Zeta Tau Chapter was founded at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia on May 1, 1989.
991 initiates (as of June 2018)
Washington & Lee is a small, private, liberal arts university nestled between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains in Lexington, Va. It is the ninth oldest institution of higher learning in the nation.
In 1749, Scotch-Irish pioneers who had migrated deep into the Valley of Virginia founded a small classical school called Augusta Academy, some 20 miles north of what is now Lexington. In 1776, the trustees, fired by patriotism, changed the name of the school to Liberty Hall.
Four years later the school was moved to the vicinity of Lexington, where in 1782 it was chartered as Liberty Hall Academy by the Virginia legislature and empowered to grant degrees. A limestone building, erected in 1793 on the crest of a ridge overlooking Lexington, burned in 1803, though its ruins are preserved today as a symbol of the institution's honored past.
In 1796, George Washington saved the struggling Liberty Hall Academy when he gave the school its first major endowment--$20,000 worth of James River Canal stock. The trustees promptly changed the name of the school to Washington Academy as an expression of their gratitude.
In 1813, the name of the academy was changed to Washington College. By then, the college was established on its present grounds in Lexington. General Robert E. Lee reluctantly accepted the position of president of the College in 1865. Because of his leadership of the Confederate army, Lee worried he "might draw upon the College a feeling of hostility," but also added that "I think it the duty of every citizen in the present condition of the Country, to do all in his power to aid in the restoration of peace and harmony."
After Lee's death in 1870, the trustees voted to change the name from Washington College to Washington and Lee University. Once an all-male institution, Washington and Lee first admitted women to its law school in 1972. The first undergraduate women matriculated in 1985. Since then, Washington and Lee has flourished.
Washington and Lee University observed its 250th Anniversary with a year-long, national celebration during the 1998-99 academic year.
Washington and Lee, Lexington, Va. Founded in 1749, a Liberal Arts College in a small town a Liberal Arts College in a small town with a population of 7,000, and a Student Faculty ratio of 10:1. Originally a male-only institution, women were first admitted in 1985. Six Panhellenic sororities are present: Alpha Delta Pi, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Kappa Delta, Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta and Chi Omega.
Zeta Tau Colony of Kappa Kappa Gamma was established at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, with the formal pledging of charter members on January 28, 1989.
Presentations were made to a committee of administrators and students on January 5 by a team of Fraternity representatives. Invitations were extended on January 11 to three NPC groups who conducted a colonization rush beginning January 22.
KKG is joined by Kappa Alpha Theta and Chi Omega as the first women's fraternities to be established on this previously all-male campus. Women were admitted as undergraduates in 1985, breaking a 236 year tradition.
Zeta Tau was installed May 1, 1989, as Kappa's 119th active chapter. The chapter was installed with many Fraternity officers, Kappa relatives and Big Sisters from other chapters in Lambda Province in attendance. All but four members of the pledge class, who were abroad, were initiated. Members of the Virginia chapter served as Big Sisters. Installing officers from the Fraternity included Fraternity President Kay Smith Larson, Washington; Jennie Miller Helderman, Alabama; J. Dale Brubeck, William and Mary and Marian Klingbill Williams, Missouri.
On Sept. 19, Zeta Tau began its first informal rush and welcomed eight new members on Sept. 30.
The first group of 87 members in January of 1989 went on to become charter members of Zeta Tau with initiation and installation in May 1989. An informal rush was held in the fall of 1989 and Zeta Tau gained eight new pledges. The main challenge was actually becoming a chapter, learning the responsibilities of the officers and of the chapter as a whole. The chapter goal was Unity.
Some of the events held included a Fancy Dress dinner, Grab-a-Date bowling party, Kite and Key party with Kappa Alpha Theta, Parent's Weekend cocktail party, Big/Little sister drive-in movie, Bowl-a-Thon for United Way and Senior's Night Out. Kappas were active on campus in many activities, sports and honor societies, such as Phi Beta Kappa.
Since the colonization of sororities on the Washington and Lee campus, the Panhellenic Housing Committee has been actively working with faculty, and a poll was conducted as to the long term and immediate needs of the sororities. Results showed a desire for houses comparable to the fraternity houses, followed by a desire for a permanent space for storage and ritual. The housing committee will continue to seek alternatives to Kappa housing.
