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More than 231,000 women have been initiated into the sisterhood of Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity since its founding on October 15, 1898, at the State Female Normal School (now Longwood University) in Farmville, Virginia. Our Founders, nine young women, envisioned an organization that would perpetuate their ties of friendship.
Maud Jones Horner

Maud Jones Horner

  • At the State Female Normal School, she served as the business manager for the school’s annual publication, "The Normal Light."
  • She became ZTA’s first elected President, after presiding over the group during its “???” period.
  • She taught school in Virginia and North Carolina, where she met William Ferebee Horner. They married in 1904 and adopted a son, Lewis.
 
 Della Lewis Hundley

Della Lewis Hundley

  • Although raised in Virginia, she is the only Founder who was not actually born there; she was born in Pennsylvania, but left at an early age.
  • She entered the Normal when she was 15, graduated in 1899, and went directly into teaching.
  • In 1907, she married William M. Hundley, a newspaper editor. They did not have children.
 
 Alice Bland Coleman

Alice Bland Coleman

  • Raised on Purtan Island, Alice and her sister Ethel Lee Coleman obtained their early education privately with a governess.
  • In 1898, she served as the first Secretary of ZTA.
  • She graduated from Normal in 1901, and received a diploma, specializing in music, from Northwestern University in 1907. 
 
 Mary Campbell Jones Batte

Mary Campbell Jones Batte

  • Known as “Cammie,” she was the only daughter of DuRoc Hughes Jones and Mary Green’s six children.
  • She was the recipient of the now-famous strawberries from an admirer.
  • After graduation in 1902, she taught school for two years and then married S. Basset Batte in 1904. They had two sons.
 
 Alice Grey Welsh

Alice Grey Welsh

  • The History of Zeta Tau Alpha notes that, “Vivacious Alice’s historical record is virtually nil, probably because she would never settle down to going into it.” (p. 211)
  • She grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and was president of the Deep Run Hunt Club.
  • She moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, in the 1930s. 
 
 Ethel Coleman Van Name

Ethel Coleman Van Name

  • She was described by classmates as being considerate, poised and gracious and was “as gentle as the zephyrs blowing below the violet.”
  • After graduating from Normal in 1901, she taught school in Virginia and in the Carolinas.
  • In 1909, she married Arthur La Grange Van Name and moved to West Point, Virginia. Her son, Arthur Van Name, Jr., became a physician. 
 
 Helen M Crawfford

Helen May Crafford

  • She was known as “an excellent horsewoman and a good shot.”
  • Many of her relatives were teachers. She followed in the family’s educational tradition, attending Virginia’s one training school for teachers.
  • When her mother died in 1902, she returned home to Orange County, Virginia, to keep house for her father, three sisters and brother, while teaching in a oneroom school.
 
 Frances Yancey Smith

 Frances Yancey Smith

  • She was the daughter of Confederate Captain William Smith and Frances Yancey Mebane.
  • She served as Zeta’s first Grand Vice-President and was also president of the YWCA.
  • She graduated from Normal in 1901, receiving one of the first classical diplomas ever conferred by the school. She later received her bachelor of science degree from Columbia University.
 
 Ruby Leigh Orgain

 Ruby Leigh Orgain

  • She authored "My Pen and I," a publication of her writings and poetry.
  • She had two sons and a daughter. Her daughter, Parke Leigh Orgain, was the only daughter of a Founder. She too attended Longwood University and later became a Zeta.
  • She lovingly called her home “Themismere.”
 

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