Zeta Iota Chapter was founded at Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania on November 13, 1982.
1,579 initiates (as of June 2018)
Villanova University has been sponsored by the Augustinian Order since its founding in 1842. Today, the University is comprised of five colleges: Liberal Arts and Sciences (Villanova College), Engineering, School of Business (formerly known as the College of Commerce and Finance), Nursing and the School of Law. The University traces its origins to old Saint Augustine’s Church in Philadelphia, which the Augustinians founded in 1796, and to its parish school, Saint Augustine’s Academy, established in 1811.
Since its founding, Villanova has been privileged to mediate Saint Augustine’s vision of education as a community activity of scholars searching for truth in open discussion, commitment to ethical values, and dedication to social justice and human rights. This commitment is realized in its humanities programs, which are an integral part of the curriculum of each of its professional schools, and in the three essential characteristics of our Augustinian tradition: the relationship between mind and heart, the role of community, and the unity of knowledge. This commitment and tradition also provides the key for interpreting Villanova’s mission statement which states that the University is a community that "seeks to reflect the spirit of Saint Augustine by the cultivation of knowledge, by respect for individual differences, and by adherence to the principle that mutual love and respect should animate every aspect of University life."
It was a chilly fall morning, but just as words in the ceremony referred to reflections of sunshine in each life, the sun came out on cue to add to the brightness of smiling faces and shining keys. And with this bright omen, Zeta Iota, Kappa's ll1th active chapter, was installed at Villanova University on November 12 and 13, 1982.
Founded 140 years ago and named for the 16th century Augustinian, St. Thomas of Villanova, the university admitted women for the first time in 1968. They comprised about 35 of the student population of 10,000 the year Zeta Iota was founded. A wide variety of undergraduate and master’s programs and a few doctoral programs appealed to the hard working student body. The suburban campus just north of Philadelphia also offered the many advantages and cultural opportunities of the city.
Delta Kappa Nu formed as a local in 1974 was the first service-social sorority and had been an outstanding group, providing strong leadership on campus. They petitioned Kappa, were accepted, and on April 14th, 68 excited young women were pledged as charter members of Zeta Iota Colony. Two carloads of Kappas from Zeta Beta-Lafayette and many alumnae from the Delaware, West Chester, and Philadelphia Alumnae Associations added to the celebration.
During the remainder of the spring semester, and again in the fall, Zeta Iota Colony plunged into work and study to become initiated members. Carol Tesner, Miami (Ohio), came to the campus as graduate counselor. Margaret Porter Cardamone, Penn State, put her super energies to work in two capacities - as installation chairman and as chapter council adviser. Area alumnae were eager to serve as advisers and met for a training session early in the fall with Beta Province director of chapters, Shirley Mertz Arther, Allegheny.
Finally, when the anticipation could rise no higher, it was time. Quietly, but with a strong undercurrent of excitement, 60 young women walked into a candlelit room at the Philadelphia Country Club to take their first step into initiation as members of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Deanie Hosmer Miller, Penn State, had arranged for a lovely Fireside Service, but the glow from the huge fieldstone fireplace could hardly match the glow on the initiates’ faces. Later, the punch and cookies disappeared quickly as Zeta Iotas chatted with the many guests and Fraternity officers.
Did the girls sleep that night? Maybe not, but they did arrive bright and early at the Baptist church in the Great Valley for initiation. It was fun for them to discover later that the two men directing parking on the church grounds were Kappa husbands doing their bit to see that things went smoothly while enjoying the excitement around them.
Installing officers Sally Moore Nitschke, Ohio State, Fraternity president, and Gay Chuba Barry, Penn State, Fraternity vice president, were assisted by Rheva Ott Shryock, Pennsylvania, former Grand Presiident (Fraternity President 1936-1940); Shirley Arther; Barbara Cranston Granat, Michigan State, Beta Province director of alumnae; Carol Tesner and Peg Cardamone. Others who took part in the ceremony in various ways were visiting graduate counselors Susan Howells, Miami (Ohio), at Massachusetts; Heather Hering, Ohio Wesleyan, at Vermont; and field secretary Pam Anthrop, Purdue. It was a proud chapter president, Kathleen Henneberry, who accepted the charter on behalf of Zeta Iota Chapter.
After a buffet lunch provided by the alumnae, the new Kappas and Fraternity officers returned to Villanova to conduct a model chapter meeting. There was little time to catch their breath before changing for the Installation Banquet at Stouffer's Valley Forge Hotel.
A many-mirrored banquet room could do little to heighten the effect of 200 smiling faces. Fraternity officers, committee members, alumnae friends, parents and the new Kappas of Zeta Iota Chapter enjoyed warm conversations and a delicious dinner arranged by Judy Noone Richardson, Pittsburgh. Toastmistress Shirley Arther introduced Sally Jo Harris, president of Lafayette who offered a toast to the new chapter. Kathy Henneberry graciously responded and thanked Dr. Robert Langren, faculty moderator for Delta Kappa Nu, and all who helped the members reach this special day. Dr. Richard A. Neville, Vice President of Student Life, and Gary H. Bonos, Assistant Director of Student Activities, welcomed the Zeta Iotas on behalf of the university and encouraged them to continue their fine record of scholarship, service and participation in college activities. Gay Barry read a few of the many greetings from chapters and alumnae groups nation-wide and even from the alumnae club of London, England. Sally Nitschke welcomed the chapter to the Fraternity and the heritage of excellence established by others in the past. They, and all Kappas, have unlimited opportunities to contribute to the continuing growth and excellence of the fraternity. A special moment for Kathy Henneberry was the pinning on of the president's badge, a special key given by the Philadelphia Alumnae Association and presented by Mary Hutchinson Tucker, Northwestern, alumnae president.
