Epsilon Pi Chapter was founded at University of California, Riverside in Riverside, California on February 7, 1976.
1,127 initiates (as of June 2018)
Love and guidance by many caring Kappas allowed Epsilon Pi chapter to enjoy a great beginning. The culmination of this love and concern was exemplified in the beautiful Installation held the first weekend in February 1976 when 13 new members of Epsilon Pi Colony were initiated as charter members of Epsilon Pi Chapter at the University of California at Riverside.
Installing officer Marian Schroeder Graham, Beta Phi—Montana, Fraternity President, was assisted by many others including Phyllis Brinton Pryor, Beta Mu—Colorado, National Panhellenic Conference Delegate and colonizing officer; Patti Ball Hillyard, Delta Chi—San Jose State, installation chairman and President of the Riverside Alumnae Club; Lyn Conway Madding, Delta Gamma—Michigan State, Kappa Province Director of Alumnae; Kay Reid Tennison, Epsilon Delta—Arizona State, Kappa Province Director of Chapters; and Janeen Gould, Beta Beta Deuteron—St. Lawrence, Epsilon Pi Graduate Counselor. Also, several advisers and Graduate Counselors to California chapters and alumnae from all over southern California gathered to participate in and to honor the Installation of Kappa’s 95th chapter.
The setting for the ceremonies was the chapter house of Epsilon Pi’s sister chapter, Delta Tau—Southern California. It was agreed by all and well stated by Phyllis Pryor that “no more perfect arrangements could have been made for an unhoused chapter to be assimilated into a totally Kappa setting where a true feeling of belonging could be imparted. The cooperation and hospitality of those members of Delta Tau who made this possible will be long remembered as a very vital aspect of the happy Initiation of Epsilon Pi.” She also noted that “the beautiful, warm, very adequate facilities of the Delta Tau house accommodated the influx of extra people and activities gracefully and with no evidence of inconvenience or interruption.”
Fern Crane, Delta Tau Housemother; Katie Finnegan, Delta Tau President; Kris Kline, chapter coordinator, and chapter members were thanked for their superb planning and for making the guests and participants feel welcomed and prepared.
It was here that the scene for the entire weekend, including a lovely Friday night Fireside Service and dinner. Delta Tau members added to the beauty by sharing some of their traditional pre-initiation thoughts and songs.
Many gifts to the new chapter were recognized at the luncheon banquet, which was held at the University Hilton Hotel following Saturday’s Installation. Two special gifts were award badges for outstanding new members, one given to the new member class president, Debbie Dietrich, and one to Robin Rose, Recruitment Chairman, for scholarship.
Greetings to the new chapter increased even more when more than 150 guests came in heavy rain to a reception Sunday afternoon in Riverside at the home of a recent Delta Tau active. UC Riverside administrators and Panhellenic representatives and members of other Greek-letter groups on campus along with friends and family members of the new chapter members honored Epsilon Pi with their attendance.
Prior to Installation, the Epsilon Pi new members were busy with campus activities including selling cotton candy during Homecoming, a pizza party with alumnae, a new member retreat and joining the other fraternities and sororities in the Greek cheering section for football games and for Christmas caroling before the winter break. Epsilon Pi members also created a wooden plaque with pictures of the charter members, and they worked together on a hooked rug with an owl design for Delta Tau Chapter. The previous information was excerpted from (unknown source-most likely The Key.)
The information that follows has been gleaned from available resources including Chapter History Reports, chapter meeting minutes, letters and comments from chapter members and alumnae, the Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Archives, and The Key. Each chapter is expected to update its history record annually. Contact Fraternity Headquarters at [email protected] with questions.
From chapter’s History Report: 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.:
The chapter’s first formal, called “Sea and Sky”, was held in a multipurpose room in one of the apartment complexes near campus since the budget for the event was only $75; $25 was spent on decorations and $50 was spent on a band. One sister, who was dating a Sigma Alpha Epsilon from UCLA, had him fix up some of the Kappas with blind dates with his brothers. Charter President Kim Braun Padulo recalled the surprised reaction of the boys when they entered the room as it was not the kind of reception they were used to.
Epsilon Pi faced its challenges head on and ultimately succeeded. In the fall of 1976, they welcomed a second pledge class that nearly doubled the size of the chapter. Following soon after, in spring quarter the women had to write their chapter Bylaws. After getting the foundations of the chapter set, the women focused on their sisterhood. To improve this Epsilon Pi chapter participated in a potluck with the Northern Orange County Alumnae Association. The theme was to bring with you your favorite Kappa memory to share. After doing so, the women realized that while they were close, a house would bring them much closer to each other. They hoped that one day they would reach this goal for Epsilon Pi to have a chapter house.
October of 1977, thirteen more lovely ladies were pledged after an informal Yell-in, and on Inspiration week, in October 24-29; the women were initiated. With rush again in the spring the chapter was able to grow from 13 actives to 30 by 1978.
1979 was kicked off with Formal Fall Rush. The first night the girls attended open house and had sandwiches while getting to know each other. The second night was theme night, in which the chapter put on their annual performance of “Kapparet”. On the second to last night the chapter had project night in which the women used felt letters and animals to spell their names, these where then to be used for philanthropy. The final night, was preference night. Here the women all dressed up formally, and had dessert together while sharing stories in a circle. Epsilon Pi once again initiated more women, making the chapter grow a little bigger every year. With the goal to become one of the largest chapters, Epsilon Pi continued learning ways of improving and growing closer in sisterhood. To do so, their goal was set to focus on social graciousness, organization, and sisterhood (SOS). Memorable events from the 70s include hanging out at the pool at Bannockburn, yearly pledge class songs, and exchanges with other groups on campus.
