Gamma Rho

Gamma Rho Chapter was founded at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania on February 13, 1888. Initially, the fraternity custom was to name a new chapter after a closed one, so that all 24 letters of the Greek alphabet were always in use. Because of this, early documents refer to the chapter simply as Rho. This practice ended in 1890 when Convention delegates voted to affix Beta to the name of a chapter to indicate it was the second and to affix Gamma on the second round, then Delta, and so on. The chapter at Allegheny was the third chapter to be known as Rho and, after 1890, it became known as Gamma Rho.

Founding Date: Feb 13th, 1888

Status: Active

University:

Location:

District: Beta

The Early Years

The first president of Allegheny College was a descendent of John and Priscilla Alden, a Harvard graduate, Timothy Alden. Even though the college opened in 1815, women were not admitted until 1870. Since they were refused membership in the men’s literary societies, the Margaret Fuller Ossoli Society was founded for women. Men’s fraternities began to appear during the mid-1850s and 1860s. In 1876, three of the seven women on campus received a Kappa Alpha Theta charter, soon surrendered, and regained in 1881.

In the fall of 1887, nine female students organized themselves through correspondence and became the nucleus of Rho Chapter. The designation “Rho” had first been given to the chapter at Ohio Wesleyan. When the college administration forced that chapter to disband, the name was given to the chapter at the University of Cincinnati, which existed only briefly (but was later reinstalled as Beta Rho Deuteron). The chapter at Allegheny became the third Rho. When Fraternity policy changed in 1890, and the names of closed chapters were no longer reassigned, “Gamma” was prefixed to Allegheny’s Rho, to indicate it was the third of that name.

Minnie Barney (Wilson), Syracuse, editor of the Chautauquean, published in Meadville, initiated the five charter members on February 13, 1888. Within a few months, rooms in Hulings Hall were found, and they remained the chapter home until 1905. The uncle of two 1889 initiates, Lillian Manett (Morgan) and Eula Manett (Hill), presented the chapter with a well-formed skeleton, named Mrs. Potter-Brown. For years, the gift was a part of chapter rites. It was mentioned in the September 1890 issue of The Key.

The Gamma Rho story is filled with the delicious adventures of Mrs. P.B., her theft, her recovery, her desecration—at one time was discovered on the Phi Gamma Delta mantel, holding a beer bottle and a cigarette! One year she became a Gamma Rho Christmas tree. It is stated that she has “gave much enjoyment and an air of excitement to many years of Gamma Rho activities.” The thrill of living in Meadville in the 1890s is evident in The Key letters: We went on many chestnutting expeditions and risked our lives behind nervous horses.” (December 1891) … “Our newsletter would not be complete without a catastrophe to relate … the week following Commencement a boat containing two of our girls was overturned just at the pump-house in the ‘old canal.’ The current into the pump was very strong but they were rescued with no injury save the wetting.” (October 1892) … and (January 1893) “We are not making history at a very rapid rate … and in writing chapter letters have to be careful not to say too much and exhaust our resources, else when the next quarter comes we are lost.”

The Early 1900s

In August 1908, the General Convention was held at Allegheny. Men’s chapter houses were thrown open, Alpha Chi Omega gave a musical, a reception for the Grand Council was held and the assembled Kappas were presented to the townspeople at a lawn fete. There would never be enough space for it to happen again.

The centennial of the college was celebrated in 1915 and a historical pageant involving every student put all other matters aside. Gamma Rhos played roles involved with Meadville’s founding. Several children taking part later became Kappas and the slanted observation of the 1930 chapter historian was that these tots had “attentively noticed the golden keys so prominent on the campus.”

An addition had been built to Hulings Hall in 1905 and a move made to the fourth floor, women’s dormitory section. The women’s fraternities were quartered there with a living room and kitchenette, apiece. A Panhellenism not possible in separate houses was possible in this cozy arrangement. The girls lent or borrowed ingredients for recipes, in a spirit of affectionate reciprocity. From 1888 to 1930, there were 30 Phi Beta Kappas among the Gamma Rhos. Other prominent members included writers and editors Bessie Lucine Putnam, Katherine Dewey Wilson and Edna Yost. Louise Bollard More was the dean of women at Ohio Wesleyan and Helen McCormick Sprague held the same position at Geneva College.

Other Gamma Rhos of note include Hildegarde Dolson (Lockridge), writer; Jane Beranice Eckert, educator; Jean Risser Aiken, assistant dean, University of Pittsburgh; Marian Whieldon Bell and Sara McQuiston Clark, civic workers; Joan Martin Douglas, clubwoman; Gladys Haddad, assistant professor of education and director of the new office of College Community Field Studies, Lake Erie College; Marguerite Kift Pritchard, artist; Dorothy Allen Wisehart, business executive. All of these alumnae are included in Who’s Who of American Women.

