Eta Phi Chapter was founded at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois on November 23, 2013.
139 initiates (as of June 2018)
In 1871, Thomas Bryan, a leading Chicago businessman, gave a substantial parcel of land 16 miles west of the city to a reform-minded group of Protestants, the German Evangelical Synod of North America. The land was intended for a school to prepare young men for the seminary.
The Elmhurst Proseminary opened that year with 14 students and an inspektor, the Reverend Carl Kranz. The original students studied music, mathematics, science, history, geography, religion, German and English—all disciplines that remain in the curriculum today. They also studied Latin and Greek. For decades, all courses, including English, were taught in German.
In 1924, the school formally assumed the name Elmhurst College (it had been called that colloquially for years) and began offering the bachelor of arts degree. The first leader of the new four-year college was a 1912 alumnus, H. Richard Niebuhr, who would become one of the premier theologians of the 20th century. Niebuhr served as Elmhurst’s president from 1924 to 1927.
Niebuhr envisioned Elmhurst as an ever-widening circle, opened the school to students from beyond the German Evangelical Synod and worked to build an intellectual community where young people might develop an effective individuality. In the years after Niebuhr’s brief but transformational presidency, Elmhurst’s ever-widening circle came to include women, adult students, graduate students and persons with an astonishing variety of passions, backgrounds and beliefs.
In the 1990s, the College began a sustained period of purposeful investment in institutional quality. It added faculty, expanded enrollment, raised admission standards and enhanced the campus. Its academic reputation grew substantially. From every sector of society, Elmhurst students are eager to engage avidly in learning—in the classroom and in the laboratory, in the city and around the world.
The Elmhurst College Strategic Plan 2009-2014 calls for the faculty and administration to build an institution of genuine distinction among the small colleges in the Chicago area and beyond. To meet this goal, the College must continue to grow convincingly in quality, impact and prestige. In short, it must achieve a higher level of service to students and society.
In the words of the strategic plan, Elmhurst intends to become “nationally known for the Elmhurst Experience, a contemporary framing of liberal learning.” The hallmarks of the Elmhurst Experience—student self-formation and early professional preparation—are designed to prepare its students to become truly educated men and women, ready for life in a complex and competitive world.
The Elmhurst campus is a 48-acre arboretum, boasting nearly 800 trees and shrubs. The City of Elmhurst is a quiet suburb ranked first in a Chicago magazine survey of the best places to live. Downtown Chicago is a 30-minute train ride away.
Students come to Elmhurst from many states and countries, and from nearly every religious, racial and ethnic background. As of 2013, the student body comprises about 2,800 traditional full-time undergraduate students, 325 adults pursuing an undergraduate degree and 285 graduate students.
On May 6, 2013, Kappa Kappa Gamma made a presentation at Elmhurst College. 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; Fraternity Extension Chairman Barb Adams Goettelman, Syracuse; Leadership Consultant Jessie Pereira, Santa Clara; Extension Coordinator Lisa Lunney Thomson, Bowling Green; Membership Services Chapter Support Libbi Rettew, Virginia Tech; and Executive Director Kari Kittrell. At the time of expansion, the campus Panhellenic consisted of Alpha Phi, Phi Mu and Sigma Kappa.
Establishment Chairman was Suzanne Brown Mahoney, Kansas State. Two Kappa chapters participated in the establishment activities: Loyola and Valparaiso. The Chapter Consultant appointed to assist Eta Phi was Jessie Pereira, and the Coordinator of Chapter Development appointed was Ann Moenius, Nebraska. Additional members of the establishment team included Barb Goettelman; Leadership Consultants Cara Cook, Arizona State, and Iliana Garcia, New Mexico; Beth Black; Janet Meinheit, Wisconsin; and Loyola Membership Advisor Tracey Bien, Drake.
The first tabling event at the Elmhurst College Activity Fair was on August 29, 2013. Since the Fraternity’s name was not on the participants list, Greek Life Director Elizabeth Doyle quickly found us an open spot to set up our table. It was sunny and hot, but the Kappa team didn’t melt! It was obvious that our outstanding Chapter Consultant, Jessie Pereira, had made many strong connections on campus. Everyone was very welcoming, and the offers to assist were numerous.
We were limited to no more than five table workers. Jessie Pereira, Suzanne Mahoney and two additional alumnae staffed it. Eta Phi Installation Chairman and Elmhurst resident Alexandria Shanklin, Emory, stopped by to meet us and helped, too. The table was provided by Elmhurst College and the “Be Kappa” tablecloth covered the table. Tabling materials and a large vertical banner had been sent from Headquarters to use. It was too windy for the vertical banner, and we needed to consider how to make the tabling pieces work in the wind. The Kappas focused primarily on encouraging women to participate in Recruitment and told them that Kappa was going to be the newest sorority on campus. The potential new members were given Jessie Pereira’s business card which included the Be Kappa Facebook page address. Several women approached the table on their own, and we did our part to engage those who were a little more hesitant.
