Epsilon Omicron Chapter was founded at University of California, Davis, in Davis, California on February 15, 1975.
1,482 initiates (as of June 2018)
In 1905, the California legislature passed the University Farm Bill, calling for the establishment of a farm school for the University of California. At the time, Berkeley was the sole campus of the university. It would be more than a year before that commission selected a tiny town in Yolo County, then known as Davisville, as the site. The Regents of the University of California officially took control of the property in 1906 and constructed four buildings in 1907.
What was to become the third UC campus opened its doors to 40 degree students (all male) from UC Berkeley in January 1909 as the University Farm. The establishment of the farm was largely the result of the vision and perseverance of Peter J. Shields, secretary of the State Agricultural Society, and the Peter J. Shields Library at UC Davis was named in his honor. Shields began to champion the cause of a University Farm to teach agriculture in a more applied fashion after hearing about California students who chose to go to out-of-state universities due to the lack of such programs in the University of California at that time.
Short courses were first offered in 1908, and a three year non-degree program set up in 1909. In 1911, the first class graduated from the University Farm. The farm accepted its first female students in 1914 from Berkeley. The three year non-degree program continued until 1923. At that time, a two year non-degree program began and continued until 1958. In 1922, a four-year undergraduate program began with the first class graduating in 1926.
Renamed in 1922 as the Northern Branch of the College of Agriculture, the campus continued growing at a breakneck pace. In 1916, the farm’s 314 students occupied the original 778-acre campus. By 1951, the campus had expanded to 3,000 acres. In 1959, the campus was declared by the Regents of the University of California as the seventh general campus in the University of California system.
Davis’ own Graduate Division was established in 1961 followed by the College of Engineering in 1962. The Law School opened for classes in fall 1966, and the School of Medicine began instruction in fall 1968. As of 2013, UC Davis’ enrollment exceeded 34,000 students. The campus has expanded to more than 7,300 acres including land in adjacent Solano County.
Sorority life was a brand-new addition to the University of California campus at Davis in 1974. With the first group of women organized last year by Delta Delta Delta, interest and enthusiasm in other national women’s associations was dramatic. The UC Davis Panhellenic Association held its first formal Fall Rush September 30 to October 6 with eight national sororities represented. Kappa Kappa Gamma colonized a new chapter, known as Epsilon Omicron. Support from the many Kappa alumnae in Northern California and the rush week participants from Delta Omega Chapter in Fresno and Pi Deuteron Chapter in Berkeley made the fall of 1974 a time of anticipation and excitement, new Kappa friendships and great appreciation of our outstanding Fraternity. It’s not easy to begin at the very beginning!
UC Davis had no local sororities, but men’s fraternities had been a part of the campus for many years. There were ten active men’s independent living groups, most with national affiliation and represented by the Interfraternity Council. The fraternities had active “little sister” programs which seemed to have created some of the momentum in the sorority colonization efforts. The women students at UC Davis wanted and needed the atmosphere of congeniality and mutual support which sorority life provided on so many other campuses. The Davis administration was sympathetic toward these needs and respected the standards and past achievements of fraternities and sororities on other California campuses.
When pioneer settler Jerome C. Davis planted 400 acres of wheat, barley, orchards and vineyards in 1868 and pastured great herds of livestock in the fertile Sacramento Valley, he began a tradition which continues in the life of this university. It is the center of a rich agriculture area and the source of tremendous advances in knowledge. An outstanding College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, begun in 1906, now shares a 4,000-acre campus with equally renowned colleges of Engineering and Letters and Science, a Graduate Division and schools of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Law. In 1974, approximately 15,000 students filled the campus, and it was undoubtedly the bicycle capital of California! Campus enrollment was almost equally divided between men and women, and scholastic requirements were extremely high with the Davis campus getting more applications for admission than any other University of California campus in 1974. The location is appealing to many college students since Davis maintains its small town individuality yet the excitement of San Francisco and the beauty of the Sierra Nevada are little more than an hour’s drive in opposite directions on Interstate 80. Sacramento, the capitol of California, lies 12 miles east, and the political activity of this city carries over to student life.
The Associated Students at UC Davis undertook the responsibility for establishing a good bus transportation system featuring some eye-catching London double-deckers. The California Aggie newspaper was required reading for any student interested in current issues, and Freeborn Hall the stage for all the best in local and national talent in music and theatre. Picnic Day in April was one huge celebration with a list of spectator events from the Lichtenstein Circus to a lecture by Governor Ronald Reagan.
It was expected that 1975 would bring many opportunities and challenges as the new Kappa Kappa Gamma Chapter began. Those alumnae, actives and pledges asked for expressions of sharing and caring from all Kappas in this new venture, this wonderful opportunity to express our Fraternity’s concern for the quality of educational life on campus at UC Davis. Adapted from an article in The Key, Fall 1974, p. 9.
