Epsilon Zeta

Epsilon Zeta Chapter was founded at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida on December 9, 1961.

Founding Date: Dec 9th, 1961

Status: Active

University:

Location:

District: Xi

Early Years

This is the tale of a remarkable but little-known event, the story of the coming of the Greek maidens of Kappa Kappa Gamma to the Land of Flowers, on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

At the southern tip of the Appalachian Plateau lies an area long a crossroad for nomadic tribes of Indians, hunters and fisherman. The now-extinct Apalachee Indians founded a community there; later Creeks and Seminoles replaced them. The place was called Tallahassee, (“Old Town” or “Old Fields”). For centuries the people lived undisturbed. Then came the conquistadors searching for gold and the fountain of youth. They named the area Florida, (“Land of Flowers”). De Soto’s band, wintering in Tallahassee, is thought to have celebrated the first American Christmas there, in 1539.

The priests of San Luis Mission, one of the chain built by the Spaniards, lived in peace with the Indians. The mission was destroyed by the English in 1704 as bitter rivalry developed. Americans fought for and received independence; there were Indian uprisings. Ultimately most of the southeastern tribes were moved west in the infamous “Trail of Tears.”

Tallahassee became a frontier town, named state capital in 1824. In 1851 a school, the West Florida Seminary, was established. Within a few years the seminary cadets, with the old men of the town, marched down to Natural Bridge to “whip the Yankees”---Tallahassee was the only capital not captured east of the Mississippi.

After the war, the seminary, succumbing to charges of sex discrimination, opened a separate female department. The University of Florida for men was developed in Gainesville, and in 1909 the school in Tallahassee became Florida State College for Women. A number of sororities sprang up there, but not Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Following World War I, the automobile came into wide use and life became more entertaining for the southern belles, with the lively traffic pattern which developed between Tallahassee and Gainesville. However, the young ladies still wore hats and gloves and were allowed in downtown Tallahassee in groups only. All social events were chaperoned.

World War II brought an abrupt halt to the good times with “the boys from Old Florida.” Gas rationing and the departure of me from campus resulted in “not enough to go around.” A brighter day dawned with the reactivation of Dale Mabry Field as an air base, right on the edge of Tallahassee. After World War II, returning G.I.s filled the University of Florida to overflowing, and the Florida legislature ordered the Gainesville school to be coeducational. This brought men to the College for Women campus… men!

Meanwhile, a “small but enthusiastic” group of Kappas from other campuses had periodically urged the Fraternity to consider a Tallahassee chapter. The break-through came with the arrival of coeducation there, in 1947. Kappa officers, headed by Fraternity President Eleanor Goodridge Campbell, Colorado, traveled to Winter Park, supposedly to considering a third Florida chapter.

Indications pointed to Gainesville, but enthusiastic Tallahassee alumnae contacted the officers, and Louise Barbeck Little, Southern Methodist, Director of Chapters, was sent to look over the situation. By changing her flight reservation to come to Tallahassee she escaped her original plane, which crashed in the Gulf, killing everyone on board.

The local Kappa alumnae went into action with unprecedented zeal. Up to now, their biggest moment in history had been a joint picnic with the Gainesville Alumnae Club, scheduled in a state park half way between the two towns. Unfortunately, no one had specified which state park—there were two, on two separate roads—and each group went to a different park, waiting without result for the other, ate the picnic chicken and returned home.

Now, concerted action was called for, and the small group acted. Appointments were scheduled, notably one with the university president and the dean of women who became staunch supporters. Forces were combined to make “Lou’s visitation” memorable. It was, and it resulted in such Kappa Kohesiveness that it has been oft-used as an example of “What Kappa means to me—Before and After.” The visit was an unqualified success and Florida State University was designated as focus for the new Florida chapter after Kappa was officially invited by the more than enthusiastic Florida State administration.

From then on it was “total involvement.” Martha Walker Puri and Martha Lee Boone Kuersteiner literally walked all the blocks around the university looking for a location for a Kappa house—they wound up with a grocery! In the fall of 1960 the Fraternity laid the foundations for the new chapter; in February, 1961, actives from the Rollins and Alabama chapters arrived to rush for the new colony, and on February 21, 25 girls were pledged. Parties and meetings were held in Florida State University’s Longmire Lounge and talk centered around the house which was to be built on the site of the old College Park Grocery Store. Groundbreaking was held under a tremendous live oak on a chilly hill November 19, 1961. The beautiful, pillared colonial house was ready for occupancy by fall 1962.

