Beta Iota

Swarthmore College


Historical facts: ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  1. Beta Iota Chapter was installed in June 1893 after seven women had waited a year and a half for their charter. 

  2. In 1892, the unnamed group had been refused a charter since Swarthmore was considered too small.

  3. Beta Iota was the third women's fraternity on Swarthmore's campus in 1893. Kappa Alpha Theta was installed in 1891 and Pi Beta Phi in 1892. 

  4. On Jan. 9, 1934, the board of managers of Swarthmore College received a recommendation from the female students that women’s fraternities be abolished from that campus. National representatives unanimously, but with regret, accepted this decision.

Fun facts:

  1. The charter members turned down an offer from Pi Beta Phi in order to petition Kappa Kappa Gamma a second time.

  2. Chapter members participated in philanthropic efforts during both world wars and, as late as 1975, were still sewing layettes, which were distributed by the American Friends Service Committee. 

  3. Nora Waln was a bestselling author and journalist in the 1930s–50s, writing books and articles about her time spent in Germany and China. She was among the first to report on the spread of Nazism from 1934–38. Nora was the recipient of Kappa's Alumnae Achievement Award in 1946.

Swarthmore College

Learn more about