Kappas of all ages and from many parts of the country gathered during the February 15-17, 1975, holiday weekend for the formal installation of Epsilon Omicron Chapter at the University of California, Davis. Thirteen very active girls became its charter members after many busy months of building a chapter from scratch.
At the formal banquet Saturday night, the new actives demonstrated their enthusiasm and originality by singing one of the songs they wrote. And Catherine Collings, the chapter’s first president, daughter of Priscilla Osgood Collings, Purdue, responded to the toast of Kit Henderson, president of Pi Deuteron Chapter at the University of California, Berkeley, with the following poem, written by another new initiate, Katie Sebenius:
Joining us together today, Tomorrow, ‘Til eternity.
Simple words are the external bonds, Badges similar to one other, Physically represent these ties.
Each badge is a different key, One to a different heart, To a different girl with much to give to all.
We mustn’t emphasize only the key, We must emphasize what lies under it, What lies within our hearts.
Such strong feelings reserved for special friends, Even for more special people, Sisters.
I came with no sisters, And have acquired the love and trust of thirteen sisters, In a short time.
Growing together through time, Taking parts of each other.
Becoming one in the same yet, Leading our separate lives, too.
What we are going to do this morning, Is to once again externally strengthen these bonds, But the internal bonds of love are already there.
As we move on, Different road will carry us away, We shall always have these sisters, Love is an unbroken circle.
Members of the Sacramento Valley Alumnae Association and of Epsilon Omicron were honored to have so many Fraternity officers share their big weekend. Fraternity President Marian Schroeder Graham, Montana; Director of Field Representatives Kay Smith Larson, Washington; Director of Personnel Marian Klingbeil Williams, Missouri, Executive Secretary Betty Sanor Cameron, Ohio State; Pi Province Director of Chapters Lois Wilkinson Bennett, Pennsylvania; and Pi Province Director of Alumnae Heloise Lee Stewart, Oregon State, spent the weekend in Davis to participate in the installation and initiation.
Pat Maness Kriz, Colorado, president of the Sacramento Valley Alumnae Association, and Katie Johnson Hoff, Oregon State, were largely responsible for organizing the weekend. Beginning with the Fireside Service in the home of Marilyn Woodward Needham, Oregon State, and a hasty practice session for alumnae who were big sisters, advisers and participants in the installation/initiation ceremony, events proceeded smoothly through the formal banquet Saturday evening, a model chapter meeting bright and early the next morning, a luncheon at the Nut Tree in Vacaville and culminating in a reception for family and friends at the Recreation Pool Lodge on the UCD campus.
The new Kappas, who travel almost exclusively by bike around campus, are making arrangements to live together in an apartment complex next year. They are currently sponsoring a Frisbee marathon in conjunction with the Easter Seal Telethon, beginning practice for their basketball team and making plans for a scholarship dinner to honor outstanding members of their group. Meanwhile, they continue to hold informal rush and will hold their net initiation near the end of April.
Adapted from the Spring 1975 issue of The Key, pp. 2-3. (Information from chapter history reports, scholarship, group honors/awards, traditions, special events, changes on campus or within chapter, overall nature of the chapter, chapter goals, challenges and how they were overcome, etc.)
At the 1985 Pi Province Meeting held in Corvallis, Ore., a history of Epsilon Omicron’s first decade written by chapter Registrar Linda Frager was presented. The passage that follows is adapted from this history. “The Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was installed on February 15, 1975, on the University of California, Davis campus. In its beginning years the chapter house was not quite a house, it was an apartment. In the summer of 1976, the chapter acquired a house at 222 Rice Lane. Since membership grew rapidly, the chapter relocated to a larger house at 311 Russell Boulevard with the help of the local alumnae in the summer of 1982.
“Formal rush improved from 1975 to 1985. In 1984, the 1-3-5 voting system was implemented. This system cut hours off the membership selection process and led to very successful rush periods. Rush party from the past decade included Kappa Kickoff, Kapparet, Haunted House, Garden Party, San Francisco, Western, Grinch and Bye Bye Birdie.
“Chapter membership steadily increased. Beginning with 13 members, Epsilon Omicron grew to 102 active members by 1985. The first formal pledge class consisted of five women, but pledge class size grew rapidly; the largest class was in 1984 with 38 women. The majority of those pledging were sophomores and their number continues to increase. The freshman and junior class level sizes have remained consistent during the decade, and there never was more than one senior in a pledge class. During the past decade, the pledging rate increased, and only 10 women decided not to initiate.
