Epsilon Lambda Chapter was founded at University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee on February 25, 1967.
1,942 initiates (as of June 2018)
Discussion of the establishment of a Kappa chapter on the University of Tennessee campus began in 1946.
Knoxville area Kappas organized in 1948 and their president, Mary Hamilton Ewing, Delta Xi- Carnegie Tech, Province Director of Alumnae, worked four years with the campus Panhellenic. By 1962 Tennessee was seen as a possible extension choice, and in 1964 an extension team endorsed the campus for colonization.
In September, 1966, Epsilon Lambda colony was formed and within a few weeks 34 members had been pledged. It was an outstanding group, and Susan Ward (Cline) with her title of "Miss Tennessee Engineer" brought the chapter its first trophy.
"We can never compete with the established sororities," was thought more than once. The challenge was accepted by three Kappa actives: D. Jane Humphrey (Henegar), Epsilon Alpha- Texas Christian, graduate counselor, "a Kappa lady through and through"; Betsy Rule (Marcum), Beta Upsilon- West Virginia, pledge chairman, "with her sweet demure manner"; and Leslie Hughes (Mier), Epsilon Eta- Auburn, song leader, "our devoted musical transfer."
Installation was scheduled February 24,25, and 26, 1967. Special guests were national officers Frances Fatout Alexander, Iota- DePauw, Ruth Hoehle Lane, Phi- Boston, and Clara O. Pierce, Beta Nu- Ohio State, as well as the Beta Chi Kappas who were in Knoxville to see the colony become the first Kappa chapter in the state. Twenty-four girls became charter members on February 25 at a service in the Panhellenic Building where the spacious Kappa suite is located. The Passing of the Light Ceremony saw the heirloom Charlotte Barrell Ware candlesticks passed from Betty Davis Van Fleet, Alpha Deuteron- Monmouth College, to Rebecca O'Connor (Greene), the colony president.
Tennessee President Dr. Andrew Holt and Mrs. Holt were guests at the banquet that night and Dean of Women Jane McCormick, Delta Alpha- Penn State, brought the university's and her own greetings. Anna Thompson (Parker), Epsilon Lambda's first president, received the charter.
Margaret Lynn Harris was awarded a scholarship by the Austin, Texas, Alumnae; Kay Marie Burns (Kendall) received the scholarship award; and Becky O'Connor (Greene), as outstanding contributor to the colony, was given an antique key sent by Beta Nu actives and the Columbus, Ohio, Alumnae Association.
The first rush was "wild," with fun-filled practices, work sessions, mistakes, aggravating moments, tears, and extreme joy. Mrs. Louise Little Barbeck, Gamma Phi- Southern Methodist, then national vice president, helped keep spirit up with her kind advice and perpetual calmness. On "squeal night," when 30 pledges walked through the door, there could not have been a prouder group of actives.
The Kappa "Pumpkin Walk," now a tradition, began that fall when jack-o-lanterns with Kappa eyes, Gamma noses, and key mouths were delivered on fraternity row. Initiation, parties, the chapter's first birthday, and honors filled the term.
Twenty-nine pledges found their big sisters in the fall of 1968 by following a maze of yarn ending in 29 wooden keys. That began an active schedule focusing on a cultural program and scholarship that resulted in the chapter earning second place among 18 sororities, with a difference of only one-five-hundreth of a point!
Rushing in 1969 was a great success with an icewater party, Kappa Karnival, South Pacific party, and preference party when each Kappa told what KKG meant to her personally. On October 13, 32 coeds were officially pledged before the Centennial Founders Day program and introduced to the Knoxville alumnae. At Christmas, members enjoyed buying dresses, sweaters, and bellbottoms for an 11-year-old underprivileged girl. During that school year the chapter gave a dance at the old L&N (Louisville and Nashville) railroad station, started a volunteer program for hospital aides, and formed a basketball team. They captured the Panhellenic All-Sports Trophy, and ranked third in the list of sororities in scholarship.
In 1970, 28 top coeds were pledged, and 24 initiated...the first initiation ceremony in the Kappa room. Pledges worked hard on a new initiation song. They papered the kitchen and painted blue and green flowers on the cabinet doors.
The fifth birthday of the chapter was celebrated. At the alumnae picnic in the spring of 1972, Knoxville and Nashville Kappas presented the chapter with a beautiful Revere punchbowl; the Memphis Alumnae Association gave a round silver tray; and a silver ladle was also received.
Looking back over Epsilon Lambda's growth, each member's contribution is appreciated, and it is certain that these same attributes will make them valuable members of alumnae groups for years to come.
Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity is one of the oldest women's fraternities with a total membership of more than 260,000 women and 140 collegiate chapters in the United States and Canada. At the University of Tennessee, Kappa Kappa Gamma prides itself on the tradition of leadership. The chapter strives in every aspect to uphold the fraternity's national mission statement: "Kappa Kappa Gamma is an organization of women, which seeks for every member throughout her life bonds of friendship, mutual support, opportunities for self-growth, respect for intellectual development, and an understanding of and an allegiance to positive ethical principles." Being a member of Kappa is really about opportunity: to grow, to connect, to serve, to befriend, to aspire. History Reports, chapter meeting minutes, letters and comments from chapter members and alumnae, the Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Archives, and The Key.
The 1980’s found Epsilon Lambda very busy trying to establish themselves on campus. Their goal of campus participation continued throughout the 80’s and it began to pay off with all of the Campus events like All-Sing, Homecoming and helping each with the Helen Ross McNabb Therapeutic nursey. All the while working to keep up their grades. At the 1987 Nu Province meeting the chapter was awarded the Scholarship Award. They were very successful with the recruitment process and each year pledged a quota of girls for their chapter.
The 1990’s started with a Letter of Concern which the chapter received well and worked hard to be removed and they did. But, lack of scholarship caused great hardship with several officers being replaced because of grade problems. This taught the chapter the importance of time management. This period of the 90’s also initiated the beginning of the bus policy when the chapter traveled to an event off campus. After a little period of adjustment, they wondered why they hadn’t done it before! Each year the chapter participated in All-Sing, Sapphire Ball , Derby Week ,Helen McNabb Center and in 1992 adopted a barn owl at the Knoxville Zoo. Hurricane Andrew gave the chapter an opportunity to raise money to help those in need along with all other Greeks on campus. Each year the chapter worked to help each member to improve their grades. Through must hard work on behalf of the members as well as the chapter Council this was achieved many years. In 1994, Epsilon Lambda was assigned a whole floor in Massey Hall in which 39 girls could live together. This proved to be a great sisterhood enhancement. Philanthropy was a big part of the chapter and in 1998 they teamed with Aids Response Knoxville to implement the first annual AIDS Walk and it was an overwhelming success. By the end of the 90’s they had become a more recognized name on the UT campus for their campus philanthropic events, community philanthropies as well as campus leadership in student organizations all the while maintaining grades and getting outstanding pledge classes to make their chapter strong.
From 2000-2010, Epsilon Lambda participated in many campus events like All Sing, Greek Week, Kappa-Lympics and often won or placed in these events. In 2004, they adopted the March of Dimes as their philanthropy. Also raised $8,702.63 at the Dance Marathon benefiting the Tennessee Children’s Hospital. The chapter continued to support March of Dimes and was the National Collegiate Award for raising the most money of any college in the country. They also teamed up with a Kappa designer and sold hundreds of designer jeans at a discounted price with 15% goes to March of Dimes. Princess for a day was another meaningful event where members went to hospitals and played one on one with the children. During these years they celebrated their 40th anniversary with many alumnae who shared stories of the chapter. Many new pledges acme to Epsilon Lambda during this time who help make the chapter strong even in times of chapter issues. But, these issues made the chapter wiser, closer and in the end made the chapter so much stronger than it had been in years. They learned the value of good communication, respecting the alumnae and each other.
The year 2011 began with the installment of a new chapter council, with Maggie Wallace as the new president of Epsilon Lambda. Each member of the new chapter council is committed to the improvement of the chapter. Throughout the year, Epsilon Lambda chapter participated in many campus and philanthropic events. They continue to strive for success every year. At the beginning of February, the ladies of Kappa Kappa Gamma held a continuous open bidding event and gave out bids to seven young women.
The night was very casual and allowed chapter members to engage in light conversation with the new ladies. The following month, the Leadership Consultant visited Knoxville and met with each chapter council member. Her visit was very helpful and was much appreciated by the chapter council due to her excellent suggestions. In addition, the ladies of Epsilon Lambda participated in a Reading is Fundamental event at Bearden Elementary school. This event allowed us to have a more "hands on" experience with our national philanthropy. In the spring, Epsilon Lambda initiated seven new members into the chapter on April 2nd, 2011. The following day our chapter held the annual philanthropy event "Kappalympics," in which twenty teams of sororities and fraternities participated in a series of field games to raise money for the March of Dimes organization. The event was sponsored by Red Bull, Krispy Kreme, and Firehous subs. We raised over $1,600 through the team entrance fees and the "cream a kappa" booth.
