Gamma Gamma Chapter was founded at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington on April 29, 1918.
1,903 initiates (as of June 2018)
The beginnings of Gamma Gamma chapter go back to about 1910 when the groups was a local sorority known as Beta Sigma. The group was urged by four local Kappa Alpha Theta alumnae to petition that fraternity for membership. At that time, between 1910 and 1918, Whitman was a small college and most of its students came from the inland Northwest, east of the Cascade Mountains. Perhaps Whitman students were considered by some people on the more heavily populated western part of the state as unsophisticated, or perhaps they were thought of as country cousins, totally unsuitable for membership in a national sorority. For whatever reason, the Theta charter was opposed by the nearest chapter on the western side of the state, and the petition for membership in Kappa Alpha Theta was denied. Beta Sigma then decided to petition Kappa Kappa Gamma, and with better results. The charter was granted in the spring of 1918.
Whitman College began as a monument to Marcus Whitman, who had served as a missionary to the Indians of the Columbia Valley for 12 years. In 1847, he was massacred by Cayuse Indians at his mission Waiilatpu, only five miles from Walla Walla. Cushing Eels, one of Whitman’s associates, secured a charter from the Oregon Territory for Whitman Seminary.
In 1883, the school’s charter was amended to reflect the admission of Washington as a state, and the name was revised to Whitman College. In 1915, Whitman was one of seven institutions west of the Rockies rated in Class One by the United States Department of Education. The campus occupies about 30 acres of land almost in the center of Walla Walla.
In 1917 or 1918, when Beta Sigma submitted its petition to Kappa Kappa Gamma, the Greek population at Whitman was 111. At the time of the petition, Whitman College had an enrollment between 230 and 250 students, most of them from the area surrounding Walla Walla
The Whitman College Pioneer reported April 12, 1918: “Prominent Fraternity to Install Chapter at Whitman – The national fraternity, Kappa Kappa Gamma, has granted a charter to the Beta Sigma fraternity….Beta Sigma, the local which will become Gamma Gamma Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was founded in 1910…Beta Sigma has always been one of the leading organizations in the college and her members have been represented in almost every line of college activities. With the exception of one semester, Beta Sigma has outstripped other organizations in scholarship. The members are to be most warmly congratulated for the great honor which they have brought upon themselves and upon the college.
Several weeks later, on May 13, 1918 the Pioneer carried the following account and comment: “The formal installation of Kappa Kappa Gamma was held Monday evening, April 29, 1918 at the home of Ethel Cornwell on Boyer Avenue. Mrs. Parke R. Kolbe, grand president, acted as installing officer. She was assisted by members of Beta Kappa, University of Idaho, who acted as sponsors to Gamma Gamma…The entrance of Kappa Kappa Gamma into Whitman College forms yet another bond which unites not only the members of Gamma Gamma Chapter, but the college as well, to other institutions of learning, and should do much to give Whitman a still higher place in the collegiate world.” A picture of the founders appeared on the front page of the paper.
Housing and Traditions
For many years after Kappa Kappa Gamma was established at Whitman, the group met in private homes. The chapter did not have any space at Whitman until 1926, when the first dormitories were built. To this day, Gamma Gamma members are still housed in a wing of Prentiss Hall designated for Kappa Kappa Gamma members, where they also maintain a chapter room.
Anecdotes told by alumnae of Gamma Gamma show how the standards and ideas of propriety have changed since Gamma Gamma’s beginnings. In the early days of Kappas at Whitman all students had to wear hats and gloves off campus. In 1914 one Kappa active was ordered out of the swimming pool in Spokane for being improperly dressed – she wore no stockings. During one of the first years three was a very serious discussion in chapter meeting about putting a girl on probation because she didn’t wear a girdle to class.
There have been so many outstanding members of Gamma Gamma Chapter it would be impossible to name them all without doing an injustice to someone not named. Authors, Iota Province presidents, professors and civic leaders are a few of the positions held by Gamma Gamma members. One member was Librarian at Whitman’s Penrose Library 42 years.
Gamma Gamma was hostess to Iota Province Conventions in 1929, 1951, and 1967.
