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Zeta Tau Alpha


International History

Zeta Tau Alpha was founded in October 15, 1898, by nine women at the State Female Normal School in Farmville, Virginia. 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, th her glasse 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’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.


  • Maud Jones Horner, Died 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, 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

Chapter History

  • Our chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha, Gamma Beta, was chartered April 30, 1938, and was the first chapter chartered in Maryland.
  • Gamma Beta is the 75th link in the national chain of chapters.
  • Our chapter is extremely diverse. You can find a ZTA on the swim team or on the volleyball court, in the lab, on stage, being an RA or being the President of a club, working or performing at the Campus Center Cafe, being a Peer Mentor, or dancing in a performance. In fact, Zetas have been heavily involved in the past two Birthday Ball productions here at WC!

Other Chapters in our Province

  • Theta Delta - Salisbury University
  • Iota Omega - University of Maryland
  • Iota Delta - Towson University