Beta Rho Deuteron Chapter was founded at University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio on May 16, 1914.
2,486 initiates (as of June 2018)
The University of Cincinnati, the second oldest and the second largest municipal university in the United States, was founded in 1907. This date represents the establishment of the Cincinnati College and the Medical College of Ohio. In 1870 the city, under a state act, absorbed these colleges and established the University of Cincinnati. In 1967, by statute and Cincinnati Charter amendment, the university became the country's first municipally sponsored, state affiliated university. Enrollment in 1974 was 30,332; faculty, 1,032; buildings, 110. In 1914, when Beta Rho Deuteron was chartered, these same statistics were: 2,298;575; and 13.
The Kappa Kappa Gamma charter granted to the second (Beta) Rho on June 6, 1885, had been mysteriously surrendered a few months later. Alpha Phi Psi, a local group, was organized in 1904 and immediately petitioned Kappa Kappa Gamma. Finally in March 1914, after inspection by Florence Burton Roth, Michigan, Grand President, the petition was granted, and on May 19, the Installation of Beta Rho Deuteron was announced in the Cincinnati newspapers.
The loyalty and devotion of the Alpha Phi Psi members were remarkable. When Beta Rho Deuteron became a reality, the alumnae—many of whom were married, and often busy with children—registered for classes, became eligible for membership in Kappa, and were initiated. The Cincinnati Alumnae Association was quickly organized, and alumnae opened their homes for meetings, rush parties, teas and even slumber parties. They remembered Alpha Phi Psi, too. and one sentence from that ritual was incorporated in the Kappa ritual that is used today in Beta Rho Deuteron ceremonies.
“We need a house,” the actives declared. And the alumnae supplied furnishings for a four-room apartment from funds earmarked “to be used for a house when the need arises.” For $15 rent per month in 1930, Beta Rhos stored their belongings, held meetings and competed with Kappa Alpha Theta, until a larger apartment could be found. It was on Stratford Avenue. Then in 1938, the chapter moved to a house on Woodside Avenue. By 1949, the present home on Clifton Avenue, opposite McMicken Hall, became Beta Rho’s home, financed through a second mortgage arranged by a Beta Rho alumna and her husband. It is a three-story red brick, close to campus.
After three remodels (1957, 1962 and 1967), and thousands of dollars spent, and untold Beta Rho House Board anguish, it represented a dignified Williamsburg-Colonial façade. Behind black wrought-iron gates, once part of a Paris elevator, a memorial to Pamela Woods from her parents, 30 (of 75) actives lived and the business of Beta Rho was conducted. The house was owned by the Beta Rho House Board Association.
Funds from the Beta Rho Mothers Club and the Cincinnati Alumnae Association to assist in the defrayment of Convention expenses for a worthy undergraduate were at one time diverted to the use of the House Board. Two separate Beta Rho Dads Clubs, now extinct, were once joyous additions to chapter life with no noticeable generation gap. Dads Day was later celebrated with lunch at the house followed by attendance at a football game. A former January open house still exists—with variations.
Once it was the custom for the whole chapter to journey to the bride’s home on the wedding eve, with the bride joining the circle for a “last” sing together. Now the circle is often formed at the wedding reception, and the groom is included. The bride’s pin, a jeweled fleur-de-lis pin, was once worn and then returned to the chapter for the next wedding.
There are traditional key badges used by Beta Rho. The diamond key, with which Helen Shoemaker Damus was initiated in 1921, was given by her to the chapter as a President’s badge and was used first in 1945. The Bidlingmeyer key is worn by the sophomore who contributes the most to chapter and campus. The pledge bracelet is worn by the new member with the highest scholastic standing. The Margaret Sanger key is worn by the most recently engaged member. It has a rapid turnover!
KKG’s 75th Anniversary
A highlight in Beta Rho Deuteron history was the celebration of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity’s 75th birthday, October 13, 1945. More than 650 parents, husbands, alumnae, actives and friends attended the banquet in the Pavilion Caprice at the Hotel Netherland Plaza. A large committee had planned the evening, which included a dramatic musical pageant with a cast of 100. Alumnae conceived, wrote and directed the historical production.
The strength of Beta Rho Deuteron is reflected in its participation in local, national and Fraternity affairs. Chapter members and alumnae have aided in French war relief, the Red Cross, USO, blood donations and hospital service. They have also knitted many items for service people and war victims. In peace time, Thanksgiving baskets, children’s parties, hospital visits, and work in youth and rehabilitation centers have been part of the chapter and alumna programs. The university’s endowment fund and the dean’s emergency fund have been special interests of the alumnae association.
Academically, Beta Rho Deuteron has often been first in scholarship among National Panhellenic Conference groups and has earned the Scholarship Cup numerous times. As of 1974, Phi Beta Kappa has the names of 32 Beta Rhos in its files, and Beta Rho members were included in the rolls of 18 other scholarly honoraries. Two members received Geneva Scholarships. Richard and Mary Turner Whitney endowed a scholarship, as did Dr. Kenneth and Helen Wehman Gould, a memorial to her sister, Edith Wehman.
