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Zeta Epsilon

Indiana University Southeast

Mar 4th, 1978

Founding Date

The women of Zeta Epsilon first organized into a local sorority in October 1976. After two years of success on a local level, they were approached by several national sororities, and on October 16, 1977, twenty-six women joined Alpha Phi.


Since the women had no house in which to hold formal recruitment, they developed their own recruitment techniques. One of their parties was held in a health spa, another at an ice cream parlor. Still another time, they converted a room on campus into a Japanese tearoom. 


Six months after the women joined Alpha Phi, they were initiated by Epsilon Beta (Butler) in Indianapolis, Indiana. On March 3, 1978, the women traveled to Indianapolis to stay in the beautiful, newly constructed Alpha Phi house at Butler. The evening began with the Court of Ivy, followed by songs and chatting over pizza. The Butler women entertained with one of their recruitment skits. Both chapters had an opportunity to see how sororities work on different campuses. 


Initiation was held Saturday, March 4, at 11:00 a.m. in the Alpha Phi house. Epsilon Beta chapter conducted the ceremony, which was followed by a model meeting. The women ended their stay with an informal lunch, again provided by their most gracious hostesses, and then returned to their own campus for the remainder of the functions. 


A banquet was held the next afternoon, Sunday, March 5, at Tommy Lancaster’s Restaurant in New Albany. A reception at the I.U.S. Student Center had been scheduled to precede the banquet, but due to the energy cutback, all extracurricular activities at the university had to be cancelled.


The banquet began with the presentation of the charter by the toastmistress, Nancy Wittgen Burks DeVoe, Director of Extension, to Lisa Gaye Keeling, president of Zeta Epsilon. Welcomes were extended to the chapter by Dr. Edwin W. Crooks, Chancellor of I.U.S.; Barbara Wasser Melchert, Alpha Phi Vice President Collegians; Natalie Youel Kenny (Beta Kappa-Denison), special adviser, and Julianne Buckreus, president of Epsilon Beta. Other honored guests were Carolyn Kraft, Panhellenic adviser for I.U.S.; Dr. Thomas C. Mitchell, Dean of Students of I.U.S., and representatives from the other Greek organizations on campus. 


Betty Mullins Jones, immediate past president of Alpha Phi International and National Panhellenic Delegate, gave the main address. As usual, she was one of the highlights of the evening. 


The Loving Cup Ceremony was conducted by Nancy DeVoe. The banquet concluded with a special song from the women of Zeta Epsilon to all the alumnae present. The song was composed by Dana Andrews.