After the traditional closing, with the singing of the Banquet Song and the eight chapter presidents participating in the Passing of the Light Ceremony, Barbara Granat presided over the opening of gifts sent to the chapter. All the necessities, from silver candlesticks to a corn popper, were received with expressions of surprise and delight from the members. To tie it all together, the Delaware Alumnae Association gave a trunk, painted blue and decorated with a fleur-de-lis, in which to store the chapter's goodies. Kathy Henneberry said it was like an early Christmas.
A campus reception on Sunday afternoon ended the festivities. Arranged by Betsy Granat, Penn State, it enabled faculty, administration and members of the 13 men's fraternities to welcome the Zeta Iotas to campus as they joined Delta Delta Delta as National Panhellenic Conference groups at Villanova. Alpha Chi Omega had a colony on the campus at the time of Zeta Iota’s founding and two other groups remained locals.
It was all over but the shouting . . . the much anticipated event was now a wonderful memory, as Installation treasurer Odette Hutchison Locher, herself a charter member at Bucknell, balanced the books and registration chairman Jane Hall Cobb, New Mexico, checked off those who had attended. Carolyn Horner Wilson, West Virginia, and Debbie Schultz, Iowa State, packet up initiation equipment. La Von Gehrke Arms, Colorado College, and Marlie Richards Williams, Wisconsin, collected the decorations while Jane Coombs, Miami (Ohio), and Karen Collins, Hillsdale, were en route back to Columbus in the blue and blue Kappa van. They carried not only the installation equipment, but also a shadow box showing a miniature chapter room of 1882 and 1982. It was designed and executed by Judy Cutler Diver, Connecticut, and presented to the Heritage Museum by Beta Province.
Zeta Iota Installation was history . . . and a special bit of history. Just before the Passing of the Light, Rheva Shryock said to one of the Kappas, “You know, I believe I must be the link. Here I am at the installation of our newest chapter and yet I also touched hands with Louise Bennett Boyd.”
Kappa history, Kappa heritage, Kappa members . . . all reflecting the sunshine.
After Zeta Iota was founded, the members worked to create unity and strengthen the sisterhood within the chapter. This was achieved through a variety of programs and retreats, including a Standards Retreat held in the fall each year. Chapter officers also attended an Officer’s Retreat during the spring semester while new members learned about Kappa through an annual retreat. In 1987, Villanova moved Recruitment until the spring semester of freshman year and that year, Zeta Iota welcomed 35 new members. In 1989, the chapter recruited 61 young women and although getting to know everyone was a challenge, it was one the Kappas gladly tackled. Other sisterhood events included ice cream socials, a spring formal, and a Christmas formal. Zeta Iota also worked to prepare members for a future beyond college graduation and hosted a Career Day for juniors and seniors.
Zeta Iota acknowledged the importance of a strong relationship between active and alumnae members and often included alumnae in the chapter’s programming. For Founders Day, the chapter joined together with local alumnae. In 1987, Fraternity President Marian Williams, Missouri, joined Zeta Iota and local alumnae for the October celebration. During the homecoming weekend, the Kappas paired up with chapter alumnae for a homecoming formal. Chapter Council was eager to maintain a relationship with the Advisory Board and hosted a dinner so that members could become better acquainted with one another.
Throughout the decade, Zeta Iota proved to be a leader on Villanova’s campus. Many members were active in other campus clubs and organizations and several also played on the university’s sports teams. The chapter often had a strong presence in Villanova’s Greek Week.
The Zeta Iota women were busy with different philanthropic activities throughout the 1980s, such as the popular Kappa Kisses program. The chapter raised money for the Special Olympics through a ring toss with a goldfish prize. The Kappas devoted their time to Christmas caroling at a local nursing home, wrapping Christmas gifts at a local mall, and hosting an Easter Egg Hunt and Halloween party with local children. Each year, Zeta Iota participated in Villanova’s Balloon Day, a campus-wide annual fundraising carnival, by hosting activities such as a pretzel booth. Convention Awards:
In the 1990s, Zeta Iota continued many of the traditions that began the decade prior, such as holding a fall and spring formals. In order to maintain the bonds of sisterhood after taking more large new member classes, the chapter held meet-the-sister nights where members could enjoy ice cream, bake, cook, dye Easter eggs, and more. Zeta Iota also took weekend trips to the Philadelphia Zoo for the enjoyment of the sisters.
The chapter worked hard to improve chapter communications and develop a better understanding of Fraternity Ritual. The Kappas again scheduled several retreats to benefit members, including the Officer Retreat, Pledge Retreat, and Standards Retreat. Zeta Iota also implemented a tutor program and hosted professional development workshops—Career Day for seniors and a résumé writing seminar for juniors—in order to prepare members for academic and professional success. Founders Day was annually celebrated with the local alumnae association, where some Zeta Iotas received awards in recognition of their dedication to the Fraternity.
During the 1990s, Zeta Iota carried on philanthropic traditions and contributed to events such as Villanova’s Balloon Day. In 1996, the Kappas operated a cotton candy booth at the university’s Special Olympics Fall Festival and several sisters held leadership positions on the Festival’s planning committee. The chapter again participated in Christmas caroling and gift-wrapping within the local community while also taking to to make sandwiches to deliver to homeless in Philadelphia.
