Zeta Xi Chapter was founded at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut on January 17, 1987.
745 initiates (as of June 2018)
The special women who chose to become the pioneers of Kappa Kappa Gamma on the Yale University Campus are: Susan Elizabeth Anslow, Theresa Michele Babich, Ada Teresa Chun, Diane Mary Clerkin, Elizabeth Prince Donnem, Andrea Jane Goetze, Lori Ellen Gottlieb, Kristy Lynn Hasen, Michele Patrice Hernandez, and Stephanie Pearl Kingston. Also, Ashia Ann Lee, Karen Josephine Lindsley, Eve Rose Maremont, Jennifer Anne Maxwell, Elaine Michele Pofeldt, Mary Upton Quest, Mary Susan Schulze, Anandi Subramanian, Terry Kathleen Vance, Margaret Frances Webb and Hui Hsing Wong.
Historic buildings, rich Gothic spires and sparse modern towers on the campus of Yale University symbolize a commitment to training America's leaders that began long before the American Republic. Last January, the shining golden keys worn by twenty proud Kappa initiates became a part of that scene, symbolizing the University's continuing commitment to meeting the special needs of its women students.
Yale, founded in 1701 near its present site in New Haven, Connecticut, is one of the world's leading universities. The student body, coming from almost every nation, includes 5000 undergraduates enrolled in over 70 academic disciplines and 5000 graduate students, studying under an outstanding faculty that includes many Nobel laureates.
Women, however, have only been permitted to register as undergraduates at Yale since 1969. Today, approximately 45 percent of the students admitted are female. While fraternities were prominent on the all-male campus of the late 19th Century, they were often identified (not always accurately) with many non-democratic attitudes prevalent during that period. These groups flourished into the 20th Century, but after the school upheavals of the Sixties and Seventies, only one survived.
Today, students are recognizing the advantages gained from fraternity membership. In January 1986, when Marjorie Matson Converse, ΓΔ - Purdue, Kappa extension chairman, responded to a call from Sara Church Dinkler, EO - California-Davis, a recent Yale Law School graduate, reporting of students' interest in Kappa Kappa Gamma, Marj found five male Greek organizations and Kappa Alpha Theta already on campus.
Marj returned to Council after a visit to New Haven and reported that students and the University were indeed interested in Kappa. The New Haven and Fairfield County Alumnae groups, under presidents Kelly Hall Silva, ΔN- Massachusetts, and Marjorie Koza Gasco, BT-Syracuse, were most enthusiastic about a Yale chapter. The Fraternity approved the proposal and the first colonization rush for Zeta Xi-Yale, was held in April, 1986.
In June 1986, Andrea Goetze, then a Zeta Xi Colony pledge, attended Convention in Philadelphia. Sheri Purvis, ΔΠ- Tulsa was appointed Zeta Xi's Chapter Consultant and Constance Engle, ΔA- Penn State, was appointed Chairman of Chapter Development.
The colony's founding members were joined by others in September 1986 when Kappa Kappa Gamma and Kappa Alpha Theta conducted Yale's first formal sorority rush. After rush, Sheri took the new members through pledge training while the Fairfield County and New Haven Alumnae set up Zeta Xi Advisory and House Boards.
Chapter Installation began on Thursday, January 15 with the arrival of Fraternity President Marian Klingbeil Williams, Θ -Missouri, Wilma Winberg Johnson, ΔN -Massachusetts, director of philanthropy; Jean Dale Brubeck, ΓK - William and Mary, then assistant to the council, (currently Fraternity Executive Director); Mary Clarke, ΔZ-Colorado College, traveling consultant; Marj Converse, Charlotte Walton Sargeant, M-Butler, installation chairman, and a host of other dedicated Kappas. A dinner for pledges and these guests was followed by a stimulating Fraternity talk given by Marian Williams.
Fireside activities, conducted by Wilma Johnson, were held in the paneled library of the Colonial-period house on New Haven's historic Town Green which houses the Yale Graduate Club. A limited-edition print of Audubon's "Snowy Owls" hanging above the fireplace made the room seem perfect for Kappa's needs. Undergraduates from our Rho Province chapters attended the ceremony, many of them anticipating the role they'd play as big sisters to our new members.
