Eta Kappa Chapter was founded at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois on March 4, 2007.
181 initiates (as of June 2018)
October 16, 2006 TSO shed its letters and began their journey to becoming Eta Kappa Chapter.
March 4, 2007 Eta Kappa was installed.
Spring 2007 Eta Kappa, in their 1st ever Greek Week, came in 3rd place.
In the 2007-2008 year, Eta Kappa made an appearance in every issue of The Key.
Fall 2007 Eta Kappa began their annual fundraiser Win-A-Date. It was called the Uganda Initiative because all donations, monetary and school supplies, were going to be donated to schools in need in Uganda as suggested by Virginia Graves and Emily Putnam. The women raised $1,500 that year. The Win-A-Date fundraiser raises money towards a different philanthropy that is dear to our members' hearts every year since.
Spring 2008 Eta Kappa held a scholarship banquet to recognize professors and build positive Kappa-faculty relationships.
Fall 2008 Eta Kappa got their house!
Fall 2008 Win-A-Date proceeds of $1856.15 went to Girl Effect BRAC programs for Safe Spaces and Small Loans for Teenage Girls in Tanzania as suggested by Kathleen Podlipni, who fell in love with Girl Effect and Emily Jensen, who studied abroad in Tanzania. This is the year that "Win-A-Date" was trademarked by Kathleen and the Win-A-Date committee, Chloe Bohm (Philanthropy Chairman at the time) and Hadley Standring.
February 2009 Eta Kappa co-hosted the Biennial Province Meeting with Alpha Deuteron Chapter (Monmouth College) and were honored with a Membership Award at the banquet.
Spring 2012 Eta Kappa won its 1st Greek Week.
Fall 2012 Eta Kappa achieved its highest GPA average thus far and had the highest Greek GPA overall.
Spring 2013 Eta Kappa won its 2nd Greek Week.
Fall 2013 Win-A-Date proceeds of over $2,000 went to Watts of Love as suggested by Jenna Butler. This was the largest amount fundraised by this event thus far. Founder of Watts of Love, Nancy Economou attended the event and provided an amazing presentation of her experience and work.
Eta Kappa chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was originally founded because before Kappa Kappa Gamma came on Knox College's campus, there were only two NPC sororities (Pi Beta Phi and Delta Delta Delta) available for membership. Knox College was also home to these NPC sororities, Delta Zeta (1915-1964), Alpha Xi Delta (1929-1973) and Phi Mu (1912-1989), but they all became dormant or inactive and essentially Knox College was a two NPC sorority school for 18 years!
Our Eta Kappa founders, Catherine Ray, Meryl Leventon, Stephanie O'Brien, Caroline Allen, Sibel Karabeyoglu, and Jennifer Davis believed in diversity and creating options for other women interested in participating in NPC Greek life.
Before their affiliation and installation as a chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma, our founders took the letters Tau Sigma Omega, TSO, sometimes comically called Tau Sigma Omicron. As the story goes, these women met at Knox College's swimming pool where Stephanie O'Brien was employed as a student lifeguard. This is where the historic Alpha document was written. This document was approved by the Dean of Student Life and TSO was officially founded on Thursday, March 10, 2005. TSO had also increased their membership to 10 women. Membership would continue to increase as their first informal recruitment event was held in the Fall of 2005.
Their first chapter council meeting consisted of Catherine Ray (President), Stephanie O'Brien (Vice-President), Meryl Leventon (Treasurer), Kathleen Manly (Philanthropy Chair), Jennifer Davis (Social Chair), Nerissa Montes (Recruitment Chair), Sibel Karabeyoglu (Secretary), and Caroline Allen (Treasurer).
Other TSO members who became Eta Kappa Chapter members include Miriam Gillan (Pledge Educator), Emily Jensen (who has probably served the longest New Member period in KKG history from October 2006 until October 2007), Jacqueline Lee (who would become Eta Kappa's first President), Katya Manak, Maureen McDonnell (who would become Eta Kappa's second President), Alisha Oscharoff (Academic Chair), Jasmina Ruano (who designed the Eta Kappa flag), Dana Tipson, Hadley Standring and Jessica Strache.
Their first philanthropy event was their participation in Galesburg's Polar Plunge event and fundraiser for Special Olympics, a tradition that Eta Kappa chapter carried on until 2009.
TSO was not allowed to participate in formal recruitment in the winter of 2006, but they continued to grow regardless.
By spring of 2006, TSO had been a Greek colony for a year and could begin the process of national affiliation.