In 1996, the chapter paired with Lambda Chi Alpha during a softball tournament benefiting the Jimmy V. Foundation. Zeta Iota participated in philanthropy events for other Greek groups, including Alpha Delta Pi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s Lip Syncing and Pi Beta Phi’s soccer tournament.
Zeta Iota remained busy as the twenty-first century dawned as the chapter focused on improving the quality of programs offered to members. The Vice President-Academic Excellence implemented new programs that encourage scholastic achievement, such as the “Support Your Sister Award” that acknowledged the hard work of a chapter member. Beginning in 2005, Zeta Iota also offered Alumnae Connections planning events for seniors and alumnae to network.
The chapter won multiple awards throughout the decade, including the “Most Panhellenic” award from Villanova’s Panhellenic Council. In 2008, the chapter was honored when an article written by members was published in an issue of The Key. Zeta Iota also remained true to its Kappa roots and celebrated Founders Day with the local alumnae association each year. Housing:
Zeta Iota’s biggest philanthropic project throughout the decade was breast cancer awareness. The chapter began sponsoring "Hoops for Hope," a campus-wide basketball tournament, to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October, the Kappas wore pink on campus and made trips to local breast cancer treatment centers. In 2007, the chapter had six members participate in the three-day walk through Philadelphia that ended on Villanova's campus. The six sisters raised approximately $2,000 for the walk and, as a whole, the chapter raised a total of $28,000 by selling breast cancer bracelets and ribbons on campus. Every year, Zeta Iota hosted a candle-lighting ceremony to remember those who lost their lives to breast cancer and to honor those who survived the disease. During the 2010 ceremony, a member of the Komen family joined the chapter to talk about Susan and her foundation.
The chapter also created a new philanthropy event, the Greek God and Goddess pageant, which was held each year in December.
In 2011, Zeta Iota worked hard to promote sisterhood within the chapter. A sisterhood event was held every month to promote bonding with sisters and growth as a chapter. Examples of the sisterhood events included an ice cream social and a pizza party. In October 2011, 75 members of Zeta Iota attended "Kamp Kappa," a two-day retreat at Camp Green Lane, Pa. for sisterhood bonding and chapter planning. The sisters learned about Kappa values and traditions from a Kappa Trainer and an alumna member led the chapter in a ritual review. That year, chapter officers also received training through participation in the LEAD Seminar at Lafayette College. Academic excellence remained a priority for the chapter as a "study buddy" program was implemented. Zeta Iota also utilized a "Support Your Sister Award" and the Skippy Jar to encourage scholarship among members.
The Zeta Iota chapter has had a successful year filled with many great memories and triumphs. Our chapter has participated in many Greek events on campus supporting other chapters, including Chi Omega's Karaoke Night, Alpha Chi Omega's Wiffleball Tournament, and Tri Delta's Kickball Tournament. We have worked on our leadership as a chapter through the chapter council participation in the LEAD Seminar at Lafayette, every sister's involvement in different committees, assigning "unofficial" titles for leadership opportunities including pledge class leader and retreat group leader, and Kappa HQ Webinar training for each position on Chapter Council. One of our sisters attended the Leadership Academy in the Fall and two of our sisters attended Beta Providence in Pittsburgh.
Zeta Iota received formal awards this past year through the Georgi Clymer Award, received by Kelsey O'Rourke, and the Peg Cardamone Academic Award, received by Amanda Leggio. We received an award for Recruitment of the year in 2011, and then received letters and special recognition in the KKG newsletter for our success. Zeta Iota focused on creating Breast Cancer Awareness by hosting the Hoops for Hope 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament in the Spring of 2011 and Breast Cancer Awareness week in October 2011 which included passing out lollipops with breast cancer facts, ribbons to promote awareness, receiving donations, and hosting a vigil where Patty Evans shared her breast cancer survival story.
Our sisters also worked to support Reading is Fundamental by hosting Greek God and Goddess in the Fall of 2011 and reading to children with cancer at CHOP. Zeta Iota supported the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation by hosting a charity jewlery party at an alumni's house to raise money. Zeta Iota has encouraged the planning of a sisterhood event every month to promote bonding with sisters and to grow closer as a chapter. In November 2011, a study pizza party was held where 80% of the chapter was present, and in December 2011 an ice cream social was held where 85% of the chapter attended.
On October 1, 2011, 75 members of Zeta Iota attended "Kamp Kappa," a two day retreat for sisterhood bonding and chapter planning. The sisters took a bus to Camp Green Lane, PA and were divided into eight Retreat groups. A Kappa Trainer came to speak about Kappa values, traditions and "wearing your letters 24/7." We also had a ritual review with a Kappa advisor and a fireside ceremony where sisters shared personal expereinces about their life in Kappa and spoke about what Kappa means to them.
Campus: The campus began renovations over the summer of 2011. Phase One of Villanova's transformation was completed in November 2011 and "the quad," an area where many of our sisters live, has been transformed and made more appealing. The landscape has been made pedestrian friendly and more aesthetically beautiful. There have been additions to the quad so that there are more places for students to socialize.
Chapter: The overall nature of our chapter is very enthusiastic and sisterly. We have become very close as a chapter and have been working together to better ourselves as a whole, as well as bettering our individual members. We have worked together to reach our goals and will continue to do so by staying organized, focused and determined. We have learned what it means to embody Kappa Kappa Gamma's values at all times and do our best to maintain a positive image on campus.
