Zeta Tau Alpha

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Zeta Tau Alpha
Founded October 15, 1898; 120 years ago (1898-10-15)
Virginia State Female Normal School (now Longwood University) Farmville, Virginia
Type Social
Scope International
Motto Seek the Noblest
Colors      Turquoise Blue      Steel Gray
Symbol Five-pointed Crown (primary), Strawberry (secondary)
Flower White Violet
Patron Greek divinity Themis
Publication "Themis"
Philanthropy Breast Cancer Education and Awareness
Chapters 168 active collegiate chapters and 238 alumnae chapters
Headquarters 3450 Founders Road
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Homepage zetataualpha.org
Crown & ZTA Logo.jpg

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 part of the National Panhellenic Conference with over 235,000 initiated members and 164 active collegiate chapters, which include international chapters. It is the second largest sorority in the U.S. after Chi Omega.[1]


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.[2]

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 Campbell Jones Batte (Died December 3, 1957)
  • Alice Grey Welsh (Died June 21, 1960)
  • Ethel Coleman Van Name (Died January 24, 1964)
  • Helen May Crafford (Died September 17, 1964)
  • Frances Yancey Smith (Died April 23, 1977)
  • Ruby Leigh Orgain (Died October 22, 1984) [3]


The Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation is currently has three Think Pink partners. These partners are American Cancer Society, NFL, and Bright Pink. 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, which include the three partners it has now.

Zeta Tau Alpha has also copyrighted "Think Pink" when its used in conjunction with breast cancer awareness and education efforts.

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 nationwide. "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."[4][5]


The Founders chose the colors, the flower, and the motto of Zeta Tau Alpha to represent the Fraternity.[3]

The five-pointed crown is the primary official symbol of the Fraternity. Many examples of crown artwork can be found within ZTA, and the crown contains exactly five points.[3] The strawberry is considered a secondary symbol, after the crown.[3]

The white violet is the official flower of ZTA,[3] while the official colors are turquoise blue and steel gray.[3]

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.[6]


Zeta Tau Alpha has 251 collegiate chapters as of April 2016. There are 168 active collegiate chapters and 238 active alumnae chapters. There are alumnae chapters in many cities and regions in the United States and a virtual alumnae chapter, ZTAlways.[7]

Even as an alumna, a woman is always considered a part of Zeta Tau Alpha. 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."[7]

Fraternity operations

"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 36 at the International Office".[3]

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.[8]

Notable members



  1. "Zeta Tau Alpha". Retrieved 13 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Kappa Delta". San Jose University. Retrieved 13 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Zeta Tau Alpha. New Member Workbook. Indianapolis, IN. Zeta Tau Alpha International Office, 2007.
  4. "ZTA Distributing Pink Ribbons at Jets-Steelers Game". New York Jets News. October 10, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Breast Cancer awareness partnerships". Zeta Tau Alpha official site. Retrieved 14 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Symbols". Zeta Tau Alpha Official Website. Retrieved 13 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 "ZTA international website". ZTA international website.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 2010-2012 Biennial Report. Zeta Tau Alpha. 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 "Notable Zetas". Zeta Tau Alpha. Retrieved 2012-01-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Wearing another crown: Miss Florida and Miss Indiana". Zeta Tau Alpha official site. Retrieved 14 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "The heart of a healthy lifestyle". Themis. Winter 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Officers". University of North Carolina ZTA. Retrieved 2 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Tiffany Maher dances her way into the finals". Zeta Tau Alpha official site. Retrieved 14 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Fontenot, Rebecca (2008). "Word-Perfect". Texas Exes. Retrieved 2009-01-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Virginia Ruth Kilpatrick Shehee". The Shreveport Times. Retrieved July 9, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Sanchez, Lorena (2011-06-19). "Miss NM Brittany Toll out after swimsuit competition". El Paso Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links