Overall, this was a great start to Kappa’s establishment at Elmhurst College. The event ran smoothly, we had all the necessary materials, a great team helped and there was interaction with a lot of potential new members.
Recruiting alumnae volunteers to assist with establishing the chapter began in early August and continued for more than five weeks. It was made possible by the assistance provided by the local Province Directors of Alumnae: Epsilon South Province Director of Alumnae Beverly Hayes, Miami, and Epsilon North Province Director of Alumnae Nancy Greenstein Worsley, Illinois.
It was determined that it would be beneficial for members of the interview team to participate in a conference call to have a refresher course about the Membership Selection process. This call was facilitated by Director of Membership Susan Pile, Miami (Ohio), and Assistant to the Director of Membership Melissa Shearer, Vanderbilt.
Before establishment began, wooden letters KKG were created to use during Recruitment, and we found a calligrapher to create the Bid Day cards who volunteered to make the centerpieces for the Preference dessert party. Floral arrangements for the interview registration table and the iris stems for the Formal Pledging Service were ordered. It was determined that we needed a basket with children’s books for the philanthropy display table.
Since the Valparaiso undergraduate members came to assist with the round one parties, snack bags were assembled by the Hinsdale Alumnae Association members for them to have on the bus ride home. Snack bags were also assembled for the young alumnae team assisting that evening as well as snack bags for the Loyola undergraduate members who came to assist with Formal Pledging and Bid Day.
Lisa Thomson flew in from Headquarters to assist. She, Jessie Pereira and Suzanne Mahoney put the finishing touches on the party space. The Valparaiso undergraduate members arrived, were briefed and given shirts which had been purchased for the future Elmhurst College GIRLS Academy. The alumnae team members were given the same briefing and shirts. There were approximately seven Valparaiso women and approximately 20 alumnae assisting the first evening. Approximately 95 potential new members attended the parties. It was an exciting night, and everyone felt hopeful and enthused for the kick-off of the Kappa colonization events the next week. During the weekend, Leadership Consultants Cara Cook, Arizona State, and Iliana Garcia, New Mexico, arrived to help. From September 23 to 25, Kappa conducted information sessions at tables in the student center. These sessions made it possible for Jessie Pereira and the Leadership Consultants to tell the potential new members about the process for Kappa’s Recruitment during the week and allow time for them to ask questions.
Recruitment began on September 26th. The women from the Loyola Chapter, Beth Black and a team of alumnae helped with the party. Several parties were scheduled throughout the day and additional women from Loyola came to help with an evening party as did Janet Meinheit, Wisconsin.
Interviews began on September 27th. The college booked a room for us across from the common area of the student center. In their off-time, alumnae put together the snack bags for the Loyola women for Sunday, and these alumnae assisted Loyola chapter volunteers with crafting projects. Following the morning interview session, campus catering brought in lunch and the alumnae team ate while the membership selection meeting was conducted. This meeting was facilitated by the Field Representatives and Suzanne Mahoney. The Loyola membership adviser, conducted the final selection meeting, and by 8:30 p.m. the team had compiled a list of women to invite to the final party.
Bid day arrived on September 29th. The Loyola women and a team of six local Hinsdale alumnae joined the establishment team for this exciting day. The party was very successful: 54 bids were extended and all attendees accepted them. These women were escorted to another room for the Formal Pledging Service. Beth Black conducted the service.
Following the service, everyone went back to the original party room where the new members received their bid day bags and Kappa T-shirts. The establishing class took photos and had fun together while a reception was hosted by the Fraternity for the campus Greek leaders and administration. The 54 new members then came to the reception after which they stayed for a pizza and salad dinner. There they all had an informational session about Kappa and participated in ice-breaker activities. This was an incredible experience and made memories for a lifetime.
The Eta Phi Installation team included Chairman Alexandria Shanklin, Emory; Jessie Pereira; Ann Moenius; Fraternity President Julie Leshay; Director of Alumnae Lori Gilmore Miltenberger, Butler; Fraternity Ritual Chairman Susanne Wolff Vander Heyden, Washington State; Barb Goettelman; Regional Director of Alumnae Jennifer Beardsley Fales, Kansas State; Beverly Hayes; Nancy Worsley; Epsilon Central Province Director of Chapters Alexandria Campion Young, South Carolina; and Headquarters staff members Lisa Thomson and Libbi Rettew. Fireside was held November 22, and the Installation Service was conducted November 23 at the Westin O’Hare. Eta Lambda Chapter at Loyola served as the sponsoring chapter.
A beautiful installation brunch was held at the Westin O’Hare. Barb Goettelman served as toastmistress. Elmhurst College Dean of Students Eileen G. Sullivan, Ph.D., welcomed Kappa to the campus and spoke about how the Fraternity fits into the Elmhurst College Greek system. Also attending the luncheon were Elmhurst College Associate Dean of Students Ian Crone, Associate Dean of Students Desiree Novak, Assistant Director of Greek Life Elizabeth Doyle and Panhellenic President Carly Pizzitola.
