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The Theta Archives: 125 Years of Storytelling

Category: Heritage

Noraleen Young

Alpha Chi, Purdue

On the second day of Grand Convention 1899, a motion to “purchase a fire-proof safe or cabinet for the keeping the archives” passed. With this decision, the records of the Fraternity began to be formally and systematically collected and preserved and the Kappa Alpha Theta archives was established.

The archives now encompasses more than 800 linear feet of materials documenting the Fraternity, Theta Foundation, and the Fraternity Housing Corporation (FHC). It is made up of numerous paper and digital records, thousands of images, and multiple artifacts ranging from small pieces of jewelry to fully assembled furniture. While the archives is made up of so many things, each item is so special because there is a memory and story attached to every one.

Each item is just a piece of the larger puzzle, not only of Theta, but also of women: women establishing themselves on college campuses throughout the U.S. and Canada, through 154 years of local, national, and international events of all sizes and topics. In its own way, the archives is a puzzle that tells the story of the more than 260,000 Thetas who chose to become part of an organization that nurtures and supports women from college onwards.

The 125th anniversary of the founding of the archives is being celebrated by sharing the stories contained with these items, therefore sharing the stories of Thetas and Theta.

If you are attending 2024 Grand Convention, make sure to visit the Archives booth where there will be a selection of items from the archives marking this anniversary!

This article first appeared in the Spring 2024 issue of the Kappa Alpha Theta Magazine.