1968 found Gamma Gamma chapter greeting its 50th year. The toastmistress for the banquet, on April 27, at the Royal Motor Inn at Walla Walla, was Henrietta Baker Kennedy. Her topic was “And the Circle Comes Round Again.” Present at the banquet were Gamma Gamma actives, alumnae and guests. Lulu Holmes, prominent educator and former dean of women at Washington State and Columbia Universities, received at 50-year pin from the Fraternity with special recognition. She had served on General Douglas MacArthur’s staff as adviser on women’s education. 1946-47, and had received the Alumnae Achievement Award in 1948. Fifty-year pins were also awarded to Gamma Gamma alumnae Henrietta Baker Kennedy; Carrie, Margaret, and Charlotte Reynolds; Fay Hamm; Florence Long; and Mary Elizabeth Jones.
There are many Gamma Gamma traditions. One of them has been the June Breakfast for graduating seniors, their mothers, and visiting alumnae. The breakfast began as a gathering at the Reynolds sisters’ country home just outside Walla, and for many years fresh Walla Walla strawberries, dipped in powdered sugar, were featured. In 1937, one of the active Kappas commented in the chapter scrapbook, “Each year it seems better than the last and is a fitting way of saying bon voyage to the seniors.”
For years, chapter officers have sent May baskets to their alumnae advisers. These have been personally delivered by the girls. The Walla Walla alumnae sponsored a Kappa Style Show for many years as a money-making project for the benefit of the active chapter.
Gamma Gamma’s contribution to the community is noteworthy. The chapter has given volunteer time for the women prisoners at the Washington State Penitentiary, the Sequin School for retarded children, the local nursing home and provided boots and shoes for 50 children of Mexican migrant-worker families.
On campus the chapter started an inter-sorority “coffee exchange.” Gamma Gamma chapter has had innumerable honors – from scholarship and athletic trophies to campus queens. The high regard which Whitman and its students have for Gamma Gamma Chapter can be expressed best by the words of Mrs. S. B. L. Penrose, wife of an early Whitman president: “the aims and ideals of the fraternity have always been high and the girls have faithfully endeavored to l live up to them.” It can also be expressed in the words of Miss Helen L. Burr, former dean of women at Whitman: “The members have always been girls of high ideals and good scholarship and their loyalty to Whitman and its standards are unchallenged.”
The previous information was excerpted from The History of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity, 1870-1976. The information that follows has been gleaned from available resources including Chapter History Reports, chapter meeting minutes, letters and comments from chapter members and alumnae, the Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Archives, and The Key. Each chapter is expected to update its history record annually. Contact Fraternity Headquarters at [email protected] with questions.
During these times, Gamma Gamma held recruitment within the first week of coming back to school. The chapter changed its membership selection system in 1977 and paid close attention to which girls would make the best Kappas. The Chapter Council, which consisted of only seniors and juniors (all but one senior held positions - it helped seniors continue to stay involved), implemented the committee system in 1977 to assist the officers. Their chapter goal later became "Kappa FACES: Fraternity Appreciation through Consideration, Education and Service." As Jan Rolfe, the Chapter Adviser during 1977 said, "Gamma Gamma is developing a very caring attitude," and continues to be.
In 1976, Gamma Gamma chapter received a Letter of Concern. The Chapter Council had advisers help to raise their reputation and clear the letter. They wrote a letter to Kay Larson, the Director of Chapters, once a month, and continued to hold up their standards. The letter was removed in 1978. The chapter also faced a minor problem of girls transferring in 1977.
Hazing became a big and notable problem across the nation. Fraternities and sororities were encouraged to watch a new film, "Fraternity Row," based on a factual hazing incident that occurred in the 50's that lead to a death of a pledge; it was made to portray the good and the bad of fraternity life. Otherwise, Gamma Gamma loved directly helping those around them. Not only would they help in the hospital and held dinners for the mentally ill adults in Walla Walla, but they would also help other people on campus. In 1976, Indrani Sigamany, an exchange student from India, had trouble finding money for tuition at Whitman. Kappa responded by raising $400 and offered her a room in Kappa section. She soon became a pledge.
Gamma Gamma loved directly helping those around them. Not only would they help in the hospital and hold dinners for the mentally ill adults in Walla Walla, but they would also help other people on campus. When an exchange student from India, had trouble finding money for tuition at Whitman, Kappa responded by raising $400 and offered her a room in Kappa section. She soon became a pledge. Also, a sophomore independent woman was paralyzed from the neck down in 1976, so all the students on campus gave up their Friday dinner, allowing the Director of Food Service to give the money that would have been spent on the Friday dinners to this student’s family to assist with their hospital fees.