Shortly after Kappalympics, the chapter participated in Carnicus with the ladies of Delta Delta Delta. The title of the performance was "The Wizard of Knox" and was directed by Mary Carter Kniffen and Hailey Wood. The award for best actress was given to Stephanie Thrasher who played Dorothy. Soon after, the ladies of Epsilon Lambda participated in Greek week with the gentlemen of Phi Sigma Kappa. Greek week began on April 10th and chapter members participated in a habitat for humanity build, blood drive, and all other events throughout the week. Following Greek Week, Relay for life and March for Babies were both held on April 16th, 2011. Both events were a success and the ladies of Kappa Kappa Gamma enjoyed helping out their community by volunteering.
After summer break, the ladies returned to Knoxville to prepare for formal Fall Recruitment. Recruitment was very successful and we obtained a new member pledge class of 56 ladies. Soon after, the ladies of Epsilon Lambda took part in Vol Challenge, a week of volunteering run by the university. We also held our annual designer blue jeans sale called Blue Jeans for Babies for the March of Dimes foundation. On October 8th , 2011 we initiated 55 lovely women in to Epsilon Lambda. Following initiation, the new members participated in the Junior Panhellenic event called "lip sync" that all of the new pledge classes participate in. They were assigned the letter "K" and created a dance to go with all of the artists with that letter. They performed in front of a huge audience and did a fantastic job. During homecoming week, the ladies of Kappa paired up with the gentlemen of Sigma Phi Epsilon and prepared a banner and homecoming float. We were finalists in Smokey's Howl, winning third place overall. Kappa also reached out to the community by volunteering for Chef's Auction, a local event in Knoxville. In November we held our chapter elections and nominated a new chapter council for the following year.
Campus: The University of Tennessee was founded in 1794 and is based around the pride of their lasting traditions. The university has an undergraduate program with over 21,000 students and over 5,000 graduate students. It remains a flagship campus for Tennessee in undergraduate, graduate, professional programs, research, and community service. The campus has 550 acres in which 220 university buildings reside. A new branding campaign was recently launched called "Big Orange, Big Ideas" to create a new image for the university and it's students. The University of Tennessee continues to build and create leaders for the future through academics, athletics, and campus involvement. Go Vols!
Chapter: Epsilon Lambda chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity was founded on February 25, 1967 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Kappa Kappa Gamma is proud to be a part of the Greek system and remains one of the strongest chapters. The sisters of Epsilon Lambda exemplify the ideals of leadership and the development of women. We are dedicated to each other and our sisterhood while also remaining involved in our academics, campus events, and community service. Many members are involved in other organizations on campus and even hold leadership positions in them. Epsilon Lambda strives to uphold the highest ideals of sisterhood while keeping the traditions of Kappa Kappa Gamma alive throughout our daily lives.
The main challenge that Epsilon Lambda faced in the year 2011 was honoring the suggestions sent to the chapter through the focus letter. Our academics have not been our primary focus in recent years, but this past year our chapter council did a great job of changing that. We were placed on academic probation and were told that our chapter could not hold more than two mandatory chapter events during one given week. The academic adviser communicated well with our VPAE to make sure that the grade point average of the chapter improved.
Our goal was to have grades that were above the all sorority average of panhellenic. The VPAE instituted mandatory study hours starting in the fall and the chapter logged their individual study hours for the week. In addition, she updated the test files and held more study hours to suit every chapter member's needs. The chapter continues to strive for the improvement of our grades and study habits. Another problem that Epsilon Lambda chapter wanted to improve was chapter member accountability. Chapter participation in events such as philanthropy, meetings, recruitment have been low in recent semesters. Chapter council has done a great job of improving the standards committee to hold members that miss required events responsible for their actions. Chapter morale has also improved lately due to the efforts of chapter council to reward chapter members for their good attendance at Kappa functions. Epsilon Lambda continues to work towards a more united, strong chapter for the future.
Scholarship Several programs implemented
• Test Fairy
• Academic Conference
• Study Logs/Study Files
• Smart Cookie of the Week
Greek Awards Banquet - Spring 2012
• Panhellenic's Circle of Sisterhood Award
• Volunteer Level Achievement in Greek Excellence
Kappa Convention Awards
• Honorable Mention for Finance
• Honorable Mention for Advisory Board
• Finalist for the Most Outstanding Association Award
Chapter Goals Intellectual Development
• Academic Development by creating incentives, educating, and closely monitoring
• Chapter Involvement by creating a reward system and boosting sisterhood events
Leadership and Skill Building
• Chapter Leadership Programming by using committees and increasing involvement
Understanding & Appreciation of Kappa
• Chapter Knowledge, and Chapter Heritage by emphasizing importance of ritual
• March for Babies benefiting March of Dimes
• Kappalympics benefiting March of Dime
• Chef's Auction benefiting March of Dimes
• SOAR benefiting Knoxville education
• March of Dimes Golf Tournament
• Pi Beta Phi's Kisses for Soldiers
• Phi Mu Model for a Miracle
• Kappa Sigma South Seas
• ATO's OcTAUberfest
• Lambda Chi Alpha's Watermelon Bust
• Hurricane Sandy - collected toiletries, clothing items, non-perishables, etc.
