Zeta Chi Chapter was founded at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York on November 20, 1993.
571 initiates (as of June 2018)
The Zeta Chi chapter is very active on several forms of social media. We regularly post photos, upcoming events, fundraisers, and birthdays on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Zeta Chi also has a blog that sisters contribute posts to each several times each month. Topics that have been covered on the blog include study abroad experiences, big/little week, i-week, philanthropy events, and more. In addition to these social media handles, our chapter also appeared in Poughkeepsie Journal last semester for the RIF event we held at an after school program.
To visit our blog please visit KKGmaristcollege on the Wordpress website.
Over a century ago, the Marist Brothers came to New York's Hudson River Valley to train young men to continue the Brothers' vocation as great educators. What started as a seminary for the training of future Marist Brothers has developed into one of the leading colleges of the arts and sciences in the country.
Marist College is now home to approximately 4,100 traditional undergraduate men and women, 1,100 adult continuing education students, and another 1,000 graduate students. In 1947, the first graduating class of modern-day Marist College consisted of four Marist Brothers. Today, close to 30,000 alumni and alumnae call Marist alma mater. Marist has a proud tradition that laid the foundation for a state-of-the-art campus for students preparing to enter the work force of the 21st century.
Marist College follows in the tradition of great institutions like Harvard University and the College of William and Mary that were founded as seminaries and developed into independent academies of higher learning.
Marist can trace its roots to 1905, when the Marist Brothers purchased property and a house from Thomas McPherson along the eastern shore of the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, NY. The Brothers named the building and property St. Ann's Hermitage. In 1908, the Brothers purchased the Edward Bech estate to enable the Hermitage to expand. The College purchased additional property to the north and east and now consists of more than 150 acres.
In 1929, college-level courses were first offered. In 1946, the State of New York granted the institution an official, four-year charter under the leadership of founding president Brother Paul Ambrose Fontaine, FMS. The Brothers set about to construct several buildings on the grounds of what was then called Marian College.
Dr. Linus Richard Foy became president in 1958 and became, at age 28, the youngest college president in the United States. Marian College became Marist College in 1960. In that same year, the mission of the College was broadened to include the wider community. Lay male students were admitted to pursue undergraduate studies. An evening division was also introduced to serve the educational needs of the surrounding communities.
Women were admitted to the evening division in 1966. In 1968, women entered the day division, making the College fully coeducational. Ownership of the College was transferred in 1969 to the Marist College Educational Corporation with an independent, predominantly lay board of trustees. Nonetheless, the Marist Brothers' legacy of service and striving for excellence continues to inspire and enrich the academic life of the College.
Chapter members were proud to have worked hard through diligent financial management to clear their debt to the Fraternity by fall 2004.
While the Zeta Chi chapter was small throughout most of this decade (25-31 members), they remained active on campus, promoting a positve impact of Greek life and sorority membership on the other students. They were consistent participants in Greek Week activities, winning the rope pull many times. There were 3 NPC groups on the Marist campus during this decade. In 2009 and 2010, Zeta Chi had their largest new member classes to date and grew their chapter total to 47 members.
Sisterhood events were an important part of the chapter’s activities. These included movie nights, picnics on the Hudson River, pasta parties, shopping trips, makeup parties, cosmic bowling and holiday dinners. Seniors completed a scrapbook page which was then placed in the chapter scrapbook as a part of the archives. Zeta Chi members were active in philathropy activities throughout the school years. These included Relay for Life, Easter Egg Hunt with the Poughkeepsie Children’s Home, Alex’s Lemonade stand, school supply drives, formal dress drive for Cinderella’s closet, Miles for Medals, breast cancer walk as well as activities supporting RIF and raising funds for the Rose McGill fund.
The chapter held a Mother-Daughter brunch, Father-Daughter BBQ, Senior Sendoff, Sapphire Ball and celelbrated Founders Day each year. Early in the decade, Founders Day was held in conjunction with Parents weekend, allowing their parents to learn more about KKG. Later in the decade, Founders Day was celebrated with the alumnae association at a local alumnae’s home
In 2010, Zeta Chi was awarded Honorable Mention for Standards at Kappa’s Biennial Convention. Members were consistent recipient of Foundation Scholarships throughout this decade.
