M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives


Finding Aid for the
RECORDS, 1950-1989


For reference queries contact Grenander Department Reference staff or (518)-437-3935.

Finding Aid Compiled by
Shawne Rosenberg & Sherry Schneiderman
December 7, 1992
Revised and Updated by
Geoffrey P. Williams
May 23, 2003

M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935

VOLUME: .50 cubic feet

ACQUISITION: A small portion of these records were transferred to theM.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, by the Alumni Association in 1991.  The bulk of the records were deposited by Carol Siver '65 in 2002.

ACCESS: Access to these records is unrestricted except where otherwise noted in the finding aid.

COPYRIGHT: Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the head of Special Collections and Archives.


Administrative History

Scope and Content Note

Box and Folder List:

Chi Sigma Theta Sorority
Administrative History

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Chi Sigma Theta, founded at State College on February 17, 1920, traced its origins to the Newman Club, a campus Catholic study society founded in 1908.**1 With the consent of Dean Blue, the Newman Club had been reorganized to form Kappa Nu Sorority on October 5, 1914.**2  In 1920 the name of the sorority was changed to Chi Sigma Theta for reasons that are unclear.  The Sorority had one main objective.  "Chi Sigma Theta established its ideals of loyalty, companionship, and sincerity, which each girl takes a pledge to uphold."**3

Among the primary elected officers of Chi Sigma Theta were President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Rush Captain, Alumnae Secretary, Factotem, and Senior and Junior Intersorority Council's Judicial Board.  The functions of these officers are listed in the Chi Sigma Theta Constitution of 1970.  The first prominent leaders of Kappa Nu (Chi Sigma Theta) included President, Henrietta G. Haley; Vice President, Helen circa Brennan; Secretary, Eleanor M. White; Treasurer, E. Louise Carmody; and Reporter, Celia I. Casey.**4

In the mid-1960s Greek societies at the State University of New York at Albany were forced to sell their houses and move to dormitories on the new Uptown Campus. Maintaining a greek society in the dormitories was contingent on retaining sufficient members to justify setting aside the floor and rooms. In the 1970s Chi Sigma Theta, along with other local greek societies at the University, suffered a steady decline in membership. A letter from the President of Chi Sigma Theta Alumni Association, Sally I. Cook, to Jessica Casey, of the Student Activities Office states that "The active chapter of Chi Sigman[sp] Theta Sorority dissolved in 1980."**5

The sorority did not accept this set back as permanent.  The December 1982 Chi Sigma Theta Alumnae News states that "It is so important that we ensure the continuance of the Alumni Association so that Chi Sig will live on and eventually become 'active' again."  During the early 1980s there was a resurgence of interest in national Greek societies.  Chi Sigma Theta was reactivated on campus as a local sorority in the Spring of 1986 with the initiation of "seven very enthusiastic sophomore women have become the new 1986 pledge class" according to the Chi Sigma Theta Alumnae News (April 1986)  In December 1986 Helen Adams, Assistant Director, Student Activities, recommended that Chi Sig "be granted their provisional charter but" she "would hope that their two-year provisional charter period end in December of 1988...."**6

The attempt to reestablish Chi Sigma Theta as a local sorority failed.  On September 23, 1988, almost two years after Chi Sig received their provisional charter, Helen Adams approved "the merger of local sorority Chi Sigma Theta with Phi Sigma Sigma."**7  Since Phi Sigma Sigma was a national sorority, it was hoped that the merger would serve to "strengthen not only the SUNYA Panhellenic Association but also our Greek system as a whole."**8  It was also felt that the action would be a "rewarding, positive Greek experience for all of the women involved."**9 Phi Sigma Sigma appears to continue to exist on the University at Albany campus in 1992.


**1 State College News, November 13, 1964, 5.
**2 The Echo, October 1914, 107.
**3 State College News, November 13, 1964, 5.
**4 Pedagogue, 1915
**5 Letter from Sally I. Cook, President of Chi Sigma Theta Alumni Association to Jessica Casey, of the Student Activities Office, February 5, 1985. Chi Sigma Theta File, Student Activities Office
**6 Letter from Helen Adams, Assistant Director, Student Activities, to James P. Doellefeld, Director, Campus Life, December 10, 1986. Chi Sigma Theta File, Student Activities Office
**7 Letter from Helen Adams, Assistant Director, Student Activities, to Ms. Louise Kier of Phi Sigma Sigma, September 23, 1988. Chi Sigma Theta file, Student Activities Office
**8 Ibid.
**9 Ibid. Although it seems that the Chi Sigma Theta tradition officially ended with the merger of 1988, the sorority was listed in the group directory of the 1990-1991 Viewpoint, p. 10, a university publication for incoming freshmen.  The listing appears to be a misprint.

