Eta Upsilon Chapter was founded at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas on November 16, 2013.
172 Total Initiates as of (June 2018)
In 1895, Fairmount College opened collegiate classes for men and women with funding by the Congregational Education Society. Sports were of interest to students from the beginning. On the second day of school, some of the men met under a tree to discuss forming a football team. In addition to football, basketball, baseball and track were added to the men’s roster and basketball to the women’s.
In 1905, under the glow of Coleman lanterns, the Fairmount Wheatshockers won the first-ever night football game played west of the Mississippi River. That same team instigated the first forward pass in collegiate history on Christmas Day of that year.
By the mid-1920s, financial concerns threatened the young college. Public ownership seemed to be the obvious solution to loyal Fairmount supporters, but the first campaign for public ownership failed at the polls in 1925. A renewed effort in 1926 was overwhelmingly approved, however, and the 569-student Municipal University of Wichita, popularly known as Wichita University or WU, became the first in a new era of city institutions in the American West. From the very beginning, Wichita University served students whose financial circumstances and family responsibilities limited their options for higher education.
A long and arduous battle that began in 1955 finally culminated in 1963 with legislative approval of a new state university. The citizens of Wichita responded in the form of a $1.5 million levy to pay the bonded indebtedness and provide a perpetual endowment for the new state institution. In 1964, it officially entered the state system of higher education as Wichita State University with an enrollment of nearly 7,000 students, the third largest university governed by the Kansas Board of Regents.
October 2, 1970, was one of the blackest days in Wichita State history. One of two planes carrying players, coaches, staff and fans to a football game at Utah State crashed near Silver Plume, Colo., killing 31. Football was discontinued in 1986 because of mounting debt.
In 1975, the women’s bowling team won the national title. Baseball returned to campus in 1978, finishing second in the College World Series in 1982 and winning the national championship in 1989. The men’s basketball team qualified for the Final Four in 1965 and 2013.
As Kansas’ only urban-serving research state university, WSU combines a traditional college atmosphere with the opportunities of the state’s largest city. As of 2013, Wichita State enrolled nearly 15,000 students. The Beginning
In April 2012, the Wichita State University Panhellenic Council voted to establish a committee for the purposes of exploring extension. In October, the WSU Panhellenic Council voted to open for extension for the purpose of a local sorority, Gamma Epsilon, to affiliate with a National Panhellenic Conference group and for non-affiliated women on the campus.
In November, Extension Chairman Barb Adams Goettelman, Syracuse, and Zeta West Province Director of Alumnae Melissa Smith, Kansas, made a visit to Wichita State and met with Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life Gina Stewart and Peggy Ward, adviser to Gamma Epsilon, a local sorority. The Fraternity sent its extension applications and letter of interest packets to the campus and received notification that it and another NPC group had been selected to make a presentation. Kappa’s on-campus presentation was scheduled for February 20, 2013.
A 14-inch snowstorm hit Wichita the evening of February 20. Due to the heavy snowstorm, flights were canceled, and the Kappa presentation team couldn’t get out of Wichita until February 22. Everyone had a great time while “grounded” and strengthened the bonds of sisterhood, working on projects together, while making several attempts to “get out of Dodge!” We had the opportunity to celebrate Extension Coordinator Lisa Lunney Thomson’s, Bowling Green, birthday together due to Mother Nature’s plans.
Two undergraduate women who transferred from the University of Kansas to Wichita State University founded the local sorority Gamma Epsilon at WSU.
In 2012, members of Gamma Epsilon contacted the Wichita State College Panhellenic and asked it to invite a Panhellenic group to join Alpha Phi, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma and Gamma Phi Beta. From its founding, Gamma Epsilon’s goal had been to affiliate with an NPC group.
Its purpose statement was “It shall be the purpose of Gamma Epsilon to foster positive connections within our organization and throughout the community. This student organization will instill respect for all women by promoting values of leadership, integrity, sisterhood, scholarship and philanthropy.” Gamma Epsilon’s five purposes were sisterhood, leadership, integrity, community service and scholarship. Its colors and symbols were turquoise, canary yellow, the owl, paisley, daisy and the locket.
After Gamma Epsilon members reviewed proposals, the women chose Kappa Kappa Gamma as one of the NPC groups to make a presentation. They informed their faculty adviser and fellow Gamma Epsilon Peggy Ward, and she entered the exploratory visit and time with KKG thinking, “Don’t blow this, we really want Kappa.” Peggy expressed later, “the pressure was really on me to seal the deal.” Kappa Kappa Gamma wanted them as well and to become a part of this Panhellenic community.
Kappa Kappa Gamma presented at Wichita State on February 20, 2013. Members of Kappa’s presentation team were Fraternity President Julie Marine Leshay, Colorado College; Director of Chapters Collett Beers Rangitsch, Wyoming; Director of Programs & Education Beth Uphoff Black, Illinois Wesleyan; Barb Goettelman; Region 3 Director of Alumnae Linda Price Patton, Oklahoma State; Social Media Coordinator Claire Davis, Auburn; Lisa Thomson; and Executive Director Kari Kittrell.
The Wichita State College Panhellenic made the final decision as to which additional NPC group to invite with the recommendation from the local sorority Gamma Epsilon taken into consideration. Kappa Kappa Gamma joined Alpha Phi, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma and Gamma Phi Beta as the fifth Panhellenic group on campus.
