Gamma Omega Chapter was founded at Denison University in Granville, Ohio on December 6, 1929.
2,406 initiates (as of June 2018)
In June of 1928, the trustees of Denison University at Granville, Ohio gave permission to the local sororities to petition the nationals. Kappa Phi, the oldest local on campus was allowed first selection of a national sorority and chose Kappa Kappa Gamma. The petition was granted in November, 1929, with installation planned for December 6.
Kappa Phi, at the time of petitioning, was 31 years old and, according to Baird's Manual, the second oldest local sorority in the United States. Kappa Phi was founded in 1898 by six girls of Shepardson College (the women's college, distinct from Denison at that time) who wished to form a "closer bond for friendship and mutual benefit." For a year the local sorority existed sub-rose, meeting outdoors and keeping minutes in cipher. Kappa Phi flourished from its beginning, designing a badge, writing songs, and composing brief but dignified rituals for initiation and chapter meetings.
In 1901 the Denison trustees gave Kappa Phi and Chi Psi Delta (which later became Kappa Alpha Theta) official recognition as campus organizations. The Kappa Phis immediately presented an informal petition for membership to Kappa, their first and only choice among women's national fraternities. Shortly thereafter, learning that national affiliations were being contemplated, and believing it better to maintain the status quo, the university trustees forbade such affiliations. This ban was renewed several times until it was finally lifted in June, 1928.
Denied the opportunity to become a part of Kappa, the Kappa Phis contented themselves with establishing a place of leadership on the Denison campus. Feeling the need for a house of their own to take the place of rooms which they were renting in town, the 40 active and alumnae members of Kappa Phi raised the money necessary to purchase a lot on Cherry Street. For the purpose of owning property, Kappa Phi Sorority was incorporated under the laws of the State of Ohio in 1905. Fortunately at that time Mr. John S. Jones, uncle of two of the Kappa Phis and interested in seeing the girls prove themselves as good business women, loaned them the money necessary to build a lodge on the lot they had purchased. The loan was to be paid in regular yearly payments over a ten-year period. At the end of the eighth year Mr. Jones was so impressed with the way the girls had met their obligation that he generously canceled the notes for the remaining two years.
The new house was completed in the fall of 1906, the first sorority house at Denison. The attractive white frame lodge served as the center of chapter activity and site of social affairs for the members, who all lived in college dormitories. It was known as the "wee white house."
The local group maintained a strong alumnae association, published a biennial bulletin which went to all alumnae, and held annual June reunions. From time to time the Kappa Phis reopened the question of national affiliation with the college trustees and maintained their deep interest in Kappa Kappa Gamma. During this period the first Panhellenic Association was formed among the three locals and rules were established for rushing and bidding.
Finally, when the ban against national sororities was removed, Gamma Omega Chapter was installed by Florence Tomlinson (Myers, Wallace), Gamma Theta- Drake, Fraternity registrar; and Clara O. Pierce, Beta Nu- Ohio State, executive secretary; assisted by members of Beta Nu, Ohio State, and Rho Deuteron, Ohio Wesleyan. One notable aspect of the installation was the initiation of nearly half of the 300 alumnae members of Kappa Phi. Altogether some 200 of these alumnae have become members of Kappa, through additional initiation ceremonies. Marian Handy (Anderson), Gamma Kappa- William and Mary, served as co-organizer (equivalent of graduate counselor) to assist the new chapter.
The transition from Kappa Phi to Kappa Kappa Gamma was easier because of the many common goals and ideals the members of each shared. Perhaps the most serious problem was indicated by one of the newly installed Gamma Omegas who was heard to muse wistfully, "How do you ever suppose I'll get the pin holes in my dress to go across instead of up and down!"
By 1930, there were four other NPC fraternities: Chi Omega, Kappa Alpha Theta, Delta Delta Delta, and Alpha Phi. Later Dela Gamma, Alpha Omicron Pi, Pi Beta Phi, and Alpha Chi Omega were granted charters at Denison as the number of women students increased.
The advent of national sororities on the Denison campus brought changes to sorority life. Pledging, which had not taken place until the beginning of the student's sophomore year, was moved back to the freshman year as the groups experimented with different rushing systems. The number of chapter members more than doubled over the years from under thirty at the time of installation.
By 1931, the little Kappa lodge had become too small for the growing chapter, and a major remodeling project greatly increased the floor space. Well aware that even this enlargement would not serve indefinitely, the trustees of the alumnae association, aided by the generosity of Jean Moore Montgomery, eventually acquired a choice lot on Broadway at the entrance to Sorority Circle. Construction of the present Kappa house was begun in 1950, with the aid of a loan from the Fraternity, and in the spring of 1952 Gamma Omega moved into its new home, built of Williamsburg rose brick with white trim. Even this house proved inadequate to accommodate the growing membership. In 1964 a large chapter and recreation room, kitchen, powder room and porch were added. The house serves the important function of unifying a chapter whose members are scattered throughout six separate college dormitories.
Many Gamma Omega traditions have their roots in the local sorority, but some have been established since the installation of the chapter. Incorporated into formal pledging and into the ceremony of the initiation banquet are some of Kappa Phi's traditions; many of the old songs are still sung in the chapter, with only slight alterations. Active-alumnae relations are kept warm and friendly by several annual events: the buffet supper at which the pledges are entertained by Newark-Granville alumnae and, in turn, present entertainment for their hostesses; the senior breakfast with the seniors as guest of the alumnae, an occasion for their induction into the ranks of Kappa alumnae; the initiation breakfast, when local alumnae entertain initiates immediately after the ceremony; the Christmas party at which the actives are hostesses to the Newark-Granville alumnae and both present gifts to the Kappa house.