Chi Sigma Theta Sorority
Scope and Content Note

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The Chi Sigma Theta records contain alumni newsletters, constitutions, recordings of publicity events, memorabilia, composite sorority photographs, and scrapbooks, as well as other records that document the founding, maintainance and disestablishment of Chi Sigma Theta Sorority at University at Albany, SUNY.  The records date from 1950-1987. The records are found in three series, subject files, memorabilia, and scrapbooks.

Chi Sigma Theta Sorority
Box and Folder List

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Series 1: Subject Files, 1956-1989

Box 1

Alumnae News, 1982-87
Alumni Association Board member list, 1986
Alumnae Reunion Reception, 1982
Beer Party, 1971
Correspondence, 1968, 1977-78
Conflict Party bid, printed 11/67
Constitution, 1949
Constitution, 1970
Constitution, 1977
Constitution, 1986
Constitution, 1987
Dissolution and merger with Phi Sigma Sigma, Sept. - Oct. 1988
Events Publicity, [1971]
Events Publicity, [1972]
Events Publicity, [1973]
Events Publicity, [1974]
Events Publicity, [1977]
Guest book, 1966-69 (housed in Series I, box 2, oversized)
Guest book, March 27, 1974-September 8, 1977
Guest book ("Rush Guest List"), September 24, 1974-February 1978
History, 1914, 1985-88
Meeting rules, September 30, 1977
Membership Lists, [ undated], [1962]
Minutes, 1975-76
Minutes, 1976-77
Panhellenic Rush, September - October 1988
Photographs, [1960?]
Photographs, composite group, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1966*, 1970*, 1971*,   1972, 1977, 1977-78, 1986-87 (housed in Series I, box 3, oversized)
Pledge books (2 vol.), 1986 (housed in Series I, box 4 oversized)
Pledge songs, undated
Pledges, 1963
Rush poster, April 21, 1985
75th Anniversary Luncheon, 1989
Songs, undated
Special group housing agreements and correspondence, 1977-79
Sorority Faculty List, [1963]
State College News, Feb. - Dec. 1957 (housed with Series I, box 2 oversized)
Treasurer's Report, 1962
* 2 foot by 3 foot wall mounted sorority photograph

Chi Sigma Theta Sorority
Box and Folder List

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Series 2: Memorabilia

Box 1 (oversized)

Banner (red and white, 3' x 4'), undated
Banner (red and white, 4' x 6'), circa 1986
Blanket (red and white, 4 1/2' x 3 1/2'), undated
Blanket (purple with letters "XEO" and "S" 2' x 28")

Box 2 (oversized)

Leather Pillow Cases (2), undated
Leather Chi Sigma Theta shield, undated

Box 3 (oversized)

Leather Chi Sigma Theta shield (framed)

Box 4

Paddle, Spring Weekend, April 15, 1972
Pins, undated
Stamp (etched copper plate), undated

Chi Sigma Theta Sorority
Box and Folder List

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Series 3: Scrapbooks, 1950-74, 1976, 1986-87

Box 1(oversized)

Scrapbook, 1950-51
Scrapbook, 1952
Scrapbook, 1953
Scrapbook, 1954
Scrapbook, 1955
Scrapbook, 1956
Scrapbook, 1956-57
Scrapbook, 1958-59

Box 2(oversized)

Scrapbook, 1959-60, 1960-61-62
Scrapbook, 1966-63

Box 3(oversized)

Scrapbook, 1964-65
Scrapbook, 1965-66
Scrapbook, 1966-67

Box 4(oversized)

Scrapbook, 1967-68
Scrapbook, 1968-69
Scrapbook, 1969-70

Box 5(oversized)

Scrapbook, 1970-71
Scrapbook, 1971-72

Box 6

Scrapbook, Spring 1972
Scrapbook, Spring 1973
Scrapbook, Fall 1973
Scrapbook, Spring 1974
Scrapbook, 19773-74
Scrapbook, Spring 1976
Scrapbook, 1986
Scrapbook, 1987

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Last updated August 21, 2007