This year our chapter has faced some challenges in Academic Excellence, Ritual, Greek Week, and Committee Involvement. Our Vice President of Academic Excellence worked to improve our chapter's overall GPA by creating an Academic Focus Plan including mandatory study hours, a "study buddy" program, selecting a VPAE Committee to monitor sisters grades and assist with goals, and arranging tutors for members who sought extra help from sisters. Members of Zeta Iota were rewarded for Academic Excellence through the "Support Your Sister Award," ans the Skippy Jar, in order to keep sisters motivated to go to class and to get better grades.
Our chapter was struggling to incorporate ritual into our weekly activities, however, by implementing formal chapter once a month, as well as having weekly ritual reviews, we have improved our knowledge of Kappa Kappa Gamma's ritual and have been able to perform our ritual more smoothly. This year we participated in Greek Week and strived to win since we have lost many years in a row. Although we did not win, we worked together to get a large majority of our chapter to participate and be enthusiastic during Greek Week. We also encouraged the members of our chapter to be panhellenic and supportive of the other chapters. This past year we had some difficulty getting girls involved in committees. Our Vice President of Organization created a virtual sign-up sheet for all of the different committees and made it mandatory for every member to join at least one committee. If they did not sign up for one, they were assigned to a random committee.
The Zeta Iota chapter has had a successful year filled with many great memories and triumphs. Our chapter has participated in many Greek events on campus supporting other chapters and their philanthropies, including the welcoming of Villanova's newest sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, Pi Beta Phi's Arrow Spike Volleyball Tournament, Sig Chi's Derby Days, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Tri Delta, and Alpha Chi Omega's "Kristin's Story" Event, Alpha Phi's Fiesta Bowl, Kappa Delta's Anti-Hazing week, and Villanova's Own Special Olympics.
Zeta Iota received numerous formal awards this past year. The Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life at Villanova University awarded Kappa Kappa Gamma the Most Improved Chapter of 2012, the Best Sisterhood of 2012 and Best Alumnae Relations. Kappa Kappa Gamma also awarded Zeta Iota, the 2012 Advisory Board Award at the Fraternity Convention. The Georgi Clymer Award was received by Katie Felter this past Founder's Day, and the Peg Cardamone Award was also given to Courtney Scioscia.
Zeta Iota focused on creating Breast Cancer Awareness by hosting Breast Cancer Awareness week in October 2012, which included pasing out lollipops with breast cancer facts, ribbons, pins, pens and stickers to promote awareness. We received many donations, and hosted a Ladder Ball Tournament sponsored by Powerade. Last but not least Zeta Iota hosted a vigil where Jackie Roth shared her breast cancer survival story. Our sisters also worked to support Reading is Fundamental by hosting Greek God and Goddess in the Fall of 2012 and sponsored a Book Drive, the Monmouth Duo, with Pi Beta Phi. Zeta Iota has encouraged the planning of a sisterhood event every month to promote bonding with sisters and to grow closer as a chapter.
On October 6, 2012, the members of Zeta Iota attended "Kamp Kappa" that was hosted at a member's home near campus. It was a retreat for sisterhood bonding and chapter planning, where members were divided up into eight Retreat Groups and spent the day reviewing and embracing Kappa tradition and ritual. A Kappa Trainer came to speak about Kappa values, traditions and "wearing your letters 24/7." We also had a ritual review with a Kappa advisor and a fireside ceremony where sisters shared personal experiences about their life in Kappa and spoke about what Kappa means to them.
Following our chapter retreat, our letter of feedback from our LC stated that Zeta Iota's strengths were Philanthropy, seeking advice and embracing change and our Kappa pride. Our focus area, or future challenges are Ritual and Sisterhood. We have been embracing Ritual at every Chapter and thinking of new ways to engage and educate our members on the founding principles, ceremonies, and traditions that outline what it means to be a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. We have been hosting many "JUGS", just us girls events, such as lunch groups with our new members. We also have started giving special tokens to girls who have exemplified true Kappa sisterhood, as our President Kate calls it, "Kate's Key Kappa". We decide the winner at ever Chapter Council Meeting, and give the prize out during Chapter. We have implemented this to reward girls for their efforts, to emphasize the importance of sisterhood, and let our members know that their actions do not go unnoticed.
We are continuing to strengthen Academic Excellence as well. Our Vice President of Academic Excellence worked to improve our chapter's overall GPA by creating an Academic Focus Plan including mandatory study hours, a "study buddy" program, selecting a VPAE Committee to monitor sisters grades and assist with goals, and arranging tutors for members who sought extra help from sisters. Members of Zeta Iota were rewarded for Academic Excellence through the "Support Your Sister Award," and the Skippy Jar, in order to keep sisters motivated to go to class and to get better grades.
Last but not least, we have worked on our leadership as a chapter in numerous ways. Our outgoing President, Katie Felter, went to the 2012 Kappa Kappa Gamma Convention in Jacksonville, FL to strengthen her knowledge of leadership. Also, every sister is actively involved in different committees, and we have continued to assign "unofficial" titles for leadership opportunities including pledge class leader, and retreat group leader. Incoming Chapter Council has also participated in the Kappa HQ Webinar training to highlight the importance of each position and outline their roles, duties, and responsibilities to the chapter. Our sisters also attended the Basics Training Workshop, on November 9th, 2012, that targeted the strengthening of both Standards and Membership. Our current President, Katherine Carlucci, attended the Leadership Academy in the Fall of 2012. This experience changed her hopes, expectations, and goals for the entire chapter. Our goal for this year is to further strengthen the bonds of our sisterhood, through ritual training, off-campus sisterhood events, and overall Kappa morale so that we may be knowledgeable, proud, and confident in our Zeta Iota Chapter.