Yearly chapter events include the Dad's Day luncheon, with a luncheon taking place simultaneously for Kappa mothers who accompany Kappa dads to the campus, and the May Day-Mothers' Weekend with its luncheon honoring mothers. Kappa enjoys social events with other sororities in a variety of ways. For example, for many years the Kappa-Delta Gamma touch football game has brought enthusiastic rooters to the field on a fall Saturday morning and exhausted players and supporters back to the Kappa house afterwards for food and fun. The Kappas and Pi Phis join for the Monmouth Duo each spring, and usually at least one other major party a year is held jointly with another group.
A long list of Gamma Omega May Queens, Homecoming Queens, Adytum (Denison's yearbook) Queens, and Military Ball Queens gives evidence of the fact that Denison Kappas combine beauty with brains. In fact, even the Kappas themselves were impressed when Kappa queens reigned supreme from Homecoming to Junior Prom to May Day in 1954-55.
Denison Kappas have had as their particular social service project the entertainment of children from the Newark Children's Home. Kappas regularly go to the home for games and story-telling or bring some of the children to Granville to attend football and basketball games or to be entertained at the Kappa house. Kappas also aid in other service projects sponsored by the Denison Christian Association.
Scholastically, Denison Kappas have usually rated near the top, although it is difficult to try to maintain or to top the record established by the chapter in 1959 when six Kappas were elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Gamma Omega has been hostess for the Gamma Province Convention several times since it first entertained other chapters in the provinces with fear and trembling in 1932, just three years after its installation. In June of 1948 the Kappa Jubilee, a reunion to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Kappa Phi, was a rousing success, bringing about 75 Kappas back for a three-day stay on campus.
Many Kappas have served and continue to serve Denison from positions of leadership in campus organizations such as Denison Campus Government, Denison Christian Association, WRA, Mortar Board, Crossed Keys (junior honorary), publication staffs, Denison Theatre, and deparmental clubs and honoraries. Each year Kappas are among those chosen as junior advisers in freshman dormitories.
Members of Gamma Omega who have won Graduate Counselor Scholarships are: Rebecca Galloway (Clark), 1940-41; Margery Lawrence (Hetherington) 1948-49; Martha Jones (Phillips), 1949-50; Jessie Pflager, 1974-75. Martha Jones became a field secretary the year after she had gone to Delta Beta, as a graduate counselor.
In 1971 faced with the problem of not being able to find a new house director, Gamma Omega asked for and received permission to allow two senior girls to occupy the housemother's apartment and fulfill her duties. The chapter was the first to try this practice and found it to work well with the assistance of local alumnae. Gamma Omega was also first to submit a plan to the Fraternity Council for liquor privileges in the house after passage of the new policy at the 1974 Convention. The chapter was always been eager to accept new responsibility.
In an academic atmosphere where there is keen competition and a living situation that sometimes makes it easier to know one's suitemates better than one's sorority sisters, Kappa Kappa Gamma fills the need for lasting friendships, provides a place for development of the individual's talents and distinctiveness, and serves as a home where its members find stimulation, loyalty, and understanding during their college days.
The Gamma Omega chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was founded on December 6, 1929. Before the chapter became a part of Kappa Kappa Gamma, however, it was a local women's fraternity known as Kappa Phi. Kappa Phi, being the oldest sorority at Denison, had first choice to pick a national affiliation, and gladly asked Kappa Kappa Gamma if they could start a chapter at Denison. On December 6, 1929, Kappa Phi officially became the Gamma Omega chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma and 222 women were initiated.
The women of Gamma Omega today constantly strive to uphold Kappa Kappa Gamma’s legacy of leadership, and participate in numerous leadership events throughout the Denison community. They also hold many leadership positions on campus, including positons on the Panhellenic Executive Board, Denison Campus Governance Association, Denison Community Association and more.
Kappa Kappa Gamma has contributed to leadership at Denison through the creation of D.U. Lead, a one-day leadership institute for underclassmen that occurs each September. Leadership is an important attribute to the women of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and D.U. Lead allows Gamma Omega to share this quality with the rest of Denison. D.U. Lead was created by a planning team comprised of members of Kappa Kappa Gamma, Beta Theta Pi, the Campus Leadership and Involvement Center, and Career Exploration and Development. Through this program, the participants gain general leadership skills as well as specific skills to help them and their various organizations at Denison. D.U. Lead is now one of Denison's premier leadership programs. To find more information about D.U. Lead, click here
Kappas participate in numerous philanthropy opportunities on campus, including both Greek and non-Greek events. In the past year alone Kappa's have put in over 1,334 hours towards community service groups such as the Denison Community Association (DCA), Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters and more! Gamma Omega collaborated in 2010 and 2011 with the DCA to host Make a Difference Day in conjunction with our Kappa Karnival event and continue to work hand in hand with service groups on and off campus.
Kappa Karnival is our annual philanthropy event, raising money for our national philanthropy Reading is Fundamental and for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. For the past two years, we have collaborated with the Denison Community Association (DCA) to combine the national service day Make a Difference Day with our event. The event this past Fall 2011 drew over 160 kids, including Boy and Girl Scout troops, and over 240 Denison student volunteers. Service booths at the event included making holiday cards for local nursing homes, assembling and decorating bags with toothpaste and toothbrushes for Headstart, and making PB&J sandwiches for Salvation Army, Look Up Center and Water’s Edge Community center.
