Epsilon Beta Chapter was founded at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado on March 10, 1956.
2,089 initiates (as of June 2018)
Colorado State University, the state’s oldest educational institution, was founded at the foot of the Rockies in 1870. It is still a Land Grant institution and is governed by the State Board of Agriculture, but is no longer known as the “Aggies.”
Colorado State is located in Fort Collins, which has grown from a small college town of 25,000 in the 1960’s to an expanding metropolis of nearly 60,000 in the early 1970’s. The size of the university has also more than doubled. The current enrollment is 33,413. Colorado State’s colleges include Agricultural Sciences, Business, Engineering, Forestry and Natural Resources, Home Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The College of Veterinary Medicine is considered one of the nation’s best.
Epsilon Beta Chapter was colonized in the fall of 1955. Due to a lessening of interest in sorority and fraternity membership since the 1960’s, several Greek chapters at Colorado State closed, but enthusiasm is still strong for Epsilon Beta. Outstanding girls are pledged, and there is capacity housing for 60 members.
Helen Cornish Hutchinson, Oklahoma, Director of Alumnae in 1955; Eleanore Goodridge Campbell, Colorado, Director of Membership; and Edith Culver Cross, Colorado, a Fort Collins alumna, gave this chapter its start. The Beta Mu Chapter at Colorado University conducted the program that resulted in a first pledge class of 17. The Colorado chapter was also present when Epsilon Beta was installed March 10, 1956 by Fraternity President, Edith Reese Crabtree, Wooster; Clara O. Pierce, Ohio State, Executive Secretary; Ruth Armstrong Harris, California, Director of Philanthropies; and Eleanore Goodridge Campbell, Colorado.
Epsilon Beta’s first home was of white stucco, had a red tile roof, wrought iron porch furniture and French provincial and early American style interior furnishings. A fashionable boutique was later housed there. As Colorado State’s enrollment increased, the Panhellenic quota changed, and the chapter needed more space. In September 1960, a move was made to the present home, west of the campus with a beautiful view of the foothills and distant Long’s Peak. The three-story light brick French provincial structure with a blue front door was originally decorated by Grace S. Anderson Agee, Oklahoma, an interior decorator. It was refurbished in 1973, with help from the Fort Collins Alumnae Club (now Association) and the Denver Mother’s Club.
From the time of colonization, the Fort Collins Alumnae Club, organized in 1956, has been of invaluable service to the chapter. Communication lines have always been open between alumnae and actives. Joint activities have included a Christmas party and Easter egg hunt at the Kappa house for children of alumnae, and Monday night dinners honoring one or more alumnae who remain for the fireside and meeting. Alumnae provided cherry cheesecakes for Fireside, and during finals would furnish snacks to brighten the tedious week. Alumnae also sponsored an annual chapter scholarship and were instrumental in organizing Epsilon Beta’s House Corporation in February 1973.
Honors and Traditions
Awards and recognition have come to both alumnae and actives. Epsilon Beta’s Advisory Board won an honorable mention at the 1960 Convention. The chapter received the award for the best active-alumnae relationship at the Province Meeting in Salt Lake City in 1973.
The Fort Collins Alumnae Club won one of the Rheva Ott Shryock, Pennsylvania gavels at the 1974 Convention for outstanding service to a chapter.
Throughout its history, Epsilon Beta has participated in philanthropies, which include Christmas parties for area orphanages; blood donation drives; caroling for area nursing homes; fundraising for the March of Dimes; cancer research; and the Walk for Mankind. The chapter sponsored a program of intercommunication between the United States and Vietnam via letters and tape exchanges with Fighter Squadron 191 in 1967. Epsilon Beta’s “Kappa Pickers” took part in three USO tours to Japan, Korea, and the Philippines, and two tours to Vietnam in 1970-71.
The previous information was excerpted from The History of Kappa Kappa Goanna Fraternity, 1870-1976. The information that follows has been gleaned from available resources including Chapter History Reports, chapter meeting minutes, letters and comments from chapter members and alumnae, the Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Archives, and The Key. Each chapter is expected to update its history record annually. Contact Fraternity Headquarters at [email protected] with questions.
Colorado State entered the 1980s rated as a Class I research university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Education, with a new Veterinary Teaching Hospital and several “firsts” in areas ranging from climatology to solar energy. A revolutionary arthroscopic surgery for horses was developed in the veterinary school and CSU’s equine sciences major was the first to be offered in the nation. In 1988 Colorado State received its largest research award to date: a three-year $25 million grant to conduct research on and provide graduate education and technical assistance for Egyptian water problems. The next year the university opened its first student recreation center and a new Molecular and Radiological Biosciences Building.
