The Theta Behind the Lambert Legacy Society
The Lambert Legacy Society is Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation’s Planned Giving Society, named for Betty Baur Lambert and her husband, James. It recognizes members and friends who have thoughtfully included gifts to Theta Foundation in their estate plans.
After Betty and James passed away, their thoughtfulness to include Theta Foundation in their will amounted to $1.8 million—the largest gift ever received by Theta Foundation. This “greatest gift” by the Lambert family has made a lasting impact on women all over the country by awarding over $3.3 million in graduate scholarships to 760 Thetas since 1990. While the Foundation has had the privilege and honor of receiving other bequests that change lives, the Lambert gift was the first to exceed a million dollars.
Betty was initiated into the Alpha Chi Chapter at Purdue University in 1934, and she attributed her 33-year business career and success to being elected chapter president. “I was truly a non-entity from a very small Indiana town. In retrospect I think I had no personality, no beauty in an age of beauty queens, but I was definitely scholarship-oriented. When that fantastic group of all that I aspired to be thought me competent to be in charge, it gave me a confidence that has never left me.” Betty’s fondest memory of Theta was being initiated. She remembered being so proud to be accepted by such a prestigious group, but more importantly, she felt it gave her the ideals that guided her through her lifetime.
Betty was always a leader for Kappa Alpha Theta, serving in various positions including Grand Council (1974-1976) and Alumnae District President for District V (1971-1974), and she served many local alumnae chapters in officer capacities. She was very supportive in the installation of college chapters such as Epsilon Tau/Yale, Alpha Epsilon/Brown, Epsilon Upsilon/Columbia, and Epsilon Mu/Princeton.
Betty’s husband James also loved Theta. They were married for 35 years and shared a life of career, world travel, and the arts. James said, “We started out after World War II with absolutely nothing monetarily. We had our intelligence and our energy. We were truly self-made.” James drove Betty to many District meetings and Council visits and helped arrange get-togethers for Thetas.
Before Betty passed away in 1988, she said, “There is no greater reward for our wonderful gift of Theta friendship for a lifetime than saying ‘thank you’ with a gift of time or money to support and carry on the legacy that we have been privileged to be part and enjoy.”