Gamma Gamma chapter received Honorable Mention for Outstanding Achievement for Greatest Improvement for the years of 1976-1978.
In the mid-late 1980’s the chapter focused on improving their Public Relations with both the administration and the outside world. They embraced the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership and pursuit of academic excellence. The officers took their positions more seriously and worked collaboratively to accomplish the goals of the chapter. Gamma Gamma consistently recruited outstanding new members during the 80’s.
Kappa took a stronger role in Panhellenic and were excited about the chance to change the image of the Greek System to the outside world. The chapter worked on overcoming financial issues and impressed an administrator at the college as they made great improvements.
In the fall of 1988, Kappa easily won Sigma Chi Derby Days and the proceeds from their victory were given to the National Red Cross. The annual philanthropy was Haunted House which was done in conjunction with the men of Delta Tau Delta. Through their combined efforts they were able to give $900 to the Children’s Home Society in 1987 which was the largest donation they had given to this organization.
Gamma Gamma members were involved in a variety of activities in the 1990’s. Many of the members participated in sports teams, Panhellenic, radio, volunteering, drama and more. They continued to work to improve the chapter’s financial situation. It was proving to be a slower task than originally planned, but the chapter Treasurers worked hard to continue the forward progress. Kappa continued to have strong representation on Panhellenic during the 1990’s. Traveling abroad became popular during this decade and many Kappas saw the world.
In 1995 the chapter lost a pledge to leukemia. This was a difficult time for everyone. Housing: Prentiss Hall was renovated in 1991-1992 which caused challenges for the chapter during Rush and the storing of the archives. The chapter was excited about the finished result. There was a push to have the campus go dry. Many fraternities were already starting to incorporate these standards.
Kappa participated in a myriad of philanthropic endeavors during the 1990’s. They established hour goals of community service for each member which improved the overall participation.
1990 – Honorable Mention for Most Improved Chapter
In 2005, the chapter purchased a glass display case where it organized and displayed some of its most important and interesting archives. It was placed in the chapter room so that the items would be visible to all members and chapter guests. The remainder of the archives not displayed in the case are organized on carefully maintained bookshelves in the chapter room.
During the decade, Kappas at Whitman College kept themselves very busy with a multitude of social, academic and charitable events through both the college and the chapter. Its philanthropy events were particularly successful with such events as Mr. Whitman and The Breast Run Ever that collectively raised approximately $10,000 -$25,000 annually. Gamma Gamma won Awards for Excellence from the college administration in the areas of alumnae relations, chapter management, community service, membership Recruitment, educational programs, new member education, and Panhellenic participation. Recruitment was also very successful and this resulted in large new member classes of outstanding women. The members of Gamma Gamma Chapter continued to strive to maintain a tradition of leadership.
Kappas at Whitman participated in varsity sports such as swimming, soccer, volleyball, basketball, skiing, tennis and golf. Members also participated in a number of intramural sports, from the popular intramural football team to ultimate Frisbee, biking and softball. A number of members were active in clubs, student government (the Associated Students of Whitman College), the Campus Activities Board, residence life and class committees. Members were involved in chorale, a capella groups, the dance team and ballet productions through the college.
Many Kappas volunteered as mentors, peer listeners and for a number of other organizations. A large number of women from the chapter participated in Whitman's Study Abroad program, pursuing their academics around the world. Finally, Gamma Gamma Chapter won seven out of eleven awards from Whitman's Awards for Excellence competition for the calendar year of 2004. During Whitman’s annual Greek Week competition, Gamma Gamma won the Choral Contest and also had members win the Greek Week talent contest
At the beginning of fall semester before school started, all members attended a Recruitment planning and teambuilding retreat. In tribute and to commemorate the tragedy of September 11, 2001, Kappas annually pinned red, white and blue ribbons on their shirts.
The chapter's goal was “Unity through co-operation and communication." The members established close contact the chapter advisers and frequently updated and included them in many chapter activities. The fun-loving and diligent chapter loved helping the community in small, yet effective volunteer jobs and loved singing Kappa songs whenever they could. They strived to raise and/or maintain the chapter's G.P.A. every year, especially by creating scholarship bulletin boards, holding study tables and going around the library and giving chocolate to those who were studying. They honored those that earned 4.0 G.P.A.s every semester.