The Epsilon Beta House Board was active throughout the decade, often undertaking a new project each year. During this time the TV room was redecorated and a new fleur-de-lis inlay was installed in the front entrance of the house. The bathrooms were also redone with new tile and ventilation system, lighting, and plumbing improvements.
Epsilon Beta continued its philanthropic efforts with their Balloon Derby, a popular fundraiser for the Partners of Larimer County and Kappa’s Rose McGill Fund.
The chapter received the Efficiency Award at both the 1987 and 1989 Province Meetings. The Ft. Collins Alumnae Association was recognized for their assistance to the chapter in 1987 and the Epsilon Beta House Board was rewarded for their outstanding efforts in 1989.
Epsilon Beta continued to recruit new members well throughout the decade, pledging strong numbers each year. However, towards the end of the decade, the chapter began to experience disappointing scholarship, both within the active chapter and its new member classes.
The 1990s not only brought research and scholarly recognition to Colorado State, but also a renewed emphasis on undergraduate teaching and outreach. An emphasis was placed on the physical infrastructure of the campus, with approximately $70 million spent to revamp campus buildings and landscaping. Additionally, the university increased the number of minority students on campus and set records in raising funds from private and public sources.
Sadly, on the evening of July 28, 1997, a flash flood ripped through Ft. Collins and the Colorado State campus without warning. The normally ankle-deep Spring Creek became a roaring river of mud and debris. The CSU campus suffered millions of dollars in damages to buildings and property. Morgan Library and the Lory Student Center were among the hardest hit, losing books, computers, and furnishings. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries or deaths on campus.
This decade saw the Epsilon Beta House Board continue its fine tradition of updating and redecorating as necessary. In 1990 the living room of the chapter house was updated with the addition of a baby grand piano, china cabinet and new chairs. The kitchen was redecorated in 1994 and the formal dining room got a facelift in 1995. Thankfully, the chapter house suffered minimum damage from the flood in 1997. Four new computers, all with internet access, were added in 1998.
Epsilon Beta held a variety of philanthropic events during this decade, beginning with a golf tournament in the early 1990s. They also held a 5K fun run with the men of Sigma Alpha Epsilon for the benefit of the Larimer County Partners. A bowl-a-thon was held in 1997 to help out Project Self-Sufficiency. By 1998 the chapter was holding its Chile Con Kappa competition to help a number of different agencies in the Ft. Collins area. Many of the chapter members also worked in the local Adopt-a-School program.
The Greek system confronted a number of issues during this time. In 1990 a new Greek alcohol policy was adopted to help lessen underage drinking. Later in the decade, new recruitment schedules were tried in an effort to increase Greek membership. “No frills” recruitment was implemented to allow for more in-depth conversation with potential new members.
Epsilon Beta continued to deal with their scholarship issues, trying a variety of programs to bring scholarship to the forefront of chapter life. By the end of the decade, the chapter was well above the all-women’s average.
At the 1995 Province Meeting, Epsilon Beta was recognized for its recruitment program and improvement in scholarship.
At the Fraternity’s 1998 General Convention, the chapter received an award for Outstanding Chapter and Advisory Board Relations and an honorable mention for membership.
By the turn of the century, Colorado State had 22,000 undergraduate students, with six percent of the student population holding membership in the Greek system. Six women’s groups were on campus.
Early in the decade, Epsilon Beta began to experience difficulty in filling their chapter house to capacity. In some cases senior members resigned their memberships because they no longer wanted to live in the chapter house. The chapter also had a large number of members study abroad.
By the middle of the decade, the chapter was experiencing difficulties with chapter traditions that were detrimental to the purposes of the Fraternity and alcohol related. It became increasingly difficult to retain members who were loyal to the ideals and standards of the Fraternity. With strong direction from local alumnae, the chapter’s Coordinator of Chapter Development and the Fraternity Council, Epsilon Beta worked hard to return to the Fraternity's ideals and standards.
Epsilon Beta continued to host its Chile Con Kappa philanthropic event throughout this decade, raising more funds each year. The chapter used these funds to support Reading is Fundamental and the Kappa Foundation.
In Fall 2013 Epsilon Beta received the Panhellenic Council Award for exemplary faculty involvement. Spring 2013 Top GPA out of all 9 Panhellenic sororities on campus, which was a 3.24. Fall 2013 the number two GPA, which was a 3.23.; Province Award: Spring 2013 Excellence in Standards for Eta Province.