TSO ultimately decided to affiliate with Kappa Kappa Gamma (and not with Kappa Delta) because of Kappa Kappa Gamma's dedication to leadership, philanthropy, and scholarship. TSO felt that their ideals were similar to those of Kappa Kappa Gamma's. The Knox Student Life Committee subsequently voted to invite Kappa Kappa Gamma to join the Greek community at Knox.
TSO affiliated with Kappa Kappa Gamma on October 16, 2006 and became the Eta Kappa colony.
As a colony of Kappa Kappa Gamma, the women formerly known as TSO, were allowed to participate in their first formal recruitment in the winter of 2007.
Kappa Kappa Gamma accepted the invitation to install its 132nd active chapter at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Eta Kappa was installed on March 4, 2007 by President, Denise Rugani, while Epsilon Chapter (Illinois Wesleyan) acted as Eta Kappa's installing chapter and key sisters.
Eta Kappa Chapter at Knox College is located only 13 miles from Monmouth College and the Stewart House Museum, the home of founder, Minnie Stewart. The college was founded by social reformers who opposed slavery and believed in the potential of all to learn, grow, and contribute to the greater good of the community. Knox was one of the first colleges to admit African Americans and women and remains one of America's historically significant liberal arts colleges and is the only remaining site of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858. The City of Galesburg, approximately 50 miles east of the Mississippi River, is a unique town in that it was a planned city whose purpose was fostering religious education. Knox College was the main reason for its existence. (From an official letter, November, 2006)
Knox is consistently ranked in the top 20 liberal arts colleges in America. Most notable is its appearance in Loren Pope's book, Colleges That Change Lives, where 40 schools are discussed that change the lives of their students through the students’ access to their PhD professors, an administration that is supportive of the Greek community, a high percentage of students succeeding in their graduate school pursuits, and other plaudits. Princeton Review, U.S. News and World Report and many other publications applaud this fine academic institution.
Knox is a private, independent college committed to the liberal arts as the best educational preparation for life. The student enrollment in 2007 was 1,245, of which 54 percent were female. More than 20 percent of the student body is Greek with five national fraternities and chapters of Delta Delta Delta and Pi Beta Phi founded in 1889 and 1884 respectively.
Kappa Kappa Gamma was honored to accept the invitation of the exceptional women of a local sorority to affiliate with the National Panhellenic Conference Fraternity. These new Kappas were recognized for their philanthropic efforts on campus and in Galesburg.
After Eta Kappa was installed, the chapter did not hesitate to wear their new letters while continuing their earlier philanthropic work and recruitment but were particularly excited to partake officially in Knox College's Greek Community.
On a cold March morning, members of Eta Kappa took a Polar Plunge at Lake Storey in Galesburg, Illinois. With a minimum pledge of $75.00 for the icy dip for the Illinois Special Olympics. A photo of our team's plunge made it in the newspaper, The Register-Mail.
Greek Week began with Sunday’s Greek Olympics with stations set up throughout campus. Monday was Trivia Night, which had a large turnout. Tuesday was devoted to philanthropy with a blood drive. Philanthropy actually went on all week with donations being accepted for The Boys and Girls Club with each Greek organization earning points for the amount of supplies and money donated. The Greeks were able to raise $125 for The Boys and Girls club as well as boxes of school supplies. On the evening of Thursday May 8th 2007, the Gizmo on the campus of Knox College was packed with excited sorority and fraternity members clad in neon green shirts which read, “Greekalodeon,” the Greek Week theme. Members had gathered to watch the popular Greek talent show and find out the winners of Greek Week. The show was filled with a variety of acts including Kappa Kappa Gamma’s singers and dancers playfully mocking Knox Greek organizations to much applause. As it would turn out, the chapter skit would win the award for funniest performance. Many of the Greeks present were happy for such a relaxing and fun week, especially since there were previous tensions and difficulties in the Greek community the past year surrounding local greek colonies affiliating with NPC or IFC organizations. Overall, Kappa Kappa Gamma came in 3rd place with 122 points.
The last three weekends of October 2008 were spent by having the women of Pi Beta Phi and Kappa Kappa Gamma taking a twenty minute drive north of campus to scare the pants off people. The two sororities tried something new for the both of them - a joint philanthropic venture. We believed that since both of our organizations were founded “up the road in Monmouth", and with both of our national philanthropies being geared toward literacy, it would make for a great pairing. The women joined together at the Country Corner Farm Market and Pumpkin Patch to work the corn maze by either welcoming victims with the provided scary story or by actually scaring the people inside. Afterwards the proceeds from the ticket sales were split up among the organizations based on how many hours each worked. All our proceeds went to Reading Is Fundamental.
