Eta Alpha Chapter was founded at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina on March 29, 1994.
755 initiates (as of June 2018)
Furman University, founded in 1826, is the third-oldest university in South Carolina. The school is named for Richard Furman, a clergyman considered the most important Baptist leader before the Civil War. Furman was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Charleston, S.C., and became the first president of the Triennial Convention, the first national body of Baptists in America.
The South Carolina Baptist Convention established Furman’s original campus in Edgefield, S.C., but over the next three decades, the campus changed locations three times before arriving in downtown Greenville, S.C., in 1851. Originally founded as a men’s academy and theological institute, the theological school broke away from Furman in 1858 to become the Southern Baptist Seminary.
In 1924, Furman was named one of four collegiate beneficiaries of the Duke Endowment. Duke Endowment grants sustained Furman through the Great Depression, helped the university merge with Greenville Woman’s College in the 1930s and bolstered the university’s effort to pursue a new campus location. Furman broke ground on its current location north of its home city in 1953. The school would also become independent in 1992, breaking ties with the South Carolina Baptist Convention.
Today, Furman’s 750-acre campus features an Asian garden, a replica of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin, the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability, a Florentine bell tower, a spring-fed lake, 13 miles of paved trails through the woodlands and an 18-hole golf course. It enrolls approximately 2,700 undergraduate and 525 graduate students.
Colonization and Installation
Kappa Kappa Gamma established Eta Alpha Colony at Furman University in Greenville, S.C. Fifty-one members were pledged to Fraternity membership on January 9, 1994. Eta Alpha Chapter was installed on March 19, 1994, becoming the Fraternity’s 125th chapter. Epsilon Kappa, South Carolina, and Epsilon Mu, Clemson, served as big sister chapters.
Before joining the Fraternity, the colony was a local sorority called Kappas. Founded in 1993, it was one of the newest of the seven local sororities that sought affiliation with National Panhellenic groups. Other NPC organizations on the Furman campus are Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta and Kappa Delta.
The installation team included Fraternity President Juliana (J.J.) Wales, Ohio State; Vice President Janice (Jan) Harrenberg Stockoff, New Mexico; Extension Chairman Sally Moore Nitschke, Ohio State; and Chapter Consultant Annaliese Limb, North Texas. Between pledging and installation the colony had grown from 51 pledges to 63 pledges.
Two months after the celebration of the chapter’s installation, it suffered the loss of one of its members Jennifer Ruth Prevette who died in a car accident. Jenni had touched everyone lives with her strong spirit, enthusiasm and love of life.
After two successful weekends of formal recruitment in January 2005, 26 new members were pledged. New members attended a retreat and completed new member education during January and February. The initiation banquet was held in the University Center. Also, in February, Eta Alpha held a masquerade-themed social function at Green Valley Country Club.
Three Kappas were elected as Panhellenic Council officers. In April, Eta Alpha held its annual sand volleyball tournament, raising $250 for Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and the Bobby Pearse Community Center, an after-school center for underprivileged children where Eta Alpha donated books and read to children. Eta Alpha built a book corner at the Bobby Pearse Community Center, donating more than 500 books to the center and presenting each child with a book of his or her own.
In May, Eta Alpha held a joint Academic and Senior Banquet on campus with a pizza party, senior wills and academic recognitions awarded. It held its annual Sapphire Ball with a black-and-white theme at the Greenville Hilton.
In September 2005, Eta Alpha Chapter Council hosted a leadership workshop day with chapter councils from the University of South Carolina and Clemson University. The Kappas did the low ropes course at Furman in the morning and a leadership workshop with PDC Anna Edwards in the afternoon.
October was a busy month for Eta Alpha. It held the fall sisterhood retreat in the University Center where everyone watched movies, ate brownie sundaes and made shakers for Homecoming. The chapter held a Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville-themed function called Kappa Rage where each sister invited three friends. A tailgate was held in conjunction with Furman’s Family Weekend.
The Founders Day celebration held by the chapter included refreshments and a program from its Education Chairman. During Homecoming week, the chapter paired with Sigma Nu fraternity and came in second place overall in Homecoming.
The chapter held is fall philanthropy event, Ready, Aim, Read! during October. Sisters sold tickets to throw darts at a balloon board set up in the University Center, and coupons inside the balloons were worth prizes. Ready, Aim, Read! earned more than $260 for our philanthropy projects.
In November, Eta Alpha’s Chapter Council implemented monthly email updates from each officer to its advisory board, PDC and RDC to keep everyone informed of its goals, progress and events. The members held the semi-formal in Furman’s new Younts Conference Center. This function was the first Greek social function on campus, and university officials were extremely pleased with Kappa’s classy, well run event. Also in November, Eta Alpha held a Recruitment event where we wrapped books and made holiday cards to give to children at the Bobby Pearse Community Center.
Eta Alpha finished second-place in Chi Omega’s dance-a-thon. The chapter made it to the semifinals in intramural soccer for the first time in several years. During the course of the year, the chapter donated more than 100 books to children at the Bobby Pearse Community Center to help the children start home libraries, ending the year with age-appropriate books or magazines for each child as a holiday present. The social chairman planned several amazing functions in 2006: formal in the spring and semi-formals in the fall and winter. The chapter also hosted Kappa Rage with the theme of Kappa Kappa Gangsta in the fall where each sister could bring three guests.