The “Singing Chapter”
The annual Interfraternity Sing on Mother’s Day began in 1923. Beta Rho earned its first win that year, and many other firsts and seconds have been won since. Permanent possession of the sing trophy came in 1945 after three consecutive wins. The “singing chapter” was performing on WLW radio, December 4, 1941, when the concert was interrupted with the news of Pearl Harbor. Original songs by Beta Rho are in the Kappa Song Book, and local musical comedy productions have claimed members’ talents. In 1949, Vaughn Monroe of big band fame chose a Beta Rho original song, “The Toast,” by Helen Beiderwelle Hanselman, in his “Salute to KKG” in a national broadcast. The words of Helen Hanselman’s “Toast” are as follows:
Here’s to all who wear a golden key, Whoe’er they are, whate’er they be, Here’s to ev’ry Kappa in the land, To ev’ry member of our band. Here’s to ev’ry chapter in the east or in the west, Here’s to that Fraternity of them all the best, Kappa Kappa Gamma, here’s to you, Here’s to your dark and to your light blue, Here’s to friendship great and true, Oh Kappa, Here’s our toast to you!
An impressive number of sweethearts, queens, dream girls, and goddesses, including the Missouri Valley Conference Queen and Homecoming Queens (1957 through 1961) have been Beta Rhos. Mystic 13 Chapter of Mortar Board had 110 Beta Rho members. Two Alpha Phi Psis, later initiated into Beta Rho, founded the Mystic 13, in 1913. In 1926, it became the name of the Cincinnati Chapter of Mortar Board, and all alumnae automatically became members.
Alumnae The Cincinnati Alumnae Association was largely a graduate Beta Rho chapter for many years. With a presently lost insularity, there are both gains and losses. The close relationship between chapter and association has lessened, and no longer does a chapter President assume the same role as an alumna, sooner or later. The association gives annually to the House Board, arranges the Founders Day celebration for alumnae and actives, holds an “Over 40” luncheon, meets once a year at the chapter house, contributes time and money to a selected philanthropy, and offers programs of general interest.
The association is well represented in civic affairs. Kappas, whose leadership was developed during undergraduate days in chapters across the continent, are holding offices and have served on the boards of such organizations as the College Club, the Summer Opera Association, the Women’s Symphony Committee, the League of Women Voters, YWCA, Girl Scouts, the Garden Center and the Junior League, to mention a few.
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.
The Beta Rhos started off 1975 by participating in homecoming with Delta Tau Delta, and attended the annual Founders Day banquet in October. They attended a welcome party for Phi Sigma Sigma, a new sorority on campus, and had their formal at the Cincinnati Club. The Kappas and Delts went to the Miami football game together that year and had a party afterward. They also had many other socials with the other fraternities on campus, including Sigma Chi and Sig Ep, and they enjoyed a Scavenger Hunt Party with Lambda Chi. Beta Rho members participated in Recruitment each quarter and had new members to prepare for Initiation. The theme for Greek Week was “All Together Greek.” They enjoyed a spring formal at the Gaslight Inn and also hosted a Mothers Day brunch. Beta Rho also worked hard to make care baskets for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
During fall Recruitment, 26 new members; chapter voted to participate in Open Rush for the rest of the year but decided to be very selective since they did so well during formal Recruitment. Members participated in a Dance Marathon for MS hosted by the university. A tradition began called “Mom and Dawd”—Kappa mother-daughter skits before formals.
In 1977 the girls had a chapter retreat on January 28 at the chapter President’s home. During informal winter Recruitment the girls hosted three parties: Valentine’s Day Party on Feb 15, Movie Party on Feb 18, and a formal brunch on Feb. 20. The committee for Greek Week was chosen and more Kappas than from any other sorority were selected to be on the committee. The Beta Rhos were so proud of their sisters for representing the chapter so well. Initiation was held April 1–2. The Kappas hosted a TGIF party with Theta Chi and participated in Sigma Chi Derby Days as well. Three Beta Rhos got the chance to participate in Buddy Week, where three girls from each chapter had exchange dinners all week and went to the other sororities to eat dinner.
Also in 1977, Kappa participated in “Safe and Free Escorts” along with the other sororities and fraternities on campus. Any woman could call this phone line, which the sorority women answered, and the fraternity men were sent to walk with them to make sure they got home safely. Kappa Kappa Gamma won songfest during Greek Week with “Pacific Moon” that spring. The Kappas placed first in academics as well.
In 1978, the chapter Marshal planned a trip to visit Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. The girls also hosted a Mothers Day Sing on April 9 and had a tea party with the Kappas from Miami University on April 23. For a philanthropy, some of the girls joined Little Sisters of the Poor. The Registrar started passing around a book she named the “Owlie Book” where the girls could write what they had been doing that week.
The 1978 homecoming saw an active nominated for Homecoming Court, and she represented Kappa well as the first runner-up. Partnering with the men of Delta Tau Delta, the ladies designed and built a float centering around the theme “The Good, The Bad and The Bearcat,” which came in first place during the parade.
In 1979 the girls of Beta Rho attended Province Meeting April 27–29. There was also a scholarship fund establish by the UC Foundation for a member of Beta Rho Deuteron. Many of the girls were active in Greek Week including one who was the publishing chairman and another who served as chairman. Another active was declared Lambda Chi Alpha Sweetheart in 1979.