For every chapter everything that happens in the beginning is an exciting first. For the Tallahassee Alumnae Club, nothing will ever equal the excitement of securing and starting Epsilon Zeta. For the actives, to whom the events of college days are the important events, and to the archivist, other firsts are significant.

Remembrances include the first rush, the first Kappa Key Man, Karl Kuersteiner, the Kappa husband and Florida State University dean, who had called “Goodie” Campbell, and negotiated for the purchase of the lot; the first student senator; first members of Sophomore Council; the first junior councilor; first Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa initiates; the first “Best Dressed Girl” the first “Calendar Girl,” first Kappas in Florida State University Circus; the first Kappa on Greek Goddess Court; and the first Kappa Sun Goddess at St. Petersburg, Fla.

Very special firsts for the chapter were graduate counselors Margaret (Maggie) Miller (Brucker), Drake, and Karen Haun (Barlow) Texas, who lived off campus in those “early days,” but were vital trouble shooters. They got the chapter on its feet, and Maggie stayed long enough to marry a Florida State professor.

Through the years since colonization there have been many firsts, some happy, some sad, some funny. As Lou Barbeck said on her first visit, “Starting a chapter is a rough, rocky road” The “Old Faithful” of the Tallahassee alumnae are still “in there pitching,” along with many new members. They found in working together the larger, lifetime experience that Fraternity had to offer. Their cooperation was a real tribute to fraternity.

Probably the rockiest problem on Epsilon Zeta’s road was the fact that all the other sororities were already so strongly entrenched on this campus—40 or more years before Kappa. Florida was peopled in its southern area by northern families who knew Kappa, and in the central section by those who were Kappa-oriented through Rollins and the University of Miami. But in the northern Panhandle, from which Florida State University drew most of its students, Kappa was new. Epsilon Zeta had pioneered and was particularly proud of having familiarized Northern Florida with the fleur-de-lis—and getting “cream of the crop” girls in spite of such long-standing opposition.

The Kappa alumnae in Tallahassee were proud of the Fraternity organization which stood behind them, grateful to the alumnae of 50+ years ago whose dedication promoted the effort, and to those whose added effort made this fine chapter, with its helpful house directors, a reality. Florida State Kappas are happy with the tale of how the Greek maidens of KKG made a new, good life and became recognized as leaders in the “high and lovely hills” of Tallahassee, where once Indians lived.

The previous information was excerpted from The History of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity, 1870-1976. The information that follows has been gleaned from available resources including Chapter History Reports, chapter meeting minutes, letters and comments from chapter members and alumnae, the Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Archives, and The Key. Each chapter is expected to update its history record annually. Contact Fraternity Headquarters at [email protected] with questions.

Highlights of the 1980s

The 80s were a busy time for Epsilon Zeta Chapter. From Rush to philanthropies and socials, there always seemed to be something going on. In addition there were intramurals and visits from Fraternity officials.

Between the years 1980 to 1984 Florida State's football team played Auburn's football team where the War Chant started in 1984 during the Auburn game. Also during this game the Tomahawk chop started and Kappa's actively participated. The chapter had traditional events during football season such as Parent’s Weekend, Homecoming and Founders Day which was celebrated with local alumnae.

The 1984 pledge was named the best by Rho Lambda and the 1985 Rush theme “We’re Greek and Lovin It” won the Panhellenic contest for themes. The chapter had difficulty making quota for several years in a row so the women started a campaign to improve the results. They set a goal of meeting 75% of quota which was achieved in 1989.

The chapter participated in the many philanthropies sponsored by other Greek organization on campus. The women also participated in many socials with campus fraternities. Some of the activities included Greek Week, Sapphire Ball, Kappa Kidnap, Hayride, Monmouth Duo and Homecoming. The chapter won first place over all for Homecoming in 1985 paired with Delta Tau Delta and Delta Chi. The chapter won several Intramural championships during this decade.

