#WHM – Kate Arlene Goldstein Kamen, Sigma Delta Tau and Fashion Stylist

On March 25, 1917, seven female Cornell University students founded Sigma Delta Tau. Their organization was originally called Sigma Delta Phi, but when they discovered the name belonged to another Greek-letter organization they changed the “Phi” to “Tau.”


Sigma Delta Tau’s founders are Dora Bloom (Turteltaub), Inez Dane Ross, Amy Apfel (Tishman), Regene Freund (Cohane), Marian Gerber (Greenberg), Lenore Blanche Rubinow, and Grace Srenco (Grossman).

There was also a male involved in the beginnings of Sigma Delta Tau. Bloom asked Nathan Caleb House  to write the ritual. “Brother Nat”  is the only man to honored with the organization’s gold membership pin.

The Theta Chapter of Sigma Delta Tau at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln was chartered on May 23, 1925. Kate Arlene Goldstein, may have been a charter member of the chapter. She was active in many organizations. She was a member of  Gamma Alpha Chi, a national, professional, and honorary advertising society for women which was founded at the University of Missouri  in 1920. Its purpose was to promote higher ideals and better standards for women in advertising. The Nebraska chapter was founded in March 1925. During her senior year, she was President of the Nebraska chapter of Gamma Alpha Chi. In 1940, on her resume, she noted that she was Gamma Alpha Chi’s Honorary Vice President of the national organization.

The University of Nebraska chapter of Gamma Alpha Chi, profession and honota

The University of Nebraska chapter of Gamma Alpha Chi, national, professional and honorary society for women in advertising. Kate Arlene Goldstein is on the top left. (Photo courtesy of the Cornhusker)

Kate Arlene Goldstein graduated in 1928, and took a job in fashion. She spent some time as a fashion copy writer for Women’s Wear Daily and McCreery and Co., a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania department store. Her name can be found in the fashion pages of newspapers during the late 1920s and 1930s.

In May 1931, she returned to Lincoln to serve as toastmistress at her chapter’s initiation banquet which took place at the Lincoln Hotel.

Kate Arlene Goldstein (Photo courtesy of the Cornhusker)

Kate Arlene Goldstein (Photo courtesy of the Cornhusker)

On May 5, 1935, she married Herman “Kay” Kamen. Three years earlier he had made his way to California, with his life’s saving sewn into his coat, to pitch his worth as an exclusive licensing representative with Roy and Walt Disney. They took him up on his offer and so began one of the most aggressive and successful marketing campaigns in history. The revenue from the marketing agreement brought much needed capital to the cash-strapped Disney company. The 50/50 split made Kay Kamen a wealthy man. According to an entry in a women’s directory, home for the Kamens during 1940 was the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

She was a member of the Press and Promotion Council for the 1939 World’s Fair which took place at Flushing Meadows in Queens, New York. In 1940, she was Fashion Director of A.C. Lawrence Leather Company in New York City. The company was one of the largest manufacturers of leather goods in the country.

On October 28, 1949, the Kamens were returning from a visit to Paris. Their plane crashed in the Azores in Portugal while trying to land at Santa Maria Airport for a stopover. Kate and Kay Kamen were among the 48 passengers and crew who perished.

© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2016. All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory.

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