Hinsdale Alumnae Association Co-president Susan Nelson Nibeck, Washington University (St. Louis), presented Chapter President Stephanie Young a beautiful new President’s badge inlaid with pearls. The model chapter meeting followed at the Westin O’Hare with Fraternity President Julie Leshay presiding. Following her installation as Eta Phi’s President, Stephanie Young presided and closed the meeting.
Dr. Sullivan’s Installation Brunch Address: “Good afternoon. On behalf of President Alan Ray and the Elmhurst College administration, I’d like to say welcome and thank you to so many people who have gathered today to celebrate our students and what they have established together, the Eta Phi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. But before doing so, I wanted to mention something about a dream. Bear with me…. It actually wasn’t my dream, it was someone else’s dream; nonetheless, it seemed relevant to share today.
“It seems to be a common phenomenon when you work in student affairs to ‘take your work home with you,’ so it’s not unusual for me to hear the following from someone on my staff when I arrive to the office each day: ‘I had this dream.’ Last week, those were the words of Desiree Novak, Associate Dean of Students. Given I, along with my staff, are often having dreams about work-related happenings, this wasn’t unusual, but...I also wasn’t sure where this was going. I started to think about everything that had gone on on-campus the week preceding Desiree’s dream.
“I should tell you all that at Elmhurst College, the material for our dreams is quite impressive. Over the course of the last two weeks, we had a country music concert featuring a former American Idol, which, incidentally, was disrupted by tornadic activity. We also had a gubernatorial candidate on campus, a First Amendment Free Speech Day which included faculty and students reading banned literature in the Founders Lounge of the student center, a lecture about the legacy of a beloved Chicago film critic, a meeting of the Better Men’s Initiative, a King of Hearts program (to be clear, the Better Men’s initiative and the King of Hearts program were two separate events) and a handful of ‘happenings’ that I read about through a series of incident reports I received, courtesy of our Campus Security Department.
“So when I say I’m not sure where the ‘I had a dream’ comment would lead us, I really meant it. I mean, this year alone I’ve dreamed of being pulled over a 15-foot wall, being part of a flash mob under a circus tent and climbing a telephone pole only to jump off a platform and zip-line through a forest. (Wait a minute…those weren’t dreams.)
“But alas, Desiree did have a dream, and it was a happy one. I asked her ‘what was the dream about?’ She responded by saying ‘We were initiated into Kappa.’ ‘Really?’ I asked. ‘Yes,’ she responded. Confused, I asked her ‘So even though you are a Sigma Kappa, and I am a Delta Zeta, they initiated us?’ She nodded and gave an affirmative ‘Yep.’ Still a bit puzzled, I pressed ‘And they didn’t have a problem with the fact that you and I are members of two other National Panhellenic Conference groups?’ Equally confused, but very happy she shrugged and said, ‘I guess not.’ She couldn’t recall who all was there, but she did note ‘they were all so nice.’ And I couldn’t help but think no greater truism exists. You, the national volunteers and alumnae, have all been so nice to our students, now, your sisters. Thank you so much for your kindness and for your leadership.
“I’d first like to thank the national volunteers for Kappa, those who have been involved in this process from extension presentations in April and May, to Installation of the chapter today, some seven months later. I’d especially like to thank Julie Leshay, President, and Barb Goettelman, Extension Chairman. These women, along with other national volunteers, headquarters staff and alumnae have made today possible, and the College thanks you for your commitment to Kappa and our students at Elmhurst College.
“I’d be remiss not to mention members of our staff who also have worked to make this day possible. Certainly, Desiree Novak, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Success and Retention. Desiree’s support of Greek life at Elmhurst runs deep and her commitment to the Greek experience is grounded in her own membership in Sigma Kappa and her previous work for her national organization. Prior to hiring our current director of Greek life a few years ago, Desiree assisted the College in our most recent extension effort when we colonized and later chartered Phi Mu. I’d also like to thank Ian Crone, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities. Ian is our overall champion of student involvement, mentors countless students in and out of the Greek community and is always up for new and exciting adventures on campus. Let’s give Ian and all the men who are here today some recognition: the fathers, brothers, friends and others representing the male contingent are outnumbered at today’s lunch, but their presence is much appreciated. Thank you for being here to support your Kappas.