The chapter was given a warning of probation in the 80s. They received a visit from Jean Hess Well, Georgia, Fraternity Ritualist. She attended spring initiation and gave the chapter a new perspective on ritual. The following year the Fraternity Scholarship Chairman visited the chapter and worked diligently with Chapter Council. She was a tremendous asset to the chapter and her fresh insight helped the chapter grow and improve its G.P.A.

The chapter held a variety of sisterhood events. These included Kappa Kickback, movie nights, Kappa Kuisine Nights, and a family picnic. This enabled the women to get to know each other better and have fun together.

Women were involved in other activities such as student government, student senate and various other organizations around campus. They were also involved in honor societies such as Gold Key, Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Eta Sigma to name a few.

The University’s Panhellenic won second place for Rush at the National Panhellenic Conference in 1989. The same year the chapter won an award for most improved scholarship at the Mu Province meeting.

While attitudes towards the Greek system were favorable with increasing numbers of students joining Greek organizations the university enrollment declined due to a decline in financial assistance and an increase in admissions requirements. The Greek system remained strong with 16 Sororities and 21 Fraternities.

The main floor of the house was redecorated in 1985. The dining room and foyer received new parquet wood floors. Everything was repainted and new wall paper was installed. In addition, the living rooms received new carpet. Epsilon Zeta was ready to move into the 90s!

Highlights of the 1990s

Admission standards continued to increase at Florida State University in the 1990s, making it more difficult to gain admission. In spite of this, the Greek system continued to thrive. However, Sigma Sigma Sigma left campus while Delta Zeta built a huge new house. Through a lot of hard work, the chapter was removed from its warning of probation.

The chapter continued to participate in philanthropies to support fellow Greek organizations’ efforts. It also held many socials with fraternities. Some of the chapter activities included Kappa Kidnap, Hayride, Kappa Krush, Greek Week, Monmouth Duo and Founders Day. In 1997 Dance Marathon was started. This was a fund raiser for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Founders Day brought the pledges, sisters and alumnae together to share Kappa’s history. A chapter colonizer attended one year! Another year there was a 50-year pin awarded to an alumna. The women continued to excel on campus in athletic, academic and philanthropic events. They worked hard and usually finished at or near the top in intramural activities.

In 1990 the chapter made quota in Rush. More and more chapter women became involved in campus and community activities strengthening chapter bonds with the public. This interaction with the community enabled the women to see the pride and culture of Tallahassee. An Epsilon Zeta member was named Greek Woman of the Year for 19 94. The chapter continued to have successful rushes throughout this decade.

Scholarship improved with the chapter placing first in 1994. Academically the chapter stayed above the Panhellenic all sorority G.P.A. Many of the women were inducted into the various honor societies on campus.

In 1997 EZ was a pilot for the New Member Program. This brought changes that were an adjustment for the chapter but they were ready when it was time for new members. Other changes around the house included new paint inside and out, new carpet and new decorations. The chapter worked on improving their knowledge of ritual. They promoted Strive for Pi! through rewards for those who achieved Pi and helped those who needed to improve academically.

In 1998 the chapter was third in scholarship. They held the first Kappa Klimb which was a rock climbing event as a benefit for the Rose McGill Fund. The chapter placed second on campus for the New Member Program. The pledge class ranked sixth in scholarship that year. The chapter revived its newsletter, the Kappa Kourier.

Highlights of 2000-2010

The millennial years often began with a week of events such as watching movies and playing board games which resulted in new members joining the chapter. Initiation was held jointly with the Eta Eta Chapter at University of Central Florida in 2006. Formal Recruitment was held in August in the steamy hot often rainy weather in Tallahassee. Each year the size of the new member class increased in size which was been great for the chapter. We also had women serve as Rho Gammas, a person who leads the girls through rush and encourages them to continue with the process while keeping their house a secret.

While the chapter participated in the many campus-wide philanthropies which included Dance Marathon where many of the women danced for 32-hours straight, and many others were involved on the Dance Marathon Committee. Dance Marathon raised funds for the Children's Miracle Network. Another prominent philanthropy in which the women participated on campus was Relay for Life, which was founded on Florida State University's campus by an Epsilon Zeta Kappa. The chapter often placed in the top or won this competition. Epsilon Zeta began its own philanthropic events with its first annual Kappa Klassic to raise money for Reading Is Fundamental, Kappa Kombat which is a laser tag tournament between the fraternities and the Kappa Krawfish Boil. All of these philanthropy events were huge successes.