Host of Alpha/Rho Province Meeting, NYU Installation, recognized for our new member program, Sisterhood and Morale Award, RIF event at a local children's center, top 10 fundraising teams for Relay for Life, second place in greek week, first successful off campus initiation event, exceptional growth in the chapter.
Campus: New Hancock Center for technology built on campus, as well as the underpass which connects the east and west sides of campus. Greek life is expanding rapidly, this past fall during informal recruitment, we gained 14 new members, which is a higher number than we have ever had for informal recruitment. Chapter: The chapter has grown phenomenally. We have 80 members now, where last year at this time we had around 45. Because of this, the chapter is very young. Most of our members are sophomores (more than half) and therefore most of those in leadership positions are very young - which has been great for our chapter!
The chapter struggles with the growth, but along with the growth, the chapter struggles with losing so many seniors in the coming year. We are overcoming these challenges by learning to accept the growth and understanding that growth is not a bad thing. We work hard to maintain the "small chapter feel" that we are all so used to.
This previous year, the Zeta Chi chapter was very involved in philanthropy. Events we participated in included RIF events, Relay for Life, Marist Hunger Walk, The KKG Foundation, and The National Eating Disorders Association. This past spring Marist College's greek community also held their annual Greek Week olympic-style games, in which Kappa Kappa Gamma placed first out of four sororities. Individually, one of our members Robyn Crabtree made the 19th annual World Maccabiah Games and will be playing water polo for team USA.
Active member Amber also gave birth to healthy baby girl on December 19th! Unfortunately, the chapter also came together that same month after the Sandy Hook shooting, as two of our members were from the town and personally connected to many involved. Though a difficult time, the Zeta Chi chapter is a group of very supportive girls and has been helping the members to cope.
Marist College has been undergoing many changes on campus with the renovations to the Lowell Thomas Communications Center last spring and now the beginning of a major addition to the Student Center. Marist's student population is growing rapidly with each passing year, and so is the Zeta Chi chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. This past week we were proud to welcome 26 new members! The Zeta Chi chapter is a group of amazing girls who have all been very involved in making improvements to our chapter in areas including academics, philanthropy, and campus involvement.
In the past year the Zeta Chi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma has become an even closer group of girls through scholarship, leadership, and philanthropy. At the Province Meeting in 2013, Zeta Chi was honored with the Sisterhood and Morale Award. Two members of the Chapter, Lauren Garner and Deanna Clark, also received the Undergraduate Kappa Scholarship for 2013. We continued our tradition of attending the Marist Singers and Marist Dance Ensemble shows in order to support our sisters, while we also had fun at other sisterhood events such as ice skating, having a picnic at the Vanderbilt mansion, taking a self defense class, and having a Kappa Kindergarten day where we distressed with coloring and other fun, nostalgic activities. Philanthropy events that Zeta Chi had the opportunity to take part in included visiting a nursing home within Poughkeepsie, taking the Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics, having a Bake Sale for Relay for Life, running a RIF event at Clinton Elementary School reading to children, creating a reading carnival for Bridges to Hope tutoring program, hosting a Bake Sale for Breast Cancer Awareness, and donating Christmas gifts to children through participating with Marist’s Giving Tree program.
One of the challenges that the Zeta Chi Chapter had to overcome was the large group of new members in the Spring of 2013. The Chapter had never taken in so many new girls at once and it was difficult to get used to the larger pledge class size. The Chapter overcame this challenge by trying even harder to get to know one another, meeting with owl pals, bonding the pledge class of 25, and attending sophomore, junior, and senior events to get to know the girls in each grade even better. Activities put on by Standards in our Core Groups, like Jeopardy focusing on Kappa facts and history, brought the Chapter and the new girls even closer together.
The recent changes on the Marist College campus the construction of the new Marist academic music building. The construction included the addition of the following departments, offices, and committees: academic affairs, faculty affairs, student affairs, information technology, the Student Government Association, dining services, alumni, and the Board of Trustees.