Other alumnae serving as role models include Dawn Dwight Bouse, an IBM executive in Dayton; Joanne Bochel Carroll, director of Cambria County Welfare Services; Carol Sholle Schupp, director of student activities, University of Maryland, Munich, Germany, campus; Donna Marie Guenter (Baillere), who received a Kappa fellowship in medicine; and Jane Davis Schaefer, wife of the governor of Pennsylvania.

At Allegheny, freshman rushing was abolished in 1936 and sophomore rushing was limited by a quota and preferential bidding. Plans for the “New Allegheny” were formulated in 1938. This meant that the old Hulings Hall would be incorporated in a new women’s dormitory. The chapter newsletter, Gamma Rhote, was started in 1936.

World War II Years

Gamma Rho felt the influence of World War II during the 1940s. The chapter began a philanthropy program and members broadened their interests to include cultural meetings, an accelerated scholastic program, knitting, rolling bandages, selling bonds and clothing babies in Norway. During this time, there was no May Day celebration and serenades were eliminated.

The Kappa library was improved, redecorating and Saturday night socials were resumed as times allowed during the 1940s. Permission hours for Monday through Thursday were set at 1:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. for weekends. Boys had to be out of the house by midnight and drinking was not permitted, nor were overnight guests.

Changes and Unrest In the 1950s, the Kappas were stressing public relations and an increase in personal philanthropy. However, as outside involvements progressed, scholastic achievement regressed, and the scholarship program had to be reemphasized. Gamma Rho hosted the Beta Province Convention, supported several war orphans, collected and reconditioned old toys and clothing, and pledges volunteered at a hospital for crippled children.

Changes and unrest, as well as Vietnam involvement marked the 1960s. Major issues at Gamma Rho were chapter integration and efficiency. The Fraternity faced self-examination concerning “relevance” from the national to local levels. The Kappas were first in Panhellenic scholarship on campus several times. Phyllis Leslie Brooks (Cox) became Graduate Counselor at Auburn University. “Ask not what Kappa can do for you, but what you can do for Kappa” was the slogan of the times.

Motivators such as the Kappa of the Month pillow and Fleur of the Week were begun. Suzanne Kidervatter was Allegheny’s student ambassador to Ceylon. The Fraternity approved the first pledging of a girl after she had been out of the chapter for more than a year. Kappa Kalendar and Kappa Klutz Award were introduced as Elsie Etiquette was eliminated. Mary Lou Lehman (McGee) became a Graduate Counselor at West Virginia in 1968. Allegheny tried some pass-fail courses and disputed women’s permission hours.

There were open houses in the dormitories twice a week and the university allowed 18-hour dorm visitations. Alpha Xi Delta disbanded and Panhellenic lowered the cumulative average requirement for pledging to 2.0. An alumna donated an opal key badge, which the chapter President would wear. Kappa Alpha Theta and Alpha Chi Omega temporarily disbanded in the early 1970s. Some Gamma Rhos resigned and the chapter had a re-evaluation. Talk sessions led to new goals and aims as well as the elimination of some offices, but chapter unity was strengthened through personal awards and buddy activities. Kappa’s strength in unity and spirit precipitated a new Panhellenic quota of 64 in a chapter and a guaranteed pledge class of 16.

The Kappas and the Phi Gams staged many battles over the years for the possession of the treasured skeleton, Mrs. Potter-Brown. An unwritten pledge between these two chapters terminated the shenanigans in 1959. The Kappas, feeling that they should put Mrs. P. B. carefully away, packed her in a laundry box, and as the story goes, mailed her to a “caretaker” in Pittsburgh for safekeeping in 1963. Following this, the Gamma Rhos lost track of Mrs. P. B. Suddenly, she turned up in the attic of a Kappa. In 1966, she participated with the Gamma Rhos in a party during rush week. While she was on display, several Phi Gam pledges loudly disrupted the party in a brave attempt to steal Mrs. P. B. They failed, and the Phi Gams were placed on probation by the college.

Since that time, Mrs. P. B. has only come out on special and rare occasions. The remainder of the time she stays securely packed away in a comfortable spot, known only to two members of the chapter. Mrs. P. B. has given much enjoyment and an air of excitement to many years of Gamma Rho actives and Gamma Rho hopes to keep her for many years to come.

The previous information was excerpted from The History of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity, 1870-1976. The information that follows has been gleaned from available resources including Chapter History Reports, chapter meeting minutes, letters and comments from chapter members and alumnae, the Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Archives, and The Key. Each chapter is expected to update its history record annually. Contact Fraternity Headquarters at [email protected] with questions.