On March 16, the College Panhellenic of WSU invited Kappa Kappa Gamma to establish a chapter on its campus. This was welcome news not only for the Fraternity Council but also for a special group of collegiate members of the local sorority, Gamma Epsilon.
The Fraternity appointed Susanne Wolff Vander Heyden, Washington State, as Colonization Chairman and Chelsea Dyer, Oklahoma State, as Chapter Consultant after which the planning for the fall colonization began. In July 2013, Chelsea Dyer moved to Wichita, enrolled in a master’s program and began the process of spreading the word that Kappa Kappa Gamma was coming to campus. Her first event, the Activities Fair on August 28, brought “Be Kappa” posters, a bright blue table cloth, blue balloons and local alumnae wearing blue and their badges, and our campaign was launched. Women unaffiliated with the local group took notice. Some wanted to be a part of something new, some were intrigued with our national philanthropy, Reading Is Fundamental and the ability to choose a philanthropy project that was a passion for them.
On September 5 and 6, with the assistance of local alumnae under the direction of Wichita Alumnae Association President Judy Hardman Rapp, Kansas; local liaison Val Laham Learned, Kansas; and the undergraduates members of Gamma Alpha, Kansas State, under the leadership of President Claire Carlson and Vice President – Organization Hannah Smith, Kappa participated in the first and second rounds of formal Recruitment. Phi Delta Theta opened its beautiful home, and the Kappas recruited just like every sorority on campus with songs, T-shirts, owl cookies, blue punch, a program describing KKG and lots and lots of chatter!
On September 26, Kappa held its colonization kickoff event, in the National Institute for Aviation Research Building. Assisting with the presentation were Leadership Consultants Jordan Newsom, Knox, and Madison Taylor, Arkansas. Chelsea Dyer, Madison Taylor and Susanne Vander Heyden shared their personal accounts of the advantages of membership in Kappa Kappa Gamma. Two days of interviews conducted by local alumnae followed on September 27 and 28. The final day of colonization, Preference, on September 29 consisted of an event with cupcakes, tulle and twinkly lights and a reading about “What Kappa Is” from the members of Gamma Alpha Chapter. On a bright, breezy fall afternoon, Kappa Kappa Gamma welcomed 40 new members into Eta Upsilon Colony.
Fraternity Installation Chairman Kristi McCune Rowland, Kansas State, oversaw the details for the installation with assistance from Chelsea Dyer and Coordinator of Chapter Development Risa Flanders, Kansas State. A very special aspect of this installation was that three Gamma Epsilon alumnae, Laura Gerber, Julie Scherer and Peggy Ward, were initiated along with the 40 undergraduate colonizing members.
The FS service was held November 15 at the Crestview Country Club in Wichita, and the Installation Service was conducted the following day at the Wichita Marriott. Gamma Alpha Chapter served as the sponsor chapter and took part in the Installation Service.
A beautiful installation brunch was held at the Wichita Marriott. Barb Goettelman was the toastmistress. Fraternity President Julie Leshay welcomed Kappa to the campus and spoke about how the Fraternity fits into the Wichita State Greek system. Barb Goettelman shared a letter from Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life Gina Stewart:
Women of Kappa Kappa Gamma,
First, my apologies for not being with you on this momentous occasion. Please know my thoughts are with each of you as you complete your journey of becoming initiated members of Kappa Kappa Gamma and receive the charter acknowledging that Wichita State University officially has a fifth NPC group represented on our campus. This has been a long journey. It would be discourteous of me to not mention first the meeting held years ago with Phoebe, Alex (the founders of the local sorority Gamma Epsilon) and Peggy Ward (Gamma Epsilon’s faculty adviser). Had it not been for the energy and determination of those women and the founders of Gamma Epsilon, we would not be here today. Thank you to the women of Gamma Epsilon who worked hard to maintain a strong chapter, recruit the best and for making the decision to pursue membership with an NPC organization. This drive motivated the WSU Panhellenic to pursue extension and helped the Panhellenic extension team to determine that Kappa Kappa Gamma truly was the best sorority for us.
You are all now founding members of a sorority. This is an honor which has not been bestowed upon a woman at WSU since 1958. Please do not take this task lightly. It is a privilege, one that comes with hard work, probably some tears and many, many sweet memories as you develop deep bonds with your fellow founding sisters as you Aspire to Be who you are meant to be.
Recently, I ran into a founding member of my own sorority at a WSU men’s basketball game. She sits with her husband and three other founding members of the organization at every game, every year. They are all now in their 70s, but their passion for their sorority and for WSU is still just as deep as it was 55 years ago. In 1958, they experienced the same emotions you are experiencing today: the butterflies, the excitement, the nervousness. In another 55 years, these women will be gone, you will be the legacy women at WSU look up to as the founding members of a sorority. No one knows what our future will hold, but we do know that the WSU Greek community will need you to carry on that legacy. Fifty-five years from now, may you still be present and passionate so you may pass on the torch and inspire a new generation of Kappa Kappa Gamma women at WSU. Please know you have an entire force of sorority women behind you, ready to go to work to make you a strong chapter. If each one of you is willing to put in the effort, then we will roll up our sleeves and work together to make you the best. You have been given the key; the door is yours to open.
Now, it is time to be. There are children waiting for you to help them learn to read. Alumnae waiting to feel the energy of young collegians. Sisters waiting to lean on your shoulder. Fraternity men waiting to partner with you for Hippodrome. Campus traditions waiting for you to carry them on. Sorority women waiting to embrace their new Panhellenic sisters. Most importantly, there is a woman within you, waiting to be who she is supposed to be. May Kappa Kappa Gamma help you to become the best you can be. Not just for yourself, but for the community you will now impact and the world you will now change.