Founders Day is celebrated in October. Local alumnae were invited to the Kappa house where history of the Fraternity and the chapter were shared and refreshments were served. Homecoming and Parent’s Weekend were other big events celebrated each fall semester.

The chapter had continued to improve its G.P.A. It implemented probation for those women whose G.P.A. fell below a 2.5 and the members are required to meet weekly with a member of the academic excellence committee. The chapter exceeded the Panhellenic Goal of a 3.14 G.P.A. by achieving a 3.17 G.P.A. and received recognition in doing so. Thirty-six members were on the Dean's List (3.5 G.P.A.), and eight women were on the President's List, 4.0 G.P.A. in 2006.

During the summers improvements were made to the chapter house. The columns were replaced to improve the structure of the house as well as refinished, the floors were refinished and painting inside and out. The formal and informal living rooms were updated as well.

FSU's Panhellenic Organization decided to expand and welcome the 16th sorority on campus, Alpha Phi which had a very successful recruitment and has continued to grow along with the other sororities on campus. Future expansion has been planned.

Highlights of 2012

In the previous calendar year the members of the Epsilon Zeta chapter have been very involved on campus and in our community. At the national convention this summer we received honorable mention for our excellence in Ritual. We have several sisters in the following academic based honor societies, Phi Eta Sigma, Order of Omega and Rho Lambda. We also have three sisters who are Relay for Life team captains, eight Rho Gammas, two Dance Marathon assistants, one Dance Marathon Morale Captain. We also have sisters pursuing career based interests; our sister Brianna Barnabee was the Florida Public Relations Association Digital Coordinator; Angeline Lenz was the membership chair for the Society of Women in Engineering; and Ashley Cook writes for the campus fashion Magazine, Clutch.

We also have campus representatives for companies in our chapter from Victoria's Secret, Lily Pulitzer, Southern Tide and Vineyard Vines.One of our chapter goals for the 2012 calendar year was to increase campus involvement and we accomplished that goal by older sisters encouraging and helping the younger girls to apply for positions. In fall 2012 we had more sisters apply for leadership positions around campus than ever before in our chapter.

The Florida State University campus has a very diverse culture that is always evolving. Here in Tallahassee we have students and professors from all different backgrounds who contribute to the melting pot style of campus we call home. Florida State has a very strong Panhallenic association which provides us with a large greek life that supports us in our philanthropy, social events and community involvement. The nature of our chapter is similar to that of FSU's campus in that we are very unique. We have 219 active members, all of which share the values of love, friendship and loyalty but have very different personalities. We are a chapter with a lot of acceptance of and embrace our differences in the process of bettering ourselves as women, a goal every single member strides for and contributes to our chapter.

Highlights of 2013

Many of the sisters of the Epsilon Zeta chapter have the honor of accepting the Bright Futures scholarship that helps to alleviate tuition for students attending universities in the state of Florida. A few of our new sisters have received further scholarships, including the Freshman Scholarship that is good for $1,200 a semester. Our academic success continued in the 2013 school year by a large number of sisters being recognized with high honors on the Dean’s List as well as the President’s List for many semesters in a row.

Not only has our chapter been involved academically, but our focus on philanthropic involvement is also very important to us. Both our Kappa Krawfish Boil in the Spring and our Kappa Kombat event in the Fall supporting the Gretchen Everheart School and Reading is Fundamental had the highest level of participation from the Greek community that it has ever seen. So much so that our Kappa Krawfish Boil ran out of crawfish for our guests due to the large turnout. We returned the support in our Greek community by participating in Chi Omega’s Kisses for the Troops, Gamma Phi Beta’s GPhi-Joe event, the Theta fest for Kappa Alpha Theta, Alpha Delta Pi’s BBQ event supporting the Ronald McDonald House Charities, as well as Alpha Phi’s Red Dress Gala supporting the American Heart Association and many more.

