Beta Phi Chapter was founded at University of Montana in Missoula, Montana on March 20, 1909.
1,954 initiates (as of June 2018)
The University of Montana was chartered February 17, 1893, by an act of the third legislative assembly. Later legislation changed the name to the State University of Montana, and then to Montana State University. On July 1, 1965, it again became the University of Montana. Montana, then the third largest state geographically, had a population of 376,053, and the city of Missoula, 5,000. In the mid-1970s, Missoula had 10 times as many residents.
Classes began in 1895 in a rented school house. By 1899, four buildings were completed on 40 acres of donated land at the base of 2,000-foot Mount Sentinel and adjacent to the narrow mountain pass called “Hellgate” by the British, “Port-d-Enfor” by the French Canadians, and “Im-i-sul-etiku” (from which the name Missoula is derived) by the Swalish Indians. A faculty of 27 gathered to teach a student body of 178.
Kappa Kappa Gamma established Beta Phi chapter on March 20, 1909, indicating great confidence in a school so young and in a group affiliation so remote. From 21 petitioning groups, Beta Phi was the single charter granted in almost four years.
Delta Sigma, organized February 24, 1904, the first women’s group on the campus, began when Fay Murray (Gillie), re-enrolled at Montana from Butler, sat with her friend Roxanne Howell (Derge) on the turnstile of a fence to tell about her life at Butler. “Roxy” exclaimed, “Oh, Fay, let us start a sorority here!” Thula Toole (Weisel), Maude Evans, Ted Welch, and Jessie Hailsbach were invited to join the local venture.
Women’s Hall provided a six-room suite, and Delta Sigma began its life by petitioning Kappa Kappa Gamma. Ruth Worden, Boston, daughter of a founder of Missoula, gave encouragement, as did Jane Evans (Gaylord), Stanford, sister of Maude. Other Kappa friends assured endorsement. The university president wrote to the Grand Secretary saying that the chapter was strong in everything that gives strength. Mary Griffith Canby, Pennsylvania, having moved from Philadelphia to Oregon, made the inspection. On January 22, 1909, she notified the local group that it was to become Beta Phi, with Installation set for March 20. The Missoulian announced the happy event. Mrs. Canby brought with her Kappa badges of Montana nugget gold for the 17 charter members, golden keys for girls of the “Treasure State.”
Housing and Chapter Traditions
In 1914, seven members moved into a rented residence. Up to 1924, 10 subsequent moves were made. When the Building Corporation was organized December 1920, the first steps were taken to purchase a chapter house. This dwelling, 434 East Beckwith Avenue, was too small, and it was sold in 1928. After another period of renting, the home at 1005 Gerald Avenue was purchased from the Toole family. It was a Depression year, only nine actives returned to school in the fall, but 29 were pledged to ensure a continuing chapter.
For 22 years, Beta Phi was guided by Mrs. Frank P. Keith, whose three daughters and two granddaughters are on the Beta Phi roll. She was saluted on her retirement as the house mother with the longest tenure on Kappa records.
A number of remodelings and additions took place through 1969 with a house holding more than 40. One-third more footage was added at 10 times the cost of the original edifice. This spacious, gracious house was built by pioneer John B. Toole, father of Thula Toole Weisel; grandfather of Thula Virginia Weisel Johnson, author of distinction and past House Board President; and great-grandfather of Thula (Tex) Johnson.
The Montana Alumnae Association, chartered in 1906, has held regular (usually monthly) meetings ever since, providing advisers and officers of the building corporation. Several other alumnae associations are also active in Montana, and keep in close touch with Beta Phi and the Missoula alumnae.
Beta Phi has enjoyed a strong association with the community and the state. Daughters of pioneers, of early faculty members, and of five governors have become Kappas. There is a sense of interdependence and affection. The 201-acre campus of the mid-1970s had a nine-hole golf course, baseball diamond, track and football field, magnificent student center and a $3 million library, besides 56 buildings including space for 2,500 students and nearly 400 apartments for married students.
