Delta Rho Chapter was founded at University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi on March 15, 1947.
3,486 initiates (as of June 2018)
The University of Mississippi, known as Ole Miss, in Oxford, was chartered in 1844, opened in 1848 and admitted its first women in 1882.
Kappa was asked to consider the Oxford institution by the dean of women in the fall of 1945. Carolyn “Johnnie” Boyle (Hasskarl), Texas, then field secretary, visited the campus and became enthusiastic about the possibilities. In the spring of 1946, Clara O. Pierce, Ohio State, executive secretary, visited at the request of the chancellor with the idea of colonizing. Believing conditions to be favorable, she went to the Memphis Alumnae Association for approval, and Memphis Kappas voted favorably. Elizabeth “Betsy” Foster West, Duke, was sent as a delegate to the Mackinac Convention. The vote was affirmative, and rush plans were made for the fall of 1946.
At this time, there were seven sororities on the campus with housing limited to a few seniors in the small lodges operated by each group. University housing was at a premium and the administration was eager to have Kappa build a house large enough to house and feed the entire chapter. Two counselors and colonizers were appointed by the Fraternity and enrolled for graduate work in the fall of 1946. They were Norma Fix (Butts), Allegheny, and Patricia Land (Stevens), Louisiana State, Tulane affiliate. Their scholarships carried the stipulation that they must help colonize Oxford.
Alumnae from Memphis, New Orleans and Jackson loyally traveled many miles to see the rush season through and gathered together again for the installation. There was only one Kappa alumna living in Oxford at the time.
The colonization pledge book was signed by 11 girls that October. Installation was conducted the weekend of March 14-16, 1947, by Fraternity President Ruth Kadel Seacrest, Nebraska; Clara O. Pierce, Ohio State; Marjorie Kyes Amend, Drake, director of membership; assisted by Dorothy Gamble Favrot, Tulane, Mu Province president; Elizabeth Kimbrough Park, Kentucky, former Fraternity vice president; and Jean Scilley Nutter, Iowa, alumnae regional assistant. Ten girls were initiated in their chapter room in the YWCA Building.
Housing The only accommodations in Oxford at that time were in the old hotel on Court Square. Anyone who has ever spent the night there never forgets the experience—especially the coil of rope in each room to be used as a fire escape.
May Lyon Bennett, Washington, presided over the banquet in the Mansion House, and the chancellor spoke on the importance of college loyalties. The university had given the chapter the use of a room on the top floor of the YWCA. It was the oldest building on campus, and during the Civil War had been used as a hospital. The room had been attractively furnished by the Fraternity, and it became chapter headquarters for the “Lucky 13.” The Memphis alumnae, who had prepared the group for installation and initiation, served as advisers.
After consultation with the chapter lawyer, a house board was set up to supervise the planning and building of a chapter house. The architect selected was Dalton B. Shourds, father of Mary Shourds, a charter member. The chapter moved into the lovely red brick Colonial house in the fall of 1948. The house was the first on the campus to accommodate as many as 20 members, with dining capacity of 48. In it the beautiful and the practical were combined to equal the livable.
Traditions and Honors
The young chapter worked conscientiously to develop its own traditions and to maintain its standards. Delta Rho quickly made a place for itself on the campus. Scholarship has always taken priority, and the chapter took the scholarship lead during its first year. There have been many campus honors: Mortar Board, Cwens, student government and Panhellenic officers, beauty queens, campus favorites and cheerleaders.
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.
After a significant jump in academic rankings on campus, Delta Rho was pleased to have its Period of Concern lifted in 1985. Campus enrollment was 9,000 this year, with 700 women going through rush. In February 1985, the chapter total was 128, and Delta Rho pledged 54 new members during recruitment that fall. The chapter was excited to host four fraternity visitors duing the year, for recruitment, officer training, scholarship and a traveling consultant. Delta Rho’s chapter history report from 1985 states that Zeta Tau Alpha had decided to leave campus in the fall of 1986, bringing the number of sororities on campus to ten.
During this time, the chapter often challenged a fraternity to a GPA contest for a semester. The group with the highest GPA at the end of the semester was obligated to host a party in honor of the winning group. Delta Rho successfully challenged Sigma Chi in the first semester of 1985.
In 1985, Delta Rho was proud of its third-place finish in Derby Days, its third-place homecoming float and being ranked sixth on campus academically among sororities.
Initiation on February 13, 1987, brought the chapter total to 146. The fall pledge class was 60 strong, and the chapter noted in its 1987 history report that more and more women participated in rush each year, making each pledge class bigger than the last.