Our philanthropic involvement continued to improve our fraternal relations by participating in Theta Chi’s Cheers for Children, Alpha Tau Omega’s Fratiator, Pi Kappa Alpha’s Christmas for the Children, just to name a few. Our sisters continued to be involved in one of the largest events that takes place on campus- Dance Marathon at FSU. With more than half of our chapter participating in Dance Marathon at FSU, whether as a dancer, Morale Captain, or selected to be on the Executive Board of the event, Kappa Kappa Gamma’s participation in the success of this event was detrimental to its success. We continued to be involved in Light the Night in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, as well as Relay for Life, of which our chapter originally brought to the Florida State University. Last year, Kappa Kappa Gamma placed first in the event for Relay for Life for our hard work and participation.

Epsilon Zeta members have also been involved in world and local events including many mission trips by sisters to Haiti, and Jamaica. One of our sisters also helped to campaign for the Republican party, while others work at the capital just a short trip from campus. Another sister worked as a group leader for Vacation Church Camp over the summer, while others were camp counselors at their local summer camps as well.

Within our chapter, sisters have noticed many positive changes that have helped us improve a large amount when compared to 2012. Sisters have reported an increase in confidence within ourselves due to the support of our sisters. Weekly awards, such as Supportive Sister and Sister of the Week, have helped our chapter work to be the best sisters we can e to each other. Every week, the Supportive Sister of the week receives an oversized pink bra, of which they are to add to the decorations however they wish. They receive the bra by supporting another sister during a hard time, or just by lending a helping hand. Sister of the Week is given to a woman who has done something excellent during the week, whether it is doing exceptionally well on a test or representing our chapter in a positive way on campus. Sisters have also noticed the improvement in outside involvement, both in the Tallahassee community and Panhellenic. There has also been a push to become more well-rounded in Kappa by acquiring leadership positions around campus and in the community. Due to our increase in participation of other chapter’s events within the Greek community, our events including Kappa Krawfish Boil and Kappa Kombat have become more successful, which helps to improve our personal relations as well.

Within the Panhellenic community, Kappa Kappa Gamma has continued to stay involved by serving on the Panhellenic recruitment staff, both on the technology team and as Rho Gamma’s. Our sisters helped to welcome home over 1,000 new members into the Panhellenic Community to join wonderful sisterhoods. At the end of 2013, one of our very own sisters, Maria Stamatoinokis, was selected to be the Head Rho Gamma for Fall 2014.

During our Founder’s Day event held in the back yard, both sisters and Alumni gathered around to celebrate and honor the six founders of our fraternity. This event, filled with singing, writing to other chapters congratulating their Founder’s Day, reflecting on our chapter’s history, candle lightings in honor of our founders, and many other ritual events helped to remind the women of Epsilon Zeta why we are a part of such an incredible sisterhood.

As one of our goals for the 2013 calendar year was to be more involved around campus, the sisters of the Epsilon Zeta chapter certainly achieved this goal. Multiple sisters are involved in the Student Government Association at FSU, as well as the National Society of Leadership Success, FSU’s School Newspaper The Odyssey, Seminole’s Futures Ambassadors, a Union Productions volunteer, membership in the Freshman Leadership Institute, as well as Hall Ambassadors for Dormitories, and many clubs relating to our sister’s selected majors. These membership positions around campus have helped Kappa to establish ourselves as leaders who are helping to evolve our university into one of the best universities in the nation.

Many of our sisters have reported the nature of our chapter as being a loving, dedicated, and diverse group of women. A large amount responded by elaborating on the sisterly love that we show one another. Our chapter was described the most by our sisters as being supportive, determined, classy, and sisterly. These four adjectives portrays the kind of relationships we build with not only our sisters, but our Panhellenic sisters, the entire Greek community, and the local and national communities our chapter touches as well.

Highlights of 2014

The sisters of the Epsilon Zeta Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma were involved in an extraordinary amount of events, organizations and honors through our campus and community. The following is a list of just a select few of these incredible achievements and involvement.