Highlights of the 1970s

It was very common to get married right after graduation, so ceremonies like "the pinning ceremony" to announce pinnings, engagements, etc. were very popular. With the end of the Vietnam war, more opportunities were opening for women, and sororities were considered old fashioned and irrelevant. So members of Gamma Rho remember a focus on survival of the chapter as numbers began to dwindle. The sisters overcame this challenge by encouraging girls to join Kappa so that Gamma Rho could be like their family away from home.

Highlights of the 1980s

Gamma Rho celebrated their centennial in 1989 by refurnishing its house with new tables and curtains. After sexism became a prevalent issue on campus, the Kappas with sisters from the other organizations banned together to rid the campus of sexist events. With a goal of raising morale, the chapter chose to do more events focused on sisterhood and wellness.

Philanthropy:

The Gamma Rho chapter began serving at a nursing home. Allegheny College Greek Sing Winner 1986

Awards

In 1989, the chapter received Province awards in Most Improved Scholarship and Best Pledge Program.

General Convention - Gracious Living Award 1986-1988

Highlights of the 1990s

Gamma Rho’s main focus during these years was scholarship. After winning multiple awards for scholarship, the chapter continued to raise their GPA using several different programs such as “Strive for Pie” where the chapter goal as 3.14.

Philanthropy: Each year, the Gamma Rho chapter sponsored a child for whom they would raise money each semester as well as a participated in other Sorority and Fraternity philanthropy events.

Awards: Gamma Rho received the Gracious Living Award and Efficiency Award honorable mention at the 1990 Fraternity Convention. Award of Merit Beta Province - Scholarship Improvement 1989-1991 Beta Province Meeting 1995 received the Academic Excellence Award Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity - Golden Key Award Challenge to Excellence 1994-1995 Allegheny Greek - Panhellenic Award for Academic Achievement 1995 Allegheny Greek - Most Outstanding Chapter 1995

Highlights of 2000-2010

Kappa is known at Allegheny for its beautiful women, strong leaders, and academic excellence. In 2006 the chapter won awards in many events, including most beautiful display for our first recruitment event. Our recruitment went extremely well, with our "top 15" pledges accepting bids in the and an addition of three amazing new members in the fall.

During recruitment this year we will be trying a new philanthropy event. Since many of our sisters are involved volunteering at the Crawford County Humane Society, we are going to have the girls make dog biscuits with the sisters. This will be a fun way to get "down and dirty" with the potential new members. We hope this will allow the girls to let down their guard while seeing the importance of community service here in Gamma Rho.

For the second year in a row the chapter won Sorority Football, a competitive event put on by one of our fraternities to raise money for their philanthropy. It also won many activities at Greek Awards, including pie eating contests and tug -of-war. Our girls put on hilarious dances for Greek Sing and SAMS, a lip sync contest for multiple sclerosis. Kappa once again raised the most money of any participating club on campus. Lastly, more than 80% of the sisters participated in Relay For Life, where the chapter had three participating teams. One of our teams raised the most money of any other team at the college.

The chapter was very proud of its accomplishments this year! Chapter moral stayed high as Gamma Rho continued to raise philanthropy money through their own events and participating in other events such as Greek Sing. The chapter continued to be a strong influence on campus in many ways. The Allegheny campus is rural, green, and friendly. Greek life makes up less than 25% of the population, and we make a big name for ourselves.

Gamma Rho is the strongest chapter on campus, very popular among the Greek community and the rest of campus. It is a tight-knit group with lots of spirit. For a small school, 81 members is a huge number. The chapter is the largest chapter on campus this year. Though we do not have a chapter house, many of our sisters are so close that they choose to live together. We are known as leaders at Allegheny. Many of our sisters are in charge of other student organizations. Members are in the running for most community service hours earned.

Allegheny considered bringing a fifth sorority to campus. The Panhellenic council surveyed campus and the Greek community to research the concerns of all sides. Though adding another sorority may lower each sorority’s numbers, it will allow for more women to go Greek at Allegheny. Also, it will ensure each girl has an option of a sorority that is really a great fit for her. The chapter believes that it will only benefit from the addition of a new sorority. A few of the sisters volunteered to help the sorority to get started. Gamma Rho will also continue to ensure we have the strongest recruitment as possible.

Our Standards committee has taken on the task of dealing with attendance issues. Unlike other chapters on our campus, Gamma Rho does not fine members for failure to participate. However, sometimes there is a poorer turnouts for events that are not purely social. The upper claaamen particularly struggle with excellent attendance. The VPS is doing an excellent job of making each sister realize that every event is important for a strong chapter. Improvement in attendance can already be seen.

