Kappa Chapter was founded at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan on June 9, 1881.
2,223 initiates as of (June 2018)
Kappa chapter began June 9, 1881, at Hillsdale College, with six charter members. Curiously, there are two charters in the archives, one with the name Upsilon on it, crossed off, and Kappa written in. (The present Upsilon was chartered in 1882 at Northwestern University. When the Hillsdale chapter was named Kappa, it was "given the name of a chapter now deceased." There is no trace of the original Kappa; it might have been at Aledo, Illinois, a few miles from Monmouth.)
The Fraternity in 1881 was only 11 years old and had been diligently planting chapters, especially at church-related mid-west colleges, even though there was an unfavorable attitude toward the secret society. But where other chapters did not, Kappa chapter did survive, and gained in strength and respect. From the beginning, Hillsdale has accepted women as equal to men, and it was the first college in Michigan to grant a woman an academic degree. Life in this Free Will Baptist college was austere, lady principals were vigilant, and rules were strict; yet is tolerance and warmth made the early graduates recall their college years as "their happiest years."
The expressed purpose of the chapter was "to gain moral, spiritual, and social development commensurate with the intellectual, and social development commensurate with the intellectual training supplied by the college." The faded ink and the scattered notes of the first meetings, in members' homes or rooms, tell of readings from Macauley, Shakespeare, George Eliot, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The programs were much like those offered by the Ladies Literary Union or the Germanae Sodales, the women's branches of the five literary societies, which for years had dominated the campuses.
At an early chapter meeting four friends were invited to be members, and at the next meeting they were pledged and initiated. There was no rush, no pledge training, and not until 1900 was there a time lapse between pledging and initiation.
The chapter archives are full of interest: the two charters, the minute books, the roster of initiates. A founder's key is worn by the chapter president, other officers wear other members' keys, and other badges are kept in the archives. Older members may be able to identify a slender "Shreve" key made in San Francisco and another one, the "Wright" key, made by Auld jewelers, as well as the familiar "Burr-Pat" badge. A parchment scroll beautifully inscribed by an alumna with the initiation ritual is a special treasure.
The small chapter was happy to acquire what it called "rooms" (one room and a closet) on the fourth floor of East Hall, the girls' dormitory. The Pi Beta Phis had space there too, and both used an old square piano. Not until about 1915 was a house rented, and the present house, which is owned by the college, was not acquired until the 1920s, when the college bought two old houses and turned them over to the two sororities to put in good condition. Alumnae groups called on members all over the country for help, raised money locally, borrowed on collateral put up by the women themselves, struggled with plans, assembled furniture, and succeeded in establishing gracious, comfortable homes. Twenty-two girls live in the Kappa house, and it is the gathering place for the chapter of 50 or more.
There have been many changes, of course; the temp of life has quickened. The actives have assumed their share of campus activities and keep pace academically, winning a gratifying number of awards for excellence in scholarship and leadership. Alumnae find the chapter in general mature and aware of the world off campus.
The forerunner of the province convention, the sub-convention, met at Hillsdale in May, 1885, with only Xi and Kappa chapters involved. Hillsdale was again hostess in 1901 to six Michigan and Ohio chapters. Now in Delta Province (then it was Beta), Hillsdale serves when her turn comes, each time enjoying working together and welcoming delegates and officers to the meeting. Earlier this had seemed a formidable task for a small group in a small town. Seven 50-year members were honored in 1955, and in 1967 the meeting space and living quarters of the Dow Leadership Center made preparations much easier.
Kappa chapter members who have served nationally are Mary Frances Ball Mauck and Harriette Rice (Bates), grand treasurers, and Harries Pasmore (Hiltabidle), co-organizer to Gamma Tau chapter.
Frances Mauck was the chapter's first initiate and its first delegate to the national convention which elected her grand treasurer. Her husband, Joseph W. Mauck, became president of Hillsdale in 1902, and many Kappa alumnae remember the Mauck home as the focal point of campus social activities, and especially the Kappa breakfasts at Commencement to honor the graduates and welcome returning alumnae. In time the three Mauck daughters became Kappas, and their son's wife wears the key. Many years later three granddaughters were initiated with the key which university President Mauck gave his wife after she lost her first one.
After Frances Mauck's death the Board of Women Commissioners of Hillsdale College raised funds for a residence hall for women named in her honor. Her daughter, Ruth Mauck Wolrath, gave time and counsel to the chapter until her death in 1947, and granddaughter Doris Wolrath Friedrichs was honored with a memory book and an antique gold bracelet at the 1972 Homecoming for her many contributions to the chapter.
An addition is now being made to the beloved Kappa house, and the college, which holds title, is constantly helpful. The relationship between the college and its fraternities is an indication of the distinctive atmosphere on the Hillsdale campus. Visitors from huge universities would find this a different sort of world. Hillsdale is no longer a church-related college but some of the early atmosphere lingers on in the spare old buildings, facing a tree-shaded campus. The Victorian tower of Central Hall, which replaced an older burned building, has symbolized Hillsdale for a hundred years. On the other side of the old buildings are new ones around a quadrangle, providing a harmonious modern complex.
