Kappa Alpha Theta History
In 1837, Indiana Asbury College (now DePauw University) was established by the Methodist Church in Greencastle, Indiana. 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. On January 27, 1870, the first official meeting of Kappa Alpha Theta was held with members Bettie Locke, Alice Allen, Bettie Tipton and Hannah Fitch Shaw.
And so, the first Greek-letter fraternity for women was formally established. Obviously meeting a need, the Fraternity grew exponentially—spreading East to West, and North to South, and becoming the first fraternity for women to establish a chapter in Canada. It was an idea that was ready to be expanded on, and it grew exponentially, coming to a total of 212 chapters as of 2019.