Philanthropy was very successful this year, raising money through fundraisers such as Kappa Krush and a school-wide volleyball tournament. The money raised went to support the Bobby Pearse Community Center’s after-school programs via Ready, Aim, Read! In the spring, we had enough money to open a book corner at the community center, and Kappas throughout the year spent the afternoons reading to the children.
The VP Academic Excellence worked hard to keep the chapter GPA high through study groups and nerd-of-the-week awards, and the chapter was third place among the sororities. The VP Organization created a chapter survey that helped determine the chapter’s goals for the year. The Leadership Consultant visited in November, and during her visit she met individually with the officers and recruitment chairman. The advice she provided during both her visits was invaluable as the chapter planed and set goals for 2007.
The biggest achievement in 2007 was probably planning and putting together a very successful fall fundraiser. Contestants from each of the fraternities and some student organizations competed in a comical male beauty pageant. The whole campus got really involved, and the event raised more than $1,000 – half was donated to RIF and half to the pageant winner’s philanthropy of choice. The chapter was also proud to have gotten better involved in helping the Bobby Pearse Community Center again. Every week, the members helped kids with homework in the afterschool program, and at the end of fall term the chapter hosted a pizza party for them. Recruitment was very successful this year. The chapter pledged its first full pledge class since 1998, and we are definitely enjoying getting to know all the new ladies.
VP Academic Excellence did a great job this year, too. The chapter had the second-highest GPA on campus, and hoped to be in first place the following year.
The new member period saw great improvements and won an award for it at the 2007 Province Meeting. Eta Alpha’s functions this year were all very successful. Formal was held at the Commerce Club downtown and was enjoyed by everyone. In the fall, two functions were held: Rage and semi-formal. Rage was held at the Handlebar and was themed “Every Guy Loves a Girl in a Uniform.” Semi-formal was held in a new conference center on campus.
Chapter members were excited to attend the 2008 Mu Province meeting in Atlanta. They enjoyed meeting Kappas from other chapters and learning more about our organization. The chapter was excited to receive the Recruitment Award, Academic Achievement Award and the Standard of Excellence Award!
The third-annual Kappa Krush Pageant was very successful. One contestant from each of the campus fraternities competed in this comical male beauty pageant. Each fraternity was paired with one sorority for the event, and the contestants raised money throughout the week leading up to the pageant. More than $2,000 was raised and half of the proceeds went to RIF and the other half was donated to the winning fraternity-sorority pair’s philanthropies—Make-a-Wish and Children’s Miracle Network. The event was well attended by Furman Greeks and non-Greeks. Everyone was thrilled by the dedication that the participating groups demonstrated. This year’s pageant raised approximately $500 more than the previous year.
This year, the chapter was also involved with the Greenville Boys and Girls Club. Every Monday, Kappas played with the children and assisted them with homework. Chapter members looked forward to participating in its Reading is Key philanthropy, a book drive for the children at the Boys and Girls Club. The entire chapter visited this afterschool center one afternoon, and gave each child a book. The children were able to participate in a variety of activities related to reading during the event.
Eta Alpha also had great success in other Greek organizations events on campus: won Pi Kappa Phi’s War of the Roses where the members competed in activities and raised the most money for their philanthropy, PUSH America; the chapter also won Pi Kappa Phi’s No Boundaries week which also benefited PUSH America; finished second in Sigma Nu’s flag football tournament benefiting Relay for Life.
The chapter had a very successful Homecoming where it was paired with a campus fraternity and competed in a variety of activities against the other Furman Greek groups. At the Homecoming game it received first place in the category of float and chalking and came in second place overall for the Homecoming events. The chapter’s dedication and commitment to Homecoming definitely paid off. A senior Kappa was named Furman’s Homecoming Queen.
During 2009 the chapter celebrated the 15th anniversary of Eta Alpha’s founding at Furman. Kappa alumnae were invited to join the members for a tailgate before the football game. Everyone had a wonderful afternoon celebrating the heritage of our sisterhood.
Recruitment was a great success this year, and the chapter was thrilled to get a full pledge class of 36 wonderful women. The recruitment committee worked extremely hard throughout the fall, and the chapter worked hard to polish its skits, dances and songs so that the rounds would be polished and entertaining. Academic Excellence put in a tremendous amount of effort this year to encourage everyone in their studies. Everyone was very proud to have the highest GPA among the seven sororities on campus.
There were several outstanding functions this year. The beautiful spring formal took place at the Gassaway Mansion in May 2009. The fall functions included: Rage and Western Date Night. The theme for Rage was GloKappa, and everyone enjoyed dressing up in neon colors and wearing hundreds of glowsticks. Western Date Night was held at a local barn and included a bonfire, s’mores, cornhole and a lot of fun country music. A new function was introduced this year. Previously the semi-formal had been replaced with the Western Date Night, so the chapter decided to bring back the semi-formal atmosphere with Kappa’s first Christmas function which was held at the beautiful Huguenot Mill. The members spent the night dancing to Christmas music and enjoying the last weekend before Winter Break.