The planning process for this project was guided by a keen awareness of and commitment to sustainable practices as evidenced by the inclusion in the project of features such as a vegetative roof and rain garden for storm water control and energy efficient lighting, windows, curtain wall, and appliances. The new academic building also includes: three classrooms, a band rehearsal hall, a choral rehearsal and recital hall, nine practice rooms, a string ensemble room, a music library, a piano lab, a computer lab, a conference room, and four faculty offices. There was also the addition of a new and improved dining hall where there are large wooden trusses that support the cathedral ceiling and plenty of seating to fit hundreds of more students compared to the previous cafeteria.
The overall nature of the Zeta Chi Chapter is welcoming. We strive to welcome in girls that have dedication to academics and scholarship, leadership potential, and characteristics of a loving and caring friend that will make a memorable lifelong sister. Going from 14 Chapter Council Positions to 16, represents our passion to be a leader within the Chapter that can positively affect and bring together each and every sister. We love to have fun, involving ourselves within Chapter activities, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
This semester, Spring 2014, our recruitment was "Kappa and the City!" We to highlighedt all of the great resources that Kappa has to offer internationally. Of course, we demonstrated to the PNMs the bonds of sisterhood and the strength of our sorority. Over the past year standards has created kore groups, passed around the hoots jar, supportive sister and celebrated sisters are announced each week, as well as weekly standards meetings to check in with the sisters. So far this semester we hosted a Kappa Kappaccinos sale in order to raise money for the Special Olympics and the Polar Plunge that we took apart in February.
The Spring 2014 semester was filled with events to welcome the new pledge class, the Alpha Pi’s, and to unite our growing chapter of 111 women! Sisterhood events of the semester included supporting our sisters apart of the dance ensemble at the MCDE Dance show, we had some delicious chocolate fondue, relaxed before finals week with a yoga class and participated in an Off-Campus Safety Seminar. An especially exciting time, for our new members was the superhero-themed Greek Week! After a week filled with eating competitions, an adorable talent show, and a few sporting and field events, Zeta Chi was victorious and came in first place for sororities! This was a great time for new members to bond and show some Kappa spirit. Zeta Chi sent off our seniors with best wishes and few tears down by the river with a picnic.
The chapter was extremely active when it came to philanthropy and community service. Zeta Chi made teams for both Relay for Life and Autism Speaks Color Run. At Relay for Life Kappa raised $4,795 for the American Cancer Society and was the second highest fundraising team! Other events included participating in the Polar Plunge and selling Kappa Kappacchinos to support the Special Olympics, a bingo brunch at a local nursing home, and a Poughkeepsie cleanup with Marist’s fellow Greek organizations. For our spring RIF event, our philanthropy chair, Amera Labib, used her creativity and organized our first annual Kappa Kickball Tournament. Teams donated one book per team member, which was then donated to our reading carnival. The reading carnival, at a local elementary school’s after school program featured face painting, coloring, and each child went home with several books, a bookmark of their own creation and a smile on their face.
Zeta Chi's president Lauren Garner and advisor, Kait Smith attended the Kappa Kappa Gamma National Convention in Houston, Texas. Zeta Chi was very excited to receive honorable mentions in Panhellenic and Public Relations.
As the Fall Semester of 2014 progressed at Marist College, the Zeta Chi chapter continued to be as busy as ever. One challenge that our chapter had to overcome this semester was not holding recruitment and taking a new member class. However, the Zeta Chi chapter planned many events to keep the sisters involved and engaged! In September the Zeta Chi Chapter visited The Hudson Valley Animal Rescue Sanctuary (HVARS), which is a charity organization that specializes in rescuing and rehabilitating domestic wildlife as well as farm animals. The members of Zeta Chi helped with everyday activities such as cleaning, feeding, and playing with animals such as dogs, cats, and horses. Zeta Chi was also very active on the Marist Campus, having set up a booth at both the activity fairs and the parents weekend carnival.
Also in the month of September, Zeta Chi participated in their first sisterhood event, which was a private shopping trip to Francesca’s Boutique at the Poughkeepsie Galleria Mall. The girls found many cute owl, key, and fleur-de-lis items. During National Hazing Prevention Week, the Zeta Chi chapter along side other clubs at Marist College participated in a walk to raise awareness. All club members drew their hands on a large sign saying “These Hands Do Not Haze,” which is now hung up in the Champagnat (dormitory) breezeway.