“Most importantly, I want to thank Elizabeth Doyle, our Director of Greek Life. Talk about nice – when she accepted her position at Elmhurst College a few years ago, she was so excited that when Ian asked her ‘what do you prefer to be called, Liz or Elizabeth?’ she responded ‘either is fine.’ Ian started calling her Liz, and we all followed suit. It wasn’t until a year later that we learned that no one in her entire world calls her Liz. Others at Elmhurst have ‘course corrected,’ but I can’t break the habit: she is still Liz to me. “Recognizing that fraternity and sorority members at Elmhurst are retained at a rate of ten percent above the campus average, Liz set out to grow our community. And she has – by 39 percent over a three-year period. The leadership opportunities she has developed for and the mentoring she provides to our students is nothing short of amazing, and we are so grateful that she is here. If there was a commission on undergraduates recruited into the field of student affairs (our Panhellenic President Carly is one such example), Liz would have a beach house by now. Really. She brings a joy to her work and it is noticed by students, faculty and staff. To the volunteers and the headquarters staff of Kappa, you have an excellent campus partner in Elizabeth Doyle.
“And of course, to Jessie Pereira, our wonderful Chapter Consultant who I first met when Kappa presented to the campus community in May. Having started my career in student affairs as a campus Greek advisor, over the years I have met with many a chapter consultant and because of that, I think I understand how frustrating it can be to have to answer the question posed by those outside of the higher education community: ‘So…what is it that you do?’ The question is usually followed up with a response like ‘And that takes all day?’ I understand that it is definitely difficult to describe what chapter consultants of fraternities and sororities do without coming across as a cruise director. But make no mistake, their work is no cruise. Jessie worked diligently to build interest in Kappa in the early fall, and over the course of the past two months, she has nurtured and guided the colony, so that it could become what it is today, the Eta Phi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
“I recall visiting with Jessie in early September and giving her names of great women she should talk to. To each person, she was able to tell the story of Kappa, and encourage her to take the journey she did as a founding member of the Santa Clara chapter. We at the College are so grateful, Jessie, that you will be here guiding the chapter members as they build their membership this spring and embark on all the wonderful experiences that will make up their journey of establishing a strong chapter at Elmhurst. So to Jessie, Julie, Barb and all of the Kappas who are here today, thank you. You’ve done a great thing in establishing a Kappa chapter at Elmhurst. The College administration believes that Kappa is a perfect addition to our Greek community and looks forward to the contributions the chapter will make to the College. “And to the 42 amazing women of the Eta Phi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma…congratulations! Today we celebrate you, the start of what will be an incredibly enhanced undergraduate experience, and a lifetime of memories you will make with your sisters.
“While it is obvious that you have been influenced by your Greek experience thus far, we all know that who you have become is due in large part to the positive influence and personal impact of your parents, brothers, sisters, other family members, friends and supporters. Many of these individuals are here with us today. Let’s give them a much deserved round of applause.
“But Kappas, any way you look at it, today you emulate your founders. While there were only six of them and they came together in 1870 when the word ‘sorority’ did not yet exist, you are like them today. And, while you are connected to Kappas of all ages in collegiate and alumnae chapters across the country and beyond, you are not bound to specific chapter traditions. As a new group, you get to establish your own. While you will share in common with other undergraduates a focus on children − through Reading is Fundamental and GIRLS Academy, you will experience the excitement of developing your own traditions and your own commitments to things like friendship, leadership, service and community involvement.
“For some of you, you come from a family where others are Greek-affiliated…parents, sisters, brothers. And even for some of you, your Greek connections within your family are more specific. You have cousins, aunts, mothers or even grandmothers who are Kappas. For you, this is a special bond to be shared within your family. And of course, for some of you, you are the first in your family to join a Greek-letter organization. No matter your individual context, you, as likeminded women with similar values and interests, have made a decision to come together and start something new at Elmhurt, just like your founders did at Monmouth College in 1870.
“Earlier this morning, you took part in something special, something shared only by Kappas: your ritual. Looking back on my initiation into Delta Zeta in 1984, I admit it was a bit of a blur. I was 18 and pretty overwhelmed. Having an older sister who was initiated into Delta Zeta four years before I was, I asked her all kinds of questions after I had been through the ceremony. But, each year after that, when we initiated new members into our chapter, I made an effort to try to pay close attention and internalize the experience. “I can’t say that I was completely successful in that effort, but I tried. I ask you to try, too. When we internalize our own ritual, we are building upon the great foundation our parents and others have laid for us − to live out our values in our daily lives, through our interactions with others. My hope for all of you is that at some point in your life, your ritual takes on very personal significance for you. I hope it becomes one of the principle components of your decision-making process, and it serves as a guidepost for how you lead your life.
“As an educator, I understand that fraternities and sororities were founded on sound educational and humanistic values, with the ultimate goal of developing in their members an appreciation for values and a commitment to making the world a better place in which to live. As initiated members of Kappa, you have taken vows that undeniably tie you to these purposes. And in doing so, you and the 140 other collegiate chapters of Kappa Kappa Gamma have said this is who we are. This is what we value.