Center Church near the Town Green served as the installation and initiation site. Following this lovely occasion, Marian and Wilma conducted a Model Chapter Meeting. Later that day, the Fairfield County and New Haven alumnae introduced the new initiates to the Yale and New Haven communities at a formal tea, which included friends and parents of the new members.
Zeta Xi Chapter was installed on January 17, 1987 with 21 Charter members. National Fraternity President, Marian K. Williams performed both the initiation ceremony and the installation services. The chapter had its first informal rush during the spring semester and pledged 7 women. An easter egg hunt philanthropy project, a Kappa Krush dinner party, retreats and a pumpkin carving philanthropy project all contributed to the year's success. The chapter's first semi-formal, the Kappa Kabaret, is a source of pride for Zeta Zi because it pulled together the efforts of the whole chapter. Through these activities and others, we attained our chapter goal 'Greater Kappa Friendships'. We used the term greater to imply that we will have stronger friendships and a wider circle of friends.
The chapter experienced some challenges in promoting its interests on the Yale campus. A vocal student reaction and apparent administration misgivings were a challenge to the growth and stability of greek groups on campus. The chapter president was asked to participate in a panel discussion on the social life at Yale. Aware that KKG adhered to undergraduate regulations regarding alcohol consumption the Dean believed the chapter representative could contribute to the presentation. Kappa received much positive feedback from the audience, mainly Yale alumni, at the end of the presentation.
The chapter continues to grow, strengthening sisterly bonds and becoming a unified group of women.
The chapter acquired a three bedroom Kappa apartment for the first time in our short history. Kappas lived in the apartment for the first time. Furniture was donated by alumnae. A house board was activated and house rules were defined by the chapter. Ordering 'composites' was another first for Zeta Xi. A strict but fair attendance policy was established and approved by the chapter.
Twelve new sisters were initiated, members of 2 pledge classes.
As the chapter grows in size it continues to grow stronger as a group of dedicated women. There are four panhellenic groups on campus. AEPhi was the most recent to be added to campus. Two groups have apartments.
In addition to social events we hosted Founders Day for local alumnae in the chapter's apartment.
While the Greek System is not widely known on campus, what is known about Greeks has remained 'positive'. The reputation is that of a very nice, diverse, close group of motivated women.
Over the course of the past year our chapter has had many accomplishments. We planned and executed a very successful philanthropy project known as Line-Up consists of a date auction and prize raffle. This event raises money for a local organization known as Bright Beginnings. Bright Beginnings is run through the Yale-New Haven Hospital, It is a local facility that runs a program for young mothers in the New Haven area. The organization provides parenting classes and advice, such as a program called Mother Reads, which provides books and literacy classes for young mothers to encourage them to read to their children. For this organization, our chapter put together Mother’s Day gift baskets filled with products for mothers and their children and books for mothers to read to their children. In terms of philanthropy, our chapter has also volunteered this fall at the New Haven Book Bank helping to move and re-set up the organization.
Other highlights include the development of the VPAE position to an important vice-presidency in our chapter, the revitalization of our new member program and improvement of our standards committee, especially focused on taking advantage of our advisors.
Our Panhellenic representative was also very influential in reorganizing our Panhellenic Council by writing a new Constitution and Bylaws. Finally, we had a very successful fall rush and great social events throughout the past year. Our chapter is rather small, consisting of around 50 girls. We are very close-knit and caring. All of our sisters are high achieving, interesting, very diverse, and amazing people. Although our house is not the main living facility for the girls in our chapter, Zeta Xi provides a wonderful support group for all of its members on campus in a social, academic, and leadership capacity. Although all of our sisters are very involved in many activities, all the girls manage to make room for Kappa in their busy schedules, giving their time, energy and ideas to make our chapter the best it can be.
We have in this past year had some problems with our attendance, but our leadership action plan seems to have been successful in creating new solutions that seem to be taking effect nicely.
We greatly improved our Membership Selection process eliminating many of the problems we had suffered in the past and helping our chapter following Kappa procedure more closely. Finally, although we had struggled with elections in the past, with the help of our Nominating Committee Advisor Misty Muscatel, we were able to improve on the election process, ensure that slate was created with the best interests of the chapter in mind, and help to ensure that slate was followed during the election process. Overall, with the help of our advisors and leadership consultants our chapter was able to meet and overcome many of the challenges we faced during the past year.
