Our Mission Statement:
Yesterday, today and tomorrow, Kappa Alpha Theta exists to nurture each member throughout her college and alumna experience and to offer a lifelong opportunity for social, intellectual, and moral growth as she meets the higher and broader demands of mature life.
The intellectual ambition of the Fraternity shall be the attainment of highest scholarship. The social aim of the Fraternity shall be to exercise the widest influence for good. The moral aim of the Fraternity shall be the standard of love.
Kappa Alpha Theta has more than 130 active college chapters and more than 200 alumnae groups across the US and Canada. More than 240,000 women have been initiated into our fraternity.
The values of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity are scholarship, service, leadership, personal excellence, and friendship/sisterhood.
Membership in Kappa Alpha Theta leads women into a life of friends, experience, and goals that they might not have had otherwise. Being a Theta leads a woman to personal excellence, offering her ways to become her best self. Our ritual, in fact, commands us to be nobler women, to lead ourselves to personal excellence, and to lead others there as well. It commands us to set the bar high.
And when Thetas model personal excellence, we not only have the chance to lead on our campuses, in our communities, and in our professions, but we also have the chance to effect real change. Just as Bettie, Hannah, Alice, and Bettie did.
Our Chapter – Iota History
Kappa Alpha Theta’s Iota Chapter was founded at Cornell in 1881 and was the first female fraternity on campus. Because of distance, the charter was mailed to Ithaca, and the new members initiated themselves. A policy disagreement in 1965 led the Iota chapter to leave Cornell’s campus, however in 1980 the Iota chapter returned to campus and moved into their current house, 519 Stewart Avenue. In 1980, Iota returned to Cornell as the national office realized the demand for a chapter at Cornell. One of Iota’s most famous alumnae is Anna Botsford Comstock, for which Comstock Hall is named after. Theta is one of two sororities located on West Campus and our current house was built in 1900.
For more information about our Fraternity, please visit the Kappa Alpha Theta website.
A Letter from Chief Recruitment Officer, Megan Childs
Dear Potential New Members,
As the Iota Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta’s Chief Recruitment Officer, I want to extend a warm welcome to each and every one of you and express my excitement for January’s formal recruitment! I hope you’ve enjoyed your fall semester, and I know I speak on behalf of all the sisters of Theta in expressing how eager we all are to get to know each of you in the upcoming weeks. As recruitment approaches, I encourage every potential new member to use this time as a chance to learn about the women of the incredible chapters this campus has to offer. There is no limit to the amount of opportunities that exist both within chapters and in the greater Panhellenic community at Cornell.
I hope you are as eager about the upcoming recruitment process as we all are. The week itself is a crazy and wonderful process, one that allowed each of us to find our home at 519 Stewart. We have sisters from countries all over the world with unlimited interests, majors, aspirations, and talents, but Theta provides a foundation that connects us all. In addition to our individual involvement on campus, Theta participates in a number of sisterhood events. Our philanthropic commitments to Jog for Jill, Rock the CASA, and GOPiNK are tremendously close to our hearts, and we are all so proud to support such inspiring individuals and meaningful causes.
I am so excited for each of you and know that your recruitment experience will be unique and fulfilling. I am extremely proud and grateful to call Theta my home. It has given me indescribable friendships and memories that I will always cherish. All the sisters of the Iota Chapter could agree in saying that Theta has truly become a home away from home. It is my hope for you that you will find a similarly meaningful experience with one of the many wonderful chapters on this campus.
Questions about recruitment? Learn more about the Cornell University Panhellenic Council
Being a part of Theta means not only making a commitment to your sisters, but to your community as well. Our chapter truly takes this to heart and devotes over 2000 hours every year to service and philanthropy events held on and off the Cornell campus! We are extremely proud of the support we have offered and money we have raised as a chapter. In addition, the individual service accomplishments of our sisters demonstrate our diverse interests and global awareness. Cornell Thetas have been participated in service projects all over the United States and as far away as India, Peru, and Nicaragua!
All sisters of Kappa Alpha Theta support our official philanthropic causes: Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), the Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation, and the Friendship Fund. Theta has pledged itself to provide support and advancement of court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children through its national partnership with CASA.
Founded in 1960, Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation is a charitable and educational tax-exempt organization. Theta Foundation’s mission is to secure and manage resources for the educational leadership, and philanthropic programs of the Fraternity and for the scholastic, professional, and service pursuits of its members to help them reach their fullest potential and make a difference in the world. Theta Foundation awards more than $1 million annually and is dedicated to partnering with individuals and college and alumnae chapters for fundraising efforts to support Thetas with scholarships, non-degree educational and leadership grants, and the Fraternity’s educational and leadership programs. After more than 50 years, Theta Foundation remains committed to partnering with Theta women and chapters to support the Fraternity’s ideals of highest scholarship, widest influence for good, and love. For more information, please visit the Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation website.