Bowl-a-Thon for United Way, weekly visits to the Mayflower Retirement Home, Babysitting to benefit the Adelphe Campaign.
The early '90s consisted of learning the rules and rituals of Kappa, attending our first Biennial Convention in Dallas, and welcoming a new sorority on campus, Delta Gamma, which has since dissolved. With the help of Chapter Consultants to guide us, we stayed near the top academically with a 3.0 and socially with campus activities. 1990 will be remembered by the completion of our first formal rush, pledging 33 girls. We returned from Convention filled with ideas. At Province Meeting in Chapel Hill in 1991 we received honorable mention for Social Awareness and our Pledge Program, plus the Trendsetters Award for overall excellence. In the wake of the failure of Delta Gamma, Zeta Tau worked especially hard with Panhellenic to see that Pi Beta Phi was established. New activities were the Jump Rope for the Heart for the American Heart Association, sponsoring a foreign child and collecting Christmas presents for Lexington-area underprivileged children.
In 1996 we had our first ever “Kappa Kickoff” retreat and continue our commitment to academic excellence with sisters on the Honor Roll, Dean's List, Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Eta Sigma. We welcomed a new sorority, Kappa Delta, helped at a retirement home and in building a Habitat for Humanity house. In 1997 at Province Meeting in Williamsburg we placed in the Founders' Circle for achieving excellence in all aspects of Kappa life as outlined by the Challenge to Excellence. We also received the Membership Award and honorable mention for finance and trendsetting chapter.
In 1999, we celebrated the colonization of Kappa, Theta and Chi Omega ten years ago. The switch to the New Member program went smoothly and we received a Philanthropy Award at Province Meeting for supporting an underprivileged boy in Mexico. For several years our chapter goal was enthusiasm which increased attendance at chapter events.
By 1994 the University gave each of the four women's groups a campus suite in a residential hall for storage space, a guest room and office and meeting area. It is discouraging that at the same time two fraternities received new chapter houses, showing male/female disparities are still evident.
In 1997, the former Delt house has become a Panhellenic dorm annex for Greek women, housing 19 girls and a student RA. We have an option to put four sophomore girls in the house by 1998. Also, in 1998, the news is out about a proposal for the construction of five sorority houses to go before the Board of Trustees. They will be on a wooded site, close to campus and able to house 20-25 girls and a house mother, have a common room and a meal plan for the entire chapter. August 1999 saw the completion of the new Kappa house, which would house 20 women and host all of Zeta Tau's activities. Finished in August, all the Greek women at Washington and Lee finally had a place of their own.
Projects such as co-sponsoring the American Heart Association's Jump Rope for Heart, sponsoring a foreign child, faculty baby sitting, Christmas gift collection for Lexington area underprivileged children; Balloon Sales Parents' Weekend, annual Bowl-A-Thon benefiting United Way, activities at Mayflower Retirement Home, participating in the Rose McGill Holiday Sharing Program and many activities supporting other Panhellenic philanthropies kept us busy in the community and campus.
Chapter Convention Awards:
1996 – Tarpon Springs Convention, Honorable Mention for membership and Panhellenic.
In the Fall of 2000 the women of all five sororities became the first to move into the incredible new houses. Panhellenic was also focusing on the possibility of the future colonization of a sixth sorority on campus.
In 2005, Zeta Tau welcomed 39 new members and had an impressive 3.364 GPA for the 2004-2005 school year. Members are involved in varsity athletics, the Student Recruitment Committee, Williams Investment Society, Fancy Dress Committee, school newspaper staff and 40 Kappas were on the Fall 2005 Dean's List. Our “Senior Star” program for upperclassmen gave incentive to participate in Kappa events.
Some challenges have been keeping upperclassmen participation high. The implementation of a “senior star” system as well as increased enforcement by the standards committee has helped our upperclassmen find new incentive to participate in Kappa events.