Delta Rho was victorious over the Pikes in the GPA challenge of the spring of 1987. Also in the spring, the chapter hosted parents weekend, and members attended philanthropy events, a formal and etiquette class. Campus honors for this year included: Alpha Lambda Delta, Chancellor’s Honor Roll, Student Alumni Council, Student Programming Board of Directors and the Golden Key Honor Society.
During the summer of 1987, the rooms of the chapter house were painted, as well as the foyer. The foyer was also re-carpeted.
Philanthropy: Delta Rho was an active sponsor of the annual National Smokeout at Ole Miss in the mid- to late 1980s. The chapter also raised money for the American Heart Association and the Humane Society.
The chapter welcomed 54 new members in the fall of 1991, after having initiated 39 pledges and seven hold-over pledges the prior spring. Socially, during 1991, the chapter enjoyed a Valentine’s Dance, Rushee Weekend, a crayfish boil, a spring formal, Monmouth Duo and a Big Sis/Lil Sis Pumpkin Carve. An important focus for the chapter for 1991 was improved scholarship and integrating the new members into the chapter. Delta Rho was still part of Nu Province in 1991, and the chapter president was excited and honored to represent the chapter at the 1991 Nu Province Meeting. Chapter members’ on-campus honors were numerous in the early 1990s and included academic, social, athletic and campus leadership honors.
Chapter social events in 1992 were very similar to 1991, except that the spring formal took place on a riverboat in Memphis. Spring 1992 initiation added 38 new pledges and 11 hold-over pledges to the chapter. Fall recruitment added 53 new members including 20 legacies. Academically, the new members ranked fourth on campus and the actives sixth. The chapter was removed from Period of Concern in 1992. Chapter Consultant Lisa Tootle arrived in Oxford to assist the chapter in the fall of 1992.
At the spring 1993 Province Meeting in Lexington, Kent., Delta Rho was pleased to receive the Scholarship Improvement, Chapter Efficiency and Programming and Fraternity Education awards. The chapter also received an Honorable Mention for Advisory Board and Chapter Relations. Also in 1993, the chapter introduced a new rush skit called Kappa Karnival, which was very successful, and a new social event, Kappa Krawfish. The fall of 1993 brought 49 new pledges to the chapter. The chapter continued to work hard scholastically and was proud to be ranked fourth on campus at the end of the year.
1994’s fall pledge class began a chapter tradition of the pledge class putting on a skit for the active members. Also during this semester, the chapter was proud that one of its own, Meredith Magers, was elected Miss Ole Miss.
The Kappa Karnival remained a successful recruitment skit through 1998. The chapter was fairly consistent throughout the decade, initiating 45 to 50 new members each year. Also continuing into the late ‘90s was the chapter focus on scholarship. The 1998 chapter history reports states that the chapter scholarship goal in that year was “Strive for Pi” in hope of raising the chapter GPA to 3.14.
Convention Award: 1992 General Convention – Honorable Mention for Personnel
Housing: The 1991 chapter newsletter included a request for donations to assist Delta Rho in fundraising for chapter house renovations. One-time and recurring donations at many levels were welcomed. Delta Rho hired a new house director, Ms. Paige, in 1992. The Delta Rho house was redecorated in the summer of 1994. In the summer of 1998, the House Board renovated the chapter house TV room.
Philanthropy: In 1991, Delta Rho raised money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Mississippi Kidney Association and the North Mississippi Retardation Center. In the fall, the chapter invited children from the I.C.E. Headstart School to trick-or-treat from room-to-room in the Kappa house, and the chapter sponsored a family from the Welfare Department at Thanksgiving, providing them food for the holiday. Over Christmas 1991, the chapter visited Reedy Acres, a children’s home near Oxford, for a Christmas party.
The chapter continued its annual Easter egg hunt for the North Mississippi Retardation Center in 1992 and 1993 and also co-hosted a mountain bike race fundraiser with three other Greek groups on campus. In the fall of 1993, the chapter hosted its first flag football tournament, Kappa Kickoff, which raised more than $2000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The second-annual Kappa Kickoff was held in fall 1994. In 1999, the chapter held Kappa Kickoff in the spring and fall to raise money for the Mississippi Diabetes Foundation, collected donations for Toys for Tots and participated in a canned food drive.
In 2007, Delta Rho celebrated its sixtieth birthday with a party attended by one of its founding members who gave a talk on her experiences. Not only alumnae and members but also potential new members attended this memorable occasion.
Scholastically, members were acknowledged in The Key for Phi Beta Kappa. Members were also inducted into honor societies such as Alpha Lambda Delta, Chancellor’s Honor Roll, Deans’ List and National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
Leadership included an emerging leader scholarship and award by Sigma Alpha Lambda, a national leaders and honors organization.