In 2007, Gamma Rho displayed items from the archives in the chapter suite. As a chapter we display awards, trophies, and other Kappa memorabilia in bookcases in the suite. It is one of Gamma Rho's goals for the year to create a more meaningful display.

The past year for Gamma Rho has been quite successful. We started off the year gaining seventeen wonderful new members. Everyone from the 2007 pledge class was initiated successfully. The year continued with the award for most money raised at the event Students Against Multiple Sclerosis as well as Relay for Life. Gamma Rho held Sapphire Ball and Party semi-formals. The semester ended with Gamma Rho co hosting a Carnival with Sigma Alpha Epsilon where both chapters raised money for their philanthropies.

When the fall 2007 semester started Gamma Rho was unable to take a fall pledge class because of the full-house limits. The chapter is proud to say that Gamma Rho created a new event which was held in the end of September this year, Special Person's Brunch. Each sister was encouraged to invite one special person in her life to have brunch with the chapter. We started the first annual Kappa Dodgeball Tournament where sisters worked together to raise money for RIF. Greek Week followed this event, where the Gamma Rho's shined. The chapter won Greek Sing as well as placing in many of the Greek Week events. The fall semi-formal followed with a theme of Fairytale. During Halloween, the Gamma Rhos sold candy bags for a trick or treat sale to raise money for RIF. In November, we held the annual elections and things ran seamlessly. The semester ended with a traditional Kappa Holiday Party.

Allegheny College as well as Gamma Rho has been focused on community service for the past year. The sisters and many other students of Allegheny have come united together to help out the surrounding communities.

During the past year the chapter has raised the most money as a group of Students Against Multiple Sclerosis and Relay For Life. Each sister volunteered during the annual Make a Difference Day and we held many other events such as our Carnival and Kappa Kisses Sale to raise money for RIF.

The major challenge plaguing Gamma Rho this year was attendance and participation. The primary challenge was to increase attendance at non-mandatory events. A change has been encouraged by giving sisters more advance time to plan for these events, as well as using email to get the word about events to sisters more quickly. A Keeper of the Key award was introduced. It is given to a sister who goes above and beyond the call of sisterhood. This award encourages attendance and dedication.

During 2008, Gamma Rho displayed many articles from its archives in the suite. Kappa memorabilia that highlights our chapter’s interesting history was displayed. Since the chapter is not housed, the memorabilia in the displays is rotated so that the members have a chance to see as much of the chapter history as possible.

Gamma Rho started 2008 by pledging 23 new sisters in its pledge class. They all completed their pledge period and were initiated. The chapter also began utilizing RR again. Very soon after our chapter participated in a campus sponsored event called (Students Against Multiple Sclerosis). Kappa raised the most money out of all the organizations on campus who participated. We were also very involved with Relay for Life having all of our sisters participating, and even many of them in very important leadership positions. For our individual philanthropy we raised money buy selling Kappa Kisses for Valentines Day, and also co hosted a Carnival with the brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Both chapters raised money for their philanthropies as well as interacting with the campus community and the Meadville community. Gamma Rho also had two successful semi-formals, Sapphire Ball and Party.

The Fall 2008 semester started off by pledging seven new sisters who were successfully initiated after their new member period in which they learned the ideals of Kappa. In the fall we held many events to raise money for our philanthropy. The first event was with the brothers of Phi Kappa Psi. It was a volleyball tournament in which the proceeds went evenly to both our philanthropies. We also sold raffle tickets and auctioned off a digital camera at our Homecoming game. The camera was donated by a Kappa alumna. We also sold candy bags around Halloween, and had our first pumpkin carving contest. Our second annual Kappa Dodgeball tournament was held.

Throughout the semester we partnered with the headstart programs of Meadville and began Kappa Headstart. This program entails sisters from our chapter volunteering the same time every week to help the teachers with the different children are working on socially or academically at the time. It has been very successful and we are carrying it on into the year of 2009. Greek Week was the event in the fall. Gamma Rho shined in many of the events with sisters participating and making Kappas very proud of their sorority and their good sportsmanship. We held a fall semi-formal themed Kappa Kasino. There were cards and casino type games for the sisters and their dates to play. There was a sisterhood event help by our VP Standards in which our chapter rented a bed a breakfast and played bonding games very late into the night. We ended the semester in true Kappa form.

The elections of the new Chapter Council went flawlessly with electing 18 sisters to help lead and guide Gamma Rho in the year of 2009. We also have a member of our chapter who was selected for the Panhellenic position of Public Relations chairman, and there were many sisters who were selected to be Recruitment Counselors for 2009 formal rush.