“Elected and appointed positions grew in number since the chapter was established in 1975. The appointed position of Song Chairman began in 1977 and preceded the small singing group that began in 1979. Davis Kappas displayed an early interest in athletics by appointing an Athletics Chairman in 1977. The year 1981 was a trial period for Epsilon Omicron: the positions of Historian and Chaplain were created but lasted for just one term. In 1982, the position of Fraternity Education became an elected position.
“The Mothers Club was created in 1976 and rejuvenated in 1984. Mothers Club fundraisers included an art auction, mother-daughter fashion shows and a yard sale.
“The chapter’s first goal in 1975 was Kappa strengthened internally will strengthen externally. Annual chapter retreats created the chapter goals since then. Most goals centered around the theme of involving actives to a greater degree and chapter unity. A decade later, the chapter goal is TeleKappa, meaning to enhance communication among members by increasing awareness of responsibilities and activities.
“Philanthropy was expanded during the decade. Fundraising activities included bake sales, button sales, car washes and a raffle. In 1978, the chapter hosted its first balloon derby. It was so successful that it was continued annually through 1982. In 1982, the chapter created the Men of UCD calendar which was a great success and continued for three years.
“Projects Epsilon Omicron funded included supporting a foster child from 1976 until 1981, donating a park bench to the city of Davis in 1978, an Adopt-A-Grandparent program began in 1982 for Driftwood Convalescent Home and donations to the Gonzales Riggins Fund, Summer House Inc., ANAD, Diogenese House, Harper House, the Rose McGill Fund, Kappa Centennial, UNICEF, Muscular-Dystrophy and the Enchanted Hills Blind School. “Epsilon Omicron kept very busy socially. The chapter held its annual fall pledge formal and spring senior formal starting in 1975. A scholarship banquet was hosted every spring beginning in 1976, as well as a Christmas party. On UCD’s Picnic Day, a barbeque for parents was held at the house. In 1979, 1983, 1984 and 1985, the chapter combined its efforts with a fraternity and together entered a float in the Picnic Day Parade.
“Toward the end of the decade, the chapter created a winter-themed dance, and each member was encouraged to invite a non-Kappa couple to attend and share in the fun. Activities with other sororities and fraternities included wine tasting in Napa, ski trips, exchanges, potluck dinners and a Monmouth Duo dance with the UCD chapter of Pi Beta Phi.”
In 1984, the chapter received third place in the Greek Week competition and placed first in the Greek Week talent show. The members took buses to the spring formal at the Grand Island Mansion. This was its first step toward its goal of increasing alcohol awareness. In addition to these activities, the first Father/Daughter Day in Davis was held. Needed house repairs were completed, a BBQ held and there was a softball game. During fall quarter 1984, the chapter and the Mothers Club hosted an art auction and attended the annual Founders Day luncheon.
Spring quarter 1985, the chapter won second place in the annual Greek Week competition. Spirits were high when the Traveling Consultant gave it a wonderful report during the wrap-up review. The spring formal was held at the Berkeley Marina and was a great success. The chapter planned a successful dinner for the Chi Omegas and invited the other sororities and fraternities. It joined with Theta Chi to build a float for the Picnic Day parade.
Alcohol awareness was a major challenge 1985. It was decided to include more non-alcoholic beverages at all activities, the chapter participated in the Tipsy Taxi program and buses were used for transportation to social activities. At a dinner exchange with Sigma Chi and Delta Sigma fraternities, there was emphasis on dinner and games, and only those 21 years old or over could be served alcohol. There was a deemphasis on alcohol consumption overall.
The third-annual UCD men’s calendar was sold to benefit Summer House, Inc. of Davis and ANAD. The chapter raised $1,500 of which $1,000 was retained for start-up money for the following year’s calendar. A total of 1,250 calendars were sold.
After the excitement of the chapter’s newly remodeled house, it was difficult to isolate an overall highlight of 1989. Finally, it was concluded that the chapter’s outstanding scholarship should be its significant source of pride. Epsilon Omicron received recognition for having the highest grade point average for three consecutive quarters. Several members were recognized at the Panhellenic Scholarship Dessert, including one who received the award for the highest GPA in the College of Engineering. The chapter received the San Francisco Bay Alumnae Association Award for Scholarship Excellence at Province Meeting.
Epsilon Omicron’s members were very active in the community and on campus in 1989. One was the editor of The California Aggie, the campus newspaper, and many volunteered for programs in the University Counseling Centers such as Drink Responsibly in College, Peer Counseling in Sexuality and The House, a facility where students receive peer counseling on a variety of issues. Members were also visible as Health Advocates. At the student-run Coffee House on campus, as many as 20 Kappas could be found helping to prepare and serve food to students. Again this year, the issue of alcohol use challenged the chapter. New ideas to meet this challenge were implemented. One solution was to have Kappa sisters volunteer to attend a social event and not drink. The chapter held forums where all members expressed their views and feelings about the issues. Prior to Christmas vacation, an eating disorder informational forum was held.