In the month of October, the Zeta Chi Chapter participated in a philanthropy unity event with the other Greek organizations on campus called Habitat for Humanity Hut Awareness. This involved each Greek organization building a hut with cardboard. At the end, the cardboard that was collected by the Greek organizations was then recycled by the Habitat for Humanity club. Zeta Chi continued their tradition of having a Founder's Day event with alumni on October 13th, 2014. The education chair and registrar chapter council member planned the event on the Marist College campus in the Student Center. Members and alumni sat with their big/little family members and each family made a scrapbook page to be included in the end of semester scrapbook. Kappa also planned a sisterhood event for apple picking and pumpkin picking. The girls of Zeta Chi drank apple cider, picked apples, and took cute fall pictures with some pumpkins.
In the month of November, the girls of Zeta Chi were very busy. The next philanthropy event that Zeta Chi participated in was their annual Time to Be Thankful event. The girls of Zeta Chi visited the Pines Nursing Home in Poughkeepsie. They played games with the patients there and painted their nails. Kappa participated in another sisterhood event, Boxing, taught by Ron Lipton. There were two sessions of girls learning self defense and it was a great work out for all of those who participated. Another sisterhood event the girls participated in was going to Bounce, which is a indoor trampoline park. Also in the month of November, Leadership Consultant, Jo, came to visit. Many girls met with her and showed her the Marist College campus and the Poughkeepsie area. Zeta Chi participated in their semi-annual philanthropy event, Reading is Fundamental. This year, Zeta Chi held a Newlywed Game event between bigs and littles from all Greek organizations at Marist. We were able to raise $260 for Reading in Fundamental. The following weekend, Zeta Chi visited a local Poughkeepsie Youth Mission Outreach program and held a carnival for the children to participate in that included face painting, basketball, crafts, educational games and of course reading! Both events were very successful. On November 20th, Zeta Chi celebrated its 21st birthday. The girls of Zeta Chi walked around campus in their letters showing their love for their chapter, posted on social media and took pictures with a fun photo frame.
The first weekend of December, Zeta Chi held their annual Sapphire Ball at the Villa Borghese in Wappingers Falls. Each sister received a fun Kappa supperlative and enjoyed dancing the night away. Approaching finals week, we co-hosted a study break with Kappa Lambda Psi which included offering free coffee, hot chocolate and snacks to students in the library foyer. The weekend before finals, Zeta Chi held a holiday party which included a secret santa gift exchange and the first ever Kappa kash auction. Throughout the semester members earned "cash" for attending events and assisting chapter council members. They could then "bid" on various kappa goodies. The year was finished off with the election of a new Chapter Council.
Zeta Chi holds their weekly chapter meetings in a Marist College classroom in Donnelly Hall. Zeta Chi does not have housing for its members.
Zeta Chi started the spring semester off with a bang! In February we held recruitment and our theme was Garden/Lilly for the first and third night. This year Panhellenic decided to show greek unity by having each sorority select a decade to theme their second night of recruitment. We were excited to represent the 1920s. Simultaneously we were also pleased to have Jo, our Leadership Consultant return to Marist to assist us with recruitment and improving our chapter. Though we did have to change the dates of recruitment and a couple weekly meetings due to the tremendous amount of snow we received, we were happy to welcome 20 new members into our sisterhood. We held a new member celebration in the student center which included taking pictures with huge Kappa Balloons and socializing. To get to know the new members better, we held a sophomore event at which the sophomores and new members decorated cookies and played just dance. We also enjoyed ice skating at the Hudson Valley Civic Center as one of our sisterhood events. As for Philanthropy we raised $100 for the American Heart Association at our bake sale. Three of our sister, Kelly, Colleen and Emily also jumped in the river at the Polar Plunge in Fishkill. This semester the Standards committee started choosing a Kappa Klassy Value of the Week. This value is chosen from a list of qualities that we compiled as a chapter that every kappa should uphold.