Allegheny College, Gamma Rho, and the rest of the organizations on campus have been creating a unified feeling with the inauguration of our new college President Jim Mullen. The theme "We Are Allegheny" has made this campus an open and supporting community of which Gamma Rho is very proud.

We have chosen to support the students of the Allegheny College by having sisters at the philanthropy events for other sororities and fraternities, and also supporting the clubs, teams, and extra curricular activities of our sisters and the campus as a whole.

The chapter had been having trouble with enthusiasm and participation. The problem has thankfully been lessened as more and more girls are supporting their sisters and being leaders even when they are not in positions of direct leadership.

It was a great 2009 for Gamma Rho. The year began with a successful recruitment process that allowed the chapter to welcome 18 new sisters into our pledge class. After completing their pledge period, the girls were initiated at the end of February. Soon after initiation, our chapter participated in a campus-wide event called SAMS ( Students Against Multiple Sclerosis). Kappa won for the most money raised and best costumes out of all of the organizations that participated. The chapter was also very involved in Relay for Life, having all of our members participate in the event as well as several sisters hold leadership positions on the Relay for Life committee.

For philanthropy, the chapter raised money by selling Kappa Kisses for Valentine's Day, and co hosted a Carnival with Sigma Alpha Epsilon. The chapter held two formals; first Sapphire Ball and then Party at the end of the Semester. The Fall 2009 semester began by pledging nine new members who were initiated after their new member period. This fall many events were held to raise money for philanthropy. The chapter hosted a volleyball tournament with Phi Kappa Psi and the proceeds were split evenly between each chapter’s philanthropies. Around Halloween we sold candy bags to raise money for RIF. In addition to philanthropy events, we participated in Greek Week. Kappa shined in the tug-o-war during Greek Olympics and in Greek Sing at the close of the week where we earned second place. The sisters made Gamma Rho very proud throughout the entire week with their pride in their sorority and good sportsmanship.

We also held a fall formal themed "The Notorious KKG." The following weekend, we attended a sisterhood retreated planned by our VP of Standards and her committee. We rented out a bed and breakfast and spend the night playing fun bonding games. That fall we also hosted our "special persons brunch" in which each sister invited a person that is special to them to come to a nice brunch and learn more about what we do in Kappa. Throughout the entire year numerous sisters volunteered their time with the Meadville Head Start program in which they read to underprivileged children. In addition, our entire chapter donated books and school supplies to the program to get the children excited about reading and learning.

Allegheny College as well as Gamma Rho has been focused on unity and community service for the past year. The members as well as numerous members of other organizations have come together to help the surrounding community. Once such event is "Make A Difference Day," in which students offered an entire day of service to people in need of Meadville.

As a chapter, Gamma Rho raised the most money as a group for SAMS and Relay For Life and well as participated in countless other events to raise money for our philanthropy. Many of the sisters also volunteer their time once a week to go to Meadville's Head Start program and read to underprivileged children. We continued to support our fellow students by attending other fraternities and sororities' philanthropy events in addition to Allegheny's sports teams and clubs events.

We were having some trouble getting sisters to sign up for tabling in the campus center for events such as Kappa Kisses, Halloween Candy bags, ect. However by requiring every girl to table at least three times a semester and giving Kappa Cash to use at the end of the year chapter auction, there has been a great improvement in tabling participation.

Philanthropy: A new philanthropy event, Kappa DodgeBall was instituted. The chapter also held a Carnival with Sigma Alpha Epsilon as part of their philanthropy and continually raised large sums of money.

Highlights of 2011

The year 2011 proved to be successful for Gamma Rho. The chapter started off the year by pledging 19 new sisters in formal recruitment. The pledge class completed its pledge period and was initiated. Soon after recruitment, our chapter participated in SAMS (Students Against Multiple Sclerosis) and won the award for most money raised out of all of the organizations on campus who participated.

In February, we raised money for the Rose McGill Fund by hosting a philanthropy event, Kappa Kisses. February ended with a successful semi-formal, Sapphire Ball. Additionally, we sold skittles to benefit RIF on St. Patrick’s Day. At the end of March, with help from the men of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, we hosted the first annual KKG-SAE Talent Show. The talent show was a major success, raising money for both chapters’ philanthropies as well as showcasing talents from all across campus. Kappa was also very well-represented at Relay for Life with many sisters in leadership positions, as well as having almost the entire chapter participate.

The semester ended with a wonderful party as well as the award for highest sorority GPA on campus! The fall semester began with the addition of eight new members through informal recruitment. The new members completed their pledging period and were initiated. During September, the sisters of Gamma Rho worked very hard and won first place at Greek Sing! A volleyball tournament held in September was organized with the brothers of Phi Kappa Psi and benefited both of our philanthropies.