Honors and Awards:

•Vanessa Domingo’s-light the night marketing director, member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, President's List

•Hayley Granger was awarded one of the four scholarships of $2,000 to attend UIFI (Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute) from the FSU Panhellenic Association

•Janay Holloway-FSU competitive cheer team

•Lydia Mansfield-served on the 5 Women Student Union executive board as the campus-wide Women's History Month Director, interns as a GIS Analyst with Tallahassee-Leon County's joint GIS department, nominated and selected as a Seminole Torchbearer

•Ashley Cook-Light the Night Executive Board 2014, Clutch Magazine editor-in-chief •Jennifer Wallace- Executive Position in Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society; President of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society; accepted into the Transfer Leadership Institute Program; Graduated from the Transfer Leadership Institute

•Crystal Quirino-Bright Futures Academic Scholarship

•Lucy Smith-Phi eta sigma honor society, young entrepreneurship society, national colligate scholars, deans list

•Kasey Braden-Relay for Life of FSU Fundraising Chair, The Vitality Party (political party on campus) Director of Panhellenic Relations

•Catie Richardson - 2014 recruitment counselor; honors delegate for FSU honors college

•Megan Simmons-Bright Futures Scholarship; Deans List fall 2014

•Alex Jones - Planned the two service events for FSU Homecoming: Karaoke for a Cure and Renegade Recess

•Jessica Jermer-Dean's List, Seminole Scholars, Slated Senator Candidate, Honors College Acceptance

•Madison Lizek - S-Stem Scholarship

•Emily Holmes-FSU Spring Break Study Abroad Scholarship

•Kelsey Lather-Accepted into the Rho Lambda Honor Society, became Doulos Co-Leader for Greek ministry, Studied abroad in London

•Jenna Elliott-Dean's list Fall 2014, Emerging Leaders program, Part of the Edison Pageant of Light in Fort Myers FL

•Niki Little-Member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society

•Sara Demetree-Dean's List 2014, Honor Roll, Advanced Acting and Audition Award

Our sisters are dedicated to being involved throughout our campus and community in every way possible. We have sisters involved in honor societies, competitive teams, and many other organizations on campus. Many of our sisters have also been awarded scholarships through Florida Bright Futures, which awards them for academic excellence through providing financial stability and support for tuition. Many of our sisters have also been awarded with Honor Roll, Deans List, and even President’s List! Epsilon Zeta sisters are committed to academic excellence and campus involvement and show this everyday through their extraordinary actions.

Philanthropic Involvement:

•Epsilon Zeta Chapter 1st place overall in FSU Relay for Life 2014

•Chapter involvement in Light the Night 2014

•Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

•Participated in the Aids Walk

•Pike's Christmas for the Kids

•Kappa Kombat

•Chi O Kisses for the Troops

•Journey Foundation Food/Clothing Drive

•Habitat for humanity

•Best buddies

•Sister Nicole Grant volunteered through Pura Vida Missions in San Ramon, Costa Rica

•Running for Ryan 5K

•Sister Katie Gettys went on two mission trips to Guatemala in May and December where she helped build a house, a wall around the church, and played with the kids

•Sister Catie Richardson worked in a clinic and taught English in Honduras

•Salvation Army volunteering

•The Buddy Walk for Downs Syndrome

• “Reading is Fundamental” Philanthropy- Owl Read With You Book Signing, Reading with students at Gretchen Everheart school

•Kappa “Krawfish Broil”

These are only amongst the few philanthropic involvements that our chapter has been involved in for the 2014 calendar year. Whether it’s at Gretchen Everhart reading, forming relationships, and sharing our love for learning with the students; or supporting our Greek brothers and sisters through philanthropic events hosted by our numerous organizations on campus, the Epsilon Zeta chapter at Florida State University has devoted their time to making our campus, our community, and our world a better place through philanthropic work. Our sisters are also huge supporters of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation through financial gifts to help fund scholarships, confidential aid, education, training, and support of our two museums.

Our chapter also led a successful recruitment in which we recruited 88 new members, and initiated 87 of those new members. This allowed us to not have to participate in spring recruitment for the first time in a very long time because we had met quota! We love all of our sisters and were so excited to welcome in 88 new members who love the Epsilon Zeta Chapter just as much!

One of our goals for the 2014 calendar year was to be more even more involved than the previous year around campus. The sisters of the Epsilon Zeta chapter worked hard to achieve this and definitely went above and beyond all expectations! Sisters are involved in the Student Government Association at FSU, as well as the National Society of Leadership Success, FSU’s School Newspaper The Odyssey, Seminole’s Futures Ambassadors, a Union Productions volunteer, membership in the Freshman Leadership Institute, as well as Hall Ambassadors for Dormitories, and many clubs relating to our sister’s selected majors. These membership positions around campus have helped Kappa to establish ourselves as leaders who are helping to evolve our university into one of the best universities in the nation.