This year the chapter retreat was held in Sebastopol, a small town near the Napa Valley. The chapter goal – Ears to Us – was agreed upon by consensus of the members.
The chapter became very close to a retirement community, Covell Gardens, this year. The members carved pumpkins for Halloween and put together an Adopt-A-Grandparent program where the senior citizens were invited to the house for Sunday brunch. Also this year, the chapter’s first Faculty Dessert was held.
1991 will be remembered as a year in which Epsilon Omicron truly pulled together and showed that with cooperation, strength and determination, it could overcome any obstacle. In January, the members returned from winter break to find that the pipes in the chapter house had frozen and burst, leaving mildewed carpets and crumbling ceilings and walls. The chapter pulled together to remove damaged belongings so the workmen could begin the renovation as soon as possible. Though the chapter house was closed until April, the live-ins relocated to apartments which served as the temporary Kappa house in which members could gather.
During this time, the chapter performed more than 1,000 hours of community service. Epsilon Omicron was recognized by the university for its outstanding contribution to the community. Another source of pride was winning the Homecoming spirit competition for the second consecutive year. The chapter’s greatest source of pride, however, was when its rush chair won Greek Woman of the Year, and the chapter won the award for highest sorority GPA at the annual Panhellenic Scholarship Dessert.
Epsilon Omicron members were involved on campus and abroad. In 1991, Kappas went abroad to Spain, Denmark and France, and participated in internship programs in Washington, D.C. Many members were involved with The California Aggie, the school newspaper, serving as writers, graphic artists and sales representatives – in fact, one member was advertising editor. Chapter members volunteer for university programs such as Drink Responsibly in College, Health Advocates and Peer Counselors in Sexuality. Kappas were found in volunteer roles at the UCD Medical Center, the genetics lab and academic peer counseling. Members also worked on campus at the student-run Coffee House and the bookstore.
In 1994, Epsilon Omicron sent four representatives to the Kappa Convention. While meeting Kappas from across the country and recognizing the bonds all Kappas share, the chapter members picked up many new ideas to strengthen and exemplify Kappa values. In October, 23 members and pledges celebrated Founders Day with Sacramento alumnae at Del Paso Country Club.
After fall rush, Epsilon Omicron pledged 27 intelligent young women, 26 of whom were initiated in January 1995. The chapter worked to improve its academic standing among UCD sororities. It moved from eighth place to second place in 1994.
The chapter members took great pride in its spring philanthropy, Kappa Kabana BBQ, which benefited Progress Ranch, a local charitable organization for needy children. Members also tutored local high school students to help them improve their academic achievement.
In 1996, Epsilon Omicron sent a representative to the Pi Province Meeting held in Berkeley. The chapter was recognized for the Challenge to Excellence, and the representative gathered many new ideas to improve the chapter. In February, Kappa participated in the Panhellenic progressive dinner. During Greek Week in April, Kappa won the Greek Sings contest and the overall competition. Kappas participated in the Pi Beta Phi Arrowspike tournament and the Theta Classic run, donated to the Chi Phi bike-a-thon and won the Delta Gamma Anchor Slam basketball tournament.
That fall, Epsilon Omicron pledged 27 women of whom 25 were initiated in January 1997. The chapter’s annual Kappa Kabana BBQ raised $1200 for Shriners Hospitals for Children. Members also participated in Santa’s Secret Shop in which 30 members helped children choose toys for their relatives. The chapter retreat was held at Lake Tahoe. The chapter also hosted a barbecue for parents during the annual Picnic Day celebration on the UC Davis campus.
Epsilon Omicron sent six representatives to the 1999 Pi Province Meeting held in Corvallis, Ore. The chapter received, with great honor, the Scholarship Award. During the meeting, chapter members were able to learn about the new member program, the alcohol policy and the importance of ritual. In May, the annual Kappa Kabana BBQ raised $3000 which was donated in equal amounts to the Kappa Foundation, the Mission Teaching Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children. Chapter members also participated in activities supporting the Yolo County Battered Women’s Shelter and CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) among many others. Kappas also participated in Classical Companions in which members accompanied senior citizens to local classical music concerts.
This was a very busy and outstanding year for Epsilon Omicron in Davis, Calif. In the winter, Kappas made Valentines that were given to a retirement center in Davis. There was a huge turnout resulting in many more Valentines being made than anticipated. In March, the chapter’s Public Relations Chair planned the Mother-Daughter event, a catered dinner at the chapter house and a play at a local theater.
At the beginning of April, Epsilon Omicron hosted the Pi Province Meeting in Sacramento. It was filled with informative workshops as well as bonding time with alumnae and girls from other chapters. In the spring, the chapter had its first spring informal recruitment. It was very successful, and the chapter gained four new members who were initiated at the end of the quarter. Kappa Klassic, held in May, was outstanding and raised $2500 for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation.