Zeta Iota's biggest triumph this past year was getting off our letter of probation. This was a longtime struggle and goal for the chapter. The removal of the letter was a huge accomplishment, and is a clear indicatior of the hard work, time, and effort that Zeta Iota is dedicating to strengthening the chapter. This year, Hurricane Sandy struck the hearts and homes of many of our sisters and their families. Zeta Iota made clothing drive donations and monetary donations to the numerous websites aiding in the relief efforts.
Villanova is continuing the campus renovations that began over the summer of 2011. Phase One and Two of Villanova's transformation was completed in November 2011, and then in Summer of 2012. The "quad," an area where many of our sisters live, has been transformed and made more appealing. It has opened up more space for organizations on campus to host events, set up tables and interact with the Villanova Student Body. The landscaped area outside the mailroom, bookstore, and Connelly Center (dinning hall) has been made more pedestrian friendly and more aesthetically beautiful. By making the landscape more open, the campus promotes socialization and interaction among its students.
The overall nature of our chapter is one of sisterhood, dedication, and enthusiasm. Our chapter has striven to become very close, and work together to better ourselves as a whole, as well as bettering ourselves individual members. We have worked together to reach our goals and will continue to do so by staying organized, focused and determined. We have learned what it means to embody Kappa Kappa Gamma's values at all times and do our best to maintain a positive image on campus by wearing out letters twenty-four seven.
The Zeta Iota chapter has had successful year filled with many great memories and triumphs. Our chapter has participated in multiple Greek events on campus in an effort to support other chapters and their philanthropies, including Kappa Delta’s Corn Hole Tournament, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Tri Delta, and Alpha Chi Omega’s “Kristin’s Story” Event, Alpha Phi’s Fiesta Bowl, Pi Beta Phi’s “Pi Phi Gives You Wings” Event, Alpha Chi Omega and Beta Theta Pi’s “Rubbery Ducky Race” Event, Villanova’s St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service and Villanova’s own Special Olympics.
Zeta Iota received several formal awards this past year. At the Beta East Province Meeting, Zeta Iota was awarded with the Suzan Syover Root Chapter Improvement Award and the New Member Program Award. Zeta Iota focused on creating Breast Cancer Awareness by hosting Breast Cancer Awareness Week in October 2013, which included passing out lollipops with breast cancer facts, ribbons, baked goods and stickers to promote awareness. We received many donations and hosted a Ladder Basket Ball Tournament on campus where members of other chapters and organizations on campus played and donated to the cause. Our sisters also worked to support Reading is Fundamental by sponsoring a Book Drive, the Monmouth Duo, with Pi Beta Phi.
Zeta Iota has encouraged the planning of a sisterhood event every month to promote bonding with sisters and to grow closer as a chapter. In the spring of 2013, our outgoing Pledge Class Mom held a retreat for the new members at the home of a new member whose mother was a Kappa at Villanova. During this retreat, the new members grew closer together as sisters and learned more about what it means to be a member of this sorority. In the fall of 2013, the members of Zeta Iota attended “Kamp Kappa” that was hosted at a member’s home near campus. “Kamp Kappa” was a retreat for sisterhood bonding and chapter planning, where members were divided up into eight Retreat Groups and spent the day reviewing and embracing Kappa tradition and ritual. A Kappa Trainer spoke about Kappa Values, traditions, and “wearing your letters 24/7.”
We also had a ritual review with and a fireside ceremony where sister shared personal experiences about their life in Kappa and spoke about what Kappa means to them. Following our chapter retreat, our letter of feedback from our LC stated that Zeta Iota’s strengths were Philanthropy, seeking advice and embracing change and our Kappa pride. Our area of focus, or challenges, were Ritual and Sisterhood. In light of this, we have been embracing Ritual at every Chapter and thinking of new ways to engage and educate our members on the founding principles, ceremonies, and traditions that outline what it means to be a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. We have also been hosting several “JUGS,” just us girls, events such as lunch groups with new members. We also continued giving special tokens at Chapter to members who have exemplified true Kappa sisterhood. This year we started “Polished Kappa,” an award in which a member receives a nail polish for exemplifying a true Kappa. We have implemented this to reward girls for their efforts, to emphasize the importance of sisterhood, and to let our members know that their actions do not go unnoticed.
We are continuing to strengthen Academic Excellence as well. Our Vice President of Academic Excellence worked to improve our chapter’s overall GPA by creating an Academic Plan including mandatory study hours, a “study buddy” program, selecting a VPAE Committee to monitor sisters grades and assist with goals, and arranging tutors for members seeking extra help from sisters. Members of Zeta Iota were rewarded for Academic Excellence through “Support Your Sister Award,” and the Skippy Jar, in order to keep sisters motivated to go to class and to get better grades. In the fall of 2013, our VPAE also implemented the “Smart Cookie Award” where a member was awarded with a cookie at Chapter for doing well on a paper or exam that week.
Last but not least, we have worked on our leadership as a chapter in numerous ways. This fall Jenna Sula, a sophomore and our current Education Chair, attended a Leadership Academy in Ohio to strengthen her knowledge of leadership. In addition, every sister is actively involved in different committees, and we have continued to assign “unofficial” titles for leadership opportunities; these include pledge class leader, and retreat group leader. On December 12, 2013, we conducted Leadership Training with advisers and reviewed The Kappa Leadership Guide with outgoing and incoming Chapter Council members. Our goal for this year is to further strengthen the bonds of our sisterhood, through ritual training, off-campus sisterhood events, and overall Kappa morale so that we may be knowledgeable, proud, and confident in our Zeta Iota Chapter.