In the 1980s, Gamma Omega had its ups and downs. The chapter was suspended for a period of time, offered and accepted Fraternity guidance and assistance. They never left campus and did adhere to guidelines set forth from the Fraternity Council. The leaders of Gamma Omega, faced challenges with grace and kept recruiting new members and setting chapter goals. One of the main goals in the 1980s was to improve the chapter GPA to a 2.7. The chapter focused on study habits, master lists of majors, recognizing scholastic achievement and planned a Favorite Professor Tea.
In addition to improving the GPA, Gamma Omega also worked on an effective bill paying system as well as incentives to improve attendance at chapter functions. The second vice presidents also worked hard to make sure the programming was targeting specific areas and following Kappa guidelines of the number of events per week.
In 1986, the Fraternity selected Gamma Omega to be one of five chapters to pilot a computerized bill paying and budget system program. Kappa Kappa Gamma wanted to expand this program the across the country after testing it out in various regions.
During the 1980s, many philanthropic events such as Ballon Derby and a Haunted House were held that benefited groups such as the Children of Granville and Denison County, St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital and the National Kidney Foundation.
The late 80s also brought a newly designed pledge program that Gamma Omega implemented with their pledges after a success rush. The chapter officers, including Fraternity Education, tried each week to fulfill their duties as well as provide Kappa fun facts.
Traveling Consultant, Sherri Gosliner, visited in 1989 and provided leadership and guidance to assure chapter members that Gamma Omega continued on the right path in the new decade. The chapter continued to work on goals such as improving the GPA, bringing about chapter unity, increasing communication with Nationals, and using our own chapter member committees.
Gamma Omega and Kappa Alpha Theta continue to plan an annual Kite and Key social event as well as events such as non-alcoholic Barn Party and Easter Egg Hunt with a local school.
Gamma Omega members were involved on campus on as Panhellenic officers, varsity swimming, varsity lacrosse and varsity volleyball and Peer Advisory Network. Many members were also on the Dean’s List.
Marnie O’Brien received a Kappa Kappa Gamma scholarship as a Field Representative to work as a Chapter Consultant.
In the fall of 1990, Gamma Omega was taken off Fraternity Council Action. The chapter women took pride in their house, improved their GPA and were recognized for campus involvement and improved scholarship. Campus involvement included members on varsity swimming, varsity lacrosse, varsity soccer, Peer Advisory Network, Hungry and Homeless Community Service, Dean’s list, DCGA, Student Ambassadors, Judicial Council, House Council, President’s Round Table, Teacher Assistants and Club Sport participants.
Philanthropic events included supporting Hungry and Homeless, the Children of Granville, Big Sister/Big Brother Organization and the Make a Wish Foundation.
Social events include Kite and Key, My Tie, Haunted House, date parties, and many others.
By the late 1990s, the chapter had slipped in some areas including risk management, over programming, following tradition verses ritual and Kappa Kappa Gamma policies. This led to to being placed on a Letter of Concern and suspended from campus. This essentially meant extra guidance and support from the Fraternity which chapter members accepted and started to rebuild for the 2000s. The chapter members attended workshops on the benefits of Greek Life and worked with local alumnae to review ritual during fireside and Initiation preparation. The chapter was ready to take on the new decade with Kappa knowledge in hand.
In the 2000s, campus involvement included members on Student Activities Committee, Concert Committee, 91.1 WDUB-The Doobie Denison Radio Station, Granville Fire Department Volunteers, Phi Society, Skiing Club, Study Abroad programs, Denison Singers, Denison Dance Department, Homecoming Committee, Sailing Club, Tutor, AIDS Task Force, Community Garden Committee, Sociology/Anthropology Fellow, Spanish Club, Intramural Floor Hockey, Campus Tour Guide, rugby, varsity softball, varsity swimming, varsity lacrosse and varsity soccer.
By the mid-2000s, Gamma Omega was strong enough to help neighboring chapters with Initiation. They received an award for New Member Programming at the Denison Greek Awards Ceremony and won the Greatest Scholarship Improvement Award at Kappa Kappa Gamma’s National Convention. Gamma Omega won Greek Week as well as participating in Delta Gamma’s Anchor Splash and Sigma Chi’s Derby Days.
The chapter continued to recruit new members and in 2007 they were the largest chapter on campus all while racing their GPA to the second highest among sororities on campus. The following year, they had the highest GPA among sororities.
Gamma Omega continued to win awards such as Chapter Operation for Leadership, Lifetime Membership and Self-Governance, Outstanding New Member, Outstanding Alumna, Outstanding Greek Leader and Woman of the Year. They focused on sisterhood and planning activities to get to know one another and Kappa’s ritual. Sisterhood events included glow in the dark putt putt golf, apple picking, powder puff intramural football, picnicking in a local park, ice skating and dodgeball. Kappa Kornhole Tournament continued to draw support on campus and Kappa held their first Kappa Karnival in 2009. Proceeds were donated to Kappa Kappa Gamma’s national recipient, Reading Is Fundamental.
Gamma Omega women were proud to be the largest sorority on campus, proud to wear letters and continued to work on relationships among sisters, Advisory Board and House Board.
In 2011 the Gamma Omega chapter partnered with the Beta Nu (OSU) and Rho Deuteron (OWU) chapters at the Reading Is Key event for the Reading Is Fundamental Philanthropy in Columbus. Local families were invited to bring their children for a snack and story book, as well as fun Valentines' themed crafts for the kids.