In the fall, Epsilon Omicron had a fun formal recruitment which resulted in 27 new members. This was above quota, and 26 were initiated in November. In October, a Leadership Consultant visited the chapter, and it was a very positive visit. She worked on having the members all have a better understanding of what the different officers do and the qualities they possess, since chapter elections were coming up.
At the end of the year, the chapter participated in Pi Kappa Alpha’s philanthropy event called Pike’s Dream Girl. Our representative won first place. Epsilon Omicron had the highest house GPA of all of the sororities at Davis this year.
UC Davis is one of the top ten public universities in the country, with 110 undergraduate majors. The Greek system is only about 10 percent of the campus, but plays an extremely active part in campus life. The chapter had about 83 girls in 2005, putting it above the all-sorority average at Davis. The chapter was active in the community, on campus and with other Greek organizations.
The archives display this year highlighted the connection between the early years of the chapter and where it stands today. The display included a photo of the Kappa football team from 1975, the year the chapter was founded, along with other memorabilia to remind the members that Epsilon Omicron was started by outstanding women who today’s members can still relate to and connect with decades later.
The chapter’s Co-Philanthropy Chairs were hard at work all year organizing events. In May, the chapter hosted the Kappa Klassic, a golf tournament that raised more than $3,000 for our philanthropies. In addition, the second-annual Kappa Kickball tournament was held in November, and helped promote cancer awareness by participating in the UC Davis Relay for Life, the largest college relay in California. Epsilon Omicron’s hard work was recognized when it received the Philanthropy Award at the Pi Province meeting in April. A sophomore member took the initiative to organize a very successful designer jeans sale at the house in which members of every chapter on campus participated.
The chapter’s Social Chairs planned numerous events including both the traditional quarterly formals and the first Kappa Krush party. The Public Relations Chair organized a Mother-Daughter Bunco tournament and a Father-Daughter Casino Night which were also a lot of fun.
The chapter had a very successful recruitment which focused on values-based recruiting, and held a workshop to help the members recognize the leadership qualities in potential new members. This workshop and mindset during the hectic week of recruitment helped the members make membership decisions based on the values the chapter collectively agreed were most important, such as respect, leadership, diversity and loyalty. Thirty new members pledged Kappa in the fall, the largest pledge class in chapter history.
Kappas continued to shine as leaders in other organizations on campus. In the greater Greek community, Kappa was represented on Panhellenic with a member serving as president, and on the Greek Conduct Board. Kappas were members of the UC Davis swimming, water polo and equestrian teams. Kappas also participated in the student body lobby corps, STAND (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur), internships in a broad variety of fields and numerous other student groups.
In 2007, UC Davis had a student body of about 23,000 undergraduates and was ranked 13th among public universities in the United States by US News and World Report. About 40 percent of undergraduates continued on to post-graduate education according to The Princeton Review. Only about eight percent of the student body was involved in Greek organizations, but Greek men and women had a huge presence on campus in the Student Senate and on athletic teams, among other student groups and in their wide-reaching philanthropy events, from benefit concerts to the Kappa Klassic.
The Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was regarded as one of the best chapters on campus in 2007 with 88 active members.
The archives display this year consisted of a Powerpoint presentation recounting the origin of the 33-year-old Epsilon Omicron Chapter. The presentation featured facts about Epsilon Omicron’s humble beginnings accompanied by pictures of the very first 1975 pledge class and pledge class retreat to Yosemite National Park.
The 2008 calendar year was a remarkable one for the Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Its philanthropic events, including the Kappa Klassic golf tournament and Kappa Kickball tournament, raised more than $8000. The chapter also participated in the UC Davis Relay for Life, a campus-wide 24-hour relay established to spread cancer awareness and raise donations for cancer research.
The year also included its fair share of successful social events including the traditional quarterly formals and the first ‘80s Prom Party. The Public Relations Chair organized a mother-daughter yoga class and a father-daughter outing to a San Francisco Giants game which provided fun ways for parents to spend time with their daughters and meet some other members of Kappa.
The school year also began with an extremely successful recruitment. High morale kept spirits high during a chaotic recruitment week and contributed to the addition of forty-four new members, breaking last year’s largest pledge class record of thirty.
Epsilon Omicron also renewed its inter-Kappa relations with other neighboring Pi Province chapters by participating in leadership training at UC Berkeley where chapters Pi Deuteron, Beta Eta Deuteron and Eta Mu, as well as our own Epsilon Omicron, all attended. Each officer met with respective officers from each chapter and discussed goals, improvements, and responsibilities of their officer position. This opportunity allowed the chapter leaders to meet members from other neighboring chapters and strengthened inter-Kappa relations and unity. It also allowed the members to take away valuable knowledge of how leadership positions are conducted at other chapters and apply new ideas to how the chapter conducts its positions at Davis.