Kappa-related names are found all over the campus. Brantly Hall, named for the grandmother of Lois Hazelbaker Townsend; Elrod Hall, names for the father of Mary Elrod Ferguson, a charter member and former dean of women; Miller Hall, named for the father of Patsy Ann Miller Jewell; Jesse Hall, named for the husband of Lucille Leyda Jesse, Nebraska, and father of Margaret Jesse Fanning; and the science complex named in honor of a former president of the university, father of Lucie Clapp Hagens and Margaret Clapp Smurr.
No history of Beta Phi would be complete without the mention of the 50-year contribution of Mary Rodes Leaphart, Kentucky, whose husband was dean of the Montana School of Law for 34 years. She served as alumnae association President, chapter adviser and warm and loving counselor to many generations of Beta Phis. Her two daughters are Beta Phi alumnae.
Beta Phi was hostess to the General Convention of 1922, and co-hostess with Idaho at Sun Valley in 1940, 1948, and 1964, and with Wyoming in 1934. Several Iota Province Conventions have been held in Missoula: 1925, 1939 and 1959, during the observance of the chapter’s golden anniversary, and 1975.
The active-alumna project, the Missoula Opportunity School for mentally retarded children helped to provide space, volunteer teachers and special needs of the program. Much time and money has been donated to this appealing project, inspired by Adelle Beaman Forbis, Physical therapist, in 1948-49.
Throughout the life of the chapter, its members have contributed to a splendid record of scholarship, leadership and service to campus and Fraternity. Through two World Wars and the troubles of the past, Kappas have met the challenges and the needs, maintained standards, and supported programs, including the support of a foreign student in 1951-52.
Beta Phi members have received many campus honors and awards including honorable mention for the Charlotte Barrell Ware Standards Cup (1940); the Clara O. Pierce Gracious Living Award (1962); runner-up for chapter newsletter, (The Key, 1961). The Missoula alumnae received the Almira McNaboe Award (1960). Hulda Miller Fields was Fraternity Director of Membership and Marian Schroeder Graham was Director of Membership, Director of Personnel, Director of Chapters, and Fraternity President. Marlys Jo Nelson Barrett was a Field Secretary; Florence Horsky Wertz served on the Fraternity Finance Committee; and Judith Latta served on the Rehabilitation Fellowship Committee.
Among outstanding Beta Phis are writers Grace Barnett, Olive Barnett Rice and Thula Virginia Weisel Johnson; and Brenda Farrell Wilson, business professor and dean. During the early 1970s, the climate on the University of Montana campus was not propitious for women’s social groups. Adequate dormitory space and the university sanction of apartment living off campus meant empty rooms in sorority houses. However, Beta Phi has been a leader in women’s Greek groups and on campus, and the situation seemed to be improving.
In May 1974, Beta Phi held a senior-honors-initiates dinner. “Almost a hundred members of Beta Phi were present, and dear Mary Leaphart gave a little talk, saying in her lovely Kentucky accent, ‘Sisters, I have been a Kappa for 63 years, and from girls in their long gowns to you wearing pretty little ruffles for skirts, have known so many dear and true. If you all love Kappa and keep to her ideals, your lives will be enriched as mine has, and you will be strengthened for any task.'
“The 17 initiates were greeted and the seniors bid adieu, the officers were installed, and the seniors inducted into the alumnae association. It was really a concentrated evening. The reaction of the girls was marvelous and the evening gave promise of a real return to the old values.” (From a letter by Hulda Miller Fields)
The previous information was excerpted from The History of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity, 1870-1976. 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.
On the University of Montana campus, student life was exponentially more outspoken during this period of time than ever before. Protest broke out frequently, often times ASUM Senators participated in these protest. The aftermath of the 60’s was felt very strongly on the campus. The general mood of the campus was quite chaotic. Many students enrolled in college solely to avoid the draft. Even though the Vietnam War ended in 1975 the effects rolled over well beyond the war.
On campus, approximately 6 sororities and 9 fraternities existed. Overall, the Greek system struggled because of the mood on campus. All of the social activism caused backlash against many organizations. Sororities and fraternities were one of many groups not favored by the general attitude of the student body. This attitude held by the majority of the undergrads did not garner the support of the community. There was much disconnect between students and citizens of Missoula.