Philanthropy: In the Fall of 2013 we did our Chili Con Kappa philanthropy. After the floods in Colorado we decided to give our money to Flood Relief. A junior in our house, Nicolette Stetson, lost her grandfather in the flood and our money went to her family as well. We raised 3,291 dollars. In the Spring of 2013 we did our Kappa Klassic philanthropy. One third of the money raised went to a local Family Center called La Familia.
In Fall 2013 we did the football tailgate called Kappa Kickoff. A senior, Morgan Dorsey, has a teenage cousin who needed an Angel Flight to receive a liver transplant, which she could not afford. Our money went to helping her pay for her flight.
Spring 2013 Kappa Kisses money went to the Wounded Warriors foundation. Many women participated in Relay for Life in Spring 2013, which is a marathon that goes all night to symbolize that “Cancer Never Sleeps.” Many women also participated in Dance Marathon, which was an all day event where we danced with kids from the Children’s Hospital. Spring 2013 we had a sisterhood with Pi Beta Phi where we raised money to give books to Elementary Schools.
Scholarship: Kat Jaeger received the Iris Kappa Scholarship.
Panhellenic Involvement - Madeleine Sheahan was elected Panhellenic President in Fall 2013; Courtney Gaskins was elected Panhellenic Vice President of Scholarship in Fall 2013
Emphasis on chapter council officers using their committees. Extreme emphasis on being way more positive not only in our chapter but making Greek Life a more positive thing on our campus as a whole. Become a more unified chapter and a more unified Greek community With the negative stereotypes of Greeks on our campus Chapter Council is making strides in changing our image and images of other chapters. More bonding with other chapters and putting ourselves out there to the Colorado State Community. Stronger sisterhood and ritual.
Awards: Spring 2014 Top GPA out of all 9 Panhellenic sororities on campus, which was a 3.12. Fall 2014 we were third GPA, out of all 9 Panhellenic sororities on campus, which was a 3.092.
Philanthropy: Many women participated in Relay for Life in Spring 2014. We raised over $1,000 to give to the foundation. Spring 2014 Kappa Klassic raised $3,800 for the Arapahoe High School Memorial Foundation Honoring Claire Davis, Reading Is Fundamental and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. There were about 80 participants in the tournament.
Summer of 2014, 7 girls went to Uganda and volunteered for Peace for Children Africa. The trip lasted 3 weeks in which they did extensive work to help children and their communities.
Spring 2014 Kappa Kisses raised $250 for Operation Gratitude
Fall 2014 Chili Con Kappa $2,800 money went to RIF and Kappa foundation.
Many women also participated in Dance Marathon, which was an all day event where we danced with kids from the Children’s Hospital.
Panhellenic Involvement Giovanna Knudsen was elected Vice President of Community Service and Philanthropy in Fall of 2014 Jordan Paulus was elected Vice President of Scholarship in Fall of 2014
Chapter Meetings and Housing We hold our chapter meeting at our campus student center because we can’t fit all the girls in the house. Each Monday after dinner we will all carpool to the student center in which we have a room reserved for us. Our chapter house is owned. The house can hold about 60 girls in it. We try to give every girl the opportunity to live in because we believe it is a great experience.
Describe the recent changes on your campus and describe the overall nature of your chapter: Extreme emphasis on being way more positive not only in our chapter but making Greek Life a more positive thing on our campus as a whole.
With the negative stereotypes of Greeks on our campus Chapter Council is making strides in changing our image and images of other chapters.
More bonding with other chapters and putting ourselves out there to the Colorado State Community. Stronger sisterhood and ritual.
Becoming unified with the Greek community on campus
Involving the whole chapter and giving everyone a voice.
Through CSU Fraternity and Sorority Life we won Excellence in External Relations. Two of our members won individual awards: Haley Cameron won Excellence in Community Service and Philanthropy and Madeleine Sheehan won Chapter Woman of the Year!
In the Spring 2015 semester, we were able to raise $3,635 from Kappa Klassic and we paired with Kappa Alpha Theta for a Keys & Kites Breakfast. The proceeds from this event went to Reading Is Fundamental and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation.
In the Fall 2015 semester we raised $2,694 during Chili Con Kappa which was donated to the Fort Collins Rescue Mission and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. At Chili Con Kappa we also had over 100 people sign up for the Bone Marrow Registry.
Other philanthropic events we participated in:
About 15 women participate in both Relay for Life and Dance Marathon in which we had a Kapppa Kappa Gamma team donation for both events.
About 100 women from our chapter participated in 4 hours of community service through CSUnity.
We also made over 40 diaper kits for United Way of Larimer County during Work Week community service.