On the evening of October 24th, 2008, the ladies of the Eta Kappa chapter brought students, parents, and other members of the Greek community together for their second annual “Win-A-Date” event. $1,856.15 was raised to support Girl Effect through BRAC programs for Safe Spaces and Small Loans for Teenage Girls in Tanzania. The evening was the culmination of a week of fundraising through change wars between Greek organizations on campus. The two members from each of the social Greek organizations Kappa Kappa Gamma, Delta Delta Delta, Pi Beta Phi, Phi Gamma Delta, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Beta Theta Pi, Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu, and colony, ATP, as well as from the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity and Sigma Alpha Iota Music Sorority volunteered to be hosts and hostesses for the dates. Local businesses donated dinner, movie, and bowling certificates, which were given as prizes to the winning bidders and their dates. Among the many generous donations made that evening was one exceptional date that sold for over $230. Eta Kappa members felt a special connection to this particular cause not only as women, but also from the personal experiences of its members. One active’s travels to Uganda inspired the first Uganda Initiative event in 2007. Another member, studied abroad in Tanzania in 2007. With this in mind, Eta Kappa chapter was inspired by Girl Effect and was proud to support the education and empowerment of women internationally.
As a chapter, we also emphasized the support and encouragement of our members in their leadership roles and involvement in other campus activities. These included AAINA, American Chemical Society, Alpha Phi Omega, Asian Student Association, Best Buddies, Business Club, Campus Progress, Carl Sandburg Literacy Coalition, College Art Association, Costume Shop, Cottage Hospital,Cross Country, Dance Squad, Film Production Club, Galesburg Civic Art Center, Golf, Habitat for Humanity, Harambee, Hillel Club, Intramural Sports, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Invisible Children, Jazz Combo, Junior Great Books, Knox Ambassadors, Knox Bloggers, Knox College Choir, Knox College Sign Language Club, Knox County Jail Literacy Project, Knox County Regional G.S., Knox Galesburg Symphony, Knox Sandburg Community Concert Band, Knox String Ensemble, Making Things Craft Club, Mortar Board, Odyssey Mentoring, Office of Admissions, Order of Omega, Prairie Players, Pre-Health Club, Pre-Vet Club, Reading Buddies, Rotaract Club, Rugby, SASS, SHAG, Soccer, Spanish Club, Student Athletic Advisory Council, Student Athletic Training, Student Senate, Studio Theatre, Tennis, Terpsichore, Track and Field, Union Board (Flunk Day planning!), Women’s Chorale, Water Polo, WVKC and Yoga Club.
In May of 2009, Sigma Chi and Kappa Kappa Gamma co-hosted an ultimate frisbee tournament to raise money for the FISH Food Pantry. Proceeds from the event were donated to the pantry that provides families in need with enough food to feed them with three nutritious meals a day.
Eta Kappa chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma brought 14 Greek organizations and students together along with 35 businesses from Galesburg on Friday, October 16, 2009 in the Gizmo for the purpose of raising money for Valhalla Experimental Station in Guatemala through their 3rd Annual Win-A-Date event. The total amount of money raised for Valhalla was $1227.56. Previous to the actual event, the chapter fundraised through change wars again, as jars for the president of each Greek group participating was at a table in Seymour Hall during meals. The president’s jar with the most money earned the title of the “ultimate date” and received the biggest gift certificate received through donation from a local Galesburg business. Gift certificates for local Galesburg businesses such as Q’s Café, Kaldi’s, etc. were auctioned off as date packages with optional Greek male and female hosts/hostesses.
During the May 2010 Knox Greek Week, Eta Kappa Chapter had members win two very distinguished awards at the Greek Banquet: Adviser of the Year Renee Tadie (ABC/CCA/VPS Adviser from 2007-2010) and Emerging Female Greek Leader Emily Putnam. Raise the Roof!
On Thursday, October 28, 2010, the Business Club’s Halloween Crafts Day provided an opportunity for Knox students and children from the local Boys and Girls Club to bond over Halloween-themed crafts and games. The multidimensional club along with members from Alpha Phi Omega and Kappa Kappa Gamma hosted 30 children, ranging from six to nine years old. The afternoon began with a game of freeze tag, followed by Duck, Duck, Goose and Red Light, Green Light. Refreshments were served.
On Friday, November 5, 2010 the women of Eta Kappa hosted its 4th Annual Win-a-Date event to fundraise for the BeLikeBrit foundation. According to the organization’s mission statement, BeLikeBrit works “to serve the children of Haiti by establishing a safe, nurturing and sustainable orphanage in an environment where they can grow, learn and thrive.” The money the sorority raised went towards building a new orphanage. Before the event began, the Greek men and women that went with each date package were asked to describe their ideal date, including the place and atmosphere. Each also chose a runway song that played while they were onstage, several using the opportunity to show off their dance moves. Various date packages, such as gift cards to Jimmy Johns or Cherry Street Restaurant, were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Members of 10 different Greek organizations volunteered their time to accompany the winner on each date. The successful auction raised approximately $1,850 dollars and the event had a large turnout.