The main challenges the chapter faced were limited communication amongst other Greek organizations and a negative reputation. The sorority system was much more independent between different houses, so little communication took place. By bolstering the Panhellenic Council’s structure, camaraderie between the entire system increased. The united Greek system was able to work more effectively. As mentioned earlier, the social activism cast a negative reputation of the chapter. The general public saw it as simply a social organization. The addition of required philanthropy hours and the public relations chair greatly improved Kappa’s image. After these changes, Beta Phi was no longer limited to a social sisterhood. The chapter also contributed to the well-being of the community. The PR chairman was able to influence reputation as well by overlooking how the Fraternity’s name is portrayed in the media.
Many significant events were taking place nationally during this era. The community and campus were affected by these national events; for example, the oil embargo caused the United States to be more conservative with resources and money. Reduced spending did not help chapter retention or Recruitment. With less support from the student body, the members found ways to reach out and get involved with the student body. The annual Aber Day Kegger fundraiser helped the Greek system to connect with the rest of the university students The Beta Phi chapter was very involved in this tradition by assisting Sigma Chi raise money at the event each year. The “hippie” vibe of the campus tended to clash with the structured routine of Kappa.
Beta Phi chapter earned awards based on scholarly merit. There were multiple girls in the chapter who maintained a 4.0 GPA. Academic awards were regularly given to members. Many victories were achieved during Derby Days as well. The ladies of Beta Phi were often a part of Mortar Board. These women kept their mind set on achieving good grades at all times.
Chapter Convention Awards:
1978 Woodman Award, Best Relations with Advisory Board, Second Place
The 1980’s ushered in a renewed interest in Greek Life and Beta Phi was home to women from Montana, across the country and Canada. The chapter emphasized strong academic programming. It utilized study buddies, recognized members for an “A” on a test or paper, and classes competed for the highest grade-point each term. This programming helped the chapter earn top honors on campus. Beta Phi was recognized at Iota Province Meeting and the 1988 Convention for the Most Improved Scholarship Award.
Member retention was a focus area for the chapter. Formal and informal rush parties kept members social skills honed throughout the year. Filling the house was of utmost importance so the chapter participated in formal rush and Continuous Open Bidding throughout the year. Social events had themes ranging from the 60’s to beach parties. The annual pledge class functions were creative and fun for all when chapter members could dress in Black and White, go on a Russian adventure complete with sleigh rides and BBQ or let out their inner-Nerd. Formal functions included the Kite-and-Key Formal with Kappa Alpha Theta and The Sapphire Ball.
Kappa Beach was a favorite hangout in the spring with the occasional water balloon battle with Sigma Nu. The chapter participated in Sigma Chi Derby Days, Sigma Nu Gopher Days, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Olympics and Greek Week. Members perfected lip-sync routines, created unique posters and participated in numerous athletic competitions with other UM sororities.
Homecoming brought float competitions and alumni returning to 1005 Gerald Avenue. The annual Parent’s Brunch was the finale to an exciting weekend of events. The chapter celebrated its Diamond Jubilee in 1984 with a festive dinner and diamond shaped cake enjoyed by pledges, actives and alumnae.
Beta Phi’s had a busy campus profile with members serving on ASUM Senate, UM Advocates, Mortar Board, SPURS, Grizzly Women’s Basketball, Tennis and Track, UM Cheerleading and Dance Team, UM Band, Choir, Drama and MontPIRG.
In 1983 the chapter house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. This was due to efforts of the dedicated Missoula alumni who formed The John R. Toole Preservation Society as a non-profit organization to maintain the house and grounds and reduce the financial burden for chapter members. Fundraising efforts by the group helped to pay for extensive exterior and interior repairs to the nearly century old chapter house. The first floor was completely redecorated with carpeting, wallpaper, floor restoration and reupholstered furniture. The second floor bedrooms received fresh paint, bunk beds were added to the sleeping porch and the library was redecorated as well. The Beta Phi House Board worked hand-in-hand with the John R. Toole Society to redecorate and furnish the house in manner befitting the grace of the building and the functionality needed by 30-young women on a daily basis.
Beta Phi was active in philanthropy by supporting the fundraising efforts of other UM Greek group’s philanthropic activities to participating in many hands-on activities ranging from clothing collection for a local women’s shelter to the March of Dimes Walk-A-Thon. The chapter also participated in rehabilitative therapy for Matt Bittany, a UM student with cerebral palsy and son of a Kappa.
