Today is Kappa Alpha Theta’s 147th birthday. I’ve told the story of Bettie Locke and her three friends many times. Search “Kappa Alpha Theta” in the search box and you’ll find scores of blog posts about Theta and its founding at Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw University).
In looking for something to write about today, I read through the March 1917 Kappa Alpha Theta. This story about the Alpha Upsilon Chapter at Washburn University caught my eye:
The stunts which impress Alpha Upsilon just now as being the most clever are stunts for raising money. Probably other chapters have tried bazaars, silver teas, selling old paper, tin foil, et cetera; but last winter we had a far more original stunt. Dr. Crumbine asked us one day, if we would like to earn thirty dollars (more than $600 in 2017 dollars) —perhaps you know of Dr. Crumbine. He has several distinctions: besides being prominent in medical circles and secretary of the Kansas state board of health, he is our Violet’s father. Of course, we were only too glad to accept his offer, and immediately divided the fraternity into ‘shifts,’ each girl giving several afternoons when she was least busy.
When the first group went down to the State house, Dr. Crumbine said he wanted us to help him get out the Baby Bulletin. Don’t be misled, we were not to help edit it! He took us down into the basement to a room stacked on all sides with the pamphlets. We were to fold a circular, slip it in the bulletin, place this in an envelope and seal the envelope. The money was what they had figured a man accustomed to the work, would earn. We had lots of fun while we worked, but even with that, they told us we finished in less time than they had figured. Needless to say, we have our application in for any such work as may come up in the future.
Violet Ruth Crumbine was a charter member of the chapter and she went on to serve as the chapter’s President. She helped write a toast which appears in one of the early songbooks.
Her father, Dr. Samuel Jay Crumbine, was a public health pioneer. Reducing the spread of tuberculosis was one of Crumbine’s goals. He targeted the use of the common drinking cup and led a campaign to stop spitting in public. He helped make the fly swatter a common household item and encouraged the killing of flies to stop the spread of disease. He also rallied against common towels. In 1954, the Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award was established in his honor.