Delta Nu Chapter was founded at University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts on December 12, 1942.
1,851 initiates (as of June 2018)
Before a sorority system existed on the campus of Massachusetts State College, Delta Phi Gamma, open to all women of the college, served as a social organization. In the fall of 1931, this Greek letter society was divided into three closed groups, one of which was Alpha chapter of Sigma Beta Chi, founded February, 1932. In the fall of 1933, nineteen members moved into a house at 314 Lincoln Avenue. It was rented and was run on a cooperative plan.
In the fall of 1941, Sigma Beta Chi became interested in affiliating itself with a national fraternity and began negotiations with Kappa Kappa Gamma. In July, 1942, the members of Sigma Beta Chi were informed that the group had been granted a charter at the Kappa convention in Canada.
That fall a graduate counselor, Alice Anne Longley (Roberts), DePauw, introduced the chapter to Kappa ways, instructing the girls in sorority lore, and preparing them for their big days in December when the new Kappa chapter, Delta Nu, would be officially installed.
Kappa dignitaries arrived on campus for the installation weekend. Initiation for 33 was held on Saturday, December 12, 1942, and Delta Nu chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma had become a fact. Much festivity followed with a candlelight banquet that night. A campus reception was held in the home of the college dean, William Machmer, the following day.
Members were active on campus, scholarship held high priority, and progress was made during that first year as Delta Nu members tried to achieve Kappa standards.
The war years affected the chapter. During 1944 and 1945, Delta Nu was housed at Alpha chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa while the brothers were serving in the armed forces. In the fall of 1943, sisters campaigned by setting up a booth in Stockbridge Hall where war bonds and stamps were sold. In the spring of 1946, Delta Nu alumnae were incorporated and purchased a new home at 314 Lincoln Avenue, the house once used by Sigma Beta Chi. Delta Nu had a permanent home; the boys would be back soon to take over the Phi Sigma Kappa house; a peacetime campus had returned.
Changes, Traditions and Honors
Agitation to change the name of the college from Massachusetts State to the University of Massachusetts mounted during the 1946–1947 school year. Several members of Delta Nu were outstanding in their efforts to effect such a change. Meetings with the legislature in Boston and on campus were attended. The effort was successful in the fall of 1947.
As the years progressed, members of Delta Nu achieved many honors, scholastic and social. A luncheon, in the Lord Jeffrey Inn on December 13, 1952, celebrated Delta Nu’s 10th anniversary as a member of the “Kappa family.” Alpha province members joined in the festivities.
In the spring of 1954, there were rumors of new housing for the chapter. Requests to President Jean Mather had taken effect. A joint sorority drive was led by Delta Nu to improve sorority housing. It was not until 1960–1961 that the house corporation began planning a new house. Three lots were purchased in 1962 and in the spring of 1964, Delta Nu moved to 32 Nutting Avenue. The dream was approaching reality. The move was so exciting. No one minded as the plumbers and carpenters continued to work. A cement-mixer in the middle of the formal living room was a commonplace thing.
At last the painting and papering were completed and the furnishings were in place. Delta Nu’s house was the first to be newly built for a campus sorority. With devoted alumnae help, the dream was realized.
In September, 1965, Delta Nu was host to the Alpha Province Meeting. The new house was formally dedicated that weekend. The three story brick structure was located at the end of one of Amherst’s quaint, characteristic streets and ideally near the campus. Frances Fatout Alexander, DePauw, Fraternity president, and Virginia Parker Blanchard, Boston, her assistant, were present at the house dedication.
Two years later, on December 10, 1967, a buffet, fraternity appreciation program, and gifts to charter members made a lively 25th anniversary party for Delta Nu.
Each of the previous 32-years brought recognition of achievement of members of the chapter. There have been nominations to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, elections to Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Beta Kappa, Scrolls, and Mortar Board. In 1968, an active won the Miss University title and that same year Delta Nu won first prize for its homecoming float. The first graduate counselor from the chapter was Wilma Winberg Johnson in 1945 who went to Iowa State University. Janice Persson Williams went to the University of Nebraska in 1972 to share her Kappa experience. In 1974, Monica Young served her graduate counsellorship at the University of Pittsburgh.
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.
Increasing political awareness and political and economic liberty of women continued to grow through the 1970s decade. Opposition to the Vietnam War, nuclear weapons, hostility to the authority of government and big business were popular. Advocacy of world peace and the environmental movement increased dramatically.
