The pioneering spirit of New Mexico affected the women who founded the local sorority Delta Sigma, “the first local organization for women on the campus of the New Mexico State University.” The new group dominated campus life, including having the first female student to hold an office in Associated Students of New Mexico State University (ASNMSU), the first female to hold editorship of the campus newspaper The Round Up, and other noted prominent women on campus, including the college president’s wife, among its members. For five successive years, a Delta Sigma was elected May Queen and the most popular girl at the Kollege Kactus Karnival. The first person to win a scholarship cup was also a Delta Sigma!
Each year, the women also planned a very busy calendar full of formal dances, autumn teas and picnics in the mountains. It wasn’t until they held a tea in honor of the dean of women—Miss Doyne Koonce, a Zeta Tau Alpha from the Indiana University chapter—that things would change. Soon, Delta Sigma set its pioneering sights on becoming the first chapter of a national fraternity on the campus and the first Zeta Tau Alpha chapter in the state of New Mexico.
In 1927, two ZTA national officers visited the chapter, and a charter was soon granted. Installation took place during the Thanksgiving vacation of 1928. Four days of events—including an afternoon meeting, numerous dances, a Panhellenic tea, pledge services, examinations, a luncheon, Initiation services, a ritual service, installation of officers, a closing banquet, and a Zeta breakfast—concluded with thirty-two new members of Zeta Tau Alpha and “many never-to-be forgotten memories.”
The Beta Nu chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha was founded at New Mexico State University on November 29, 1928 and is the oldest chapter on campus. This year we celebrated 88 years of sisterhood. Beta Nu is the 62nd link, or chapter, in the chain of 246 total national links.
Note: Information regarding chapter histories is provided from The History of Zeta Tau Alpha by Shirley Kreasan Strout, 1956 Edition, and its supplements.