Delta Rho members continued to be active in many activities on campus. Athletics included participation in Rebellettes, cheerleaders, Diamond Girls, Bullpen Club, ultimate frisbee team, intramural sports and Student Rebel Athletic Foundation. Political and religious organizations included Campus Crusade for Christ, College Democrats, College Republicans, Student Programming Board, Reformed University Fellowship, Ole Miss Ambassadors, Associated Student Body, Chancellor’s Leadership Program and Rebel Sports Marketing. Members also participated in the Miss University Pageant and the Miss Ole Miss Pageant and included the Homecoming Queen nominee.
Delta Rho was acknowledged at Xi Province in 2009 for best recruitment.
Philanthropy: Community activities included Leap Frog tutoring, reading to children at the Boys and Girls Club and Hope for Africa volunteers.
Delta Rho continued its strong participation on campus academically with memberships on the Dean’s Honor Roll, Alpha Lambda Delta, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Honors College, Phi Kappa Phi and the Chancellor’s Honor Roll.
Leadership included Order of Omega which recognizes fraternity men and women who have attained a high standard of leadership in interfraternity activities, Orientation Leaders and Gamma Chi which are membership recruitment counselors.
Other activities included Campus Crusade for Christ, International Students Organization, Ad Club, ASB Cabinet Committee, College Republicans, Newswatch anchors, Rebel Radio and S.T.A.R. Delta Rho’s strong community and philanthropy commitment was demonstrated by time spent with the Boys and Girls Club, Leap Frog, Habitat for Humanity and Jump Start Leaders.
The previous calendar year was an exciting and rewarding time for Ole Miss Kappas. Our chapter experienced great successes both locally and around the globe. Kappa became increasingly involved in other chapters' philanthropies and was named Pi Kappa Alpha's Powder Puff Champion. In addition to Kappa Karnival and Barbecue for Books, two separate groups of Ole Miss Kappas traveled to Haiti and Kenya for Feed the Hunger, a community-wide project started by our chapter. These Kappas delivered meals we packed during our annual Pack-A-Thon, benefiting Feed the Hunger. Our chapter received national recognition for our work with Feed the Hunger. In addition, our chapter won the Kappa Kappa Gamma Best Philanthropy in our Region award, which we are very proud of. The Ole Miss Order of Omega awarded our chapter the Chancellor's Cup for Best Overall Sorority on Campus largely due to our devoted philanthropic work. The Order of Omega also named Alli Bridgers (freshman) its Most Outstanding New Member on Campus, an award given to a Kappa for the second year in a row.
In the previous year, Ole Miss Kappas became increasingly involved in scholastic and ASB affairs. Allie Hearnsberger (senior) was named the Most Outstanding Marketing and Corporate Relations Student Award. Allie Winters (sophomore) ran for Ole Miss ASB Secretary and won her campaign with her Kappa sisters by her side. Every member of our chapter served her campaign and two members were chosen for her campaign team. The ASB Senate Chair was held by Megan Richter (freshman), Caroline Golson and Elizabeth Moore (freshmen) were on the ASB Election Commission, and Pierce Vaughan (freshman) was elected ASB Secretarial Office Assistant. Five Kappas participated in the Ole Miss Parade of Beauties. Jennie Katherine Ellis (senior) was voted Ole Miss Campus Favorite in student elections and also received the Taylor Medal. Every year we strive to improve our academics. In 2013, many Kappas were inducted into the Order of Omega, Rho Lambda, Gamma Beta Phi, and the National Society for Collegiate Scholars for their outstanding academics.
On Bid Day we welcomed 116 wonderful new members into our sisterhood after a very successful recruitment. Our chapter's overall goal for 2013 was to become more philanthropically involved. We not only addressed this goal but met it with great success through our Feed the Hunger trips. We also made great efforts to be aware of other Greek philanthropic events and encouraged our members to participate as much as possible. Our biggest challenge last year was facing our continued period of academic probation. However, our chapter chooses to view this period of probation as a time to help our sisters as much as possible. Monitored study hours were held at least once a day, if not more, in our house and in the library. This ensured that girls who are on academic period of concern set aside time for their classes and assignments. Girls also met with the Vice President of Academic Excellence to create a personal academic improvement plan. Our daily challenges included ensuring only one guest was brought to dinner per week, picking up after ourselves around the house, and staying quiet late at night to respect girls who live in the house.