Notable events were: a rise in the use of terrorism by militant organizations around the world; in 1972 students proudly watched as Mark Spitz won seven gold medals in swimming for the US. Days later eleven Israeli athletes were massacred by Palestinian terrorists; Kent State University shootings with four killed and nine injured caused disbelief and shock throughout the country; President Nixon resigned in 1974 while facing charges of impeachment for the Watergate scandal; Vietnam War came to a close in 1975; space exploration continued; first supercomputer was created; verdict of Roe vs. Wade was handed down by the Supreme Court; voting age for all federal and state elections was lowered to 18 years; United States held its first Earth Day with thousands of college students participating; and the presence and rise of significant numbers of women as heads of state and heads of governments around the world increased
This decade saw the following events: election of President Ronald Reagan; Sandra Day O’Connor selected as the first woman justice to the Supreme Court; first Space Shuttle, Columbia, lifted off ; Beirut barracks bombing occurred killing American and French servicemen; Lockerbie Disaster when terrorists blew up the plane over Scotland; Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine filled much of the world with radioactive debris; Challenger disaster left six astronauts and one woman school teacher dead; protestors at Tiananmen Square were crushed by the Peoples Liberation Army of China; fall of the Berlin Wall was the most momentous event of the decade; oil tanker Exxon Valdez caused one of the worst ecological disasters ever; War on Drugs accelerated; worldwide the beginning of the AIDS pandemic; and rejection of smoking based on health issues. Personal computers experienced massive growth.
Delta Nu was one of nine sororities at the University of Massachusetts. In 1988 Phi Mu sorority closed due to a small membership. There were 12 men’s fraternities but one was forced to close for breaking social probation.
During the decade the chapter selected various goals to work toward. They were as follows: to create a better national image through communication, committees, and advisers; improve chapter relations with alumnae; and through programming and limiting the amount of social events, to emphasize the importance of scholarship to pledges and actives.
Both pledges and actives were extremely active on campus and in the community with service to others. One chapter president said that the “People Power” of Delta Nu is its greatest asset. They annually celebrated Founders Day with a special dinner at the chapter house and recognized their alumnae with their 50-, 65- and 75-year pins.
A proud achievement came in 1984 when Delta Nu won the U Mass Gold Chapter Excellence Award for finishing first in nine of ten categories. They demonstrated excellence in member involvement in campus activities, scholarship (highest GPA), fund raising, public relations, and officer training.
More than once during the decade, the chapter held the highest cumulative grade point average among all of the Greek groups on campus. They annually participated in Greek Sing and built Homecoming Floats, finishing in first place in 1985, and helped new students move into their dorms.
In 1988, the chapter was faced with its greatest challenge when Panhellenic switched to a deferred rush in the spring and an open rush in the fall.
Individuals annually were recognized on varsity sports teams, honoraries, Mortar Board, Order of Omega, Golden Key Honor Society, Who’s Who, Panhellenic and Student Government officers, and varsity cheerleaders.
In 1984 there were 60 active members living in the chapter house. In 1985, the house underwent many renovations. All of the bedrooms, the den and study rooms were painted. New wallpaper and drapes were added in the dining room. New drapes and mattresses were placed in the bedrooms, new tables, chairs and curtains were added to the study room, and the outside classic front columns and shutters were painted. In 1989 the living room and TV room were redecorated. The Delta Nu chapter house was the most beautiful and cared for sorority house on the U Mass campus.
Throughout the decade, Delta Nu was outstanding in its service and fundraising for others. They annually held their Halloween Party for the children of Amherst, Children’s Easter Egg Hunt, and service at Boltwood.
One year they sponsored a child in New Mexico with money and gifts, raised money for the Missing and Exploited Children, helped construct a new playground for the Fort River Project, and with other Greeks raised several thousand dollars for Cancer, participated in the walk-a-thon for the Jimmy Fund, and planted thousands of bulbs on the U Mass campus.
Chapter Convention Awards:
The1990s were often considered the true dawn of the Information Age. Info-age digital technologies became widely used by the general public. Highlights include: Gulf War with Iraq began in 1991, the same year as the Soviet Union’s dissolution ended; funeral procession of Diana, Princess of Wales, was mourned worldwide; bombings of the World Trade Center and the Oklahoma City Federal Building led to awareness of domestic and international terrorism as a real threat; Columbine High School massacre occurred; President Bill Clinton was a dominant political figure and scarred by the Lewinsky scandal; youth culture embraced environmental issues; record numbers of women were elected to high office in the US. ’92 became known as the “Year of the Woman.”