November began with a Special Persons Brunch, where each sister invited a parent, sibling, or friend to show them a little bit about Kappa at Allegheny. The chapter joined with the SAEs to volunteer at Fresh from the Vines, a local, sustainable farm and bakery. Later in the month, a sisterhood retreat took place with almost our entire chapter at a bed and breakfast in a neighboring town. The retreat proved to be a perfect and relaxing opportunity to bond with each other. The year ended in faultlessly electing 18 well-qualified sisters to each of the Chapter Council positions as well as celebrating the holiday season with a festive semi-formal, Yule Ball.

The college has decided to develop a long-term plan for sorority housing. Allegheny has also decided to allow Phi Gamma Delta to recruit new members again after having left the campus in recent years.

The overall nature of the Gamma Rho chapter is optimistic, spirited, and whole-hearted. We participate in campus-wide events, especially philanthropy events of other fraternities and sororities. The sisters of Gamma Rho thoroughly enjoy spending time together and getting to know each other better.

Unfortunately, in the fall of 2011, the Gamma Rho chapter underwent disciplinary action because of a violation of the Panhellenic constitution on Bid Day. Our status changed from a chapter in good-standing to a chapter on warning of probation. Many guidelines now govern our chapter to help it return to a chapter in good-standing again. One of the guidelines is that the chapter holds only one chapter-wide event each week and a sisterhood event each month with 90% of the chapter attending each of these. The chapter has been extremely dedicated to following these criteria by implementing new attendance policies and event planning systems. Furthermore, the women of Gamma Rho find it very important to strengthen the bond between the members and the Fraternity in order to rebound from the aforementioned situation.

The Greek organizations and members shared a camaraderie on campus that seemed to separate them from unaffiliated students. With this in mind, Kappa made Homecoming floats, had parties, and shared in little traditions with the men’s fraternities on campus. Many of the sisters of Gamma Rho were athletes, so they shared the time that they weren’t at practice together. A trend at this time seemed to be that the sororities, KKG included, would pull pranks on the men’s fraternities, stealing little objects and banners, or putting lipstick hearts on their windows. Overall, the campus seemed joyous, and Kappa was a fun, loving safe-haven for the sisters of Gamma Rho.

The only challenge was that of attendance at events. A lot of this issue was due to the fact that many of the sisters were athletes as well, so their time was split between practice, games, and Kappa. This problem was dealt with by the addition of rewards for high attendance.

The chapter sent 12 sisters to the 2011 Province Meeting at Washington & Jefferson College. The chapter won the “New Member Program” award, given to the chapter exemplifying an exceptionally strong new member program. It was an amazing weekend that helped elevate spirit and unity within the chapter. Additionally, Gamma Rho and other area chapters were invited to attend a new Beta West LEAD Seminar hosted by the Kappas of the University of Pittsburgh. It was an extremely successful event in which we played games, formed bonds with sisters from neighboring chapters, and were able to leave our worries about school behind for a day.

During the past year, Gamma Rho has worked hard to promote the chapter by excelling in academics and encouraging high chapter morale. By revamping our Kappa Karnival into a new “Do It for the Kids” Talent Show, we helped to boost campus support of the Reading is Fundamental program, while working to spark a new chapter tradition. Gamma Rho’s accomplishments of the year also include raising the most money among campus organizations for the Students Against Multiple Sclerosis Lip-Synching Competition. In addition, Gamma Rho earned the highest GPA among Greek chapters at Allegheny, proving that the members really are the wisest owls on campus!

I look forward to spending another amazing year with the women of Gamma Rho, and I am sure the chapter will continue to flourish each year. I could not be more proud of our unbelievably gifted sisters. If Gamma Rho is a representation of chapters across the county, the future of Kappa will surely be bright.

Throughout the past semester, the Standards Committee made strengthening the bonds of sisterhood within Gamma Rho a top priority. Starting in January, a special sisterhood event has been held each month to give members an opportunity to spend time and have fun with their sisters. The first event, a Kappa Kappa Pajama Party, had nearly the whole chapter crowding into the Kappa suite in their most stylish sleepwear to enjoy a movie and get to know our newest pledge class. Other events that have been held include a Tie-Dye Party/Barbecue and a Monte Carlo & Mocktails night. Upcoming events include a dinner outing, a scary movie night near Halloween, and the annual overnight retreat to the D’Casa Bed & Breakfast in Franklin, PA (formerly known as the Peach Basket Bed & Breakfast). This year’s fall retreat will be held the day after initiation, so it will surely be an exciting weekend for all.