Challenges faced by Gamma Gamma during the decade included attendance at chapter and other mandatory events. Reaching a quorum to conduct business was an occasional problem which the chapter diligently tried to address through use of Standards procedures and emphasizing the importance of participation. Its greatest challenge was maintaining financial responsibility by members. Thanks to implementation of Standards procedures for bill delinquencies, the chapter became solvent and was successful in recovering dues and fees from members who had graduated with outstanding bills. The introduction of Bill Highway by the Fraternity also proved to be of benefit to the chapter in establishing a sound financial base.
Philanthropy remained a focal point of the chapter, striving to increase participation and the general number and success of philanthropy projects. The chapter instituted a number of new policies, requiring 10 hours of community service from each member and establishing the Kore Family Olympics. This program involves giving points to Kore families with particularly high philanthropy participation. All of these things helped to increase participation and thus the success of philanthropy events. “Mr. Whitman,” the chapter’s annual male beauty pageant, grew increasingly successful. The tickets sold out, and the contest was a huge hit with the general student body and Kappas alike.
In 2009, the chapter raised more than $4,200, which was donated to the family of one of Gamma Gamma’s new members, whose sister was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and needed a transplant not covered by her health insurance because it was considered an experimental procedure. The new member was the donor, and the chapter elected to give all proceeds to her family in keeping with the Fraternity goal of women helping women, and as a show of support and the strength of sisterhood.
Another event was “The Breast Run Ever,” a fundraiser for breast cancer research, with all proceeds going to the University of Washington Foundation. Participants ran laps around a field in the center of campus for pledged donations. In coordination with the event, the chapter sold shirts and wristbands to promote the event and raise more than $5,300. In addition to a number of other annual events such as highway clean-up, faculty children’s Easter egg hunt, and caroling at a local retirement home, these events achieved the goal of improving chapter philanthropy.
Dr. Seuss Day was established and was attended by more than 300 members of the community. The goal of the annual event was to enhance literacy, and each child who attended was given a free book. One Saturday a month, 15-20 chapter members went as a group to the community library for "Kappa Saturdays," to read to kids and help them make seasonal crafts.
Additionally the chapter sponsored a breast cancer fundraiser in honor of a professor, and sold cards to raise money for the cause. Mr. Whitman, the chapter’s largest annual philanthropy event, was a growing success. In 2009, the event raised more than $21,000 to send to the Lake Nkruba Orphanage in Uganda, which one of Gamma Gamma’s members helped found as an organization and was the one to get funding up and running for the program.
In 2010, the chapter again hosted its annual male beauty pageant,"Mr. Whitman," in which all proceeds go to a charity selected by a committee of Kappas. This year, the chapter held its most successful pageant ever, raising a total of nearly $50,000 to donate to the Chris Elliot Fund to find a cure for brain cancer. This charity was selected because a member of Delta Gamma at Whitman had recently lost her mother to the specific sort of brain cancer this fund researches. By choosing a charity so close to the heart of a member of another sorority on campus, the chapter was able to get the support of the entire Whitman community.
The chapter also focused on Reading Is Fundamental, including "Dr. Seuss Day." For this event, the chapter partners with the local library to invite children and their families watch a play of "Cat in the Hat" put on by the chapter. The play is followed by arts and crafts, games and reading. At the end of the day, each child leaves with a free book to help promote reading in the home.
In addition, Gamma Gamma engaged in smaller projects throughout the year, such as writing letters to troops overseas.
At the 2010 Convention, the chapter received the Sally Moore Nitschke Lifelong Education Award and Honorable Mention awards in the categories of Chapter Management, House Board, Philanthropy 1-2-3, and establishment of a signature philanthropy event for its Mr. Whitman pageant.
In the previous calendar year, the Gamma Gamma chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma has had success in several areas. Philanthropic involvement, alumni outreach and attendance improvement have been our most notable advances in the chapter this year. As usual, Kappa held our annual "Mr. Whitman" beauty pageant, which was very successful and drew in a large crowd. We have made a conscious effort to maintain contact with Kappa alumni, and continue to notify them with everything that goes on within our chapter. They have been welcoming, generous and incredibly helpful.