Hillsdale remains an independent private college, accepting no Federal aid, a stand which has received empathetic expressions from many individuals and foundations. The college has received several awards from the Freedoms Foundation, based in Valley Forge.
The enrollment in the early 1970s was about 1100 students. (There were approximately 475 in 1881). The trustees feel this is a desirable number for a small college in which students want to stand out as individuals in a college community. There is room for personal relationships with other students, with faculty, and with administration. Students come from the entire country to Hillsdale, and from other lands, for here they can receive individual attention, especially in English.
Kappa Chapter feels itself fortunate to be on a campus where it is accepted as a part of the fine institution and has flourished more than 90 years.
Trends: By reviewing the minutes of Kappa Chapter at this time, it was clear that the women of Kappa Kappa Gamma at Hillsdale College excelled both on campus and within the house. The order and the detail of the minutes made it clear that they valued the sisterhood. Of great value was educating the chapter on Roberts Rules of Order and Fraternity Education.
They also had many philanthropy events, including a Halloween Party for the local special needs school and "fostering" program for children from abroad. As is tradition with thr Chapter, Kappa was highly involved in other campus activities. There also were many more opportunities of Greek unity and bonding. Our Chapter was not terribly involved in the carry-over trends from the sixties.
Challenges the chapter faced and how they were met. This Chapter, as other chapters on campus, faced misunderstandings from the administration and staff of the college. All worked together by means of a conference, however, to better the relationship between the two entities, and worked to clean-up the image of the Greek system. What special or significant events were happening on your campus, in your community or nationally? How did your chapter respond and/or participate? Our Chapter was not significantly involved with national issues. Kappa Chapter added an addition to the Kappa house in the late seventies, expanding the housing capacity from 22 to 30. This added a large common space, known as the "Blue Room" and extra bathrooms. Hillsdale's campus was transforming their campus to update their facilities.
From chapter’s History Report: Scholarship, group honors/awards, traditions, special events, changes on campus or within chapter, overall nature of the chapter, chapter goals, challenges and how they were overcome, etc.: During the summer of 1987, new furnishings were added to, and existing furniture was recovered in, the house’s Blue Room. But as the chapter history report from that year states “The Kappas certainly had no reason to be blue because members took every Greek crown available in the year 1987.” This included the titles of Greek Queen, Crown on May Queen, and Homecoming Queen. Throughout the year, the chapter continued to maintain their excellent reputation on campus. Several members received academic scholarships.
The chapter motto for 1987 was Kappa Knowledge Grows and the goal was to utilize alumni resources and Hillsdale faculty to “expand each committee and grow in the knowledge of our environment.” The chapter enjoyed many social and philanthropy events, such as Kappa Krush, Formals, a Halloween party (philanthropy event), a Christmas Dance and a Homecoming Brunch.
Besides the Queens, members were also elected to be VP of the Student Federation, Activities Board Director, Yearbook Editor and Yearbook Business Manager. Chapter members were also involved with sports teams and theatre productions.
In 1989, the Kappas welcomed a new (temporary) house mother, Mrs. Coon, after their house mother of many years, Carol Golding, retired. During the summer of 1989, both the living room and dining room of the house were redecorated. Nineteen new members were added to the chapter in the spring, and 5 in the fall of 1989, bringing the house total up to 65 girls. At the Province meeting that spring, the chapter received the Fraternity Awareness Award and the Unity Award. The chapter challenges for 1989 were to educate the chapter about ritual and songs, and to improve academics. The chapter addressed these by practicing songs after meetings and studying hard. The chapter was proud to raise their GPA and to be ranked 3rd on campus.
Philanthropy events in 1989 included the chapter’s annual Manor House Halloween party, an Easter Egg hunt for children of faculty members, a Bike-a-Thon for Cystic Fibrosis and a Christmas dance for the entire campus. Chapter members continued to be involved in sports teams and dramatic productions on campus. The chapter hosted a successful joint Homecoming/Founders Day brunch at the house, inviting graduations from the class of 1929 to the class of 1979.
The chapter welcomed a permanent new house mother in 1990, Mrs. Potter, a Hillsdale native. They also welcomed 3 members of Zeta Kappa chapter who participated in Kappa chapter’s initiation activities after missing initiation at their own chapter. Twenty-one new members joined in the spring of 1990, and five more in the fall, for 62 members total.
The chapter succeeded in reaching its chapter goal of increased awareness of the Fraternity Constitution, bylaws and standing rules through strong committee use. Scholarship also improved and the chapter was ranked second on campus with nearly 20 members on the Dean’s List. Kappa chapter continued to sponsor campus activities and philanthropic events. They raised $300 for charity while winning Sigma Chi’s Derby Days, and once again organized a Halloween Party for Manor House and an Easter Egg hunt for the children of faculty members. They also held a Faculty Tea for the entire college staff.
