Theta is what it is today due to our founders as well as the numerous women who have served in various official roles in leading the Fraternity. Among these leading women, those who have served as Fraternity president have shared their time, wisdom, and guidance as the organization grew.
The positon of Fraternity president has changed throughout the decades. In the early years, the structure of the Fraternity reflected the size of the organization. From 1870 until the spring of 1881, the president of Alpha/DePauw also served as Fraternity president with the term of office coinciding with school terms. Three of the four founders (Bettie Locke, Alice Allen and Hannah Fitch) served as president of Alpha Chapter and thereby as national president.
In 1879, the Fraternity developed a "Grand Chapter" to run the national fraternity and serve as the legislative body, meeting at Grand Convention with its own president and other officers. Alpha/DePauw remained the National Chapter, the administrative arm of the Fraternity. From 1879 to 1881, there were two presidents: one for the Grand Chapter and one for the National Chapter. As the Grand Chapter became more of the focus of the national organization, the position was shared by two individuals.
The growth of the Fraternity and increased efforts to establish a consistent structure for the national organization led to changes in 1891. The “Grand Council” was established that included the president, vice-president (divided into three districts in 1893), secretary, treasurer and editor. The delegates to Grand Convention elected members of Grand Council, including the Fraternity president, a practice that continues today.
Up until the establishment of a "Grand Council," the national president was a collegian. As the Fraternity grew, the position changed from a recent graduate, often a “young alumna” just out of college, to women who have served in multiple roles in the Fraternity over the years. We honor and thank these leading women of our Fraternity.