From chapter’s History Report: 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.:
Small "get to know each other" parties were held at the Bannockburn pool, so that all the women could get to know each other better and create stronger sisterhoods. They also held exchanges. Epsilon Pi had an annual "walkout" in which the pledges would plan to "kidnap" actives and have them do funny antics like sing Kappa songs and Kappa Dances at different stops on campus like the library, residence halls, and classrooms. Every stop would earn them a clue that would lead them to the location that the pledges had chosen to host them for dinner. They experienced the debut of MTV and this spurred lip-synching contests in the dorms, which were a blast!
After just a few years of being established Epsilon Pi was honored to participate in founding of new chapters of Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of California, Irvine and University of California, San Diego.
Epsilon Pi held many different Philanthropy events such as making rabbit-like Easter baskets to give to the Sunshine School in Riverside, dressing up around Halloween in costumes and visiting the Riverside Community Hospital patients with candy. One popular tradition was a "Grandparent Adoption" from convalescent homes where the chapter women would visit their adoptee twice a month and bring them carnations and homemade spice ropes.
From chapter’s History Report: 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.:
In the early 1990’s, the chapter was focused on scholarship, improving rush, and philanthropy. The chapter tied for the 2nd highest GPA on campus in 1991 and placed 35 members on the Dean’s List. And in 1993-94, the chapter received the Dean’s Scholarship Trophy for the highest percentage of members on the Dean’s List. The chapter maintained a high level of academic excellence throughout the decade, due in part to weekly mandatory study hours for actives and pledges.
To prepare for rush, the chapter started early the prior school year with a 10 day work week. Rush quota gradually decreased on the UCR campus in the early 90’s. Quota was 32 in 1991, 24 in 1993, to 16 in 1994, and 13 in 1995. However, quota was back up in the 20’s by 2000. These smaller pledge classes, however, allowed the chapter to be fully involve the new members in all aspects of chapter life.
Early in the decade, the chapter accepted the Challenge to Excellence issued to all chapters by the Fraternity. Work on the Challenge to Excellence continued during the rest of the 1990’s. It strengthened the chapter and brought the members closer together.
In 1991, nine of the 13 founders of Epsilon Pi were present for the Founders Day brunch. In 1995, the chapter celebrated Kappa Kappa Gamma’s 125th birthday with Zeta Eta at UC Irvine. On the social front, the chapter continued with its annual Sea and Sky formal, Monmouth Duo with Pi Beta Phil, and Kappa Krush dances. Epsilon Pi also participated in many sporting competitions on campus, such as the annual inter-sorority volleyball tournament, Sports week, the Greek Games and the annual Run to the C. The chapter also hosted a Parent’s Day each year.
The chapter focus shifted to sisterhood, public relations and participation in the mid-1990’s. Housing:
In 1991 the chapter lounge was redecorated. The last update was 16 years prior! Also in this year, the university offered sororities a hall in one of the dorms to have as their own. The chapter felt this would be a good way to improve chapter bonds, and would show the university that they were serious about having a house in the future.
Epsilon Pi won the Philanthropy Award at the 1991 Kappa Province Meeting. The chapter participated in the Cystic Fibrosis Walkathon and helped clean up downtown Riverside. They also continued their tradition of visiting the Sunshine House and their association with the Riverside section of the California School of Deaf. In the mid-1990’s, Epsilon Pi began a new philanthropy called Night Run.
Chapter Convention Awards:
1992 Efficiency Honorable Mention 1994 Standards Honorable Mention 1994 Scholarship Honorable Mention 1996 Scholarship Award Honorable Mention
The chapter actively participated in campus events such as BEAR Facts Orientation, Block Party, Homecoming and Spring Splash as well as Panhellenic sponsored events such as Sports Week, Greek Unity Week with Greek Pyramid, and Presents. Founders Day was often celebrated with Zeta Eta, UC Irvine and the Orange County Alumnae Association. A yearly Scholarship Dinner was held to honor the sisters with the highest GPA, most improved GPA, and all sisters with a 4.0 in a quarter. Yearly chapter events included a fall Date Party, a winter Scholarship Banquet, and a Parent’s Day in the spring.
Epsilon Pi was the first Greek organization to be invited to participate in UCR’s Greek Housing Pilot Program. The chapter was able to rent five units in an apartment complex near campus and 10 members lived there during the 2009-2010 school year. However, due to a lack of contracts and security, the program was discontinued.
Members of Epsilon Pi volunteered yearly for a local breast cancer fundraiser put on by the Inland Agency, called “Shop to Stop Breast Cancer.” Each year, chapter members volunteered to read to students at Madison Elementary School on Dr. Suess day. In Spring 2009, the members of Epsilon Pi hosted sixth grade students for “A Day In The Life” at UCR. The Kappas gave them tours of the campus and the sixth graders got to meet the Men’s Basketball Team and the UCR Cheerleaders and Dance Team. The finale of the day was lunch on the commons lawn where the sixth graders read their favorite books to the Kappas.
Chapter Convention Awards:
2008 Rose McGill Award
2011 was a busy and great year for Epsilon Pi Chapter. Winter quarter started out with the nomination process, leading to the election of a strong, new Chapter Council. That quarter we participated in two philanthropic events at Madison Elementary School, Where the Wild Things Read and Dr. Seuss Day. Both events involved reading to the students and encouraging literacy. Greek Unity Week also took place during the winter. Our members were paired with the men of Pi Kappa Alpha to compete in various activities throughout the week meant to strengthen Greek unity on campus. As our winter quarter event, the chapter had a “Finally Famous” themed semi-formal, in which couples dressed as famous couples throughout history.
