Zeta Tau Alpha Records

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Zeta Tau Alpha. Beta Phi Chapter (Michigan State University).
Zeta Tau Alpha records
Date [inclusive]
0.1 Cubic feet , 1 folder

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan".

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Historical Note

In 1909-1910, a group of young women met each week and called their informal group "the Hermians". Under the leadership of Mae Parmalee, the group (now 24) petitioned the faculty for official recognition under the name "Sigma". At this time Greek letter organizations were barred from the campus and the petition was refused. The name "Sesame Literary Society" was then chosen and on February 11, 1911 the charter was granted. The name Sesame was taken for its symbolism as the magic grain of education and they selected the guiding star "Service and Democracy" and the ideal "Womanly Truth and Nobility" for their group.

The charter for the Beta Phi Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha was granted in May 1931. The installation was held October 5, 1931 with Bertha Cruse Gardner, Grand President, as installing officer assisted by Helen Kagay, Prophet.

The members of Zeta Tau Alpha consider themselves a fraternity to distinguish themselves from the sisterhoods organized in connection with men's fraternities called sororities.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of a copy of the 1929-1930 Sesame Literary Society Directory. The directory lists charter members and addresses for members by class years beginning with 1911-1930, active members, pledges, and honorary members.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections April 2009

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status note

Copyright: Michigan State University Property Rights: Michigan State University

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Directories
  • Greek letter societies

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Collection Inventory


Scope and Contents note

Drawer Folder

Sesame Directory 1929-1930 

F.D. 1

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MSU. Students. Organizations. Zeta Tau Alpha 

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