Interfraternally, Gina Stewart Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life
Judy Rapp presented the President’s badge to Eta Upsilon President Whitney McBryde at the brunch. The members of the installation team were led by Kristi Rowland and included Fraternity President Julie Leshay, Fraternity Treasurer Nancy Eyermann Foland, Tulsa; Region 6 Director of Chapters Angela Disalvo, Iowa; Region 6 Director of Alumnae Jennifer King, Utah; Barb Goettelman, Susanne Vander Heyden; Melissa Smith; Zeta West Province Director of Chapters Katy Stovall, Drake; Jordan Newsom; Madison Taylor; Leadership Consultant Mallory Glazier, Michigan State; and the following Headquarters staff members: Lisa Thomson; Membership Services Chapter Support Libbi Rettew, Virginia Tech; and Creative Content Specialist Ali Brown, Ohio State. The model chapter meeting followed at the Wichita Marriott with Fraternity President Julie Leshay presiding. Following her installation as Eta Upsilon’s President, Whitney McBryde presided and closed the meeting. Charter members’ thoughts about becoming Kappas: “Installation weekend was one of the best weekends of my life. The whole experience was beautiful and will be a day I never forget. I can’t wait to see what our chapter can do on campus and what we can do in the future while working together to better those around us.” - Whitney McBryde, Eta Upsilon Chapter President.
In the fall of 2009, Alexandra Miller and Phoebe Holeman created the local sorority, Gamma Epsilon, at Wichita State University (WSU) campus. They created this group with the intention of bringing a new sorority to the Wichita State campus. During the following spring semester, Alexandra and Phoebe recruited Peggy Ward, faculty member at Wichita State, to serve as the Gamma Epsilon faculty adviser. In the fall 2010 semester, Phoebe and Alexandra, along with Lindsay Ann Dickmeyer, Laura Gerber, Julie Scherer and Ashley Abedini, all founders of Gamma Epsilon, recruited the first class of Gamma Epsilon. They also created the symbols and ritual during this semester. In the spring 2011 semester, Gamma Epsilon presented their intentions to become an NPC sorority to the Wichita State Panhellenic. The Wichita State Panhellenic community voted to open for extension in the fall 2012 semester. WSU sent information to NPC regarding the university’s and Gamma Epsilon’s intentions. During the spring 2013 semester, Gamma Epsilon became an associate member of the Women’s Panhellenic Association at Wichita State after growing to a member count of 35 women. Kappa Kappa Gamma and Phi Mu were each chosen to present to the Wichita State Panhellenic community. Gamma Epsilon and WPA voted to extend an invitation to Kappa Kappa Gamma to join the Wichita State Greek community.
During the rest of the spring 2013 semester and the following summer, Kappa Kappa Gamma worked with WPA and Wichita State to prepare for its upcoming colonization. Kappa Kappa Gamma participated in the first two days of formal recruitment in fall 2013. After the end of formal recruitment, Kappa Kappa Gamma began its marketing campaign which consisted of tabling, information sessions, communication with the fraternities and sororities, and use of display cases and bulletin boards around campus. Kappa Kappa Gamma also participated in the WSU Back to School Bash and the Student Involvement Fair.
On September 26, Kappa Kappa Gamma held two Colonization Kick-Off Events in the National Institute for Aviation Research building on WSU’s campus to formally introduce interested women to the opportunity of membership in Kappa Kappa Gamma. The colonization team was assisted by several Wichita area alumnae and women from the Gamma Alpha chapter at Kansas State University. The weekend continued with Kappa Interviews conducted by Wichita alumnae on September 27 and 28 in Devlin Hall on campus and an invitation-only final preference round on September 29 in the National Institute of Aviation Research building. The celebrations continued into the afternoon with Greek reception and bid day activities.
The 40 new members of the Eta Upsilon colony were given their first Kappa t-shirt, a KKG tote bag and several KKG swag items. Their chapter supplement and Kappa Notebook were also given to them to use during the New Member program. The colony also took its first official bid day pictures with large wooden blue KKG letters made by a local alumna’s husband. The New Member program started the following day on September 30 and ended on November. At the end of the week, the chapter’s fireside was held at a local country club and the installation ceremony took place at the Marriott on November 16.
As new members, the original women participated in many activities that could support the bonds of sisterhood. KKG women participated in Shockertober fest capture-the-flag events and won first place. They also participated in intramural flag football, volleyball and supported other WSU and Greek events such as Songfest, Delta Gamma’s Anchor Splash, Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Chili feed, Gamma Phi Beta’s Grilled Cheese feed, Phi Delta Theta’s Spaghetti Feed, Delta Upsilon Teeter-Thon and many more activities. KKG women also personally supported Wishes over Wichita by volunteering to sell tickets and assisting in running the event at the Benton airport. They also had a few sisterhood events including movie nights, a new member retreat and various outings. Also during the New Member Program the women learned exactly what it means to be a kappa.
Inspiration week began with Leadership Consultants, Jordan Newsom and Madison Taylor, coming back to Wichita to install Eta Upsilon with Chelsea Dyer, Chapter Consultant. On the first night of Inspiration Period, the last new member meeting consisted of officers being elected. Throughout the rest of the week, the new members went to a local corn maze and decorated pin boxes for their keys. Friday November 15, Eta Upsilon began the chartering process by joining Gamma Alpha chapter of Kansas State University, and alumnae for Fireside at a local country club. On November 16, 2013, the official Eta Upsilon chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was chartered with Julie Leshay, the current Fraternity President, who resided over the Installation.