The Kappas won Mothers Day sing, the Greek Week competition in 1981, as the rest of the Kappas cheered on their singing sisters! They proudly supported Kappa Kidney Camp* and had the opportunity to send girls to visit this summer camp for children dealing with kidney disease. The 1981-1982 chapter president was Homecoming Queen, and the chapter won Sigma Chi Derby Days yet again!
In the fall of 1982, Kappa took second place in the Homecoming float competition, with the help of Sigma Phi Epsilon. In the spring, Kappas ran in the Kappa Run for Fun, which was a Saturday morning event during Greek Week. In addition to participating in this event, which helped raise money for the chapter’s philanthropy, Kappa continued to be an active presence during all of the Greek Week events. Kappa participated in Sigma Chi’s Derby Days Philanthropy and from the years 1982–1984 Kappa’s won the week- long competition taking first place. A Beta Rho members was Sigma Chi’s Sweetheart in 1982.
On November 4, 1983, the Kappas sent 1,300 balloons into the sky to raise money for the Shriner’s Burn Institute. Each balloon had Kappa’s address on it and the owner of the balloon that reached the farthest distance that was returned won $50. The balloons were sold for $1 each. Funds went to the Shriner’s Burn Institute.
The Fall of 1984 saw Cathy Cunningham nominated to be on Homecoming Court. The chapter enjoyed serenades, where the new members from the fraternities serenade the new members of the sororities. The Kappas also won Sigma Chi’s Derby days again, and winter of 1985 brought excitement for Kappa’s Formal at the Cincinnati Club.
In the Spring of 1985, the Kappas won Mother’s Day Sing for the fifth year in a row! Throughout 1984 and 1985, Kappa Kappa Gamma held philanthropies to support Kappa Kidney Camp* in Bellefountaine, Ohio.
At this time, the University of Cincinnati had more than 25,000 students, the majority of whom were commuters. The Greek system included just less than 10 percent of enrolled students with 10 sororities and 14 fraternities on campus. Beta Rho Deuteron had 100 members, making it one of the largest chapters on campus. The chapter continued to win contests including Greek Week, Mother’s Day Sing and intramural championships. It pledged its largest new member class—44 members! Founders Day was celebrated with alumnae during a banquet at Carousel Inn. Two members were selected for Homecoming Court.
Sisterhood event: canoe trip the week before school started. Annual golf tournament a success. Placed second in scholarship; 24 new members, ranked first academically; 89 chapter members; eight sororities on campus; annual golf tournament raised $1,400 for Kappa Kidney Camp, a program of the National Kidney Foundation of Ohio*; a chapter sisterhood event was held at the Indiana, chapter house; chapter members worked with Adopt-A-School.
Beta Rho hosted Gamma Province Meeting April 4–5, 1997, where the chapter received the Membership Award and an honorable mention for Advisory Board, Philanthropy and Most Improved Scholarship. Founders Day was celebrated at the UC Alumni Center with dinner and the presentation of pins to 50- and 65-year members. In addition to intramural sports and the annual golf tournament fundraiser, which raised $2,000 for Kappa Kidney Camp*, the chapter teamed with Phi Delta Theta for the homecoming float competition. The chapter was ranked second in scholarship and won Derby Days. The chapter had 85 members and was the largest chapter on campus. Kappa Klassic golf tournament raised more than $2,500 for Kappa Kidney Camp* in 1991; sisterhood events including Initiation sleepover and ice cream social; four officers attended the General Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.; intramural teams placed first; chapter worked hard to successfully meet the criteria of a Letter of Concern; an anti-hazing workshop was put on for all Panhellenic new members; chapter pride and cohesiveness increased throughout the year; the chapter worked to adjust to the changes in the New Member Program.
Spring quarter 1999: The chapter placed fourth in Greek Week; first place in Greek Week Mother’s Day Sing competition. A chapter member won the Greek God and Goddess talent show by singing opera and Shania Twain songs. Members participated in the annual Clean Up Clifton event, held another successful Kappa Klassic golf tournament and the traditional Senior Night dinner. The chapter won the Outstanding Risk Management Award at the Greek awards banquet.
Fall quarter: Beta Rho moved up in grade ranking from seventh to second place and pledged 21 new members. The chapter enjoyed a mentoring presentation by a professor and held an adviser appreciation event. Members worked at a Cincinnati Bengals game as a fundraiser, held a date party and teamed with Sigma Phi Epsilon to win the Homecoming float competition. They also won intramural flag football and volleyball championships.
Winter quarter: pledged eight new members; won intramural basketball championship; worked closely with advisers to get chapter finances back on track; 22 members named to dean’s list, improved attendance by 33 percent (a chapter goal).
On Saturday, October 3, 2009, Beta Rho Deuteron introduced a new event to the UC community, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence. More than 100 individuals signed up to quite literally walk a mile in a pair of women’s high-heeled shoes! The walk participants traveled down McMicken stairs to Clifton Ave., marched down the MLK hill, and finished the walk by dancing their way up Mainstreet back to McMicken Commons. The proceeds benefitted Women Helping Women, a local crisis center.