Since the release of the popular film The Blind Side, Ole Miss has seen an increase in enrollment each year. As a result, the greek community experienced an increase in registration for recruitment. The past calendar year we saw the biggest group of girls register and go through recruitment. As a result, there were more rounds per day and philanthropy and skit rounds lasted more than one day each. On Bid Day our chapter welcomed 116 new members. Alpha Delta Pi recolonized on our campus during Fall 2013 recruitment. Ole Miss is now home to ten sororities, which will help keep pledge classes smaller as more girls go through recruitment. Ole Miss Kappas took part in Alpha Delta Pi's Bid Day and volunteered as ADPi Ambassadors to help educate students about the sorority before recruitment week.
Overall, our chapter is very enthusiastic and passionate in all that we do. Though our chapter is very large we pride ourselves on our close-knit relationships. We feel that our sisterhood is one of the most rewarding experiences of our college careers and something we will undoubtedly cherish long after we graduate. Each sister benefits from Kappa in her own way. Not a day goes by that we don't find ourselves laughing with our sisters. There is always something going on for us to do together, whether it be a sisterhood event, a night out, or spending hours in the library studying for an upcoming test. Because our chapter is so large, we make great efforts to know not only girls in our own pledge classes, but the girls older and younger than us. We strive to help each other and our community any way we can. We also plan to become even more involved in campus activities in the coming semesters.
The previous year has been an extremely exciting time for the Ole Miss Kappas. We have experienced success in the Oxford community, on the Ole Miss campus, and abroad. We continued our philanthropy event, Kappa Karnival, where we set up fun stations for children and help promote literacy in the Oxford community. We also hosted a spaghetti dinner with Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity on campus to benefit our local Young Life chapters. In addition to these philanthropies, three separate groups of Ole Miss Kappas traveled to Africa, Haiti, and India with Feed the Hunger. Feed the Hunger is a community-wide project started by our chapter that annually packs and delivers meals to impoverished children around the world. These Kappas delivered meals to the different communities and also brought books, toys, and clothing for them. The Ole Miss Order of Omega awarded our chapter the Chancellor's cup for the Best Overall Sorority on campus for the second year in a row at our campus Greek Awards. This is the third time our chapter has won this award in the last four years!
Our chapter also aimed to become more involved in scholastic and Associated Student Body affairs. We campaigned for one of our senior members, Allie Winters, for Miss Ole Miss. She was the third runner up and we are so proud of her. We also campaigned for a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior maid during Homecoming. Allie Bridgers was voted Ole Miss Junior maid and was presented on the field during our Homecoming football game. This year, five Kappas participated in Ole Miss Parade of Beauties, a competition for Most Beautiful on campus. Anna Cate Miller (freshman) and Charlie Ann Nix (freshman) placed in the top 25!
Our Chapter Council has also made grades a priority for Delta Rho. Grades have unfortunately been a consistent challenge, but we continue to strive for improvement. We have worked on rewarding those who continue to make good grades and hosted an academic banquet for each semester. We also continue to aid our members who need and/or want academic support. Our chapter hires tutors and ask our own members to tutor girls if they wish. We also hold monitored study hours. Girls who are on academic period of concern can use all these tools to help improve their grades. Many Kappas are part of different honors societies on campus. Some of the honors societies our members are involved in include Gamma Beta Phi, Phi Eta Sigma, National Society for Collegiate Scholars, Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi, Order of Omega and many more.
Our overall goal for most years is to continue to work on becoming more philanthropically involved both on campus & in the community as well as working to improve our grades. We definitely became more involved on campus during 2014 and continue to expand our Feed the Hunger philanthropy. We also worked on our grades by incorporating more tutors and study hours. We hope to continue to improve in all of these areas!
The Ole Miss campus has grown rapidly in the past few years. As a result, the Greek community has seen an increase in recruitment registration. This has caused there to be more rounds during recruitment. Philanthropy and skit day both lasted two days this year. 2014 Bid Day was a very exciting day as our chapter welcomed 146 New Members. Ole Miss plans to welcome a new chapter, Alpha Phi next year. This will mean that there will be 11 sororities on campus, which will hopefully allow for smaller pledge classes. We are eager to see how Greek life will continue to change over the next few years!
Overall, our chapter is very enthusiastic and excited about all that we do. Our chapter is very large but we do continue to pride ourselves on close-knit relationships. Happiness is a very common feeling throughout the Kappa house. We love to spend time together eating meals and just being there for each other. There is always something going on for us to do together, whether it is eating dinner, going to sisterhood events or, spending late nights studying. Having such a large chapter means that there will always be someone there for you. Our chapter also strives to strengthen the bonds between different pledge classes. One way we do this is by having a week dedicated to big and little sisters. This is a great time to bring all four pledge classes together and get to know each other better. Overall, our chapter is a very happy one and we seem to get along across the board!