After installation, the ladies of Eta Upsilon had two official meetings before the end of the semester. They discussed their plans to help Kappa grow into a lasting sisterhood. With a strong start, the women of Eta Upsilon know they have all the keys for success.
Wichita State University has been under construction since 2012. Different buildings are being remodeled including the Rhatigan Student Center. The main parking lot on campus is becoming a new student dormitory, Shocker Hall. These changes are projected to be done, hopefully, by this coming summer of 2014. Marshallville was a trending topic created by the student body at Wichita State during the Fall 2013 to raise support for the men's basketball team due to their achievement of making it to the NCAA’s Final Four Tournament in their previous season.
In January 2014 Eta Upsilon had the opportunity to do joint training with the women from Gamma Alpha at Kansas State University (K-State). Then Wichita State University (WSU) had their annual Springfest to kick off the start of the new semester. Kappa Kappa Gamma (KKG) participated by having their first spring recruitment. Through spring recruitment, six new women became a part of the Eta Upsilon chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. As a new chapter tradition, Eta Upsilon created the Minerva award. This award is given to a New Member who encapsulates the ideals of Kappa. During the brunch after Spring Initiation, Angie Hobbs received the Minerva Award. Soon after recruitment Eta Upsilon was getting ready to participate in their first ever Hippodrome at WSU. Eta Upsilon was paired up with men of Delta Upsilon Fraternity. Together they wrote, choreographed, built sets, and performed a skit. Their hard work paid off by getting third place in sets/props category.
The success for Eta Upsilon did not stop there. At the annual Greek Awards, Eta Upsilon was awarded outstanding new member. At Shocker leadership Awards, Eta Upsilon received Outstanding New Organization Award. Along with the Greek Awards, Eta Upsilon had the 2nd highest GPA within all the sororities at WSU. March 1, 2014 marked the first philanthropy event. The event was called “Drop it the Fleur.” The event was a volleyball tournament where anyone could participate either by playing in the tournament or coming to watch. The proceeds went to their local philanthropy Fundamental Learning Center and the National Kidney Foundation. Eta Upsilon then went to Oaklawn Elementary School to read to the younger classes. The women plan on going back to Oaklawn Elementary. After participating in their philanthropy events Eta Upsilon participated in the All-Greek clean up.
As the school year was quickly ending, Eta Upsilon participated in the Parkinson’s basketball and soccer event. They then took part in their first passing of Senior Fleur tradition. The Gamma Alpha chapter from K-State also passed on their Friendship Fleur. Several members of Eta Upsilon were mortar board members.
Over the summer five members, two advisors, one chapter consultant, and the coordinator of chapter development were able to go to convention, in Houston, Texas. This was their first convention at a chapter of Eta Upsilon. At convention the president participated in the parade of flags with the flag that the chapter designed. The president then received a special award for being the first president of the Eta Upsilon chapter. The chapter also sent one member to the UIFI in June. Then in early August a special visit from Breeane, an alumna visitor, came during the first work week for recruitment.
WSU began to be an innovation campus at the beginning of the school year. Shocker Hall was opened as the new student housing building. The Rhatigan Student Center also had their grand opening of their student union center. WSU’s men’s basketball did exceptionally well. They entered the 2014 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament undefeated at 34–0.
In Greek life we had several milestones. Farmhouse fraternity was colonized as an official IFC Fraternity. Additionally Eta Upsilon participated in move-in day for freshmen, and Greeks get twisted, which is a new member academy.
The fall of 2014 was the first time Eta Upsilon participated in formal recruitment. It was a huge success due to the record breaking amount of women going through formal recruitment at WSU. During recruitment Eta Upsilon gained 30 new members, which helped of achieving the goal of membership growth. Two of the women from Eta Upsilon acted as Rho Gamma’s during formal recruitment. Additionally we now have a member serving on the Panhellenic council. We also had two members participated in Leadership Academy in Ohio that was put on by the fraternity.
Eta Upsilon was able to participate in other sorority and fraternity’s philanthropy events such as, Tri Delta Dodge N Dive, Delta Upsilon Nachofest, and Phi Delta Theta Spaghetti Feed. There were other events that they participated including, Mud Events, Shockerthon, Intramural volleyball team and kickball, October 25, 2014 Eta Upsilon participated in their first ever Songfest at WSU. They won 2nd place overall. They then turned around to throw their second philanthropy event of Kappa Olympics on November 15th. Where different teams participated in different Olympic Games. Farmhouse Fraternity did not participate in the event but they did donate money to Eta Upsilon’s philanthropy for helping out their new chapter. The next day Eta Upsilon celebrated their first birthday as a chapter.
To wrap up the year, Eta Upsilon held elections for new officer positions for the new year. The following are now the new officers. President is Mariah Smith, Vice President of Standards is Lauren McGuire, Vice President of Organization is Erin Kirchoff, Vice President of Academic Excellence is Rebecca Newton, Treasure is Maggie Arndt, Membership Chairman is Whitney McBryde, Corresponding Secretary is Pam Saenz, Recording Secretary is Lauren Stiles, Marshal is Czarina Cutaran, Registrar is Anne Perez, Education Chairman is Jade Conkle, House Chairman is Carol Gibbon, Philanthropy Chairman is Portia Montoy, Public Relations is Jessa Ragan, New Member Chairman is Taylor Warren, Panhellenic Chairman is Diona Mendoza, Risk Management is Haley Valcoure, and Event Chairman is Madison Jewell
Wichita State University began to be an innovation campus in the fall of 2014. Shocker Hall was opened as the new student housing building. The Rhatigan Student Center also had their grand opening of their student union center. WSU’s men’s basketball did exceptionally well. They entered the 2014 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament undefeated at 34–0.
