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Zeta Tau Alpha

Zeta Tau Alpha
Founded October 15, 1898 (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
Publication "Themis"
Philanthropy Breast Cancer Education and Awareness
Chapters 162 active collegiate chapters and 239 alumnae chapters
Headquarters 3450 Founders Road
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

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.[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 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) [3]


Zeta Tau Alpha worked with a variety of charities before partnering with 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.”[4][5]

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.[6]


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.[3]

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.[3] The strawberry is considered by many to be 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.[7]


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.[8]

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."[8]

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 25 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.[9]

Notable members



  1. ^ "Zeta Tau Alpha". Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Kappa Delta". San Jose University. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g 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. 
  5. ^ "Breast Cancer awareness partnerships". Zeta Tau Alpha official site. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Lawhorn, Tori (October 13, 2013). "Fraternities compete in BMOC". Indiana Daily Student. 
  7. ^ "Symbols". Zeta Tau Alpha Official Website. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "ZTA international website". ZTA international website. 
  9. ^ 2010-2012 Biennial Report. Zeta Tau Alpha. 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Notable Zetas". Zeta Tau Alpha. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  11. ^ a b "Wearing another crown: Miss Florida and Miss Indiana". Zeta Tau Alpha official site. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "The heart of a healthy lifestyle". Themis. Winter 2013. 
  13. ^ "Officers". University of North Carolina ZTA. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  14. ^ "ZTA Statement on Big Brother Cast Member Aaryn Gries". Zeta Tau Alpha. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  15. ^ "Official Shannon James Page". January 17, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  16. ^ Gross, Dan (April 5, 2007). "2nd Bucks Ms. a Miss". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  17. ^ "Tiffany Maher dances her way into the finals". Zeta Tau Alpha official site. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  18. ^ Fontenot, Rebecca (2008). "Word-Perfect". Texas Exes. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
  19. ^ Sanchez, Lorena (2011-06-19). "Miss NM Brittany Toll out after swimsuit competition". El Paso Times. 

External links

  • Zeta Tau Alpha's official website
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