The chapter at Syracuse was named after the deceased chapter Tau, and Beta was affixed in 1890 to designate it as the second chapter to have the name Tau. The charter members were initiated on Oct. 19, 1883, by members of Beta Chapter (now known as Beta Beta Deuteron), St. Lawrence, and Florence J. Lee, St. Lawrence, 1881–83 Grand Treasurer.
Kappa was the third sorority on Syracuse University's campus and flourished along with the other two groups: Alpha Phi (1882) and the founding chapter of Gamma Phi Beta (1874).
Ella Blakeslee is listed as No. 1 in Beta Tau's membership roll. Harriet Blakeslee Wallace is listed as No. 2. Harriet's daughter, Ella Wallace Wells, is the author of "The Kappa Symphony," one of two of the most well-known poems written about Kappa Kappa Gamma. Also, Harriet designed china with Kappa Kappa Gamma's Coat-of-Arms made by Syracuse China. Once it became known, chapters across the country also had this china for use in their chapter houses.
During World War I, the Kappa house was the university headquarters for Red Cross activities.
The current house on Comstock Avenue was built in 1930. It was designed by a Kappa for Kappas and only Kappas have ever lived in it. It is one of the few houses on campus that was built specifically to be a sorority house. This explains the high ceilings, large living rooms, and symmetrical layout.
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