In Greek life we had several milestones. Farmhouse fraternity was colonized as an official IFC Fraternity.
Eta Upsilon does not have an established chapter house yet, but they hope to have one in the future. The chapter meetings are held in classroom buildings at WSU.
In 2015 Eta Upsilon at Wichita State University (WSU) has made some ground breaking accomplishments. This is our second year on Wichita State’s campus, but have already reached major milestones. In January the chapter held Leadership Day in which old officers transitioned the new officers. On this day Sandy Sipes, a professor at WSU, came and spoke to the women about the importance of communication. This helped remind the women that communication is key to having any organization run smoothly. After winter break, Eta Upsilon jumped right into Greek events. In January the chapter was involved in many different Panhellenic service events such as Bras for a Cause and all Greek Clean Up. Additionally, took part in other fraternities and sororities philanthropy events which included Gamma Phi Beta’s Grilled Cheese, Beta Theta Pi’s Wok N’ Roll, and Pi Kappa Alpha Tricycle races. The ladies of Eta Upsilon participated in Shock the Yard, a step show held by the Multicultural Greek Council. They participated in this show with the women of Gamma Phi Beta.
Eta Upsilon was also involved with many campus activities. Several of our members were nominated for Shocker Leadership awards. Two of our girls, Lauren McGuire and Mineka Rose were elected to the Student Senate. Mariah Smith was also chosen as Treasurer for the Student Government Association.
In the spring the chapter held its first ever food philanthropy event, Custard with Kappa. It was held at the Delta Gamma’s house. Freddy’s Frozen Custard donated custard cookies. The tickets were only $3. Over $1,000 was raised. 75% went to the Fundamental learning center and 25% went to Reading is Fundamental. Eta Upsilon then went to Oaklawn Elementary where the read, played literacy games, and donated over 100 books so that each child could go home with their own book.
The Public Relations Chairman made an effort to get the GIN System up and running to have members utilize it better. In addition she wrote and distributed the annual newsletter. Throughout the spring semester, Eta Upsilon had mixers with the fraternities, Phi Delta Theta, Beta Theta Pi, Delta Upsilon, and Sigma Phi Epsilon. In addition had a mixer with the sorority, Delta Delta Delta. The chapter held its formal date party on May 1st at the Tallgrass Country Club with the theme Great Gatsby. The chapter then held its first candle light ceremony for Autumn Slater on her engagement.
Eta Upsilon was also able to send fourteen girls to regional meeting in Chicago, Illinois. The chapter then held senior sendoff on May 8th sending 9 seniors off into the real world. They are now part of the alumni association, in which they are very involved with. Not only did the chapter say goodbye to the 9 seniors, but Chapter Consultant, Chelsea Dyer. She was the consultant for two years. She is now a Province Direct of Chapters, and is working in Wichita with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
At WSU there were many great achievements with basketball. ESPN Game day came to Wichita. WSU basketball then made it all the way to the Sweet Sixteen. Fred Van Fleet and Ron Baker announced their return for their senior seasons at WSU.
Eta Upsilon took a brief summer break, but in August had pre recruitment work week. Leadership consultant, S.E, came and gave very helpful suggestions to help make recruitment successful.
In September, Eta Upsilon participated in formal recruitment for the second year. The Phi Delta Theta house was used once again, but Eta Upsilon does have a lounge in the student dorms. Chapter Council, and other events took place here. Leadership Consultants, S.E and Alyssa came to help. Formal recruitment was a huge success. Eta Upsilon was the second preference house, and gained 28 new members from formal recruitment, and then two more girls from the fall continuous open bidding. In October, the ladies participated in many different actives such as sisterhoods, I-engage lunches, mixers, and Songfest.
Eta Upsilon had many social events. The biggest one was our first overnight sisterhood that was held in the Kappa Lounge. It was a big success full of fun memories. The women also had many mixers with the some of the fraternities which included, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Phi Delta Theta, Beta Theta Pi, and Lambda Chi Alpha. They also participated in other Greek’s philanthropy fundraisers such as Dodge N’ Dive with Delta Delta Delta. Eta Upsilon won their first trophy with intramurals with the game being racquetball.
In November the first annual Kappa Olympics took place. This helped raise money for the local and national philanthropy along with collecting children’s books that will be donated to Oaklawn Elementary in upcoming spring semester.
At initiation in the fall the women initiated 27 new members. Eta Upsilon was able to do R.R for the first time.
A big announcement took place in the fall. Eta Upsilon is proud to have a house! This was also thanks to the amazing house board association and alumni association. It is located near the other sororities. Eta Upsilon hopes to be able to utilize in the spring, and then have girls live in the house in the fall of 2016. A small way of saying thanks was at the second birthday celebration. This was a time where the ladies celebrated being on campus for two years, thanking the advisors for the constant support, and the alumni association for all that they do.