Chapter Convention Awards:
1984 History/Heritage Commendation 1988 Finance Excellence, Housed Chapters-Honorable Mention
As the last decade of the century rolled into Missoula, Beta Phi hopped on board with a determination to build chapter participation, increase chapter scholarship and maintain a positive community and campus image. Members emphasized communication and recognition to build unity and encourage members to give their best back to Kappa. The “Century Club” was established to challenge sisters to attend 100 classes in a row.
Alumnae support from the Advisory Board and House Board provided stability and help through several difficult situations. Alumnae and active members celebrated Beta Phi’s 90th birthday with a dinner and “historical” skit about the chapter through the years. Another joyful celebration took place during Homecoming on the front lawn when the mortgage was burned.
Beta Phi partnered with fraternities on several successful Homecoming floats winning top honors in the Greek Division. Founders Day, Senior Banquet, Scholarship Dinners, House Board and House Boy Appreciation Dinners were traditional events for the chapter to gather and celebrate various aspects of chapter life.
Campus participation highlighted the interests of members serving as UM Advocates, on the Honors Student Association, University Symphonic Wind Orchestra, UM Flute, Peer Advisers, UM Cross Country Track, Mortar Board, Order of Omega and SPURS.
Leadership development was a key element of chapter life. Members participated in Lead to Succeed a national leadership skills development program developed by Kappa Kappa Gamma and Alpha Tau Omega, chapter retreats featured team building opportunities such as a low ropes course. Many officers attended Iota Province Meetings and Convention to share ideas and bring back new ways to improve chapter life. Tiffany Finley, Colorado, served as a Chapter Consultant to Beta Phi helping the chapter to develop its identity and build on strong qualities of chapter life. The Fraternity selected two Beta Phi’s, Dana Clader and Shawna Gary, to serve as Chapter Consultants.
Beta Phi has a long standing belief in Panhellenic and held the Presidency and other offices several times throughout the decade. Greek Woman of the Year honors were bestowed on Shannon Frantzick and Dana Pickrell. In addition the chapter received Awards for Improved Scholarship, Campus Involvement and Most Improved Sorority from Panhellenic.
The chapter was recognized at Iota Province Meetings with awards in the areas of Outstanding Alumnae Participation, Improved Scholarship and Overall G.P.A. It was a thrill and tremendous honor for the chapter to receive the Greatest Improvement Award at the 1998 Convention.
The House Board aided by the John R. Toole Preservation Society performed miracles with limited funds to maximize upkeep on the nearly century old chapter house. Projects included: painting on the second floor, new window treatments in the House Director suite, new carpeting on the back stairs, planning for a sprinkler system, wall-to-wall carpet in the dining room, replacing siding and painting the exterior of the building, preventative maintenance on the roof, painting the back stairwell and chapter room, updated wiring and a new computer for the chapter Treasurer.
Philanthropy projects changed throughout the 1990’s based on campus and community needs and interests of the chapter. For several years members helped the Big Brothers and Sisters with fundraising by participating in the Bowl-a-Thon, they also raised funds for Wiggle for the Y and Missoula Children’s Theatre. Members volunteered for the cleanup of the Clarkfork and Bitteroot riverbanks and collected over 500 pounds of trash. Camp-Make-A Dream, a camp for children with cancer, was a long-term commitment of love from the chapter whether fundraising or volunteering for the camp itself. The chapter was recognized for their service as morning playground supervisors at Roosevelt Elementary School. Kappas were a part of “Rid Missoula of Graffiti” clean-up and spent several years decorating a tree at the Southgate Mall Festival of Trees.
1998 Greatest Improvement
Beta Phi had much to celebrate in this decade from Panhellenic and Iota Province awards to the Centennial Gala for the chapter. The chapter worked diligently on their academic standing and public relations image. Use of creative programming in scholarship resulted in top rankings on campus. Study tables and an honor roll posted for everyone to see helped to focus members on the importance of academics.
Member retention was a constant buzzword in the chapter. Flucuating campus Recruitment numbers and only four National Panhellenic sororities on campus made Formal Recruitment a challenge. New member classes reflected the diversity of the chapter and added to the strong base of sisterhood within Beta Phi.