The year was one of involvement, reflection, and improvement for Eta Alpha. We were able to take a look at our strengths and weaknesses, as a chapter, through two LC visits and a focus letter from headquarters. We had 30 new members initiated in March and two initiated in the fall with the Clemson University chapter. We held the traditional philanthropy events: Reading is Key at the Boys and Girls Club, our Kappa Pageant in the fall to raise money for RIF, and coordinated a change in schools for our weekly philanthropy visits. We participated in Homecoming float and parade on campus with Sigma Nu fraternity. In March we hosted Province for the Mu North province and representatives from all chapters attended. We won the Best Standards awards for all the chapters in Mu North. We were awarded the Andrus Stale Roberts Trophy for the 2010-2011 school year--a trophy presented to the sorority that makes the greates contribution to Furman University, specifically in the areas of scholarship, leadership, religion, athletics, and general excellence. Our sorority moved from third to second highest GPA on campus.
Campus: In 2011 Furman University was adjusting to a new president, larger freshmen classes, revised alchohol policies, a continued emphasis on sustainability, a new bookstore and new housing opportunities, and more student voice in Strategic Planning of campus activities and policies.
Chapter: Eta Alpha feels that it represents the ideals described in the mission statement of Kappa Kappa Gamma. The members of this chapter are genuine, down-to-earth, and warm. Within the chapter, sisterly support is one of our biggest priorities. The chapter is well-respected on campus and shows its commitment to the campus as a whole by being involved in various activities from hall staff, sports and intramurals, religious organizations, student teaching, volunteering, academic clubs and honor societies, and more.
In an effort to help Eta Alpha improve its chapter communication and overall functionality, the RDC and former PDC issued a Focus Letter that outlined several goals for Eta Alpha and recommendations for promoting chapter organization. The Letter also highlighted some areas of concern from the past to help guide Eta Alpha forward, giving suggestions for improvement as needed. In the fall, we took a chapter survey completed by each active member and the results were compiled. Areas that needed greatest improvement were in chapter efficiency and public relations As a response to the Focus Letter and the Chapter Survey, Chapter Council wrote, and the chapter approved, a Leadership Action Plan to address these areas and implement reasonable steps to achieve greater chapter efficiency as well as other goals. Also, the Chapter Council planned to revise the Bylaws and Standing Rules in the semester to come. Another goal we, especially our Recruitment committee, decided to address was our energy and attitude regarding the recruitment process. We worked as a chapter to make recruitment a more positive experience for active members as well as potential new members. In the fall, we had more workshops and focused on informal recruitment more than we have in the past.
2012 was a year of excitement and improvement, within Eta Alpha and the Greek Community as a whole. Our most noteworthy accomplishment was a brand new philanthropy event. To replace our outdated fraternity pageant, we started the first annual Kappa Cook Off. Teams of fraternities competed for the best burger recipe and sororities competed for the best dessert. We charged admission for teams and for anybody in the Furman/Greenville community to eat and enjoy live music, and raised $1300. We were happy with the involvement of non-Greek students, professors, and other on-campus organizations and it was great publicity.
This year we participated in Homecoming week activities with Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Our hardwork and involvement with float-building paid off in great PR (photo on the Furman homepage) and the first prize trophy for floats! Kappa participated in many other Greek organizations' philanthropy weeks--coming in second place for both Sigma Chi Derby Days and Delta Gamma's Anchor Splash.
Internally, Eta Alpha made so many improvements that we were able to get off the focus letter that we were put on in 2011. This was achieved by every sister's own effort, as well as the hard work of chapter council and VPO, who came up with the Leadership Action Plan to follow. Areas we made great strides in were chapter efficiency, committee organization, and knowledge and appreciation for ritual. Similarly, we got overwhelming positive feedback on initiation in March, after adjustments were made to keep it more in accordance with ritual while also being a special sisterhood retreat. According to a chapter survey in December, ritual and anti-hazing policy rank highest among Eta Alpha's strengths.
Chapter council would also like to mention that this year we benefitted greatly from our LC visits and Kappa trainers, especially as our advisory board was going through many changes.
The Greek community at Furman started to undergo many changes in 2012. With the installation of a new Greek Life adviser, Cameron Smith, several aspects of informal and formal recruitment were adjusted this year. Informal recruitment rules were improved to allow us to better get to know potential new members. Our panhellenic counselors, previously called Alpha Zetas, were renamed Pi Chis. Pi Chi groups started doing bonding activities together earlier in the fall. Recruitment rules were very specific for sororities this year--more rounds, each one smaller, were added in order to make the parties less overwhelming for potential new members. Panhellenic has also become more interested in raising official quota for sororities on campus, in order to make chapters more equal in size.
As a chapter, Eta Alpha feels its members are genuine, warm, welcoming, and supportive. Our chapter is extremely diverse in our academic and personal interests, extracurricular activities, and backgrounds. We feel our chapter is strengthened by this diversity and the phrase "individually unique, together complete" fitting.
2013 was a year of excitement and improvement, within Eta Alpha and the Greek Community as a whole. We initiated 41 women in the spring. In our Second Kappa Cook Off, we raised over $1100 for RIF. Our chapter sent members to help tutor kids at a local Elementary School, Armstrong Elementary. In our Reading is Key event, the chapter as a whole went to the school supplying books, doing crafts, and helping students with their homework.
This year we participated in Homecoming week activities with Beta Theta Pi. The Kappa/ Beta team made it to the semi finals of the Student Alumni Council’s Homecoming cornhole tournament. Kappa participated in many other Greek organizations' philanthropy weeks--coming in first at Delta Gamma's Anchor Splash and placed second in Sigma Nu’s flag football philanthropy for Relay for Life. We also volunteered at service events like Relay for Life and Dance Marathon.