In addition to holding monthly events to celebrate Kappa sisterhood, the Standards Committee also recognizes one Gamma Rho member weekly for being an especially faithful sister. The Soaring Owl of the Week Award was given each week to a sister who the members believed had been the unsung hero of the chapter. The sister chosen for the award receives special recognition at the weekly Standards meeting, a certificate, and a small gift.

By continuing to encourage the priceless friendships found within the chapter and acknowledging those who best uphold Kappa’s standards, it is hoped that our sisterhood stronger than ever.

Gamma Rho has done exceedingly well throughout the years in surpassing the all-College GPA. The sisters of KKG soared to new heights during the semester of 2011, earning an average GPA of 3.29 and achieving the highest GPA among all the sorority chapters on campus. The chapter is thrilled to report this achievement and proud of each member for working hard to increase academic excellence in the chapter. The members have continued the tradition of the “Wise Owl of the Week” award presented during chapter meetings to acknowledge a sister’s hard work and dedication to academic excellence. The chapter is filled with many wise owls who work hard in and out of the classroom, including weekly study hours in the suite. We also have continued the “Kappa Kores” competition, which encourages members to record grades, step up their leadership in the chapter, and rewards them for their hard work. The new pledge class has certainly taken a great part in our accomplishments, showing much enthusiasm for its academic endeavors and how they relate to membership in the chapter.

Philanthropy

The sisters of Gamma Rho have had an eye-opening but revitalizing experience with philanthropy this year. Kappa Kappa Gamma's national philanthropy, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), lost its national funding. This event could have had tumultuous consequences on the morale of our chapter, but instead, the sisters rallied together to create new and innovative fundraisers to support Reading is Fundamental.

In February, Gamma Rho held its Valentine's Day fundraiser called Kappa Kisses. The sisters sold Hershey kisses and spiced up the sale by also selling "songs." Any member of the Allegheny community could purchase a song for a friend, and the sisters of Kappa would publicly serenade them. For St. Patrick's Day, Gamma Rho sold bags of Skittles, which went very well. In an effort to revitalize the Reading Is Key event, the sisters of Gamma Rho brainstormed and decided to launch a campus-wide talent show. Both Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa hosted the show, raising money for Reading is Fundamental and showcasing some excellent talent in the Greek and college communities. In addition, the sisters of Gamma Rho will continue to work with Head Start, an integral part of Meadville's elementary school, and will host the Active Aging service mixer with Kappa Alpha Theta. Phi Kappa Psi and the Gamma Rho members will again team up for a sports fundraising event in the late fall. Gamma Rho hopes to continue to develop the passion and dedication to both Reading is Fundamental and the Rose McGill Fund. The upcoming semester will be especially important in advancing Kappa’s education and efforts toward philanthropy.

Highlights of 2012

The Gamma Rho chapter at Allegheny College proved to have an eventful and very much beneficial year in 2012. We started off the Spring semester by gaining seventeen wonderful new sisters. Our new members participated in SAMS (Students Against Multiple Sclerosis) by performing a dance/lip-singing competition and we raised the most money again! As Valentines Day rolled around we launched our annual Kappa Kisses were we sell candy packages and songgrams to the students and faculty of our campus, all profits were contributed to the Rose McGill Fund.

We then had our annual Saphire Ball in which everyone had an enjoyable time to keep us going through the semester. Then along came our big philanthropy event of the semester: the "Do It For the Kids" Talent Show hosted by KKG and SAE. We received many acts of all sorts that attracted a wide variety of the campus to support our two philanthropies, while enjoying a night of quality talent. When we came back for the Fall semester we gained four new sisters that made great contributions to our chapter. To kick off the semester we held our first RIF event of the semester on a Saturday where we stuffed the envelopes that were being sent out in the Pittsburgh area raising awareness and gaining support for Reading is Fundamental.

We held a Fall Formal around Halloween that allowed all of the sisters to enjoy a nice evening together. Finally, when the semester began to wind down we held an event with Alpha Chi Omega, called "Alpha Chais and Kappacinos" where we provided free coffee and donuts to our peers while studying hard for all of their finals. We established fun and unique sisterhood events each month sometimes including other sororities on campus some of which included movie nights, cupcake decorating, and philanthropy work. In addition, our Chapter Council has implemented a round robin letter describing what our chapter's plans are each month that is sent to our advisors. Our goals are focused on forming better connections with advisors and utilizing their skills to further the strength of Gamma Rho.