Panhellenic sisterhood took on new meaning when the Kappa Alpha Theta chapter house was damaged during Christmas break and the chapter had to move-out while repairs were completed. Beta Phi graciously opened their house and the two chapters lived together learning how to share everything from shower and laundry time to observing privacy for chapter meetings. The experience brought the two chapters closer together and exemplified the spirit of Panhellenic cooperation.
For years leading up to 2009, Beta Phi alumnae began planning a Centennial Gala for alumnae and the undergraduate chapter. Homecoming 2009 was set on the calendar for the celebration and several committees planned the weekend of events culminating in a dinner at the Red Lion Inn. More than 250 members and guests gathered to celebrate 100 years of memories and Kappa friendships. Special Fraternity guest, Suzanne Van der Hayden, Washington State, Director of Alumnae gave the Keynote address and helped to pin the women receiving their 50-, 65- and 75-year pins. Former Fraternity Executive Director, Lila Isbell, Montana, served as Toastmistress and the program featured special music by The Kappa Keys, recognition of each class in attendance, a history of the John R. Toole house and presentation of Outstanding Alumnae to Marlys Barrett.
Refurbishing the foyer floor and painting projects along with replacing 57-year old boilers.
Chapter members helped with riverbed cleanup along the Clarkfork and Bitteroot rivers and volunteered for projects with Big Brothers and Sisters. In addition, the members partner with a local Boy Scout troop to clean Grizzly Stadium following football games. The Foresters’ Ball is a long-standing tradition at the U of M and Beta Phi hosted a booth performing “marriages” the last the night of the event. Money raised was contributed to Camp Make-a-Dream.
2000 Standards Honorable Mention; 2002 Greatest Scholarship Improvement Award; 2006 Academic Excellence Honorable Mention; 2008 Greatest Improvement Honorable Mention; Ritual Honorable Mention; Academic Excellence Honorable Mention; Recruitment Honorable Mention
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 Beta Phi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma has enjoyed a rich history endowed with all that you would expect: Joy, struggle, hysterical laughter and above all the founding of bonds so strong that they far surpasses the term friendship and evolves into sisterhood. Despite how cliché this phrase has become, the Kappa’s of UM do indeed “hold the key to klass”. During Greek Week held in the autumn semester, Kappa teamed with Sigma Nu and Kappa Sigma took first place overall obliterating the other teams with victories in events such as Capture the Flag on Greek Row, a god and goddess competition (Where one of our members was deemed the champion) as well as a float competition. The float built by Kappa and the two other fraternities was clearly the best, a judgment made with absolute objectivity. A gigantic bear head that was furry and absolutely adorable par oozed the streets of downtown Missoula, greeted by mouths that gaped so widely that small animals contemplated taking refuge there. It was indeed a proud day for Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Another proud endeavor for us Kappa’s at UM would be our academic achievement during the autumn semester. Kappa had been struggling academically prior to last semester. However, we emerged with the highest GPA average of all the sororities and second highest average in the entire Greek system. It was a major accomplishment and improvement. Also, the chapter has done great work on behalf of philanthropic causes. Kappa has raised thousands of dollars for Camp Make a Wish as well as aided in “Diva Days” which supported finding the cure for breast cancer. Also, another source of pride for Kappa occurred when Jessica Mounts was named Outstanding New Member and Alyissa Canady was named Greek Woman of Year. It was quite a prosperous couple of semesters.
The University Of Montana has dealt with a great deal of change this year. Most prevalent, accusations of sexual assault have served as a constant thought in the back of everyone’s mind. The school has been increasing awareness as well as initiating new security measures. The whole ordeal has most definitely changed the carelessness with which students treat their outings and social gatherings. Trends such as long boarding and floating the river have also become popular activities. Independent music has become very popular; nobody having heard of any of the bands anyone else is listening to. Trends change with time and the University of Montana is no exception.
