About Zeta Tau Alpha
In 1898, nine young women at the Virginia State Female Normal School (now Longwood University) formalized their friendship by forming Zeta Tau Alpha. Away from home for the first time, these teenagers longed for companionship while they studied to be teachers. Fearing their unique friendship would fade without a formal bond to sustain it, they met in secret by candlelight in the bathroom of their dormitory. At the start, they used only three question marks as their group name. The first minute book of regular meetings states Zeta Tau Alpha was organized Oct. 15, 1898.
Learn more about how Zeta Tau Alpha was founded.
The Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation is the philanthropic and fundraising arm of the Fraternity. The Foundation leads our efforts in breast cancer education and awareness, provides around $1 million in scholarships annually, and sponsors educational and leadership opportunities for our members and others.
The ZTA Fraternity Housing Corporation is the largest in the Panhellenic world and provides safe, secure and competitive housing for all our collegiate members.
The Creed of Zeta Tau Alpha:
To realize that within our grasp, in Zeta Tau Alpha, lies the opportunity to learn those things which will ever enrich and ennoble our lives; to be true to ourselves, to those within and without our circle; to think in terms of all mankind and our service in the world; to be steadfast, strong, and clean of heart and mind, remembering that since the thought is father to the deed, only that which we would have manifested in our experience should be entertained in thought; to find satisfaction in being, rather than seeming, thus strengthening in us the higher qualities of the spirit; to prepare for service and learn the nobility of serving, thereby earning the right to be served; to seek understanding that we might gain true wisdom; to look for the good in everyone; to see beauty, with its enriching influence; to be humble in success, and without bitterness in defeat; to have the welfare and harmony of the Fraternity at heart, striving ever to make our lives a symphony of high ideals, devotion to the Right, the Good, and the True, without a discordant note; remembering always that the foundation precept of Zeta Tau Alpha was Love, “the greatest of all things.” -- Written by Shirley Kreasan Strout, adopted by the 1928 ZTA Convention
To make a difference in the lives of our members by developing the potential of each individual through innovative programming, which emphasizes leadership development, service to others, academic achievement and continued personal growth for women, with a commitment to friendship and the future based on the sisterhood, values and traditions of the past.
The purpose of Zeta Tau Alpha is the intensifying of friendship, the fostering of a spirit of love, the creating of such sentiments, the performing of such deeds, and the moulding of such opinions as will be conducive to the building up of a purer and nobler womanhood in the world.
“Seek the Noblest”