Kappas continued to exemplify a well-rounded and diverse group of women. Kappas were members of UC Davis swimming, water ski, water polo, track and equestrian teams and have a wide participation in internship opportunities and student body interest and lobby groups.
The 2009 calendar year was a busy and highly successful year for the Epsilon Omicron Chapter in Davis, Calif. Its philanthropic efforts included making valentines for the elderly and sending packages to soldiers overseas, along with annual events including the Kappa Klassic golf tournament and particpating in the UC Davis Relay for Life, the largest college relay in California.
The Philanthropy Co-Chairs also organized the first Kappa Karaoke, a contest among other Greek organizations which was a huge success. Women from Epsilon Omicron also supported the philanthropic efforts of others in the Greek community by attending and participating in events such as Arrowjam, a dance performance competition, DG Desserts, Pike Dream Girl, Rock our Casa and more.
Chapter members bonded over many successful social events including both the traditional quarterly formals and fun events such as Biker Bash and more. Epsilon Omicron won Greek Week for the second consecutive year. Parents weekend was also a huge success.
The chapter had a very successful recruitment as thirty-six new members pledged Kappa in the fall. The Education Chair organized an incredible Founders Day in September. Kappas also continued to stand-out in other campus activities. A Kappa served as the assistant recruitment director on Panhellenic. Kappa was also represented on a number of UC Davis athletic teams, student government positions, STAND (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur), internships in a broad variety of fields and numerous other groups.
UC Davis consisted of approximately 24,500 undergraduates in 2009 and was ranked 11th among public universities in the United States by US News and World Report. The university celebrated its centennial during the 2008-2009 academic year.
The Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was regarded as one of the best chapters on campus with 104 members actively involved on campus and in the larger Davis community.
The year 2010 was a notable one for the Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. The members began the year by packing and shipping care packages to soldiers fighting in Iraq. In February, several Kappas baked Valentine’s Day treats and took them to an elderly care home in Davis and spent hours building relationships with the elderly of the community.
Throughout the year, the Epsilon Omicron Chapter worked on building and strengthening relations with other Greek organizations. In March, Kappa created a team to compete in Arrowjam, joining Pi Beta Phi’s Philanthropy event which benefited the Arrowmont School of the Arts in attempting to spread literacy. In April, chapter members also participated in and organized a team for the 24-hour cancer walk, Relay for Life. Kappas stayed up all night and walked laps for the event which benefited the American Cancer Society. Later in the spring, the chapter organized its main philanthropy event, Kappa Classic, a large golf tournament. The tournament was once again very successful, and made well over $5,000 with all of the profits going to the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation and the Taylor Family Foundation, a camp for children with special needs.
The summer was spent preparing for fall 2010 recruitment. Recruitment went very well for our chapter as 37 bids were accepted. The new school year brought with it a great deal of excitement from the successful recruitment, and members started planning the second-annual Kappa Karaoke fall quarter philanthropy event. The event raised more than $3,000 for Reading is Fundamental.
In 2010, one of the most significant changes that took place on campus were the state budget cuts. With the state cutting a lot of funding for schools, UC Davis students along with UC students statewide received a 32-percent tuition increase. The state budget cuts also affected sports at Davis, as four NCAA men’s and women’s teams were cut in the summer.
In 2011, the Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma enjoyed a year of sisterhood and charity. Beginning in February with Valentines for the Elderly, more than fifteen Kappas baked cookies and brought them to a local retirement home on Valentine’s Day. This was incredibly rewarding for the girls involved because they were able to strengthen bonds with the elderly of the Davis community while spreading the love on Valentine’s Day. The spring was an incredible quarter filled with charity as Davis Kappas held two philanthropy events: Kappa Dash and Kappa Klassic. In April, Epsilon Omicron made history by hosting its first Kappa Dash 5K walk/run to benefit the American Cancer Society. Kappa raised more than $1,200 with nearly 100 participants involved.
While participating in its own philanthropies, Epsilon Omicron also strengthened ties within the Greek community by taking part in the 24-hour cancer walk, Relay for Life. In May, the annual Kappa Klassic Golf Tournament and silent auction raised more than $4,300 with 100 participants. Money raised went toward aiding the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation and the Taylor Family Foundation, a camp for children with special needs. Also in the spring, Kappa donated more than 300 books to local Reading is Fundamental programs and to schools rebuilding in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina.
During the summer, Kappas dedicated their time toward preparing for the fall 2011 recruitment week. Kappa took pride in bringing in a new member class of 39 beautiful and loyal girls to join Epsilon Omicron. Of these 39, ten were juniors, twelve were sophomores and seventeen were freshmen.