Delta Nu remained one of nine sororities and Alpha Epsilon Phi colonized. Theta Chi and Alpha Tau Gamma were welcomed back to campus after suspension. Phi Mu Delta’s charter was revoked after violating Massachusetts anti hazing laws.
The chapter continued the annual Faculty Tea, participated in Homecoming events, celebrated Founders Day with their alumnae, moved new students into their dorms, began a Faculty Night Out babysitting service, and held workshops on Date Rape, Self Defense, Alcohol Awareness, and Time Management and Parents Day became popular. The chapter participated in a Greek-wide Seder for Jewish members. Delta Nu was the hostess chapter for the Rho Province Meeting.
Some of the chapter goals during the decade were as follows: to improve cultural and academic awareness; to improve commitment to sisterhood; to promote New Member involvement before Initiation; to increase participation of all members in both mandatory and non-mandatory events; and to promote faculty and alumnae relations.
In 1995 the chapter won Greek Sing. In 1996 Delta Nu was chosen by the Fraternity to pilot an entirely new member program which was to last only six weeks. In 1997 at the Rho Province Meeting, they won the Most Improved Chapter Award.
The U Mass social system became more restrictive. Kappas held their Date Party in the fall and their formal in the spring. They instituted a Crush Party where the members could invite two guests. The annual Dessert Exchange was held for all sororities.
Individual members were selected for honoraries, the Society of Women Engineers, Golden Key, Dean’s List, PH offices, Greenpeace, International Studies Association, Boltwood, cheerleading, Theatre Guild, Arabic Club, Truman Scholarship, and two Phi Beta Kappas.
Said one president, “Our goal was to promote our scholarship through new programs and activities so that we could combine our college life with sisterhood to the fullest to strengthen and fulfill our hearts, soul, and mind. We went from 7th place in scholarship to #1.”
In 1990, an alarm system was installed in the chapter house, the front walks were redone, and two computers were purchased for the study room. In 1994, the House Board sent seven members to General Convention. A new heating system and a new roof were installed. Several pieces of the living room furniture were reupholstered. In 1995 all bedrooms were freshly painted and new furniture purchased. New sinks and countertops were installed in the bathrooms.
The chapter continued the Halloween Party for the children of Amherst, the Newman Center Phon-a-thon, Dessert Exchange, and the Easter Party for children at battered women’s home. They participated in the Run for Horizon, Take Back the Night rally against violence to women, Jammin for Jimmy Fund, Americacares Program to clean up neglected neighborhoods, at Christmas made gift bags and delivered them to shelters, Breast Cancer Awareness Week, the Run for Newman, and the MS Walk-a-thon collecting cans to raise money for the Leukemia Society.
Globalization continued to influence the world. A prime contributor was the growth of the Internet. Wireless Internet became prominent and email became the standard form of communicating. Highlights included: George W. Bush being elected President; 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centers led the U.S. War on Terrorism at home and abroad; U.S. was once again involved in a war in Iraq and limited engagement began in Afghanistan; Mexican Drug War saw armed conflict between rival drug cartels which eventually would dominate the wholesale illicit drug market in the U.S.;. Virginia Tech Massacre became the deadliest shooting on a school campus; climate change and global warming became household words, and population growth skyrocketed. In 2008 Barack Obama became the first African American elected the U.S. President.
U Mass is a large public school, Greek Life involves a small percentage of the campus but all chapters were very involved on campus. Delta Nu had 48 members and many advisers lived close by. The chapter house is off campus but very close to many of the academic buildings.
Challenges were the involvement of second semester seniors and morale, spirit and attendance. The chapter held two scholarship banquets and recognized sisters with a 3.0 or higher, as well as those who made the Dean’s List. New members and their parents were invited to attend the banquets and the active members could invite anyone they wished. Senior Week was very special with activities, dinners and events. Bid Day, Heart Sis Night, Core Families and Initiation were highlights of the year. A BBQ recognized the alumnae special to the chapter.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst has seen some changes so far in this decade. From the beautification of the Southwest part of campus to making resident halls and classrooms more eco-friendly, the university is seeing improvements. The town of Amherst has been working to clean up the town by allowing stricter police enforcement to maintain public safety. Following the loss of the New England Patriots at Superbowl XLVI, the police reacted to the riots on the UMass Campus. This riot made national news, as students were arrested for gathering in large groups and taunting police officials. Meanwhile, the women of Delta Nu were welcoming the Leadership Consultant sent from National.
