating an established sorority officially began.
Over the past seven years, Eta Phi has only grown stronger. Everything we stood for in the beginning we continue to support, but now with over 200 women sharing those ideals. On campus, the Eta Phi chapter has been recognized multiple times for having the highest overall GPA among greek organizations, demonstrating that scholarship truly is our highest aim. Our chapter continues to lay down a solid foundation for what will continue to be a remarkable story.
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 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.