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Fraternity Blog

Posted On: Wednesday, February 3, 2016 08:50 AM, by Ellen Barlow

Did you know that since 2011, the National Panhellenic Conference has designated February as the Month of the Scholar in order to increase the commitment of women's fraternities to academic achievement and excellence? Here are some non-traditional ways you can help celebrate the Month of the Scholar within your chapter:


1. Highlight a scholar of the week: The women recognized could be high scholastic achievers, but don't forget those who should be recognized too for scholastic improvement. Is there a sister who has made significant strides to improve her study habits? Is there a sister who has made a conscious effort to establish rapport with her professors or schedule time to attend study skills workshops tailored to her needs at the academic success center on campus? Did a sister meet her GPA goal she set for the fall 2015 term? Depending upon how they like to receive feedback, you could recognize these women in a chapter meeting or by a simple note or small treat in their mailbox. (Keep in mind that not everyone likes to be recognized publicly.)


2. Think about scholarship as it relates to a broader context: Intellectual curiosity involves more than just doing well in school. It is about broadening your understanding and appreciation for the world around you. Plan a trip with your chapter to a cultural attraction or event on your campus or in your city. This could include a local museum or historical society; an outing to a theater production, musical, ballet, concert, or orchestra performance (bonus points if a sister is performing!); hosting faculty to the chapter facility for informal conversations on their research focus areas; or going to see a hosted speaker or lecture on campus. These opportunities are plentiful and can enrich your appreciation for things outside of the norm.


3. Host a relaxation event: Let's face it. College can be stressful. It's important that as we encourage high scholastic achievement, we also encourage self-care. Whether it's hosting a sundae or cookie night during midterms, a spa day in the middle of the month, or a yoga class on a Saturday morning, encouraging sisters to take time for themselves is just as important as encouraging them to study.


4. Invite your favorite faculty member to coffee or tea: Remember that celebrating scholarship and academic achievement doesn't have to be labor-intensive. Building relationships with faculty is something at which Theta excels, and it doesn't take much to begin to form partnerships. You never know when you're going to need a professor's recommendation, and coffee is a good place to start!


5. Celebrate internships and other learning opportunities: Are there members in the chapter who have an internship, are student-teaching, studying abroad, or doing undergraduate research? Consider giving them a platform (if they're comfortable, of course) during a chapter meeting to briefly discuss their experience so far (you can Skype in the abroad members if it's feasible). Because these women have a number of commitments outside of the chapter, giving them an opportunity to talk about their outside-the-classroom experiences not only makes them feel valued, but also allows other women to learn from them.


What are you doing to celebrate Month of the Scholar? Be sure to add a comment below or use the hashtag #NPCscholar to let us know what you're doing to promote the highest scholarship and intellectual curiosity!

Ellen Barlow is an assistant director of education and leadership at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity headquarters.

Posted On: Wednesday, January 27, 2016 08:47 AM, by Laura Ware Doerre
Fraternity President Laura Doerre wishes all Thetas a happy Founders Day today, and encourages members to start planning for Kappa Alpha Theta's sesquicentennial in 2020 by participating in the 150 Days of Celebrating Service campaign. Learn more on her video blog!

Laura Ware Doerre, Delta Xi/North Carolina, is the president of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.

Posted On: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 08:19 AM, by Laura Ware Doerre

On January 27, I invite you to join me in a celebration. Of course, it is a celebration of Founders Day, but it is a Founders Day celebration like no other. It is the beginning of something very special.


In just four short years, Kappa Alpha Theta will be 150 years old. Not many organizations can say that! Yet our Fraternity has not only survived but thrived for a century and a half. That is definitely cause for celebration!


There are many reasons behind the enduring power of Theta sisterhood. Four reasons are our founders: Bettie Locke Hamilton, Alice Allen Brant, Hannah Fitch Shaw, and Bettie Tipton Lindsey. They had the inspiration to form the first Greek-letter Fraternity known among women, and they also had the perseverance, courage, and faith to make their vision a reality.


As we plan for our 150th anniversary in 2020, we will dedicate one year of the next four to each of our founders, beginning with Bettie Tipton Lindsey. Bettie was known for her generous spirit and her care for children who were orphaned or otherwise neglected.


So this Founders Day—January 27—we will begin 150 Days of Celebrating Service. For this special campaign, Thetas everywhere will honor Bettie Tipton Lindsey and advocate for, volunteer for, and donate to a variety of important causes, as well as recognize individual Thetas for being true philanthropists.


Here's how you can join me in this celebration!


  • Visit 150ThetaDays.org to choose the activities you can participate in to make a difference for important causes. (150ThetaDays.org also offers fascinating insights into Bettie's life as well as a video interview with her great-niece, a Theta from Gamma Pi/Iowa State.)

  • Use the hashtag #Theta150 on social media to view and share posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

  • Share your service stories on facebook.com/KappaAlphaTheta.

As we look forward to our 150th anniversary, let's follow Bettie Tipton Lindsey's example by seeking ways to incorporate service in our lives, by being of service to others, and by recognizing Thetas who have been of great service.

Laura Ware Doerre, Delta Xi/North Carolina, is president of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.

Posted On: Monday, January 11, 2016 08:32 AM, by Laura Kassenbrock Stelsel

Welcome to the new year! While some people frown on making resolutions, doing so fills me with promise and possibility for the 12 months to come. And I'm not alone; 45% of Americans usually make a New Year's resolution at the start of the year.