We initiated 1 new woman on March 24th, 2012, 28 women on March 31, 2012, and 3 new women during Continuous Open Recruitment on December 1, 2012.In the Fall of 2012, Gamma Omega had the number one Greek GPA on campus, for all Panhellenic Council organizations and Interfraternity Council organizations. As of Spring 2012, 28 women in the chapter were members of academic honoraries, 31 women in the chapter had received academic scholarships and academic awards, 9 women had participated in summer research, and 25 women held executive positions in service organizations.
Our chapter was involved with the Presidential Campaign by raising awareness around campus of the importance of voting and being informed. At the Greek Awards on April 23,2012, our chapter received recognition for Most Improved Chapter GPA, and the prestigious Commitment to Fraternal Purpose. We were awarded Outstanding New Member, Outstanding Greek Leaders awards, Outstanding Greek Advisor Award, and Greek Woman of the Year.This year we participated in numerous philanthropic events around campus such as Delta Gamma's Anchor Splash, Sigma Chi's Derby Days, Pi Beta Phi's Pi Phi Palooza, Kappa Alpha Theta's Kats with Bats, Delta Delta Delta's Pancake Breakfast, Kappa Sigma's Squash Tournament, and Beta Theta Pi's King of the Wings Competition. Gamma Omega held our annual Kappa Karnival in conjunction with the Denison Community Association as part of Make a Difference Day, and brought in over 50 children from Newark and surrounding areas. The event was held in October 2012 in the Mitchell Athletic Center due to rain and had numerous fraternities, sororities, and campus organizations represented in the event. The Hilltoppers, DUwop, and Burpee's Seedy Theatrical Co. each performed during the Karnival. This year, we began volunteering at our new local philanthropy The Works, in Newark. For the 2012 school year, the chapter has participated in over 1,300 hours of community service through campus service organizations.
On campus this year there was a proposal for postponed recruitment that was brought up to the first year retention committee, but it hasn't developed any further. Also, party registration was implemented to help foster a safe community on campus. Within our chapter, we have 134 total members, including 53 new members.
This past spring, on March 29, 2014, we initiated 36 new members. One member was initiated at Allegheny College. For Fall 2014, Gamma Omega had the highest Greek GPA on campus. This past year, we participated in numerous philanthropic events on campus. These included Delta Gamma's Anchor Splash, Pi Beta Phi's Pi Phi Palooza, Kappa Alpha Theta's Kats with Bats, Delta Delta Delta's Pancake Breakfast, Beta Theta Pi's King of the Wings Competition, Delta Chi's talent contest, Lambda Chi Alpha's Fall Bash, and Kappa Sigma's dodgeball tournament. In the fall of 2014, instead of doing our annual Kappa Karnival, we decided to hold a Kappa Kornhole event. It was held on one of our residential quads and multiple sororities and fraternities participated, along with people who are not involved in Greek Life. This past year, we also continued our work at our local philanthropy, The Works, and our chapter logged over 700 hours of community service through campus service organizations.
There have been no new renovations on our campus since the dining hall was renovated in the spring of 2013. Our chapter of Gamma Omega has a total of 103 initiated members and we just welcomed 28 new members into our house. Our chapter holds our weekly meetings in our house, located on South Quad.
Our chapter owns our house. Members of Gamma Omega do not live in the house. It is a place dedicated to our weekly chapter meetings, and just a nice place to go and hang out or study. We recently got a house mom, Judy Neff, that moved in over the summer of 2014.
This past spring, on March 28, 2015, we initiated 26 new members. One member was initiated at the University of Akron. This past year, we participated in numerous philanthropic events on campus. These included Delta Gamma's Anchor Splash, Pi Beta Phi's Pi Phi Palooza, Kappa Alpha Theta's Kats with Bats, Beta Theta Pi's King of the Wings Competition, Lambda Chi Alpha's Fall Bash, and Sigma Lambda Gamma's basketball tournament. In the fall of 2015, we held a Kappa Kornhole event. It was held on one of our residential quads and multiple sororities and fraternities participated, along with people who are not involved in Greek Life. We raised about $1,500 from this event. In September, we started working with the Look Up Center, located in Newark, Ohio. Once a week, members from the chapter would go to the Center and help children with their homework for a few hours.
This past summer, our library and one of our residential halls was renovated. Our chapter of Gamma Omega has a total of 86 initiated members.
What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community?
Our national philanthropy is Reading is Fundamental. In past years, our chapter has worked with The Works, but this fall, we decided to start working with The Look Up Center located in Newark, Ohio. Once a week, members of the chapter would go and help younger children with their homework for a few hours. Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support?
Our philanthropy chair chose this organization in the hopes that it would promote more chapter interest than The Works did in the past.
