Bettie and Her Family: Carole Cones-Bradfield, 1949-2016

Category: Heritage

Noraleen DuVall Young

Alpha Chi, Purdue

The exhibit Bettie and Her Family: Four Generations of Thetas, highlights the lives of Bettie Locke Hamilton; her daughters, Edna and Eulalia; her granddaughter, Genevieve Hartley Cones, and her great-granddaughter, Carole Cones-Bradfield. Over the next few months, I’ll share in this blog the story of Bettie’s descendants, their connections to Theta, and their lives as leading women.


Carole, born in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1949, attended local schools in Thorntown, where her mother taught and her father was a businessman. Carole entered DePauw in September 1967, almost exactly 100 years to the day after her grandmother had entered as one of the first five women students in 1867. Carole was initiated in 1968 at Alpha Chapter and served as chapter president from 1970 to 1971.

After her graduation in 1971, Carole worked for a short time for Proctor & Gamble before moving into politics. She worked on Indiana Congressman John Myers campaign and then in his Washington, DC, office. She later worked in both Bush administrations.

Carole also helped to establish the Safe Blood for Africa Foundation and served as its executive director. Back in Thorntown, she helped fundraise for the Farm Heritage Trail, a 50-mile trail between Zionsville and Lafayette, Indiana.

Carole maintained her connection to Theta through her membership in Arlington, Virginia, alumnae groups over the years. She attended the 1970 Grand Convention as the delegate from Alpha Chapter and—as Bettie’s great-granddaughter, wearing her great-grandmother’s gown—participated in other centennial events that year. She spoke briefly at the Alpha Chi/Purdue Centennial celebration in 2015. Carole passed away in August 2016.


The exhibit has been extended to run to June 2, 2017. The materials from the collection are part of the Kappa Alpha Theta archives and will continue to be a source of information and exhibits. Theta again thanks the family of Carole Cones-Bradfield for their generosity.