2011 began with a successful formal recruitment. On January 23rd, 2011 we welcomed 11 new members. In addition to new members, we welcomed a new advisor after Renee Tadie, our outgoing advisor, retired in 2010. Pat Kane began as the Standards Advisor in 2010, then our House Board Treasurer as well as our Event/Risk Advisor in 2011.
When we returned for Spring Term, we had an informal recruitment. This gave us the opportunity to have four new members join our chapter. The pledging ceremony was held on April 10th, 2011. During that time, the new Chapter Council was installed. Their installation was quite special because this year marks the first time Eta Kappa held the event, Kappa Kabin. Kappa Kabin is a weekend of bonding and training for both the outgoing and the incoming Chapter Council. The event was held at Stephanie Bailey’s cabin in Peoria. Stephanie Bailey has been our Finance Advisor & House Board Member since 2008, our VPO advisor, and began her role as CCA/ABC this year. Amanda Crow, who was the Vice President of Organization at the time, held the event.
When Eta Kappa returned for the new school year that September, they were excited to begin a new term of fresh opportunities. Unfortunately there was not an informal recruitment held during Fall Term. We did make the most of this term, however. Eta Kappa participated in Sigma Chi’s annual philanthropy event, Derby Days, and won the weeklong competition! Eta Kappa held their 5th annual Win-a-Date fundraiser, which allowed Eta Kappa to raise funds for the Joyful Heart Foundation. They also worked with Phi Gamma Delta to have a Light the Night event. During Fall term, there were many Kappas who studied abroad and traveled to the U.K., Argentina, and Spain.
We began 2012 by welcoming eight new members into Eta Kappa chapter with a successful formal recruitment. In February, we held our annual Reading is Key event at the Galesburg Public Library. In March, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of our chapter, and it was amazing to see just how far we haveve come in such a short amount of time.
After Spring Break, we welcomed back three of our sisters who had been studying abroad in Spain and held informal recruitment, welcoming three additional sisters into our chapter. That month, we also elected our new Chapter Council, a group of strong and capable women who were installed in April. The incoming and outgoing members of Chapter Council participated in a weekend of bonding and training at our annual Kappa Kabin at Stephanie Bailey's cabin (Finance Adviser & House Board Member 2008-current, VPO Adviser 2010-11, CCA/ABC 2011-current). Amanda Crow, Vice President of Organization held the first Kappa Kabin in 2011.
In the spring, we participated in our campus's annual Greek Week, in which we won 1st place against the 11 participating Greek-letter organizations. Also in the spring of 2012, Teresa Amott, was installed as the 19th president of Knox College. It was an inspiration to our chapter and women across campus to see our 1st female president.
Fall 2012 brought out the best in Eta Kappa. When we returned to campus in the fall of 2012, we began work on our annual Win-A-Date fundraiser. Through cooperation with other Greek-letter organizations on campus, we were able to raise almost $2,000 to benefit the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. Eta Kappa also won Sigma Chi's annual Derby Days, a friendly competition between all of the sororities on campus. Fall contineud its streak of good things as it provided our chapter with the prestige of having earned the highest GPA average that we have ever achieved as a chapter and additionally earning us the title of having the highest GPA out of all the Greek organizations for the term.
Unfortunately in the fall, Knox's Panhellenic Council voted to lower quota, so we were unable to hold informal recruitment. Since then, quota has been raised and we are excited to hold informal recruitment again in fall 2013.
In February, we celebrated Academic Excellence month for the first time by collecting study tips and sharing them with the campus, promoting our academic achievements through social media, and engaging in a “Letters in the Library” competition. By the end of Winter Term, our House Chairman and her committee finished an ongoing renovation of our basement, and Eta Kappa celebrated a fun new wall color, waterproof floors, and furniture. Just before Spring Break, we initiated eight lovely new members, some of whom were elected onto Chapter Council just the next day.
Spring Term was bittersweet time for us as Eta Kappa prepared to say goodbye to 18 graduating seniors, who comprised nearly half of our chapter. Despite the major loss, this dynamic group of women made sure to leave Eta Kappa thriving. One way they did so was by teaching us to live Kappa’s ritual daily in a new ritual appreciation program.