Since the revamping of our Panhellenic Council, we had one member serve on executive council, another as a delegate, and four members participate as Pi Chis. Unlike past years, sorority women could now go off campus with Potential New Members, were able to communicate through phones, and could ride in cars with them. Panhellenic sponsored “Panhellenic Nights” where two sororities combined to make an informal night to meet PMNs.
As a chapter, Eta Alpha feels its members are genuine, enjoyable, welcoming, and supportive. Our chapter is extremely diverse in our academic and personal interests, extracurricular activities, and backgrounds. We feel our chapter is strengthened by this diversity and the phrase "individually unique, together complete" fitting.
For Eta Alpha Chapter, 2014 was a year full of sisterhood and campus involvement boasting 101 members. In March 36 new sisters were initiated, including four Kappa legacies, two in-house, as well as four Chinese international students. Eta Alpha’s proudest accomplishment from 2014 was the Honorable Mention for Ritual by Kappa Kappa Gamma National Headquarters at Convention in June. With the combination of our two philanthropy events we raised $1,938 for Reading is Fundamental. Kappa Kickball was held in April and featured a competition between sorority and fraternity teams kicking for the win. Our notorious Kappa Cook Off held in October is a faculty judged event where fraternities grill their best burger and sororities bake their favorite dessert for the Greek and the non-Greek community alike. It is always a success day out on the field with live a cappella performances and raffles.
Branching into Kappa’s involvement in the local Greenville school system during recruitment about 250 children’s books were signed with encouraging and heartfelt messages to be given to the kids at our new elementary school. In the fall, Kappa was reached out to by the community of Duncan Chapel Elementary, asking for volunteers in the need-based after school program. Twice a week sisters spend an hour tutoring students and giving service to the community. In the beginning of December, Eta Alpha felt the need of those without proper clothes for the winter months and put on the Kappa Klothing Drive for several days collecting winter items from Furman students, faculty and staff. The need was met with enormous gratitude as the chapter collected ten large boxes of clothes for the local homeless shelter, Miracle Hill.
In September, Eta Alpha proudly participated in Haze Free KKG by making a banner in the dining hall and hash-tagging our personal beliefs as to why we do not haze our new and current members.
At Furman Kappa’s have a large presence within the PanHellenic Greek community. Boasting five Pi Chis during recruitment and three members on the council. In the fall Eta Alpha participated in informal PanHellenic recruitment events were we shared meet-and-greets with Chi Omega and Alpha Delta Pi and well as the colonization staff of Zeta Tau Alpha. In March Kappa won War of the Roses held by Pi Kappa Phi benefiting Push America. Our chapter was represented with six runners in Kappa Delta’s Shamrock & Roll in November. During Derby Days put on by Sigma Chi in April Eta Alpha came in second place. There was also Kappa representation at Delta Delta Delta’s D-Hop event in September and Delta Gamma’s Anchor Splash Week in October. At one of Furman’s most attended Greek events, Stroll, hosted by Alpha Kappa Alpha in March one of two Kappa teams came in third in the all sorority and fraternity choreographed dance off. During Greeks for Greenville in March, involving not only the Furman Greek community but that of Clemson and other local Greek organizations, Eta Alpha participated at Alexander Elementary in great numbers. There was much to do such as cleaning up the property, planting trees, pulling weeds from the playground, building path ways and painting a map of the USA on the basketball court as well as chalking fun designs for the children.
Outside of Greek Life Kappa’s are very involved in their own personal pursuits within the Furman community. The Furman University Equestrian Team proudly represents eight Kappa sisters, making up 2/3rds of the team. The Furman Belles, an all women’s a cappella group, is headed by a sister along with two other members. This year’s theater performance in November, The Drowsy Chaperone, was directed by a sister and included three others on the cast. The intramural Kappa basketball team continued to kick butt in 2014 with many wins. Kappa was proud to send a sister on the Furman Cycling team to the Collegiate Cycle Cross Championships where the Furman team placed fourth overall. For Halloween the Athletics Department hosted Fan Jam for children who cannot trick or treat in their neighborhoods, Kappa showed their support by dressing in costume and holding a game for kids to play and get candy.
Parent’s weekend in September was a fun filled event where Kappa hosted their very own catered tailgate. We got to enjoy family, sisters, and good food under our brand new KKG tent and music on the new speakers. Everyone was throwing what they know and taking pictures with our letters.
Homecoming was a blast at the end of October where our football team played Sanford. Kappa Kappa Gamma was paired with Kappa Alpha Order for the Greek Week competitions preceding the weekend. Our theme was “Pirates of the Caribbean” there were skits and chalking and pomping galore. Our float was skillfully constructed by the KA brothers to be the black pearl and was pomped to perfection. The evenings consisted of corn hole and music with cupcakes and hot chocolate provided by the Resident Life Council. In the end our combined efforts won the best tee-shirt competition, first in spirit and third overall. Of course it was lovely seeing our Kappa Alum and newly graduated sisters again.
Furman University gives their students’ opportunities to travel the world and explore beyond the campus gates. Eta Alpha members are unique girls and take great advantage of the wonderful experiences. In November four sisters traveled up to Charlotte North Carolina to participate in the Color Run. Even though it was freezing cold and snow covered the ground our girls pulled through and ran the race with full hearts. Later in that month two sisters made the trip to Orlando Florida to attend a Peer Health Educator Assembly and on their return gave presentations to students in the Health Science Department. During the spring and fall semester the chapter had some sisters in our minds and hearts as they attended school abroad and traveled. We had 9 sisters abroad in Edinburgh, China, Spain, the British Isles, France and Italy.
