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Fraternity Blog

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.

Posted On: Wednesday, December 23, 2015 08:28 AM, by Melissa Shaub

With the approach of the holidays come emotional challenges, stressors within the family dynamics, and unease about unhealthy behaviors that may crop up during this time of year. Yet there are real ways to not just "survive" the holidays, but to actually make this season happier than ever before. Here are some ways to create long-lastng memories well after the holiday season is over:



1. Keep Expectations Realistic: Even before Halloween is over, we get bombarded by the media with ads, commercials and the like painting the holiday season as a time filled with joy, family gatherings, and celebrations. For some, this is just not reality. Understand that some people face a level of challenge during the holiday season. Therefore, trying to manage your expectations without judgement can help decrease feelings of anger and disappointment if things don't turn out to be picture-perfect.


2. Maintain Self-Care: Yes, there is a way to feel balanced during the holiday season! Even with family and friends around, it is still important to take some "me" time. No matter where you are, continue with your yoga, meditation, exercise, or other practices that make you feel grounded and calm. If weather permits, go for a walk. Listen to some soothing music, take a warm shower or bath, or simply steal away a few minutes to find a quiet place to read.


3. Give to Others: This one is so important! It's so easy to get wrapped up in our own holiday commitments, which may feel stressful and taxing. Engaging in volunteer work to help those less fortunate in your community, assisting at a soup kitchen or food pantry, giving your time at an animal shelter, or gathering toys for kids can make you feel good about yourself and the holidays.


4. Practice Gratitude: More and more studies are showing just how much of a positive impact on our physical and mental well-being focusing on gratitude can have. Take the time to jot down everything you are grateful for, whether that be people, pets, circumstances, or anything big or small that brings you joy in your everyday life. Doing this can elevate our mood and offer us many reasons to celebrate.

Talk One-2-One, Theta's wellness partner, contributed material for this blog post.

Posted On: Monday, December 14, 2015 07:57 AM, by Kristi Tucker
75-year pin

I like to write a blog every year to recognize those Thetas who are celebrating their 25-, 50-, and 75-year anniversaries. While sitting down to write this, I realized this is my fifth blog about anniversaries! What should I write about this year?


So I went to Theta's heritage website and decided to search for a quote for inspiration. I stumbled upon the one below from Elizabeth Garrett Haselton. She was initiated at Beta Epsilon/Oregon State in 1921 and received her 50-year pansy pin in 1971.


"Thanks for my pansy pin. I suppose it's fine to have a 50th, as they say. However, this rather crept up on me! ... Theta did make a tremendous difference in my college life, as I transferred and attended three universities. ... I felt as though I always had a place to hang my hat and the possibility of making friends without too much agony. A good many of the people I knew then I still know now and it's certainly been a basic plus. And it's still a good fraternity!" Elizabeth Garrett Haselton, Beta Epsilon/Oregon State


Even though the world was a very different place when Elizabeth was initiated, her words are timeless. I'm sure many members agree that Theta has given them a place to hang their hats and helped them make friends. I'm also sure there are many Thetas who can't believe they are celebrating an anniversary, too! We definitely want to hear from you. Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Kristi Tucker is an assistant director of alumnae engagement at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity headquarters.


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