|Founded||October 13, 1870|
|Homepage||Alpha Deuteron Homepage|
|Media related to Alpha Chapter|
Monmouth College established in 1853, Monmouth, Illinois
44 total initiates (as of 1884 closure)
Charter members: Mary Louise “Lou” Bennett, Hannah Jeannette “Jennie” Boyd, Mary “Minnie” Moore Stewart, Anna Elizabeth Willits, Susan Burley Walker, Martha Louisa “Lou” Stevenson. The last two were initiated by the first four, but walked into chapel with them on October 13, 1870. Since that is considered the Fraternity’s official founding date, Susan Walker and Louisa Stevenson are also considered Founders.
Alpha Deuteron charter members: Sarah Louise Brownell, Helen Eugenia Christy, Dorothy May Field, Margaret Rhoda Lee, Mary Lucille Mack, Mary Elizabeth McClanahan, Frances Mills, Maxine Ditteau Moore, Dorothy May Murphy, Frances Carolyn Nelson, Margaret Jane Paull, Janet Randles, Martha Randles, Margaret Maxine Rathbun, Ruth Carolyn Swanson, Margaret Andrews Tubbs, Ruth Claire Wagner, Mary Jane Wilson, Emma Gibson Work, Jane Louise Zimmer.
Outstanding Alpha Alumnae:
Grand Chapter Officers: Minnie Stewart, first president of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity 1870-1872 Alice Pillsbury, president 1872-1874 Frances Shelley, president 1872-1874 Caroline (Carrie) Smith, president 1874-1875
Outstanding Alpha Deuteron Alumnae
Fraternity Officers: Gail Simpson Owen, Director of Personnel 1988-1990; Ellen Boyd (Salyards), Traveling Consultant 1987-1988; Kory Brown, Traveling Consultant 1994-1995;
Fraternity Loyalty Award Recipients:
Alumna Achievement Award Recipients: 1974: Lois Winter Lloyd—A founder of North Shore Association for the Retarded, a training center for children and adults; Helen Wagner Willey, 1990, longtime actress who played “Nancy Hughes” on As the World Turns (died 2009)
Additional Outstanding Alpha Deuteron Alumnae Rhonda Correll (VanOteghem), Graduate Counselor 1983-1984; Sue Campbell (Jones), Graduate Counselor 1969-1970; Juleen Kelly (Veneziano), Chapter Consultant 1996-1997; Kristin Whitver (Fouts), Chapter Consultant 2003-2004; Hilary Hawkinson, Chapter Consultant 2007-2008; Janice Camenisch (Keil), Graduate Counselor 1955-1956; Crystal Straube (Stump), Chapter Consultant 1990-1991
“Anna Willits, Minnie Stewart, Jennie Boyd and Louise Bennett! Founders ye of Kappa Gamma … Would that you had left more record of your life in Alpha Chapter …”
(from the report of Florence Burton Roth, Beta Delta--Michigan, Historian at the 1916 General Convention, Ithaca, New York)
“Forty years is a long time to remember what did not seem too very important at the time …” (Martha Louisa Stevenson Miller, Monmouth)
“We were just a happy, harmonious group of lively girls with a keen sense of loyalty to Kappa and to each other, with strict regard to the quality of membership and sacredness of our badge … there seemed little to record … as so many of us lived in Monmouth, we clung together and held our meetings for some years after fraternities were banished … the chapter finally became only a memory.” (Alice Pillsbury Shelley Resor, A-Monmouth, The Key, October 1929)
In September 1856, Monmouth, a three-year-old academy, opened as a coeducational college with the blessing of the Associate Reformed, later the United Presbyterian Church. Chapters of men’s fraternities Beta Theta Pi and Delta Tau Delta appeared in 1865, and Phi Gamma Delta in 1866. The I.C. Sorosis, founded for women in 1867, had not yet become Pi Beta Phi when Kappa Kappa Gamma was created. M. Louise Bennet (Boyd) and her future sister-in-law, H. Jeannette Boyd, thought of organizing; considered first limiting membership to girls taking the classical course; but realized how much their choice of members would be narrowed; and “gave up that exclusive idea.”
1870 - 1880
In January 1870, Kappa Alpha Theta had been founded in Greencastle, Indiana, at Asbury (later DePauw) University. Baird’s American College Fraternities, 1883, has it that “a proposition to establish a chapter of another fraternity suggested the idea of creating this new one.” But Louise Bennett insisted, “We had not heard of any other Greek-letter fraternity for girls at that time and always considered ourselves the first. … If any girl came from Greencastle … to invite our girls to join Kappa Alpha Theta … I never heard of it.”