Our chapter of Kappa owns a sorority house on campus. This is where we hold our chapter meetings. We do not currently have specified chapter room but we convert the dining room into a meeting space on our meeting days. We do hope to eventually expand the house and include a specific chapter room!
Delta Rho house corporation owns our own house on campus. We do, however, rent the land from the University. We are required to live in the house for our junior year. There are only 56 spaces in the house, which is not enough spaces to accommodate the entire chapter. The first people to get spots in the house are the girls on Chapter Council. After that, Rush Team will then take up spaces. After that there are usually about 10 spots that are filled with girls who have the most points. This is our only house in the history of our chapter.
This last year has been an extremely exciting time for the Ole Miss Kappas. We have experienced success in the Oxford community, on the Ole Miss campus, and abroad. Instead of having Kappa Karnival, we decided to switch it up this year. We called it “A Royal Affair at the Kappa Kastle”. For this, people paid five dollars for a ticket and came to the Kappa house for a day of fun. Some Kappa sisters dressed up as various Disney princesses and decorated crowns with the little kids. This was such a fun event for everyone involved. There were also different groups of Kappas who travelled to Africa, Haiti, and India with Feed the Hunger. Feed the Hunger is a community- wide project started by our chapter that annually packs and delivers meals to impoverished children around the world. The Kappas that went on this trip brought books, toys and clothing for them as well. There is a spring break planned for March 2016 that will hopefully be a success! The Ole Miss Order of Omega actually awarded out chapter the best philanthropy for the past year! We were very proud of this achievement and can only hope to continue and strengthen our involvement.
Our chapter also aimed to become more involved with the Associated Student Body. We campaigned a Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior maid. Also one of our Junior- class members, Shelby Santel was elected VP of Community Service on the Ole Miss Panhellenic Executive Council.
Grades are always a struggle for our chapter. Our chapter council this past year has truly tried to strive to correct and help out our chapter overall. We have determined that it is not only important to encourage people to make good grades, but it is also important to reward those who make consistently good grades. Each semester, there is an academic banquet or meal for those who have made good grades the past semester. Girls really look forward to this. We also provide tutors for girls that request them. This semester, our VPAE also added a study hour requirement. We as a chapter are all trying to get used to it. It does seem to be effective and really forces girls to spend time studying. There are numerous honors societies that our members are involved in. Some of these include Gamma Beta Phi, Phi Eta Sigma, National Society for Collegiate Scholars, Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi, Order of Omega and many more. Overall this past year has been an exciting one for the Delta Rho chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. We look forward to a new Chapter Council and seeing all that they can achieve!
Describe the recent changes on your campus and describe the overall nature of your chapter. The Ole Miss campus has continued to grow rapidly in recent years. This has resulted in the Greek community growing as well. In the past three years, the Ole Miss campus has added two new sororities (Alpha Delta Pi and Alpha Phi). We have also added extra rounds during recruitment. This year, we welcomed 149 wonderful New Members. We are excited to see what will happen with these new sororities on campus for the coming year! The Ole Miss, delta rho, chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma is a very enthusiastic sorority. We really are passionate about all that we do. The overall feeling when walking to the house is also very happy and very welcoming. Girls love to gather in the t.v. room to watch out shows or all eat downstairs together. Even though it seems difficult to be close with 400 girls, we truly pride ourselves on close-knit relationships. We also just finished up with our big/ little sister week. This is always a great opportunity for the different pledge classes to come together. Overall, this Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter is very close and we truly have happy spirits around the house.
What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community?
There are many different ways to get involved around Oxford, Mississippi. The main organizations that our chapter involves ourselves with are feed the hunger, the local Reading is Fundamental organization, Young Life, and More than a Meal. For More than a Meal, some girls will gather extra food from our meals and deliver it to a local church where less fortunate people gather. We sit with them, help the children do homework, and just enjoy spending time with these Oxford residents.
Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support?
There is no real specific reason that our chapter chose to support these organizations. We do, however, truly love each and every one of the ones that we do spend time with. Many girls, for example, have made it a weekly tradition to deliver the food to More than a Meal and spend time with the children there. With Young life, we have a yearly spaghetti dinner fundraiser with the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity on campus. This is a great way for students on campus to learn more about the Oxford Young life chapter.
This past year has been an exciting time for the Delta Rho Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. We have increasingly become closer as a chapter, introducing a myriad of new sisterhood events, such as ornament painting, scrapbook crafting, a "sleepover" movie night, traveling to the pumpkin patch, and much more. Furthermore, our chapter's local philanthropy, Feed the Hunger, really took off this year - we hit a new record at the annual Pack-a-Thon event, packing a total of 170,160 meals! Pack-a-Thon is a wonderful event that brings together the entire community to pack food that we send with Feed the Hunger to ensure impoverished children around the world are fed.