Eta Alpha achieved an increase in GPA by .042 points this year, however, we were put on academic probation by headquarters. Our outstanding Academic Excellence chair and committee have been working very diligently to come up with innovative ideas to encourage and help members with their workloads and studying ideas. They have individualized meetings with members to understand their situations and hold two Kappa study halls a week where all members are encouraged to study with sisters. There is also a competition between classes to hold the highest GPA with a reward for all class members, won by the seniors this year. The chair has also just put into place “geek of the week” where whoever gets the most pictures taken of them studying wins a prize.
A visit from our LC Caroline Washnock in September and Kappa Trainer Audrey McCall in November gave us great ideas and motivation for the next semester and for our chapter in the future. They encouraged and supported our weaknesses in the chapter’s involvement and being held accountable as sisters, as well as being more of a presence on campus. They also highlighted our chapter’s strengths and brought to light how close our bonds in the sisterhood are. They noticed what an aspiring group of young talented women we are, clearly noticing how Kappa values are represented within the chapter.
For the year 2015, Eta Alpha chapter started the fall semester with 95 members and a revamped public relations committee. Our continually successful philanthropy event, Kappa Cook Off, held in October raised $1,399 for Reading is Fundamental. We welcomed the Greek and non-Greek community alike to enjoy homemade burgers, desserts and live a cappella out on the field. An addition to our philanthropic involvement, due to our dedicated philanthropy chair, has been volunteering at Duncan Chapel Elementary School. Each week since the beginning for the year Kappas have been helping low-risk students in the after school program with homework and reading skills. In October, after the flooding that devastated South Carolina, Eta Alpha donated $300, won from attending a Tri Delta event, to the Kappa Foundation to help fellow SC sisters.
Kicking off recruitment in January, Kappa had four Pi Chis and a fun filled jungle themed bid day. In February, Eta Alpha initiated 34 new sisters, including one in-house legacy, one Chinese international student and one Mongolian international student. We also hosted members from Epsilon Kappa chapter who initiated 8 new sisters. On Furman’s campus, Zeta Tau Alpha accepted their first new member class after formal recruitment and Tau Kappa Epsilon started a new chapter on campus. On Valentine’s Day, Kappa sisters passed out love and hershey’s kisses for Kappa Kisses. In March, Furman inaugurated our new university president, Elizabeth Davis. Also held in March one of our very own sisters helped organize Furman’s annual Water Walk, which raises money for a water project and awareness for those lacking clean water and sanitation. She also is the Shi Center for Sustainability fellow, Alternate Transportation fellow, and a member of the Environmental and Sustainability Science Club. For no lack of brains, a senior sister presented her chemistry research in Memphis, TN.
Spring semester included a large and appreciated turn out to Relay for Life where Kappas supported sisters and their families, as well as the surrounding community. On April 9th our annual Reading is Key philanthropy event was a fun and heartwarming event where sisters read donated books to elementary students. Study day for finals Eta Alpha sponsored a stress free snow cone truck that provided free cones to Furman students. For Greek Week, Kappas handed out cheesy macaroni to raise money for Reading is Fundamental. We strive to be involved in philanthropy and that includes supporting other Greek philanthropies. Kappas had an amazing stroll team this year held by AKA where sororities and fraternities perform in a dance competition. Eta Alpha took second in Tri Delta Triple Play softball game for their philanthropy St. Jude’s Hospital. We also supported Kappa Delta in their first ever Kappa Quesadillas in September and the Delta Gamma Anchor Splash. Eta Alpha also attended Tri Delta Dhop with our fellow sister and Leadership Counselor Katherine Latta who was visiting at the time.
The 2015 fall semester was an exceptional one for Eta Alpha chapter. We proudly supported National Hazing prevention month in September by attending a campus wide prevention speaker with almost 100% attendance and by making a banner for the dining hall. We put on our very first Kappa Kappaccino where our sisters handed out free coffee and awarded coffee mugs and stickers to those who found golden tickets hidden around the library. Thanks to our phenomenal recruitment chair it was so successful that we hosted Kappa Kappaccino again during finals in December. Homecoming this year was highlighted by having our cherished recruitment chair be nominated for Homecoming court where she was escorted by her adorable brother. Our Homecoming partners were Sigma Chi and ZTA, our theme was Clue and we won overall spirit in the Greek competitions. Founder’s day this year was celebrated with alumni who afterward helped us practice conversation for recruitment. In October, a handful of sisters participated in Furman’s Halloween Fall Fest, which brings underprivileged children to trick or treat in a safe environment on campus. Kappas are a presence in the PanHellenic community where we shared a successful evening with Chi Omega meeting potential new members as wells as an all sorority PanHellenic night. Apart of our PanHellenic relations in September we enjoyed a Night Owls mixer with Chi Omega, our recruitment partner. We also participated in Eta Alphas very first fraternity mixer with Sigma Chi over homecoming, which was so fun we held a second mixer with Beta. Kappas also made it to intramural sand volleyball championships and got second place out of all the sororities this year.