Each year we hold a Semi-formal Event during the Fall and we have continued our tradition of Kappa Blind Dates, Philanthropy Projects, and involvement in campus events.
Zeta Xi prides herself on the diversity of our sisters, academic excellence, and commitment to each other. Our membership represents different countries and different extra curricular interest. Yet, Kappa and the bonds of sisterhood unite us.
Gaining 26 new sisters in March 2012; instating a family system and coordinating Family Day; volunteering with YHHAP, Abraham's Tent, Yale Day of Service, and co-sponsoring events with other fraternities and sororities for various foundations; holding a spring retreat; focusing on improving chapter attendance; celebrating Senior Appreciation; continuing to settle into the new Kappa House (moved in fall 2011); raising over $500 for Reading is Fundamental at our fall event Kappacalypse; celebrating Founders' Day at The Graduate Club; welcoming 8 new sisters during Fall Informal Recruitment; earning the highest GPA of Kappa chapters nationwide.
On campus, our house total has been steadily increasing to become comparable to the two other sorority totals on campus. This has been great for Chapter morale and we expect to see an increase in numbers this fall during informal recruitment and next spring. Our chapter is unique and we strive to embrace diversity. We are a group of women of varying interests including athletics, politics, and service. We truly understand the meaning of sisterhood and focus on fostering it as much as possible.
We welcomed 29 new sisters in March 2013 and 21 more in November. Zeta Xi sisters were involved in many service opportunities, including Yale Day of Service and YHHAP in addition to co-sponsoring events with other fraternities and sororities for various foundations. We raised over $500 for Reading is Fundamental as part of our fall event, Kappacalypse, and celebrated Founder’s Day at the Graduate Club. We improved chapter attendance, and created an online roster for Chapter Council members.
Describe the recent changes on your campus and describe the overall nature of your chapter. Our chapter total has increased to become comparable to the other two sororities on campus, so that we no longer need a Fall Recruitment period. Our chapter is very diverse and we are able to embrace that diversity to promote sisterhood in many aspects of campus life. Our varying interests are exemplified in athletics, academics, politics, philanthropy, and other aspects of Yale undergraduate life. Our focus on sisterhood is noted by many people on campus, even outside of the chapter.
In March of 2014 we welcomed Beta Delta, a class of 45 new sisters, our most successful recruitment ever. Zeta Xi sisters were involved in a wide variety of student service groups, including Yale Hunger and Homeless Action Project, New Haven Reads, Peer Health Educators, World Micro-Market, AIDS Walk New Haven, Children’s Theater, Elm City, PALS Tutoring and Mentoring, and Seneca International. The chapter also conducted a book drive for Reading is Fundamental, and raised over $2000 for Relay for Life, the most in chapter history. Our chapter also increased the use of committees to assist Chapter Council in carrying out chapter goals. Our focus on improving committees has allowed more girls than ever to get involved with shaping the direction of the chapter.
Our chapter has improved our presence on campus and had our most successful recruitment yet. We were able to reach our chapter total goal without a Fall recruitment. We have began to exert a greater presence on campus, and those outside the chapter particularly note Zeta Xi’s strong emphasis on sisterhood. Our chapter is very diverse as are the interests of the Zeta Xi sisters. Zeta Xi chapter has a strong presence in all aspects of Yale undergraduate life, including athletics, the arts, philanthropy, and academics, to name a few.
Chapter meetings take place in classrooms in University owned buildings. Chapter Council meetings are held in the chapter’s house. Currently, nine girls live in a chapter-rented house.
In March of 2015, we welcomed the Beta Epsilon New Member class, the largest pledge class to date with 53 girls. As part of their new member service project they organized the library at a local public school.
In the spring, we participated in Relay for Life and raised over $4,000 -- the most money of any Greek organization. The philanthropy chairs organized a new initiative in the fall, a dodge ball tournament, to raise money for local organization New Haven Reads.
Our focus on growing the tradition of leadership has increased the ways members can be involved in the chapter through greater use of committees and continuing to have new member class organizers.
In the Fall of 2015, Alpha Phi joined the panhellenic community at Yale, increasing the number of sororities from three to four. In the fall, controversy surrounding race on campus allowed us to look at the diversity of our chapter and the ways that we can support our sisters. Women of Zeta Xi continue to be involved in all facets of life on campus including many student organizations, athletics, the arts, philanthropy and academics.