• Sandy Hook Shooting - members donated money and material needed to be sent through a member of Phi Mu whose hometown was Newtown, CT
• Blue and Blue Banquet
• Parent's Weekend Dinner
• Senior Night
• More to come with the house!
The University of Tennessee is an ever evolving campus with changes being implemented both by the administration and the students. As a general body, the University is seeking acknowlegement as a Top 25 Public University, and changes are being made steadily in that direction. Some of these changes are being felt more than others. Standards for the Greek community are increasing both in academics and social consciousness.
The University wants to redevelop the Greek community as a force of social change and community support. Panhellenic works very closely with the University to champion and instill these values back into the chapters and also to unite the other Greek councils (MGC, IFC, NPHC) into one cohesive force. Kappa has a large presence on the Panhellenic council and we hope to continue the emphasis we have always had. One very obvious change on campus is that the Panhellenic sororities are in the midst of moving into the houses of Sorority Village. Kappa Kappa Gamma is seeking resident move in into the house on February 23rd, 2013. This is of great excitement for our chapter members who have long anticipated this day, and have worked very hard to get there.
Epsilon Lambda as a chapter has several core strengths and a few weaknesses, as well. One of our greatest strengths as a chapter is that we are very well united and have a way of using our unique differences to make us a complete chapter. We find things in common and make strides out of them. We are also very stringent about our ritual practices and take it very seriously. This makes our chapter more cohesive and efficient in all the things we do.
Some of our weaknesses include lack of accountability as far as participation and attendance goes. We have a hard time getting members to attend events they pay for. It is difficult to understand why this is, but it is our most difficult challenge to deal with because it affects overall chapter morale, as well. The council's officers project that the presence of the house alone will increase morale, participation, and general attendance by our members for at least the next couple of semesters. This comes at a key time for our chapter as we work to implement rewards systems and find a way to keep members involved and thriving. Our hope is that this will create a new standard in the chapter through the house that will last for years in the future. We are excited to see what changes the house brings and we will have much to share in the next Chapter History Report!
Scholarship: Several programs implemented
• Test Fairy
• Academic Conferences
• Study Logs/Study Files
• No Skippy Jar
• 4.0 presentation each semester
• Academic Presentation status to chapter each semester
• Wise Owl Jar
• Standards Award
• Panhellenic Involvement Award
Chapter Goals: Intellectual Development
• Academic Development by creating incentives, educating, and closely monitoring
• Kappa Brand emphasis Interpersonal Development
• Chapter Involvement by using our new reward system Leadership and Skill Building
• Leadership presentation at Leadership Day, using committees and encouraging participation by setting examples and Rewards Celebration
Understanding & Appreciation of Kappa
• Increasing Chapter knowledge, and Chapter Heritage by reiterating Importance of ritual:
• Each formal meeting we rehearse/review at least one part of our ritual with the whole chapter.
• Breakfast for Babies
• March for Babies benefiting March of Dimes
• Kappalympics benefiting March of Dimes
• Chef's Auction benefiting March of Dimes
• SOAR benefiting Knoxville education
• March of Dimes Golf Tournament
• Phi Sig March Madness
• Kappa Sigma South Seas
• Sig Ep's Hurricane Week
• AGR’s Water Wars
• ATO’s OctauberFest
• SAE’s Santa Alpha Eplison
• BYX’s Island Week
World/Local Events: We had a clothing drive for a sister’s friend’s house that burned down.
Overcoming Challenges: Our Philanthropy Chair had to step down due to applying to Nursing school, so we had to find a replacement, which ended up turning out very well. Our new philanthropy chair even had the brilliant idea of a new philanthropy event called Breakfast for Babies. Panhellenic wanting to release Judicial Affairs statistics about all of the Chapters, but through meetings and discussions, Pan decided to table release of the information at this time.
• Sapphire Banquet
• Mother/Daughter Tea
• Breakfast For Babies
Special Events: We had the dedication/opening of our new chapter house.
Group Honors/Awards: We placed 3rd in Carnicus, an all campus event.