At the annual campus Greek awards banquet in April, Beta Rho Deuteron received the designation of Gold Chapter, the highest honor, in all four categories, which included: Chapter Management, Policy Compliance, External Relations and Membership Development. The former chapter president was named Sorority President of the Year.
At Greek Week 2010, the Greek system granted the wishes of seven children by raising $40,000. Kappas placed first in Step, first in Lip Sync, second in God and Goddess, and second in Greek Games. Combined with chapter attendance for all of the events and the money the chapter was able to raise, Beta Rho Deuteron placed second overall for sororities.
Kappa Krush Semi-Formal, Sapphire Ball and Spring Fling and a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo for the festival of lights was part of Beta Rho’s sisterhood and social program. Members joined Kappa Alpha Theta in renting a theater at Newport on the Levee for the movie “Remember Me.” The year 2010 marked another year of success and improvement for Beta Rho chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma along with its 125-year anniversary.
Classes began on January 4 with Inspiration Week and Initiation on January 26, 2010, welcoming 29 new members. On February 4, the chapter went to the Ronald McDonald House to host the annual Reading Is Fundamental philanthropy event where they read to children. played games, ate popcorn and made bookmarks. On February 22, a group of Kappas danced the night away in the first ever Cincinnati Dance Marathon hosted by the University of Cincinnati. The 24 hours of nonstop dancing raised money for Children’s Hospital. On February 20, chapter members dressed up in gowns and went to The Newport Aquarium for Sapphire Ball. Kappa was honored to accept the award of Chapter of the Quarter from Panhellenic.
After a relaxing spring break, during the week of April 12 the chapter participated in many events in support of Greek Week collecting awards of 2nd in God and Goddess, 1st place Lip Sync, 1st Step-Off, and 2nd place overall sorority in Greek Week. The chapter’s quarterly philanthropy event, Kappa Dog Night, raised $500. Beta Rho also won these Greek Excellence Awards: Designated “Gold Chapter”, the highest honor, by University of Cincinnati Greek Life Office. Amy Dulle, President for 2009-2010, received President of the Year Award in our Panhellenic Community. On April 17 the chapter welcomed parents to the house for a dinner. April 20 marked the Greek Life Excellence Retreat, and two actives represented the chapter very well. On April 30, two new members were initiated and they welcomed a sister who transferred from the University of Akron.
The chapter held its spring semi-formal at Leapin’ Lizard in Covington on May 14. They participated in an inter-sorority Campus Clean Up and enjoyed interacting with members from other chapters. May 8 was the NPC “Something of Value” program where a few Chapter Council officers met with other members of the Greek Community to discuss a value-based approach to risk-management education for collegians. Beta Rho hosted its fourth annual Kappa Kup on May 22. Many teams signed up to participate in this soccer tournament in order to raise money for Kappa Kidney Camp.* The event brought in $1,000. Many Beta Rhos wrapped up the month by participating in Relay for Life on campus and had a great time getting to know each other more and helping support cancer patients in their fight against cancer. Kristen Holtahaus sang during the opening ceremony in honor of her mother who lost her battle with cancer.
Beta Rho teamed up with the men of Sigma Phi Epsilon to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House every Friday of the quarter. The Chapter Council voted to make one of the chapter meetings a country-western theme. Members came dressed in their favorite western attire and prizes were awarded for the best dressed!
Beta Rho members returned from summer break to newly renovated restrooms on the second floor. Members returned a week early for Fleur-de-lis Week, which was held September 13–17. The chapter participated in Recruitment workshops and sisterhood activities to get members prepared for formal Recruitment. At the end of September many of the girls attended a Meet the Greeks Cookout. Julie Chase was selected as an emerging leader to attend Leadership Academy as Beta Rho’s representative.
Classes began on September 22. On Saturday, October 2, the Kappas held their second Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault, and Gender Violence event. Campus and community participants walked a mile through campus in high heels. Q102’s Jeff and Jenn Morning Show broadcast live from the walk. All proceeds benefited Women Helping Women, a crisis center in Cincinnati, and Kappa was able to donate approximately $2,100.
Formal Recruitment was held October 15–18, and ended in a “Notorious KKG” themed Bid Day where 50 new members were welcomed—the largest new member class in the chapter’s history! The chapter was excited to welcome back their five members who served as Rho Gammas (Recruitment Guides).
Homecoming was October 30 with the theme of “Transforming Bearcats.” Beta Rho teamed up with Sigma Alpha Epsilon to create a float, which came in third place. The Friday before homecoming some girls participated in the 5K walk to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. On the Saturday of homecoming, the chapter hosted a brunch for actives, alumnae, and their families at the house in order to watch the parade. Chapter President, Sarah Stenger, was chosen for Homecoming Court.
The annual Founders Day luncheon was held at The Cincinnati Women’s Club on November 6. The chapter also carved pumpkins with Sigma Chi, and later hosted another Kappa Dog Night at the Kappa house. They raised $745 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Throughout the week the ladies of Beta Rho also participated in Sigma Chi’s annual Derby Days fundraiser for the Huntsman Cancer Institute. They teamed up with the men of Sigma Chi to drive the Nightwalk van once a week. Each Wednesday two Kappas and two Sigma Chis were in charge of taking the Nightwalk calls and driving around campus to make sure everyone who needed it got a safe ride home. Another philanthropic event that Kappas got involved in was Special Olympics. Chapter member Porshea Monnin organized an event one Saturday each month for the Kappas to team up with another fraternity or sorority to help out with the special Olympics Program.