Villanova’s continuing efforts to beautify the campus have progressed since construction began in the summer of 2011. The “quad,” an area where many of our sophomore members reside, has been made more appealing. This space has been opened up for organizations on campus to host events and set up tables and interact with the Villanova Student Body. In the spring and in the fall, we set up tables in the quad in order to promote our ladder basketball tournament and to promote Breast Cancer Awareness. In addition, the construction on the landscaped areas around the Grotto, bookstore, mailroom, Connelly Center (dining hall) and library has been completed, making the campus more pedestrian friendly. This new, open landscape has promoted socialization and interaction among its students.
The overall nature of our chapter is one of sisterhood, dedication, enthusiasm and support. Our chapter has strived to become very close, and work together to better ourselves as a whole, as well as bettering ourselves as individual members. We have worked together to reach our goals and will continue to do so by staying organized, focused and determined. We have learned what it means to embody Kappa Kappa Gamma’s values at all times and to do our best to maintain a positive image on campus by wearing our letters twenty-four seven.
This past year for Zeta Iota chapter has been successful, filled with many great accomplishments and triumphs. Our chapter continues to hold a strong presence on campus by being involved in multiple Greek events in an effort to support other chapters and their philanthropies. These events include Kappa Delta’s Corn Hole Tournament, Alpha Phi’s Fiesta Bowl, Pi Beta Phi’s Wiffle Ball Tournament, Sigma Chi’s Derby Days, Delta Gamma’s “Capture the Anchor” Tournament, and Delta Delta Delta’s Kickball Tournament. Zeta Iota also took part in campus wide events like Villanova’s St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service, Villanova’s own Special Olympics Weekend in the fall, and Villanova’s “NOVADance” for childhood cancer where Zeta Iota surpassed our fundraising expectations and made a difference in these children’s lives. With each of these events attended by our Zeta Iota sisters, our relationships with other chapters have strengthened as well as with each other.
Zeta Iota supported our local philanthropy, Susan G. Komen for Breast Cancer Awareness, by hosting Breast Cancer Awareness Week in October 2014, which included passing out lollipops with breast cancer facts, ribbons, baked goods and stickers to promote awareness. We received many donations and hosted a 3 on 3 Basket Ball Tournament appropriately called “Hoops for Hope” on campus where members of other chapters and organizations played and donated to the cause. Our sisters also worked to support Reading is Fundamental by sponsoring a Book Drive, the Monmouth Duo, with Pi Beta Phi.
Zeta Iota has encouraged the planning of a sisterhood event every month to promote bonding with sisters and to grow closer as a chapter. Prior to Breast Cancer Awareness Week in the fall, members of Zeta Iota gathered together at a sister’s house where we decorated cupcakes, tied ribbons, and bonded over the excitement of the upcoming week. In the spring of 2014, our outgoing Pledge Class Mom held a retreat for the new members. During this retreat, the new members grew closer together as sisters and learned more about what it means to be a member of this sorority. In the fall of 2014, the members of Zeta Iota attended a sisterhood event at Linvilla Orchards where we picked apples and went on hayrides, enjoying each other’s time together. With an LC visit in the fall of 2014 we carefully looked over the feedback later after her departure. It was stated that Zeta Iota’s strengths were Philanthropy, seeking advice and embracing change, and our Kappa pride. We were commended for our newly implemented and successful tutoring program where we traveled into Philadelphia every Friday during the Spring of 2014. Here, we helped the children prepare for their upcoming state exams and built relationships while doing so. Our areas of focus, or challenges, were Ritual and Sisterhood. In light of this, we have been embracing Ritual at every Chapter and thinking of new ways to engage and educate our members on the founding principles, ceremonies, and traditions that outline what it means to be a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. We continue giving special tokens at Chapter to members who have exemplified true Kappa sisterhood through the members favorite “Polished Kappa,” an award in which a member receives a nail polish for exemplifying a true Kappa. We continue to implement rewards like this for the girls' efforts, to emphasize the importance of sisterhood, and to let our members know that their actions do not go unnoticed.
We are continuing to strengthen Academic Excellence as well. With Kappa National's higher GPA expectations, each member of Zeta Iota is striving to improve her overall GPA with different study habits and tips supplied by our Vice President of Academic Excellence. Smart Cookie awards for the member with the highest GPA continues to be a popular incentive for our members to do well and keep attendence in class up. Along with that, our VPAE sends weekly emails to our members giving insight to recruiting events on campus for future job positions or internships.
2014 has been a successful year for Zeta Iota. We have accomplished and have improved heavily in terms of sisterhood and philanthropy goals. We strive to achieve more goals throughout 2015 like continuing to stress the importance of ritual and sisterhood as well as keeping our Kappa pride at the highest level so we can all continue being involved, dedicated members of Zeta Iota.
With renovations finally completed to Villanova’s campus, the atmosphere around the “quad” where most of our sophomore sisters reside has evolved into an area for all of campus to flock to for fundraising events and enjoying each other's company. On warmer days music will play and you cannot miss seeing a handful of Zeta Iota members working or socializing around the new renovations.
The overall nature of our chapter is one of sisterhood and support for one another. We constantly encourage one another to exceed our own expectations to do better and have become increasingly close over the years because of this. Our chapter today is stronger than it has ever been and that is because of each of our member’s focus, determination, and dedication to Zeta Iota and Kappa Kappa Gamma as a whole. Each of us truly embodies what it means to be a sister of Kappa Kappa Gamma and we will continue to uphold our values and image as a chapter for years to come.