This past spring, on March 5, 2016, we initiated 24 new women. 3 new women were initiated at Miami University-Oxford OH. We also initiated 2 new women on November 12, 2016 thorough Continuous Open Bidding (COB) during the fall of 2016. The women of Gamma Omega are part of numerous honoraries including 4 women on Mortar Board, 5 women in Omicron Delta Kappa, 6 women in Phi Beta Kappa, and numerous women in Rho Lambda. Two of our members also held leadership positions in these honoraries: Jessica Braid as president of Rho Lambda and Aleksa Kaups as President of Theta Alpha Phi. Our members dedicated additional time to the PanHellenic community. Asesha Dayal was the Vice President of Development and Audrey Smith and Heather Wiggins are members of the PanHellenic Judicial Board. Gamma Omega was awarded 9 different awards at the Greek Awards this past spring: Excellence in Service and Support of Others, Outstanding Public Relations, Outstanding Recruitment, Outstanding Sorority Advisor (Lisa Tompson), Outstanding Sorority President (Meg Flanagan), Outstanding Sorority Scholar (Jenna Breslin), Outstanding New Member (Jen Durbin), Outstanding Sorority Athlete (Jen Durbin), Outstanding Greek Leaders (Jessica Braid & Asesha Dayal).
The involvement of the women of Gamma Omega extends beyond honorary societies and the PanHellenic community to leadership and involvement with numerous groups on campus. We have women in DUwop, the Theatre department, the Music department, Denison Independent Theater Association (DITA), Denison International Student Association (DISA), the Genital Monologues, Denison Feminists, Denison Democrats, Deaf Culture Awareness, Life After Loss, Women in Math and Computer Science, ASEC Tutors, America Reads Tutors, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), Denison Chemical Society, Volunteers for the Humane Society, and Share Advocates. We also have women who participate in varsity athletics on the Softball, Field Hockey, Track and Field, and Swimming & Diving Teams.
In addition to being involved with numerous activities, clubs, and organizations on campus, the Gamma Omega chapter participated in numerous philanthropic events including Delta Delta Delta’s Dunkin’ with Delta’s, Pi Beta Phi’s Pasta Phest, Kappa Alpha Theta’s Kats with Bats, Sigma Chi’s Derby Days, and Lambda Chi Alpha’s Fall Bash. We also participated in Delta Gamma’s Anchor Splash and our most recently initiated women won the synchronized swim and dance.
Philanthropy: Our national philanthropy is Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and to support this we held a book drive this past spring and donated the books to underprivileged children at a local school in Newark, Ohio. We went to the school and read with the children for a couple of hours and let them choose what books they wanted. We also held our annual philanthropy event, Kappa Kornhole on October 8, 2016 and raised over $1,000.
We continued to work with the Look Up Center located in Newark, Ohio, as a way to get involved locally. Once a week, members of the chapter would go and help younger children with their homework for a few hours. We also raised over $150 for a fellow sister to help support her during the holiday season this year.
Our chapter holds weekly meetings in our house, which we own, located on South Quad. Members of Gamma Omega do not live in the house, but instead use it for our weekly chapter and council meetings, as a place to hang out with fellow sisters, or to do homework. We got a new house mom this past spring, Missy Nabors. She has two dogs, Charlie and Lily, that we sometimes take on walks or play with at the house. We also raised money over the course of the past year which we used to repaint the entryway and living room and to refurnish the house, giving it a more updated and modern feel.
This past spring we initiated 18 new members and we initiated an additional three new members in the fall through continual open bidding.
Many women in our chapter are part of various different honararies including 10 members in Mortar Board, 5 women were invited to join Omicron Delta Kappa and three were invited to join Phi Beta Kappa. We also have representation on the Panhellenic Executive Board through Emma Kopp who is the Vice President of Development. At the Greek awards, Gamma Omega received six different awards: Outstanding Public Relations Award, Outstanding Sorority President (Ellie Thien), Outstanding Sorority Scholar (Bridget Diana), Outstanding New Member (Erin Stewart) and Outstanding Greek Leader (Amanda Nelson and Haley Myer).
Our chapter goals for the year included: Facilitating an understanding of Standards within the chapter, increasing attendance to events, improving public relations, having a successful COB in the fall, and increasing collaboration with other FSL organizations. Our president, vice president of standards, new member chair, education chair and risk management chair participated in the regional convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Several of our members also participated in the UIFI conference where they had the opportunity to learn about leadership with other sororities and fraternities.
In the past year, we have supported numerous organizations philanthropy events including Dunkin Deltas (Delta Delta Delta), KATs with Bats (Kappa Alpha Theta), Anchor Splash (Delta Gamma), King of the Canes (Beta Theta Pi), Pi Phi Palooza (two times), Lambda Fall Bash (Lambda Chi Alpha), Derby Days (Sigma Chi), Crawfish Boil (Phi Psi introductory event), Volley for Vets (Kappa Sigma), D-Chi Car Smash (Delta Chi). We also had a team for Relay for Life and we won the synchronized lip-synch competition for Sigma Chi's Derby Days.
Describe the recent changes on your campus and describe the overall nature of your chapter. The Gamma Omega chapter is a supportive organization. For example, every week at chapter meetings we announce our involvements so others can attend. It is not unusual to see many Kappas at a softball game, Burpees show, or helping sisters with academics.
Chapter Philanthropy: What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community? In the spring semester of 2017 the Gamma Omega chapter supported the Look Up Center. This organization was chosen because it was a way for our chapter to support and give back to our local community, while supporting the mission of our national philanthropy Reading is Fundamental. At the center, we worked with under privileged children on their homework and reading skills supporting literacy.
Chapter Facility: The Gamma Omega chapter meets at 110 N. Mulberry Street, a house we own, where we hold weekly meetings in. The house is located on South Quad. Members of Gamma Omega do not live in the house, but instead use it for our weekly chapter and council meetings, as a place to hang out with fellow sisters, or to do homework. Our house mom Missy Nabors is leaving after this semester ends.