The 2016 officers for WSU KKG are:
President- Pam Saenz
Vice President of Standards- Lauren Stiles
Vice President of Organization- Haley Valcoure
Vice President of Academic Excellence- Alyssa Rule
Recording Secretary- Lauren Chapman
Corresponding Secretary- Ellie Frayer
Registrar- Emily Thon
Education Chairman-Amy Pham
House Chairman- Darah Witherspoon
Membership Chairman-Mariah Smith
New Member Chairman-Madison Jewell
Panhellenic Delegate-Timory Hills
Philanthropy Chairman-Anne Perez
Public Relations Chairman-Caitlin Lee
Risk Management Chairman-Sloan Nicolay
Event Chairman- Samantha Murry
2016 brought a multitude of milestones and new adventures for the Eta Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at Wichita State University. In January, we opened the year on the 19th with the university’s Meet the Greeks event. Here our women and the rest of the Greek community were able to mingle with one another and students interested in Greek life. January 25th kicked off our weekly chapter meetings and we were up and running with our events for Continuous Open Bidding. This included tabling, cold calling and hosting a number of mingling events. On the 30th, our women were able to make our facility more welcoming and warm with a chapter house-cleaning party.
We started off February with our book drive where we collected books for K-5th grade students. Then came the first Continuous Open Bidding event in our newly obtained house: the Kappa Carnival. February 7th rolled around and S.E. Spencer, our Leadership Consultant, arrived and visited Eta Upsilon for the week. Monday, February 22nd marked Wichita State’s Greek Awards ceremony. Eta Upsilon was overjoyed to congratulate and cheer on Mariah Smith for receiving the Greek Woman of the Year award and Mineka Rose for receiving the Greek Unity award! We wrapped up our book drive and were able to collect a large sum of books to donate to the children at Oaklawn Elementary School. February 26th marked our last Continuous Open Bidding Event as well as a movie night sisterhood at the Kappa house. Lastly, on February 29th the Panhellenic Council hosted its Scholarship Dinner. This dinner, hosted at the Crown Uptown Theatre, celebrated the academic achievements of the Panhellenic women and chapters at Wichita State.
Following the book drive in February, Eta Upsilon gave a helping hand on March 2nd to Oaklawn Elementary School. We spent time playing literacy games and reading books to K-5th grade students. In addition, each child was able to pick a book from our collection to take home with them. On March 5th, Kappa welcomed our spring COB members as they went through Formal Pledging at the Kappa house.
To begin the month of April, we hosted our very first Parent’s Day on the 2nd. Members were able to give their families a tour of the Kappa house, enjoy a meal, and watch a baseball game at Eck Stadium. As a sweet add-on, Big/Little reveal for the newly pledged COB members followed after the game at the Kappa house. On the 4th, the All-Greek Mixer took place at the Aviate Sports Forum. The days following, Kappa performed with the men of Sigma Alpha Epsilon in the 89th Annual Hippodrome Performances. Under the direction of Portia Montoy and Breck Towner, Kappa and SAE won 1st Place Overall, 1st Place in props, 2nd Place in Costumes, 2nd Place in Acting, and 3rd Place in Music! Panhellenic Council’s Mixer was on the 12th and their Panhellenic Build was on the 15th. Additionally, Eta Upsilon had their formal on April 15th. On April 23rd, Eta Upsilon performed its spring initiation. Afterwards, a brunch was held for the new initiates and their families in the Rhatigan Student Center. The same day, a number of Kappas supported another sister and participated in the MDA Muscle Walk at Sedgwick County Park. Members of Kappa also helped Sigma Phi Epsilon with their annual Pennies for Wishes fundraiser on the 23rd. In the next few days, we prepared for our own philanthropy event, Custard with Kappa. Members served guests with delicious custard donated graciously by Freddy’s Frozen Custard. We also had the opportunity to open the doors to the Kappa House to the public for the first time, and gave house tours during the event. Likewise, Eta Upsilon members participated in Grilled Cheese with Gamma Phi Beta on April 27th and on the 28th.
To wrap up the spring semester, on May 1st we moved out of the Kappa Lounge at Fairmount Towers. Delta Delta Delta’s Putt for A Cure, Lambda Chi Alpha’s Annual Watermelon Bust, and Wu’s Big Event were on May 1st. Our last chapter meeting for the spring semester was on the 2nd as well as Senior Service and Senior Sendoff. May was a popular month for other Greek chapter’s philanthropy events. Panhellenic Council hosted The All-Greek Mixer on the 4th. Play for Parkinson’s was scheduled on the 6th, and Kappa had a Pre-Recruitment Workshop to prepare for fall Formal Recruitment. The 8th of May was also the last Chapter Council meeting for the spring semester. The Kappa house closed on the 13th for the summer.
On June 22nd through the 26th, President, Pam Saenz and Membership Chairman, Mariah Smith attended the 71st Biennial Convention in San Diego, California on behalf of Eta Upsilon. They attended a variety of educational sessions, met Kappas from across the United States and Canada, and were able to witness the Fraternity’s structural and leadership change. Eta Upsilon also received Honorable Mention for the Panhellenic Award and Honorable Mention for the House Board Award.
To start off the fall semester in August, the first women to live in the Kappa house moved in on the 13th. Chapter Council had their first meeting for the semester on the 14th. From the 15th through the 19th, our women learned, practiced and prepared themselves for Formal Recruitment during Work Week. The following Monday, the 22nd, was the first meeting of the 2016 fall semester and classes began. Meet the Greeks was on the 23rd in Omega Court and it served a great way to catch up from the summer break and introduce a multitude of students to Greek life at WSU.
