Founders' Day Proclamation 2022

Zeta Tau Alpha is celebrating 124 years of sisterhood and honoring the nine young women whose vision continues to guide us today.

The tradition of the Founders’ Day Proclamation began in 1928. Bertha Cruse Gardner was the first Grand President to send greetings to the membership on October 15 of that year. Today, it remains one of the great honors and privileges of the National President to reach out to all of our sisters on this day. Mrs. Cruse sent her proclamation by mail.

What would she think of a video recording? We hope you take time today to view the video of National President Dinah Jackson Laughery reading the Proclamation or to read the full text for yourself below.

Thank you for being a part of our sisterhood. May our friendships keep us strong for another 124 years or more.

Founders' Day Proclamation

Just three months ago over 1,000 Zeta Tau Alphas gathered in Dallas for our first in-person Convention since 2018. The heartfelt emotion and the great joy of being back with our sisters again was awesome. The five days we spent together were filled with much-needed hugs, smiles and laughter.

In 1898, Founder Maud Jones Horner experienced that same joy. In The History of Zeta Tau Alpha, she recalls: “The beginning of the session 1898-99 found our little crowd back again at the Normal and just as eager as before, if not more so, to find something to satisfy our desire.”

Maud knew just how much her sisters needed each other. In the preamble to the first Constitution of Zeta Tau Alpha, she proclaimed, “we have banded ourselves together... to be to each other what we most need in times of sorrow as well as joy throughout our lives.”

For 124 years, ZTA has taught us to be sisters who share in each other’s joy and sorrow. Sisters who band together eagerly. The charter of Zeta Tau Alpha refers to this as the need to intensify friendship.

Founders’ Day is a great time to consider how to intensify our friendships, especially now that we can be together face to face. As National President, I plan to visit our chapters in person. Building relationships comes more naturally in person. We can attend alumnae chapter gatherings to grow established friendships and make new ones. We can volunteer as advisors and meet regularly with collegiate officers to help them strengthen their chapters. We can volunteer at Think Pink® events and raise awareness of early detection of breast cancer.

Most importantly, we can be to each other what we most need in time of sorrow as well as joy, just as our Founders envisioned. We can give to the ZTA Foundation on the third annual Day of Giving to provide essential scholarships and programming for our members. We can pick up the phone and call a sister who might need to hear a familiar voice.

As we approach the milestone of the 125th anniversary of our Fraternity, let’s all pledge to intensify the friendships we have made and continue to cherish in Zeta Tau Alpha.

Given under my hand and seal, I proclaim the fifteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty-two, as our 124th Founders’ Day.

Dinah Jackson Laughery
National President

Austin, Texas
October 2022


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