Kappa Alpha Theta History

In 1867, Indiana Asbury College (now DePauw University) opened its doors to women. Bettie Locke was among the first women to enroll. During her sophomore year, a member of one of the Greek-letter fraternities asked Bettie to wear their badge. She soon learned that their fraternity would not extend to her the full benefits of membership, instead only wanting her to act as a fraternity mascot.

Bettie, a true maverick for her time, refused to wear the badge or advocate for an organization without fully knowing their fraternity’s secrets and what their badge represented. Desiring full membership in an organization offering friendship and support, Bettie formed the first Greek-letter fraternity for women in the United States.

Although other secret societies existed at the time, Bettie was the leading woman who is credited with the creation of the first publicly known female Greek-lettered fraternity. With the help of fellow classmates Alice Allen, Bettie Tipton and Hannah Fitch, Bettie was able to turn her dream into a reality.

On January 27, 1870, the first official meeting of Kappa Alpha Theta was held. Obviously meeting a need, the Fraternity grew—spreading East and West, from North to South, and became the first women’s fraternity to establish a chapter in Canada. Today there are more than 130 university chapters, almost 200 alumni chapters and groups, and over 250,000 initiated members.

Beta Upsilon History

In 1929, local society Sigma Beta Phi at the University of British Columbia, petitioned Kappa Alpha Theta Headquarters to create a charter at UBC. On February 15 1930, the Beta Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta was established. We are currently the oldest Canadian active chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta.

Members of the Vancouver alumni chapter remain involved in our fraternity long after graduation. Whether they are helping us with our philanthropy events, or coming to our weekly meetings, our alumnae continue to prove that membership in Theta is truly for a lifetime.