Many of our sisters have reported the nature of our chapter as being a loving, dedicated, and diverse group of women. A large amount responded by elaborating on the sisterly love that we show one another. Our chapter was described the most by our sisters as being supportive, determined, classy, and sisterly. These four adjectives portrays the kind of relationships we build with not only our sisters, but our Panhellenic sisters, the entire Greek community, and the local and national communities our chapter touches as well.

Highlights of 2015

Our philanthropic involvement is something that is very important to our chapter. For our spring philanthropy, we held our first “Kappa Kountry Fest.” Love and Theft performed for us as well as the members of the Greek community who had participated in the event. This event raised over $3,700 supporting the Gretchen Everheart School and Reading is Fundamental. In the fall, we held our Kappa Kombat with participation from the Greek community. Aside from these large events, our sisters also take the time out of their day to volunteer to read at the Gretchen Everheart School to support our philanthropy. Our chapter also participated in external philanthropies like Theta Chi’s Cheers for Children, Pi Kappa Alpha’s Christmas for the Kids, and many more.

Our sisters are also held to high standards academically as well. We want to live up to the expectations of those who came before us. We have sisters who are involved in Phi Sigma Pi National Honors Society, Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society, and Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. We also have sisters receiving many scholarship awards like the S-STEM scholar, Truman Scholarship Nomination, Social Science Scholar, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, National Retail Federations Rising Star Scholar Scholarship and many more. Our sisters are also recognized on the Dean’s List for their academic Excellence. The motivation and support our sisters have are endless though the Epsilon Zeta Chapter.

Within our chapter, we pride ourselves in the role we have in the Panhellenic community. Many of our sisters have served as Rho Gamma’s and the memories they have made from that experience will truly last a lifetime. We also have a sister serving on the new Panhellenic Executive Board and we couldn’t be any more proud of her.

At Florida State, there are many large campus wide events held on campus, and the Epsilon Zeta chapter has very high participation. Over half of our sisters are involved in Dance Marathon, either as dancers, Morale Captains, Production Assistant, and even on the Executive Councils. As a team, we had raised over $36,000 for the cause for Children’s Miracle Network! We are also involved in Light the Night, and Relay for Life, which our team had won first place!

The sisters of the Epsilon Zeta Chapter at Kappa Kappa Gamma are very involved on both the college campus and in the Tallahassee community. Each sister brings a different strength to our chapter, which makes us a diverse group of well-rounded sisters. To celebrate our chapter and our new 79 initiated sisters, we held our very first ever “Kappa’s It Day” which was a big success to all of our sisters. Our sisters were able to take the time out of their day to come to the house and de-stress and have fun activities set up, like Silent Disco, a bounce house, a photo booth, and much more. This event truly reminded our chapter of the amazing sisterhood and bond we all share for Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Our goal as a chapter for the 2015 calendar year was to continue our streak of academic excellence, and well as Panhellenic Involvement and community service, and our chapter did just that! Sisters continue to stay involved in Student Government Associations, FPRA (Florida Public Relations Association), aHackFSU, Transfer Leadership Institute Facilitator of Administration, Homecoming Executive Council, and the Seminole Torchbearers. Sisters are also Orientation Leaders helping the future students of our school feel welcomed on their first arrival. Sisters have also been interning for the Republican Party or Florida, working on the Rick Scott Governor campaign, and on the Florida Democratic Party Convention. Our 262 sisters pride themselves in being well rounded and are prepared to take on life post-college. Kappa’s it!

Chapter Philanthropy:

What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community?

Our chapter raises money for the Gretchen Everheart School, RIF (Reading is Fundamental), Dance Marathon, Light the Night, and Relay for Life

Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support?

Our chapter chose Reading is Fundamental to give back to the community and to the kids to help them find the joy in reading.

Highlights of 2016

The sisters of the Epsilon Zeta Chapter have always been well-rounded and actively involved both inside and outside of Kappa Kappa Gamma.