We started March off with a sisterhood event which was a private shopping trip at Francesca's in the Poughkeepsie Galleria. We also continued to hold events to welcome and integrate our new members into the chapter. These included a Junior ice cream sundae social with the new members, new member picture day (take pictures of new members around campus wearing letters) and big/little week. This year for big little reveal the bigs left socks in their littles room on the last day of big little week. Then at reveal the bigs wore matching socks and lined up with blankets covering them. The littles stood in front of the person with matching socks and the bigs let down their blankets to reveal themselves. At the end of March we were excited to officially welcome them into our sisterhood at initiation.
In April we partnered up with Hoopla, a local frozen yogurt place, to donate some of every purchase one afternoon to the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. Christina our President, Meghan our VPO and Katie our head of Standards donated this money when they attended the Province meeting in Hartford, Connecticut. We had a lot of sisterhood events this month. The first was a tye dye event where everyone got the chance to tye dye a shirt. The sisters of Zeta Chi also attended the semi annual dance ensemble show, Serendipity which a large number of our chapter performed in. As the weather started to warm up, we went on a morning hike at Ferncliff Forest. The trail had a huge observation tower that we nervously climbed to the top of to the amazing views of the Hudson Valley. Our Philanthropy events this month included making crafts and playing sports at the Children's Home of Poughkeepsie as well as participating in Relay for Life. At Greek Week, we fought hard at the field games, eating contests, and trivia and placed third for our efforts.
In May Zeta Chi participated in their semi-annual philanthropy event, Reading is Fundamental. We held a Kappa Kickball event to raise money for RIF. Following the game we headed over to the Children's home of Poughkeepsie where we did crafts, distributed books, did face painting and plaid basketball with the kids. We were sad to bid our seniors farewell at our senior sendoffs. We shared memories, took pictures and celebrated all that our seniors have contributed to Zeta Chi over lunch. We certainly ended the year on a high note receiving the first ever Marist Greek Excellence Award.
Zeta Chi started off the new semester much smaller than last year, we had about 30 seniors graduate and we had 13 of our sister studying abroad all over the world. We did not hold fall recruitment, this was a challenge for us because the sixe of our chapter seemed so small this semester but we grew closer as whole because of it. We held our first philanthropy event of the semester the day of move in which was to help at the Children’s Home or Poughkeepsie’s 5k race and hand our water bottles to the runners. Even through all of the chaos of move in we were able to have some of our sisters represent Kappa at the race.
We held our first sisterhood event in September at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, NY. We had a lovely picnic on the grass and gardens outside the historic mansion. It was a great way to catch up with sisters from the summer break and start the semester off strong. Shortly after that Marist held their activities fair and we represented Kappa to potential new members for the spring semester. Also in September we held a video shoot for our recruitment video that we will play during recruitment in the upcoming Spring. At Marist we are located right on the Hudson River, so we filmed down by the riverfront on a beautiful Sunday morning. Our footage will show the potential new members everything Kappa is about. We also participated in Marist’s Campus wide hazing awareness week. Greek council held an Instagram contest with the theme these hand don’t haze. The person with the most creative post and most likes won a gift card to a local restaurant. One of our fellow Kappa’s Kacey O’Brien won the prize.
October rolled around soon and it was busy month for our chapter. We started the month off with another sisterhood event called “Paint Your Sisters.” This event was create to bnd our sisterhood together even close than it was before. All the girls who participated wore white t-shirts and sat in a circle. One girl would stand inside an they would touch a sister who inspires them most (etc.) with their painted hand. They went around a few times so every sister had handprints all over them, showing that they are loved by every single one of their sisters. We plan to make this annual event for our sisterhood. Shortly after that we had about ten of our members represent Kappa at taping of the Meredith Vieira Show in NYC, an alum from Marist reached out to Kappa to see if any girls wanted to see a taping of the show, we had a small number of girls go only because it was held during the week as classes were going on. It was great for Kappa to show support at the show.
We held our Founder Day celebration two days before Founders Day to ensure that, as many of our sisters could be present at the event. Our education chairman. Meghan Gleason and our registrar, Cara Guerin planned the event. We ordered shirts for the vent, made some adorable Kappa themed desserts and host a raffle with great prizes for our sisters. Also to show some history of the chapter we traced our chapters big and little trees as far back as we could and put the trees on display at our event. All of the sisters loved the idea and are excited to see most of those trees grow in the springtime.