In October, the chapter resumed its philanthropies by hosting the second-annual Kappa Dash. Our second experience with Kappa Dash produced even better results: 150 participants and more than $2,200 raised for the American Cancer Society and for one of our own sister’s cancer treatments. In general, the UC Davis chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma once again enjoyed a year filled with sisterhood and charity.
There was a well-publicized pepper-spray incident which occurred on the campus on November 18, 2011. As a result of economic issues affecting both UC Davis and the nation as a whole, the Occupy Wall Street movement decided to camp in the middle of the Davis quad as a demonstration against both tuition increases and potential tax increases. In an act intended to protect UC Davis students, Chancellor Linda Katehi ordered that riot police force the protestors off campus. As a result, riot police used pepper spray on the peaceful demonstrators, igniting intense criticism from all over the world. Chancellor Katehi’s decision to allow the riot police to intervene in the situation was criticized harshly, and shortly after the incident, multiple staff members requested her resignation. Not only did this incident bring much attention, both negative and positive, to the campus, but it also managed to intensify school spirit as students fought for their rights. Overall, the year 2011 proved to be a real break-out year for the UC Davis chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Davis Kappas proved their school spirit and intelligence in assessing and examining the pepper-spray incident in November. For example, one Kappa involved in the UC Davis student government provided insightful thoughts on the incident while holding her own on a panel of professors. Another Kappa pursuing a career in journalism conducted an intuitive and thoughtful interview with the chancellor.
Davis Kappas have always had a great reputation on campus; however, this past year was filled with numerous gracious compliments about Kappas’ kindness from other sororities, fraternities and even random people around campus. It is for these reasons that Davis Kappas wear their letters around campus loud and proud! The most significant challenge which the chapter faced during the year was learning that one of its new members had contracted cancer. With this devastating news, the chapter president alerted each Kappa via email about the new member’s condition. In response, Kappas banded together to give the member and her family all that they could ever wish for in her time of need. During weekly meetings, chapter members gathered supplies and other necessities such as magazines, pajamas, blankets and cookies to be sent to the member as she underwent tests and treatments in the hospital. Not only did Kappas dedicate their time to ensuring her happiness, but they also dedicated the fall philanthropy, Kappa Dash, to the ailing member. At the philanthropy event, her family attended and cried tears of joy at the love and support which Kappa provided for their daughter. The chapter firmly believes that fate brought this member to Epsilon Omicron at this time so that she could be cared for during her time of need.
The year 2012 for Epsilon Omicron chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was a wonderful year on many levels. The ladies of the chapter strengthened their bonds of sisterhood through philanthropy events such as the annual 5k Kappa Dash. This event raised almost $2000 for the Taylor Family Foundation. This foundation's goal is to preserve the wellness and enhance the quality of life for children in Northern California living with life-threatening and chronic illnesses, developmental disabilities and youth at-risk through unique therapeutic experiences and support.
Last year, 2011, one of our new member sisters was diagnosed with cancer and unfortunately she could not be as involved with chapter activities. This fall, many of the active women rallied together to insure that we made her status as a Kappa, official. We worked very hard to initiate her, showing our love and support for our sister who was in a time of need. The women of the Epsilon Omicron chapter are proud of the initiation of our new sister.
Not only are our women proud of the initiation of just one new Kappa, but welcomed a beautiful new member class of 49 girls, the most this chapter has ever received. These amazing new women are such an asset to the chapter and are well-rounded individuals who represent all that Kappa Kappa Gamma exemplifies.
Our ladies continued to strengthen their sisterhood bonds through teamwork and dedication during Greek Week. For the 5th straight year in a row, the ladies of the Epsilon Omicron chapter won Greek week, and are hoping to continue the streak! The women of the chapter have been very involved in powder-puff football and other Intramural Sports on campus. Our chapter is extremely proud of recently winning “The Most Spirited Chapter Award” at Greek Awards Night here at UC Davis.
Another great achievement to be proud of is the Standards Award of Excellence which was presented to Epsilon Omicron chapter this year at convention. We were presented the award in recognition of our commitment to the improvement of Standards in our chapter, our commitment to sisterhood, and our commitment to the unity and success of chapter as a whole. It is a great honor to receive recognition out of all the kappa chapters nationally and we are very grateful to have been given this award! We also received honorable mention at convention for our Academics as well as donations to the kappa foundation.
We are so very proud of all that our chapter has accomplished and the wonderful path we are on! Our ladies’ excellence in academics truly shined as well. The intelligent women of the Epsilon Omicron chapter maintained the highest GPA of the Panhellenic system at UCD throughout the entire year.