The introduction of Alpha Phi into the Greek system at Whitman College is a relatively new change on campus. They played a very active role in membership recruitment this year and had great success with their new pledge class. We have continued to include them and support them as they grow. This year our campus will be celebrating the 100 year anniversary of Greek groups at Whitman. We are currently considering a new organization of "Greekend", specifically including independent students (non-greek affiliated) in the activities, such as flag football. This speaks to both the Greek system and to our chapter's inclusiveness and support of all students on campus. Our chapter has truly come together and bonded in the past month or so, but we are still working on improving attendance. We have written out and discussed goals for the chapter and have also collected surveys from our active members and pledges about potential changes to our chapter. This demonstrates our honest devotion to making our chapter the best it can be and ensuring that everyone's voices are heard.
In the previous calendar year, the Gamma Gamma chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma has had achievements in many areas. From scholarship to improved attendance at sisterhood events this year has been full of success as well as challenges. The chapter earned the 2nd highest GPA among the sororities at Whitman College. The chapter was also awarded the Whitman College Award for Excellence in many areas, including: Alumni Relations, Chapter Management, Community Service, College Relations, Educational Programming, Financial Responsibility, New Member Education, Panhellenic Participation and Social Responsibility. As usual, Gamma Gamma held its Mr. Whitman event, which raised $25,776.76 and went to the local nonprofit organization Triology Recovery Community.
Other philanthropic involvement also included Dr. Seuss Day and Kappa Saturday. Our goals for the coming year are to further improve attendance at sisterhood events, increase the emphasis on Kore groups, ritual review, implementing master calendar, career networking, new member program, and chapter organization and communication
The overall nature of the chapter is supportive, loyal, academically driven and diverse.
Scholarship: VP Academic Excellence was able to announce Gamma Gamma received the highest all-sorority grade point average for Spring 2014 (3.545) which was slightly higher than the all-sorority GPA (3.4569)
Group honors/awards: Whitman College Academic Excellence for a Sorority.
Province awards: Philanthropy Signature Event Award: Chapters with Fewer than 130 Members
Traditions: We held our annual philanthropy event, Mr. Whitman, on October 31, 2014 this year. The theme was "Ghostbusters." Founders Day was celebrated on November 8th, 2014 at GAC, Four Kappa Saturdays were held at our local Walla Walla Library where Kappas crafted with local children from the immediate community. Pumpkin carving took place on October 23, 2014 and not only served as a sisterhood event but doubled as our annual Big/Little Reveal. Our annual holiday dinner took place at a senior Kappa's off-campus house where we had one of many candle passes. Every Sunday near the conclusion of chapter we have one to two "senior spotlights" where seniors tell stories about each other as a way for younger members of our chapter to get to know about older members. Every Sunday we also have study hours reserved for Kappas only at Penrose Library from 1-4 p.m. At the end of the semester our VPAE randomly selects two ladies whom frequently visited study hours to receive a gift card.
Special Events: Our event chairman held the 2014 spring Sapphire Ball (our Kappa formal event) on April 26th, 2014 and again for the 2014 fall semester on October 18th, 2014. Our annual Senior Soiree was held at Angela's house on May 8th, 2014 as current actives, advisors and our local alumnae transitioned the graduating actives into alumni. Each Kore Family bought the senior(s) in their family gifts, wrote letters and purchased flowers.
Philanthropic involvement: On October 3rd, Gamma Gamma joined the Delta Delta chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta at the local nursing home, Odd Fellows, to put on a carnival themed day of interaction and friendship. Kappa helped set up and clean up. The 2014 Mr. Whitman brought in $20,000 for the Children Home's Society, a local organization in Walla Walla.
Chapter goals: Encouraging attendance at study hours, sisterhood events, chapter etc.
Challenges: Our chapter experienced troubles relating to our formal fall recruitment shirts which featured dream-catchers. We also had an issue with lack of confidentiality which led to a campus-wide awareness of potential "cultural appropriation" of the design. Right before the pumpkin carving sisterhood event/big and little reveal one of the bigs decided she was inept to handle the responsibilities.
How challenges were overcome: Our Membership Chairs met with CC and our advisors as well as Director of Student Activities on campus and the Native American club to work out how to incorporate dream catchers and Washington state history into Kappa's recruitment. Chapter Council brought in the alleged girls who breached confidentiality into Standards. For big/little reveal, a sophomore agreed to take on another little in lieu of the original big.