In 1991, Kappa chapter commemorated 110 years on the Hillsdale campus with an especially festive Founders Day celebration. That same year, they won the Fraternity Awareness Award and the Chapter of Excellence Award at the Delta Province meeting, which they hosted. The chapter again challenged themselves by setting a goal to “uphold and implement Kappa Standards by working together to fulfill our obligations and promote total chapter involvement”. As a result, unity in the house was strong due to the active involvement of the entire house.
The chapter continued many traditions in 1991, such as pledging new members in both the fall and spring, welcoming home members who had been studying abroad, hosting their annual philanthropic events (Manor House, Easter Egg Hunt) and organizing campus social events (Christmas Dance and Faculty Tea). Many members received scholarships, and were active in campus clubs, teams and activities.
The Kappa House benefitted from some updates in 1991. New carpet was laid in the study room and other parts of the basement, and new tables and chairs replaced old furniture in the study. The paneling was painted and new clocks were hung. Upstairs, the fireplace in the dining room was re-bricked and the guest bathrooms were redecorated. New windows were also installed where needed to ensure additional comfort in the winter. The best news was that the mortgage on the house was paid off!
The chapter was excited to welcome 8 new advisers to the Advisory Board or House Board in 1991. Also, through generous alumni support, the chapter was the recipient of a donated (brand new) baby grand piano and funds to purchase a house computer (for chapter record keeping and officer use).
In 1992, many articles in the school newspaper were written about Greeks becoming a minority on campus and how many houses did not fill quota. The articles stated that the student body needed to be less divided, and that Greeks and independents were all good friends and it needed to stay that way. All chapters on campus (including Kappa) struggled to bring in new members.
At the 1994 Convention, Kappa chapter received the Standards Award and a local alumni association received the Golden Key Association award. Two new oriental rugs were purchased for the house, along with a fleur-di-lis log catcher for the fireplace, and new drapes in the living room. Sisterhood events this year included painting family bricks in the basement of the house. Nineteen new members joined the chapter.
The chapter set goals in the areas of academics and standards (culminating in winning the Standards award at Convention!), and began raising $10,000 for Project 2000 through recycling cans and bottles. Annual events such as the Manor House Halloween Party, Easter Egg hunt, Walk-a-Thon for cystic fibrosis, the faculty tea and the Christmas Dance continued this year. Newer activities in 1994 included visits to a retirement home, hosting desserts for the football and basketball teams and donating to Toys for Tots. On the Hillsdale College campus, construction on the library was completed, doubling the size of the facility.
Twenty-one new members joined Kappa chapter in 1995, 17 in the spring and 4 in the fall. These women were chosen, in part, for their focus on scholarship as the chapter worked to improve the house GPA and raise it above the all sorority average. To this end, study nights were held, as well as a scholarship dinner to reward members with good grades. The chapter continued participating in, and hosting, many of its long-standing philanthropy and social events. In 1996, Kappa chapter became the biggest house on campus, adding 31 new members total. During the year, 8 sisters studied abroad, and one interned in Washington, D.C. Kappa chapter was delighted to host the President of KKG for formal initiation this year.
This year, the chapter goal was to improve participation in chapter events, which was achieved “by promoting chapter spirit and unity through many enjoyable and special sisterhoods”. Kappa chapter continued to work towards its goal of raising $10,000 for Project 2000 through recycling. The chapter also continued to participate in many of the philanthropy events that it had been supporting for years. Chapter members were part of many clubs, teams and campus organizations.
At the 1997 Delta Province Meeting, Kappa chapter was pleased when their longtime adviser, Sally Giauque was recognized for her service to the chapter and the province. They were also proud to win the award for All Around Excellence in Delta Province, as well as honorable mentions for ritual and gracious living.
Kappa chapter was honored to be one of Kappa Kappa Gamma’s Chapters of Excellence in 1996-1997. Only 9 chapters succeeded in meeting the Fraternity’s Challenge to Excellence, completing 100% of the required criteria in the areas of scholastics, fiscal responsibility, standards, ritual and recruitment.
The Kappa Convention in 1998 was another successful one for the Kappa chapter. They received the Ritual award, and were the runner up for the Gracious Living Award. This year, the chapter also helped install the Eta Delta chapter at Valparaiso University. The chapter implemented the fraternity’s new New Member program this year for all 21 of its new members.
Kappa chapter sets goals for the members each year, and 1998 was no exception. This year, the chapter goal was to promote unity and to improve scholastically. A new Christmas outreach in 1998 had the chapter provide Christmas to 10 needy children, giving them with gifts that they needed, and also ones that they wanted.
Three showers in the house were replaced late in 1998, and the college completed the parking lot on the north side of the house providing the chapter with additional parking. At the end of the year, the House Board was awaiting architectural designs for a proposed breakfast room off the kitchen and a porch adjoining the east side of the Blue Room.
