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Fraternity Blog

Posted On: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 10:15 AM, by Liz Appel Rinck
Summer 2013 issue
True confession: I miss summer vacation. I miss those long, lazy days when I had nothing to do except sit on the screened porch and read. It was wonderful to wake up wondering, "What do I want to do today?" instead of "What do I need to get done today?"

I'll wager that not one of us, whether collegian or alumna, is able to do exactly what she wants for three consecutive months each year. But the pace of summer is still slower than that of the other seasons, and I seem to have more time to read and do other things that I enjoy. I hope that you do, too, and if one of your preferred pastimes is reading, may I suggest the Summer 2013 issue of the Theta magazine as potential material?

Here are the top reasons why:

  • Marlo Thomas. Philanthropist, activist, actor, author ... this woman is a force to be reckoned with. And she's a Theta.

  • Still More Reading Material. Reading Women, Theta's online book club, debuts next month.

  • We're Growing. Four—yes, that's four—college chapters will be added to our roll this autumn.

  • Theta Values. They can lead us in some surprising directions, including an all-women law firm in Dallas.

I hope that's piqued your interest and that you'll enjoy the Summer issue, whether it's delivered to your mailbox or you read it online.

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

Posted On: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 12:56 PM, by Alyssa Trumbull
L-R: Claire Sheridan, Covington Paulsen, ELCs Joni Jameson and Alyssa Trumbull, and Bridget Rose
Zeta Omicron Chapter is making a strong comeback at Wake Forest University! Joni Jameson and I are the based educational leadership consultants (ELCs) that have had the privilege of working in Winston-Salem, NC with our newest chapter. During the weekend of April 13-14, along with other Fraternity staff and volunteers, we had the amazing opportunity of reestablishing Zeta Omicron. It was a busy and exciting weekend with the loyalty service, initiation ceremony, charter service, and installation celebration.

We are proud to have welcomed 152 wonderful women as official members of Kappa Alpha Theta. Their enthusiasm was evident as their faces lit up when they finished the initiation ceremony and were welcomed into our sisterhood by the local alumnae. It was so rewarding to see our hard work over the past semester pay off, and the members' understanding of the deeper meaning of Kappa Alpha Theta come full-circle.

Sharing in the celebration of Zeta Omicron's reinstallation were family, friends, administrators, and other Panhellenic women. Attendees expressed their gratitude to Theta for the unique membership experience it has given these women and the sense of community felt among Panhellenic since the chapter reestablished. It is incredible to see how Theta has touched the lives of each of our 152 members and know the impact they will have on future Thetas for many more years to come. Another memorable Theta weekend is in the books!

Alyssa Trumbull, Rho/Nebraska, is an educational leadership consultant for Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, and is a Life Loyal member.

Posted On: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 09:47 AM, by Amy Hayner Kates
Amy Hayner Kates
Alpha Phi/Tulane
Every holiday season, my mailbox fills with family newsletters. I never send one, but I love catching up on what our friends are doing. One sends us a "top ten" list of family experiences. Another always sends a photo collage of her adventures. These letters make me think about the past year: What have I done? What have I accomplished?

This year, I was encouraged to blog about our Fraternity's accomplishments in 2012. It's particularly appropriate because we have just completed year one of our Plan of Aspirations, and I am very proud of the momentum that has developed toward achieving our lofty goals.

One goal is to invest new energy and focus in our alumnae program so that it better meets the needs of our members. We have invested tremendous resources and developed an ambitious plan to double the number of alumnae actively engaged by 2015. To that end, we have launched the links program, which connects alumnae via social media to their college chapters, and expanded the circles program, for towns and cities in which an alumnae chapter isn't feasible but the relevance of Theta for a lifetime has not been lost.

We have also seen greater participation by alumnae in our extension efforts. Our new chapter at Boston University was installed with a full advisory board of alumnae. Our Zeta Omicron and Alpha Beta chapters at Wake Forest and Swarthmore will be re-established this year. It is so exciting to bring back disestablished chapters and watch them soar to success, as we did at Alpha Xi/Oregon in 2012. It is a privilege to watch our Fraternity chapters grow in quantity as well as quality!

Speaking of quality, Theta has always strived for excellence in scholarship. In our Plan of Aspirations, we place a renewed emphasis on scholarship. Highest scholarship does not mean "average"; it means HIGHEST. The results of this new emphasis are staggering: 33 chapters ranked number one on their campus for grades, and 80 percent of our chapters above the all-sorority average on their campuses.

Academic excellence is not achieved in a vacuum. This was the first year for our Top Ten Faculty program, in which every college chapter voluntarily nominated a faculty member to be recognized by our Fraternity. The reaction and recognition this program received is overwhelming, and it has been very rewarding to see our college women build these crucial relationships and personify Theta pride to their professors.

Theta pride was overflowing at the annual meeting of the Association of Fraternity Advisors. It was there that our Sisters Supporting Sisters mental health initiative received the Excellence in Educational Programming Award. We are so excited to continue to build this ground-breaking program.

2012 was the fourth year of our International Day of Service when Thetas unite on Bettie Locke's birthday to serve their campus or community. College and alumnae chapters organize events for their members, but individual Thetas also spread the widest influence for good by giving time to help those in need.

These are the big accomplishments that I wanted you to know about, the ones I think about when I think about being your president. I also think about many, many Thetas who are telling me their stories of their lifetime of Theta experiences. The stories of small gestures like wearing your badge on Founders Day and amazing accomplishments like a chapter that raised more than $10,000 for CASA make my job so rewarding. I would like to thank every Theta for her loyalty to the Fraternity and to encourage each of you to tell your story. You never know who you might inspire.

Amy Hayner Kates, Alpha Phi/Tulane, is president of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity and is a charter Life Loyal member.

Posted On: Friday, December 14, 2012 03:10 AM, by Katharine Murphy
The Eta Chi installation team
This past May I made the move from Boston to Indiana. Since then I have been struggling with the identity of "home." Boston will always hold a piece of my heart, but my roots are starting to grow deeper in the Midwest. Luckily I got to spend some time in Boston for the installation of Eta Chi Chapter at Boston University.

The installation weekend kicked off on Friday, November 30 with the Loyalty Service presided by Fraternity Ritual Committee Chairman Joan Krieger. Initiation was held on Saturday as Fraternity President Amy Kates initiated all 116 new members. Finally, on Sunday, December 2, Eta Chi received its charter, and an Eta Tau/Tampa initiate became an affiliate member. Kappa Alpha Theta is proud to welcome Eta Chi as our 130th active college chapter.

The establishment of Eta Chi could not be possible without a strong support network. The BU Panhellenic and administrators have worked hard to welcome Theta with open arms. Fraternity volunteers, Boston alumnae, and local college Theta chapters all offered support from near and far. Two ELCs (Madison Motley and Elizabeth Mundy) have been working closely with the new chapter throughout the semester and will remain in Boston through the academic year. Thank you to all of you who have contributed to Eta Chi's success.

Joining in on the celebrations and the Kappa Alpha Theta ritual, I realized that home is not a place; home is people. Theta has played a major role in defining home for me, and it warms my heart to see new members begin their journey with her.

Welcome home, Eta Chi.

Katharine Murphy, Gamma Zeta/Connecticut, is the chapter services program coordinator at Kappa Alpha Theta headquarters, and is a charter Life Loyal member.