The chapter also enjoyed a scholarship dinner at Ciao Bella restaurant and a go-cart racing sisterhood event held at K1 Speedway. For the spring quarter, Epsilon Pi Chapter continued its emphasis on philanthropy. We volunteered at the Inland Agency’s Shop to Stop Breast Cancer event. Also, our sister Brittany Altamirano competed in and won the 2011 Delta Queen Pageant hosted by the men of Delta Tau Delta, raising around $7000 for City of Hope cancer research. During this quarter, the campus’ Fraternity and Sorority Involvement Center hosted a Pillar’s Reception where Epsilon Pi was proud to receive the Friendship Pillar Award. The Chapter hosted Parent’s Day at the Benedict Castle and a formal at the Pomona Valley Mining Co.
Another major accomplishment for the chapter during spring was our Sports Week participation. Members assembled teams for volleyball and football, and did excellent in both sports, taking home the overall win for Sports Week. In April, a few members of our chapter went to Kappa Province in Tucson, AZ, where we were awarded the Rose McGill Magazine Award. As fall quarter began, the members of Epsilon Pi were eager for recruitment, to gain more assets to our chapter. After going through formal recruitment, the chapter welcomed 31 New Members on Bid Day. The New Members were taken to a taco dinner afterwards to celebrate and get to know the chapter. This year, the chapter invited local alumnae and the women of the Zeta Eta Chapter at UC Irvine to our Founder’s Day brunch at the Riverside Art Museum. Many of our members also participated in the Pink on Parade breast cancer walk, as well as the 5K run held by the men of Sigma Phi Epsilon to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Our chapter enjoyed a movie night sisterhood as we went to go see the film 50/50, as well as a Thanksgiving potluck themed meeting to end the quarter.
Campus: This year, the Panhellenic Board on campus tried to really encourage unity among the Greek community, but the panhellenic organizations in particular. Kappa encouraged this as well, as we participated in Panhellenic’s Cookies and Crafts event. All 6 of the panhellenic organizations came together to get to know each other better, as well as learn more about one another’s philanthropies. We also participated in the kickball tournament thrown by the women of Gamma Phi Beta, to further demonstrate our support of panhellenic. The campus hosted many annual events like Spring Splash, Bear Facts Orientation, and Block Party, all of which Epsilon Pi participated in.
Chapter: If one word were chosen to describe the overall nature of our chapter in 2011 it would be growth. We suffered some minor setbacks, but with positive mindsets and a strong chapter council, we pushed through and began making necessary changes for our chapter to head in the right direction. Epsilon Pi has taken pride in both its diversity and large chapter size and has used both of those factors to strengthen the chapter as a whole.
One main challenge for the chapter was attendance. With such a large chapter size, we expected high numbers of attendance, but were not seeing that. Chapter Council began a point system for attendance. A minimum requirement of points was made necessary for fun/positive things later on, such as getting a little sister in the fall. In addition, our VP Standards took attendance into account as she looked over members who needed standards appointments. She stressed the importance of going to mandatory events in these meetings and the consequences of not doing so. The attendance problem was not completely erased, but the chapter hopes to see improvements, continuously reminding members of the attendance policy in our chapter’s bylaws and standing rules.
Each year Epsilon Pi chapter continues to reach and exceed previous years' achievements. 2011 was an amazing and notable year for Epsilon Pi chapter. In January, we began with inspiration week filled with a variety of big and little and sisterhood bonding events. Soon after, the Alpha Omega pledge class was initiated. It was a beautiful and special ceremony that we were able to share with the newest members of our wonderful chapter. The following week we had an amazing Semi Formal which was hosted at the Caspian in Irvine, where we enjoyed an Arabian night filled with kabobs and belly dancers. Soon after we had elections and welcomed the newly elected chapter council. During that time period we were graced with the Leadership Officer and received an abundance of tips and advice on how to make our chapter even stronger than what it was then.
Following elections and the LC visit, we had Greek Unity week on campus which brings the Greek and cultural sorority and fraternities together. This year we were paired with the men of Phi Kappa Psi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. During this week we are separated into teams and participate in a variety of team and at the end of the week perform a team dance that is appreciated by the whole Greek community.
As we continued into winter quarter we held two amazing philanthropies at Madison Elementary School; Kappa Kamp and Dr. Seuss Day. Both event encouraged the students to read and enjoy books. We also had a delicious scholarship dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory where we acknowledged our hard working sisters that make the Dean's List, have the most study hours, and the highest overall GPA.
Towards the end of winter quarter we held our Leadership Day, which aimed at better training our newly elected chapter council to ensure that they would be confident in achieving everything their position asked them to, as well as doing their little perfectly.
In the spring quarter, our sisterhood took a great start with having a fun and exciting event at Dave and Buster. This quarter we also supported the men of Delta Tau Delta's annual Delta Queen Pageant. Our sister, Lauren Montes, won the Delta Queen Pageant raising $6,000 for the City of Hope cancer research. We continued to support our chapter and partook in the annual Sports Week, where each sorority competes against each other in track and field, volleyball, and football.