As August came to an end, September began with a busy start. We hosted Formal Recruitment in our new facility for the first time from the 8th - 12th. During that time, Caroline Washnock, Chapter Services Coordinator, came on behalf of the Fraternity to lend a helping hand. On Bid Day, Eta Upsilon welcomed home 23 new members. After Formal Recruitment we had Fall COB from the 13th through the 22nd and we welcomed home an additional 13 new members. On the 17th we had formal pledging for Formal Recruitment new members. To end September we had a sisterhood on the 29th. There we had a great time watching movies, eating snacks, painting nails, and choosing who won the Best Dressed contest.
Moving into October, members participated in Lambda Chi Alpha’s Watermelon Bust, formally pledged our COB members, had our New Member Retreat, and participated in Wu’s Big Event on October 1st. Jennifer Fales, our District Director, came to visit Eta Upsilon on the 3rd. Our first overnight sisterhood in the house was the 7th and the 8th. During the sisterhood we played ice breakers such as charades and “Name that Song”, watched movies, and ate snacks. After our sisterhood on the 8th, we had our Big/Little Reveal. Littles were able to find out who their big was by standing in the middle of a circle while actives passed around a candle and turned it off to reveal that they were the Big. Our Founder’s Day Celebration and Advisor and House Board Appreciation Day was on the 13th. Education Chairman, Kennedy Fish, and Registrar, Nicole Rodgers, provided dinner, put together a presentation and a game that reviewed Eta Upsilon and Kappa Kappa Gamma’s history. At the end of the event, Kennedy presented gifts to the advisors and House Board. On the 22nd, we got into the Halloween spirit with our Field of Screams Date Party. The following weekend, we had a great time cheering for our sisters at Songfest on the 29th at the Orpheum Theatre. From October 30th through November 4th we hosted Merril Weber, Leadership Consultant, for a visit.
On November 3rd, we took our 2016 composite photos. On the 5th, we hosted Kappa Olympics at the Heskett Center. Eta Upsilon was able to raise over $700 and had more than 100 books donated. Beta Theta Pi serenaded our women to invite us to be Hippodrome partners on the 7th. On the 11th and 12th we initiated 29 members into the Eta Upsilon chapter. After Initiation, new active members and their families joined us for brunch at the RSC. Eta Upsilon celebrated its third birthday on November 16th. The following evening, we hosted our first Moms Christmas Decorating Party at the house and held our winter sisterhood on the 17th.. Event Chairman, Jillian Olmstead, put together the Game Night Mixer with Sigma Phi Epsilon on the 18th. On the 28th, Eta Upsilon elected the following members for the 2017 Chapter Council: President: Alyssa Rule, Vice President of Standards: Anne Perez, Vice President of Organization: Hallee Thompson, Vice President of Academic Excellence: Darah Witherspoon, Recording Secretary: Shari Riley, Corresponding Secretary: Mary Greenwood, Registrar: Holly Brown, Treasurer: Leah Ragan, Marshal: Caitlin Lee, Education Chairman: Hannah Tobias, House Chairman: Madison Jewell, Membership Chairman: Deisy Pamela Saenz, New Member Chairman: Kennedy Fish, Philanthropy Chairman: Kaylee Donohue, Panhellenic Delegate: McKenna Brieske, Public Relations Chairman: Jillian Olmstead, Risk Management Chairman: Emily Johnston, Event Chairman: Alison Roets. The 29th marked Panhellenic Council Elections and our own Erin Kirchoff was elected to be the 2017 President.
To end the 2016 fall semester, our last chapter meeting was on December 5th. On the 7th we had our Service Sisterhood, at Larksfield Assisted Living. At the sisterhood we played games and talked with the people at Larksfield. The 2016 Chapter Council wrapped up the year with its final meeting on December 11th. Panhellenic Council held its first annual Panhellenic Reception on December 16th.
On January 4th of 2017, Eta Upsilon started the year by having a joint chapter council meeting with the newly elected officers. This day we also held Leadership Day. Meetings offically began on the 23rd. During this week we began tabling for COB for the spring semester during Springfest.
In Feburary we held a "Kappa-cino" night on the 3rd for potential new members to learn about Kappa and get to know our members. On the 4th we took buses up to Kansas State University to meet up with our sister chapter to bond and share what our chapters do at our Universities. The 7th we held "Kappa Krush" making Valentine's Day cards and yet again allowing potential new members to learn about Kappa. Feburary 10th Sigma Psi Zeta came to our house to play games for a mixer. To celebrate academic achievements, the Panhellenic Council held Grade Awards on Feburary 13th. Ending COB tabling, we welcomed home our two new members on the 18th for the spring Bid Day.
Starting off the month of March, to help out our local philantrophy, we visited Oaklawn Elementary and read to kids for Dr. Suess Day on the 2nd. Our formal, the Final Rose was held on March 10th. On March 13th during our chapter meeting, the spring COB girls received their bigs. The week of the 27th-1st of March/April we had "I" week. During this time period we had pin box painting on the 28th, our sisterhood event on the 29th, FS on the 31st, and ended the week with Initiation on the 1st of April. Following initiation there was a brunch held with family and all members.