Zeta Iota gathers for chapter meetings in a classroom located on Villanova's campus. The room stays consistent for every chapter gathering and is large enough to hold each of our members and any adivsors attending that week.
Villanova University does not provide sorority housing. Members of Zeta Iota are spread out living in dorms on campus or throughout the surrounding area. We are very diverse, living with fellow sisters or friends in other sororities or activities on campus.
Zeta Iota had a great 2015-year! As always, Zeta Iota worked collectively with the rest of the panhellenic community at Villanova to support each other’s chapter philanthropies and to keep an positive light shining on each chapter overall. We were involved with different sororities to raise awareness for their philanthropic events like Delta Delta Delta’s events for St. Jude, Alpha Phi’s for heart health, Delta Gamma’s service for sight, and countless other events for each organization.
As a service to our school and the surrounding neighborhoods, Zeta Iota sisters helped clean up a nearby park as a part of Villanova’s Day of Service. From this day, we gained much more than just knowing how many people we made happy. We as sisters came together to help problem solve and work our way through problem solving when things were not going as planned. One of the most exciting weekends on Villanova’s campus is Special Olympics in October where Zeta Iota had our own table for Spin Art. Here, sisters helped athletes and families make beautiful pictures and danced with those who were waiting in line. After, sisters cheered at the multiple events taking place throughout campus. These activities were not just panhellenic wide, but campus wide as well. Zeta Iota was able to bond with those not apart of Greek Life and strengthen bonds with those who are involved.
Zeta Iota continued to support the philanthropies that are closest to our hearts: Reading is Fundamental and Breast Cancer Awareness. This year Zeta Iota started something new where once a week sisters go to a local charter school in Philadelphia and read to the younger children there. Through this, we formed a deeper bond with the children there than just us volunteering or collecting books. Since we were able to experience first hand how badly these kids need books, Zeta Iota started a book drive that, when finished, books will be donated to those who need them. This October, Zeta Iota supported our local philanthropy Susan G. Komen during Break Cancer Awareness week. This week, Zeta Iota sisters set up tables across campus filled with baked goods and items that inform others of the dangers of Breast Cancer. The Villanova community donated $1000 to our cause and all proceeds went directly to Susan G. Komen for Breast Cancer research. Spring of 2015, we hosted our popular “Hoops for Hope” 3 on 3 basketball tournament where members of other chapters and organizations played and donated to the cause.
The year of 2015 has been a big highlight for sisterhood for the Zeta Iota chapter. Sisters went to a local orchard in the fall where we picked apples, pumpkins, and were able to indulge in delicious treats. This past November, Zeta Iota gathered together for our annual retreat at a sister’s house close by. Here we split into small groups and got to know each other on a deeper level than normal; we were able to open up to one another in an emotional and fun way. Continued emphasis on sisterhood seems to be Zeta Iota’s biggest success. We have built on last year’s suggestions and have created a bond that is bigger than ever. Chapter Council members continue to give special tokens at Chapter meetings to those who have exemplified being a star sister through the favorite “Smart Cookie” for the member who obtained a high grade in her class that week. Describe the recent changes on your campus and describe the overall nature of your chapter.
Villanova’s Panhellenic community continues to change with new ways for all chapter members to be involved on campus. We continue to promote a positive outlook when it comes to those considering being apart of such an organization. Zeta Iota certainly agrees with this attitude and exemplifies it with everything we do. We as sisters continuously work on embodying what a true Kappa is and, because of that, our chapter continues to shine.
What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community? Zeta Iota raises money for our local philanthropy Reading is Fundamental as well as our national philanthropy of Susan G. Komen.
Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support? With many underprivileged school systems in Philadelphia, we choose to support Reading is Fundamental because our sisters go and experience first hand why these kids need books to grow. Over the years, we hope that our bond continues to get stronger with the children so we can continue to donate to their needs.
Overall this year, the Zeta Iota chapter has been very involved on campus. In March 2016 the chapter participated in Women's Empowerment Week by hosting a work out class with another sorority and participating in a feminine hygiene drive. On March 31st we had one of our biggest fundraisors, Hoops for Hope which is a three on three basketball tournament. In the week leading up to this event, we had bakesales in three different locations on campus where students could sign up for the tournament as well as give donations. In April, we paired up with NROTC to host a 5K on campus to benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation as well as many members attended Nova Dance, a 12 hour hour dance marathon that supports the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation.
One challenged that we had faced in the past was participation in greek life events on campus. In past years, we had always been in last place for Greek Week in April. However this year, more members really got involved and we were able to improve in our ranking at Greek Week. October 17th-20th was our Breast Cancer Awareness Week which we had bakesales throughout the week raising money for our philanthropy. As a chapter, we also participated in Villanova's Day of Service in September. We were successful again with our goal of more participation as seen by almost all members participating in this event. One special event that we had in the fall was our Ladies Brunch which was an event where every member got to invite a special woman in their life to the brunch. It was a really great way for our mothers, aunts, grandmothers and sisters to learn more about we do as a chapter and to see the impact that we do through our philanthropic involvement.
We also support other sororities and fraternities on campus attending their fundraisors and philantropic events throughout the year. We also did monthly chapter dinners at a dinning hall on campus which was a great way for all members to bond with each other and take a break from our busy schedules and spend more time with each other.