World/local events our chapter participated in: Volunteered on early Saturday mornings working booths for Walla Walla Children Home's Society Fun Runs in town. CHS was the Mr. Whitman charity this year. Whitman College has an annual Power and Privilege symposium where a couple Kappas presented in presentations such as: "Greek Power."
Whitman College recently hired a new President for fall 2015. Her name is Dr. Kathleen Murray and she recently served as Provost, Dean of the Faculty, Music Professor and former acting President of Macalester College. This past fall recruitment period of 2014 saw the highest number of women participating in recruitment (150 compared to 135) and highest percentage of women in a sorority on campus (45%.) Women's lacrosse also became a varsity sport on campus. Our current President George Bridges installed a program named "Think About It" an in-depth awareness look about sexual harassment on college campuses that Gamma Gamma chapter will soon be participating in.
Gamma Gamma strives to be supportive, caring, involved on campus and in the community, quirky, united, fun, sparkly-sapphires, passionate but most importantly realizing individuals come from diverse backgrounds and using each member's individual strengths to better Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Gamma Gamma holds chapter meetings in our chapter room in Kappa section of Prentiss Hall, a first and second-year all women dormitory on campus. Our facility is rented from Whitman College. Gamma Gamma has been using Prentiss residence hall to house active sophomores. Typically about 25 sisters can live there. The chapter rents from the college. Kappa has been housed there as far back as our archives go.
Our chapter hopes to place a continual focus on academic excellence. We had two celebrations of scholarship in 2015, one in the spring and one in the fall. These were opportunities to support members who had made academic strides as well as invite professors to understand Gamma Gamma’s support of academic pursuits. In 2015 we had two sapphire balls and, our most prominent event, Mr. Whitman. Mr. Whitman is Gamma Gamma’s central philanthropic endeavor. Through on campus and community outreach we helped raise money for a local organization that advocates for higher education. One thing our chapter is working on improving is policies regarding sexual misconduct. While this issue is a prominent one facing people across the nation and world, Gamma Gamma chapter had several chapter-wide discussions on how we, as a chapter, can help prevent and protect people experiencing this sort of trauma.
The biggest change on Whitman’s campus this year has been the introduction of our new, and first female, president, Kathy Murray. Her presence is slowly and slightly changing the vibe of Whitman College since she officially began in the summer of 2015. Looking specifically at our chapter we continue to strive for academic excellence and community philanthropy. We hope to be an inclusive and welcoming group that blends women of all ages and backgrounds into a powerful and positive community.
What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community?
In 2015 Gamma Gamma chapter worked with several organizations in regard to our philanthropy. In February we had our annual Dr. Seuss day. At this event we worked with the Walla Walla Public Library to stage a dramatic reading of a Dr. Seuss book, craft, and participate in read alouds. It was a great opportunity for our chapter members to work directly with people in our community. Additionally, our chapter donated most of our time and money to our annual event, Mr. Whitman. In fall 2015, our Mr. Whitman funds were donated to AVID, an organization that hope to close the gap in college readiness.
Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support?
Our chapter chose to support these organizations because they tie us directly to our greater community. In a place as isolated as Walla Walla, Gamma Gamma chapter hopes to help support the success of community members in their quest for higher education.
The year 2016 has been an exciting one for Gamma Gamma. Most of this has been centered around the success of our major philanthropic event, Mr. Whitman. This year, Mr. Whitman broke its fundraising record and raised over $50,000. This money will be used to fund mental health care professionals at a local clinic that serves underprivileged public school children. One aspect of this event this year that was unlike the past was the role of our community outreach. We worked hard to establish a relationship with the school that the clinic serves by doing things such as chaperoning their school dances and helping sponsor their school play. Additionally, the wake of the 2016 presidential election there has been a great deal of discussion regarding the rights of women and the protection of those rights. Gamma Gamma has worked to support these conversations and translate them into action. Further, one challenge that Gamma Gamma faed this semester was regarding our role on campus. There has been ongoing debate regarding the merits of the Greek system and the women of Gamma Gamma have been and are working toward proving the substantial worth of the Panhellenic system.