In the spring, we won the annual Greek Week competition as well as several other chapter awards at the annual Knox College Greek Banquet. Afterwards we conveniently celebrated at our formal which was held at the Soangetaha Country Club this year. Continuing our winning streak, several members attended Province Meeting and brought home the Chapter Scholarship Award, as well as six honorable mentions.
Eta Kappa focused on a new philanthropic organization during this time, selling friendship bracelets for Vitamin Angels, which brings essential nutrition to at-risk populations. However in continuing with philanthropic traditions, this year’s annual Reading is Key event had an “outer space” theme and was held at the Discovery Depot in Galesburg.
In attempting to bond with each other and our sisters from Monmouth, we joined Alpha Deuteron Chapter at Monmouth College for a tea party at the Minnie Stewart House for an event fondly titled, Loyal-Tea.
During the spring, we also renewed the lease on our house, but never imagined what was in store for us. First, we learned Knox College graciously offered to help the Greek community by allowing us to pay our rent through community service hours, which we have already been completing through our philanthropic endeavors. In other financial news, the Treasurer of Eta Kappa took great initiative this term to create a budget for the upcoming year that would be conducive to our small chapter size, and she educated the chapter on exactly where our money goes.
When we returned to Knox in the fall, we were pleasantly surprised that one of our advisers, Pat Kane (Standards Adviser 2010-current, House Board Treasurer 2011-present, Event/Risk Adviser 2011-14), gave our chapter house a complete makeover during the summer. We could not be more thankful for our new furniture, shelving, remodeled bathrooms, and countless decorations. Although Fall was an adjustment period for Eta Kappa due to the large change in our chapter size, our sisters bonded on a deeply personal level and found a new appreciation for the changing chapter. We began the school year with informal recruitment, during which our Membership Chair implemented a completely new system by creating bump and rotation groups. Our new system also incorporated the values of our ritual into the recruitment process. We recruited and initiated three lovely new members. In October, we were lucky enough to join Alpha Deuteron chapter at Monmouth for Founders Day. We visited two of our founders' graves and shared a luncheon. For our annual Win-a-Date philanthropy event, we chose to donate our proceeds to an organization called Watts of Love, which brings solar powered lights to people around the world with no electricity. We were lucky to have the organization’s founder, Nancy Economou, at our event to speak about her incredible experiences with Watts of Love, and we ultimately raised over $2000 for the organization. Fall Term was big for Eta Kappa’s public relations: Eta Kappa now has its own Twitter and Instagram accounts, and our Kore Groups are now utilizing our Facebook page and group to attend and support “Kappas on Kampus” events and clean the house together. At the end of term, we prepared for formal recruitment.
2013 was an exciting time for Knox as well as Eta Kappa, as the college finished raising the $11.7 million needed to restore Alumni Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus. We are excited for our younger sisters to utilize the technology and resources in this building in the future. Other exciting events for the college included bringing comedian Ed Helms to campus as our commencement speaker, witnessing a Knox graduate be named an adviser to President Obama, and welcoming President Obama himself to the campus in July, an event some of our sisters volunteered at. We feel lucky to be on a campus with so many inspiring visitors, as well as graduates who inspire us to be successful in our futures as graduates of Knox College as well.
The women of Eta Kappa continue to represent a wide variety of extracurricular activities, areas of study, philanthropic interests, athletics, and cultural backgrounds. We take great pride in supporting each other’s differences by attending shows, games, and academic presentations of our sisters. We consider ourselves to be a close-knit chapter, and hope that Eta Kappa continues on its current route of success for years to come.
We began winter term like every winter term by welcoming NMs into our sisterhood after a long and grueling yet rewarding formal recruitment. This year it was appropriately themed, “Winter Wonderland.” Diverging from tradition, Bid Day/Night was on a Sunday instead of a Saturday due to the Polar Vortex. We revamped Bid Day/Night and the NM process by establishing a buddy system to welcome NMs. In February 2014, Eta Kappa hosted its annual semi-formal (at Cherry Street) and their annual Reading is Key event (theme: “Reading is Wild").
During the month of March, Knox College's National Panhellenic Council (NPC aka Panhell) hosted its first annual Wellness Week, which included participating in a clothing swap with Knox College's other NPC sororities, Delta Delta Delta; Phi Beta Phi; and Alpha Sigma Alpha. Just before spring break, we initiated our 8 NMs, some of whom were elected onto chapter council the following day during elections, proving that our chapter nurtures leaders.
Our incoming 2014-15 chapter council started spring term off by participating in a weekend filled with bonding and training at the Kappa Kabin. Kappa Kabin is a cabin that adviser, Stephanie Bailey owns in Peoria and lends to our chapter to use for Leadership Day. The first Kappa Kabin was in 2011. That following weekend, we held a continuous open bidding (COB aka informal recruitment) event themed “Spring into Kappa." We welcomed 3 additional sisters to our chapter. Alpha Deuteron Chapter of Monmouth College again invited us to attend their Love & Loyal-Tea event around the beginning of spring term.