A Kappa Trainer facilitated an image-management workshop at a chapter meeting. The annual fall semi-formal, Kappa Krush, was held at a venue called “Bartini” and the theme was “Kappa Kaberet.” A week later many members drove to Anna Leverone’s house for the new member retreat on November 14. On November 18, members gathered on the front porch to listen to the gentlemen of various fraternities serenade the chapter. Kappas also attended a Tacky Christmas Sweater Social with the men of Phi Kappa Alpha at Longworth’s in Mt. Adams.
The year for the ladies of the Beta Rho Deuteron chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma began with the installation of new officers. With the new officers came new ideas for improving the chapter! In the beginning of February we went with our Dads to Stone Lanes Bowling Alley for an afternoon of bonding and getting a couple strikes and spares! In the month of February we also teamed up with Sigma Phi Epsilon to create a team for Cincinnati Dance Marathon, a 24 hour dance philanthropy raising money for Children’s hospital. Though our legs were sore we were honored to have so many of our sisters on CDM’s executive board and morale team. At the end of February we held our annual Sapphire Ball at “The Syndicate” in Newport, Kentucky. The ball was Masquerade themed and after a delicious dinner, we danced the night away with our newly crowned Sapphire Man, David Clark. We were also able to hold our Reading is Key week-long event with the Cincinnati Boys & Girls clubs. We read books, played games, had snacks and laughed with the little kids.
With springtime came Greek Week, Relay for Life and a jam-packed Kappa calendar! At this year’s “Hollywood” themed Greek Week, the Beta Rho chapter placed 1st in belly flop, 1st in Lipsync (three years in a row), 1st in Greek Sing and 1st in Dodgeball. We also placed 2nd in volleyball and 3rd in Step. The Beta Rho chapter placed overall runner-up and overall philanthropy runner-up. With Greek Week over we focused on Relay for Life teaming up with Sigma Alpha Epsilon to raise money by selling deep fried Oreos and other baked treats! In the month of April we were also able to squeeze in an amazing parents weekend! We attended a Cincinnati Red’s game with our families and cheered on the Red legs (in our adorable matching Parent’s Weekend shirts). We also treated our Moms to a brunch and Lilly Pulitzer trunk show! The trunk show was such a hit we opened up our house to the Panhellenic community! We ended our Spring quarter with a “Garden” themed dance outside at the Theodore M. Berry Friendship Pavilion on the river. With better than perfect weather, everyone enjoyed taking pictures and hitting the dance floor for a night full of great memories. We also held our annual soccer tournament Kappa Kup at the end of May where we had 20 teams sign up to play as well as received team t-shirts, were coached by our awesome soccer moms, and shared lunch and refreshments with the ladies of KKG. All the proceeds went to Kappa Kidney camp.
Over the summer, the Beta Rho chapter took no breaks! Hannah Motz and Liz Stoner attended the 2012 National Convention in Jacksonville, FL. They attended many sessions to teach about Standards, Finance, Recruitment, New Member Programs, etc. and bring what they learned back to the chapter. They also learned a lot from meal-time guest speakers, in particular GIRLS Academy. Because of the impact that GIRLS Academy had on Liz and Hannah, the Beta Rho chapter applied and were honored to be 1 of 6 chosen. Our event will be held the first weekend this upcoming March. Convention for Beta Rho was a fun time meeting Kappa's from all over the United States as well as interacting with members from our region. At the conference we got Honorable Mentions for Risk Management and Philanthropy Signature Event. We were also recognized for Legacy Recruitment.
We ended our summer days with a Fleur de Lis Week that went down in the Beta Rho chapter history books! Our membership chair Maddie put together a fabulous week filled with Kappa history lessons, proper recruitment etiquette, and we had fun bonding with our sisters while making our first ever Recruitment video, with many thanks to our sister Christa Seta for dragging 130 girls around UC’s campus for pictures, songs, and testimonials. With FDL weeks fresh in our minds, the Beta Rho chapter participated in Panhellenic Formal recruitment. We were so excited to show our amazing house and sisterhood to so many potential new members. We ended the two weekend recruitment with a “Reeling in the Finest since 1870” bid day complete with nautical bracelets, porch dance parties, and welcoming our 39 newest members. We also were thrilled to welcome back our 6 amazing Rho Gammas who were disaffiliated during their times serving our Panhellenic community.