Our second sisterhood event of the month was apple and pumpkin picking at a local farm. The girls of Zeta Chi drank apple cider, picked apples, and took cute fall pictures with some pumpkins.
We held our first Philanthropy event in October; we hosted a baked sale to benefit breast cancer awareness and partners with another sorority on campus Kappa Lambda Psi. Together we raised over $400 donated to breast cancer research. On October 22nd and 23rd we held our annual RIF Fundraiser. On the 22nd we hosted a pasta dinner and all the proceeds from the dinner were donated to RIF and on the 23rd Zeta Chi went to the Family and Children Center of Poughkeepsie and held a reading carnival for the kids in the after school program there. All of the girls enjoyed reading and doing crafts with the kids, we could tell that it brightened up their day because they brightened up ours. Our last sisterhood event of the semester was a paint party. Zeta Chi met up and recreated a picture of a sunflower on our canvases. It was a great fun and creative event to have and everyone walked home with a new piece of artwork to decorate their dorm with.
To start off November we had our first philanthropy of the month. Caitlyn Flynn, Philanthropy chair organized a workshop with a company called Bright Pink, they help educate women about their bodies and raise awareness for breast cancer and other women’s cancers. We also hosted a blood drive and partnered with another fraternity on campus, Zeta Psi for it. Many sisters donated and helped make sure all the people who donated had a good recovery. We had a few sisterhood event this month. One event that was not hosted by Kappa but many sisters take part in was the Marist College Dance Ensemble, one member of Kappa, Samantha Soprano is the president of the dance ensemble and she put on a great show with the talents of dancers from the entire school. Many other Kappas’ who are not in the Dance Ensemble went to the show to show their support. Another one of our sisterhood events we had in November was a mani pedi spa night. It was a great night to watch movies, paint our nails and hang with our sisters. As a senior sisterhood event we held a zumba class for all the seniors to participate in, it was a fun and healthy way for the seniors to get some of their last moments with their sisters.
Once we came back from Thanksgiving break, the end of the semester didn’t seem too far away but we had plenty events planned before the end. We hosted a hot chocolate sale on campus to raise money for a gift to buy for the giving tree here at Marist. One of our last sisterhood events as yoga and it was a great way to distress right before finals started. On the December 7th, we held our annual Sapphire Ball at Villa Borghese in Wappingers Falls. Each sister received a fun Kappa superlative and enjoyed dancing the night away. All of the sisters looked beautiful for the event. To end the semester we held our Kappa Kash Raffle and Holiday party. Kappa Kash is a point system we have and every event a sister attends they will get points and those points get transferred into raffle tickets that they can use at the party to get Kappa themed gifts. Almost all the sisters walked away with a gift and we did secret Santa between the sisterhood. Everyone had a great time exchanging gifts and hanging out right before finals. The year was finished off with the election of a new Chapter Council.
On campus Marist is just completing their new science building, which will be the home to the new science gradate programs and home to the biology department. Marist also began construction for a new dorming facility, which will house juniors and seniors. The hall will have four single dorms to a suite and also have a gym and new dining hall in the building too. The president of Marist College also announced his retirement at the end of the spring semester for this year in 2016. He has done a great job building up Marist College to what it is now and Kappa is sad to see him leave.
Our chapter is becoming relatively small due to the large amount of seniors gradating and the burden of not having fall recruitment due to our school’s policies. But we have prevailed and have become so close as a whole. We always support one another and try to attend other club events to support sisters who are in those clubs. Our chapter does not have a house but we always have fun meeting at other places on campus or other sisters suites on campus.
What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community?
We typically raise money for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation and Reading is Fundamental.
Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support?
Our chapter chose these organizations because we would like to focus heavily on two organizations versus more so that we can give more to each because if we spread ourselves too thin its difficult to give a lot to each organization. These two organizations represent Kappa Kappa Gamma to the highest and we appreciate everything they do, which is why we donate to them.