Zeta Tau Alpha Badge
Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA or simply known as Zeta) is an international women’s fraternity, founded October 15, 1898, at the State Female Normal School (now Longwood University) in Farmville, Virginia. The Executive office is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Zeta Tau Alpha is a National Panhellenic Group with over 235,000 initiated members and 164 active collegiate chapters, as well as international sororities. It is the second largest sorority in the U.S. after Chi Omega.
This women’s fraternity was founded in 1898 at the State Female Normal School, now Longwood University, in Farmville, Virginia and is a part of the “Farmville Four.” The “Farmville Four” refers to the four women’s fraternities founded at the school, Alpha Sigma Alpha (1901), Kappa Delta (1897), Sigma Sigma Sigma (1898), and Zeta Tau Alpha (1898). They are all members of the National Panhellenic Conference.
ZTA’s Founding Sisters:
- Maud Jones Horner (Died August 20, 1920)
- Della Lewis Hundley (Died July 12, 1951)
- Alice Bland Coleman (Died June 11, 1956)
- Mary Jones Batte (Died December 3, 1957)
- Alice Grey Welsh (Died June 21, 1960)
- Ethel Coleman Van Name (Died January 24, 1964)
- Helen M. Crafford (Died September 17, 1964)
- Frances Yancey Smith (Died April 23, 1977)
- Ruby Leigh Orgain (Died October 22, 1984)
Zeta Tau Alpha worked with a variety of charities before partnering with Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in 1992. However, the fraternity ended the partnership in March 2015. The organization later expanded its focus to include other breast cancer awareness and fund raising methods.
In 1999, ZTA partnered with the NFL team the Washington Redskins for its “Crucial Catch” campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer. The campaign was expanded in subsequent years to encompass the entire NFL. Each year in October, ZTA distributes pink ribbons at NFL games nation wide. “Our partnership with the ZTA is strong,” said Jesse Linder, director of community relations for the New York Jets. “Together we hope to make a difference by honoring patients, survivors and family members impacted by breast cancer while getting the message out to fans.”
In 2013, the Alpha Xi chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha at Indiana University raised over $175,000 in their annual Big Man On Campus philanthropy event. The all male talent show is considered America’s largest single Greek house philanthropic effort. The event funds the NFL Crucial Catch program and breast cancer research at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
It was on October 15, 1898, that the Founders chose the colors, the flower, and the motto of Zeta Tau Alpha to represent the Fraternity.
The five-pointed crown is the primary official symbol of the Fraternity. Many examples of crown artwork can be found within ZTA, and all are acceptable as long as the crown contains exactly five points. The strawberry is considered by many to be a secondary symbol, after the crown.
The white violet is the official flower of ZTA, while the official colors are turquoise blue and steel gray.
ZTA has no official jewel or gemstone.
The Founders chose Themis in 1903 as their patron goddess to represent the Fraternity, and as the name of Zeta Tau Alpha’s quarterly magazine which features collegiate and alumnae chapter news, photos and achievements.
Zeta Tau Alpha has 249 collegiate chapters as of November 2014 and 239 alumnae chapters. There are 164 active chapters. There are alumnae chapters in many cities and regions in the United States and a virtual alumnae chapter, ZTAlways.
Even as an “alumna,” a woman is always considered a part of Zeta Tau Alpha. A sister is a sister forever. Current members of Zeta Tau Alpha are referred to as Zetas, and the sorority is commonly shortened to Zeta or ZTA, opting for the English spelling, rather than the Greek letters. Their open motto is “Seek the Noblest.”
“ZTA has 150 volunteer National Officers and more than 2,000 additional volunteers working at the local level. These women are helped by a professional staff of 25 at the International Office”.
In the 2010-2012 biennium, the ZTA Foundation raised $6 million that went toward scholarships for 482 members, promoted the Zeta Tau Alpha philanthropy, developed leadership opportunities, and educated members on important women’s issues.
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, and 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.”
— Written by Shirley Kreasan Strout, adopted by the 1928 ZTA Convention
In the video below, the Creed’s author, Shirley Kreasan Strout, reads it aloud.
To make a difference in the lives of our members by developing the potential of each individual through innovative programming, which emphasizes leadership development, service to others, academic achievement and continued personal growth for women, with a commitment to friendship and the future based on the sisterhood, values and traditions of the past.
The purpose of Zeta Tau Alpha is the intensifying of friendship, the fostering of a spirit of love, the creating of such sentiments, the performing of such deeds, and the moulding of such opinions as will be conducive to the building up of a purer and nobler womanhood in the world.
— Read More History on Zeta Tau Alpha on Wikipedia
Zeta Tau Alpha (ΖΤΑ)
- Founded On: October 15th, 1898 – Longwood University
- Type: Social Sorority
- Colors: Turquoise and Steel Gray
- Flower: White Violet
- Nicknames: ZTA-Zetas
- Chapters: 162 Chapters
- Website: www.zetataualpha.org
- Motto: Ζητήστε το ευγενέστερο — “Seek the Noblest”