The month of April we had our Parent's Day on the 15th to bowl at the university and tour our house. There was the mixer with Lamda Chi on the 20th. That weekend a few selected officers, Hallee Thompson, Anne Perez, Kennedy Fish, Portia Montoy, and Emily Johnston, got the oppurtunity to go to Saint Louis for Leadership Training. Our graduating seniors had their send off on the the 26th with our sisterhood event following after. The 27th and 28th we held our annual food Philanthropy event, "Custard with Kappa". Through the days of our event we raised $1,350 for our philanthropies. The 29th of April we walked for the MDA foundation with the Panhellenic Council to honor one of our members, Becky Fulcher. That night a couple of our members performed in MGC's Stepshow.
During May, our final meeting was on the 1st. Eta Upsilon attended Leadership Awards on the 2nd. The current members living in the house moved out on the 31st.
On the 1st of June our new set of members moved into the house.
July 16th there was a PR Photoshoot to prepare for recruitment. The 28th of July there was an all Greek Volleyball Mixer, that was co-hosted with Delta Upsilon and Sigma Psi Zeta.
Starting off the new semester in August, Chapter Council had their first meeting on the 13th. Work Week for recruitment began the 14th and went through the 18th. The first meeting of the semester was on the 21st. On the 22nd , there was Meet the Greeks, that potential new members in PC and IFC attend to learn about the chapters.
During September we hosted Formal Recruitment the 7th through the 11th. Starting on the 12th we began with COB tabling. Formal Pledging took place on the 16th. One of our members, Holly Brown attended Kappa Leadership Academy as our representative, during the 14th through the 17th. On the 19th there was a mixer with Farm House. There then was Mud Events on the 23rd at Wichita State, in which Kappa took 2nd place in the volleyball tournament. Members had also participated in Watermelon Bust that is hosted by Lambda Chi Alpha. The month ended with COB Bid Day on the 30th.
To start off the month of October we held our overnight sisterhood on the 6th that lead into our Big/Little Reveal on the 7th. On the 12th Founder's Day and Advisor and House Board Appreciation took place at the house, with presentations over our Chapter's history. The 18th of October, girls went over to Sigma Alpha Epsilon for a pumpkin painting mixer. The week of the 23rd through the 28th there was Shocktoberfest in which Kappa participated in the Banner Competition, Wu's Birthday Bash, Hunger Games, 3 v. 3 Basketball, Trunk or Treat, Dine with the Deans, Big Pink Volleyball and Songfest. With the help of Emily Thon and Payton Calabria, Shocktoberfest and Songefest was well organized and allowed us to place in multiple events.
In November the week of the 6th through the 11th our "I" week took place. On the 7th there was a sisterhood in which we went ice skating. Initiation took place on the 11th with 26 members along with a member from Gamma Alpha be initiated as well. We celebrated Eta Upsilon's 4th birthday at Wichita State on the 16th. The 18th of November our chapter went to a local nursing home for Grandpals Day. During this month we had a Greek Spirit apparel sell in which we spent $941 and because we did so well this allowed us to receive a $50 check for our philanthropy. On the 27th Eta Upsilon elected the following members for the 2018 Chapter Council: President: Shari Riley, Vice President of Standards: Emily Johnston, Vice President of Organization: Brooke Arnold, Vice President of Academic Excellence: Emily Hennerberg, Recording Secretary: Katie Bennett , Corresponding Secretary: Kaylee Donoghue, Registrar: Sarah Brennan, Treasurer: Liz McGetrick, Marshal: Hannah Eddings, Education Chairman: Tori Jenner, House Chairman: Abbi Whisler, Membership Chairman: Leah Ragan, New Member Chairman: Kennedy Fish, Philanthropy Chairman: Emma Fowler, Panhellenic Delegate: Karson Younger, Public Relations Chairman: Clarissa Poulter, Risk Management Chairman: Jess Fowler, and Event Chairman: Caitlynn Waller.
December started with our Holiday Sisterhood on the 3rd. The first joint chapter council meeting took place on the 3rd as well. Our last final meeting took place on the 4th along with senior wills by 2017 fall graduate, Deisy Pamela Saenz. On the 8th we had our Date Party at Botanica Illuminations. The 15th of this month, we volunteered at Oaklawn Elementary. To end the year on the 16th , we held a fundraiser at Chipotle to raise money for our philanthropies.
Wichita State University is in a state of remodeling to create the Innovation Campus for students, faculty, and staff. This includes expanding the university on the former golf course that was located on the east side of the campus. It will include a new engineering building, business school, a hotel, new student housing, a law enforcement training building, and other future partnership buildings. Additionally, the Innovation Campus hopes to bring WSU students closer together.
Overall, the nature of Eta Upsilon can be described as a diverse and dynamic coalition of women who are ambitious in finding new ways to further improve and grow our chapter. The strong values and positive morals of our members has strengthened the bond and friendships within our chapter. We are eager to provide a helping hand in supporting not only other Greek chapters, but other organizations at WSU as we establish ourselves as the newest Panhellenic sorority on campus.
Eta Upsilon Chapter has traditionally raised money for our local philanthropy, the Fundamental Learning Center. Our chapter has donated hours to the Muscular Dystrophy Association as well as donating books and time to the children at Oaklawn Elementary School.
Our chapter chose to support the Fundamental Learning Center and volunteer our time at Oaklawn Elementary, because we wanted to continue to help and support children's education in our community. Fundamental Learning Center is a non-profit organization serving to assist children with reading and learning difficulties. Additionally, our chapter participates in the Muscular Dystrophy Association Walk to support one of our sisters and to become involved in raising awareness in Muscular Dystrophy.
Eta Upsilon holds chapter meetings in our chapter house that we spent the first offical full year in.