Did you know that according to Time magazine, volunteering is one of the most commonly broken New Year's resolutions? I tried to do a little research on why people don't volunteer, and what I found is, for the most part, people get busy with jobs, families, school, life, etc., and the initiative to volunteer just slips away.


But what I also found is that some people don't volunteer because they are never asked.


So the purpose of this post is two-fold: to make the process to volunteer for Theta simple and fast for you, and to actually ask you to volunteer. If you're interested in volunteering for Theta, all you need to do is complete the Volunteer Interest Indicator (login required) found on the Volunteer Opportunities page, and I will match you with the position and staff/workforce volunteers that are best for you.


It's that simple.


Need some more incentive? According to the 2015 volunteer survey of current Theta volunteers:



  • 82.7% said they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, "I feel satisfied by the overall Theta volunteering experience."

  • 91% said they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, "Volunteering for Theta strengthens my bond with the Fraternity."

  • 97.5% said they would recommend volunteering for the Fraternity to friends and sisters.


It is clearly a rewarding experience.


As I mentioned above, 45% of Americans usually make a resolution but only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolution. Complete the Volunteer Interest Indicator and be one of the successful few today!

Laura Kassenbrock Stelsel, Gamma/Butler, is an assistant director of alumnae engagement at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity headquarters.

Posted On: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 08:10 AM, by Lisa Gebken Thibault
Lisa Thibault

Now that 2015 is behind us, we've had the chance to collect all the data and assess our blog content from last year. Believe it or not, Theta staff, volunteers, and members wrote quite a bit in 2015—more than 140 posts! Let's take a quick look back at last year's blogs to find out which ones you liked the most. Doing so gives us a little insight into what you, our members and site visitors, find most interesting and useful. (This list was compiled by assessing page views, or the number of times the story was clicked on the Theta site.)


1. Overcoming Tragedy with the Help of My Sisters (Sept. 11, 2013). Even though this story was first published to the site in 2013, we posted the link again on our social media sites in September, and it clearly continues to touch the hearts of many of our followers and readers.

2. Being Inspired at Theta's Emerging Leaders Institute (Sept 16, 2015). Claire Russell, a junior at Albion College and member of Pi Chapter, shared her experience at last year's Emerging Leaders Institute.

3. Sexual Misconduct on College Campuses (Feb. 13, 2015). Fraternity President Laura Doerre encouraged discussion of the growing problem of sexual assault on college campuses and clarified Theta's role in addressing this problem.

4. Five Ways to Apply Ritual to Your Everyday Life (March 4, 2015). Fraternity Ritualist Amy Kates reminded members during National Ritual Appreciation Week to come back to ritual often when seeking guidance to further develop our Fraternity membership.

5. Kate Voegele: Singer, Songwriter, Actress, Leading Woman (Apr. 22, 2015). Kate shared how she launched her career, why she chose Theta, and how her membership has impacted her life and career.

Thank you for visiting the Theta website in 2015, and please continue to read, comment, and share our posts in 2016! If you'd like to hear about specific topics in the coming year, or contribute content, feel free to leave a comment below or email me at webmaster@kappaalphatheta.org. Happy New Year!

Lisa Thibault, Epsilon Iota/Westminster, is the website specialist at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity headquarters.

Posted On: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 08:52 AM, by Laura Ware Doerre
Bettie Tipton Lindsey
Alpha/DePauw

On January 27 each year, we celebrate Kappa Alpha Theta and what she has brought us: the opportunities for leadership and spreading the widest influence for good, the encouragement in our intellectual endeavors, and the love and support of sisters. We also celebrate our four founders for their vision and hard work in creating our Fraternity.


By designating January 27 as "Founders Day," we recognize Bettie, Alice, Hannah, and Bettie together, as a group. In fact, almost 150 years after these young women first walked into the chapel at Asbury College wearing their kite-shaped badges, it can be hard to think of them as individuals.


Yet individuals they were, each with her own character, abilities, and interests. Because their lives shaped Theta's past and were the inspiration for the values that continue to shape Theta's future, we have dedicated each of the next four years to one of our founders. In 2016, we honor Elizabeth Tipton Lindsey.


Bettie Tipton was known for her scholarship: she was so well-prepared for college that she entered Asbury as a sophomore. Bettie demonstrated leadership; she was not only a founder of the first Greek-letter fraternity for women, but she was also a founder of the Philomathean literary society at Asbury. Bettie was a good friend, known for her humor and cheerfulness. Most of all, Bettie was kind and generous, spreading the widest influence for good in each of the communities in which she lived. She was especially concerned with caring for neglected and disadvantaged children.


Today, Bettie's commitment to service is manifested by Theta's ongoing relationship with CASA and our support of Theta Foundation. It is reflected in one of the three aspirations that form the basis of Theta's strategic plan. And—most relevant to Founders Day—it is exemplified by our Friendship Fund, which provides monetary comfort and support to Thetas experiencing extreme financial hardship.


This Founders Day, we honor Bettie Tipton Lindsey and her legacy of service. Let us follow her example and remember that each of us has the opportunity to impact lives and create a more kind and generous world.


Download this message to use for your chapter's Founders Day celebration.

Laura Ware Doerre, Delta Xi/North Carolina, is the president of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.


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