The University of Tennessee is an ever-changing campus. Two initiatives continue to be priorities for the University of Tennessee – new dorm construction and the focus to become a Top 25 University. A significant change, which has impacted our chapter, has been the development of Sorority Village. Sorority Village has been in the planning and development stage for the past 8-10 years; however, the actual construction of the individual sorority houses was negative impacted by the recession in 2008 and many houses were delayed in breaking ground until 2010/2011. Our chapter moved into our new house in February 2013 and it has been such a positive change. Ever since Sorority Village has opened, the whole Greek community has benefited from it. Not only do Sorority Women have a new home to live in, but it has also created a wonderful cohesive area for Panhellenic women to interact and hold social functions with each other. Our social functions vary from “Pan Pal” events that our Panhellenic Council and Pan Delegates put on, to simply getting to talk to each other while walking through the Village on the way to the bus stop. Yet another bonus to Sorority Village is that Recruitment is so much more fun and exciting for potential new members now that we no longer have to have recruitment in the Panhellenic building. Our Chapter has thoroughly enjoyed our new home here in Sorority Village and eagerly look forward to the memories our members will make while living in our new home.
Our chapter continues to emphasize Academics, Sisterhood and Participation. We support these concepts by our intense focus on Academic performance throughout the semester, creative Sisterhood events and a new Participation Celebration we implemented Fall 2013 to encourage participation in mandatory events, academic success and participation on campus and in the community.
Epsilon Lambda has done a wonderful job this year of continuing to emphasize the importance of chapter academic success. We are proud to announce that for Fall semester 2014, we had an average chapter GPA of 3.16, which placed us above the all-sorority average of 3.12.
Here are some programs we have implemented to encourage members to excel in academics: - KKG Test Fairy twitter account - Academic Conferences for members on an academic status - Study Hour Log - Wise Owl Jar, which allows members to be rewarded for their good grades throughout the week. - Study Hours - DropBox used for test files - Rewards for Members who make above a 3.50 GPA - All New Members must have at or above a 3.0 high school GPA
Awards: - At the 2014 Convention, Epsilon Lambda won the Finance Award for a housed chapter.
Philanthropic Events: - Epsilon Lambda participated in and won Beta Upsilon Chi's Island week, whose proceeds went to Tiva Water. - Participated in Kappa Sigma's South Seas Week, whose proceeds benefitted the Fisher House Foundation. - Participated in and won Delta Tau Delta's Battle of the Bands, whose proceeds benefitted the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. - Participated in and won Chi Omega's Flag Football Tournament, benefitting Dream Connection. - March for Babies, benefitting March of Dimes - Chef's Auction, benefitting March of Dimes - March of Dimes Golf Tournament - Reading to children at Thrive for Lonsdale Elementary, benefitting underprivileged youth in the Knoxville area - Relay for Life (campus-wide event that Epsilon Lambda participated in) - Habitat for Humanity (campus-wide event that Epsilon Lambda participated in) - 1st annual Kappa Kolor Wars, benefitting March of Dimes.
We are so proud of the success of our 1st annual Kappa Kolor Wars. Below is a summary of this event:
On September 24, 2014 Epsilon Lambda chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma hosted its newest philanthropy event, Kappa Kolor Wars, benefitting March of Dimes. Kolor Wars is a paint-filled water balloon dodgeball tournament, mixing elements of the color run with dodgeball. The tournament was bracket-style with separate girl’s and boy’s brackets. Each sorority and fraternity team consisted of five players, each receiving a Kappa Kolor Wars t-shirt to participate in. The winners of each bracket received a trophy, as well as a $100 donation to their philanthropy.
A total of 19 teams participated, 9 sororities: Delta Zeta, Pi Beta Phi, Sigma Kappa, Kappa Delta, Zeta Tau Alpha, Delta Delta Delta, Chi Omega, Delta Gamma, and Alpha Chi Omega; and 10 fraternities: Delta Tau Delta, Alpha Gamma Rho, Phi Delta Gamma, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sigma Nu, Beta Upsilon Chi, Sigma Chi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Kappa Sigma, and Phi Sigma Kappa. The ladies of Tri Delta won the girl’s bracket, and the gentleman of Sigma Chi were the champions of the boy’s.
All of the proceeds from Kappa Kolor Wars went to Kappa Kappa Gamma’s local philanthropy, March of Dimes. March of Dimes is a non-profit organization promoting the health of babies and their families, along with preventing infant mortality and premature birth. Kappa is excited to announce that a total of $3,110 was raised for the Knoxville chapter of March of Dimes! Everyone in the chapter really enjoyed participating and had a great time raising money for a great cause!
- Academic Development:
• Maintain chapter GPA above the all-Panhellenic average
• Continue to monitor members with grades below 3.0
- Chapter Involvement
• Chapter council members should respect time of chapter members
• Continue to educate the chapter about the attendance reward program
• Emphasize and promote opportunities to the chapter to help members become more involved and gain leadership experience.