Kappa chapter was still winning awards at the end of the decade, receiving the Gracious Living award at the 1999 Delta Province Meeting. Several chapter members still studied abroad each year, and academics continued to be a focus with many sisters on the Dean’s List and receiving scholarships. Throughout campus, members were involved in many activities including: Intervarsity, the College Activities Board, the College’s G.O.A.L. program, the annual Faculty Tea, the annual Easter Egg Hunt, and many philanthropic events (such as Manor House, visiting the elderly, and Christmas gifts for the needy).
From chapter’s History Report: Scholarship, group honors/awards, traditions, special events, changes on campus or within chapter, overall nature of the chapter, chapter goals, challenges and how they were overcome, etc.: In 2005, Kappa chapter’s largest philanthropy was Day of Champions, which was jointly hosted by Alpha Tau Omega, and brought in over 300 individuals with disabilities. That year, Kappa chapter also earned second place in Greek Week and the Scholarship Cup Competition, and they won the “Toco Challenge” earning the chapter $7,000 that they used towards renovating the front porch of the house and a new television. The chapter had the largest pledge class on campus that year.
The Kappa house on the Hillsdale campus is white brick with blue shutters and houses 30 women. By 2005 on campus, new classroom buildings had been built to replace Kresage Hall, which dated to the 1970’s. The chapter was challenged in 2005 by a divided senior class, but the history report for this year states that once this class graduated, the rest of the chapter pulled together, forming a unified and pro-active chapter. In 2007, Kappa chapter welcomed 19 new members into the house following formal recruitment in spring semester and six wonderful new members from informal recruitment in the fall.
The chapter struggled academically in the 2006-2007 year, as the other two sororities on campus saw a surge in their all house GPAs, knocking Kappa chapter to second in overall GPA. To deal with this, the VP Academic Excellence instituted an aggressive campaign to inspire chapter members to improve their GPA, applauding and rewarding sacrifices made for academics at each meeting using the slogan "3.3 Be All You Can Be" and promoting a better understanding of the fraternity's academic policies. Kappa Chapter also raised attendance at weekly study tables, providing snacks, a room in a quiet location on campus and a more serious atmosphere.
Kappa Chapter was asked by the Fraternity to host the L.E.A.D. training seminar for CC members across Delta Province. This event was successful, enjoyable and a great learning experience for each member present. Kappas continued to excel in philanthropy and leadership all over campus and hosted our first annual all county talent show in which Kappas and children from the Hillsdale community performed to raise funds for Reading is Fundamental. Kappas also participated in the Best Buddies philanthropy event and held a lemonade stand on campus for RIF while consistently volunteering at Drew’s Place retirement home and the Hillsdale library.
Changes on campus included the construction of the Grewcock Student Union as well as an addition to the Dow Science building, to be open for use in spring semester 2008. Also, the Hillsdale College Panhellenic Council changed recruitment rules to a more open format, fundamentally changing the way Greeks at Hillsdale can recruit. Kappa rose to the challenge of both new rules and an uninterested freshman class, getting to know freshman personally, participating in "dorm-storms" and hosting a Kappa Koffee event which over 30 freshmen attended. Their efforts paid off as they welcomed 16 new members into the chapter following formal recruitment in the spring semester, and nine more new members in the fall, keeping the Chapter at quota of 81.
In the spring, Kappa Claire Aubrey, won the Tocco Challenge as the only woman to participate and earned $7500 for the chapter. In the fall, Meagan Drew was elected homecoming queen, marking the third year in a row that a Kappa has won. Kappa chapter began a new philanthropy event, the Kappa Kappa Gamma Katch me if you Kan, a 5K race and canned food drive that collected canned food for a local food bank and raised money for Reading is Fundamental. The spring GPA was averaged at 3.277. At Fall Convocation, Kappa took home the scholarship cup which is awarded to the sorority with the highest house GPA.
In 2009, Kappa chapter once again won the Scholarship cup with a 3.31 GPA at Fall Convocation. Twelve women joined the chapter through spring recruitment, and in the fall, another 12 women joined during informal recruitment. Also in the Fall, the chapter held their second Kappa Kappa Gamma, Katch Me if You Kan, 5K/Food Drive, which raised over $400 for Reading Is Fundamental and canned food for the local Food Bank. At the 2009 Delta Province Meeting, the chapter was received an Honorable Mention for Risk Management, and an award for Unity, Loyalty, and Gracious Living. Kappa chapter’s 2010 can be remembered through their philanthropic activities. They created a grant for a sister in need to receive financial help. They also provided volunteer help for a local public high school, which was struggling to keep its library open and running. Kappas volunteered several hours out of their week to assist at the library in shelving and checking out books. They also supported RIF through a successful Run Rock and Read 5K event.
In 2010 on the Hillsdale campus, there was a noticeable negative attitude toward the Greek system. In an effort to protect and support the Greek system, a new all Greek council was created. This was called the Areopagus Council and it worked to create all Greek events and improve morale. Kappa Chapter supported and participated in the Areopagus Council to improve the Greek unity and views toward the Greek system in general. The president of Panhellenic that year was a Kappa.