Our sisters did an amazing job playing and dedicating their time to practices. This quarter we also had our annual formal, "A Night In Spain", which was held at the Green River Gold Club in Corona. It was an amazing event where we danced the night away and appreciated the seniors, as it was their last formal with the chapter. As the quarter continued, we hosted "A Day In The Life" where we hosted students from Madison Elementary School and showed them the campus. We introduced them to the soccer team and cheer leaders and gave them a tour of the campus. We wanted to encourage the sixth graders to continue on to college to get a higher education and to show them that anyone can achieve that with hard work and dedication. We ended this quarter with a fun filled water themed sisterhood at our president, Brittany Altamirano's house. There was a water maze, water guns, and of course water balloons. The sisterhood definitely helped relieve some stress that we had pertaining to the upcoming finals. Later that weekend we also had our annual Parent's Day at the Canyon Crest Country Club, where we had a nice lunch with all our sisters and their parents. We also appreciated our sisters who stood out exceptionally in being a good sister and kappa and sisters that stood our academically as well.
After returning from summer vacation, Epsilon Pi was eager for recruitment and to gain new assets to our ever growing sisterhood. Following formal recruitment we were more than happy to welcome the 30 Beta Alpha new member class. After bid day on campus we took them to one of our sister's house to have dinner and meet the chapter; there were also an abundance of ice breaking games. This year, the Orange County Alumni Association hosted Founder's Day at the Tustin Senior Center. After thoroughly educating the Beta Alpha new member class with Kappa history and creating a new love for Kappa we had Inspiration Week and Initiation. It was again a beautiful ceremony where each sister was able to appreciate and remember why we joined one of the strongest sisterhoods. We concluded this quarter with our Kappa Thanksgiving, which brought our chapter together once again.
This year, the Panhellenic Board on campus was continuing to encourage unity among the Greek community. The board hosted many events where each sorority could come and support panhellenic. Such events were "blankets for babies", "cookies and crafts", and staff appreciation. Kappa supports the board and tries to get more involved by participating. Kappa also participates in Block Party, Spring Spash, and Bear Facts orientation.
Epsilon Pi had a truly remarkable year in 2013 with all that we accomplished and participated in. As our winter quarter began, we had the opportunity to help recruit members for the new chapter that was established at Chapman University with our sisters from USC. The recruitment was so successful that we had the amazing honor to be apart of their initiation ceremony and be their big sis chapter. Towards the end of the quarter we were partnered up with the men of Phi Gamma Delta and the women of Omega Zeta Chi to participate in a week of Greek Unity. The main event was a dance competition in which we were elated and humbled to have won first place.
As the quarter continued we participated in our annual philanthropy of “Reading is Key” in which we traveled to Madison Elementary school and spent the day reading and doing crafts with the children. We also had a delicious Scholarship dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory in which we gave awards to the sisters who had accomplishments such as the most study hours, highest GPA, and being on the dean’s list. The last major event of winter quarter was our semi-formal in which we went to a lovely Italian restaurant and had a great time dancing the night away with our sisters and dates.
Spring quarter began with 6 sisters attending Kappa Province. In addition to learning valuable skills and information for our chapter, Epsilon Pi was honored to have received 2 awards: the New Member Program Award and the Norma Dow Patton Gracious Living Award. Soon after, we had a visit from the LC, which gave the new officers a chance to get ideas and information about her new positions in personal meetings that were set-up. We also had our formal at a beautiful venue at the Glen Ivy Spa and golf course in which we had a great night taking pictures in a photo booth, eating delicious food, and giving out senior recognition awards.
This quarter was also very philanthropic. Not only did we host our annual “Day in the Life” event for Madison elementary school children to come and see what it is like to be a college student, but we also partnered up with the women of Pi Beta Phi to create our very own join philanthropy on campus called “Words with Friends”. It was a spelling bee and speed read event in which all the organizations could compete with each other and donate either money or books to our philanthropy. This quarter, as well as supporting many other philanthropies throughout the year, we also supported the men of Delta Tau Delta's annual Delta Queen Pageant. Our sister, Hailey Grisel, received second place and remarkably raised $6,000 for the City of Hope cancer research.
We continued to support our chapter and partook in the annual Sports Week, where each sorority competes against each other in track and field, volleyball, and football. Our sisters did an amazing job playing and dedicating their time to practices because we ended up winning the entire event. Later that month we had parent’s day which was so special in being able to show our families a little bit of what Kappa is like. We were able to honor the sisters who truly embody what Kappa is and also got to see what our chapter used to be like through the heritage display.
There is also an annual awards ceremony for the Greek community on our campus in which we were honored to have received the University of California, Riverside Marguleas Sororotiy/Fraternity Service Award in recognition of our leadership and philanthropic efforts in our community. To finish off the quarter and the academic year we had a sisterhood in which we were able to go go kart racing. We had such a fun time competing with each other for the fastest time and just be able to spend time bonding together. Fall quarter was a very hectic quarter for Epsilon Pi. We had another LC visit during recruitment which helped us make sure we were going about things as best as we could. Although we did not expect for the large increase in the size of our new pledge class, we were so grateful to welcome 45 new amazing women into our organization. Soon after, we celebrated founder’s day with our lovely Chapman sisters which was special because we got to see them experience it for the very first time as a chapter. It was so touching to see alumni from decades ago being recognized and pinned and being able to do our ritual together.
Our chapter also hosted an amazing event called “Finding Kind” in which we had the screening of the documentary to fight against female teen bulling. We then all took individual pledges to better ourselves and the way that we treat others. We were so pleased to see how many women from different organizations on campus came to support this cause. Towards the end of the quarter, we had a super hero themed date party in which we got to go to Sky Town and jump around and play various games involving foam pits and trampolines. Inspiration week and Initiation of our new Beta Beta pledge class was a very special week for all of us. We were so happy to officially welcome them into our chapter and share our ritual with them during such a beautiful and special ceremony. We also had fun during that week roller-skating and playing laser tag together during our big/little night. To finish off the quarter, we had a sisterhood the week before finals at the movie theater in which we were able to take a couple hours away from studying to relax and laugh with our sisters while watching Grown Ups 2. It had been events like this that keep us close and strong as a chapter.