“This past week, I was in the grocery store doing some shopping when I noticed an elderly couple standing in the meat section. The man picked up a package of beef tongue. A young woman walking by noticed, and asked what it was. ‘It’s beef tongue,’ the man replied. ‘You eat it.’ The young woman looked confused and pressed him, asking ‘You eat something that comes from the mouth?’ ‘Certainly,’ he said. ‘It’s good for you.’ Puzzled by this, the young woman continued to press the older man, ‘I can’t believe you eat something that comes from the mouth.’ She then turned, walked over to the dairy section, picked up a gallon of milk and left.
“Often, we who are involved in sororities and fraternities are judged by those outside of our membership. However, like the man in the store, we know the positive effects of our choices, regardless of what others will say. As Kappas, you know the difference you can make on campus and in your own communities. The purposes and values to which you took an oath and the way of life they develop in you are admirable values by which to live your life. Do more than remember your ritual. Use the values imbedded in it to help guide the many decisions you will make as members, as college students and as people.
“Like Kappa, Elmhurst College is also about certain things: the core values of academic excellence, stewardship, community and faith meaning and values, guide our work as an institution and form the foundation for our learning community. It seems to me that these values are reflected in the purposes of Kappa Kappa Gamma, set forth over 140 years ago on a campus not far from here, by a group of six courageous women who set out to make the world a bit better.
“As members of Kappa Kappa Gamma, at a college rich in values, you have been given a wonderful opportunity to enhance your life experience through sorority membership. It is my hope that you will embrace this experience by maximizing your membership and leadership opportunities and living your collegiate life at Elmhurst College to the fullest.
“Congratulations, and happy initiation!”
This year the Eta Phi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was chartered at Elmhurst College. We have 42 active members and 1 alumna.
We kicked off our colonization process on September 26, 2013 and hosted our first Bid Day on September 30, 2013.
We were welcomed into the Elmhurst College Community during our Homecoming festivities on October 5, 2013 by students, faculty and representatives from every other Greek organization on campus.
On November 2, 2013 we partook in a Sisterhood Retreat and started forming ties through various team building activities.
November 17, 2013 elections were held and 19 women took up officer positions within our chapter.
November 22, 2013 was our Fireside followed by installation on November 23, 2013.
Since installation we have begun meeting regularly as a council and chapter every Sunday. We are in the process of establishing by-laws and standard for the chapter to uphold. We are also communicating with other Greek Organizations on campus in hopes of having a collaborative function in the near future.
Our goals include getting more involved in the Elmhurst College Community as well as being more active within the chapter as well. We are also partaking in informal recruitment that will be taking place March 2-8, 2014. Describe the recent changes on your campus and describe the overall nature of your chapter. Our chapter is very eager to become a well-known name in the community. All of the girls are starting to get out of their comfort zones and truly put forth effort to know everyone in the chapter. We are extremely supportive of one another and love spending time together.
Scholarship: We had six members initiated into the Fraternal Values Society: Taylor Soss, Geena Jacobson, Katie Evensen, Sam Musick, Tiffany Lutka and Katelyn Ditzler. We had five of our members iniated into the Order of Omega: Katelyn Ditzler, Geena Jacobson, Stephanie Young, Katie Evensen and Sam Musick. We also had two members initiated into Gamma Sigma Alpha: Diana Santana and Katelyn Ditzler.
Conferences: Over the summer we had a number of our members attend a variety of conferences. Gina Skiris and Geena Jacobson attended AFLV LeaderShape in June and Stephanie Young and Katelyn Ditzler attened UIFI. Katie Evensen also attended UIFI and served as an intern for AFLV Central.
At Elmhurst's Greek Awards, Angela Tucker was awarded most outstanding new member out of all greek chapters campuswide. Tiffany Lutka was also elected to be on the Executive Board of the Panhellenic Council.
We celebrated our first Birthday on November 23rd with all of our newly initiated members. We had a very successful first formal recruitment adding 26 new members to the chapter, and making the all sorority average.
We also had our first Philanthropy event, Get Fit With Kappa in April of 2014 where every participant donated a book. We also had our first Semi Formal in May of 2014 and our first formal in December of 2014.
Other philanthropy events have included: a Potbelly's fundraiser in November of 2014 and a Reading is Key Event in November of 2014 as well.
Some traditions that we created have included the Sisterhood support bra given out at every chapter meeting, and the smartie panties to be drawn from a pool of girls that logged study hours the previous week. We also have monthly sisterhood dinners.
Our chapter is also very involved in supporting other chapter's of Greek Life on campus. In March of 2014 we participated in Dodgeball hosted by Lambda Chi Alpha and Phi Mu by having two Kappa teams, as well as participating in Lambda Chi's Watermelon Bust in September. We also supported Sigma Kappa when one of their sisters passed away from Leukemia by participating in a fundraiser. Many of our members participated in Alpha Sigma Phi's annual powder puff game playing on both the red and gray teams, as well as taking pictures with Santa in support of Alpha Tao Omega. Also, one of our members was a participant in Phi Mu Alpha's Philanthropy event called Queen of Diamonds and ended up placing first. Many of our members also went in support of her. Other than that, we have been and continue to be involved in Relay for Life among many other organizations on campus. We also continue to be supportive within the Panhellenic community and the Greek Community in any way that we can.