In 2009, Zeta Tau ranks number one for the highest GPA of all sororities on campus. The addition of Apha Delta Pi extended a sixth sorority to W & L's row. Most of the challenges faced this year were within the realm of recruitment. But we had great participation and the process went smoothly. With the addition of a sixth sorority, more competition is always challenging.
Campus built houses on sorority row house the Panhellenic chapters.
Supporting a foreign child, Pictures with Santa, volunteering at a retirement home, pumpkin carving at an elementary school, an annual Race for Charlie to benefit neuroblastoma cancer research, powderpuff football to benefit the Children's Miracle Network, support of other groups' philanthropies. Chapter Convention Awards:
The Zeta Tau Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma had a great year in 2012. We began with a very successful recruitment in early January. In the spring, we initiated 33 excellent new members into the chapter. This was a great source of pride for our chapter. Our members continue to be actively involved all over Washington and Lee's campus in extracurricular and service-oriented activities.
Our members excelled on varsity athletic teams, as Bonner Leaders, as Johnson Scholars, and as leading members of a variety of campus organizations. The Executive Committee, Fancy Dress Committee, Mock Convention, Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, Student Recruitment Committee, Panhellenic Council, and Kathekon all benefit from leaders and members who belong to Kappa Kappa Gamma.
In the spring, we hosted a successful concert that benefitted the charity "One Love" and involved participants from all over campus. In the fall, we hosted a fun event with first-year women to raise money for Reading is Fundamental. Additionally, we enjoyed a number of sisterhood and social events, including a spring formal in Charlottesville, VA, and a fall formal in Charlottesville, VA. Our chapter continues to thrive and maintain a strong presence on Washington and Lee's campus. We look forward to growing as a chapter in the coming year.
Greek life continues to be extremely popular on Washington and Lee's campus. Alpha Delta Pi, the most recently colonized sorority at W&L, is our next door neighbor. Having an additional sorority on campus has continued to promote Greek Life on campus, as well as make recruitment more competitive. In the past year, we have seen many changes to W&L's Panhellenic Council, which has had a positive impact on all of the sororities; we have a new head of Greek Life. Panhellenic Council is currently working to improve sorority life in ways like discussing updating W&L's recruitment process.
The Zeta Tau Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma, on Washington and Lee University campus, had an excellent 2014 year. In March, we initiated 30 new members into the chapter. This was an exciting moment for the chapter after all the hard work put into informal and formal rush. Since that initiation, one member has transferred schools, leaving the chapter with 29 members of the class of 2017 pledge class. As a group, the night before initiation, during our Big-Little Reveal, the sophomore and freshmen pledge classes walked together with their big/little in the Relay For LIfe walk on campus. Our members are active leaders and participants in all aspects of campus, both extra-curricular and service-oriented.
Last spring a member of our chapter was elected to be the president of the Executive Committee on campus. This is one of the highest accomplishments and honors one can receive at Washington and Lee, and she has proved this fall to be an excellent leader of the student body. In addition to this most esteemed post, we also have Johnson Scholars, Bonner Leaders, and varsity athletes. Members of our chapter actively participate in many groups and organizations on campus such as Fancy Dress Steering Committee, Mock Convention, Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, Student Recruitment Committee.
In the spring we hosted the first annual Concert For Kelsey, raising money for the Kelsey Durkin foundation. Kelsey Durkin was a member of our chapter who passed away in a fatal car accident last winter. The chapter has spent the last year recovering from this horrible accident, and raising awareness on campus about the harms of drunk driving. This coming spring we will host the second Concert for Kelsey, continuing to remember her legacy. This summer our president attended the Kappa National Convention in Houston. She learned a lot about Kappa and has helped our chapter implement many new ideas. Following that convention, a member of our new pledge class attended the Kappa Leadership Council. She enjoyed getting to meet Kappas from all over the nation, sharing ideas, and exchanging Kappa memories.