This year was especially commendable for our chapter because we achieved the triple crown for the most fundraising for the top three campus-wide philanthropies at Florida State. Our organization was the top fundraiser for Dance Marathon, Relay for Life, and Light the Night. In addition to fundraising for these philanthropies, many members of our chapter held positions on the executive boards. Our sisters also had exceptional involvement within our own chapter this year. Our philanthropies supported the Gretchen Everheart School and Reading is Fundamental Organization. For our spring philanthropy this year we hosted Kappa Con Queso for the first time. We raised money by having a queso bar in our front yard where everyone in the FSU and Greek community could come together while enjoying chips and queso. It was such a success that we are planning to host it again for our spring philanthropy in 2017. For our fall philanthropy we hosted our third annual Kappa Kombat. This event is a paint ball tournament that gives the sororities and fraternities a way to friendly compete with one another. Our sisters also participated in “Owl Read With You”, where they read different books to classes at the Gretchen Everheart school.

Not only were our sisters involved with the executive boards for Dance Marathon, Relay for Life, and Light the Night, but we were involved on campus in a multitude of other ways. Some of our sisters had the opportunity to be Orientation Leaders where they were able to welcome the class of 2020 to Florida State University. One of our sisters is involved in an organization called STARS. This organization works to increase minorities with technology by helping them integrate technology into the workforce. She travels around the state of Florida to talk to high school students about college and technology paths as well as companies in order to create a pipeline. Additionally, another one of our sisters is involved with the Academic Recruitment Organization where she works to get high-achieving high school students to come to Florida State University.

Not only were our sisters able to bond with one another at our philanthropies but we also bonded at our sisterhood retreats. In the spring our sisters were brought together for “Loyal-tea and Friendship.” This event was a tea party full of tea, food, raffles, and friendship. In the fall our chapter was blessed with the opportunity to go to Disney World, where we spent the day riding roller-coasters, meeting Disney characters, eating good food, and bonding with our sisters.

The sisters of Florida State’s chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma go above and beyond in their academics as well as their involvement. We have many sisters who have made the dean’s list, the president’s list, or are a part of Florida State’s honors college. Some of our sisters are also members of professional fraternities such as Phi Eta Sigma, Omicron Delta Kappa, or Alpha Kappa Psi.

This year has definitely been a milestone for the Epsilon Zeta chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Our chapter has not only grown in 2016 but it has also improved in many ways. This year our sisters have focused more on the true meaning of sisterhood and involvement inside and outside of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Our recruitment process became more efficient and our Initiation organization structure was strengthened. Our chapter has expanded our presence on campus this year and we hope to continually expand next year as well. In 2017 we intend to make our chapter more cohesive, maintain a strong sisterhood, and leave a positive impact for change.

Highlights of 2017

This past year was another amazing year for the sisters of the Epsilon Zeta chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Our sisters thrived both within Kappa and on campus at Florida State University. From involvement to overall attitude, the sisters of our chapter have done nothing but excel.

Kappa Kappa Gamma is known to be extremely involved on Florida State University’s campus. Our chapter was the top fundraisers for Light the Night and Relay for Life. We also have many sisters on the executive boards of these fundraisers and on the executive board of Dance Marathon. We even had a sister oversee FSU’s homecoming as assistant parade and chief and princess director. Our involvement doesn’t end there though. This semester two of our sisters were campus representatives for national companies. They represented Spanx and PINK by Victoria Secret. These are just some of the highlights, each and everyone of our sisters is involved with something they are passionate about.

Our internal philanthropy events this year were Kappa Con Queso and Kappa Kombat. Kappa Con Queso took place in the spring and was a huge success. We closed off part of West Jefferson Street and had a Queso bar. In the fall, we had our fourth annual Kappa Kombat; a paintball tournament between both fraternities and sororities.

Academically, our chapter has gone above and beyond this year. This past spring, we moved up from 7th to 2nd overall highest GPA. We have Kappa Coffee hours from 8pm-10pm every Monday and Wednesday in our dining hall with the best study snacks for some extra motivation.

However, this past fall there was a tragedy in the Greek community. This loss affected many and rippled throughout our campus. In response, President Thrasher put a hold on Greek life. It is in this time that we are to reflect on our actions and the consequences that follow them. It is up to the Greek community to create a change in the ways of FSU greek life. As a community, we are coming together to not only support one another but to figure out a way to improve Greek life.