One of the traditional symbols of the American Thanksgiving celebration is a cornucopia, overflowing with an abundance of food. There's something for everyone in a cornucopia, and—by extension—on the Thanksgiving dinner table. The same might be said for the Autumn 2015 issue of the Theta magazine: it contains a little something for everyone.
If you're an artistic sort, you can enjoy photos of the newly renovated Beta Gamma facility at Colorado State. If you're a history buff, you can learn some fun facts about the Theta magazine, which is celebrating its 130th year of continuous publication.
And if you're in the mood for a festive celebration, you can find out how we're kicking off Theta's sesquicentennial, her 150th anniversary. Beginning in January, we're dedicating each of the next four years to one of our founders. In 2016, we will honor Bettie Tipton Lindsey and her commitment to service with a special campaign called 150 Days of Celebrating Service. You'll hear more about 150 Days very soon.
Until then, we hope you enjoy the current issue of the Theta magazine. If you're receiving the print version of the magazine, it should have already arrived in your mailbox. If you're not, an explanation of our distribution system can be found on the Magazine page of this website.
As individuals and as chapters, Thetas are known for leading in our communities and on our campuses. As a whole, our Fraternity is known as a leading women's group; our ideas and programs have often been on the cutting edge. Although many of our members have been notable in their chosen fields of endeavor, we understand that leader is not a title conferred or an office held.
Recently, four young women at Swarthmore College sought to create a community of sisters by establishing the first women's fraternity on their campus in nearly 80 years. Like Theta's original founders, they persevered in the face of opposition for many months, demonstrating faith, hope, and love, and personifying leading women. The dedication and hard work of Callie Feingold, Olivia Ensign, Christina Obiajulu, and Julia Melin was rewarded last spring when the Alpha Beta Chapter was re-established at Swarthmore.
More than 2,300 miles away, Nicole Scott is dedicated to revitalizing the alumnae chapter in Phoenix, Ariz. Innovative programming has helped to increase membership; at the fall welcome meeting, each attendee completed the sentence "As a leading woman, I am..." Responses were documented on a heart-shaped card, and everyone discussed how they were leading women in their own lives.
Through Kappa Alpha Theta, each of us gains opportunities for friends, experiences, and goals that we might not have had otherwise. Through Kappa Alpha Theta, we are led to personal excellence and empowered to lead others there as well.
What does the phrase leading women mean to you?
I grew up listening to my mom tell stories about her Theta experience, and almost instantly upon accepting my bid to the Beta Chapter at Indiana University, I understood why she was always so giddy to talk about her Theta sisters and her memories in the chapter facility. (Now, I also understand why she was so protective of her 1976 Little 500 Theta sweatshirt and am still wondering how I can sneak that one into my closet.)
Not only do I owe a lot of my personal growth to my Theta sisters and best friends, but I owe a lot to my mom. The root of my Theta love stems from the sisterhood I share with her. Today and all days, I'm thankful she embraced her Theta experience in a way that inspired me to want to do the same. I am thankful I thought Theta, and I am thankful I share that connection with my mom.
Throughout the last few weeks, we've been asking you what Theta experiences you are most thankful for, and below is a compilation of some of the many #ThetaThanks submissions. Today and all days, Thetas can be thankful for:
- Ritual. We share ritual with so many incredible women, and it is an opportunity to remind ourselves what's important and keep us grounded in our morals and standards.
- Family. Theta provides an instant family in which we are all bonded by sisterhood. Theta is our home away from home.
- Inspiring and educational opportunities. Events like the Theta Service Trip, Grand Convention, and Emerging Leaders Institute all provide a chance for us to grow both individually and together as leading women.
- The bonds of friendship. Theta truly is for a lifetime and the support extends well past the college experience and into life as an alumna.
- Opportunities to be a part of something bigger. Year after year, Theta continues to grow its footprint, giving women the opportunity to be a charter member for their Theta chapter and have a lasting imprint in Theta's rich history.
- Constant support. A Theta sister is always quick to offer support and encouragement during the good, the bad, and the ugly.
- Leading women. Theta's strong, vibrant, and smart leaders—both within and outside the Fraternity—inspire us all to go above and beyond.
What Theta experience are you thankful for? Share with us using #ThetaThanks on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!
The badge was actually worn by two Thetas, both from Beta/Indiana: Anna M. Demaree, 1888, and Anna's niece, Cynthia Demaree Perkins, 1936. Anna earned her BA and MA from Indiana University and became a professor of Greek and Latin at Albert Lea University from 1893 to at least 1903, but returned to Indiana and taught at Earlham College and IU. During her college days, Cynthia received Mortar Board recognition in her freshman year and later was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She later became a teacher.
What makes it even more interesting is that the archives was contacted earlier this year by an archivist at IU to help identify an I893 image of Beta Chapter in its collection. In that image, Anna Demaree is in the fourth row from the top, sixth from the left, and she appears to be wearing the badge now in the Theta archives.
Cynthia's family had recently contacted the archives to see if we would like the badge and a pin, as well as digital versions of two images of Cynthia at Beta in the 1930s, as there are no Thetas in the family. The family did mention that Cynthia maintained a life-long connection to Theta and would be very happy to know that these items have found a home with the Fraternity.
The archives always welcomes donations to the collections that help us tell the stories of our members.
We had many favorite moments throughout the weekend. One of these was presenting the chapter charter to the four founders of Not Yet Sisters (NYS), an interest group that was integral in bringing women's fraternities back to the Swarthmore campus. Three of the four founders were recognized as alumnae initiates of the chapter, after having graduated in 2012 before Kappa Alpha Theta returned to campus. It was a very moving and special moment to see the dedication of these inspiring women come to fruition.
Another favorite moment was hosting the Installation banquet in Clothier Hall on the Swarthmore campus. Hannah Clothier, for whom the building is named, was an original charter member of Alpha Beta in 1891. Celebrating the reinstallation of the chapter in this space, with many of the chapter's archives from 1891-1927 on display, was truly a full-circle moment.
It was wonderful to have friends, parents, and college administration in attendance to celebrate the accomplishments of the young women of Alpha Beta. We are so proud of the strength, courage, and dedication that these charter class members demonstrate on a continual basis, and are honored to call them sisters.