This fall we hosted a philanthropy event called "Tye Dye and Blue Sky" where students were invited to come make Tye Dye shirts and eat cookies from a favorite local restaurant. This was a successful event and we raised $750. As a chapter council, and an entire chapter, we are constantly working on improving our image on campus through social media, attendance at events (especially other sororities' events), and generally just playing a more positive role throughout the campus. Our chapter has been focusing a lot in recent months on changing the overall nature of the chapter. We have been implementing new attendance policies and incentives for members to attend chapter meetings and other events, which have proved to be very effective. We also have extended the time allotted for chapter council, allowing more in-depth discussion about current issues, events, ideas, etc. We have also implemented a program called Professor of the Month. Each month members of our chapter nominate their favorite professor, and the winning professor is invited to dinner at the house where he or she is able to socialize with our chapter and get to know students he or she may not have had in their classes. We are also working on improvement of our rituals. We are working up towards memorization of the formal chapter sequence, and practice for initiation events. We have also implemented a better new member education program, with more in depth learning about Kappa Kappa Gamma, and our chapter as a whole.
Chapter meetings are held in the Kappa Kappa Gamma House, on campus. This is a university owned facility, rented out to the chapter for living and eating purposes. Our chapter has a house on Washington and Lee's campus. Each year 20 sophomores are selected to reside in the house. The house is university owned, and the chapter leases the house from the university. This is the only house that the chapter has ever lived in.
Nature of our chapter: Our members participate in a number of varsity athletic teams including the equestrian, soccer, field hockey, and tennis teams. We have members who participate both in the dance company and other dance organizations on campus. Our members are involved as student tour guides, volunteers, and members of organizations across campus. They continue to pursue academic excellence. Our involvement leads to a strong and positive presence on W&L's campus. Our presence really reflects the united and caring nature of our chapter.
The Zeta Tau Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma, on Washington and Lee University campus, had an excellent 2015 year. In March, we initiated 32 new members into the chapter. This was an exciting moment for the chapter after all the hard work put into informal and formal rush. The Kappa Kappa Gamma Zeta Tau Chapter was recognized as Washington and Lee’s Chapter of the Year at the annual Lead Banquet. Our members are active leaders and participants in all aspects of campus, both extra-curricular and service-oriented. They are Johnson Scholars, Bonner Leaders, varsity athletes. Members of our chapter actively participate in many groups and organizations on campus such as Fancy Dress Steering Committee, Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, and Student Recruitment Committee. A member was elected Panhellenic President for the coming year. Members have been selected as state chairs for Mock Convention. In April, three members were selected as Peer Counselors and a member was selected as Head Peer Counselor. A member was elected by the student body to serve on the Executive Committee, one of Washington and Lee’s greatest honors.
In the spring we hosted the second annual Concert For Kelsey, raising money for the Kelsey Durkin foundation. Kelsey Durkin was a member of our chapter who passed away in a fatal car accident. The chapter has dedicated a great deal of time and energy raising awareness on campus about the harms of drunk driving, a cause very near to their hearts. This coming spring we will host the third annual Concert for Kelsey, continuing to remember her legacy. This fall, a member of the new pledge class attended the Kappa Leadership Council. She enjoyed getting to meet Kappas from all over the nation, sharing ideas, and exchanging Kappa memories.
This fall we hosted a philanthropy event called "Tye Dye and Blue Sky" where students were invited to come make Tye Dye shirts and eat cookies from a favorite local restaurant. This was a successful event and we raised $2,864, a huge increase from last year’s $750. As a chapter council, and an entire chapter, we are constantly working on improving our image on campus through social media, attendance at events (especially other sororities' events), and generally just playing a more positive role throughout the campus.
Our chapter has been focusing a lot in recent months on changing the overall nature of the chapter. We have been implementing new attendance policies and incentives for members to attend chapter meetings and other events, which have proved to be very effective. We have also implemented a program called Professor of the Month. Each month members of our chapter nominate their favorite professor, and the winning professor is invited to dinner at the house where he or she is able to socialize with our chapter and get to know students he or she may not have had in their classes. We have implemented “Polished Kappa,” a program in which each week, a sister of Zeta Tau is recognized for an achievement or act of kindness. The “A basket” is passed around at every chapter so that those excelling in academics can be recognized. We are also working on improvement of our rituals. We are working up towards memorization of the formal chapter sequence, and practice for initiation events. We have also implemented a better new member education program, with more in depth learning about Kappa Kappa Gamma, and our chapter as a whole.