Housing: For the 2011-2012 academic year, Delta Nu became the largest chapter on campus as well as the largest in Delta Nu history with 84 members. The sisters residing at 32 Nutting Ave have grown in the fields of recruitment, scholarship and athletics. More importantly, the sisters are the closest they have been compared to recent years. Delta Nu took on its biggest pledge class of 24 women in the fall of 2011, making them above quota set by Panhel. Highlights of the new member period included Bid Day, Initation, and Good Morning Sister.The chapter also had a great Senior Week with senior dinners and senior spotlights.
Philanthropy: In Spring of 2012, Delta Nu raised over $2,000 at the Annual Pink Party! Pink Party raises money to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure to Breast Cancer. Every year the sisters host a Barbeque and raffle off great prizes like Red Sox tickets and gift cards to Amherst's local eateries. At this years fundraiser, the sisters also hosted a Trunk Show, with parts of the proceeds going to the philanthropy. And on this day, we wear pink.
Convention Awards: Honorable mention for Signature Philanthropy Event
The Delta Nu chapter has had a very busy and exciting calendar year. We were awarded Best Philanthropy by the PanHellenic council. Throughout the year we took part in many different events and had good philanthropic involvement. We took part in Relay for Life, which is close to our hearts due to the fact that our housemother, Myrtle Wright, is a three-time cancer survivor. We also participated in Autism speaks and our favorite event of the year, Greek Week, in April of 2015. Also during the spring we held our annual Pink Party philanthropy at our house in support of the Susan G. Komen foundation.
Leadership Consultant Joe paid us a visit in the spring, which went very successfully and then again in fall, Leadership Consultant Malerie came to spend some time with us and spread her knowledge of kappa. We also had a trainer in the spring come to teach us more about committees and involvement. In fall we had our annual Reading is Fundamental philanthropy with Big Brother Big Sister at our Dr. Seuss Party. Another exciting thing that occurred was that one of the Fall 2013 sisters, Marisa Mazzoni, attended Leadership Academy in Ohio. Some things our chapter worked on trying to improve was senior involvement and attendance at events and house meeting. Another goal we set for ourselves was to try to create a more unified chapter council so we could work with each other better and reach our full potential.
The Delta Nu chapter holds our chapter meetings in our chapter room located in the basement of our house. The chapter is an owned house just off of campus. The university does not own it, it is owned by the Springfield Housing Association.
Delta Nu’s housing has been around on our campus for quite some time. Our first chapter house was located on 314 Lincoln Avenue and sisters lived there from 1946 until 1964. In 1964 our chapter moved to 32 Nutting Avenue, which is currently still the house we occupy today. It is a house located just off campus and is owned by the Springfield housing association. The housing capacity for the year was set at 52 but fluctuates to fit the amount of active sisters year to year.
Philanthropy: 2017 was a great year for philanthropy within our chapter. We had five major events: Kappa Kisses for Reading is Fundamental, Pink Party for Susan G. Komen, Pie a Frat Guy for our dance marathon for Children’s Miracle Network, our Halloween party with Big Brothers Big Sisters for Reading is Fundamental, and Kappa Kappachinos for hurricane relief. In addition to the new philanthropy events added to our chapter, we have been able to utilize committee work within each position in 2017 more than ever before. This has increased involvement and excitement for the events and has allowed women without positions to get involved and demonstrate leadership.
Housing: We got some exciting house updates, such as new furniture and an addition to our chapter room. Our chapter goals included: Increasing senior involvement, new philanthropy ideas including events for the Kappa Foundation, and holding more educational events. Our challenges included: Senior attendance and communication between CC and advisors. As for special events, we held our first ever Kappa Kappachinos event for the Kappa Foundation for sisters affected by Hurricane Maria.
Campus changes: Recent changes on campus include an increasing emphasis on academic achievement. Each year, it becomes more and more difficult to be admitted to UMass Amherst as a prospective student. The average accepted SAT scores and high school GPA requirements are currently higher than they have ever been. This has created a more competitive and more serious atmosphere surrounding schoolwork and academic excellence on the UMass Amherst campus. There is always construction going on around campus in an ongoing effort to improve our facilities. For example, an old building on campus called South College was renovated and is now a beautiful location with classrooms and open study space accessible to all students. UMass Amherst also upheld its title of #1 Campus Dining in America from the Princeton Review. As for our chapter, Delta Nu is full of dedicated, empowered, smart and strong women. So many of us have found our best friends through this chapter. It’s wonderful to see such strong bonds form between the members of Delta Nu, and we hope to continue establishing lifelong friendships with our sisters.