Outside of the Greek community Kappas are also very active. At this year’s Dance Marathon for Greenville Children’s Hospital there was great Kappa involvement where one sister organized a Kappa team. Over family weekend, despite the rain, the Kappa tailgate was a blast with good friends and family, food and cute tee shirts. Eta Alpha also has a large presence during football games where four sisters represent in the Furman Marching Band where one sister serves as trumpet section leader for marching band. We have other musically inclined sisters, with three in the Symphonic Band where the Principal Flute is a Kappa. We also have one sister representing in the Wind ensemble and another in the Furman Symphony Orchestra. Another achieving sister is an officer for FUISA, which won club of the year. One of our most athletic sisters competed in the Collegiate Cycling Nationals and had finish in the top ten. Eta Alpha is also very proud of our many sisters who were initiated into Phi Eta Sigma honors society this year. A particularly dedicated sister volunteers with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This year she participated in an Out of the Darkness walk and for the third time planned the International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day in her hometown to help those who have lost someone to suicide. In the philanthropic manner, for the second year, Eta Alpha hosted Kappa Klothing Drive to collect winter clothes for Miracle Hill in great quantity. At the beginning of the 2015 fall semester Eta Alpha encouraged academic success with Kappa pencils handed out to the Furman student body.
Kappas take Furman’s opportunities to travel to further their educational experience. In the spring we had a sister in Copenhagen Denmark, one in Edinburgh, and another in China. Also in the spring for a little less than a semester six Kappas traveled to Africa for an immersion course in the study of poverty. This fall we had two sisters in Australia, two in Japan, and two in the British Isles. Back on campus, Eta Alpha was diligently working on improving our academic success with study hall ideas and studying incentives from our Academic Excellence chair. A visit from our LC Katherine Latta, Kappa Trainer Marcia Shearer and Kate Steiner in November gave us encouragement and motivation for the next semester and our incoming officers. They supported our strengths and had suggestions for our weaknesses. We collaborated on ideas about sisterhood and making chapter meetings more fun, as well as time management and public relations on campus. As a chapter Eta Alpha is an aspiring group of women who are individually talented and represent Kappa values as a whole.
This year Eta Alpha has experienced a structural makeover, or face lift, if you will. Sisterhood within the chapter ahs been a focus as well as improving public relations and our academic excellence. Informal preparations for recruitment in January have been tip-top, setting strong groundwork for 2016 and our new members.
Towards the end of 2014 Duncan Chapel Elementary approached Eta Alpha looking for volunteers to help tutor their underprivileged students after school who required extra attention. In 2015 Kappas helped tutor each week on Wednesday and Thursday.
We were excited about the opportunity and flattered by the invitation to personal make a difference. Duncan Chapel being just around the corner is near to our hearts and allows Eta Alpha to give back to the community we are so close to. It feels appropriate for Kappas to be helping kids with homework as we promote RIF and kids learning to read.
The year 2016 has been a fun year full of sisterhood and new developments for our chapter. In January we welcomed 30 new sisters to their “Kappily Ever After” on bid day. They were initiated on February 27th. Our chapter once again took the opportunity to pass out some love on Valentine's Day with Hershey’s kisses, more fondly known as “Kappa kisses.” We received our chapter grade report from 2015 and we were proud to learn we made the all sorority average. We held our annual Reading is Key event and our sisters gathered together to read books with elementary school students, and continue to send sisters to Duncan Chapel to read with kids every week. Our philanthropy chair also introduced a new fundraising event, Kappa Kornhole, for the spring with teams from other sororities and fraternities for a kornhole competition. In addition, we donated 60 books to Reading is Fundamental through Book Bunnies. Our Event chairmen put together a great event for our Hawaiian themed Kappa Krush.
Our Academic Excellence chairman has been working hard this year and initiated a new event called “Sweet Tea with KKG.” During this event we invite a few professors to join our sisters for tea and refreshments to give professors and sisters a chance to get to know each other and make connections. Towards the end of the semester a wonderful sister of ours was considered for an LC position. We wrapped up the spring semester with a beautiful Masquerade semi formal before finals. Kappa Kappaccino was again a successful and appreciated event during finals.
Fall semester was full of new and exciting events! Our Vice President of Standards worked hard to put together our chapter’s first Mother Daughter event. A huge success, we got to welcome our mothers onto campus for some quality time and crafts. Two of our sisters became Pi Chis to support potential new members going through recruitment. Due to changes in the recruitment set up we are substituting our usual skits with a sisterhood video. Two of our wonderful sisters put together a two-day photo shoot filled with cute poses, props, and lots of laughter to produce a great video that showcases our beautiful and loving sisters. Our chapter website has also received a full makeover thanks to one of our talented sisters. Our first function of the semester took place at the local baseball field, perfect for our “Draft a Date” theme. We also started a partnership with the Furman basketball team! Through this partnership we attend their games, host a book drive during half time for certain games, and members of the team join us on our Duncan Chapel visits each week to read with and tutor students.
Kappa Cook Off was a success once again in raising money for Reading is Fundamental. Founders Day this year included a new history presentation that contained lots of information about our Fraternity's beginnings and the lives of our founders. Kappa rocked homecoming this year with our partner fraternity Phi Kappa Phi. We built a float dedicated to “Hey Arnold” for our Nickelodeon homecoming theme. We were delighted to win first place in the annual horseplay skits and third place in homecoming overall. This October our chapter hosted “Trunk or Treat” for children with autism. Our philanthropy chair organized sisters to bring their cars and decorate the trunks full of candy. All the sisters stationed with their cars were dressed up for the event. We also provided games and a face painting station. The children and our sisters had a wonderful time and we are so grateful for the experience. An alumna of ours got in touch with the founder of Kappa Keys and was moved to bring the group back. Originally a bible study our sister has re-introduced Kappa Keys as a place to be in a community of faiths and support for each other. During December we took part in the Berea Christmas Project and sisters donated money to buy Christmas presents for a fourteen-year-old girl. We wrapped up the fall semester with a Blue on Blue Tie Semi Formal event and headed straight on into finals.
