Founded January 16, 1920, Zeta began as an idea conceived by five coeds at Howard University in Washington, D.C.: Arizona Cleaver, Myrtle Tyler, Viola Tyler, Fannie Pettie and Pearl Neal. These five women, also known as our Five Pearls, dared to depart from the traditional coalitions for black women and sought to establish a new organization predicated on the precepts of Scholarship, Service, Sisterly Love and Finer Womanhood. It was the ideal of the Founders that the sorority would reach college women in all parts of the country who were sorority-minded and desired to follow the founding principles of the organization. Founder Viola Tyler was oft quoted to say “[In the ideal collegiate situation] there is a Zeta in a girl regardless of race, creed, or color, who has high standards and principles, a good scholarly average and an active interest in all things that she undertakes to accomplish.”
Since its inception, the sorority has chronicled a number of firsts. Zeta Phi Beta was the first Greek-letter organization to charter a chapter in Africa (1948); to form adult and youth auxiliary groups; to centralize its operations in a national headquarters; and to be constitutionally bound to a fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Zeta’s national and local programs include endowment of its National Educational Foundation, community outreach services and support of multiple affiliate organizations. Zeta chapters and auxiliary groups have given many hours of voluntary service to educate the public, assist youth, provide scholarships, support organized charities and promote legislation for social and civic change.
The Tau Pi Chapter here at the University of Montevallo was chartered November 9, 1998. Since then, we have been devoted to our community. Some of the signatures that are sponsored by our chapter here on campus are Zeta Night at the Apollo, the annual Greek Unity Step Show, monthly Z-Hope programs, and the Adopt a Freshman Program just to name a few.