This year Phi Gamma Delta was brought back to Allegheny's campus where we helped in the process of nominating their founding fathers and then all headed out for "A Night With the FIJIs" to welcome them to Greek life. Our chapter has seen a very beneficial improvement in the running of chapter council and the organization of our chapter overall. We wrapped up the Fall semester having successfully elected our new chapter council and preaping for the transition. As a chapter, we set some goals to follow the bilaws more effectively and have made some changes to things that have since completely improved. With the new year ahead we see ourselves opening up new doors and pushing Gamma Rho to reach it's full potential.

Highlights of 2013

The Gamma Rho chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma began their 2013 spring semester by welcoming twenty beautiful new members into their home. Shortly after, the new member pledge class participated in a campus-wide philanthropic event, SAMS (Students Against Multiple Sclerosis), a lip-synching competition that raises money and awareness for those suffering with Multiple Sclerosis. Gamma Rho successfully raised the most money for this noteworthy cause.

In addition to SAMS, Gamma Rho’s members worked to raise money for the Rose McGill Fund through their annual Kappa Kisses and Song-grams event. Students had the opportunity to purchase either a delicious Valentine’s Day treat or an entertaining song-gram for another lucky individual. Along with this holiday event, the Gamma Rho chapter made great strides with their local philanthropy, Head Start of Meadville, PA. Every week, sisters volunteered at Head Start in order to read to children, clean toys, and tag books, along with many other tasks. Through much hard work and endless effort, Kappa was able to raise enough money to bring back a Book of the Month club at Head Start. Every month, each child at Head start received a book in order to encourage their interest in reading. Having the opportunity to implement a literacy program at Head Start has meant so much to us, considering the parallel that it has with our national philanthropy, Reading is Fundamental. In April, along with the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Kappa worked arduously to promote our main philanthropic event: ‘Do it For the Kids’ talent show! After a night filled with great performances, Kappa and its co-sponsor raised over $1300 for their respective philanthropies. Kappa also joined with another sorority on campus, Alpha Chi Omega, to provide students with light refreshments during finals. Our mini-event, Alpha Chai’s and Kappachinos, put a smile on many faces while finals week drudged on.

In addition to our many philanthropic endeavors, the sisters of Kappa worked endlessly to promote academic excellence within our chapter. Every month, sisters were constantly encouraged to log their study hours and gather for group study sessions to maintain productivity and time management. Worksheets were created to help implement stronger organizational skills in order to aid with procrastination and other unfavorable study habits. After a semester of tough academic schedules, three members of Gamma Rho achieved a 4.0 grade point average. We couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments! Furthermore, the chapter’s suite on the fourth floor of Brooks underwent major renovations over the previous year. Painted a lovely pale blue, filled with new furniture and an owl figurine, the newly renovated suite projects an air of optimism and happiness throughout every chapter meeting and sisterhood event.

Our alumni-relations grew much stronger over the past few months. In an effort to reestablish correspondence between alumnae and active members, a pen-pal program was created. Through this program, active members were able to connect and create lasting relationships with past sisters of Gamma Rho. Along with the pen-pal program, our Alumni Chair challenged each member to trace her respective key family back through time. Through this investigation, the sisters of Gamma Rho were able to successfully identify members of their key-family from over a decade ago! The largest alumni-relations event of the year, however, was Gamma Rho Chapter’s 125th anniversary celebration. On October 19th, 2013, the active members of Gamma Rho invited dozens of alumnae back to Allegheny’s Campus to celebrate 125 years of sisterhood. Much preparation was done in order to pull off this spectacular event. Each sister wrote letters to alumni informing them of the event and of their excitement and eagerness to welcome them back onto campus. Centerpieces were crafted to create a warm and peaceful atmosphere during the luncheon. An entertaining skit was composed to remind alumnae of traditional Gamma Rho stories and events. A ritual review session was conducted for all of the alumnae and active members. And lastly, the alumnae were treated to a special rendition of “O, Pat!” in an effort to recreate their very own run-out day. The celebration was a giant success, and everyone, both active members and alumnae, left with a renewal of their Kappa pride and spirit.

The Gamma Rho chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma constantly strives to support the philanthropic efforts of other fraternities, sororities, and campus-wide organizations. It seeks to exude a positive image of Greek Life every single day, and it always yearns to search for new ways to promote a Panhellenic atmosphere on campus. Lately, Greek life at Allegheny has been confronted with the issue of inclusivity. As a result, the fraternities and sororities at Allegheny have been taking the necessary strides to learn about the concerns presented by students on campus in order to create a more inclusive Greek life community. The Gamma Rho chapter has gone through much advancement over the past year, and I am so proud to have had the opportunity to witness these positive changes. Although Gamma Rho has already improved many aspects of its foundational elements, the active members continue to explore their opportunities to strengthen their chapter even further. I cannot wait to see where we end up next year.