Chapter challenges in 2010 included low chapter morale and members being spread too thin due to involvement in many campus activities.
In January of 2011, Kappa Chapter picked up 18 New Members. In March, Kappa chapter was awarded Hillsdale College's Scholarship Cup with an average 3.34 house GPA. During the spring of 2011, Kappa chapter reached out to a local high school to volunteer at their library. Kappa's spent a few hours a week at the high school, re-stocking shelves and helping students check out books. In the fall of 2011, Kappa held their annual Katch Me if You Kan 5K to support RIF; we donated books and money to the national philanthropy.
Campus: One of the fraternities on campus ran into some trouble with the administration and many of their active members were forced to deactivate. The rest of the Greek houses pulled together to support them throughout this difficult time, and it is happening currently to another fraternity on campus. The negative attitude towards Greek life has not improved due to these dramatic situations, but the remaining fraternities and sororities are helping to improve the image by acting positively on campus and in life.
Chapter: Kappa Chapter has been working to improve chapter unity. We try to attend our sisters' non-Kappa events to support them on campus. We have been focusing a lot on our new members, ensuring that their new member period is a time full of Kappa love and what it means to be a Kappa.
Early on in 2011, Kappa Chapter had a Leadership Consultant visit who suggested that maybe we were getting involved in too many things and holding too many mandatory events for the chapter. We then cut back a bit on some events and tried not to spread ourselves too thin; Chapter Council also froze the calendar for several months in an attempt to prevent the addition of more events.
Information about the previous calendar year, scholarship, group honors/awards, Convention awards, traditions, special events, philanthropic involvement, chapter goals, challenges and how they were overcome, world/local events that you participated in or helped with – Presidential campaigns, natural disasters, etc.
During the Spring Semester 2012, Kappa Chapter picked up 21 new members. It was awarded the scholarship cup for receiving the highest overall GPA among the three sororities on campus. In February, Kappa Chapter hosted its annual Kappa Bowl to celebrate the Superbowl (New England Patriots vs. New York Giants) with the rest of campus. Kappa Chapter placed third in Hillsdale College’s annual Greek Week against the other two sororities on campus. The chapter was involved in many philanthropic events including the Kappa Kupcake wars to raise money for children’s books, a book drive, and reading with kids at local elementary schools on a weekly basis. At the end of the year, Kappa Chapter hosted a new recruitment event called the Kappa Kafe. For this event, potential new members dressed in sundresses, enjoyed a nice afternoon of coffee/tea, and mingled with active Kappas. Kappa Chapter sent 5 actives and one advisor to Convention where we received an honorable mention for the Gracious Living Award and won an award for 100% participation in the Convention Challenge.
During the Fall Semester 2012, Kappa Chapter picked up 13 new members. We restructured our traditional 5K philanthropy race into an event called the Kappa Swamp Stomp. This was a 3K race which included several different obstacle courses including a mud pit and water slide. The event raised money for Domestic Harmony of Hillsdale County, which provides help for victims of domestic violence. Kappa Chapter members were also actively involved in other philanthropic activities throughout the community such as the Reading Café and Best Buddies bowling program. We hosted our traditional annual Boys Ice Cream Social Public Relations event. During this semester a new Chapter Council was elected for the 2013 calendar year.
Describe the recent changes on your campus and describe the overall nature of your chapter. During the Fall Semester 2012, Kappa Chapter began making changes due to Formal Recruitment (January 2013) being shortened from four to three days. Kappa Kappa Gamma worked well with the Panhellenic Council to brainstorm new ideas regarding recruitment. Also during this semester, Kappa Chapter struggled with Panhellenic infractions regarding potential new members. Due to the high number of infractions among the three houses, the policy on infractions is in the process of being changed by the on-campus Panhellenic Council.
The overall nature of Kappa Chapter during the 2012 calendar year was very positive. There was much growth especially in the areas of Philanthropy and Public Relations with innovative events and more chapter participation. Kappa Chapter also grew in size by picking up large and very strong classes of women. Kappa Chapter became more diverse which, among other things, was due to adding a good number of athletes to our chapter. Although the chapter struggled with Panhellenic infractions and relations with the other houses, there was growth in understanding of the membership process and camaraderie with the other sororities.
Kappa Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma experienced a wonderful year in 2013.
In the Spring of 2013, Kappa Chapter picked up new members. To celebrate the Superbowl, Kappa Chapter hosted its annual Kappa Bowl Party (Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks) with the rest of campus. During the Valentines Session of 2013, the chapter made inspirational bookmarks for children in the Hillsdale community schools. The chapter was also sponsored an event called Kappa Kupcake wars to raise money for children's books.