I do not think much has changed in terms of our campus, however our chapter has changed drastically. Over the course of one year we have transformed into a much more competent and independent chapter than when we started off. Our Executive Board has become much more independent and cohesive than when we started off. Although we are still getting the hang of things as far as planning events and having regular attendance, we have a strong group of girls who are really enthusiastic about our capabilities through Kappa and our future looking ahead. We had a really great group of girls that were just initiated who are all very strong leaders not just in Kappa but throughout the campus as well. We have overcome many obstacles and challenges as a brand new chapter on campus, but we are as involved as we can be and continue to learn and grow with each passing week.
We hold chapter meetings every Sunday from 6:30-7:30 in a classroom inside of Old Main, one of the Academic Buildings on campus. Council meetings are held in the same place at 5:30. The city of Elmhurst does not allow Greek Housing, however many of our members live together as roommates in dorms or apartments.
In the Spring of 2015, We had the very first panhellenic Girls Academy in the history off KKG. We also had a few Reading is Key events, the most recent being in October of 2015. We had a successful Spring 2015 recruitment, and an even more successful Fall 2015 recruitment where we met our quota.
Although we are only two years old, Kappa Kappa Gamma is now the second largest sorority of the five at Elmhurst College. We are larger now, but our sisterhood only grows, and we use committees far more than we did in the past. We also now use paper agendas for each chapter meeting.
Our chapter has grown a great deal in the small time that it has been on campus. We are still the largest sorority at Elmhurst College. Our chapter is made up of women who are very diverse in what they are passionate about and what they are involved in. Many are leaders and a part of various organizations on campus. Our sisterhood has also grown stronger. These are highlights from each month:
January - No meetings are held during the month of January because no student organizations meet. Many of our sisters studied abroad in places including, Amsterdam, Berlin, China, Costa Rica, Prague, and Rome.
February - Meetings began this month and were held in Old Main 107 on Sunday evenings. Since we were at campus total, there was no need for recruitment in the Spring semester. We were and still are the largest sorority on campus.
March - We had a St. Patrick’s day function. Three of our sisters studied abroad to Greece together.
April - We had an overnight sisterhood retreat at a campsite where we had fun and got to learn more about each other. We hosted our first big philanthropic event on campus called Kappa Kick Off which was an ultimate frisbee tournament along with food and games. All money raised went to Reading is Key. We also teamed up with Alpha Sigma Phi for their Chili Cook Off event which raised money for both our philanthropies and books were donated to Reading is Key. This month, we also had our formal.
May - We hosted a mini GIRLS academy at Churchville Middle School.
July - Our chapter was awarded for academic improvement and recruitment for our chapter size at the convention in San Diego which our president, Megan Davis, attended.
September - Recruitment was this month over a three day weekend and we gained twenty new members. Our sister, Deyaneira Garriga, also attended a conference.
October - We were accepted to host another GIRLS academy in the Spring and have been raising money for that since. Homecoming was this month which we all participated in. Many of our members also participated in a fraternity Powder Puff game and since we had the most players out of any sorority, we also won money for our philanthropies.
November - We initiated nineteen new members into our sorority, including two legacies. Sisters also participated in the Christopher Lyons Memorial Walk for our chapter’s local philanthropy which we chose because it is in honor of a member’s brother.
December - We had an ugly christmas sweater function. At the Greek Summit here at Elmhurst College, our chapter won “Chapter of Excellence”. Our member, Becca Vogt, also won sorority woman of the year.