- Chapter Leadership Programming
• Chapter council should utilize committees to encourage member involvement in chapter decision making
• Increase chapter participation throughout Panhellenic and always promote Kappa ideals and values
- Chapter Knowledge and Chapter Heritage
• Continue exposing new members to ritual thoroughly and immediately after initiation
• Increase enthusiasm for ritual, and emphasize the importance of Initiation and respecting Kappa values during Inspiration Week
• Educate the members on the importance and uniqueness of our ritual.
Traditions: - Sapphire Rewards Banquet - Mother Daughter Tea during the Spring semester - Annual Parents Weekend during the Fall semester - Father-Daughter Baseball Game during the Spring semester - Recruitment Traditions, including the Tennessee Kappa Rap and Kappa Kozy during Recruitment Retreat.
For the past several years, Epsilon Lambda has been on an academic focus letter due to our chapter semester GPA falling below the all-sorority average semester GPA for multiple, consecutive semesters. We are proud to announce, that for Fall 2014, Epsilon Lambda placed 5th overall for Panhellenic GPAs. Our chapter had an overall GPA of 3.16, placing us above the all sorority average of 3.12. This is the first time we have been above the average in many semesters. Our VPAE and her committee continues to work diligently to ensure we remain above the all-sorority average again for Spring 2015.
Also, one concern that Epsilon Lambda has had for some time is overall chapter appearance at informal meetings. Many members were wearing athletic clothes, baggy t-shirts, and other non-professional attire. Chapter Council members decided that Members should look more presentable and professional, even for informal meetings, so under the leadership of President Whitney Robinson, Epsilon Lambda created a new Standing Rule that banned athletic clothes, leggings, and baggy t-shirts from informal meetings. This is to ensure that members look presentable for all guests coming into chapter meetings.
Another challenge Epsilon Lambda continues to battle is lack of participation by a large portion of our membership. Attendance at major philanthropic events has been a recent issue for Epsilon Lambda, but we are taking strides to eradicate this problem. One such stride is the implementation of the Sapphire Rewards program in Fall 2013, which keeps track of member involvement throughout the semester. At the end of the semester, members who have obtained all required points for mandatory events as well as those who have the most points, will be invited to a Sapphire Rewards Banquet, which includes dinner and some sort of tangible reward, like a new and trendy clothing item or other gift. So far, this system seems to be encouraging more attendance, but we are still working through this challenge. We are excited to see all the benefits this system brings to the chapter in the coming semesters.
The University of Tennessee is a very dynamic campus- constantly changing and working to improve. Similarly, Epsilon Lambda is an ever-evolving chapter as well. As a chapter, we work hard to overcome challenges and better our chapter in any way possible. As our university changes, we work hard to stay at the forefront of new reforms, thus promoting university standards and ideals while upholding the reputation of an influential and beneficial organization on this campus.
In 2010, the University of Tennessee announced its goal to become a Top 25 university. Since then, many strides have been taken in this direction. With increased focus on academics campus-wide, Epsilon Lambda is proud to announce our recent accomplishment of obtaining a chapter cumulative GPA above the all-sorority average. Just as the university has increased focus on academics, so have we placed more emphasis on this vital aspect of the college experience. We believe in creating a supportive environment in which Epsilon Lambda members can succeed academically. With the new programs and rewards in place, we encourage all members to contribute not only to Kappa Kappa Gamma's academic standards, but also the academic standards and goals of the University of Tennessee.
In the past year, the University of Tennessee has also increased its standards for the Greek community. As members of Kappa Kappa Gamma, we believe that we must be leaders in the Greek community, embodying university ideals at all times. We acknowledge that we are wearing our letters at all times, and we realize that our behavior inside and outside of the classroom will reflect on the reputation of our chapter. As the university looks with more scrutiny at the Greek chapters on campus, Epsilon Lambda is committed to proving to our university that Greek life is beneficial to our campus in many ways, not detrimental. To do this, we are uniting with more Panhellenic sororities and enacting reforms within the Panhellenic community. Our Panhellenic delegate is doing a wonderful job at communicating Panhellenic decisions to the chapter and at communicating Kappa values to the Panhellenic community.
In conclusion, with the changes implemented on the University of Tennessee's campus, Epsilon Lambda's goal is to remain a model organization on campus, embracing all university ideals and fostering the development of young women into successful, proud alumni of both Epsilon Lambda and the University of Tennessee.