Recent changes that Kappa has undergone, includes a large bundle of new members from recruitment in the fall of 2011. The new dynamic of the new member’s is a wondrous thing. The diversity is simply astounding, a diversity that penetrates straight to the heart. Think of a rainbow, but not one that follows the traditional six layer structure, one that shows the obscure colors no one has ever heard of, such as arsenic, chartreuse or a romantic candy apple sunrise. Also a somewhat unusual obsession has overtaken the fraternity. Cats. Oddly enough, cat paraphernalia is abundant. Honestly, it is quite strange however it is a unifying element bonding the sisters closer that before. Security has also been increased ensuring that only members of this fraternity can enter the house.
A challenge that the chapter has dealt with was the academic focus plan that we were put on for our prior performance academically speaking, was less than wonderful. Each member was required to complete a certain amount of study hours each week depending on prior academic performance although never less than five. The program was greeted with a great deal of eye rolling and sighing but eventually the chapter’s GPA was raised to above a 3.0. It was really a fantastic outcome. Another event that the chapter was put through would be a break in and theft of many prized possessions. Trophies, plaques, composites and food were taken. This was an ordeal that was hard to overcome, for many of the girls felt their safety was not a guarantee. The items were thankfully returned however anger was abundant. In response to the theft and trespassing, the door locks have been changed, and codes have been renewed. For a while, in house life was dealt with more cautiously and eventually we have reached a level of security that comforts each and every member.
2012 was a full year of philanthropy for the Beta Phi chapter. A few of the activities participated in are mentioned as follows:
- 30 Kappa women volunteered at the Missoula Children's First Museum Halloween Bash and provided activities and entertainment for 800 children. - The women of Kappa assisted with the annual Run Wild Missoula Diva Dash by forming their own running team and helping with set up. This event was held at the Community Medical Center and raised awareness for breast cancer. - $1400 was raised at the 2012 Forester's Ball Marriage Booth to contribute funds for Camp Mak-A-Dream, which is Beta Phi's local philanthropy. - KKG volunteered at multiple tables during the International Cultural Festival on campus to celebrate diversity at the University of Montana - 10 Kappas assisted the new fraternity on campus, Pi Kappa Phi, with their Bike-a-thon by biking in hour increments and donating the money received to Push America
As a whole, the Beta Phi chapter received awards that recognized different aspects of the chapter's activities and processes:
- 2011-12 Outstanding Alumni Relations and Chapter Development
- Most Improved Academic Excellence Award, 2010-2012
- The University of Montana Panhellenic Award for Chapter Involvement for 2012
- Honorable Mention for Standards - at Convention, 2012
- Greek Advisor of the Year 2012 was awarded to Marcy Hossle, who was a Beta Phi herself, and is actively involved in the Missoula Alumna Chapter.
The University of Montana is a thriving place--constantly, there are new opportunities made available to students. This year, there were a few new additions on campus:
The men of Pi Kappa Phi created a chapter at the UM this year, and the women of Kappa Kappa Gamma were obliged to help them in their recruiting endeavors and establishing their philanthropy by assisting with their annual Bike-a-thon.
The University of Montana is constantly striving to instill a global mindset in its students and encouraging them to reach for perfection in any endeavor they pursue. The newly founded Global Leadership Initiative was created to reflect these mantras. The program is meant to facilitate student teamwork and the motivation to solve global issues, and has a strong following of students.
The women of the Beta Phi chapter mirror the campus attitude in their desire to cultivate and learn in their areas of interest. They wish for their chapter to grow along with the University and to continue to promote KKG as a group of dedicated and hardworking women with outstanding moral character.
Formal recruitment for the Beta Phi chapter for 2013 was very successful and had a total of 35 New Members who were initiated on November 9, 2013. Many members of our chapter received the LAS award in scholarship and also the Bright Future Award for incoming freshman students. During the Spring and Fall semester of 2013, 5 of our members received a 4.0 GPA, one of them being a freshman. Unfortunately, we did not receive any Province awards for the 2013 year.
One of our traditions in this chapter is to do a “Snap Cup” at the end of every meeting. This allows us to say something positive about one another or the entire chapter about anything that was good for that week. Special events that we held during 2013 included Sapphire Ball, which was held at the Carousel, Forester’s Ball and Kappa Krush.