Oral History Are there any current members, alumnae or advisers from your chapter that you recommend for the Fraternity’s oral history project? We are looking for Kappas with stories to tell – funny chapter memories, great professional achievement stories, heartwarming stories of how Kappa has helped them, etc. Natalie Kindler is a Gamma Omega alumnae. She graduated in 2017 and is now a Leadership Consultant, so she can share how her time at Gamma Omega lead her to her position as a leadership consultant.
This past spring we initiated thirty new members and we initiated an additional two new members in the fall through continual open bidding.
Our chapter goals for the year included: Improving sisterhood within the chapter, increasing attendance to events, improving public relations, having a successful COB in the fall, and increasing collaboration with other FSL organizations. Kate Aumuller (President) and Mikayla Trimpey (Marshal) attended the 2018 National Convention.
The women in our chapter are involved and recognized in the Panhellenic community. We have representation on the Panhellenic Executive Board through Emma Steinman, who is the Vice President of Administration, and Alexa Meller, who is the Vice President of Development. At the Greek awards, Gamma Omega received 7 different awards: Greek Scholar Award (Alivia Tachney), Outstanding Athlete Award (Lauren Secaras), E Clark Morrow Outstanding Alumni (Natalie Kindler), Outstanding Greek Advisor (Lisa Thompson), Outstanding PR, Outstanding Recruitment, and Fraternal Purpose Runner Up.
In the past year, we have supported numerous organizations philanthropy events including Anchor Splash (Delta Gamma), Tug of War (Beta Theta Pi), Lambda Haunted House (Lambda Chi Alpha), Phi Psi Relay (Phi Psi), D-Chi Car Smash (Delta Chi). We also had a team for Relay for Life.
In the spring and fall semesters of 2018 the Gamma Omega chapter supported Kendal at Granville. This organization was chosen because it was a way for our chapter to support and give back to our local community. Kendal is our local philanthropy because it was a close location that needed help. We also had Kappa alumni who worked or lived there.
The Gamma Omega chapter meets at 110 N. Mulberry Street, a house we own, where we hold weekly meetings in. The house is located on South Quad. Members of Gamma Omega do not live in the house, but instead use it for our weekly chapter and council meetings, as a place to hang out with fellow sisters, or to do homework. Our house mom Cheryl Moore is new this year.
The Gamma Omega chapter is a supportive organization. For example, every week at chapter meetings we announce our involvements so others can attend. We have women in DUwop, the Theatre department, the Music department, Denison Independent Theater Association (DITA), Burpees, the Genital Monologues, Denison Feminists, Denison Democrats, Women in Math and Computer Science, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), Volunteers for the Humane Society, and SHARE Advocates. We also have women who participate in varsity athletics on the Softball, Rugby, Cheerleading, and Soccer Teams.
We started the year with a wonderful group of New Members after our Formal Recruitment in January. Also in the Spring, we held our annual book drive-- we donated all books to an after school program called A Noble Cause at PAR excellence academy in Newark, Ohio-- as well as our Kappacino event. Our chapter participated in the campus-wide banner display that aided in the awareness of Sexual Respect on campus. We also This was our second year doing Kappa Karnival and, though the weather was not on our side, we still managed to have a successful event, raising $1,480! This Fall we also started to celebrate our chapter’s 90th year by hosting a reunion event weekend at our house and we invited all sorts of Gamma Omega alumna as well as local Kappa’s from different chapters. The weekend included a business panel with alumni, an open house (where alums were able to see all of the renovations that the house underwent in the last few years), and a dinner event. It was a great way to introduce our active members to our very accomplished alumna. To finish the year, we initiated our COB members in December.
The University has recently opened new Social Spaces on campus which has allowed our chapter to more easily engage with the Denison community. The Greek community as a whole as worked a lot this year on increasing Greek unity between the different councils represented at our school, and Kappa has fully embraced this push by attending philanthropy and educational events hosted by other councils as well as attending events from Denison’s first Greek Week.