Our new members joined right in time for Homecoming which UC themed this year “I Love Lucy” for Lucy the Bearcat! The Beta Rho chapter teamed up with the men of Alpha Chi Rho and our Homecoming chair Courtney planned a fun filled week with Hawaiian, Neon, and Disney themed nights! We ended the week with our annual Homecoming brunch, catered by Maggiano’s Italian restaurant. We shared spaghetti and desserts with alumni, friends and family and watched the Homecoming parade from our front porch where we saw our float, and our President Liz Stoner and VPAE Sarah Chant on the Homecoming court! The turnout was great, the Bearcats took home a victory against the Miami Redhawks! With a win under the Bearcats belt, we celebrated Founder’s Day at the Cincinnati Women’s Club. The Beta Rho chapter and local alumni enjoyed a healthy brunch of quiche and fruit while listening to presentations of Kappa songs, poems, and updates. Several alumni received 65- and 50- year anniversary pins. A special guest from Columbus gave an interesting presentation on GIRLS Academy, and got everyone excited to participate in such a wonderful event. Junior Sarah Clem was awarded the Gloria Gehrig award and received the honorary pin. We also had a leadership consultant with us this semester. During Kimberly's visit to the University of Cincinnati she was able to meet many of the women of Beta Rho, as well as experience many of the wonderful perks that our beautiful city has to offer. She enjoyed delicacies such as Graeters and Skyline and also attended a hot yoga class with Kathleen Grace (Risk). Her time spent with us was short but we were able to learn so much from her during her stay.
The ladies of Beta Rho visited the Niederman Family Farm in the end of October for a Fall themed sisterhood. We began the day at the Kappa house, where we enjoyed some pinterest –inspired apple pie muffins then headed off to the farm. We spent the day roasting marshmallows, taking hayrides, exploring the corn maze, and hanging out in the petting zoo. Besides a little rain at the start of the event (and some directionally challenged drivers), the sisterhood went off without a hitch. Even more exciting, this was our first sisterhood with our New Members. It was so nice to get to mingle with the different pledge classes and break out of our typical groups of friends. The event reaffirmed that any Saturday afternoon is better with your sisters. We also held a Halloween Date Party where we dressed up and skated at SkateTown USA!
We unfortunately had to end this year with a loss of a sister, friend and inspiration. Not only was she the most positive, free spirited person you would have ever met; she was always there for you to brighten your day. Throughout our lives with Ellen Garner we learned that we have to live life to the fullest, not care about what others think and most importantly to take chances because you never know what great story can come from it. Throughout this time we have learned the true meaning of sisterhood and appreciate this gift that Kappa Kappa Gamma has given us.
The year 2013 for the ladies of the Beta Rho Deuteron chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma began with some hard losses. We returned from Winter Break to some very difficult news – our sister Ellen Garner had been injured in a house fire on New Year's Day and was in the hospital in a medically-induced coma. Despite endless prayers and good thoughts, she left us on January 14, 2013. In the days and weeks following her death, our chapter became stronger than ever. We came together with a true appreciation for each other and it made me even more proud to be a Kappa. Ellen truly was all that was beautiful and good.
As with all hard things, our Beta Rho worked to move forward together and begin the rest of the year, always keeping Ellen in minds and keeping memories of her close. As January progressed, we had the installation of new officers and the turning of a page. With the new officers came new ideas for improving the chapter and ideas to thrive with the semester conversion. Many new challenges were ahead as the chapter council worked to see how to squeeze in the activities which previously filled 5 months during our winter and spring quarters, into the 4 months of our first spring semester. It was a challenge from the start, but Beta Rho had a lot to look forward to for the remainder of the school year. We were also honored to have two Kappas elected into positions on Panhellenic Council-Brittany Besl and Kristy Dardano represented Kappa as VP Recruitment and VP Finance.
In the month of February, Kappas teamed up with Pi Kappa Alpha to create a team for Cincinnati Dance Marathon, a 24 hour dance philanthropy raising money for Children’s hospital. We enjoyed a Valentine’s themed two way with the men of Beta Theta Pi and mixed up our typical dog nights by having a coney sale with men of Sigma Chi. We were honored to have the opportunity to hold our first Girls Academy at Summit View Middle School. We hosted 50 middle school girls for an overnight event with focus on empowering leaders, the importance of respect, and service. The event was a great success and we loved learning from the girls at this school and helping empower them. On March 8 we held our annual Sapphire Ball at “The Syndicate” in Newport, Kentucky. The ball was fully stocked with a candy bar and after a delicious dinner, we danced the night away with our newly crowned Sapphire Man, Rob Rice. The following morning, a few bright eyed members chalked up the energy to participate in UC’s Community Plunge. We spent the morning “Springing our steps” with some of the men of Pi Kappa Phi and worked to clean up an abandoned pathway of steps leading out of downtown Cincinnati. Kappas returned from spring break and had a parents weekend event to Hockey Game. With springtime came Greek Week, Province Meeting in Columbus, Relay for Life with SAE and a jam-packed Kappa calendar! We were honored and proud to receive Most Improved Chapter, Best New Member Program, and honorable mentions in Sisterhood and Membership at Province Meeting. At this year’s “Greekelodeon” themed Greek Week, the Beta Rho chapter placed 3rd overall, with another 1st place in belly flop, 3rd in Lipsync, and 1st in greek games. With Greek Week over we focused on Relay for Life teaming up with Sigma Alpha Epsilon to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Relay for Life was a great success as our chapter had the top fundraising with over $15,000 raised! This largely came from the support of member Christa Seta and her family who host a fundraiser in memory of her mom each year who were incredibly generous to donate this money in our name for this cause this year.
