Home to over 200 active collegian members, Epsilon Upsilon chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta is made up of leading women who strive for academic excellence and devote themselves to philanthropy and service. As the first Greek-letter fraternity known among women, Kappa Alpha Theta was founded with the intention of providing a sisterhood for women who wanted to achieve their highest aspirations. At Columbia Theta, our members aspire to do that each day. We are all so proud to be Thetas, and we hope you enjoy learning about the chapter we call HΘME!
Theta love and ours,
The Epsilon Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta
Kite & Twin Stars
Black & Gold Pansy
Black & Gold
Bettie Locke, our founder, established the first chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta in 1870. Bettie was one of the first women to enroll at Indiana Asbury College (now DePauw University) in 1867, a time when women were not readily welcomed into higher education. Bettie sought an organization that could offer friendship and support during her college years. After being declined membership into existing Greek fraternities, she decided to create one herself.
Bettie, alongside her friend Alice Allen, designed a badge, developed a constitution and bylaws, and identified women of outstanding character determined to excel academically as potential members of the fraternity. The two women invited Hannah Fitch and Bettie Tipton to join them, and together they held the first official meeting of Kappa Alpha Theta on January 27, 1870.
The fraternity quickly grew, and soon there were chapters across the country. It also became the first fraternity among women to establish a chapter in Canada. There are currently over 130 college chapters within the U.S. and Canada, and new chapters continue to be established.
The Epsilon Upsilon Chapter was installed at Columbia University in New York City in 1986. Columbia, founded as King's College in 1754, is the fifth oldest college in the United States. Theta founded a chapter at Columbia's sister college, Barnard, in 1897, but withdrew 15 years later. The Fraternity now resides at Columbia University and welcomes members from all four undergraduate colleges.
Being a Theta means many things. Our national philanthropy is Court Appointed Special Advocates (C.A.S.A.), an agency providing trained volunteers to speak on behalf of abused and neglected children in the court system. We devote our time to supporting our philanthropy as well as other philanthropic organizations around New York City. Of course, being a part of Theta is also having fun. We place an emphasis on sisterhood activities within the chapter, such as movie nights, chapter dinners and trips around New York City to promote unity among our diverse and active membership.
I am so excited that you are interested in joining the Columbia Panhellenic community! If you have any preconceived notions of Greek life, know that this community is unlike any other Greek system. The Panhellenic community at Columbia provides unique opportunities to build a support system within both the chaos of New York and the stress of Columbia University.
Being a part of Theta has shaped my entire Columbia experience. Theta has provided me with unparalleled opportunities to develop leadership skills, prepare for my professional endeavors, and find a community of women that will support me at every step along the way. Despite their vast extracurricular involvement, rigorous academic courses, and various internship and professional commitments, the women in Theta are genuine and selfless. They’re there for any occasion whether it is celebrating success in a class or internship, or bolstering each other through an academic or personal challenge.
The recruitment process may seem overwhelming; I was definitely nervous as I looked forward to the recruitment weekend. But, the best advice that I can give you is to keep an open mind and stay true to yourself. Each of you has so much to offer the Panhellenic community at Columbia. Allow us to get to know you. I chose Theta because it was the organization where I felt most comfortable, but also the organization that I thought would challenge me to grow the most. Theta has become my home and through this organization I have become the best version of myself. Besides, why walk with the rest when you can fly with the best?
Alyssa Estrada, Chief Recruitment Officer
Panhellenic Formal Recruitment is held each year at the beginning of the spring semester in late January. Over the course of the weekend, potential new members have the chance to visit each of the six Panhellenic sororities on campus. On Philanthropy Day, potential new members learn about Kappa Alpha Theta's national philanthropy, Court Appointed Special Advocates (C.A.S.A), and what service means to Columbia Theta. During Development Day, potential new members experience the strength of our sisterhood and learn how Theta fosters personal growth. Preference Night is the final night, and this is an opportunity for active members to share their more personal experience as a member of Theta at Columbia. The entire weekend culminates in a night of celebration on Bid Night, when we welcome our new member class!
Spring 2017 Formal Recruitment will take place January 26-30, 2017. Registration information will be released in November. Find out more information on the Columbia Panhellenic Website.
For general enquiries, use the form below, or reach out to the people below for more specific questions! And don't forget to check out our facebook, instagram, and tumblr for more updates on what we're doing each week!
Chief Executive Officer 2017: Blair Wilson
Chief Recruiting Officer: Alyssa Estrada
Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life: