Gamma Eta Chapter was founded at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington on May 7, 1920.
2,552 initiates (as of June 2018)
In a lonely 36-by-80 brick structure standing atop a bleak and windswept hill, with prairie on the rolling Palouse hills stretching as far as the eye can see, the Washington Agriculture College opened its doors, January 13, 1892, at Pullman. Enrollment consisted of 23 students, and there were six faculty members.
The town of Pullman had 350 residents; and the entire state of Washington had 350,000. Chartered in 1890, the beginnings of the land grant, coeducational college were humble indeed. In 1905, the name of the institution was changed to Washington State College. Effective September 1, 1959, the name officially became Washington State University. The University of Idaho campus in Moscow is just nine miles away.
In 1916, Dr. Ernest O. Holland became the third president of Washington State College. A local sorority, Zeta Phi, was organized, and immediately began working toward its goal of petitioning Kappa Kappa Gamma for membership. Several months later, on April 6, 1917, the United States entered World War I. This had its inevitable effect on the college, as the young men marched off to war. Hundreds of soldiers were brought to the college for military training under the Student Army Training Corps (SATC). The trials of the influenza epidemic in the fall of 1918, when church and campus buildings became emergency hospitals, were vivid memories.
The girls of Zeta Phi did their full share in serving as volunteer nurses and doing Red Cross work. They worked hard and established a place of leadership on campus. All this time, the young women were petitioning Kappa. Exhausted, they welcomed spring vacation of 1920, as never before. And then came the happy news.
“SUSIE’S WELL!” A wonderful meaning was packed into those two words, which swiftly went by telephone, telegram and word of mouth to some 30 girls who had scattered throughout the State of Washington. When they left Pullman, the Zeta Phi president was waiting to hear from the officers of Kappa Kappa Gamma, telling them whether the petition from Zeta Phi would be accepted or rejected. If the decision was a rejection, the code message would be the doleful words: “SUSIE’S DEAD”; if the group was accepted: “SUSIE’S WELL.”
On May 7, 1920, the long-awaited Initiation arrived when 27 eager and happy Zeta Phi members became charter members of Gamma Eta Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Fourteen others were initiated the next day. The installing officer was Estelle Kyle Kemp, Grand Secretary, Colorado, and Anna Scott (King) was the first chapter President.
Belle Ware Waller, Hillsdale, wife of Dr. O. L. Walker, longtime Vice President of Washington State College, worked tirelessly to help the local Zeta Phi group organize and petition Kappa Kappa Gamma, and long served as one of its advisers. The first Gamma Eta house at 614 Campus Avenue was purchased with the aid of Professor C. A. Issacs, who, with his wife, helped the chapter through many difficult years of organization.
Housing and Chapter Traditions
The thriving chapter soon outgrew its first home. In 1929, a beautiful new $35,000 chapter house, designated to accommodate 35 members, was built on the same site as the original house. Of Colonial design with tall, stately columns, it was a most outstanding house. To celebrate the final payment on the house, large numbers of alumnae came to Pullman to help burn the mortgage on October 12, 1947. “Shall I bring a match?” inquired one alumna.
During World War II, 1941-1945, actives and Pullman alumnae again gave their wholehearted efforts toward victory—entering into Red Cross bandage rolling, USO activities, War Bond drives and more. They helped solve the critical wartime food problem by going to the Pullman Canning Center en masse and canning more than 800 cans of tomato juice, hundreds of cans of plums, and a year’s supply of grape conserve—during a single weekend!
Jeanne Norbeck, WASP lieutenant who was killed in 1944 in the line of duty, was the first Kappa in the U.S. to give her life in the service of her country during World War II. WAVES, WACS, SPARS, WASPS, Red Cross and USO workers from Gamma Eta saw service in Burma, Hawaii, the South Pacific, Italy, France, England and Germany. Joy Johnson Write, a senior staff assistant served with the American Red Cross in Europe.
Immediately following the war, Irene Kruegel Van der Meulen, a member of Gamma Eta who, with her husband and children had returned to The Hague, Holland, sent a plea to the Gamma Eta actives and alumnae for used clothing for Dutch Relief. For several years, Pullman Kappas sent boxes of used clothing to Mrs. Van der Meulen for distribution to needy Dutch whose joy and appreciation were indeed gratifying.
Scholarship has always been emphasized by Gamma Eta, but actives and alumnae alike were joyously surprised when the chapter received the Fraternity’s Scholarship Award at the 1946 Biennial Convention at Mackinac Island, Michigan.
In tribute, the December 1946 issue of The Key featured Gamma Eta Chapter and Washington State College. In 1956, the chapter received the runner-up Scholarship Award during Convention, and in 1972 received the honorable mention (large campus) Scholarship Award.
Throughout history, Gamma Eta has maintained high academic standards. In the 1950s, City Panhellenic awarded permanent possession of a Scholarship Cup to the women’s living group that placed first in scholarship for three consecutive semesters. After Gamma Eta placed first for eight consecutive semesters and won permanent possession of not only one, but two cups, City Panhellenic decided to make the cup a traveling trophy—to keep from going broke buying new award cups for the Kappas.
In 1957, Gamma Etas also topped the women’s living groups for the quantity of blood donated in the annual campus blood drive. “If it isn’t grades, it’s blood!” quipped the girls. Honors
Throughout the years, many Gamma Eta undergraduates and graduate students have been recipients of scholarships and fellowships, have held high campus officers and editorships have been campus queens, and members of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Lambda Theta, Alpha Lambda Delta, Mortar Board, Spurs, and other honoraries. On several occasions, foreign students have been invited to live in the chapter house for a year and given room and board. Among Gamma Eta’s most treasured traditions are the scholarship banquet, senior banquet, pledge semiformal, Big-Little Sis program, Founders Day observance, spaghetti dinner, Christmas party and Initiation banquet.
As enrollment at the university grew, the need for a larger chapter house became imperative. In 1961, a large, new addition was added to the house at a cost of more than $100,000. The house is ideally located near campus and across the street from the university president’s home. More than 100 alumnae returned for the open house and dedication, and more than 600 guests attended the tea on Sunday, March 18, 1962.
The Centennial year of the Fraternity and the Golden Anniversary of Gamma Eta Chapter were incentives for a never-to-be-forgotten weekend April 17-19, 1970. Eighteen of Gamma Eta’s 36 “Young-at- Heart” charter and 50-year members came to Pullman from a dozen states, including Hawaii. Young and old alike enjoyed the festivities, from the opening Fireside on Friday evening, through the Anniversary Tea on Sunday afternoon at the house. Typical “squeal day” scenes prevailed as Kappas who hadn’t seen each other for untold years eagerly embraced and began reminiscing where they left off—10-, 15-, 25- or even 50-years earlier.
“Tribute to Kappa Kappa Gamma’s Centennial” was the subject of an inspiring address by Marian Schroeder Graham, Montana, Fraternity Director of Membership.
More than 160 Kappas attended the Saturday evening banquet. Belle Wenz Dirstine, Gamma Eta charter member and former Iota Province President, was toastmistress. She appeared in a glamorous gown she had worn as an undergraduate, including a showy fur necklace of yesteryear and her 1920 horn-rimmed glasses.
“Gamma Eta Reminiscences” by Wilma Porter Yoder, charter member, drew many chuckles. Anna Scott King, first President of Gamma Eta, introduced guests by decade. Fifty-year pins were presented by Louise Ott Webb, a member of the first fall pledge class.
The $3,000 Kappa Kappa Gamma Centennial Rehabilitation Graduate Fellowship was awarded to Barbara Hebbert Jesson, a Washington State graduate student in the Child and Family Studies Department.
At the Centennial Convention in French Lick, Ind, in June 1970, the Pullman Alumnae Association with a membership of 25 was awarded the coveted McNaboe Silver Cup Award for excelling as the top alumnae association of 50 members and under. In 1966, the Pullman Association won honorable mention at the General Convention for its assistance to Gamma Eta Chapter.
In 1950 and 1960, Gamma Eta received honorable mention for its chapter publication, and in 1972 it was named one of the top five chapter publications.
Perhaps one of the many factors that have helped to keep Gamma Eta vigorous throughout its existence has been the tireless work and inspiration of its Advisory and House Boards. Since the beginning, Gamma Eta House Board members have always taken pride in maintaining a high credit rating and have never failed to meet obligations on time, although it sometimes has been a struggle.
Lulu Holmes,Whitman, always an inspiration to actives and alumnae alike, came to the Washington State campus in 1936 as dean of women and remained there 20 years. Recipient of Kappa’s Alumnae Achievement Award at the Sun Valley Convention in 1948 for outstanding work in education, Lulu Holmes served on the staff of General Douglas MacArthur in Tokyo, Japan, in 1946, as adviser on women’s education.
Ann Fletcher (Colvin) served as Fraternity Field Secretary in 1963, and as Fraternity Chairman of Chapter Programs and Pledge Training, 1970-72. Audrey Owen McCall became first lady of the state of Oregon in 1967.
From its small and humble beginning of 23 students in 1892, Washington State University’s enrollment is now more than 14,000. The campus covers some 2,000 acres. Thus from the horse-and-buggy age of 1892 through the era of the railroads, the automobile, the airplane, the atomic age in 1945, through 1975 the changes in the world since Kappa Kappa Gamma’s first century have been vast indeed.
1972 Scholarship Cup-second place
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.
Gamma Eta chapter truly set the standard in the 80’s an outstanding chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. In 1988 they won the highest award of the Fraternity – the Standards Award. Years of hard work and dedication to being the best paid off when their chapter was presented with the sterling silver punch bowl and cups by President Marian Williams.
High academic goals, Recruitment of outstanding young women, quality chapter programming, strong finances, an emphasis on leadership development, participation by members in all aspects of chapter life and respect for ritual are just a few of the things Gamma Eta does so well. Members shine on campus and participate in Cougar Guys and Gals, Homecoming Committee, Intramuruals, Mortar Board, Blue Key, SPURS, WSU Rally, President’s Honor Roll, Student Alumni Connection and Yearbook Staff.
Social activities run the gamet from Monmouth Duo and the Kite and Key Dance to Triads and Quads (exchanges with other WSU fraternities and sororities.) The ever popular pledge dance and senior dance were always a highlight of the year. Mom’s Weekend and Dad’s Weekend are long standing traditions on campus and Gamma Eta parents are involved with chapter and campus events throughout the weekends.
Gamma Eta is a leader in Panhellenic holding offices and chairing committees. Homecoming participation is a must and the chapter pairing with a fraternity is an opportunity to show school pride and have some fun.
In 1987, the College of Idaho’s, Zeta Pi Chapter was installed and Gamma Eta served as a big sister chapter to the new chapter.
The House Board installed new carpet and furniture in the living room and lounge and refurbished the dining room with a new hard wood floor, wallpaper and dining room seat cushions
Gamma Eta collected money for the March of Dimes and donated the proceeds to the Missing Children’s Organization. They also created and delivered Valentine’s cards to a Pullman convalescent home and organized a “Kappa Karnival” for the Pullman children. Their community philanthropy also included cleaning a local park with the Phi Delta Theta chapter.
Chapter Convention Awards:
1980 Crabtree Panhellenic Award Commendation, Greatest Scholarship Improvement; 1984 Gracious Living Award Commendation, Finance Excellence, Housed Chapters-Honorable Mention; 1986 Finance Excellence, Housed Chapters; 1988 Standards Cup
Cooperation, loyalty, appreciation and sincerity were key words in the goals of the chapter throughout the decade. Learning to live with others in a cooperative manner while balancing academics, extra-curricular activities, work and chapter responsibilities is a big order. The women learned and lived the values of the Fraternity with an amazing support system that will last for a lifetime.
The chapter sought to retain top scholarship standing on campus and also received recognition from Iota Province for scholastic excellence. The Scholarship Committee implemented several creative ideas and recognized chapter members for academic achievements at the annual Scholarship Dinner.
Social events include The Sapphire Ball, Monmouth Duo and Kite and Key Dance which happened each year. Exchanges had great themes and destinations including a Beach Bash, boat trips on Lake Coeur d’ Alene in Idaho and a Halloween Dance. Study breaks with fraternities were also a poplar social activity.
Many campus organizations had Gamma Eta’s as members. A few of these include: WSU Crew, Tennis Team, Pre-Law Club, Cougar Guys and Gals, Homecoming Committee, Intramurals, Mortar Board, Blue Key, SPURS, WSU Rally, President’s Honor Roll, Student Alumni Connection and Advertising Club.
Partnering with another fraternity or sorority was a great way to double the effort for a philanthropy. Fundraising and service projects included: a Haunted House, cleaning local parks, carving pumpkins with elementary children, promoting Breast Cancer Awareness and looking after children while parents received counseling or comfort during hard times.
1998 Greatest Scholastic Improvement
Chapter members knew that friendship and sisterhood help to maintain a successful chapter. By growing through the challenge of college life with the support of friends, women of the chapter created bonds, support systems and they became confident leaders and well-rounded individuals. Gamma Eta is a highly recognized chapter at Washington State because they maintain academic success at the individual, chapter and university level.
The chapter struggled with several issues that resulted in Gamma Eta utilizing the assistance of Chapter Consultant Tiffany Dawkins, Oregon. With her help and guidance, the chapter focused on correcting problems and following Fraternity recommendations for improvement. Always a goal oriented chapter, the members worked on solutions and to continue to be the strong and proud chapter they had always been.
Celebration of 20 years with House director Ms. Mina Neet
The chapter supported several fundraisers for charities. "Check your Boobies," benefiting early breast cancer detection, "Cupcakes for a Cause," benefiting cancer care for kids, a dodge ball tournament benefiting the Rose McGill Fund and "Kappa Tau-lo-ween," a Haunted House fund raiser benefiting Reading is Fundamental.
2000 Greatest Scholarship Improvement-Honorable Mention; 2002 Scholarship-Honorable Mention; Heritage-Honorable Mention; 2008 Most Improved Academic Excellence-Honorable Mention; Philanthropy 1-2-3 – Honorable Mention
Information 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)
Within the past calendar year we received a 3.2 overall chapter GPA for spring semester which was a huge accomplishment for us. In order to reward our members for their hard work we honor the members that receive over a 3.7 GPA and reward the pleadge class that meets the most of their individual goal. This year that was our pledge class of 2010. All of our hardwork paid off during recruitment. We were so thrilled to welcome a new pledge class of 50 women.
At Convention we received an honorable mention for 'Most Improved Chapter'. This year was the second year that we had the honor of having President Floyd, the President of Washington State University, over for formal dinner. In the spring our campus holds Greek Week, which is a series of competitions, games and community service work that each chapter particiaptes in. We were paired up with a fraternity in order to create a team. The beneficiary for Greek Week 2012 was KONY 2012, which brought the injustice of child slavery to our attention. All of the proceeds raised throughout the week by all chapters were sent to the KONY 2012 efforts. We are now the reigning champions for two years in a row and hope to keep that tradition going. This is something Gamma Eta is really proud of.
In October we held our annual philanthropy, Kappa Tauloween, where we pair up with the men of Alpha Tau Omega and create a haunted house for the community. All the money we raise goes to Pullman Child Welfare which is an organization in our community that Gamma Eta has been partnered with for a few years. We also held a food drive at the local Safeway to collect food for the Pullman Food Bank. This was a huge success. Not only did we hold our own philanthropies, we also participated in the philanthropies of our fellow greek chapters. A member of Gamma Eta was runner up for Sigma Epsilon's philanthropy "Queen of Hearts". We also participated in Sigma Nu's golfing philanthropy. As a chapter we participated in Check Your Boobies where we had a speaker come and help us become more aware of breast cancer and its signs. Something that hit our chapter with emotion was the Sandyhook Elementary shooting. This was such a devestating event to everyone and even more so once we found out that some of the victims were related to the greater Kappa family. We wrote letters as a chapter showing our support and love for the victims families.
Gamma Eta as a chapter had some goals and challeges that we overcame this past year. To improve our knowledge of chapter history, we focused on learning more about Kappa ritual. In order to achieve this, our Marshal held several programs for the chapter where we were able to learn more about the meaning behind formal chapter and initiation. We also had some historical facts read to the members during chapter.
Another goal we had was to improve our sisterhood. We are very proud of our sisterhood here but it can always be improved. We made sure to have sisterhoods all throughout the year to keep us connected. Some of the sisterhoods included a Valentine’s Day sisterhood, a shopping sisterhood located at a local boutique and movie watching sisterhoods. We also had the pleasure of getting together with the University of Idaho Kappa chapter. We all carved pumpkins and had fun getting to know members who only live about 10 miles away.
A huge change that has been made on the Washington State campus is that we are now "BYOB" (bring your own beverage). Panhellenic has enacted policies stating that there should be no alcohol served at any greek event. We are fully supportive of our Panhellenic community as we learn to follow the new rules and has made our campus safer. The changes to the alcohol policy have definitely changed the tone of the campus. The goal is to create a safer college environment in response to a number of falls and even deaths related to alcohol here on campus duing 2012. There is also a new dorm being added to our campus in order to house all the incoming freshman. Northside Residence Hall should be done by Fall 2013 and is located between Regents and Streit Hall. The renovations to Martin Statium were finished just in time for the arricval of our new coach Mike Leach. This has brought back a lot of the Cougar spirit and the games are bigger than ever. There are also plans to create Martin Stadium Football Operations Building. They are hoping to increase the recruiting potential for Washington State.
During the spring of 2014 Gamma Eta tried very hard on our academic standing and had an overall grade point average of ____. In the fall of 2014, we tried even harder and obtained a 3.19 GPA as a house and were awarded second place among all the other sororities on campus. As a chapter, this is something we set a goal for and every member helped out in achieving this accomplishment. As an incentive to work hard and try our best in school, our VPAE has us bring our tests to chapter if we received an A. Every week, she picks one out of a bag and whoever gets pulled gets a pair of “smarty pants” (a pair of underwear) as a prize! It’s a great incentive that has helped us achieve second highest GPA on campus. Along with the “smarty pants,” our VPAE holds study tables three times a week for members who need that extra help.
Every year, Washington State University holds the Arête awards which is located on campus. A few of our members are lucky enough to go every year and we also received an award of our own. We received the top community service for spring 2014! This means that out of all the chapters on campus, Gamma Eta did the most community service. It’s always nice knowing that hard work pays off and that’s exactly what this award showed to every member in our chapter.
In March of 2014, we paired up with another sorority on campus, Alpha Gamma Delta, and a fraternity, Theta Chi to host the philanthropy March Madness. This was out first year being a part of the event and it went great! The men from Theta Chi were the referees and women from our chapter and AGD were paired up with the teams as coaches. Almost every chapter on campus participated along with a few non-greek individuals as well. It was awesome to see the WSU community come together to raise money and support our causes. Also in the spring of 2014, we hosted “Kickin’ it with Kappa”. Sororities and Fraternities from around campus made teams and were apart of a kickball tournament held on our football field, Martin Stadium. This was another fun and active way to get our community together and raise money for a great cause. And in the fall of 2014, our chapter held a food drive for the Pullman Child Welfare Center. We collected food individually and from the help of other chapters on campus and then delivered it to the Welfare Center, as well as helping them sort it. It was awesome to see the happiness in their eyes when they saw how much we delivered. Giving back is the one of best feelings and Gamma Eta loves doing it!
Another way Gamma Eta gave back this year is when we went to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for some community service. In September, over 90% of our members took a road trip to clean up a local water front park. Some members cleaned up a hiking trail while others repainted over some graffiti. The mayor even thanked us for doing so!
Something Gamma Eta has also focused on a lot this past year is sisterhood. Our goal was to have the strongest sisterhood on campus and many other chapters have started to see it, and even panhellenic has commented on how strong our sisterhood is as well. Each month we have had a sisterhood with at least 90% attendance and we have reached that goal every time! Our sisterhood chair has done an amazing job thinking of fun and exciting activities to do with everyone! One of everyone’s favorites is Kappa Kristmas. This year we did it a little different and it was a little more formal than previous years. Instead of having it within our chapter, we had it on campus in a ballroom. There was a photo booth, games with prizes, a gift exchange, and a catered dinner. It was a great way to celebrate the holiday season with every single one of our sisters.
Our university has been slowly transitioning into a more policy compliant environment, which Gamma Eta has been adapting to very well. It has given us more time to focus on sisterhood, as I stated before.
Gamma Eta holds our weekly chapter meetings in our kitchen. Our chapter room is actually too small for our whole chapter to fit into comfortably. Our chapter as a whole is owned, not rented and is a house. Around 60 girls live in the chapter house and many girls live together once they move out, either their junior or senior year. And none of our members wear a historical badge.
Throughout the year of 2015, Gamma Eta tried very hard on our academic standing. In the Spring of 2015, we obtained a chapter average of 3.33, which triumphed the all-sorority average at Washington State of a 3.21 and also the all-women average at Washington State of a 3.2. Overall, Gamma Eta got third on campus for best grades. As for the fall of 2015, we are still currently in class, but we hope to achieve an even higher GPA as a chapter. Our VPAE has always done such a good job giving incentives for our women to try their best in school. This past year, our VPAE has been awarding a member with a “smarty pants” every week at chapter and the prize is a gift card to Starbucks or a place of their choice. It’s a great incentive that has helped us achieve our high GPA. Along with the “smarty pants,” our VPAE has implemented a new study plan where our members, if they are on the study plan, need to get a certain number of points per month. In order to get these points, our members need to attend study tables, go to teacher office hours, get a tutor, etc.
Every year, Washington State University holds the Arête awards which is located on campus to award Greek members for their accomplishments. A few of our members are lucky enough to go every year and we also received two awards of our own. First, we were presented with the “Outstanding Risk Management” award. We were very happy with this award because we were policy compliant with every event we held throughout the year and it was nice to be recognized because of it. Secondly, an individual member from Gamma Eta was presented with “Outstanding Member of the Year” award, Anne Bakmis. She joined Gamma Eta through informal recruiting last spring and has been such asset to the chapter through all of her involvement and positivity she radiates.
During October of 2015, we co-hosted KappaTauloween with our neighbors Alpha Tau Omega. KappaTauloween is a haunted house that is put on just around Halloween time so everyone is in the spirit to get spooked. Every member helped in some way to help this philanthropy be successful. Some members sold tickets prior to the event and others sold tickets the night of at the door. There was also an array of baked goods and drinks people could purchase at the door and many of our women were inside waiting to scare our brave participants. This year we raised a total of $1,105 that will go to Kappa Kappa Gamma’s 1, 2, 3 philanthropies!
Another way Gamma Eta gave back this year is when we went to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for some community service. In September, over 90% of our members took a road trip to clean up a local water front park. Some members cleaned up a hiking trail while others repainted over some graffiti. The mayor even thanked us for doing so! Giving back is the one of best feelings and Gamma Eta loves doing it!
Something Gamma Eta has also focused on a lot this past year is sisterhood. Our goal was to have the strongest sisterhood on campus and many other chapters have started to see it, and even PanHellenic has commented on how strong our sisterhood is as well. Each month we have had a sisterhood with at least 90% attendance and we have reached that goal every time! Our sisterhood chair has done an amazing job thinking of fun and exciting activities to do with everyone! This year we have done things from rent out a movie theater for all of our members to watch a movie together to painting plates to all dressing up as boys and just having fun together. All of our members would say our sisterhood is stronger than ever.
Our chapter room is actually too small for our whole chapter to fit into comfortably so Gamma Eta holds our weekly chapter meetings in our kitchen, but at times we rent out a classroom for special chapters, like elections and transitions. Around 60 girls live in the chapter house and many girls live together once they move out, either their junior or senior years.
Chapter Philanthropy: What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community? Many of our members donate hours to local animal shelters and play with all their animals. Every year we also go to a local elementary school to read to students there as a part of 1, 2, 3.
While 2016 was a very trying year for Gamma Eta and the Greek community at large; we saw lots of opportunity for change. As a chapter, we were able to collectively come together as a united front and spend time bettering ourselves as well as helping those around us.
In the spring, we hosted our annual March Madness Philanthropy with Alpha Gamma Delta and Theta Chi. This philanthropy consisted of a four-on-four basketball tournament, with members of Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Gamma Delta, and Theta Chi serving as the coaches, and members from other sororities and fraternities making up the teams. We had an amazing turnout, with participants from almost every chapter on campus, over 150 players, and 41 teams. We raised a total of $1140, allowing us to give each chapter that participated $380! In December, Gamma Eta held a movie night up on campus at the CUB, and took donations at the door, which were donated, to Pullman Child Welfare. Gamma Eta also headed up the Greek wide philanthropy in December, Holiday Lane. This event served as a way for Washington State University’s Greek Row to give back to the community of Pullman and was a fun way for younger kids to relish the holiday season! Children and parents who chose to attend were given a stocking they could decorate and were encouraged to walk around Greek Row to enjoy the decorated Fraternities and Sororities. Members from each house greeted the kids with candy as they came by, and parents who stayed back enjoyed hot coffee, cocoa and cookies at Ruby Park. Not only does Gamma Eta love hosting philanthropies, but we also do our best to attend other chapter’s philanthropies and support our fellow Greek friends and community.
Gamma Eta has consistently been an academically driven group of women, with a passion to learn and a willingness to help others succeed in school. In May of 2016, our chapter had a cumulative GPA of 3.29, finishing with third highest of all sororities on campus. Gamma Eta’s GPA was .12 higher than the average of all sororities being 3.17. As an incentive to continue to keep our grades up throughout the semester, our VPAE awards two members each week at chapter as “Geek of the Week”, and both recipients receive a Starbucks gift card.
We had an incredible year of recruitment, with two passionate and steadfast recruitment chairmen, a loving and positive president, and a hardworking group of women spending endless hours practicing. All the hours put into recruitment were definitely worthwhile, we received 53 amazing new members! Without the guidance of our devoted, inspirational, and thoughtful New Member Chairmen, our new pledge class wouldn’t be where they are today, as their first semester at Washington State University comes to an end.
Each year, Washington State University holds the Arête Awards, which highlight and honor impactful individuals and chapters as a whole. A few of our members were fortunate to attend and between individual and chapter wide, Gamma Eta was awarded four this fall! Our Risk Chairman won Outstanding Community Builder of 2016, our New Member Educator won Outstanding Executive Member of 2016, and Gamma Eta won Outstanding Social Justice and Outstanding Global Citizenship! These four awards speak volumes about our chapter’s ability to hold us to a higher standard, while still maintaining a passion to grow and learn.
This past fall semester was definitely a wake up call for not only our chapter but also the Greek community as a whole. With many changes implemented from Panhellenic and ICF, Gamma Eta focused on the positive, and made light of a controversial time, by sticking together. Sisterhood has been something Gamma Eta has always prided ourselves on, and something we always will.
With an incredibly creative and zealous sisterhood chair, we had monthly sisterhoods, with over 90% attendance at each one.
With our university continuing to transition into a more policy compliant environment, Gamma Eta has been adapting remarkably well. This shift has allowed our chapter to focus on our sisterhood, leadership, and dedication to enhancing our community.
This year has a been an incredible year for Gamma Eta and we are so thankful to have each other and our new members that we welcomed in August. We were fortunate to initiate our new members in October and claim them as our new sisters. In fact, 15 of our 2017 kappas were able to move in this upcoming semester to the kappa house; we are very excited for them to experience the joys of living with 62 other sisters. Sisterhood is very important to our chapter and our sisterhood chairman has planned many events this year. For example, we recently planned our annual “Kappa Christmas” which involved ornament decorating, fun treats and games as well as a Christmas carol from our seniors.
We also planned serval philanthropies throughout the year; for example, Kappa Tauloween with Tau Kappa Epsilon. We set up a Halloween haunted house that involved several scenes; girls were dressed as creepy dolls, butchers, and zombies. It was a huge success we even had to stay open an extra hour to accommodate our customers. Just recently we hosted “Kappaccino” where we made little coffees to sell on campus to fellow Cougs and raised $300 to donate to the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation to help other Kappas in need. Last Spring semester we orchestrated our annual “March Madness” event which is a 4 vs 4 basketball tournament within the Greek community.
We were fortunate to round up 50 teams this year and raised about $1500 to share with our partnering sorority Alpha Gamma Delta. Our members along with Alpha Gamma Delta members are coaches to the male teams and Theta Chi was the coaches for the all-girls teams. We had two brackets for an all-girls tournament and an all-boys tournament. We were able to buy books and donate them to Reading is Fundamental; so that kids have books to strengthen their reading skills. Also during the Spring semester, we organized a “Kappa Kookout” which involved Kappas selling hotdogs, burgers and assorted chips and drinks. We raised about $300 to contribute to the “Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation” through our proceeds.
WSU held their annual “Aréte Awards” and kappa was fortunate to bring home two awards this year: “The Intellectual Development” “Outstanding Risk Management!” We had an incredible Risk team this year: it was always very organized and passionate for the safety of our sisters. Many girls in the chapter stepped up to support the Risk Management without being asked to or that weren’t apart of Chapter Council or the Risk Committee. We also have been pretty high in grades however this year our cumulative average GPA has increased to a 3.34. Our Vice President of Academics awards a “Geek of the Week” each week to a kappa that has been studying her tush off: and she is rewarded with a $10 gift card. As a chapter, we have also brought back our biweekly newsletters which have been a big hit.
We incorporate different themes from the week such a Christmas or “Big Little” and add pictures throughout the few weeks with a little caption explaining the event. We also revel who our “Geek of the Week” is and our “Polished Kappa” who is awarded by our Standards Chairman for exemplifying good Kappa attributes and be a light in the chapter. Through these newsletters we also try to include our alumni by adding in past Gamma Eta stories and posting it on their Facebook page. The newsletter is also sent out to parents and advisors to keep them updated on our festivities.
We are really proud of our accomplishments this year and will continue to strive for greatness. Gamma Eta is a place full of talented, incredible girls, we cannot wait to see how our chapter grows and develops, we have big dreams for Gamma Eta! Here we come 2018!