Zeta Phi Eta, National Professional Fraternity in Communication Arts and Sciences, the oldest national group of its kind, was founded on October 10, 1893 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, under the inspiration and guidance of Dr. Robert McLean Cumnock.
The idea of a friendly society of service which might eventually become a national and vital force in communication arts was the seed of its founding.
Edith DeVore Tiffany, Maud Newell Wilson, Mollie Connor Hackney, Leila Little Heckler, and Laurine Wright Bartlett were the five founding members.
The fraternity was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois on June 25, 1902. In 1908, Zeta Phi Eta affiliated with Phi Eta Sigma, a local organization founded in 1901 at Emerson College, in Boston, Massachusetts. In the affiliation, the chapter at Boston became Alpha, and the one at Evanston, Beta. The cameo and pearl pin of Alpha became the official badge, and the shield and torch of Beta, the coat of arms.
Zeta Phi Eta has expanded its areas of interest as the field itself expanded to include all communication arts and sciences. In 1975, Zeta Phi Eta’s bylaws were amended to include men in its membership.
Founding Fast Facts
Where: Northwestern University
Who: Edith Devore, Leila Little, Maud Newell, Mollie Connor, Laurine Wright