At the end of April, Knox College's annual Greek Week was held. The theme this year was “Greek TV". Also at the end of April, Standards surprised the rest of the chapter with a secret sisterhood event at Lake Storey. We grilled hamburgers, played games, and in the lake.
In May, Eta Kappa hosted its annual formal at Cherry Street Bar and Restaurant and its annual Academic Excellence Banquet in the Common Room of Old Main.
Towards the end of spring term, we initiated our 3 new members, and said goodbye to 9 strong graduating seniors.
Returning to Knox in September, Eta Kappa focused on building sisterhood and friendship. During Homecoming at Knox College in October, we held our annual open house for alumnae to revisit the house and old times. After Homecoming, we hosted a fundraiser, Save-A-Heart (a play on the former, Win-A-Date, Eta Kappa's annual date auction themed fundraiser). Proceeds benefited the American Heart Association. Also during this time, Knox’s National Panhellenic Council hosted its 2nd annual Wellness Week (although technically the week long was held a second time in the year 2014). This time we participated in yoga and indulging on desserts with our NPC sisters. Also in October and also in good ole' Greek spirit, we participated in Sigma Chi’s Derby Days and in a dessert pot-luck with Delta Delta Delta. The memorable activities of Derby Days included pumpkin carving and a talent show. Proceeds from Derby Days benefited local non profit, Safe Harbor Family Crisis Center.
In 2014, Knox College, for the first time in 20 years, opened the doors of Alumni Hall to faculty and staff since its closing. Women's Volleyball, Women's Basketball, and Men's Basketball would similarly bring the experience of a first time in a long time by defeating rival, Monmouth College. Go Prairie Fire!
FYI: Eta Kappa Chapter hosts chapter meetings in the Kappa House located at 320 West Brooks Street during late afternoons on Sundays. The house is owned by Knox College and does not provide lodging or classroom space. The Kappa House is open daily from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM for the members of Eta Kappa Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma to use as a space for doing homework, cooking snacks or meals (baking treats for sisters!), and meetings/events.
In terms of housing the members of Eta Kappa Chapter, members often exercise the option of living together in dormitory spaces across campus and in apartments/houses off campus. These living quarters are in no way affiliated officially to Eta Kappa Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
During the year of 2015, Eta Kappa has grown in areas that were once weak and continued a tradition of leadership. In January, we held formal Panhellenic Recruitment. Thanks to the due diligence of our Membership Chair and her committee, we met quota and also were given a quota addition. We were immediately able to hold a COB event in an attempt to reach total. We welcomed 9 new members to Eta Kappa as our Winter Formal class, the largest new member class we have had in recent history. During February, Eta Kappa joined Nationals to hold Academic Excellence Month. Different families competed against each other throughout the month to see which family could accrue the most study hours in order to win a prize. The competition was fun but it’s rewarding to see the bonds built from studying together! We also raised funds for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation through our annual event, Kappa Krush, which we table to have students and faculty send cans of Krush Soda to friends during the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Our annual Semi-Formal dance was also held in February at Cherry Street Grill with the theme of “Every Kiss begins with Kappa”, it was a fun and safe event for all the Kappa’s and their dates.
In March, we ended the term in full force with the initiation of our new members, our annual Reading is Key event at the Discovery Depot, which is hold as a way to support Reading is Fundamental, and elections for chapter council.
Early April was a time for our officer transitions. Our annual event, Kappa Kabin, was held as a way to unite the new Chapter Council and create goals for the upcoming year. The Chapter Council for 2015-2016 hopes to increase communication and cohesion within the council in order to grow to new heights within each position. Following the Earthquake in Nepal, we partnered with the Pi Beta Phi and held a “Pi’s and Kappacino” event in order to give funds to the Nepali Earthquake Relief Fund. This event was very close to our heart due to the fact the one of our sister’s is from Nepal and there is a very large Nepali population on our campus. We were even able to raise $640! Our new philanthropy chair and her committee also created a Little Free Library for local children with the idea of “take what you need, leave what you want”. Throughout the term, we participated in various events that we have a tradition of being a part of such as Greek Week, Alpha Phi Omega’s Walk-a-Thon, and Tri Delta’s Kickball event for St Jude.
We also hosted a Leadership Consultant in the Spring, we were very excited to welcome Whitney back to our chapter!
The school year was finished off with our Formal, which was held at the Burg Bar and Grill and with our annual Senior Sendoff event. We couldn’t be more proud of the 10 Eta Kappa seniors who graduated in June of 2015!