The Zeta Tau Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma, on Washington and Lee University campus, had an action-filled 2016 year. Our members are active leaders and participants in all aspects of campus, both extra-curricular and service-oriented. They are Johnson Scholars, varsity athletes, team captains, and Appalachian Adventure trip leaders. Members of our chapter actively participate and lead in many organizations on campus such as Fancy Dress Steering Committee, Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, and Generals’ Activity Board, University Ambassadors, LEAD, Williams’ Investment Society, and Real Estate Society. They participate in University Singers, Washington and Lee Dance Company, Jubilee Acapella group, Reformed University Fellowship, YoungLife, LIFE, and the University Big Program. Members have rejuvenated the Students’ Arts League on campus. Members serve as Panhellenic delegates and Peer Counselors. In March, we initiated twenty-nine new members into the chapter. This was an exciting moment for the chapter after all the hard work put into informal and formal rush. At the start of this academic year, we welcomed in a new house director. Out House Chair has done an incredible job getting her settled and acquainted to the Washington and Lee community, the members, and the advisors. We’re glad to have Mrs. Mary on board! Third Annual Concert For Kelsey, raising money for the Kelsey Durkin foundation. Kelsey Durkin was a member of our chapter who passed away in a fatal car accident. The chapter has dedicated a great deal of time and energy raising awareness on campus about the harms of drunk driving, a cause very near to their hearts. This coming spring we will host the Fourth-annual Concert for Kelsey, continuing to remember her legacy. This summer, three members attended the Kappa National Convention. They learned a lot about Kappa and have helped the Zeta Tau chapter implement many new ideas. They especially enjoyed the opportunity to take a photo with Beth Black! Following that convention, a member of the new pledge class attended the Kappa Leadership Council. She enjoyed getting to meet Kappas from all over the nation, sharing ideas, and exchanging Kappa memories. This fall we hosted a philanthropy event called "Tye Dye and Blue Sky" where students were invited to come make Tye Dye shirts and eat cookies from a favorite local restaurant. This was a successful event and we raised $1,558. As a chapter council, and an entire chapter, we are constantly working on improving our image on campus through social media, attendance at events (especially other sororities' events), and generally playing a more positive role throughout the campus.
Many improvements in organization and the general atmosphere of the chapter have been implemented in the past year. Our House Chair has made a huge effort to establish and clarify the rules for the house—a project that the entirety of the sorority has benefited from. The House Chair also planned a “Staff Appreciation Day” in which the cooking staff, cleaning staff, and House Director were given the day off of work and a well-deserved appreciation gift of cards and flowers. The Recording Secretary promoted and encouraged better attendance at chapter and all Kappa related events. Consequently, there was a huge improvement in attendance. She has also adjusted very well to the new system on KeyReports and encourages all of the chapter to review her minutes that she posts! This helps to keep all of our members on the same page when it comes to meeting details.
We have further developed relationships with other sororities on our campus. In fact, this year, our Panhellenic delegate coordinated with Pi Phi to coordinate our chapter’s first ever Monmouth event! The event was a huge success. Because both philanthropies have to do with childhood literacy, we decorated bookmarks for children as we enjoyed some hot apple cider and local doughnuts. We also contributed to and participated in “Meet the Greek” events such as bonfire smoores, dinners at houses, and ice cream socials!
We made huge improvements academically—we shot right up to the second highest GPA on campus, with an average of 3.535. Our Academic Excellence chair supported us in raising this GPA by passing around an “A” basket during chapter—a name is drawn out of the basket and awarded with candy. She also had pizzas delivered to the library during exam crunch time!
Our events and risk chairs have worked very hard to orchestrate safe and fun formals for us! We had a winter formal at the Robert E. Lee, a Spring formal at the Lime Kiln theater, and a fall formal at the Coupes Bar in Charlottesville. We’ve had sisterhood dinners—pizza at Salerno’s! Our chapter has had adapted well and accepted the new standards we have set for formals and Kappa events. The sisters of Zeta Tau most definitely make their positive mark on the Washington and Lee Campus. We are leaders, scholars, and athletes. It will be exciting to see where these women go next!