Events: We consistently do our Halloween event for RIF with the local Big Brothers, Big Sisters. We have pumpkin painting, face painting, games, crafts, food, a haunted house, and lots of books for the kids to choose from. It is a success every year and we continue to look for ways to improve the event. In addition to Reading is Fundamental, the Delta Nu chapter is involved with the Susan G. Komen organization. We hosted our annual Pink Party where we raised about $1600 for the fight against breast cancer.
Philanthropy: With a new year came a new local philanthropy. As a chapter, we decided to switch our local philanthropy from Susan G. Komen to the Ellie Fund. The Ellie Fund is based out of Needham, MA (where many current and former sisters grew up) and is a non-profit that fights breast cancer and provides free services to ease the effects on cancer patients and families. We held a spring BBQ to raise money for the Ellie Fund.
In April, we participated in the annual UDance Marathon to raise money for Baystate Children's Hospital, of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. UMass raised over $212,000 for the hospital. Delta Nu is proud to have contributed to this amazing event.
In the fall, we held our annual Halloween Party with Big Brothers Big Sisters for Reading is Fundamental. In December, we had Kappa Kappachinos to benefit the Kappa Kappa Gamma foundation and, specifically, disaster relief aid. Both events were lots of fun and great successes!
In Memoriam: Delta Nu's were left heartbroken this year, as former house mom Myrtle Wright passed away on September 22nd, 2018. She held a special place in the hearts of many. We held a memorial service at our house during Homecoming Weekend, where many current and former sisters came together to honor and remember Myrt. We also planted a tree in her honor. She will be missed.
Philanthropy: The year 2019 was filled with many amazing philanthropy events, some of which were new. In February the Delta Nu's made Valentine's Day cards for the veterans as well as sold Kappa Kisses (bags of Hershey kisses) for Reading is Fundamental. In March, we partnered with Theta Chi to raise money for FTK at their annual benefit concert by selling KKGrilled cheese. For greek week, we were partnered with TKE in which we hosted "pie a Frat guy" to raise money for FTK. At the end of greek week, sisters participated in Dance Marathon. To finish out the spring semester, we hosted a new event called Kappa Kones, which was an ice cream sundae bar raising money for the Ellie Fund. In October, we had a "Think Pink" week in which we sold pink bracelets raising money and awareness for breast cancer and the Ellie Fund. Also in the month of October, a handful of sisters went to the Amherst Elementary School to read to the children. Finally, in November we hosted our annual Kappa Kappuccinos at the house raising money for KKG Foundation Hurricane Relief.
Housing: In the summer of 2019, all the third floor bedrooms were repainted a light grey color as well as some of the second floor bedrooms. The rest are expected to be painted in the summer of 2020. The formal living room was also repainted a light blue color and new lamps and wall art were added for a more modern look. Starting in the fall of 2019, we hired our new chef's Eileen and Tina as a part of the company Gill's Grilling who we love very much!
Campus Changes: In the spring of 2019, the campus opened up the new Isenberg building, also known as "The Hub". The campus center is also under construction right now.
Events: Delta Nu hosted a date party at club Lit in March, as well as formal in April at local restaurant, Porta. Porta however, is no longer open, in fact it closed to the public the day after our formal (guess we partied too hard). In October, we had our annual Kappa Krush at the Hadley Farms Meeting House.
With everything becoming normal again after the COVID-19 pandemic, our chapter has done a great job restoring pre-covid events and traditions. Over the past year, we had two sisters attend the Kappa Leadership Academy in Dublin, Ohio, and one sister attend the 74th Kappa Convention in Palm Springs. At these conferences, they learned about the true beauty of being apart of something that is much bigger than themselves. In October, Delta Nu hosted our 80th anniversary brunch over alumni weekend. We had hundreds of alumni come back to the house to celebrate this very special anniversary. We held all of the philanthropy events that we have done in the past. We raised approximately $700 for our philanthropy, Active Minds, at our Kappa Kappachinos event that is held at our house.
Our chapter supports both the Ellie Fund and Active Minds. The Ellie Fund provides essential support to breast cancer patients, as well as to families of patients. Things such as; transportation to and from hospitals, meals, and other essentials. Active Minds is a mental health organization that is dedicated to promoting the mental health of our youth. Our chapter supported our philanthropy by holding regular events at our house, and on campus.
Our DEI chair worked very closely with our PR chair ensuring that our chapter was spreading awareness on important topics across the world over our social media. In addition, our DEI chair would hold monthly events to make sure our chapter is well educated; these events were extremely helpful and interactive. She would also stand up at chapter each week and give us a summary of the highlights of the news of the week.