Over the summer, our Public Relations chairman worked tirelessly to update our website and worked with our Membership chair to design a great shirt for our Fall Informal Recruitment Bid Day. We also wear these shirts to Pumphandle, an event our school holds each year prior to the beginning of classes starting where all students, faculty, and staff meet on the lawn to shake hands.
Fall term saw lots of success for Eta Kappa. We held our most successful Fall Informal Recruitment and welcomed 4 new members to our chapter. Our New Member Chairman held an amazing Bid Night event of cookie decorating, games, attending the Volleyball Game on campus where one of the New Members was playing, and ending it with a movie night at the house. Our Vice President of Standards and Standards Committee organized a special Secret Standards event in lieu of a chapter meeting. This Secret Standards event was our annual trip to the Pumpkin Patch! We picked out pumpkins, sipped apple cider, enjoyed a hayride, and ended the trip riding on their mini cow train- an Eta Kappa favorite.
Our chapter also championed a new major philanthropic event called the Kappa Kolor Run! Our Philanthropy chairman worked tirelessly to create a fun event that was accessible to our entire campus. We were able to raise $470 dollars for OLE Nepal, an organization working to create access to education in Nepal following the major earthquake there earlier this year. We were also selected to for the Rose McGill Holiday program for the first time! We raised money to buy Christmas gifts for a Kappa in need and wrapped the gifts together as our Brunch Buddies event, a new event our chapter implemented this year that consists of our members having brunch and performing a philanthropic service.
Some other new additions to our chapter was using GINsystem to log study hours in study spaces throughout campus as well as an attendance competition to encourage members to take active control of their membership!
At the end of the term, we were able to initiate 3 of our 4 New Members after a successful Inspiration Period. Eta Kappa holds the tradition of having meaningful events during the inspiration period. The remaining member was unable to initiate at that time due to the Women’s Soccer team making it to the Conference final which occurred during our initiation. We are happy to say, however, that Elmhurst College was gracious in hosting our New Member and two of our active sisters and she was initiated!
Knox College was recently able to hire a new Greek Life Advisor, Eleanor Kahn. Eta Kappa was happy to welcome her to our campus, she has been very accessible and a great resource for our chapter. Our chapter has also been very active within the Greek community. Currently, we are the most represented organization in Order of Omega, a National Greek Honor Society in which two of our sisters, seniors Mackenzie Anderson and Cassidy Jones, hold the executive positions of President and Secretary, respectively. Eta Kappa prides itself on being very well represented on Panhellenic Council as well. Senior Emily Powers is the President of Panhellenic Council, a high honor. In the Spring, our chapter received an All Greek Award for best Academic Program.
Eta Kappa has held itself to a higher standard than perhaps ever before. As a whole, our chapter has been refreshed and uplifted this year. It is the opinion of our chapter that officer transitions in April brought new life to our chapter as these officers began to work together in ways that harnessed our potential. Our members have been showing willingness to bring Kappa to new heights, as explained through the many new endeavors throughout the year. It if for this reason that we feel we have most triumphed in overcoming apathy and eagerly embraced new opportunities, which has allowed us to truly live up to Kappa Kappa Gamma’s ideals.
As mentioned above, Knox College hired Eleanor Kahn. She serves as Campus Life Staff in many roles, one of which is the Greek Life Advisor, a position that ceased to exist for a year at our school.
What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community?
Traditionally we fund raise for Reading is Fundamental and hold a major RIF event each Winter, which we upheld this year. We also fund raise for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation each Winter with our Kappa Krush fundraiser, which is also described above. This Fall we were also chosen to participate in the Rose McGill Holiday Program, which we enjoyed so much!
Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support?
An Eta Kappa tradition is to choose an organization to fundraise for each year that is near and dear to a sister’s heart. In the past, we’ve supported sisters who suffered from Crohn’s Disease, a sister who has had ongoing battles with Heart Disease, an orphanage that a sister worked at personally in Botswana, and more. We raised funds for the Nepali Earthquake Relief Fund this year on two separate occasions, due to how close the cause was to one of our sisters and the Nepalese community at Knox College. We paired in a new event with Pi Beta Phi, Pie’s and Kappacino’s, in the spring. We also created another new major fundraising event, the Kappa Kolor Run, as a way to replace an older, outdated event our chapter had held in the past. We raised over $1000 in the year 2015 for the Nepali Earthquake Relief Fund and were even able to meet the Director of the organization.
