History of IOTA Chapter
Alpha Alpha State
Delta Kappa Gamma International
IOTA chapter of Alpha Alpha State Delta Kappa Gamma
International was formed March 1, 1947 at the Penn Alto Hotel in
Altoona, Pennsylvania IOTA was the ninth chapter formed in
Pennsylvania. Blanche Foster, Alpha Alpha State president,
conducted the proceedings. Assisting in the ceremony were Edith
Spenser, dean of women at Juniata College, Dr. Mary Willard,
professor of micro-chemistry at Penn State, Miss Mary Carson of
Indiana, Miss Ethel McCormick, director of elementary education
in Altoona, and Miss Helen Gardner, psychologist from Bedford.
The charter members of IOTA
were: Miss Edith Spenser, Miss Gertrude Butler and Miss Lillian
Evans of Huntingdon; Mrs. Loula South of Lewistown; Dr. Mary
Willard, Miss Lydia Tarrant, Miss Harriet Nesbit, Miss Lora
Pinder, and Miss Margaret Raab of State College; Miss Jean Kerr
and Miss Gertrude Lake of Johnstown; Miss Helen Gardner of
Bedford; Miss Dorothy Williams of Clearfield; and Miss Ethel
McCormick, Miss Dorothy Crist, Miss Ann Eifler, Miss Irene
Sauserman, Miss Maude Minster, Miss Josephine Corle, Miss
Carolyn Cox, Miss Mary Crist and Miss Clara Cockerille of
IOTA’s first president was
Miss Ethel McCormack, grade supervisor in Altoona public
schools. Following the initiation, organization proceedings and
luncheon, Dr. Mary Willard, also a state founder, presented an
address called “Intrepid Women.”
IOTA chapter sponsored three
other chapters. The Bedford chapter was formed immediately
after IOTA was organized. Beta Epsilon was sponsored in 1963
and covers much of the same geographical area as IOTA. Beta Xi
was sponsored in 1975 and covers the State College area. IOTA,
Beta Epsilon, and Beta Xi meet every two years in the spring for
installation of officers.
At the time of IOTA’s 25th
anniversary, Helen Louise Sellers was president. A celebration
was held in the Logan Room of the Penn Alto Hotel in Altoona.
Connie McClain was president at the time of IOTA’s 50th
anniversary. A celebration was held on March 12, 1997 with a
special dinner at the art museum at St. Francis College in
Ebensburg. President Connie celebrated the same milestone.
Several chapter achievement awards have been given in the past
years. The first was to Helen Louise Sellers and Dorothy
McGregor. Both recipients were members for over 50 years.
Other recipients were Wanda Keller, Elaine Smith, and Edna
IOTA chapter, age fifty-eight,
Claims ’47 as her birth
Her charter members,
Held promise of what
IOTA would do.
Blanche Foster, State
President, spoke that day,
Starting the chapter on
Altoona’s Penn Alto was
chosen to be
The site of all this
In spite of March
weather’s wintry blasts,
These members knew their
group would last.
Ethel McCormick, charter
member soon to be
State President, filled
that office most capably.
IOTA’s members have
served her well,
Clara Cockerille and
Mary Willard were but two
Of many whose abilities
speakers, projects, plays,
Drew members closer
through the days.
Many took an active part
In serving the chapter
from the start.
From her early
beginnings IOTA would see
Two chapters formed as
active as she.
These two chapters, both
Were Beta Epsilon and
Now for her members a
new year will be
One of challenge,
(Revised April 9, 2005)