Iota Chapter (Columbia) 

Iota Chapter was installed at Barnard College, which is part of Columbia University, in New York, New York, on November 16, 1901.

Barnard College was a women’s undergraduate college of Columbia University and met Convention approval for a charter grant. A group of 10 young women were initiated as Iota Chapter (Columbia) charter members by representatives from Alpha Chapter (Syracuse) and Delta Chapter (Boston), aided by alumnae from Syracuse and New York City. The faculty voted to discontinue sororities in 1915 and eight National Panhellenic Conference chapters left the campus.

Iota Chapter was closed on January 1, 1915, and was reestablished 100 years later on April 25, 2015.


Iota Chapter members as show in The Crescent, 1908.

Welcome Back, Iota!
Gamma Phi Beta is proud to welcome Iota Chapter at Columbia University in New York, New York, back to our chapter roll! Originally installed on November 6, 1901, on the Barnard College campus, Iota Chapter positively impacted the lives of many collegiate women before the college faculty voted to discontinue sororities on campus in 1915. Since it’s installation, Iota Chapter helped shape many impressive and intelligent women, including the first Iota initiate, Alice Carpenter (Barnard, 1901). As head of the Woman’s Department of the National Progressive Party, Alice endorsed the platform that included espousing universal women’s suffrage. Alice left her mark on America with her zeal for progress and belief that everyone deserves an equal opportunity. Among other prominent Iota members is Grace Banker Paddock (Barnard, 1912), winner of the Distinguished Service Medal for her work as chief operator for the first unit of Signal Corps telephone operators during World War 1. In this role, Grace trained the unit, also called the “Hello Girls,” to improve communications on the western front.

On April 26, 2015, an elegant Installation ceremony was held near campus at the Roosevelt Hotel to welcome back this historic chapter. Following in Alice Carpenter’s and Grace Banker Paddock’s footsteps, the women of Iota Chapter have high aspirations and are enthusiastic about involvement.

The above excerpt is from the summer 2015 issue of The Crescent, page 8. To learn more about Iota Chapter, visit GPBArchives.org > 1900-1929 > 1902 > March (pages 26-28 and 29-31) and GPBArchives.org > 1900-1929 > 1909 > October (page 214).