In the Fall semester, Kappa Chapter picked up 12 new members. It was awarded the scholarship cup for receiving the highest overall GPA among the three sororities on campus. The Chapter also was awarded a philanthropic award called Derby Days Cup from the Sigma Chi Alpha Kappa Fraternity on campus. In October, the women of Kappa Chapter were grieved to part with Sally (Altman) Giauque a devoted member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity. The beloved late adviser had been apart of the Kappa Chapter since 1950s. A memorial service was held in her honor with over 200 alumni, active Hillsdale Kappas, friends and family. College President Larry Arnn and his wife, and members of Hillsdale’s faculty also attended to say their goodbyes to the beloved woman. In efforts to end hunger in the Hillsdale community, the chapter hosted a 3k called Stomping Out Hunger which included several different obstacle courses including mud pits and water slides. We hosted our traditional annual Boys Ice Cream Social Public Relations event. Kappa Chapter had a Christmas Cookie Decorating with professors and their children to bring in the Holiday cheer. During this semester a new Chapter Council was elected for the 2014 calendar year.
Throughout both semesters, Kappa Chapter was successful in giving a helping hand in the Hillsdale community through different philanthropic events. The chapter was involved with Reading in Fundamental, and regularly volunteered at Will Carleton Academy to read to students. During both semester, the women of the chapter helped Delta Sigma Phi of Hillsdale College with a Red Cross Blood Drive. Kappa Chapter members were also actively involved in other philanthropic activities throughout the community such as the Reading Café and Best Buddies bowling program.
With the closing of 2013, Kappa Chapter experienced a positive year. There was much growth in the areas of Philanthropy and Public Relations with innovative events and more chapter participation. The beautiful chapter continued to grow by picking up large classes of wonderful women. Kappa Chapter also grew in diversity by adding a good number of athletes to our chapter. Overall 2013 was a blessed year in the Kappa Chapter of Hillsdale College. In the Spring of 2013, Hillsdale was blessed with the opening of the Margot V. Biermann Center. This facility provides indoor track and tennis with state of the art equipment. Kappa Chapter has many varsity track and tennis players who have benefited from the facility. Hillsdale College also kicked off a campaign titled, “The Rebirth of Liberty and Learning,” with an aim to raise $470 million over the next five years. The women of Kappa Chapter volunteered during two-day gala.
2014 was an exciting year at the Kappa Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at Hillsdale College. 2014 saw the women of Kappa Chapter grow closer in sisterhood, excel in academics, and continue to be women of great character as role models on campus.
In January of 2014 Kappa Chapter worked diligently during formal recruitment to welcome home 19 new sisters. Out of the 19 women who gave their name and interest to Kappa Chapter in the spring semester, there were 8 legacies 7 of whom were legacies from Kappa Chapter. With the addition of 19 new sisters the spring of 2014 saw Kappa Chapter at one of its largest membership totals in the past few years with 103 sisters! January also saw Kappa Chapter saying “see you later!” to five of its sisters who participated in the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program. These five women spent their semesters working at various internships and studying in our nation’s capital. The President also hosted a retreat for Chapter Council where the officers discussed their duties, goals, and ideas for the year. The retreat was very successful in bonding the chapter officers and helping them in understanding what each office does and why all are important.
February 2014 filled the house of blue with lots of love. The first week of February treated the new members to a special surprise with big-little reveal. The following week the new members and our event chairman hosted the semi-annual date party. Spring 2014’s theme was “Kappa Kappa Pow” and everyone dressed as their favorite superhero. Following date party, the next morning our Vice-President of Standards hosted a Valentine's Day sisterhood. At the sisterhood the women of Kappa Chapter played charades, ate heart shaped pancakes, and decorated valentines for each other and to give to members of the local community. The Event Chairman also hosted “Kappa Bowl” where Kappa opens its doors to the students of Hillsdale to eat pizza and watch the Superbowl. Its a great time for everyone and a lot of fun!
March 2014 saw the initiation of the new member class of spring 2014. Inspiration week was a wonderful time at Kappa Chapter as it reinforced and strengthened the bonds of love and friendship between sisters. Following initiation, a brunch, hosted by our Public Relations Chairman, was held to celebrate our new members. For many new members families from near and far came to celebrate with the chapter. In March Kappa Chapter also hosted its spring philanthropy event, Kappa Kupcake Wars. A baking competition that is open to all of campus to compete in and judge. All proceeds from Kupcake Wars go towards one of the fall philanthropy events, Reading Is Key.
In April 2014 Kappa Chapter began to say a fond farewell to the senior class of 2014. In April the senior class participates in convocation, as the begin their last few weeks on campus. The house also celebrated senior week. Which is a special week dedicated to celebrating the senior class’ time in Kappa and all of the wonderful things they brought the the house. The Membership Chairman hosted a recruitment event called Kappa Kasino where members and potential-new members played faux-Texas hold ‘em. The Vice-President of Standards also hosted a spa themed sisterhood.
May 2014 ended the spring semester with finals and graduation. Sisters said goodbye for the summer and went on to do many exciting things over their summer vacations.