For the year 2016, Eta Kappa has evolved and grown, and continued a tradition of leadership. In January, we held formal Panhellenic Recruitment. Thanks to the dedication of our Membership Chair and her committee, we met quota. We were also able to add another new member through COB immediately following bid day. We welcomed 9 new members to Eta Kappa as our Winter Formal class, the same size for a new member class that we had in 2015. During Recruitment, we had our LC Ariel there to help us out. She was very helpful as we worked to make sure all chapter members understood the procedures for voting during Recruitment.
During February, Eta Kappa joined the fraternity to hold Academic Excellence Month. Every member competed to earn points by sending pictures of themselves studying to their academic liaisons. A lot of members became very involved with it and it was great PR for Kappa on campus. The spirit of competition was fun, but it’s rewarding to see the growth in study habits that our VPAE was able to foster. We also raised funds for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation through our annual event, Kappa Krush, where we table to have students and faculty send cans of Krush Soda to friends during the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. We raised over $100 for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. Our annual Semi-Formal dance was also held in February at Iron Spike; it was a fun and safe event for all the Kappa’s and their dates.
In March, we ended the term in full force with the initiation of our new members, our annual Reading is Key event at the Galesburg Public Library, which is our way of supporting Reading is Fundamental, and elections for chapter council right before the end of our Winter Term.
Early April was a time for our officer transitions. Our annual event, Kappa Kabin, was held as a way to unite the new Chapter Council and create goals for the upcoming year. The Chapter Council for 2016-2017 hopes to increase communication and cohesion within the council in order to grow to new heights within each position. Accountability has become a main priority for the Eta Kappa Chapter Council.
Throughout the term, we participated in various events that we have a tradition of being a part of such as Greek Week, Alpha Phi Omega’s Walk-a-Thon, and Tri Delta’s Kickball event for St Jude's.
We also held an informal recruitment event, and we were able to get 4 new members, which brought us to total. We held our initiation at the end of our Spring Term to bring our chapter to 40 members right before our senior class graduated. The school year was finished off with our Formal, which was held at the event hall 156 Main and with our annual Senior Sendoff event.
Over the summer, our VP Standards represented us at Convention in San Diego, CA. She brought back many ideas that other chapters have used to improve accountability as well as some good ideas for sisterhood events,
Coming back for the fall, we did not hold an informal recruitment event because we were above total. This was the first time in recent memory that Eta Kappa has been the biggest sorority at Knox. Since we did not have new members, our focus has been on improving chapter support and bonding as a whole group so we can successfully welcome new members in January. Our diversity chairman has put together many events to help us foster a better understanding of each other.
Our chapter also championed a major philanthropic event for the second time called the Kappa Kolor Run! Our Philanthropy chairman worked tirelessly to create a fun event that was accessible to our entire campus. We were able to raise $430 dollars for the Alzheimer’s Association. We selected this philanthropy because two of our members have a grandmother who is dealing with Alzheimer’s and we always choose a philanthropy that is near and dear to our members. We are there for each other to lift one another up and make the world a better place.
We wrapped up our fall term with some membership workshops and the selection of day chairs for recruitment so that we can go all out when we return to campus in January for Formal Recruitment.
Our chapter has also been very active within the Greek community. Currently, we are the most represented organization in Order of Omega, a National Greek Honor Society in which one of our sisters, Allie Whitehill, is the Vice President.. Eta Kappa prides itself on being very well represented on Panhellenic Council as well. Junior Maggie Brick is the Vice President of Panhellenic Council and served as the interim President in the Spring of 2016. Six of our sisters were a part of the Women’s Soccer team that went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. We were all so proud to cheer them all on in their historic run to an undefeated conference season.
This year, another sorority transitioned to a house this year. Now that Alpha Sigma Alpha has a house, every sorority on campus does. We hope this will help us boost interest in formal recruitment and allow all of the chapters to grow simultaneously. The Greek community has been working hard to come together as a whole and make itself a presence on campus that is seen in a positive light. As a whole, the Greek community has help more philanthropy events than ever before.
Our chapter has evolved as always, but our focus on academics has been rapidly improving. We had the highest sorority GPA for both Winter and Spring of 2016 and we are very proud of that. The academic excellence committee has been working hard and it has paid off. We have also been working on lifting each other up as women. In a world that sometimes pits women against each other, it is important to us that we as a chapter lift each other up and support one another. Many of our members were deeply saddened by the election results, but it has given us a new drive to stand up for womankind.
Traditionally we fund raise for Reading is Fundamental and hold a major RIF event each Winter, which we upheld this year. We also fund raise for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation each winter with our Kappa Krush fundraiser, which is also described above. We also support St. Jude’s through Tri Delta kickball tournaments and the DHOP event, as well as Pi Phi’s Literacy Organization through Pie a Pi Phi.