Our philanthropy chair worked extremely hard putting this event together, and the Public Relations committee, along with entire chapter, worked tirelessly to spread the word and get the entire Ole Miss campus and Oxford community involved in this fun charity night. We even were extremely hands-on in our involvement with Feed the Hunger - 11 members of our chapter traveled to Haiti over spring break with FTH to deliver the meals and extra supplies to the children there. Also, 1 member travelled alone with FTH over the summer to Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka to deliver more packed meals and supplies. We are extremely proud of members who give up their breaks from school to support something much bigger than themselves; we are also very proud of the great efforts our chapter makes from home in supporting our local and worldwide philanthropies.
Furthermore, our national philanthropy, Reading is Fundamental, also hit new records - we donated more books to the local schools this past year than ever before. We also introduced two new philanthropy events benefitting Reading is Fundamental that took place at our chapter house. Last spring we hosted the first Kappa Con Queso, an event sporting a full nacho bar, mariachi music, festive decorations, and a photo booth. This past fall, we hosted the first Breakfast for Books, featuring a waffle bar. We also ran a raffle that benefitted Reading is Fundamental.
All three events were huge successes on our campus and we raised a large amount of money for RIF. One more amazing philanthropic event that began this year was the "Focus Cause of the Month" - each month, one member is selected to talk about a cause that is dear to her heart, and the chapter gets involved in either raising money, donating supplies to that charity, or simply supporting that sister in her endeavors in contributing to her cause. It has been great to watch our chapter come together to support each other in their personal endeavors.
This past calendar year, our chapter won the Civil Engagement Award at Greek Awards on the Ole Miss Campus. We also won the Honorable Mention Signature Event at Convention. Our chapter strives to push members to be involved on campus, and most of our members are involved with an outside club or honors society, or are volunteers in the community through other organizations.
Bid Day this year welcomed 129 amazing new members into our sisterhood! Our membership chairmen, their committee, and the entire chapter put so much effort into making our recruitment this year the best it has ever been, and we far exceeded our goals. Our chapter also had goals of improving and reaching new records in terms of philanthropy, and we achieved those goals by a landslide. Furthermore, our chapter has placed a large focus on improving our academics and our sorority GPA. Our GPA did improve, through the help of scheduled tutoring sessions, monitored study hours, and rewards for logging the most study hours and for retaining the highest grades all semester.
Our campus has seen many changes, in terms of the racial disputes going on around the country. We had several debates concerning the Confederate flag being flown on campus, gaining national recognition for some of these events. Ole Miss has also seen a large increase in enrollment this past year, requiring the construction of several new dorms for freshman; due to this massive influx of freshman women, we have also had a new sorority come to Ole Miss - Alpha Phi.
Our chapter is extremely close and very passionate about Kappa and about maintaining a good image on campus and in our community. We are very supportive of each other, and continually show each other love and compassion in ways that can only be achieved through such a close sisterhood. We challenge each other to be our best selves, and we push each other to do more for the campus and more for the community, not only as a way to improve the lives of those around us, but in order to grow as women in society and to better ourselves.
No matter what our members are doing, whether it's enjoying a delicious meal together in our dining room, attending a sisterhood event, studying all night for an exam, or simply hanging out on the couches watching TV, it is ensured that there is fun and laughter involved. Each of our members is unique, and that is what we all love about Kappa - it is not a one-size-fits-all group; but, because of these great differences, we bounce off of each other's qualities and characteristics, and it makes us a well-rounded chapter. Our chapter is quite large, so that requires a bit more planning and organization than smaller chapters, but we make it work and lean on each other so that we can run smoothly.
We raise money for Feed the Hunger and pack meals for them through the Pack-A-Thon community event each year. We also donated books to our local schools via Reading is Fundamental philanthropy events. Furthermore, we support More than a Meal, an organization in which community members can receive a free meal, toiletries, after school tutoring, and education on topics such as healthcare and wellness. Our chapter donates food each week to be served, and we also have several members that donate their time each week to volunteer at the event. Many members also volunteer with LeapFrog, an after-school tutoring and enrichment program each week.
Seeing as our two chapter organizations are Reading is Fundamental and Feed the Hunger, it only makes sense that our members are extremely passionate about education, literacy, and ending famine, both worldwide and locally. Our sisters love children, and strive to help these children of Oxford gain access to the best education as possible. Many members of our community are also suffering in poverty, and we are committed to doing our part to ensure that all of the people in Oxford can enjoy a hot meal during the week and can receive the basic necessities.
We meet in our chapter house, in the dining room. We are such a large chapter that the dining room is the only place where we can all fit.