This most recent semester on campus has seen some abnormalities, rendering the overall campus climate as somewhat melancholy. However, these actions have jump started an activist sentiment that has wormed its way into the hearts of many Whitman College students. Our chapter grew substantially through the recruitment process. The women of Gamma Gamma have demonstrated great success in academics, community-building, employment, and more. Gamma Gamma presents a moving slice of the Whitman College student body, somehow managing to epitomize the values of Kappa Kappa Gamma as well as the character of the greater college.
Chapter Philanthropy: With our event, Mr. Whitman, our chapter has typically changed the receiving organization each year. As previously mentioned, this year Gamma Gamma chose to raise money for a local clinics that provides free health care for underprivileged students. The Health Center at Lincoln High School seeks to change the way we understand and treat behavioral issues in students. The funds from Mr. Whitman specifically went to fund the expansion of the mental health care side of the Health Center’s operations.
Our chapter selected this organization because of its relationship to the community. We wanted to form and improve relations with the community and saw this as an important and powerful first step. By building these relationships, Gamma Gamma is better able to help the community that we are vividly a part of.
Chapter Facility: Our chapter meets in the designated area of the all-female residence hall on campus, Prentiss Hall. Gamma Gamma has a particular section of the building that is for our use and regulated by college policy. All meetings take place here and it is also home to the sophomore pledge class. Oral History Are there any current members, alumnae or advisers from your chapter that you recommend for the Fraternity’s oral history project? We are looking for Kappas with stories to tell – funny chapter memories, great professional achievement stories, heartwarming stories of how Kappa has helped them, etc. The figure that most comes to mind is our chapter adviser, Jen Mallo. Jen’s stories about her Kappa days provide endless joy at our Chapter Council meetings. With her young family Jen could be a great extension of what life looks like after college while still actively participating in Kappa.
The largest change on the Whitman campus this year was the changing of our Mascot from the Missionaries to “the Blues”. This represents a shift in the institutions relationship with our history in the Walla Walla valley.
Chapter Philanthropy: This year in our Mx. Whitman fundraiser, we chose to support the Blue Mountain Action Councils (BMAC) Backpack Program. This program sends food insecure children home with food each weekend so that they know where they are getting their next meal. Through fundraising efforts from July-November Kappa's and contestants raised $48,256.36 for the Blue Mountain Action Council backpack program.
In addition to fundraising, Kappa's donated hours to the Backpack Program helping make the food packs that the children receive. Food insecurity is a very large problem in the Walla Walla Valley and is especially detrimental to children. If a child is hungry at school, or undernourished going into the school week, it is proven that their education suffers. The Blue Mountain Action Council works to combat this undernourishment in an attempt to alleviate this weekend food-insecurity and make sure that every child can achieve success in their education. In addition to this fundraiser, we held our annual Dr. Seuss Day at the Walla Walla public library, which sent every child home with a book. This year we had about 300 kids come to the event. We also held four other “Kappa Saturdays” at the local library where we volunteered with kids and helped clean and organize the library.
Chapter Facility: We meet weekly in our chapter room, located in Prentiss Hall on campus. It is the hall where all the greek women live during their sophomore years on-campus.
The largest change on the Whitman campus this year was two new buildings. A new resident hall, Staton Hall, and a new dining hall, Cleveland Commons. This represents a shift in the school's goal to develop a closer community throughout campus.
This year in our Mx.Whitman fundraiser, we chose to support The Star Project, a local non-profit organization that helps people with felony convictions reenter society who are living in Walla Walla County. This organization has a housing coordinator, an employment specialist, and a case manager who strive to successfully reintegrate into the community as productive and contributing members. Through fundraising efforts from July-November Kappas and contestants raised $35,000 for The Star Project. We chose this event as Walla Walla County has the Washington State Penitentiary and the Walla Walla County Jail, "The Star Project" has a consistent amount of clients coming in for assistance. As non-profit organization, they are always needing donations and grants, in order to continue paying their employees and supporting their clients.
In addition to this fundraiser, we held our annual Dr. Seuss Day at the Walla Walla public library, which sent every child home with a book. This year we had about 300 kids come to the event. We also held four other "Kappa Saturdays" at the local library where we volunteered with kids and helped clean and organize the library.
We meet weekly in our chapter room, located in Prentiss Hall on campus. It is the hall where all Greek women live during their sophomore year on campus. (From chapter’s History Report: Scholarship, group honors/awards, traditions, special events, changes on campus or within chapter, overall nature of the chapter, chapter goals, challenges and how they were overcome, etc.: