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Home > What's New > Blogs > Fraternity Blog

Fraternity Blog

Posted On: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 09:00 AM, by Laura Ware Doerre
Laura Ware Doerre
Fraternity President
Once there were four women. They graduated from college with honors. They were innovators in their professions. They founded new Theta chapters and made the Fraternity stronger throughout their alumnae years. They served selflessly in their communities.

Who were these women? Of course they were Thetas; in fact, they were the first Thetas. They were our founders, the original Kappa Alpha Theta leading women.

This Founders Day, for the 145th time, we pause to commemorate and honor the perseverance, independence, and faith of Bettie, Alice, Hannah, and Bettie. Their vision has stood the test of time, and although much has changed since 1870, the values upon which Theta was founded as the first Greek-letter fraternity for women have not. They remain as relevant today as they were 50, 100, and—yes—nearly 150 years ago.

How many organizations for women have not only survived but thrived for nearly one and a half centuries? Not many! I believe Theta continues to flourish because each of us—like our founders—continually strives to personify our ideals and manifest our ritual in unique and powerful ways. Our ideals and ritual are not simply words we say; they are commitments we have made.

On Founders Day, we celebrate not only our history, but also our potential. In Kappa Alpha Theta, our founders created a singular opportunity to learn, serve, and grow in a supportive environment. They created a sisterhood in which we give kind and thoughtful care to one another. And they created a platform upon which we can build and expand to meet new challenges, while staying true to our purpose. Please join me in taking some time this Founders Day to reflect upon what a treasure our Fraternity is and to renew your pledge to its advancement and welfare.

One of the purest affirmations of our commitment to one another is the Friendship Fund. Established to provide gifts to Thetas experiencing extreme financial hardship, the love and support it demonstrates are proof that Theta is larger than ourselves and that what we give to one another comes full circle. One recipient wrote, "I really cannot put into words my appreciation for the recent gift I received from the Friendship Fund. When I opened your letter, it immediately brought tears to my eyes. I will be forever grateful and hope to someday be on the other end and give back to a sister in need of my help. I am very proud and privileged to be a Theta."

This Founders Day, we can all feel proud of our determined, confident, passionate, and caring founders, just as we can feel privileged to be part of the sisterhood they began, a sisterhood that helps shape us as leading women.

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 and is a charter Life Loyal member.

Posted On: Wednesday, December 24, 2014 08:00 AM, by Lynne McCaul Miller
There's a lot of pressure in our society to be happy, especially during the holidays. However, for many, the holidays can be a reminder of painful memories—like the divorce they are going through, the loss of a loved one or the distance between those they are closest to.

Oftentimes, feelings of depression, anxiety and stress are likely to build during this time. If you have lost a loved one or are struggling with change in your family, this may be a time when the change may feel more prominent. Your family may need to alter a tradition or celebrate in a different way to alleviate some of the pain.

If symptoms of anxiety or depression are keeping you company this holiday season, don't lose hope. Take the first step to a better place by taking Kappa Alpha Theta's online screening on the Sisters Supporting Sisters page.

Screening for Mental Health, Inc., Theta's wellness partner, contributed material for this blog post.

Posted On: Monday, December 22, 2014 09:00 AM, by Kristi Tucker
75-year pin
It's that time of year again! No, not just the holiday season, but Theta's anniversary mailing. Each year, we recognize those women celebrating 25, 50, and 75 years of membership in the Fraternity. Each 25-year Theta receives a special letter congratulating them on this milestone. Each 50- and 75-year Theta will receive a pansy pin to mark these milestones.

Know of anyone celebrating a Theta anniversary this year? Check out these lists of our 25-year, 50-year, and 75-year Thetas to find a friend's name...or even yours!

Congratulations to all of the women celebrating an anniversary. We wish you many more years of wonderful Theta memories.

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

Posted On: Monday, December 8, 2014 08:30 AM, by Kristi Tucker
Alaska, July 2015
The all-new Kappa Alpha Theta Traveler program provides you with a way to travel and connect with your sisters. Theta is dedicated to providing the experience of travel while strengthening the bonds of sisterhood. Whether you are reuniting with a long-lost sister or providing the ideal location for a chapter reunion, Theta Travel can make it happen.

Our first trips are now scheduled to the following destinations!

  • Our cruise to Alaska runs from July 18-26, 2015, and is on the five-star small ship m.s. L'Austral. This smaller ship provides access into remote scenic bays and inlets that are inaccessible to larger vessels.

  • Normandy, France is a land trip available Oct. 7-15, 2015. This trip provides travelers with an exclusive walk through history by visiting several different beaches, tasting Normandy's famous Calvados brandy, and touring the majestic Mont Saint-Michel.

If cruising the Alaskan seas or walking the beaches of Normandy sounds exciting to you, be sure to sign up now! The earlier you sign up, the better the price! Early booking for the Alaska cruise ends Jan. 20, 2015.

In order to learn more about our upcoming trips, visit the Theta Traveler page. Also, be sure to visit the Theta Traveler website to register, view more information about each trip, suggest a trip, find travel guides and tips, and much more.

Spouses, other family members, and friends are all more than welcome to join you. (Some trips many not be suitable for younger children, so be sure to check with the trip representative.) For more information, contact Kristi Tucker at 800-526-1870 ext. 116 or

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

Posted On: Wednesday, December 3, 2014 08:00 AM, by Liz Appel Rinck
Autumn 2014 issue
As its editor, I hope that one of the accomplishments of the Theta magazine is to connect our more than 150,000 members with one another. Through its pages, we hope to strengthen the links between women of all ages; women who attended college in nearly every US state and Canadian province; women who live all over the world; women with varied professions, faiths, and ethnic backgrounds.

In part, we do this by sharing stories, not only of impactful Fraternity programs and events, but also of individual Thetas. These stories run the gamut from amusing to heart-warming to thought-provoking, and they are always inspiring.

Whether you receive the print version of the Autumn 2014 issue of our magazine or read it online, we hope you will enjoy in-person accounts from Thetas who participated in last summer's service trip, attended the Emerging Leaders Institute, gained a global perspective through Panhellenic involvement, and overcame the lasting effects of polio.

Liz Appel Rinck, Gamma/Butler, is the director of communications for Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity and is a charter Life Loyal member.

Posted On: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 11:00 AM, by Melissa Rocco
If you are a collegian who is still debating about whether or not you want to start your career by experiencing the Theta ELC program, you need to read this blog.

Part of my job working in higher education involves advising and mentoring undergraduate students. Juniors and seniors want to talk about how I began to create a fulfilling, interesting, and challenging career path. They are so overwhelmed with the feeling that they have to decide right now what they are going to do for the rest of their lives, and they want advice from as many trusted individuals as are willing to share.

When I am asked about how I started my career, I without hesitation proudly share that I was blessed with the opportunity to travel all over the U.S. and Canada as an educational leadership consultant for Kappa Alpha Theta. Not everyone understands what that means, but they always ask to hear more about my experience.

Being an ELC during the 2005-2006 school year was one of the most difficult and rewarding jobs I have ever had, and likely will ever have. Not many people have the chance to work for an organization that they actually care about, but even fewer have the chance to do it while meeting intelligent, caring, and inspiring people from all over North America.

So, here's what I want to share with you:

  1. Being an ELC means being an advocate and educator, challenging young women to be the best versions of themselves and supporting them in campus environments that send mixed messages about what it means to be successful. ELCs have an incredible opportunity to be role models, teachers, friends, confidants, and mentors to our college members. In the process, ELCs are enhancing their own critical thinking, empathic listening, and strategic planning skills. There is a higher level of maturity, professionalism, self-efficacy, and grace that ELCs develop during their time working for the Fraternity.

  2. Being an ELC means doing good, engaging, challenging work.Don't be fooled by people who question whether or not traveling for your "sorority" is a "real job." Think those other jobs graduating seniors apply for are tough? Try winning over a group of 100 of your peers the first day you meet them, and then helping them change the culture of their organization by the time you leave on day five. Try being responsible for starting an organization from scratch and mentoring others to take it over in six months to a year. Being an ELC means making organization-wide decisions, building educational curriculum, leading workshops for audiences of all sizes, writing and implementing strategic plans, motivating teams, bringing together diverse people and perspectives, working with top-level administrators, and more—all in your FIRST year out of school. Most people have to wait 10 years and three promotions before being trusted to do that. But if you are ready for that now, Theta will give you that opportunity as an ELC.

  3. Being an ELC means developing a network of rich friendships and professional connections.Whether it's facilitating a leadership workshop for fraternity and sorority members in Boston, attending an international conference of higher education professionals in Dallas, or meeting up with a group of traveling consultants from other organizations in Los Angeles, ELCs get the chance to develop relationships with a wide variety of interesting and engaging people. One of the best types of relationships they develop is the connections with their fellow ELCs. I am certain you have read in other ELC blogs about the friendships they develop with their fellow travelers, and I echo their sentiments. My fellow ELCs have seen me through some of worst and best times of my life. They also have resumes and life histories full of accomplishments and interesting stories.

  4. I would not be the woman I am today with out my experience as an ELC. I mean that. I am forever indebted to the people and places planted into my life that year. I continue to grow into a better version of myself because of the learning and love they provided back then that will stay with me always.

For someone smart, talented, and eager like you, the "normal jobs" will always be there. If you are good enough to get into graduate school now, you will be an even better candidate in a year or two. Right now, you have the chance to do something different. Something that will push you, mold you, and shape you in ways you cannot imagine. Something that will most certainly be a game-changer. Apply now for the Kappa Alpha Theta ELC program, and begin what could be the journey of a lifetime.

Melissa Rocco, Alpha Gamma/Ohio State, is an instructor for the Leadership Studies program for the College of Education and Leadership & Community Service-Learning office at the University of Maryland. She is working on her PhD in Student Affairs.

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