Hq building 1983 800x485

Happy Anniversary, 8740 Founders Road!

Category: Heritage

Noraleen Young

Alpha Chi, Purdue

Sept. 18, 2023, marks the 40th anniversary of the dedication of Theta’s headquarters in Indianapolis, IN. More familiarly known as 8740 Founders Rd., the building is home to the offices that support Theta members and chapters across the U.S. and Canada.

Theta headquarters was located within several offices prior to 1983, but those spaces were either in someone’s home or rented. The first office was in the home of L. Pearl Green, executive secretary from 1901-1939, in Ithaca, NY. For L. Pearl, working out of her home offered a few issues because she had to notify members not to send items to her address marked “special delivery;” The special delivery packages would often arrive in the middle of the night and awaken the entire household!

In 1939, an office was established on Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago, IL. The office moved to Evanston, IL, in the 1950s. By the 1970s, Grand Council sought to establish a more permanent office, a home of our own.

Central Office in the 1950s.
Click the image to watch a video progression of the new headquarters construction.

Indianapolis was chosen as the new location of what was then known as Central Office. As former Fraternity President Lissa Bradford, Alpha Eta/Vanderbilt, stated in her dedication address, Theta was “home at last” with Greencastle, DePauw University, and our founding chapter only 50 miles to the west. An extensive fundraising campaign among members provided the support to build a facility that not only offered business space for both the Fraternity and Theta Foundation, but also training rooms, archival storage, and sleeping quarters for visiting volunteers and others. (See the Winter 1983 issue of the Theta Magazine for what headquarters looked at the opening!) With the move to Indianapolis, Theta joined other fraternity and sorority headquarters in the area.

The headquarters' board room, 1983.
The headquarters dorm room on the 2nd level, 1983.

Over the years, a few changes have been made to the building, expanding space for the Fraternity, Theta Foundation, and the Fraternity Housing Corporation (FHC). While we no longer offer sleeping space in the building, it still provides meeting space for Theta’s three boards and various committees. Exhibit space has also been expanded to share the history of Theta and North American fraternities and sororities in the Heritage Museum.

Even in the changing environment of hybrid and remote work of staff, 8740 Founders Rd. remains a touchstone for Theta members.

We welcome visitors to headquarters! For more information, check out Theta Headquarters & Heritage Museum page of the Theta website to schedule a visit and learn more about the area.