All Epsilon Lambda meetings are held in the Chapter Room of our beautiful house located in the new Sorority Village on the University of Tennessee's campus. Once per month, a chapter meal is held at the house before a chapter meeting to foster deeper relationships between all members in all pledge classes. On February 23, 2013, Epsilon Lambda opened the doors to its first house, located in the beautiful Sorority Village on the University of Tennessee's campus, where all 13 sororities now have a house. Our house sleeps 33 girls, mostly members of the Sophomore pledge class. This house has been a wonderful opportunity for members to become closer to each other and develop relationships that they otherwise would not have without this wonderful house.
This year, we continued the use of our Wise Owl Jar to reward members who excelled on tests and assignments. We also continued to hold academic conferences and encouraged members to log their study hours and contribute to the study files. Our chapter GPA in Spring 2015 was 3.18, which was higher than the all-women average on our university’s campus but lower than the all-sorority average.
For the Fall of 2015, we were above the All-Sorority Average. Also, our freshman new member class had the 3rd highest GPA out of all the sororities on campus.
- Work towards the all-Panhellenic GPA average and continue to monitor girls with grades below 3.0.
- Respect time of chapter members, continue to educate the chapter about the reward system, and emphasize and promote opportunities within the chapter to help members become more involved and develop leadership qualities.
Chapter Leadership Programming
- Utilize committees/motivate the middle, increase chapter participation throughout Panhellenic and promote the Kappa “brand”, and emphasize and promote opportunities within the chapter to encourage members to become more involved and develop leadership qualities.
Chapter Knoweldge and Chapter Heritage
- Continue exposing new members to ritual immediately after initiation, increase the enthusiasm and emphasize the importance of initiation during inspiration week, and educate the members on the importance and uniqueness of our ritual by utilizing spare meeting time and chapter events to practice ritual.
March for Babies benefiting March of Dimes
Kappa Kolor Wars benefiting March of Dimes
Chef's Auction benefiting March of Dimes
Major League Breakfast benefiting March of Dimes
THRIVE benefiting Knoxville education and children’s literacy
Kappa Sigma’s South Seas benefiting the Fisher House Foundation
Delta Tau Delta’s Battle of the Bands benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Lambda Chi Alpha’s Watermelon Bust benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital
Sigma Chi’s Derby Days benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network
Alpha Tau Omega’s OcTAUberfest
Beta Upsilon Chi’s Island Party benefiting TIVA water
In the past years, our officers and advisors have noticed that our chapter has been over programming the members. However, this year, we worked on the challenge of being over programmed by increasing communication among officers to facilitate more efficient planning. With this improvement in communication, we were able to decrease needless programming in order to foster an environment that both encourages member involvement and enables members to remain focused on academics.
In previous years, our chapter struggled to meet quota for new member recruitment. However, this year we overcame this challenge and easily exceeded quota thanks to an amazing recruitment process. Our Membership Chairman, Anna Taylor, worked tirelessly to facilitate a positive, informative, and empowering recruitment workshop in order to successfully recruit 69 new members.
Finally, we have, in the past, been faced with the challenge of losing new members. However, this year, our new member retention rate increased due to the wonderful new member education program directed by our New Member Chairman, Haley Hancock.
Sapphire Reward System
Mother Daughter Tea
Major League Breakfast
In the past year, the University of Tennessee has worked tirelessly to create a campus environment that is inclusive of all persons regardless of cultural, racial, sexual, religious, or socioeconomic background. The University of Tennessee seeks to gain student participation in ongoing diversity inclusion campaigns in order to spread the message of acceptance to all corners of campus. The University of Tennessee especially looks to members of the Greek community to be a force of social change and community support. One of the most prominent strengths of the Epsilon Lambda chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma is that we are composed of a very unique, diverse, and accepting body of members. Our member involvement extends far beyond the walls of our chapter room and the Greek community. In addition to having a large presence on Panhellenic council, Kappa Kappa Gamma has several members involved in Student Government Association (SGA), with one of our members being the Vice President of SGA. With this heavy involvement on campus, members of Kappa Kappa Gamma are able to serve as role models to other students and are able to provide a strong and unifying voice regarding student opinions of social and academic changes being implemented by campus administration.