This ignorance is reasonable. Between the time “two college girls … held a schoolgirls’ conversation out of which grew the Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity” on that little wooden bridge made famous by a Monmouth College president, and the day when six girls walked into a chapel wearing their new keys, and announced themselves to a college population, which already knew about them, a matter of months have passed. If they had known of any competition they would have been eager to be on with the game—but no, they waited until their badges had been made up by the jeweler. Then they were ready.
The Monmouth College Courier waited too, and in October 1870, wrote, “The long expected ship hove into sight some days ago … When the crew came ashore … the dignified mien and grace … evinced the residence of authority … they wear a little gold key, sometimes on their foreheads, sometimes on their little blue or red jackets … we have been able to count only six of them .. they are on a voyage of discovery.”
The fact that both Thetas and Kappas announced themselves by marching proudly into chapel means only that chapel was the one sure place to catch the collective eye of the student body. It is recorded that “the Greek-letter boys cheered and stamped … (it was) quite a while before Dr. Wallace (the college president) got them quieted down.”
“We were so excited and proud,” said Jennie Boyd of the day when the girls appeared wearing their keys. “Everything seemed different!” Even the people, the buildings, the classrooms seemed changed. We had started something all by ourselves!” Alpha struck the keynote and planned the theme … chose the badge and the name … it seems quite certain that no attempt was made toward anything ritualistic.” (Historian’s report, 1933)
About 1873 the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church decided that no college under its jurisdiction should have Greek-letter fraternities.
“Do you think this is going to finfish us?” wrote a fiery Alice Pillsbury. “Do you think we are going to subside? Not by any means! It only puts us to the trouble of putting in our members before they enter college.” Alice Pillsbury was initiated in September 1871; served as Secretary 1874-75; she graduated in 1873. She signed the charters of Delta, Epsilon, Eta, Iota and Theta. She had to copy over the constitution for the new chapters, and she exchanged letters with their corresponding secretaries (“… our correspondence became … quite personal with exchange of photographs …”). Her letters were full of facts and liveliness and in some cases those letters are all that remain to give life to a lost chapter. Her “ … subside? Not by any means!” kept Alpha alive, albeit in rascally fashion, for a few extra years.
Until 1879 or 1880, when fraternities at Monmouth were ordered to disband entirely, pins were concealed, to be “flashed” for trusted friends.
1880 - 1890
In 1882, Minnie Stewart Nelson Field (then Mrs. Nelson) was Alpha delegate to Convention and gave a talk. “It was the desire of the Fraternity and the intention of Mrs. Nelson to have prepared a complete history … but owing to the death of a sister Kappa who had in her possession the earlier chronicles, she was unable to procure the necessary information. (The Golden Key, Volume 1, Number 2)
In 1884, a letter from the chapter asked release, and the request was granted. There seemed to be no charter to surrender, and Alpha died. A February 15, 1885, letter from Mrs. Nelson repeated the story of the secretary who took the record book to Kansas and died there. This must have been Mittie Merridith Love who died in Kansas in the spring of 1882 … and with her the Alpha minutes.
Kappa Historian May Whiting Westermann, Sigma-Nebraksa, searching for signs of Alpha members as real people made a pilgrimage to Monmouth, (The Key, April 1931) and, while reading names in the cemetery was greeted by a student who said, “My grandmother, Margaret Pogue, was a member of Alpha Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma here.” Margaret Pogue Ford died November 29, 1915, in Monmouth. Her daughter, Mary Jane, was married to Arthur G. Smith in 1907. Their daughter, Margaret Smith, who spoke to Mrs. Westermann that day, became a member of Alpha Deuteron, and her daughter, Mary Hutchinson, (later Mrs. Federick A. Tucker) is a member of Upsilon Chapter.
“How rich we are in daughters!” (Jeanette Boyd)
Excerpts from The Golden Key, Volume III, Number 3, March 1886:
“The earliest records show that the chief business of our Alpha was to send its characteristic idea into every suitable place, and to make use of every advantageous method that it could originate or find. When faculty opposition to fraternities in general crushed that chapter, Epsilon had grown up in the practice of the same faith. Under it and under Delta the work went on.” (Page 8)
“Do you believe that KKG occupies all places that are suitable to her? Get a list of the colleges in the United States … study them point by point and see if there is not some Kappa material left, which is likely to come our way and should be provided for as a probable contingency.” (Page 10)
“We are in the vanguard of a live idea—the new woman movement …
“These Monmouth girls, our Founders, saw which way the second great procession of the age was tending, and they fell into an efficient place in line … when that to, the great labor question—shall have reached its destination and broken up, then we can quit hearing, telling and planning new things and give ourselves up to plant hedges, dig grottoes, and exchange lotus-eating reminiscences of the time when we were alive; in short, to be highly conservative.