The Beta Phi chapter takes pride in our philanthropic involvement around the community and has proudly demonstrated our commitment and perseverance in helping others. We took the initiative to start early and made great communication with many organizations. Within the Spring semester alone for 2013, our chapter has generated 874 hours of community service and volunteered in events such as Forester’s Ball and the Missoula Public Library. During the Fall semester, we increased our total hours from the previous semester which resulted of 913 hours of community service. This included volunteering in events such as Diva Days, Halloween Bash, Up til Dawn, and Dress for Success which were a huge hit for the community and our chapter. Our main goal as a chapter was to remove ourselves from the Academic Focus Plan and we, as a chapter, set our GPA chapter goal to a 3.0. We also made it a goal to have higher philanthropic hours for our Fall semester than the previous Spring semester.
The Beta Phi chapter had the challenge of being on the Academic Focus Plan, and having the chapter cumulative GPA average below the all - sorority average for consecutive 3 terms. We have implemented a required 7 study hours a week for each individual member and relied on encouragement and support for one another. We also used positivity and rewards such as the “Skippy Jar” for those who did not skip class that week. Unfortunately though, we are still on the Academic Focus Letter, but we are striving hard and looking positively to overcome this problem for the 2014 year.
Some recent changes to the University of Montana has included the belief of the word “Thrive” around the campus. It is designed to be the main point and focus of the university to go above and beyond one’s potential from its students, faculty and the community. The university has also cut class sections due to budget cuts. The overall nature of our chapter has been positive in reinforcing our sisterhood. Our challenges has brought us closer as a chapter and are continuing to rise together. Whether if we are at events or just having dinner, there is a presence of having a common ground of being all together. We believe that we can make a positive impact in overcoming whatever comes our way and wish to promote Kappa Kappa Gamma as outstanding individuals who strive to go beyond our greater potential
Formal recruitment for the Beta Phi chapter for 2014 was very successful and had a total of 27 New Members who were initiated on October 25, 2014. Many members of our chapter received the LAS award in scholarship and also the Bright Future Award for incoming freshman students. During the Fall semester of 2014, our chapter GPA was 2.937. Unfortunately, we did not receive any Province awards for the 2013 year. One of our traditions in this chapter is to do a “Snap Cup” at the end of every meeting. This allows us to say something positive about one another or the entire chapter about anything that was good for that week. Special events that we held during 2014 included Sapphire Ball, which was held at a downtown hotel, Forester’s Ball and Kappa Krush.
The Beta Phi chapter takes pride in our philanthropic involvement around the community and has proudly demonstrated our commitment and perseverance in helping others. We took the initiative to start early and made great communication with many organizations. Our chapter has volunteered in events such as Forester’s Ball, the Missoula Public Library, and gathering cans of food for the food bank while we compete with Montana State’s PanHellenic for the most weight of food generated by donation from the public. Our main goal as a chapter was to remove ourselves from the Academic Focus Plan and we, as a chapter, set our GPA chapter goal to a 3.0. The Beta Phi chapter had the challenge of being on the Academic Focus Plan, and having the chapter cumulative GPA average below the all - sorority average for consecutive 4 terms. We have implemented a required 7 study hours a week for each individual member and relied on encouragement and support for one another. We also used positivity and rewards such as the “Skippy Jar” for those who did not skip class that week. Unfortunately though, we are still on the Academic Focus Letter, but we are striving hard and looking positively to overcome this problem for the 2015 year.
Some recent changes to our sorority house was during the summer, we redesigned our living room to resemble the time period of when our house was first built in 1902. The living room now has the original wooden floors renovated from having carpet on top of it as well as having time period specific furniture, paintings, and color scheme all done to represent the 1900s while keeping a modern touch. The overall nature of our chapter has been positive in reinforcing our sisterhood. Our challenges such as having to fill up a vacant presidential office during the fall semester have brought us closer as a chapter and are continuing to rise together. Whether if we are at events or just having dinner, there is a presence of having a common ground of being all together and supporting one another. We believe that we can make a positive impact in overcoming whatever comes our way and wish to promote Kappa Kappa Gamma as outstanding individuals who strive to go beyond our greater potential.
Women Behind the Badge: Our Vice President of Organization Marissa Barone, currently has a historical badge that belonged to Myrtle Buls who was a Beta Phi member from 1946. Although she passed away in 2010, she enjoyed many outdoor activities, singing and traveling. She was quoted as saying “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” Marissa was given the badge in May 2014.