This past year brought changes that mainly affected our recruitment. Since our school decided to admit more students, there were more women that went through recruitment that the sororities were not prepared for. Although we thought it would be overwhelming and near impossible to have such a large pledge class, we pulled through together and were blessed to have received 45 new members instead of our anticipated 30.
This past year has been one of glee, many accomplishments, and ongoing improvement for Epsilon Pi Chapter. We commenced the year after a refreshing winter break with the privilege of participating in a leadership conference, Lead Today. Lead Today took place on January 22 on our campus with our entire chapter and alumnae. Coordinators were trained to help us grow and prosper as a chapter with novel leadership skills and progression in areas needing improvement. We participated in various hands on activities, games and discussions concerning the vitality of management, organization, and the overall aspect of a chapter working and developing in unison. Epsilon Pi Chapter was so thankful and gained an immense appreciation and understanding for leadership and how to use it, not only in Kappa, but in our everyday lives. This conference could not have come at a better time, due to the fact that elections were right around the corner.
Our Kappa sisters did a wonderful job selecting our new Chapter Council and we knew Epsilon Pi Chapter was in good hands. Shortly after, we had our annual scholarship dinner to honor all of our hard working members who did exceptional in their academics. This year, we dressed in key attire and ventured out to The Old Spaghetti Factory located in Downtown Riverside. We loaded up on carbs and applauded our accomplished sisters when they received awards for most study hours, improved G.P.A., highest G.P.A., and many more. This night allowed our sisters to feel honored and made others strive to improve.
After a few weeks of being back in school, it was time for Semi-Formal. Semi was held at Aroma Grill in Upland, CA. We all got dolled up in cute cocktail dresses and invited dates to escort us. Kappas danced the night away on the dance floor, took a plethora of photos in the photo booth and in front of the backdrop with a professional photographer, and ate a delicious variety of food. To end the month of February, our sisters headed to K1 Speed Zone for a fun packed sisterhood. Our sisters headed to the race tracks and raced in full geared helmets and mask and hopped in go-carts for some competitive fun.
A few weeks later, we had our first social of the quarter with the men of Phi Kappa Psi. Together, we had so much fun playing laser tag dressed up as Disney characters. Originally, we were supposed to go roller blading, however, the outdoor rink got rained out. Yet, Kappas always know how to make the best of things and we ended the night having a jovial time. To end our quarter, Epsilon Pi Chapter hosted our Reading is Key Philanthropy at our adopted school, Madison Elementary. This year's theme was "Under the Sea" and the book we gave every student who attended was "The Magic School Bus Live on the Ocean Floor". We loved seeing the students' faces light up as they read to us, crafted with us, and enjoyed some delicious snacks. The whole cafeteria was neatly decorated with fish, kelp, and other underwater creatures to create a fun, aquatic atmosphere. We donated books to their library and hoped to encourage them and show them how important, and intriguing, reading can be. This experience was so rewarding due to the fact that many of these students are from underprivileged households and the books we give them are usually their first books.
At the start of Spring Quarter, we attended an annual philanthropy conducted by the fraternity Delta Tau Delta. They hosted a pageant that every sorority participated in by nominating one representative to compete in the event. This event raised money for The City of Hope through fundraisers and donations. This year, we selected Justine Sterling, who perfectly embodies Kappa as a whole. Justine worked extremely hard raising funds via bake sales on campus (Kappa Kappacino), and Karaoke singing night (Kappa Karaoke), as well as various dining and recreational events. Justine rasied over $4,000 for The City of Hope and took home the crown as Miss Delta Queen 2014. Her hard work and dedication paid off making all of us proud. Not to mention, we loved watching her in the pageant, especially her talent portion of rapping. In the month of April, we hosted our joint philanthropy event, Words With Friends, with the ladies of Pi Beta Phi. Since we both share a philanthropy centered on literacy, our competitions were focused on spelling and reading. We had representatives from each sorority and fraternity competing in speed reads and spelling bees while their organizations cheered them on from the stands. For this event, admission was bringing in a new book that we could donate or a fee of $5. In the end, we raised over $2,000 and over a hundred books. We donated the books we received and part of the proceeds to Madison Elementary and the rest of the proceeds to RIF.
Every year, UCR hosts a sports week where each sorority comes up with teams to play dodge ball, volleyball, and football with different fraternities coaching and arranging practices. This whole week is filled with friendly competition and unity between our sorority and the whole Greek community. This year, we worked hard at many practices and came up in second place. Who knew we were so athletic? After sports week, we decided to have a social with the men of Phi Gamma Delta, who were our coaches for sports week. Bowling for strikes and spares was the event of the night while dressed in our Hawaiian skirts, shirts, and leis.
Another event UCR hosts every year is Pillars Week. Pillars Week is a whole week dedicated to different traits necessary for a successful organization. All Greek organizations were placed in teams that competed in competitions focused on a different trait each day starting with leadership, friendship, service, and scholarship. This whole week is dedicated to uniting the community of Greeks at our school. With Epsilon Pi Chapter being so dedicated to these traits and Greek unity, we worked so hard and ended up placing first along with our team.