“When we try to think what would be suitable for (the conservative fraternities) to do, the only thing that ever occurs to us is: Buy an elegant monument and go and be a hic jacet …” (Page 11) --Minetta Taylor, Iota-DePauw, Editor
Alpha Deuteron Chapter
Alpha Chapter returned as Alpha Deuteron 64 years after Kappa Kappa Gamma was founded at Monmouth College, and 50 years after Alpha officially ceased to exist. It was around 1880 that college authorities had prohibited Greek-letter fraternities, and the Convention of 1884 had granted the sub rosa chapter’s request for release from Fraternity obligations. It was in 1922 that the Monmouth College Senate voted to permit national fraternities to return.
The movement to reestablish Alpha began in 1924 then Dorothy Buck Ettl,Colorado, attended a Kappa national Convention in California. She was also a member of Kappa Alpha Sigma, Monmouth local. At the 1928 Convention the group was represented by Orma Innis Smith,Illinois, and four years later Myra Tubbs Rickets,Northwestern, when favorable action on reinstatement was taken. That fall, however, Council vetoed the application.
Recognition had been given to the Founders by the establishment of a Monmouth Memorial during the 1930 Convention. The interest from this $2,500 endowment fund was to be used to purchase books of quality in the field of the fine arts for the college library. The bookplate for the books was designed by Mary Albright (Giles), Ohio State. The bookplates were presented to the college by members of Grand Council during a visit in the fall of 1932, during which they also inspected Kappa Alpha Sigma.
In 1934, the local sorority was permitted to petition, an act approved by the chapters. Throughout the years, in their efforts to win back Alpha Chapter, the local group had the support of Mrs. Ricketts. Before she and her niece, Margaret Tubbs Youngren, a member of Kappa Alpha Sigma, left for Convention in 1934, they had gathered letters from many prominent Kappas, including Lou Henry Hoover,Stanford, wife of the former president of the United States, and Josephine Edmonds Young, St. Lawrence. Others such as Albert N. Marquis, publisher of Who’s Who in America, and Francis Shepardson, a leader in Beta Theta Pi, had also sent endorsements. Several members of Kappa Alpha Sigma had close ties with the Founders.
Alpha Chapter was re-established on October 13, 1934. The occasion was planned by the alumnae of Kappa Alpha Sigma, the Fraternity Council and the installing chapter, Epsilon. Joyce Snider (Heaton), Northwestern, was co-organizer for the new chapter.
Owl candlesticks, designed and made at Monmouth Pottery for many years, were a feature of the Installation. The molds were later destroyed in a fire at the pottery.
All of the actives and 50 alumnae of Kappa Alpha Sigma were initiated as Kappas. A special pledging service was held on October 12 for freshman Frances Pattee (Putnam), granddaughter of Founder Anna Willits Pattee, and she was initiated the following day with her grandmother’s gold key. In 1970, Mrs. Putnam presented this badge to the Fraternity.
Among the many who sent messages or attended the reinstatement were Mabel and Georgie Pillsbury, early Alphas. Their badges, and that of their sister, Alice Pillsbury Shelly (Reesor), were later left to the chapter. The President of the Monmouth Alumnae Association wears Georgie’s badge, and the other two are framed with the Founders’ pictures, which hang in the chapter room.
Charlotte Barrell Ware wrote from Boston, “I am sending to you today the precious candlesticks … which I wish you to use at the Installation … tomorrow I shall send along the candles to be used from my wedding candles. I want Alpha to have all that we can express of gratitude in her return to head our Fraternity roll.”
Mary Louise Bennett Boyd, the one living original Founder, wrote from Florida, “ … A few of us who are left … are hoping … you will remember the humble little acorn from which the spreading oak has grown. … We shall be happy in again finding ourselves at home side by side with our ancient good comrade I.C. … (now known as) Pi Beta Phi.”
Alice Pillsbury Shelley (Reesor) wrote, “ … No question of finances or fear of fatigue could prevent me from coming, but a recent recurrence of an old nervous trouble would make it unsafe … it is with added regret that as my birthday is October 14, it would be a grand way to celebrate.”