In June of 2014 seven members of Kappa Chapter had the unique experience to attend the national convention in Houston Texas. Of the seven members six were officers and one a member at large. The six officers in attendance were: President, Vice-President of Standards, Registrar, Public Relations Chairman, House Chairman, and Recording Secretary. In addition a member of Kappa Chapters advisory board and a member of Kappa Chapter’s house board were also present. At the general convention Kappa Chapter was awarded the Heritage Award. As Kappa Chapter takes its history very seriously it was a great honor to receive the award and recognition for all of the hard work done by the chapter. In addition to the Heritage Award, Kappa Chapter received 11 honorable mentions and awards for the chapters philanthropic efforts and donations to foundation. All of the women who attended convention found it to be very worthwhile and exciting. All of the officers in attendance returned to Kappa Chapter with new ideas for improvement and full of Kappa love. On June 9, 2014 Kappa Chapter celebrated it 133rd birthday!
Summer 2014 Some sisters traveled to France, Spain, and Germany for their respective language study abroad trips. Other sisters went to work for members of congress, think tanks, and leading news outlets in Washington D.C. Still others moved to the Big Apple to work in the fashion world. Every sister at Kappa Chapter had a unique and exciting summer be it at home with family and friends, traveling with a sports team, or landing a major internship.
In August 2014, saw the end of summer and the return of sisters to campus. There had been several major improvements made to the Kappa Chapter House over summer, including new upholstery in the sitting and living rooms.
In September 2014, the Membership Chairman hosted a recruitment event called “18(70) Holers” were members and potential new-members played mini-golf on the front lawn of the house and enjoyed an afternoon together. The hard work of the Membership Chairman paid off as Kappa Chapter welcomed 7 new sisters home during informal recruitment.
October 2014 was a big month for Kappa Chapter! We were fortunate enough to have a leadership consultant join us for the majority of the month's activities. The fall 2014 new member class along with the Event Chairman hosted the semi-annual date party. The theme for the fall date party was “Kappas Gone Wild”, everyone dressed as their favorite animal. Big-Little reveal also happened in October, it was a very special time in the house of blue. Homecoming week also fell in October! Kappa Chapter welcomed back many sisters from years past. Also a senior member of Kappa Chapter was selected as the 2014 homecoming queen. Fall convocation saw Kappa Chapter win the scholarship cup for having the highest average GPA of all the sororities on campus. The chapter celebrated founders day by hosting an all house formal dinner. Members of Kappa Chapter wore paper keys in their hair, had a lovely dinner with Earl Grey tea and shortbread for dessert, and admired a Chapter archive display. It was a wonderful evening filled with presentations from our seniors about the fraternity founders as well as some fraternity and chapter history from the Registrar and Fraternity Education Chairman. In addition to celebrating founders day, Kappa Chapter took this opportunity to thank its advisors who were also present to celebrate our grand and glorious fraternity! Also in October the Philanthropy Chairman organized our Reading Is Key event where sisters participated in buddy reading with students at a local elementary school. Using the funds from Kupcake Wars the previous spring the women of Kappa Chapter were able to gift each child a book to take home that day.
November 2014 saw the initiation of the new member class of fall 2014. Inspiration week was, again, a wonderful time at Kappa Chapter. Following initiation our Public Relations Chairman hosted a brunch which was held to celebrate our new members. For many new members families from near and far came to celebrate with the chapter. Our Philanthropy Chairman organized our primary philanthropy event, Swamp Stomp. Swamp Stomp is a 5k mud-run open to all members of the Hillsdale community. This year was particularly special as Kappa Chapter teamed up with Hillsdale Academy (the k-12 school affiliated with the college) and their National Honor Society Students to combine Kappa’s Swamp Stomp with their Turkey Trot for our most successful 5k event yet! Our Public Relation’s Chairman also hosted Dad’s Weekend where members of Kappa Chapter were able to share Kappa with their fathers.
December 2014, was very exciting as Kappa Chapter’s registrar hosted history day. History day was made extra special this year with the arrival of the fraternity education displays from headquarters. Because the members of Kappa Chapter are not present for the chapter’s birthday in June, the registrar decided to make history day extra fun by throwing the chapter a half-birthday party. The women of the chapter ate cake while they enjoyed the history exhibits, watched movies on the Stewart House and Headquarters, and explored the virtual timeline from Foundation. History day was the last major event of the semester and was a great break for all members of the chapter during finals week. 2014 ended with the induction of the new chapter council. 2014 was a busy but rewarding year for Kappa Chapter.
Hillsdale continues to increase its admissions requirements, making scholarship ever more a priority of Kappa Women. Because all of the incoming class at Hillsdale is academically excellent it makes the scholarship cup increasingly competitive. The chapter is very close knit, every woman is respected as she contributes something unique to chapter culture. Our officers continued to grow this year, benefiting tremendously from the convention experience, by bringing new and exciting ideas to the chapter.