During this same week we had one of our favorite philanthropies, A Day In The Life. For this event, we bring sixth grade students from Madison Elementary to UCR to visit, take a tour, have lunch, and play fun activities with us all in the hopes of inspiring these students to go to college and strive for higher education. This year we divided into different tour guiding groups and played interactive games such as red rover. It was a perfect day to have the students on campus because they were all able to see a busy campus full of students due to the fact that it was Pillars Week. These students had such a great time that even some boys flashed the Kappa sign in pictures as the proclaimed "I can't wait to go here!"
With school coming to an end in a few months, it was the perfect time for our Beta Beta New Member retreat. Our New Member chair planned a daring evening of rock climbing at a local rock climbing gym, Hangar 18. Girls harnessed in and chalked their hands as they used their upper body strength and raced to the top of the rock walls. It was a perfect night for Beta Beta to be reconnected and have a little fun work out. For one of the last meetings of the year, our whole chapter went to Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor to feast on all different flavors of ice cream, while discussing business, of course. This event is one of our most delicious sisterhood events since we get to eat all the ice cream we want, be sung to by Farrell's employees, and get to be with our sisters.
For the last event of the year, Epsilon Pi Chapter boarded buses with our dates for a special night at Green Rivers Country Club. This year's Formal was eventful and filled with memories. Girls piled into the photo booth to take adorable pictures while some danced the night away and others ate their gourmet meal. During the celebrations, seniors were recognized, given crowns, and watched a video slide show of pictures that brought back many memories and even happy tears to many eyes. Formal was the perfect way to end the 2013-2014 school year.
Although college may have been over for some, many girls who had just decided to come to UCR were making their way on campus for summer orientation in the months of July and August. During every orientation, Epsilon Pi Chapter hosted a table where we answered questions about our organizations, sorority life, UCR and college in general. We hoped to get incoming freshmen and transfer students excited for college and hopefully interested in becoming a Kappa. Not only that, but almost as a summer reunion, all of our girls got together to film our, almost famous, recruitment video. We went to the beach, our campus, and the park to film a short video embodying Kappa and our strong sisterhood. It turned out to be a hit on our campus and with other chapters from other campuses as well.
After a nice, long break of heading to the beach, relaxing, and a lot of studying abroad, Kappa sisters united for a week of practices for upcoming recruitment. Our sisters sang their hearts out and danced their best as we learned songs and polished ourselves so we could be the best Kappas we could be for recruitment. During the week our bonds of sisterhood grew exponentially stronger and our love for Kappa radiated in preparation of finding our newest members. On the weekend of October 3, we spent 3 days socializing and spreading our love and excitement to every potential new member who entered our room. We fell in love with so many girls and worked so hard that this turned out to be one of our most successful recruitments ever, bringing in our biggest New Member class of 53 girls.
The Monday following recruitment, Bid Day, we welcomed all of our bright and spectacular New Members with "Key to Paradise" tank tops and a BBQ fit for beach queens. Our chapter transitioned so quickly to this shocking number of new ladies, and chapter council immediately understood that with a larger chapter, we would all have to grow together, and that is exactly what we did. New Members went to meetings every week to get acquainted with Kappa policies and jumped right into Kappa activities with our first sisterhood of the 2014-2015 school year. Our VPS planned a morning yoga session in a peaceful park for all of our members. It was relaxing and just what everyone needed as a de-stressor. Our New Members were also able to attend our Date Party at a roller skating rink sponsored by the Anaheim Ducks hockey team. Every member received a glitter Kappa snap back and Beyonce themed tank tops, while their dates received a Jay-Z themed crew neck. Everyone was so exited for their new Kappa clothes. Soon after, our New Members received their Big Sisters in such a cute and creative reveal. New Members were given a key to a specific car in the school's parking lot and had to find the right car to which the key belonged. Inside the car trunk, driver seat, or back seat was their Big. The excitement of the whole chapter was present as girls embraced in hugs and even tears of excitement and joy. That same night, New Members were ushered to their New Member sleepover where they bonded over games, learned about our Founders, and laughed over stories.
A couple weeks later, Bigs drove their Littles to our fall social with the men of Sigma Psi Epsilon. Since it was the Halloween season, girls paired up with a Sig-Ep and carved pumpkins. This was one of our most attended and loved socials. As initiation approached, our Marshal hosted Big and Little Night at a local ice skating rink. Bigs and Littles dressed in matching outfits and skated together, fell together, and drew closer as sisters. Our last and most important event of the year was the initiation of our New Members of the Beta Gamma class. It was a beautiful ceremony welcoming our deserving members into Kappa Kappa Gamma. They discovered the true meaning of all our beliefs and values and finally understood what makes Kappa so strong. It was the perfect way to end such a successful year for Epsilon Pi Chapter.
One of the biggest changes to our campus occurred just this Fall quarter. In the past year, recruitment has grown as more and more girls become interested in sorority life at UCR. One of the biggest changes to our chapter was the welcoming of the biggest new member class we have ever welcomed. Our chapter almost doubled, but our chapter handled the change smoothly without a falter.
Also due to the immense interest in panhellenic, the whole panhellenic community got together to listen to presentations from three possible new sororities hoping to colonize on the UCR campus. In the end, our chapter was more than happy to hear about a new sorority expanding our panhellenic community. Epsilon Pi Chapter is so strong in our bonds of sisterhood that we are more than willing to help the new chapter get accommodated to UCR.