The year of 2017 was a year filled of growth for KKG Eta Phi at Elmhurst College. One of the biggest development was our sisterhood. The spring semester was filled with wonderful events, philanthropic as well as social, but we struggled in connecting with sisters. The fall semester brought a wave of new members as well as a new-found bond among our whole sorority. Many sisters have expressed the change in atmosphere and are proud to be a Kappa. Overall, we are much happier and much more connected. Our sorority consists of girls from all majors. Many are student leaders on campus. Many improvements have happened and we are grateful for the past year. The month of January consists of no meetings since it is J-term at Elmhurst College. Some sisters traveled abroad to Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Austria, Hungary, and Czech Republic for the month through study abroad programs. One sister studied abroad in Ecuador for the entire spring semester and another in England. The spring semester started in February with our new council. Chapter meetings were held every Sunday in an Old Main classroom. No spring recruitment was needed since we were the largest sorority on campus. A bake sale for RIF was held in the cafeteria. To create bonds with other Greek life on campus, we paired with the fraternity Alpha Sigma Phi to play an on-campus game during the month of March. For spring break, one sister went to Amarillo Texas with Habitat for Humanity to build houses. April was a very eventful month. We had our first function which was a 50s/Grease function. It was a fun night of dancing with sisters and dates. We also paired with the fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha for a bingo night. Girls Academy took place the 22nd to the 23rd. Forty middle school girls participated, and it was overall a very successful time. We also hosted our Frisbee tournament for RIF which had teams from many different organizations around campus. To wrap up the spring semester, the month of May consisted two events. To raise money for RIF, we held an all-you-can-eat queso dip fundraiser for RIF. It was called Kappa con Queso. We also had our formal which was a nice way to spend time with sisters before finals. Summer break filled June and July. Sisters went on vacation, attended summer school, and worked at internships. The fall semester started at the end of August. Some of our sisters were Orientation Student Leaders who volunteered to be trained to help first years through Elmhurst College’s orientation. One sister went to Florida for her Disney internship. Recruitment was held in September. 84 girls enrolled in formal recruitment. Our quota was 17 girls. Bid day was very successful. The theme was Red, White, Blue & Blue. We acquired 17 new members. Three different sisterhoods happened during this month. We had a movie night, ice cream sisterhood, and a craft night. In October we went to laser tag with Alpha Sig. We also hosted a Halloween mixer with Alpha Phi and Alpha Sig. To raise money for RIF, we held a bags tournament called Bags for Books. Weekly sisterhood dinners happened in the cafeteria. There was a haunted house and a pumpkin patch sisterhood. Our overnight sisterhood was a successful. It was filled with food, games, and bonding. During November we had our first fall function. The theme was Disco Inferno. Our sisters participated in one of the fraternity’s annual Powder Puff game. We also initiated 17 new members, two of whom were legacies. We had a very successful philanthropy event for the Kappa Function. It was an all you can eat mac and cheese buffet. Our new exec board was selected and voted in. The annual Christopher Lyons Memorial Walk took place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We continued weekly sisterhood dinners as well as had a sisterhood friendsgiving. There was also a movie night. Position transitions happened in December. We had a final sisterhood dinner, a study event, and a plaque exchange to end the semester. We also went to the Christkindl Market in Chicago with the fraternity ATO. One sister graduated this semester. All in all, it was a successful year of growth for our chapter.
The Eta Phi chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was strong in the year 2018. Two main goals the chapter had was to improve sisterhood and the chapter’s GPA. The chapter saw a great increase in its GPA, which many sisters are very proud of. During Candle Pass, the question was posed: what is the chapter’s identity? It was decided that the chapter is the most diverse in terms of personality. This was reaffirmed with the girls who joined in the spring and fall semester.
January: There were no chapter meetings due to J-term. There was a sisterhood in the cafeteria on the 30th so that sisters could reunite after the long break.
February: Early in the month there was an Activity Fair where Kappa had a table. There we talked to people about Greek life and encouraged girls to go through Continuous Open Bidding (COB) with us. That night we met with our Potential New Members so that we could get to know each other better. There were two more dinners with the PNMs and a craft night to solidify who we wanted. The night of the craft night we voted on the PNMs and extended bids to four girls and only one did not accept. Regardless, we were very excited about our new members and celebrated them with Bid Day, which had a theme of U.S.A. like the fall. There was chapter every Sunday.
March: March was a big month for philanthropy and sisterhood. Many sisters read to children at a local elementary school for the Reading is Key event on the 3rd. Over 100 books were donated! There was a sisterhood dinner later that week. On the 12th there was another philanthropy event with a bake sale where $41 was raised for the Kappa Foundation. The LC that visited us in the fall was so beloved that we requested her for the spring and got her! Bri came back to campus the 25th-30th and gave us many things to work on for the fall, a big one being delegation. She was very helpful for girls who were in new positions. While Bri was on campus we hosted a Trivia Night, where a group of one of our sisters’ friends (who called themselves Denim Thunder) won.
April: This was a very busy month for the Eta Phi chapter. There was a wood staining sisterhood on the 6th. The next day there was another Activities Fair, this time for prospective students. After the fair there was a photoshoot for fall recruitment where we all wore our spring apparel shirts (they were black, loose shoulder shirts with sunflowers and our letters). On the 9th there was big/little pref. One of the other sororities on campus, Sigma Kappa, hosted SKapture the Flag on the 11th. We had our function, themed Mathletes vs. Athletes, on the 13th. The function was very successful. I-Week was the 15th-21st with the New Member Retreat kicking it off. Another sorority, Alpha Phi, hosted Home Runs for Heart on the 18th and a few of our girls participated. That same day we had Candle Pass at night where we sat in a circle and got a better understanding of each other. Fireside was on the 19th, and initiation was on the 21st. Since there were only two girls being initiated (the third was initiated fall 2018), it could not be justified to host our own initiation. Therefore, our girls, their bigs, and our Marshal drove to Monmouth College for initiation. The next day an Every Member Educator came and worked on improving our sisterhood. A Relay for Life event was hosted from the 27th-28th and a group of Kappas went to support. There was another photoshoot for fall recruitment on the 28th, where we utilized Wilder Park next to campus. A senior brunch was put on on the 29th. Finally, concluding a packed month was a Zumba sisterhood.