Outside of Kappa we had many sisters involved in Relay for Life and the Red Cross Blood Drive. Our sisters often call on the chapter to support them in the work they do outside of Kappa such as the Cinderella Project and Harvest for Hope. The Cinderella Project collects dresses for young girls who cannot afford one for their prom. On November 18th several sisters went to work at Harvest Hope food bank.
This year Kappa has striven to commit to sisterhood and participation. We have worked on making chapter meetings more fun and informative by starting history blurbs and study tips along with our usual supportive sister award and snaps to acknowledge those who have been a blessing throughout the week. This year we were also delighted to receive the Kappa Heritage award. This year Eta Alpha has continued to work on sisterhood and communal participation. Academic excellence has also been a focus with more study halls and a presentation on helpful study techniques. Due to changes in the recruitment process, our sisters have worked hard to prepare a meaningful and fun experience for our new members. Overall we are continuing to strive to support each other and our community. We are excited to see what the next year brings!
The 2017 year has been filled with many success for our sisterhood. In the spring, we had a successful rush and welcomed 19 beautiful new members. We raised our cumulative GPA so that we now have the 4th highest our of all of the sororities. Eight sisters earned 4.0 for the semester. Our true accomplishment of the year was winning homecoming with our partners Kappa Delta and Beta Theta Pi. The overall theme was “A Land before Furman” and our theme was Pirates. Our sisterhood came together and worked hard in each event. Our hard work and dedication was rewarded, as we came in first in skits and first overall. This boosted moral, encouraged sisterhood unity, and showed what we can achieve if we work together a whole. The Event Committee put on four dances this past year: Kappa Constellation Crush, Formal, Rave, and Kappa Kingsmen Semi. We also held successful study halls including an all day study hall with Chick Fil A and pizza during finals week in the sprig and in the fall. However, sisterhood reached beyond the boundaries of Furman’s campus, and sisters went apple picking at Sky Top orchard in North Carolina. One interesting factoid: our incoming President Jessica Greene has two twin sisters, and they have both joined Kappa this year - one at Oklahoma University and the other at the University of Georgia!
This year was all about trying new things. In the spring we partnered with the basketball team and put on Hoops for Hope book and clothing drive. We also hosted the first ever Grilled Cheese with KKG. Sisters sold unlimited warm grilled cheese, snacks, and homemade desserts. The event was a huge success and we raised over $1100 for reading is fundamental. In the fall we hosted a number of small events including Lemonade for Literacy Bake Sale outside the library, Lollypops for Literacy consisting of raffling off a yeti cooler in which sisters sold lolly pops for a dollar, and a Chipotle fundraiser. In total was raised $500. In the fall we also threw our second annual Trunk or Treat. This event partners with Agapi, a behavioral consultant organization for children with mental disabilities, in order to allow kids who would not be able to go trick or treating on Halloween night to have a fun halloween experience. Sisters handed out candy from the back of their halloween decked out cars. It was a big success and kids, parents, and sisters alike all had fun.
The 2018 year has been filled with many successes and accomplishments for our sisterhood. In the spring, we had a successful rush and welcomed 27 beautiful new members. Our bid day theme was "Pajama Party". At the spring 2018 Greek awards we won most improved chapter GPA and moved up two slots in the all-sorority average. We also had members attend a Kappa Convention. This year for Homecoming, we were paired with Delta Delta Delta and Tau Kappa Epsilon. Our overall theme was Jet Setters and our theme was London. All of our hard work and dedication paid off, as we came in first in horseplay skits and chalking. These awards boosted our moral and showed that we can come together and show our appreciation for our Greek members and Furman University. The event committee put together four dances this past year: Kappa Crush, Formal, Rave, and Kappa Kasino Semi. During the spring and fall, we also held study halls including breakfast and dinner.
In regards to recent changes, we had a large shift in attitude within the chapter. Our sisters are coming together, attending and putting on great events, and doing an amazing job in showing their support for Kappa. We were also received an action plan, which has been a great opportunity for our chapter. This action plan has given us guidance, support, and feedback, for strengthening our chapter communication and overall functionality. This semester we also initiated a COB into our chapter.
Over the summer, we lost a newly initiated member, Reilly Simmons. The Furman University community and our chapter held beautiful memorial services for her. Our chapter came together and celebrated her life. We received many letters from other Greek organizations, as they sent their thoughts and prayers to her and her sisters. She was truly a sapphire sister and she will be deeply missed by her friends, family, and sisters.