Giovanna Knudsen was elected Vice President of Community Service and Philanthropy in Spring 2015 and Jordan Paulus was elected Vice President of Scholarship in Spring 2015.
Chapter Meetings and Housing
Our chapter house is owned. The house can hold 56 girls in it. We try to give every girl the opportunity to live in because we believe it is a great experience. We recently got our basement redone and it looks amazing! We have an awesome new study room that gives girls a place to study in a clean, quiet area. We also have a new movie theater room that girls love to have movie nights in and relax after a day at school.
Meetings are held at ours student center. We rent out a room every Monday so we can have organized meetings. Each girl will carpool over there after dinner at the house.
In 2016 we had many achievements. The first being that our overall GPA for the Spring semester was a 3.14 and our Fall semester was a 3.066. While at Convention, we received Honorable Mention in both Heritage and Recruitment. We held Mom's Day in the Spring and Dad's Day in the fall along with Parent's Weekend in between. As usual we had both a Spring and Fall formal. We started two new Philanthropy events this year, Kickin it With Kappa, which was a soccer tournament. Kamp Kappa was our other Philanthropy event and we roasted s'mores and watched a movie! Several hundred community service hours were completed by our Chapter members.
Chapter Council's overall goal was "to challenge every member of our chapter to be better than they were yesterday". We held our Chapter members accountable and did our best to continue Kappa's legacy both on Colorado State's Campus and nationally. We also participated in CSUnity, which was a school wide event where student's served the community. Dance Marathon for Children's Hospital, Colorado Special Olympics Polar Plunge, and Relay for Life were all events that our Chapter members participated in as well. Unfortunately in April, one of our chapter members, Catie Abeyta, passed away from a skiing accident. We really learned how to lean on one another and cherish the time that we had with our sisters. It brought us closer together and we will always remember Catie and her light that she shined within us.
Our campus is under a lot of construction right now as they try to grow Colorado State University. Our chapter is closer than ever before, we have wonderful members who serve the community and excel academically.
This year we decided to introduce two new Philanthropy events to our community. The first one being Kickin' it With Kappa, raising $1,500 for (idk) and Kamp Kappa, raising $6,200 for the Catie Abeyta Scholarship.
The Catie Abeyta Scholarship was started by our Philanthropy Chair in honor of our sister that passed away in April. This is a very near and dear cause to our hearts.
The biggest change to the CSU campus occurred in the fall of 2017 with the addition of the new CSU football stadium. It is a real source of pride for all of us.
2017 was a year with constant growth and achievement. Our chapter had a spring GPA of 3.12 and in fall it was 3.06. We spent time with our families with Mom's Day in the spring, Dad's Day in the fall and Parent's Weekend in October. We also enjoyed our spring and fall formals as well as socials and date dashes.
Philanthropy remained a big focus for the chapter. First we held Kickin It With Kappa, a soccer tournament, and then Kamp Kappa, where we cooked hotdogs and roast smores. The funds we raise during Kamp Kappa go to a scholarship fund for an Epsilon Beta sister who died in a skiing accident. We also participated in CSUnity, a schoolwide event where students serve in the community in some way. Our members also volunteer with a large number of organizations on campus and in the community.
Our Chapter Council goal for this year was "to challenge every member of our chapter to be better than they were yesterday." We worked especially hard on recruitment and promoting our chapter in a positive manner.
Chapter Council started the year with several goals. It was our hope to help the women of Epsilon Beta to feel more involved in chapter life and engaged in what Kappa is. We focused on living our ritual and making the ideals of Kappa more accessible to everyone. Chapter Council also focused on helping the chapter to maintain its improvement in academics. The chapter ranked 3rd on campus with a spring chapter GPA of 3.28. Although the expansion of our chapter house was not complete for our annual work week, it was finished for formal recruitment, allowing us to show our potential new members our new chapter room. We are now able to all eat together and move straight into chapter meeting rather than meet on campus.
We also enjoyed a variety of social events including Mom's Day in the spring and Dad's day in the fall. We also held our senior send off formal in the spring and the Sapphire Ball in December along with various date dashes and socials.
For our philanthropies, we had two main events. In the spring, we held Kappa Con Queso, where people could come by and get chips and queso and enjoy spending time with our chapter. In the fall we held Kamp Kappa in honor of Catie Abeyta, a member of our chapter who died in a tragic skiing accident. The money raised at Kamp Kappa is used for a scholarship in Catie's name.
The University has completed a new natural resources building on campus. Additionally, the CSU Panhellenic welcomed Phi Mu into our Panhellenic Association.