This year at the Delta Rho chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma we packed our millionth meal for our annual Feed The Hunger event and raised over $80,000 for Feed The Hunger. We also sent five of our own sisters to Kenya over the Winter Break. In another philanthropic event, the Delta Rho Kappas won the Sigma Nu Charity Bowl. At the Ole Miss Greek awards our 2016 president, Bailee Coleman, was named Chapter President of the Year and Kappa Kappa Gamma was awarded the Respect and Dignity for All Award. During the recruitment period, we welcomed 110 new members from far ranging places such as Hawaii and even Germany. These new members represented Kappa Kappa Gamma at the annual Theta Encore and placed second overall in a very competitive event. Academically the Delta Rho Chapter was ranked fourth overall of every sorority and fraternity on campus with a GPA of 3.26. The Kappa indoor intramural soccer team placed first in their annual competition. It has been 70 years since the Delta Rho chapter was established in 1947. Another achievement of a member that we are incredibly proud of is that our very own Charley Ann Nix was crowned as Miss University 2017.
The Ole Miss campus is seeing growth in the development of an updated Student Union. The Ole Miss campus is also in the process of building a brand new STEM building. Another building many students are looking forward to is a new recreational building off campus that will have updated work out equipment.
Traditionally Kappa Kappa Gamma at Ole Miss hold philanthropy events for Reading Is Fundamental. Kappa Kappa Gamma at Ole Miss also holds a Feed The Hunger event every year in which we pack meals for children all over the world. We also have a focus cause for every month at Ole Miss Kappa Kappa Gamma which can range anywhere from NEDA to Suicide Awareness. Every year we sent many members to hand deliver the meals that we pack. A Delta Rho Kappa was the first to start a Feed The Hunger event at Ole Miss and since then the chapter has undertaken it and put on the Packathon every year.
The Delta Rho chapter sent five members of our chapter council including President: Gigi Franz, Vice President Standards: Abigail Johnson, Vice President Organization: Maggie Crouch, Vice President Academic Excellence: Elly Weller, and Assistant Membership Chair: Annie Livingston to the Kappa Kappa Gamma convention where our chapter was awarded the "New Member Program Award."
Our chapter has put in an incredible amount of hard work towards improving our academics. In the spring semester of 2018 Delta Rho earned the highest GPA the chapter has had (3.3) and we also had the most girls receive 4.0's (49) since the chapter's inception in 1947. Our VPAE, Elly Weller, worked hard to ensure that every member received a tutor as requested as well as supplying us with many exam snacks during finals to help us stay focused and awake. The VPAE committee also strived to help the few girls on POC to better their grades.
The standards committee this year has put a lot of effort into changing the member's mindsets from standards being a punishment, to it being an accountability and sisterhood committee. Our number of members sent to standards each week has drastically decreased, and we have also received more respectful reactions to rules and repercussions. Our VPS, Abigail Johnson, tried to make herself more available to the chapter for any of their needs, and emphasized that she was not there to be "scary", but was there as a friend to listen and help in any way possible. This has made herself and the President a more united front and helps them support each other instead of every member's concerns going to one single person. On the sisterhood side we have held multiple successful events including renting out the movie theater in town, having a donuts and coffee night at the house, and having mental health awareness activities. Another thing we have accomplished to give more members opportunities to support their sisters and hold them accountable is having volunteer event monitors at every event. Our VPS worked alongside our event, Abigail Nichols, and risk, Maggie Philips, chairmen to accomplish this task.
Our VPO, Maggie Crouch, helped the chapter to host five guests throughout 2018. She also started the first informational session where anyone who's interested in being on Chapter Council could come and meet with the current Chapter Council and ask them questions about their position. She also sent out weekly surveys to the chapter to get continuous feedback on events and other things going on in the chapter.
Our Membership chair, Marlee Frances Young, helped to prepare the newly initiated members on how round structures work and the expectations from Panhellenic and headquarters beginning in the middle of the spring semester of 2018. She also helped prepare the entire chapter for regulations set by Panhellenic, prepare the entire chapter for appropriate conversations and chapter values, and prepare the chapter and giving them knowledge of potential new members to watch out for, especially legacies. During recruitment she made sure all rounds and their decor lined up with the guidelines set by Panhellenic, assigned members of the chapter potential new members to converse with throughout the week of formal recruitment so that the PNM is able to see the diversity Kappa has to offer, and made sure bid sessions went according to our bylaws.
Our Panhellenic Delegate, Cate Thompson, worked towards supporting and giving our best effort in any and all Panhellenic activities from Care Walk to the Halloween Trick or Treating event. We did well with following the recruitment rules overall and she was able to work hands on with the Panhellenic officers through various activities prior and during recruitment week. She kept a strong flow of information between the chapter and the executive board to make sure deadlines were met and everyone was on the same page. I believe this chapter has a stronger appreciation and awareness for Panhellenic life and the Greek love is strong. Cate was also elected to the University of Mississippi College Panhellenic Executive Board for 2019.
Our Public Relations chairman, Hailey Cunningham, has increased alumni relations by informing alums of all that is happening via social media (mostly Facebook). The Kappa instagram is also now the most followed Ole Miss sorority. This allows PNM's, alumni, parents, and other chapters to see all of our accomplishments and involvement. She has also improved the overall designs of the t-shirts and banners to make them more fun. We are known for always having the cutest shirts and banners on campus.
Corresponding Secretary, Sarah Grace Lasso, has accomplished many things this past year. Getting all the Aspiration Books ordered for our New Members and getting the badges ordered were just two of her biggest accomplishments. We also implemented a new and improved Points System to ensure growing chapter involvement. As a result of a being involved and sending in points, chapter members were able to win customized Kappa T-shirts. Lastly, on behalf of the Delta Rho Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma, our panhellenic love and support was shown through things such as "Welcome Back" cookies and "Exam Happies" that were delivered to sororities and fraternities across campus.
Our New Member chair, Mary Grace Hudson, helped to recruit an amazing new member class and carried them all the way through initation. She is confident in these new initiates, and cannot wait to watch them grow and strengthen our Delta Rho chapter. All events during the new member period were productive and so much fun.
Our House chair, Ellie Sharp, improved the Delta Rho chapter's relationship with House Board, built up our respect from House Board, and improved the chapter's house-filling process.
Delta Rho's Recording Secretary, Bella Garofalo, helped to ensure there was an increase of attendance at chapter events. She also helped to make sure our formal chapters were ran smoothly and that the members were great with ritual.
Our Marshal, Cary Dent, successfully initiated our new members and ensured ritual be kept during formal chapters. This year we had a wonderful initiation with a lot of help from the alumni. We were able to initiate 117 girls and we are so excited to see all they accomplish these next four years.
Our Philanthropy chair, Claire Dutreix, helped the chapter to raise over $20,000 for RIF over the year with two philanthropy events. We also fund-raised for and packed over 130,000 meals at our chapter philanthropy's Feed the Hunger Packathon. We maintained a monthly "FOCUS cause" and donated to causes such as Love Packs, William McGee Center for Wellness Education, and a local homeless shelter. Claire was also elected to serve as President of the University of Mississippi College Panhellenic Council for 2019.
Our Chaplain, Anna Katherine Vega, increased attendance in bible study and more girls were willing to participate. She helped to create a warm and welcoming community where people feel as though they are able to share and/or talk about things that are happening in their life. She also helped to create more awareness of the chaplain position. Our bible study is a place that can serve as a positive environment for people that need it.
Our three Parent's Club Chairmen, Julia Plauche, Jane Cypert Walsh and Lindsey Lowell, did an incredible job this past year. Our Spring Parents weekend was April 20-22. It included a crawfish boil on the KKG lawn Friday, a silent auction, band, and dinner at Chancellors House on Saturday, and a brunch on Sunday. Our Fall Parents weekend was November 2-4. It included appetizers and drinks at Southern Table on Friday, Ole Miss vs. South Carolina grove tent and game on Saturday, and open house and brunch on Sunday. Our KKG Grove tent every Ole Miss home game looked great.
Our members are involved all over campus. One chapter member and former Chapter Council member, Maddy Gumbko, founded the Out of Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention that takes place each fall on the Ole Miss campus. We have had 3 walks and all 3 walks together have raised over $51,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Her and another Kappa, Julia Plauche, ran the event this year and Julia will take over next year. We have members that serve on the Executive Board for Crosby Community Council, as the president and head delegate of Nation Model United Nations at Ole Miss, as the Director of Membership for Beta Alpha Psi which is an accounting honors organization, ASB Senator and chairman of Infrastructure committee, student representative on chancellors standing committee on parking and infrastructure, treasurer of ole miss college republicans, secretary of UM bipartisan club, treasurer of the Sand Volleyball Club, CA's, Orientation Leaders, Ambassadors, AED, AMA, AMSA, Ole Miss Psychology Club, TOT, NSCS, Psi Chi, All Walks, Hand Band, OMSVA, UMFS, More-Than-a-Meal, RebelTHON, SAA, Big Event, Equestrian Club, UMWLC, Active Minds, RASA, RFSP, OMASH, Cru, RUF, Phi Kappa Phi, SMBHC, and YL.