Zeta Tau Alpha was founded October 15, 1898, by nine women at the State Female Normal School in Farmville, Virginia.
Only 14-15 years of age, these young women desired permanence to their friendships and hoped to perpetuate their sisterhood
long after college. Though dedicated to the formation of a Greek-letter group, the band of nine delayed selecting a formal name.
A temporary name of "???" was taken when, as legend has it, a member of another group met with the Founders.
Raising her eyebrows and forming her fingers in the shape of a question mark, she asked "Who are you?"
In unison, the group answered "Yes, Who? Who? Who?" Thus, the group came to be known as "???" while they sought an appropriate Greek
name and symbols. During this time, the group received valuable assistance from two of the members" brothers - Maud"s brother, Plummer
Jones, and Frances Yancey Smith's brother Giles Mebane Smith. Both were students at the college of William and Mary, members of men"s
Greek-letter organizations and knowledgeable of Greek lore. After a year of careful contemplation, the group chose the formal name, the patron
goddess and the badge