Theta Archives

Thetas Around the World

Lately, I have been following the posts on the new Facebook group for Kappa Alpha Theta Global Alumnae. It is “a place for Thetas living globally to enjoy friendships and connections in Theta.” When I read of these Thetas, it makes me think of the numerous letters shared in the Magazine over the years from Thetas living around the world.

From the first issue of the Magazine in June 1885, there are references to Thetas abroad. “Anna Robertson, Epsilon[Wooster], has been spending a most delightful year in Europe … She says she is wearing her badge everywhere, thinking she might come across a sister.”

In 1915, Theta authorized the establishment of a position of “state chairman” to facilitate keeping alumnae connected to Theta. Beyond the U.S. and Canada, other parts of the world had need of similar position. Eventually, there was a foreign chairman and individuals representing Africa, China, India, Japan and Korea. In the March 1918 issue, Sara B. Sailor, Iota/Cornell and alumnae chairman for Asia (based in Shanghai, China), states that “meeting Thetas in this far-away land is a joy you do not realize at home.”

In the November 1923 issue, it is noted that in the Philippines there are ten Thetas, almost all in Manila. The chairman, Edna Mertz Carman, Iota/Cornell, writes, “I hope you will urge any Thetas to let us know if they pass through Manila, even in only while their boat is in port. My phone number is in the telephone directory at the custom office and I would be so glad to be called at any hour.”

For many of these foreign-based Thetas, mission work, teaching, or a spouse brought them overseas. An article in the November 1932 issue, written by Eleanor Ireland, Gamma deuteron/Ohio Wesleyan, refers to her role as principal of the American Community School in Beirut (then part of Syria). She recounts meeting the new kindergarten teacher, Theodora Reeve, Alpha Psi/Lawrence, and “before many hours we soon discovered we both wore kites! You can imagine with what joy we clasped each other’s hands and realized there was a bond of friendship to build upon.”

Be it through the letters of the past or the present posts to Facebook, it is fun to follow our Theta sisters around the world. Let us know where–and how!–you have met up with a fellow Theta.