Our chapter supports Duncan Chapel Elementary, our local organization philanthropy. Through large campus events this year, we raised over $7,000 for RIF. During parents weekend, we held a silent auction and raised $500 for the Foundation. Overall, we donated 60 hours to Duncan Chapel, donated 100 hours to campus service projects, and 853 hours donated to community service projects. We also collected 79 books through small events and donations. Regarding philanthropy, in the Spring semester, we hosted Grilled Cheese with the KKGs for the second time. Our sisters sold unlimited warm grilled cheese, snacks, and homemade desserts. This event was a wonderful success, as we raised over $5,000 for Reading Is Fundamental. In the spring, we hosted Kappa Kupcakes, in which our sister's made cupcakes and the student's who bought tickets got to come and decorate their cupcakes with toppings. From this event, we raised over $2,000 for Reading Is Fundamental. Also in the fall, we hosted a small event, a Lemonade for Literacy Bake Sale, outside of the library. Sister's baked homemade desserts that were sold to students. We raised $100 for our local philanthropy, Duncan Chapel Elementary. In the fall we also hosted our third annual Trunk or Treat event in which we partnered with Agapi, a behavioral consultant organization for children with mental disabilities. This was a wonderful chance for kids with mental disabilities to Trick or Treat in a low-maintenance environment. Sisters had a great time decorating their cars, dressing up, speaking to kids, and handing out candy. We chose this organization because our sisters appreciate getting to work with kids one on-one, as we are able to get to know the kids and spend quality time with them. We appreciate getting to do hands-on work with the kids by reading, talking , and doing activities with them.
In 2019 Eta Alpha received 7 total Panhellenic awards for the 2018 calendar year during the Greek Awards ceremony in April, including the Founder’s Award that went to Kirstin Mintun.
Leadership Consultant Hannah Greene came for two extended stays to assist the chapter with its development.
This year, the Eta Alpha chapter celebrated Founders Day by renting out J300 and providing sisters with refreshments. This included a variety of Brickstreet cakes, snacks and sodas. After welcoming the sisters to the 149th Founders Day and telling everyone what an important day this is for Kappa’s history, the Marshal conducted the candle lighting ceremony with six seniors. Secretary also brought some past composites for us to look at previous Kappa sisters at Furman. Our semi-formal this November was themed “Sapphires are Forever” in honor of our upcoming 150th anniversary, and we've been promoting the Herff Jones 150th anniversary jewelry to the chapter.
The Panhellenic Council has changed the bylaws to have better representation of sororities during the Panhellenic Council slating process by having a representative from each chapter be present during the interviews, and all convening to decide the slate for the new Panhellenic council. We also coordinated our spring philanthropy event with Zeta Tau Alpha’s Big Man On Campus and promoted attendance of their event as it took place right after ours. We won 3rd Place in homecoming this fall, and partnered with Chi Omega and Beta. During homecoming, we had a bake sale with our homecoming partners to raise money for our philanthropies. We have also held mixers with Tri Delta, to foster positive Panhellenic relationships, and Beta, to foster positive relationships in anticipation of homecoming.
The chapter held Grilled Cheese and Kappa Kupcakes philanthropy events in the Spring and Fall semesters, respectively. Proceeds from the events benefitted Reading is Fundamental. We support Reading is Fundamental and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation nationally. This year we have been in the process of finding a new local philanthropy that represents our values and goals as a chapter and is willing to work with our philanthropy chair to schedule events.
During Covid-19, we are preparing for recruitment in 2021 to be totally virtual. Rounds will take place over zoom and will utilize breakout rooms. All meetings and events have been switched to virtual, including chapter. Some of our virtual events include virtual game nights, homecoming, senior programming, Founders Day, AE Banquet, and COB Initiation. We developed extra programming for Covid-19 and mental health during a pandemic, and we created an action plan for Covid-19 scenarios and expectations. We have two members of our chapter that have received Kappa scholarships. Our chapter received Convention recognition for: Honorable Mention: Heritage Award and Honorable Mention: Panhellenic Award for the 5-7 Panhellenic groups category.
We also requested and implemented an action plan created by the District team and created several internal actions plans as well, relating to campus connections, alumnae connection, and sisterhood within the chapter. This year we partnered with the Hilton Head alumnae association. We are planning several programs with them, including career mentorships, alumnae panels, and sisterhood events with members of both our organizations.
As well as the KKG Foundation, we support Neighborhood Focus, Reading is Fundamental, and Loaves and Fishes.
For Neighborhood Focus, we chose this organization because they work with kids of all ages, from elementary to high school, providing a safe space after school to work on language skills, reading skills, and their homework. We also have been in close contact with this organization about potential volunteer opportunities in the future or ways to help raise money for them. We will also be donating money to the Kappa Foundation. For Reading is Fundamental, we chose this organization because not only is it our national philanthropy, but it also provides learning materials and books to teachers, parents, and children, which is especially important during this pandemic since it has led to isolated learning. We held a virtual 5k in support of RIF which raised almost 1,700 dollars. For Loaves and Fishes, we chose this organization because they provide canned foods for those in need in Greenville, which is important during the economic strain caused by the pandemic.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We held a program over the summer lead by the Furman Justice Forum about identity and supporting racial differences through Greek Life. We worked to overcome gendered language in our programming in order to support non-binary sisters in our chapter and all of Kappa. We supported and advertised a petition created by the Furman Justice Forum that pushed for increased diversity measures on campus, including religious diversity initiatives in recruiting/hiring, a diversity focused general education requirement, and a requirement for students to attend a certain amount of diversity focused programming on campus.
We held a virtual Founders Day celebration through Zoom where we invited chapter alumnae from the past 10 years as well as alumnae from nearby alumnae associations. After conducting the candle lighting ceremony, we split off into breakout rooms (in a mix of active sisters, recent alumnae, and older alumnae) for a Kappa history trivia game. We then split off into a series of several randomized breakout rooms for additional conversations, games, and activities about Kappa’s history.