As the semester quickly came to an end, we hosted our first Kappa Kornhole event to raise money for Kappa Kidney Kamp. We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon of supporting our teams and grilling hot dogs. To end the year, we hosted a memorial for Ellen as found in our ritual book which was presided by a former fraternity president, J.J. Wales. For the first time Kappas packed their bags and ended exams before we even turned the page to May.
We ended our summer days with a Fleur de Lis week that brought us all back together. Our membership chair Katie put together a fabulous week filled with Kappa history lessons, proper recruitment etiquette, and we had fun bonding with our sisters while making our Recruitment video which has become a highlight of recruitment. As school came back into session we enjoyed our first two way of the year with a fun kickball filled field day with the men of Pi Kappa Alpha. Just a few weeks into the semester, Beta Rho chapter participated in Panhellenic Formal recruitment. We were excited to share our sisterhood with so many potential new members as we had another year of record numbers of girls going through recruitment. Even through some nights of pouring down rain, we were able to meet so many amazing women. We ended the two weekend recruitment with a “Kappa Revolution” bid day. Once again through the rain we still managed to have a 70s worthy dance party on the porch, and welcoming our 49 newest members. We also were overjoyed to welcome back our sisters who had disaffiliated to help the new girls find their homes in each sorority chapter.
Our new members joined right in time for Homecoming which UC themed this year “Once upon a Homecoming”! The Beta Rho chapter teamed up with the men of Sigma Chi and our Homecoming chair Elle Murray planned a fun filled week themed nights! We ended the week with our annual Homecoming breakfast, catered by Maggiano’s Italian restaurant. We shared breakfast with alumni, friends and family and watched the Homecoming parade from our front porch during the rain where we saw our float, and our Education chair Sarah Clem and Brittany Besl on the Homecoming court! The Bearcats took home a victory against the U Conn, and Kappa took a victory with Sarah Clem winning Homecoming!
With a win under the Bearcats belt, we celebrated Founder’s Day at the Cincinnati Women’s Club. Several alumni received 65- and 50- year anniversary pins. Nancy Carley province director of alumnae spoke to us and Junior Natalie Papania was awarded the Gloria Gehring award and received the honorary pin.
October brought a busy month for us starting off with UC’s first “reading days.” Our event chairman Courtney Gibbons, planned a fun 2-way with the women of Theta painting pottery. In November, Kappa’s brought back an old tradition for our annual Kappa Krush. Each of our dates were “Krushed” and had to wait until the night of the dance to see who had invited them. We had fun surprising the dates and danced the night away at the chic Venue 222 in Over the Rhine. As the semester came to a close Kappa kept our calendars full. During I-Week we had the joy of sharing our experiences with Ilyana, our leadership consultant. During the week, we had family dinners, got competitive at Laser tag, enjoyed a hot yoga class, and wrapped up the week with fireside and initiation. We were lucky to share our experiences with a few of the women from the Akron chapter as they initiated one of their new members along-side of ours.
After Thanksgiving, we took a little road trip to headquarters where the newest members were able to see even more into our sisterhood and history during a visit to the Kappa museum. We loved learning about the history of Kappa, as well as history of our very own chapter we hadn't previously known at the Heritage Museum. Additionally, Kappa finished the fall semester 3rd overall in the Greek community for chapter GPA and 2nd among other sororities. We are excited to see where 2014 will take us.
This past year has been a year of change around UC. President Santa Ono has spurred on an even greater school spirit that has made every event electric and an exciting time to be students here. This past year, we finished our first year on semesters which required a lot of changes for our calendar and how we make things work. Our chapter has found a way to continue to thrive throughout these changes and continues to grow and stay at the forefront of Greek life on campus.
2014 was a great year for the ladies of Beta Rho Kappa Kappa Gamma. Marking our centennial at the University of Cincinnati, we were excited for all that 2014 had to offer. January brought a smooth transition to a new Chapter Council led by President, Michelle Firsdon. To start the New Year off swinging, we partnered with the men of Sigma Phi Epsilon for a 60’s themed two-way where we learned how to swing dance! Planned by our Event Chair, Brooke Duncan, we learned how to do some basic steps. It was a huge blast and also a great way to get to know the boys before we partnered with them for Homecoming in the Fall. Later in January, Kappa Kappa Gamma attended a 90’s themed social at Longworth’s Hall, a local bar located in Mount Adams. We danced to music from the 90’s alongside members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Pike Kappa Alpha, and Phi Mu, a sorority to just join the University of Cincinnati’s campus! It was a great way to welcome Phi Mu into the Panhellenic Community and to form fresh friendships with them! In February, Beta Rho hosted their annual Sapphire Ball at the memorable 20th Century Theatre in Oakley Square in Cincinnati. The dinner was delicious and there was even an ice cream bar with Cincinnati’s own Graeter’s Ice Cream, a local favorite. The ball was a hit and was a great send off for our senior sisters.