For founders Day, we had a sisterhood event where we had cake and other desserts as we played a fun game about our organization’s history and learned some new and old songs that we can sing at future events
Gamma Omega began 2020 with a highly successful formal and informal recruitment process in January. Three of our active members served as Rho Gammas during the recruitment process. The chapter welcomed 18 new members on Bid Day, and then recruited an additional 5 new members through informal recruitment in the following weeks. Bid Day 2020 was “Friends” themed, with outfits inspired by the hit TV show, and featured ice skating with the new members and actives. After recruitment, the VPO hosted our annual Leadership Day as we transitioned officers, with 5 returning council members and 14 new council members. We decided to incorporate a new council position at the start of 2020, naming Anna Mae Murphy as Gamma Omega’s first Sexual Respect Chair. The new member class was formally pledged at the beginning of February and began their EME training, which occured before chapter every Sunday. At the end of February, Denison hosted an FSL (Fraternity & Sorority Life) Leadership Retreat for all Denison Greek Presidents and Representatives with the intent of creating connections between the different Greek Councils and Chapters. The Gamma Omega President, Lily Anderson, and Panhellenic Delegate, Lillian Morrow, were in attendance. March was a very difficult month for the Gamma Omega Chapter. We planned to hold initiation on March 28th, during the week following spring break. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States, Denison informed students that spring break would be followed by a 2-week period of remote learning with the hopes of returning to campus by April 3rd. Although the administration hoped that students would be able to return, they encouraged students to pack up their belongings in the days leading up to spring break and prepare to move home. On March 16th, Denison made the announcement that the remainder of the semester would be virtual. Because of the pivot to remote learning, the chapter’s Event Chair, Ariana Aulisi, was forced to cancel the off-campus formal that she had planned. The House Chair, Zoe Smith, and House Board President, Tina Tracy, supported members in the spring by allowing them to store some of their belongings in the Kappa House during the quick move-out. House Board was also able to move forward on renovations to the laundry room and office, as well as plan for redecoration of many rooms in the Kappa house. While at home, Gamma Omega maintained weekly council and chapter meetings over Zoom and Google Meet. Before the transition to remote learning, Stella Boeckman, the Philanthropy Chair, was planning a spring philanthropy event called Kans for Kappa, which was intended to be a food drive for Center for Hope. Following the collection, Kappa members were then planning to go to a Center for Hope location and put together activity kits for students. Additionally, Kappa was partnered with the Boys and Girls Club in Newark, where Kappa members were able to volunteer weekly. However, when the pandemic hit, Stella stepped up to the plate and created a new virtual philanthropy event. She hosted a virtual fundraiser and raffle in April, raising a total of $881 for the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s COVID-19 Response Fund to help healthcare workers, vulnerable individuals, and hygiene promotion activities. With guidance from District Specialists, the Marshal, Madison Gordon, coordinated a virtual initiation for the new member class. Madison reached out to relatives of Legacy new members and invited them to the Zoom initiation to support their daughters and nieces. On April 30, 2020, 23 of the 24 new members were successfully initiated over Zoom in a ceremony lead by Kappa Headquarters. During the month of May, the senior members of Kappa were able to read their letters to the chapter during the final two virtual chapter meetings. The 9 graduating seniors were sent stoles, small gifts, and letters from their kappa families in place of the traditional senior brunch. Additionally, Gamma Omega had three virtual pinning ceremonies following chapter meetings. Denison implemented a pass or fail option for all courses due to the stress and complications of the spring semester, which allowed for students to elect to take their courses as pass or fail rather than for a grade. This prevented the VP Academic Excellence, Talia Zeiger, from receiving grades. Although she could not make Academic Progress Plans without grade reports, she worked hard to provide support for struggling members. In place of the traditional “Finals Pizza” event, Talia sent Kappas who had received awards and scholarships handwritten letters and Kappa stickers in the mail. Over the summer, the chapter President attended the virtual Convention, and the Kappa Patter Newsletter was sent out. Denison announced plans for returning to campus, with strict guidelines placed on Greek organizations. The majority of Gamma Omega’s members returned to campus for the fall semester, with a few studying remotely from home. With the no-gathering order from the National Panhellenic Council in place, Kappa worked to recruit members through the COB process virtually, as well as to host virtual sisterhood events. The Membership Chair, Meghan Callahan, recruited two new members, and Bid Day was celebrated virtually. Gamma Omega’s VP Standards, Emily Muckle, organized virtual sisterhood events including trivia nights, a movie night, and, once restrictions were lifted, a socially distant bonfire and s’mores night. Additionally, our PR Chair, Helen Nickerson, organized an ongoing virtual yoga and workout session. VP Academic Excellence, Talia Zeiger, continued to name members “Smartie of the Week” at chapter based on kappa member nominations. In October, when some restrictions were lifted, The Marshal, Madison Gordon, began organizing ritual events including Formal Pledging and Formal Chapters in a hybrid format, with the Chapter President, Marshal, and Tech Consultant socially distant in the Kappa house and the rest of the members on Zoom. Additionally, Kappa members participated in philanthropy events for other Greek organizations at Denison, including Tri Delta Kickball and Delta Gamma’s Anchor Splash. For the first time in several years, Kappa won the Anchor Splash Dance competition. Gamma Omega’s annual philanthropy event was hosted on October 31st. In order to make the event safe, the Philanthropy Chair created a new event called Kappa Carving. This event featured a socially distant pumpkin carving competition which raised $1,643 for Reading is Fundamental and the Conscious Kid. In November, the Marshal hosted a successful I-Week, with some events in-person and some events virtual. She consulted with her Specialist and received permission to host in-person F-Side and Initiation, with limited participation and social distancing. On November 14th, Gamma Omega initiated three members with only essential members present for the ceremony. Following initiation, the new actives experienced their first formal chapter and also participated in the Behind Happy Faces program provided through Kappa HQ. The VPAE sent out care packages to those who applied for scholarships and graduate or medical school which contained a handwritten note and stuffed animal. She also hosted the “Wise Owl” event, where older actives assist younger actives with course registration, virtually. During nominations for new council, Gamma Omega decided to create a Diversity Chair position, and Destiny Gonzalez was elected in the position. Toward the end of the semester, Gamma Omega received a focus letter, indicating that chapter operations needed to be improved. The incoming and outgoing council members collaborated with the Gamma District Specialists and Gamma Omega Advisors to create an action plan in response to the focus letter. This plan was centered on improving chapter communication and operations. Many Gamma Omega members received scholarships, honors, and awards in 2020. Talia Zeiger (’21) and Madison Gordon (’21) both received scholarships from the Denison Theatre Department. Annika Kanuckel-Wolfe (’22) was inducted into Theta Alpha Phi theatre honorary, and Madison Gordon (’21) was elected President of Theta Alpha Phi. Alli Holmes (’21) was in the Top 50 Student Athlete GPA. Jessica Crabtree (’22) received a Scholarship for Excellence in English, and Sarah Wilson (’20) received an English Department Scholarship as well. Kyra Colah (’21) was named a Senior Fellow in the Communications Department, and Talia Zeiger (’21) was named a Senior Fellow in the Psychology Department. Lillian Morrow (’22) was inducted into the AED Pre-Health Honorary Society, and Lily LeVanis (’21) was inducted into Phi Alpha Theta history academic society, as well as named a Senior Fellow in the History Department. Meghan Callahan (’21) was elected Vice President of the Mortar Board, Jordan Zelvin (’21) was elected Historian of the Mortar Board, and Tori Sauve (’21) was inducted into Mortar Board.