Chapter meetings are held in various on campus lecture halls and classrooms. This makes it easier for members to go to meeting since most new members live on campus and other members live near by. Our chapter does not have a house and has not had a house in the past. We have a storage unit near campus where we keep and organize our supplies. For living situations, some girls live on campus, but most members rent houses where some members live together and sometimes end up living with other panhellenic women. Our living situations are perfect for building sisterhood and provide various places for members to hangout, study, and host various gatherings.
This past year, Epsilon Pi has had many defining moments that continue to shape each of our member’s college experiences. After coming back from a very well deserved winter break surrounded by family and sisters, we began a new quarter in January and quickly put our heads back in to the game, starting with elections. As always, our sisters made excellent decisions when selecting our new Chapter Council that consist of strong, efficient, Kappa leaders.
Shortly after, our Event Chair planned our first social of the quarter at a nearby community park with one of the IFC fraternities on campus. Our members and the brothers of Phi Gamma Delta decked out in white apparel in preparation for a fun night filled with glow in the dark paint and athletic activities. We separated into teams and Kappas proudly showed off their flag football skills, all while glowing in the dark.
Towards the end of the month Beta Gamma, our newest pledge class, attended a retreat. This retreat took place at our newly remodeled recreation center on campus. There was a rock climbing wall and a ropes course. They participated in activities that all revolved around teamwork and some critical thinking. During one of the activities, sisters had to figure out a way to get a rope to the other side without moving by working together. They were also blindfolded and were instructed to give clues to one another in order to find certain objects. They participated in multiple obstacle courses and activities that strengthened the Beta Gamma pledge class. Overall, Beta Gamma had the opportunity to bond with their pledge class sisters and learn how to help each other out by using teamwork. This was an excellent way to prove that any challenge can be overcome with sisters by our sides.
There was no better way to begin the month of February than by having our annual scholarship dinner. Our Vice President of Academic Excellence worked very hard in order to recognize and honor our smart, studious sisters and give them the credit they deserve. We all met at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Downtown Riverside in our sharpest key attire. We were excited and anxious to eat delicious Italian food and hear all about our sister’s amazing accomplishments. Some of the awards included most study hours, highest GPA, most improved GPA, and many more. This was a proud night for many, as well as an encouraging one for other girls who decided they want to work even harder than usual and strive to be the best Kappas they can be. This night was filled with positive and uplifting words that reminded and encouraged all Kappas to make academics a priority.
A few weeks later, it was time for our Semi-Formal. Our spectacular Semi was located in Redlands, at the Fox Event Center. We got ready in our best cocktail dresses and every Kappa looked extraordinary. As we arrived, the words “Kappa Kappa Gamma” beautifully lit up on the outside billboard of the venue. We ate a delicious dinner of various foods and danced the night away on a beautifully set dance floor that was beneath sparkly chandeliers. If sisters weren’t dancing, many of them were also taking a galore of pictures to capture all of the fun and lavish moments. A professional photographer was also available at our photo booth, which was set up using a bohemian backdrop that was of course, dark and light blue. This magical and fun night with our sisters and dates couldn’t have been better.
Reading Is Key, our winter philanthropy, quickly approached after. Our theme this year was a circus theme. All of our sisters received a red shirt with an owl in the middle portrayed as a ringmaster and circus animals surrounding it. We decorated Madison Elementary’s cafeteria accordingly with circus posters, popcorn machines, and face painting. Sisters enjoyed painting everyone’s face whether it was a simple design, or creative circus animals. The book we chose to read was Clifford Goes to the Circus, and each kid received one of their very own to take home. This was very exciting for them since most of these kids are from under privileged households and the books we give them are usually the first books they own. We also donated many books to their library in hopes of exposing them to learn about how important and fun reading can be. This philanthropic event was also extra special because our leadership consultant from the previous year joined to help and support us. Our day was filled with reading, crafting, and delicious snacks, and Kappa’s had such a fun time interacting with these wonderful kids.
To end the month, we had a very eventful sisterhood. Kappas loaded their cars with tents, blankets, jackets and firewood, and were off to camp overnight at Lake Perris. We began by forming groups to build the tents. Building them was no easy task, and just when we thought it couldn’t get any harder, rain started to pour on us. We laughed off our struggles, and tried to finish up quickly. Although the rain was on and off throughout the night, Kappas always know how to have a good time, and our camping experience was nothing but fun and adventure. We walked to the beautiful lake that was surrounded by mountains, ate pizza, sat by the campfire, and ate an abundant amount of smores. Connecting with nature with our sisters by our side was truly a memorable day, and Kappa camping was a success despite some obstacles.
Our Spring Quarter began by participating in the fraternity Delta Tau Delta’s annual philanthropic pageant, which raises money for The City of Hope through donations and fundraisers. Each sorority on campus was to choose one participant to represent their chapter and compete in the event. Our chapter couldn’t think of a more perfect candidate other than our sister Krystal Neag. A few of the many fundraisers Krystal put together were Kappa Kappucino, where sisters helped sell baked goods on campus, Kappa Karaoke, where tickets were sold to sing one’s heart out, and a fundraiser at Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt, where people were able to satisfy their sweet tooth. Our sisters had such a fun time supporting her and watching all of her outstanding performances, including a dance that was based on different decades. Krystal won Highest Fundraiser, and raised one-third of the total of the money, which was very impressive.
During the month of April we also held our joint philanthropic event, Words With Friends, with the ladies of Pi Beta Phi. Both of our philanthropies revolve around literacy, so this competitive event is focused on spelling and reading. We had representatives from each sorority and fraternity competing in speed-reads and spelling bees while their organizations cheered them on from the stands. For this event, admission was bringing in a new book that we could donate or a fee of $5. In the end, we raised over $1,250 and five hundred books. We donated the books we received and part of the proceeds to Madison Elementary and the rest of the proceeds to RIF.
