35 Years on Founders Road

Category: Heritage

Noraleen Young

Alpha Chi, Purdue

Thirty-five years ago, on September 18, 1983, Theta dedicated its new—and first!—permanent home, at 8740 Founders Road in Indianapolis. 

Kappa Alpha Theta had had offices before, but always rentals. L. Pearle Green, the fraternity’s executive secretary (in today’s terms, our CEO) from 1901 to 1940, managed Theta from her home office in Ithaca, NY. She often had to remind chapters not to send overdue reports by special mail delivery because those reports would be delivered when they arrived, even if it was 3:00 in the morning. When L. Pearle retired, we established rented offices in the Chicago area, first on Wacker Drive in the 1940s and then in Evanston, Illinois, in the early 1960s. 

But by the late 1970s, Theta was looking for a more permanent solution. Indianapolis was selected as the location, and construction began in September 1982. Equipped with training and meeting facilities, as well as office space and even a dorm room to house volunteers overnight, the new facility provided the space that was needed to support the activities of the Fraternity and Theta Foundation. Funded by members and chapters, both college and alumnae, the building became a visible symbol for the organization, a place that Lissa Luton Bradford, Alpha Eta/Vanderbilt, then serving as the Fraternity president, said was “Home at last.” 

These days, we can connect in ways that were only considered a fantasy in the early 1980s, but the idea of a headquarters—a place that all Thetas connect to, regardless of where we are in the world—still brings us together.  

Happy anniversary, 8740 Founders Road!