Chapter Philanthropy: What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community?
New Haven Reads, Celentano school, American Cancer Society (Relay for Life), Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project.
Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support?
These organizations support literacy, similarly to Reading is Fundamental, and allow sisters to engage in active service over just raising money. Other organizations, like YHHAP, are because our sisters are involved in the organization on their own time, and have invited more girls from the chapter to partake.
In February, we welcomed the Beta Zeta New Member class, with 35 girls. For their new member service project they cleaned up trash along the Farmington Canal. In April, we participated in Relay for Life and were once again the top fundraiser with over $5,200 in donations. Over the summer, President Meg Mathile and members of our Advisory Board represented our chapter at the 71st Biennial Convention in San Diego, where we received the Academic Excellence Award and honorable mentions for our Ritual Practice and Advisory Board Relations. We held informal recruitment in the fall and welcomed thirteen new members into our chapter as a part of the Beta Eta New Member Class.
In December, we hosted our second annual Dodgeball tournament in December to raise money for a local literacy organization, New Haven Reads. This year was special in that we participated in three initiations. We held two of our own, one in April at the Masonic Temple for our Beta Zeta New Member class and another in December for our Beta Eta New Member class. We also traveled to Trinity College in October where the Zeta Theta chapter welcomed us to celebrate the initiation of their new members and a few of our Beta Zeta girls.
To improve the effectiveness of our Chapter Council, we have reduced the number of positions from twenty-five positions to nineteen positions, as per the suggestion of our Leadership Consultant, Ingrid. We are hoping that this new structure will streamline communication within CC and encourage the involvement of committees in a more meaningful way.
This year's recruitment was the first with a new sorority on campus, Alpha Phi. As a result, our new member class was smaller, but this gave us a chance to welcome some amazing women to our chapter during continuous open bidding in the spring and an informal recruitment in the fall. Women of Zeta Xi continue to be involved in all facets of life on campus including many student organizations, athletics, the arts, philanthropy and academics. Our chapter is known on campus for our strong sisterhood.
Chapter Philanthropy: What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community? New Haven Reads, American Cancer Society (Relay for Life), Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project. These organizations support literacy, similarly to Reading is Fundamental, and allow sisters to engage in active service over just raising money. Other organizations, like YHHAP, are because our sisters are involved in the organization on their own time, and have invited more girls from the chapter to partake.
Last semester, we held chapter in Linsly-Chittenden Hall, a University classroom. However, this semester we have been able to hold chapter in our newly renovated house thanks to our more spacious living room and our smaller chapter size. The renovations included expanding our living room, installing hardwood flooring and granite counter tops, repainting, and refurbishing our basement. Chapter Council meetings are held in the chapter's house.
In January, we held Formal Recruitment; with the themes Kappa's A Classic, Around the World in 80 Days, and True Blue Sisterhood. In total, we initiated 39 new members into Beta Theta. For their new member service project, they participated in the AIDS Walk New Haven. In March, we held Kappancakes, our annual charity event, to raise money for Reading is Fundamental. In April, we held a social graciousness brunch for the first time, which focused on etiquette and business tips. In the summer, we cleaned up the house, getting new carpets and reorganizing the basement. In the fall, we welcomed 8 new members through informal recruitment. Fall initiation was held in the house! For the first time in years, all of our members, in both the fall and the spring, were initated with their pledge class.
This year was Kappa's 30th anniversary, and we held a 30th anniversary brunch in the fall to celebrate. Alumni from Zeta Xi and beyond were invited to celebrate with us at the Graduate Club. We also had a weekend full of other events including an art gallery tour and an alumni dinner at Elm City Social. Our alumni association has also kindly agreed to begin providing financial assitance for sisters to buy basic keys, covering 50% of the cost for six sisters. Our advisor, Fay Kandarian, is retiring.
Two new residential colleges, Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray college, were opened this fall, increasing the size of the first-year class by approximately 200 students. Yale Panhellenic Council established a financial aid scholarship to be put into effect for the 2018 recruitment season, which will hopefully make Kappa and Greek life in general accessible to more women on campus. Kappas on campus are active throughout a variety of organizations, including sports, performance groups, academic organizations, and service groups. Many are officers in their organizations. Kappas are known on campus for their strong sisterhood.