The Kappa Nu Chapter of ZTA was chartered in November, 1998. We are the 227th link of 238 in the chain that unites all ZTA chapters internationally.
THE FOUNDERS OF ZETA TAU ALPHA
Maud Jones Horner
Della Lewis Hundley
Alice Bland Coleman
Mary Jones Batte
Alice Grey Welsh
Ethel Coleman Van Name
Helen M. Crafford
Frances Yancey Smith
Ruby Leigh Orgain
ZETA TAU ALPHA was founded Oct. 15, 1898, by nine women at the State Female Normal School (now Longwood University) in Farmville, Va. Only 14-15 years of age, these young women desired permanence to their friendships and hoped to perpetuate their sisterhood long after college. Though dedicated to the formation of a Greek-letter group, the band of nine delayed selecting a formal name. A temporary name of “???” was taken when, as legend has it, a member of another group met with the Founders. Raising her eyebrows and forming her fingers in the shape of a question mark, she asked “Who are you?” In unison, the group answered “Yes, Who? Who? Who?” Thus, the group came to be known as “???” while they sought an appropriate Greek name and symbols. During this time, the group received valuable assistance from two of the members’ brothers -- Maud Jones Horner’s brother, Plummer Jones, and Frances Yancey Smith’s brother Giles Mebane Smith. Both were students at the college of William and Mary, members of men’s Greek-letter organizations and knowledgeable of Greek lore. After a year of careful contemplation, the group chose the formal name, the patron goddess and the badge. Open Motto: “Seek the Noblest”
THE CREED OF ZETA TAU ALPHA
To realize that within our grasp, in Zeta Tau Alpha, lies the opportunity to learn those things which will ever enrich and ennoble our lives; to be true to ourselves, to those within and without our circle; to think in terms of all mankind and our service in the world; to be steadfast, strong, and clean of heart and mind, remembering that since the thought is father to the deed, only that which we would have manifested in our experience should be entertained in thought; to find satisfaction in being, rather than seeming, thus strengthening in us the higher qualities of the spirit; to prepare for service and learn the nobility of serving, thereby earning the right to be served; to seek understanding that we might gain true wisdom; to look for the good in everyone; to see beauty, with its enriching influence; to be humble in success, and without bitterness in defeat; to have the welfare and harmony of the Fraternity at heart, striving ever to make our lives a symphony of high ideals, devotion to the Right, the Good, and the True, without a discordant note; remembering always that the foundation precept of Zeta Tau Alpha was Love, “the greatest of all things.” -- Shirley Kreasan Strout
Crown – The five-pointed Crown is an official symbol of the Fraternity. The significance of the five points is revealed to each member upon her Initiation. Many examples of crown artwork can be found within ZTA, and all are acceptable as long as the crown contains exactly five points.
Strawberry – In the late 1800s, an admirer of one of ZTA’s Founders, Mary Campbell Jones (Batte), sent her a gift of strawberries. The scrumptious present prompted the group of nine friends to host their first purely social gathering and to become officially recognized as a campus organization.
Flower – The flower of the Fraternity, chosen by Founder Ruby Leigh Orgain, is the white violet. Its symbolic meaning is explained in the Initiation Service.
Coat of Arms (Crest) – Only initiated members may use this in any manner, which is dignified and in good taste. The ritualistic meaning of the Coat of Arms is secret and is revealed to each member at the time of her Initiation.
Patron Goddess – The Founders chose Themis to represent the Fraternity. Themis is, in Greek mythology, one of the Titans, daughter of Gaea (Earth) and Uranus (Heaven), and the mother of the three Fates and the Seasons. The goddess of divine justice and law, Themis was the constant companion of the god Zeus and sat beside him on Olympus. In ancient art she is represented holding aloft a pair of scales on which she weighs the claims of opposing parties.