We supported Reading is Fundamental, which the proceeds of Gamma Omega’s fall philanthropy benefits. Prior to the Pandemic, Gamma Omega volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club of Newark. During the remote spring semester, the chapter hosted a philanthropy event to support the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s COVID-19 Response Fund. Additionally, in the fall semester, Gamma Omega’s philanthropy supported Reading is Fundamental and the Conscious Kid.
Gamma Omega created a Diversity and Inclusion position and named Destiny Gonzalez to the position. Additionally, the chapter council worked to create a unified statement from Gamma Omega chapter and create social media posts.
Starting off the semester, the Gamma Omega chapter found new members through formal recruitment! The Membership Chair at the time, Liv Hervey, made Kappa a loving and warm environment with the help of her fellow sisters. We all participated in songs, fun conversation and Liv made sure that the Potentially New Members felt welcome in our house with refreshments. The formal recruitment process was a great success, as we welcomed 19 new members into the Gamma Omega chapter. Following recruitment, the Marshal, Anna Buescher held a ritual review for the Initiation process, reviewing songs and the Initiation ceremony. She continued to do 2 ritual reviews monthly. The chapter then had a fun bid day for new members. Addy Pittenger, the Public Relations Chair, posted about bid day, making our social media platforms up to date and to highlight our new members. While moving through an exciting time of a new semester, February rolled around which means it is AE month! Jaci Hershberger, our brilliant VPAE, hosted many lovely events for AE month, encouraging the women of KKG to participate in all activities related to AE with some exciting prizes! Towards the end of February, big and little pairing began! Fun activities were planned for potential bigs and littles like speed dating, dinners and more. A fun baking event was then planned for February for COBs, where all of the ladies got to destress and bake together. On March 6th, Mackenzie Mallory, our Education Chair in March organized an Alcohol Skills Training for all members. As all of the women got to know each other better, big/little reveal occurred on March 10th, and all bigs and littles were quite thrilled. In the month of February, there was a sisterhood event for Valentine’s Day where members made cookies. This event was a great way for the new members to get to know each other and the active members. Then, March 21st began I-Week filled with many fun events leading up to F-side and Initiation led by President, Kayla Mozayeni and Marshal, Anna Buescher. Brooke Massa, the Chapter Council advisor and a Kappa alum, was present for a full initiation service, and participated in many initiation events. We kicked off the month of April with an extravagant philanthropy event created by our Philanthropy Chair Zoe Bernstein. The Kappa ladies and members of the Denison community participated in stress ball making, cookie decorating and heartfelt message writing. Not too long after the Vice President of Standards, Anna Jones, hosted an amazing Barbie Movie Marathon, with Barbie cakes and numerous movies. On April 22nd, our members attended a casino themed formal. The week of April 25th began senior week, carried out by both Mackenzie Mallory and Adina Weiss. The seniors had an amazing send off week and got to spend a lot of time with their fellow sisters whom they spent their entire Kappa experience with. In May, we said goodbye to our lovely seniors, as they read their senior letters. In June, Frances Goodwin, Treasurer, ventured to Kappa Convention where she spent time with her fellow Kappa sisters from all over the country. August came around and the Kappa ladies participated in a Tailgate for PNM’s so they can get to know active Gamma Omega ladies. The next day, an Involvement fair occurred, where our diligent Membership Chair, Mackenzie Mallory searched for our lovely new Kappa ladies. Mackenzie Mallory programmed many COB events including, bonfire night, yoga, and even some delicious mocktails. September rolled around and Anna Jones organized a Sisterhood Event, where Kappa sisters listened and enjoyed food and music together. Through September 15th-19th, New Member Chair, Julia Assis Azevedo and Education Chair, Adina Weiss attended Leadership Academy. They focused on developing leadership skills in a big group setting and in a small group setting too. Some of the activities they did were discussions about how to focus on goals, some team building exercises, low rope courses, and much more! They described it as a great opportunity to meet Kappas from around the country and find the leader within them. In October, a Breakfast at Kappa themed bid day occurred with 6 new members! We all spent time together and got to know the new members, which was a very exciting time. Addy Pittenger, Public Relations Chair, captured Bid Day, taking pictures of the entire chapter. Founder’s Day arrives and Adina Weiss, Education Chair and Anna Buescher, Marshal, lead a very fun and exciting Founder’s Day with presentations, Kahoots and the Founder’s Day ceremony. The Philanthropy Chair, Zoe Bernstein led a very fun and exciting philanthropy event where $239.50 was donated to the National Eating Disorders Association and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. Kappas and students from the Denison community participated in board and card games together, ate delicious food prepared by Bon Appetit and won prizes. Jaci Hershberger, VPAE, created Wise Owl pairings for Kappas to have an academic mentor of a fellow Kappa with similar interests. Jaci then paired them together so that they could prepare for registration. The Gamma Omega Chapter of 2022 spent a lot of time together and strengthened their bonds as sisters through this very challenging but rewarding year.