The Nature of the Zeta Tau Chapter has changed drastically this past year. Our Probation Status has called us to re-evaluate our Chapter's traditions and day to day organization. Our President, Vice President of Organization, Vice President of Standards, and Chapter Council as a whole have set a very positive tone as we strive to make these beneficial changes. Our LC visitors have helped to point us to specific ways we can continue to improve, whether large or small. We still have improvements to be made; however, we are getting there! It is our goal to continue our positive progression, to continue to make the overall nature of Kappa a healthier place where each Zeta Tau sister can be her best self!
Students Against Rockbridge Area Hunger (SARAH) -Participate in Lip Sync (organized by the Fraternity Pi Phi) -Members of the new pledge class are organized into random groups; each group makes up a dance performs it on lip sync night.
Project Horizon -Through "Kappa Kollection," members donate used clothes and toiletries. -All of the Donations go to Project Horizon, a women’s shelter in town for domestic abuse victims.
Reach out and Read (community engagement) -Members meet with children at Rockbridge Health PLLC to read to them every Tuesday and Wednesday from 4-5 through a partnership with Dr. Schirmer -Members donate books two times each year to Rockbridge Health PLLC -We participate in this philanthropy because it perfectly aligns with out national philanthropy: Reading is Fundamental. Through promoting childhood literacy, we can connect with Kappas nationwide!
John Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Research Center - In "Love for Liza," members sell Chickfila heart shaped biscuits in commons every February in honor of our former Zeta Tau member, Liza Haynie, who passed from a synovial sarcoma last year. Participating in this philanthropy is our way of remembering Liza and supporting Liza's family and those who are currently battling synovial sarcoma. -The money we raise goes to the “Love for Liza Fund,” which goes towards the John Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Research Center. Last year was our first time holding the event, and we raised $1,083.11.
Kelsey Durkin Foundation -Concert for Kelsey, Zeta Tau Chapter's biggest event of the year, is helf each spring. The chapter's third annual “Concert for Kelsey” was held last year. Kelsey was a member of the Zeta Tau chapter who died in a drunk driving accident in 2013. The concert honors and celebrates Kelsey Durkin’s life and promotes the prevention of drunk driving. -Donations help fund the event which spreads drunk driving awareness. They are also donated to the Kelsey Durkin Foundation, established in Kesley’s honor. Through selling tickets, t-shirts, and receiving general donations, we raised $3,849. 44. We donated 90% to the Kelsey Durkin Foundation, and 10% to the Kappa Foundation. Relay for Life -Each year, Zeta Tau members participate in the Relay for Life walk on Canann green. -Additionally, members participate in the banner challenge and cupcake challenge. -We participate in this philanthropy in an effort to support other meaningful philanthropies that are happening on the Washington and Lee campus.
Komen Give Day -Every October we set up a swipe machine and encourage students to swipe home donations for Breast Cancer research in an effort to support Breast Cancer survivors and help the mission to end Breast Cancer. -We received over 800 donations last year, totaling approximately $23,000.
Reading is Fundamental -At "Tie Dye and Blue Sky," our biggest event of the fall, we tie-dye tshirts and enjoy local Blue Sky pastries. -This year we raised $1,558.20, which we donated to Reading is Fundamental -We are also working on creating an event with a local Reading is Fundamental participant organization, such as the local elementary school, to create an annual event with community engagement and reading. We meet in "The Chapter Room," which is in the bottom floor of the Kappa House.
The Zeta Tau chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma has spent 2017 focusing on academics and working hard to get off of our focus letter. Our chapter accomplished an average 3.519 GPA, which we are extremely proud of. Our Concert for Kelsey philanthropy event in May was a success. We had the largest turn out and raised the most money out of any year of the event. This event is to honor the life of Kelsey Durkin, a Zeta Tau member who was killed by a drunk driver.
Our chapter promotes sober drivers and has a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving. We are hoping to reach an agreement with Kappa nationals to promote sober drivers for all weekend nights. We have to work out insurance logistics with nationals though. Our philanthropy event Tie Dye and Blue Sky raised lots of money this year and allowed us to meet many new potential members of Kappa. Over the past year, we as a chapter were devoted to bettering ourselves, our school, and our chapter. We hope to be off our focus letter come May.