We had two women with the highest cumulative GPA in their individual colleges at Davis, Brianna Frisch and Hailey Hinkle while Kellie McFarland won a Panhellenic scholarship. Lastly, senior Amy Martin was inducted into the order of the Omega along with winning Greek Woman of the year. We are so very proud of each of our sisters' accomplishments.
Around campus at Davis, Greek life is growing. The growing interest in the Greek system at Davis, creates the need for larger new member classes and expanded campus involvement. Despite tuition increases for the whole University of California system, the number of students attending Davis and becoming Greek affiliates is larger than ever. Davis hosted former President Bill Clinton as a speaker, just before the November presidential elections. This rallied many students together on campus to listen and become informed on numerous current issues.
The Epsilon Omicron chapter in 2012 grew significantly. The women are becoming more and more involved in the philanthropy events of other sororities on campus as well. As a whole, the chapter is becoming closer as a sisterhood. Our chapter has been involved in many sisterhood events to create memories and bonds to last a lifetime.
The women of the chapter have been very involved in Kappa this year and are proud to wear the Kappa letters! The chapter has great relationships within the Greek system, and has a great reputation on campus. The chapter is very excited about their new member class, and continues to nurture and guide their wonderful new sisters, while showing them all the fantastic benefits of being a Kappa.
2013 was an excellent year for the Epsilon Omicron chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at UC Davis. We expanded the strength of our sisterhood by putting on many successful philanthropy and sisterhood events as well as welcoming a brand new pledge class! We began the 2013 year with our annual fall philanthropy, Kappa Dash, a 5k run/walk to benefit the Taylor Family Foundation. The Taylor Family Foundation is a foundation run in Northern California whose goal is to improve the quality of life for children living with life-threatening diseases and chronic illnesses. This run through the UC Davis campus had a very positive outcome and we were able to donate $2,091 to the Taylor Family Foundation. One of the co founders of the Taylor Family Foundation, Barry Taylor, recently passed away and the Epsilon Omicron chapter is proud to continue to support his wonderful legacy by donating our proceeds of Kappa Dash to the Taylor Family Foundation.
In addition to Kappa Dash, Epsilon Omicron also introduced two new philanthropies for winter and spring, Kappaccino and Kappa Klassic! During winter quarter 2013, our Kappas sold coffee out of our house to all who stopped by. It was extremely successful and all the proceeds went to Reading is Fundamental. Kappaccino raised $690, and we had over 300 people attend, which was a great turnout for our very first time running it. In the spring of 2013, our lovely sisters also hosted Kappa Klassic, a golf tournament to raise money for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. Epsilon Omicron is proud of how dedicated and caring all our sisters are to each of our wonderful philanthropies.
As well as welcoming a brand new pledge class of 43 beautiful new Kappas, we had an amazing surge in sisterhood over the past year. Our sisterhood chair of 2013 did a fantastic job planning wonderful events for Epsilon Omicron ladies to bond over. Some of our adventures included: Trips into Walnut Creek for private shopping at Brandy Melville, expeditions into downtown Davis to explore our famous farmer’s market, volunteering at the student farm on campus, supporting our Aggie sports teams, movie nights at the house, and sisterhood potlucks. Sisterhood throughout our chapter was strong before, but we are always looking for new ways to come together, and these events were a fun way to do so! The women of Epsilon Omicron also pride ourselves on our participation in Greek Week, an inter-Greek competition series. Through our teamwork as sisters, we managed to earn our 6th consecutive Greek Week win! Our chapter is also very involved with intramural sports on campus including powder-puff football.
At UC Davis, Greek life continues to grow and expand over the years. Each of our amazing sororities and fraternities welcomed strong new member classes and inter-Greek relations have been very good. By participating in many other philanthropy events and supporting other chapters on campus Kappa Kappa Gamma has tried to maintain a strong influence on campus. At this year’s Greek Awards night, Kappa won “Most Spirited Chapter” on campus. Our sister Chloe Hull also won the Jill Peckler award, an award for embodying all that it means to be a wonderful involved sister both on campus and in chapter. As well as being our Academic Excellence Chair, Chloe is on the women’s lacrosse team and has the highest GPA in our chapter. Krystal DePorto, one of our fabulous new members, also won an award for having the highest cumulative GPA for the college of Biological Sciences.
UC Davis Panhellenic has also voted to investigate how much work it would take to start a brand new chapter here! The addition of a brand new sorority or fraternity would be a great asset to our campus and we can’t wait to see how that turns out!
As a whole, Epsilon Omicron has shown that it will continue to grow and expand under our Kappa ideals and traditions. The women of our chapter have shown to be beautiful, brilliant, caring and respectful young women, always wearing our letters proudly. We are so excited about our new member class and we cannot wait too see what 2014 will bring to us.