Happy Birthday Charlotte Rae and a Founders’ Day

Happy 90th birthday to Charlotte Rae Lubotsky, better known as Charlotte Rae, and to a generation as Mrs. Garrett on The Facts of Life. She became a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi at Northwestern University.

Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Garrett

Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Garrett

Northwestern University holds a special place in film, television sitcom, and GLO history. In addition to Charlotte Rae Lubotsky, the NPC women who attended Northwestern, many of whom left for Hollywood before graduation, are:

Aneta Corsaut, Alpha Omicron Pi, The Andy Griffith Show

Mary Frann, Delta Gamma, Newhart

Martha Hyer, Pi Beta Phi

Laura Innes, Alpha Chi Omega, ER

Carol Lawrence, Alpha Xi Delta, The Carol Burnett Show, Mama’s Family

Cloris Leachman, Gamma Phi Beta

Stephanie March, Kappa Alpha Theta, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Ann-Margaret, Kappa Alpha Theta

Patricia Neal, Pi Beta Phi, The Homecoming: A Christmas Story

Mary Beth Peil, Gamma Phi Beta, Dawson’s Creek, The Good Wife

Jeri Ryan, Alpha Phi, Star Trek: Voyager

Inga Swenson, Alpha Phi, Bonanza, Benson

Leigh Taylor-Young, Kappa Alpha Theta, Peyton Place

Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Alpha Phi

There are also a goodly number of fraternity men who were initiated into chapters at Northwestern University who later went on to stage, film, and television careers. That is a list for another day.

Patricia Neal, 1946 Northwestern University campus queen

Patricia Neal, 1946 Northwestern University campus queen


Happy Founders’ Day to Alpha Kappa Lambda. It was founded at the University of California, Berkeley on April 22, 1914. It was the first fraternity to be founded west of the Rockies (there were chapters of other fraternities on California campuses including UCB and Stanford, but they were all founded east of the Rockies). Alpha Kappa Lambda’s roots go back about eight years before that when a four men who had helped with the cleanup after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake expressed a desire to form a house club. This desire was expressed during a YMCA conference and the friends talked about the need Christian men had for an affordable place to live and study. House clubs were common in the days before colleges and universities provided college or university housing and meal plans. In 1907, they came together as “Los Amigos” house club.

One of the Founders Reverend Gail Cleland, later said, “When we organized Los Amigos as a house club…house clubs and fraternities were dime a dozen. They came, they lived for a few months or a few years, then they went out of existence again. But Los Amigos did not go out of existence.” Seven years later, spurred on by a suggestion from the University’s President, the men became a fraternity of one chapter. In 1920, another chapter was founded  at nearby Stanford University.


© 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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