Iota’s have also been moved and motivated by philanthropic causes that are close to home. Our chapter has taken special initiative to support the awareness and research fundraising efforts of lung and breast cancers – cancers that have directly affected our Theta sisters and their loved ones. These events have become an integral part of our sisterhood and the Cornell community. If you have any questions about philanthropy, please contact our Service and Philanthropy Director, Olivia Wherry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about our annual events…
Rock the CASA
Every April, Iota’s host the campus-wide Rock the CASA Volleyball Tournament and BBQ in support of Court Appointed Special Advocates. We cross our fingers for a sunny Ithaca day and spend the afternoon running competitive and just-for-fun beach volleyball tournaments at Chi Psi Fraternity. During the tournament, there are hot dogs and hamburgers hot of the grill, live music, hand-spun cotton candy, raffles, and – of course – a dunk tank! Rock the CASA is a perfect way to celebrate the start of spring at Cornell and raise money for the amazing volunteers that help children navigate the court and foster care systems.
Jog for Ingrid
The Jog for Ingrid 5K is a walk/run through the beautiful Cornell Plantations aimed at beating lung cancer big time! In March 2011, current Iota senior Ingrid Nunez was diagnosis with stage-four lung cancer. Her diagnosis came as a shock to all given Ingrid is a non-smoker. Without skipping a beat, Ingrid continued classes at Cornell while waging a personal and public battle against lung cancer. Soon after her diagnosis, Ingrid joined the Jill’s Legacy Advisory Board to the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and brought the first “Jog for Ingrid” 5K to Cornell in September 2011. Thetas have sponsored “Jog for Ingrid” at Cornell for the last three years, and have helped Ingrid raise over $100,000 for the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation! Theta’s looks forward to organizing the event for years to come. We love you, Ingy!
GOPiNK Gala and Breast Cancer Awareness Seminar
This past November, Theta sisters helped to bring the GOPiNK organization to Cornell! GOPiNK seeks to educate young men and women on the risks and impact of breast cancer and also supports breast cancer programs and research at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Theta partnered with six other Greek chapters to host a formal gala and educational seminar. The entire Cornell community came out for a night of fantastic DJ-ing, dancing, delicious treats, and all pink festivities. The educational seminar featured distinguished breast cancer researchers and survivors. The event raised over $17,000 in its first year! The Iota chapter is excited to add GOPiNK to its annual philanthropy commitments.
Within Theta, the opportunities to grow as a leader are endless. We like to encourage each girl to contribute her own special piece to our Chapter, which in turn, helps each and every one of our sisters grow to be a strong, confident leader.Elissa CookChief Executive OfficerCaroline PhillipsChief Administrative OfficerSarah Allen RayChief Operating OfficerMargaret FlemingChief Education OfficerBrigid SofenChief Financial OfficerSam KaplanChief Marketing OfficerJemma CurtinChief Panhellenic OfficerMegan ChildsChief Recruiting Officer
Meet the Sisters
The sisters of the Iota Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta pride themselves in widespread campus and community involvement, while maintaining their role as students at Cornell University. Our members span all seven undergraduate colleges, participate in over a hundred unique extracurricular activities, and take the time to give back through various philanthropic efforts. Each week, we will have a Sister Spotlight in either the area of Campus, Athletics, Community, or Scholarship highlighting one of our member’s extraordinary performance. This week’s Spotlight is Ingrid Nunez for her work in the Community.
Ingrid Nunez is a Senior in the School of Hotel Administration here at Cornell. Two years ago, Ingrid was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. As a non-smoker, Ingrid was left quite shocked, but never gave up and soon teamed up with the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and Jill’s Legacy. On September 25, 2011, Ingrid, along with her Iota Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta, organized the first annual Jog for Jill in Honor of Ingrid Nunez at Cornell. Since that first run, Ingrid has raised over $100,000. Today, Ingrid is still fighting and has made a lot of progress. We love you, Ingrid!
Caroline Gross is a graduate of the Class of 2012 where she studied Biology and Society in the College of Human Ecology. She is originally from Los Angeles, California. On campus, Caroline was a Tour Guide, President of the Sexual Health Awareness Group, and an active member of the Iota Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta. Currently, Caroline is pursuing her M.D. at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA where she was named a David Geffen Scholar. Sending TL all the way to California. Go Caro!
If Iota alumnae have any questions, please contact our Alumnae Engagement Director, Amanda Loesch!