This Spring the Villanova basketball team won the National Championship which brought a huge change to the campus and overall student spirit. This was a very special time that brought the campus as a whole together. It also brought many of our sisters closer as many traveled to New York City, Louisville and Houston together and they were really able to bond through this victory. On campus, it united all of greek life and really embodied the Villanova Greek Life slogan "No matter the letter we are all greek together."
One of Zeta Iota's chapter goals for this year was to establish a strong pledge class of 2017 as part of our continuous goal of building a stronger tradition of sisterhood and creating a more involved chapte. To accomplish this, we dedicated a lot of energy and organization to Recruitment, Continuous Open Bidding, and the New Member process. We made all new members feel welcome by hosting study sessions and other activities where they could get to know each other and the old members. We also elected Pledge Class Captains to continue the bonding within a pledge class. All of the 2017 new members are active chapter members as of the writing of this report. Describe the recent changes on your campus and describe the overall nature of your chapter. Campus is talking a lot about sexual misconduct, especially in light of national allegations against high-profile figures like Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, and more. At Princeton, several graduate students have spoken out about harassment in their departments. According to the third annual "We Speak" survey, which was distributed to all students in the spring of 2017 to learn more about their knowledge and experiences of sexual misconduct at Princeton and their awareness of the University’s policies, procedures, and resources, 1 in 5 undergraduate students experienced sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking during the 2016-2017 academic year. In other news, University President Chris Eisgruber announced that a seventh residential college would be built in the next 10 years as part of his initiative to expand Princeton's opportunities to more students, especially students from underrepresented backgrounds. A bigger student body would most likely increase the amount of women going through recruitment and diversify our membership. Zeta Phi has seen a surge in sisterhood in the past year. With our 42 new members, we surpassed our expectations and welcomed an amazing and enthusiastic group of new sisters. Our members characterize our chapter as chill, supportive, artsy, funny, kind, involved, accommodating, respectful and considerate. Our members believe that our chapter cares a lot about supporting each other in achieving our goals, focusing on developing our academic, professional, and extracurricular interests. They appreciate how their Kappa sisters are always willing to take time to support each another at performances and competitions of all kinds. Members also believe that our chapter really values philanthropy, from Kappa-related events/fundraisers to volunteering on our own time. Samone Blair '18, Sonia Hashim '18, and Kristy Yeung '18 are Community Service Representatives for their eating clubs on campus. CR-08 Page 2 of 3 17.11.A Our members see the purpose of our chapter as fostering a safe and welcoming space for women of all backgrounds on campus, and standing for positivity and inclusivity under the banner of sorority tradition. They view our chapter as an unconditional support system that encourages and supports sisters in their diverse pursuits on and off campus, and alleviates some of the hardships that can arise at a demanding environment like Princeton's. Zeta Phi sisters have achieved considerable recognition for their skills and accomplishments. Kat Giordano '18 is the President of the Princeton University Wildcats, Samone Blair '18 is the Music Director and Claire Jones '18 is the Performance Chair. Meredith Hooper '20 is the Secretary of Glee Club and Rosamond van Wingerden '20 is the Alumni Liason. Samone Blair '18 is the President of the Princeton University Chapel Choir. Shriya Sekhsaria '18 won first place at Ivy League Championships for archery. Maia Chamberlain '20 finished third place in NCAAs for fencing. Kat Giordano '18 won the Princeton Silver Choice Award at Princeton Research Day 2017. Ashlyn Lackey '18 and Shriya Sekhsaria '18 entered their third year as TigerChallenge Fellows. Claire Jones '18 is the Editor in Chief of the Princeton Historical Review. Chapter Philanthropy: What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community? In Spring of 2017, we did a Reading is Fudamental (RIF) event with the Princeton YMCA and we also volunteered with them afterwards. In Fall of 2017, we donated money to HomeWorks, an organization working to provide Trenton girls with housing and academic enrichment. Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support? We chose to support the Princeton YMCA because they were a local organization who worked with children. We chose to donate to HomeWorks because they are focused on young women and the organization is founded and run by a Princeton student. This semester we also volunteered with the Princeton Disability Awareness organization because a fellow Kappa, Mayya Velitskaya '18, is president of the group.
Our local philanthropy is BreastCancer.Org and we hold several events throughout the year to raise money. In the Spring we have a week in March where we have bake sales everyday in different locations on campus where we have baked goods that can be purchased by a donation. Students can also sign up for Hoops for Hope which was on the Thursday night of that week. This was a very successful event for our chapter this year and we raised about $6,000 from the week. Then in the fall we had Breast Cancer Awareness week where we had the same bake sales and we were able to raise $4,000. Our chapter also supports Reading is Fundamental by sending a group of members to the Chester Charter School of the Arts in Philadelphia every Friday were we read and support the children. We hosted a Ladies Brunch in Novemeber where we raised $6,200 for Reading is Fundamental. We also asked every member and their guest to bring their favorite children's book which we also donated.
Our chapter chose to support BreastCancer.org because it is an organization that is very near to many of our chapter member's hearts. Almost everyone in the chapter knows at least person in their life that had or has breast cancer. We selected this organization because it is based out of Ardmore, Pa which has allowed us to connect with them and even have speakers from the organziation come talk to the chapter. Our philanthropy chair has put in a lot of time and effort this year for our chapter to be more involved with Reading is Fundamental. In the past years, our chapter was not as involved with RIF, however now each Friday, a group of members attends the Chester Charter School of the Arts to read to the children. We chose to support this organization because it is the National philathropy of Kappa Kappa Gamma as well as because it is a very interactive organization where the members really see the difference their work is making in the children's lives.