Martha Louisa Stevenson Miller, now also listed as a Founder, was present for all the Installation ceremonies. In 1935, the portrait of Tade Hartsuff Kuhns, Butler, painted in 1916 by Alpha’s Elizabeth Gowdy Baker, was sent to the Monmouth College Art Gallery. Tade Kuhns had presented this aquarelle to the Fraternity on its 50th anniversary. With the consent of Monmouth College an Alpha Deuteron, it is now in Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1959, when Epsilon Province Convention was held in Monmouth, a silver baby cup was presented to the chapter by Alpha Chapter to Minnie Stewart Nelson Fields when her son was born, engraved with the Kappa insignia and the baby’s name. It was displayed in the chapter room in Marhall Hall.
The Kappa room in Marshall Hall, where all sororities are located at Monmouth, was done in 1870 period style, Victorian red draperies, crystal chandeliers, and a Victorian sofa upholstered in blue damask. Many of the accessories were given by friends and members of the Alpha Chapter. Josephine Watt Graham, Monmouth, was the decorator. The outstanding feature in the room is the gold-framed picture of the Founders, tinted on ivory, with their names and the original Pillsbury keys. These pictures were reproduced in color on the cover of the 1970 Centennial issue of The Key.
During the years preceding Kappa’s Centennial celebration, Alpha Deuteron had pledged a sum of money to the Fraternity in honor of and in memory of Myra Tubbs Ricketts.
In April 1970, Fraternity President Louise Little Barbeck presented, in the name of Kappa Kappa Gamma, an oil painting, “A Winding Road and Cypress Tree, San Vigilio,” by John Singer Sargent, to Monmouth College, as part of the Fraternity Centennial Celebration.
Mabel Martin McCoy was honored by her chapter in 1971, when its senior class dedicated an award to her, in recognition of her service and devotion. The McCoy Cup is presented annually to an outstanding senior in Alpha Deuteron.
update from 1975 to present ...
Fall 1970 issue of The Key reads: "Reproductions of the Founders of Kappa Kappa Gamma were taken from small oil portraits hand painted on ivory. The original set is framed with the names of each founder and an early key belonging to Georgie Pillsbury who was initiated in Alpha Chapter in 1877. The framed portraits were a gift from the Monmouth alumnae to Alpha Chapter."
Highlights of the 1980s:
The 1987 pledge class created a cross-stitch pattern with Kappa symbols in all four corners. It was presented to the actives at the end of inspiration week. Traveling Consultant Lila Isbell visited the chapter. In 1987, there were 625 students on campus; 151 women in sororities and Alpha Deuteron had 49 actives, 1 pledge. The faculty and administration of Monmouth College as a whole were very supportive of Greek organizations. Chapter goal was “striving for excellence through individual responsibility and shared experiences.” The chapter worked hard to meet this goal.
In 1989 a new rush party was developed, Sail Away with Kappa. One of the parties was a hayrack ride at one or the member’s uncle’s farm. The pledges made wooden Greek figures which were placed on the Stewart House lawn. Each pledge signed her name on the back. The figures were presented to the active chapter at the end of inspiration week. Traveling Consultant Sheri Gosliner visited the chapter. This year there were 635 students on campus, 145 women in sororities and 54 active Kappas plus one associate member. The faculty and staff continued to support the Greek system and were proud of their accomplishments.
Philanthropy: The chapter members went to Applegate Nursing Home in Monmouth to sing Christmas Carols. A dance to benefit UNICEF was held with Zeta Beta Tau. In 1989, the chapter held a really fun philanthropy. It organized a golf tournament at Gibson Woods Golf Course to raise money for the Warren Achievement Center. Even though it rained, everyone had a good time.
Highlights of the 1990s: The Minnie Stewart House was officially dedicated in May 1990. Barbara Blair Frazier, Monmouth, was hired as the Stewart House hostess in residence. One of the rush parties was a Roaring 20’s Party where the members wore fancy flapper dresses and gangster suits. Rush was very successful and the chapter pledged 31 women. The pledge project was a carved wooden owl with each pledge’s initials carved into it. Keys were hung at the owl’s feet, one key for each of their hearts. The owl was displayed in the chapter room.
Traveling Consultant Christine Cutter and Alpha Deuteron’s own Helen Wagner Willey visited the chapter. Helen received the Fraternity’s Alumnae Achievement Award in 1990. In She starred in the first play at Monmouth College’s new theater, The Lion in Winter. She was well known for her role as Nancy Hughes on the long-running soap, As the World Turns, 1956-2010. In 1990 there were 632 students attending Monmouth College, 135 were sorority members and Alpha Deuteron had 45 actives. This year the chapter’s goal was “To improve respect for the Fraternity and the individual through Fraternity Education programs and the use of the new committee system.” New this year, Big/little Sister Week was creative and concluded with a big sis hunt that throughout the entire campus.