May: We started out May with an Ultimate Frisbee philanthropy where we raised over $200 for RIF.. Our formal was on the fourth at a country club in Itasca. Every sister got a superlative, including “Attached at the Hip,” “Most Likely to Become an Elmhurst Stroller Mom,” and “Most Creative.” The next day we supported our sisters who were in a Dance Showcase by getting a group of girls to see the show. On the 6th there was a mandatory sisterhood where we did group activities and tie-dyed shirts with our letters on them. There were Leadership Awards for all of the social Greek organizations on the 10th. An award was given to each for “Best New Member” and “Best Sister/Brotherhood.” Katherine Albano won “Best New Member” and Gabi Garcia won “Best Sisterhood.” Many sisters attended the Lambda Chi Alpha End of the Year Bash to celebrate the semester ending. Our lovely seniors also graduated, off to do wonderful things.
June: Since our school was on summer break, the months of June and July were very low-key. There was a sisterhood pool party at one of the girls house. Our Standards Chairman, Alexis, flew to Denver to attend Convention where we got an honorable mention for Best New Member Experience.
July: Again, July was relatively uneventful. There were two sleepover sisterhoods.
August: School started up again with chapter. We also hit the ground running by having a recruitment workshop on the 29th.
September: Recruitment became the focus of the chapter with workshops twice a week. We got a nice practice talking to potential new Kappas at the Greek Life Fair on the 11th. Our lovely LC, Sena, arrived on the 12th. She was instrumental to our recruitment weekend running smoothly. Also on the 12th was a Greek Life info session and the popular Greek Life Bonfire at night. At both events we got to talk to an array of girls about the positives of joining a Greek Life organization. The next day there was Mocktails with Panhel, where representatives from each sorority met with PNMs for a fancier event. Also on that day, one of our sisters, Katherine, left for Ohio to attend Leadership Academy. At long last the day had come, it was time for Recruitment! Our first day apparel was the provided Panhel shirt with denim skirts. For the second day we donned a white top with colored high-waisted flare pants. Finally, the third day apparel was an all-white dress. Our Bid Day theme was Kappa Knock-Outs, where we had a gray tank top with pink boxing gloves on the front. We welcomed 18 incredible new girls (one of which is a legacy) to our chapter and later celebrated with them at the Bid Day party. We also had the opportunity to later extend bids to two other very worthy girls, making us 20 girls stronger. On the 21st we had a Sweet Sister Mixer where new members got to mingle with active members and potential bigs. Formal Pledging took place on the 23rd. We closed out the month by participating in the Flag Football event for Alpha Sigma Phi, one of the fraternities on campus.
October: October was another big month for philanthropy. We had a bake sale where we raised $67 for Mag Mutts, the Blue and Blue Bags Tournament, where 7 teams participated (Alpha Sigma Phi won) and $78 was raised (as well as 2 books donated!) for RIF, and the Blue and Blue BBQ, where the families of sisters got to come and meet each other. $428 was raised for the Kappa Foundation and 21 books were donated for RIF. Some of our sisters participated in the Mag Mutts 5K run where they raised $200 for the organization. There was also a team of Kappas for the Lambda Chi Alpha Pumpkin Bash and we won first place! On Founders Day we celebrated Kappa and also went to a local pumpkin patch for a sisterhood. Later we also had a pumpkin carving sisterhood. Homecoming was a super fun time with quarter-zip apparel that said “Tailgates and Touchdowns” with cats and dogs on the bag. After that there were two Big/Little Mixers, and then Pref Day!
November: November started with a bang with Big/Little Reveal which had a Wizard of Oz theme. On the 14th we had Candle Pass where we got to know each other on a deeper level. FS was on the 16th and Initiation was on the 17th. We also had two girls from Loyola University participate in our initiation. The 23rd marked our 5th anniversary of being on campus!! Chapter elections took place on the 25th where we voted in sisters to the new pilot executive board. Mac and Cheese with KKGs happened on the 28th and we raised $370 for RIF! Our semi-formal was on the 30th and was a blast.
December: We celebrated the 5th anniversary of our chapter being on campus on the 1st by inviting alumni to come and reminisce about our past. Leadership transitions happened on the 2nd, along with our final formal chapter of the year. On the 7th we had a Holiday Party where girls participated in a plaque exchange. Some of our sisters participated in the Dance Showcase, so there was a group of girls who went to support them. The 9th marked our final event for the year, a relaxing sisterhood in lieu of chapter. We also found out the incredible news that we were approved for Girls Academy for the fall of 2019! All in all, we had a great year, and can’t wait to see what is in store for us for 2019!