Beta Rho also enjoyed strengthening our sisterly bonds when our Vice President of Standards, Shelby Penn, planned an awesome Sisterhood event at Skyzone, an indoor trampoline park! We had a blast jumping around and enjoying food and drinks. Later in the February, Philanthropy Chair, Kelsey Thomas planned a “Block Party Philanthropy Night” where Beta Rho sold our classic hot dogs on the street while our neighbors Delta Tau Delta, Theta Phi Alpha, Chi Omega, and Sigma Phi Epsilon also sold their signature eateries! Beta Rho’s also spent time in the spring volunteering at the local Ronald McDonald House, partnering with Kappa Delta to make breakfast for residents and their families of the shelter. It was truly an amazing experience to be able to share our time and effort to help the Ronald McDonald House run smoothly.
Beta Rho did not slow down for the end of the semester as we geared up for the week-long philanthropy, Greek Week, benefitting the Freestore Foodbank. Kappa had a blast showing off our step and dance routines in the variety show, displaying our versatility during the Greek Games, and helping to package food to donate to the Freestore Foodbank. Beta Rho was also pleased to be awarded as Red & Black Chapter in the Panhellenic community. To finish off the semester, we had a Mom’s Day at the house where we had a Coloring Specialist teach us all how to wear our unique color best. Our senior night was filled with emotions both happy and sad as we were sad to see our sisters graduate.
After the summer away, Beta Rho was prepared to tackle recruitment with our Membership Chair, Emily Mehl. After two hot weekends, we welcomed 50 new members to our chapter with a Glitter and Blue themed Bid Day. We danced on our front porch and grilled our signature hot dogs till our house was covered in glitter. Immediately after Bid Day was Homecoming Week! Many of our sisters attended Fall Ball alongside many men of Sigma Phi Epsilon. The event was hosted by Sigma Phi and was a fun twist to add to our Homecoming week line-up. After our swing dancing with Sigma Phi Epsilon, it was even more fun preparing a float with them for the “Zinzinnati” themed Homecoming Parade, taking Cincinnati back to its German roots. We were eager and excited to cheer on sister Brittany Ziegler who was a member of Homecoming Court! This year, Cincinnati’s football games were held at Paul Brown Stadium downtown while our stadium, Nippert, was undergoing construction. Planned by our Public Relations Chair Megan Beischel, we still hosted our annual brunch for our sisters and their families as we ate Maggiano’s and geared up to beat Miami, Oxford.
After Homecoming, Beta Rho paired up with the men of Sigma Alpha Epsilon to enjoy some of Cincinnati’s favorite foods such as Skyline Chili and Graeter’s Ice Cream for a social. There are few things better than enjoying Cincinnati’s signature foods with your sisters! Later, Beta Rho traveled to Miami, Oxford to have a two-way with our Kappa Kappa Gamma sisters at Miami! We traveled to farm where we pet cows, braved a corn maze, and roasted marshmallows and hot dogs over a campfire. It was so great to meet our sisters from another chapter. At the event we had a t-shirt swap where members of our chapter brought t-shirts to swap with t-shirts they brought! Also, we all enjoyed being able to spend it with our Leadership Consultant, Jo, who was visiting that week!
Once October came, we were finally able to host our Centennial Celebration. Planning started in the spring with the help of alumni Leah Nguyen and a committee of dedicated sisters. There was energy buzzing in the air all weekend. Friday evening welcomed an open house at Beta Rho for alumni and family to revisit the Kappa house. The signature event on Saturday was hosted at the Millennium Hotel located in downtown Cincinnati and included a silent auction, dinner, speeches from Kappa alumnae, and tons of Kappa memories relived. It was such a blessing to see how much Kappa has influenced our sisters’ lives and to see that Kappa is an organization we are a part of forever.
October brought even more excitement to Kappa as we debuted our first annual Kappa Spelling Key benefiting Reading is Fundamental. At the event, representatives from different Greek organizations around campus were contestants in a college style spelling bee. Guests gained entrance to the event by donating childrens books and Beta Rho collected almost 300 books to benefit children in the local community. All of the sisters had a blast at the event and we are excited to continue it on as a tradition for our chapter!
In November, we were finally able to welcome our 50 new members into our sisterhood. Leading up to initiation, we had a fun Inspiration Week led by Marshal, Courtney Gibbons. After 9 weeks of preparation led by New Member Chair, Liv Dulle, we were so excited to initiate our new members. Beta Rho had a 100% retention rate from recruitment and was thrilled to welcome all of them to our sisterhood. Later in November, we enjoyed our signature semi-formal, Kappa Krush. All of our dates were “krushed” or pinned with a ribbon leading up to the event and were able to find the Kappa with the matching ribbon. The event was hosted at the American Sign Museum, a truly hidden gem in Cincinnati that displays hundreds of retired signs from all over. It was a night filled with dancing, music, and laughter. Before we left for Thanksgiving break, Beta Rho was asked by the men of Alpha Tau Omega to build our float together next Homecoming and we said yes! Beta Rho is excited to work with them and to get to know them better.
As the semester wound down, the Kappas hit the books as final exams approached and were proud to have been ranked third for chapter GPA in the Panhellenic community. We kept our focus on the new year ahead as we slated for the 2015 chapter council. Looking back, so much has happened in 2014 for Beta Rho from celebrating our rich history at the University of Cincinnati to beginning a new philanthropy tradition. We are excited and eager to see what 2015 has in store for Beta Rho!