Kappa Chapter holds its meetings in our house which we have owned since the late 1880s. The Kappa Chapter house was given to Kappa Chapter by Hillsdale College in the late 1880s. At that time there were two women's fraternities on campus, KKG and Pi Beta Phi, because Kappa was the original greek house on campus, we were given first choice of the two homes. The stately white house with blue shutters on the corner of Hillsdale and College streets has been home to the chapter ever since. After an addition to the house in the 1980s, the Kappa Chapter house holds 30 sisters and 40 sisters enjoy eating their meals there. Prior to the college purchasing the house, Kappa Chapter met in the home of college President Mauck and then in East Hall. The big white house on the corner was purchased by the college and adored by Kappas ever since.
2015 was a wonderful year at Kappa Chapter at Hillsdale College. 2015 saw the women of Kappa Chapter grow in deeper sisterhood, achieve high academics, and continue to be women of admired character as role models on campus.
In January of 2015, Kappa Chapter was focused on recruitment and welcoming home 15 new sisters. One of our photos from recruitment featuring sisters and the front of our beautiful home was featured on Headquarters’ website. At the end of January, two of our members competed in an on-campus cooking competition called “Chopped”, which was live-streamed on YouTube. Many alumni enjoyed watching from afar! Big-Little reveal caused much excitement in February 2015. Soon after, our new members and event chairman hosted our semi-annual date party. Spring 2015’s theme was “Kappa Kappa Galaxy”.
At the end of February, our philanthropy chair hosted “Kappa Kupcake Wars” in the Grewcock Student Union, and it was a huge hit! Many students participated and came to vote. Our public relations chair invited professor’s students to our home for an Easter egg hunt with cookie decorating. Local girl scouts attended and got to meet our lovely sisters. In April, our 15 new members became initiated members during a week of reflection, tradition, ritual, and sisterhood bonding.
Eight sisters and two advisors traveled in April to our Province Meetings in Schaumburg, IL. They enjoyed getting to meet chapter council members from other chapters, sharing ideas, and seeing how Kappa Chapter was excelling in every field! Soon after their return, around six alumni came to Hillsdale College to celebrate their 50-65 year reunions. The registrar held a small open house for them with scones and tea. The alumni went on house tours to see our 1980 house additions, found their composites, and told stories to actives. As they departed, they were given irises and an acknowledgement card. They told us that our house looked and operated in the same way it had since they had graduated!
At the end of April, our membership chairman hosted an event entitled, “Play Ball with a Kappa” and many attended. Formal Recruitment followed shortly after and was “Kate Spade” themed. It was held in Ohio at a country club. We said farewell to our large senior class during senior week with formal dinners and dedications. There were 36 graduates.
On June 9, 2015 Kappa Chapter celebrated its 134th birthday! During the summer, the registrar challenged members to see how many alumni they could contact in their area. Many received letters from alumni and had correspondence. The letters and stories were shared the Fall semester during meetings.
Upon arrival back at school, Fall recruitment began. Due to new Panhellenic Council’s regulations, we were only allowed to pick up 3 new members. We were successful. Fall Informal Recruitment has now been removed permanently from Hillsdale College, much to the chagrin of our chapter. We were fortunate to have a very influential leadership consultant assist us for one week in October. The fall 2015 new member class and the event chairman hosted our semi-annual date party, themed “Netflix and Kappa Chix”. The chapter celebrated founder’s day with an advisor’s tour of the local cemetery, placing irises on the graves of founders and past advisors, and a beautiful dinner and dedication for our advisors. Chapter archives were also on display the whole week for actives to view.
In the first week of October, our chapter and event chairman, who is also head of “Students Against Cancer”, participated in the “Relay for Life”. Our house won Derby Days for the fifth year in a row, raising over $5,000 for the Sigma Chi’s philanthropy, “Wounded Warriors”. Homecoming week was a blast – watching sisters participate in Mock Rock dances and participating in the parade.
At the end of November, we initiated our 3 newest actives, and there was a coating of beautiful snow to ring in the celebration the next morning! In the first week of December, our event chairman hosted our Informal at the Searle Center on campus right after the building’s opening. The Informal theme was “Kappas at the Plaza”. Christmas decorations and horse drawn carriages were seen that night. Finally, the sisters studied hard for finals and our philanthropy chair hosted our final event of the year – “Kappa Chill Out” on Reading Day. Kappas sat in the union selling cookies, popcorn, and coffee to raise money for Reading is Fundamental and collect books for local organizations.
2015 ended with the induction of the new chapter council. It was another successful and memorable year at 221 Hillsdale Street! We look forward to more memories in 2016.
Panhellenic Council changed rules regarding freshman, and our college’s informal recruitment has been changed. Our Chapter is devoted to high academic success, adherence to tradition and ritual, involvement in the community, and growing friendship among our sisterhood.
What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community?
We have visited the elderly at Drew’s Place, helped with a food pantry, King’s Cupboard. We corresponded with students in the local Hillsdale Community School District. We raised money for Capa, a child-abuse prevention awareness center in Hillsdale. We also donated funds to the local hospice centers. There were books and funds raised for Reading is Fundamental, as well.
Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support? We believe in helping those in our community, and these organizations were chosen by active members. Our members had personal connections to these organizations and had volunteered their own time outside of Kappa.