As a chapter, Epsilon Lambda has several core strengths as well as some weaknesses on which we strive to improve. One of our greatest strengths is the uniqueness of our members. Each member brings something special to the table, which helps to complete the chapter. Our members work together to unify each person’s unique qualities to foster a positive, supportive, and empowering environment in which members can wholly express themselves as well as learn new and different things from other members. Another strength of this chapter is the commitment to our ritual. Thanks to a well-organized new member education program, our new members are exposed to and encouraged to learn our ritual immediately after initiation in a manner that is both fun and informative. All members understand and appreciate the importance and uniqueness of our ritual, which further unifies our chapter. Despite these strengths, our chapter recognizes that there is always room for improvement. We recognize that one of our weaknesses is lack of member participation in Kappa-sponsored events. This year’s chapter council paid special attention to this weakness in order to discover the root of the problem. With the help of our advisors, we decided that lack of member participation might be due to over-programming. Therefore, we carefully planned all chapter events this year in an attempt to boost chapter interest and maximize participation. While we have not yet been able to determine if more careful programming has made a difference, we hope that the next council will continue to program carefully, maintain transparency and flexibility, and work to improve member participation in all events.
What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community?
THRIVE and March of Dimes.
Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support?
Since Reading is Fundamental is Kappa’s national philanthropy, we chose to donate our time and efforts to a local organization that also promotes literacy in young children. THRIVE at Lonsdale elementary is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating inner-city children who come from minority families or families below the poverty line. THRIVE recognizes that children have educational, physical, and spiritual needs, and in order to break the cycle of poverty, these needs must be met. Therefore, as members of the Epsilon Lambda chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma, we spend one day a week reading to and tutoring the children of this after-school program in order to promote literacy and education.
We also donate much of our time and money to March of Dimes, our local philanthropy that supports research regarding premature births and also aids parents of premature children. Each year we participate in March for Babies, a walk put on by March of Dimes. During this event, we are able to interact with many of the children and parents who have benefitted from this incredible organization. We truly enjoy the opportunity to see where our money is going and how much of an impact is has on the people we are helping. We have several fundraisers during the year that we organize to raise money for this organization. In the fall, we have Kappa Kolor Wars, and in the spring, we have Breakfast for Babies or Major League Breakfast. All proceeds from these events are donated directly to March of Dimes.
This year Epsilon Lambda continued to grow with the addition of over fifty beautiful ladies and really strived to implement and uphold our chapter's values and goals. With such an outstanding group of ladies in our chapter, our goals and standards were easily met. We received the Panhellenic Award at national convention for exemplifying true Panhellenic leadership and support at our university. We also received an Honorable Mention for our New Member Program and we were recognized as an Adelphe Society Member for raising $10,000 for the Kappa Kappa Gamma foundation.
We also received the Sisterhood Program of the Year award from Panhellenic at the University of Tennessee and were one of two Panhellenic sororities featured in UT's Admissions viewbook for high school seniors. We also completed the most SOFE requirements during the pilot year out of all Panhellenic sororities. Regarding academics, we continued to push our members to work hard and stay above the All-sorority average. Our VPAE, Abbey Rosanski, really went above and beyond to make sure each and every member had the resources and support they needed to meet their academic goals. We also participated in many philanthropic events including Kappa Kolor Wars, Breakfast for Babies, March for Babies at the Knoxville Zoo, and Chef's Auction, which all benefited March of Dimes raising over $5000 in total donations in 2016.
We also participated in THRIVE at Lonsdale Elementary School, Lemonade for Literacy, Project Elevates Hero Day, Boys and Girls Club Easter Egg Hunt, the Gatlinburg Wildfire Relief, Relay for Life, and many other Greek organization's philanthropy events as well. We placed first overall in Greek Beat and was the top fundraising team for For The Kids (FTK) at UT. We received the Miss Congeniality award at Panhellenic's Lip Sync competition as well. Epsilon Lambda really strived to get involved and make a difference in the lives of our own members and those around us, whether that be local or national. We put in a lot of hard work this year and it definitely paid off to see all of those who have benefitted from it.
The University of Tennessee always seems to be changing and implementing new standards for its students to meet. Epsilon Lambda really strives to uphold our universities standards to become not only proud, successful women of Kappa, but also of the University of Tennessee. One of the biggest issues we saw this year on campus was regarding diversity. Epsilon Lambda sees every member of our chapter as unique and we welcome and embrace any and all diversity that comes our way.
We wanted to continue with the ideas of Kappa's national philanthropy, Reading is Fundamental, and help to promote literacy in children. THRIVE at Lonsdale Elementary school provides us the opportunity to do this, as well as interact with some of the most kind-hearted and fun-loving children. This year, we expanded our involvement with THRIVE, now going twice a week to help students read and work on homework.
We also donate as much time and money as we can to March of Dimes, our local philanthropy that supports research regarding premature birth and helps families dealing with this issue. This year, we found an amazing family to sponsor and absolutely love working with them to help raise awareness about premature birth. All proceeds from our fall philanthropy, Kappa Kolor Wars, and our spring philanthropy, Breakfast for Babies, were donated to March of Dimes.
All Epsilon Lambda meetings are held in the Chapter Room of our beautiful house.