The month of May was full of many events and festivities, starting with Parents Day. Sisters and parents gathered at the Indian Hills Golf Club to proudly demonstrate what our organization is all about. We ate a delicious brunch together, sang to them, and had tables displaying our history, crafts, and awards. It was a great time, and every parent fell even more in love with Kappa Kappa Gamma. To deal with the hot Riverside weather, our sisters collaborated with the brothers of Alpha Epsilon Pi a couple weeks later and had a fun day at the park with water balloons and ice cream. Water splashing on us and the cold taste of ice cream in our mouths was a perfect way to combat the heat.
Our last, and a top favorite, philanthropy of the 2015-year was Day in the Life. We bring sixth graders from Madison Elementary to UCR to visit, take a tour, have lunch, and play fun activities with us all in the hopes of inspiring these students to go to college and strive for a higher education. Sisters are divided into different touring groups in order to get to know the kids personally and be able to be more hands on and interactive. We teach them spirit chants and walk around the busy hallways of campus so they can experience for themselves what its like to be a college student. This philanthropy is so rewarding because every student anticipates going to college, UCR in specific, at the end of the day. They also fall in love with our amazing organization and want to be future Kappas, even the boys.
Before heading into summer, we had one last sisterhood at the drive-in. Sisters dressed up in their best 50’s themed clothes while watching movies in their cars and eating yummy snacks. The group of girls with the best outfits received a gift certificate to make a sweatshirt with our letters imprinted, which was a big plus. After anxiously waiting for our Formal throughout the year, Kappas got dolled up and boarded buses to the Reef Restaurant in Long Beach to have a spectacular night with their dates. The venue was right on the bay, which was perfect for capturing memorable pictures. We ate a delicious gourmet meal, and danced the night away in front of the gorgeous waterfront view. During the celebrations, seniors were recognized, given crowns, and watched a video slide show of pictures that brought back many memories and even happy tears to many eyes.
One of our last events before summer vacation was an event UCR holds every year, Pillars Week. Pillars week is a whole week dedicated to different traits necessary for a successful organization. All greek organizations were placed in teams that competed in competitions focused on a different trait each day starting with leadership, friendship, service, and scholarship. This whole week is dedicated to uniting the community of greeks at our school. With Epilson Pi Chapter being so dedicated to these traits and greek unity, we worked hard and won awards including Chapter of the Year, Highest GPA, and Best Collaborative Program. Everyone was so Kappa proud and this was an excellent way to end the school year.
Although it was summer for some, Kappas were still working hard on campus partaking in every freshman orientation in order to get incoming freshmen and transfer students excited for college and hopefully interested in becoming a Kappa. Epsilon Pi Chapter hosted a table where we answered questions about our organizations, sorority life, UCR and college in general. During the summer, we also reunited to film our recruitment video. Some of the places we went to included the beach, an amusement park, and one of our sister's beautiful home. Our amazing video embodied Kappa and our strong sisterhood very accurately.
Although our fun-filled, adventurous summer was coming to an end, Kappa’s were excited to go back to school for recruitment. On the weekend of October 2nd, our chapter was able to socialize with girls and make them fall in love with everything that we do. We showed them the meaning of Kappa, our values, and our philanthropy that we hold so dear to us. Our dedication and hard work paid off and we received an amazing new pledge class of well-rounded and kindhearted girls. The Monday following recruitment, Bid Day, we welcomed all of our bright and spectacular new members with baseball themed apparel, and had hot dogs and burgers for dinner. It was definitely one of the best ball games for our Kappa sisters. After a week of clues, room decorating, and anxiousness, we ended October with our Big Little Reveal. Littles unwrapped their Bigs and embraced in hugs and even tears of excitement and joy. That same night, new members were ushered to their new member sleep over where they bonded over games, learned about our founders, and laughed over stories.
The start of November consisted of asking dates to our Kappa Date Party. We received matching carnival crewnecks, and headed to Scandia Amusement Park. We spent the night playing mini-golf, riding rollercoasters, driving bumper cars, and eating delicious fair food. Quickly after, initiation week approached. Our Marshal hosted a Big and Little night at a local ice-skating rink. Bigs and Littles dressed in matching outfits and skated together, fell together, and drew closer as big and little. Our last and most important event of the year was the initiation of our new members of the Beta Delta class. It was a beautiful ceremony welcoming our deserving members into Kappa Kappa Gamma. They discovered the true meaning of all our beliefs and values and finally understood what makes Kappa so strong. It was the perfect way to end such a successful year for Epsilon Pi Chapter.
One of our most recent changes on campus is the addition of a new sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. This was very exciting for Epsilon Pi, and an excellent opportunity to help colonize and make new friends. There are now seven panhellenic sororities at UCR, and there has been an overall increase in interest in the Greek community. With so many more girls interested in the recruiting process, each year our chapter seems to grow immensely with a great amount of new members. Our chapter has handled the increase well, and has accommodated accordingly. We are always happy and ecstatic to welcome new chapters, and new girls.
Chapter Philanthropy: What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community? The organization Epsilon Pi traditionally raises money for is Madison Elementary, our adopted underprivileged elementary school in our area. We put three events for them throughout the year, Reading is Key, Words With Friends, and A Day in the Life.
Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support? We chose to support this organization because our chapter enjoys working hands on with the children in our area, and we know our service and donations are impacting them directly. We prefer actual interaction, rather than simply handing a check. It is very rewarding to see how our philanthropy affects these children for the better.