In 1991 the chapter pledged 22 women. It was the only sorority to meet quota on Bid Day. The pledges gave the chapter scrapbook titled “Kappa is …..” It included 22 pages, one for each pledge which described what Kappa meant to each of them. Big/Little sister week was fun for the pledges and actives. It ended with each pledge unwinding a mass of string that connected her to her big sister.
Kappa Krush was new this year. The seniors matched each of the actives with a guy of the senior’s choice and they met at the Valentine’s Day Dance. During senior week the classmen had a secret senior. At the end of the week a banquet was held where the seniors read their wills. This year there were 660 students attending Monmouth College, 147 of the women belonged to sororities and 57 of these women were Kappas. The chapter goal this year was “To improve sisterhood positively through trust, respect and confidentiality.” Each member worked to achieve the goal as did the chapter as a whole. Each week awards were given to those who showed improvement in meeting the goal.
Alpha Deuteron began the 1994 academic year by pledging 30 women. This nearly doubled the size of the chapter. The pledges helped make Homecoming a success. Their float won first place and the chapter joined together to take second place in the Spirit Shout. The chapter excelled in scholarship this year. For the second semester in a row, it had the highest all-Greek and highest all-women’s average. All sorority GPA 3.056, all women GPA 2.907 and all Kappa GPA 3.16. There were 791 students attending the College, 159 of the women belonged to sororities and 68 of these women were Kappas. This year the chapter goal was “50 percent attendance at non mandatory events.” To achieve this goal, the chapter had a contest between pledges and each of the other classes. An award was given to the class with the best attendance. The chapter also accepted the Challenge to Excellence.
Recruitment in 1995 was a huge success. The chapter filled quota and pledged 27 women. The pledges first helped the chapter to shine during Homecoming when they won the annual Spirit Shout and placed third with the Kappa Blue Hawaii float that boasted Elvis on the top. The pledge project was to paint a new Fraternity crest to be hung outside of The Stewart House. The chapter goal was to “make an effort to improve sisterhood by supporting members outside of meetings and Kappa events.” Each member was expected to attend two extra-curricular events per month in which Kappas were participating. A master calendar listing these events was created and members signed up in advance. The chapter continued to work to achieve the Fraternity’s Challenge to Excellence.
The chapter maintained its high academic achievement. It had the highest all-Greek average while the pledges had the highest pledge class average as well. All sorority GPA 2.932; All Kappa GPA 3.115. There were 925 students on campus, 176 women in sororities and 72 members of Alpha Deuteron Chapter.
Recruitment 1996 began this year on a high note. The chapter pledged 41 new members which doubled its membership to 80 women. The new members represented the chapter well during Homecoming by placing second in the annual Spirit Shout and third with their exciting float, Kappa Boulevard. The new members built a wooden bench which was placed outside the Stewart House. Again this year the chapter was recognized with the Fraternity’s Challenge to Excellence Award and received the Standards Award. The chapter continued to do well academically and maintained the highest sorority and all-Greek average. The chapter began holding study tables. The all sorority GPA was 2.995, all women GPA 3.008 and Kappa’s GPA 3.101. This year there were 993 students enrolled at Monmouth. 87 of these students were members of Alpha Deuteron Chapter. The chapter goal this year was to have 50 per cent attendance at non-mandatory events and 90 percent attendance at all mandatory events. This goal expanded the chapter goal from the previous year in an effort to improve sisterhood by supporting the sisters outside of chapter related events. The goal was for each member to attend two extra-curricular events a month in which Kappas were involved.
During recruitment in 1997, the chapter pledged 21 new members. Their Homecoming float won first place and raised money for the American Heart Association. Scholarship remained a high priority for the chapter in 1997 and once again it had the highest GPA 3.082 on the campus, the all women’s GPA was 3.053 and the campus GPA was 2.945. The chapter received an award Give a Hoot for overall excellence at the 1997 Epsilon Province Meeting. The goal for the chapter was “to strive to improve unity and consideration of others through increased participation in all chapter and campus events.”
Philanthropy: During this decade the chapter continued to hold its annual golf tournaments at Gibson Woods Golf Course. Proceeds were given to the Warren Achievement Center. In 1990 the chapter members wrote letters of support to the troops in the Middle East. It was hoped these letters would boost their morale. In October 1991 the chapter went to a local elementary school to help raise money. The women worked at the school’s carnival. Additional philanthropies carried out by the chapter were Dollar Days, reading to local elementary school classes, decorating a local nursing home.
In the fall of 1994, Kappas donated money and necessary personal items such as toothpaste and shampoo to a battered women’s shelter. It also participated in Book Week at the Warren County Library. The children there had their favorite book read to them by enthusiastic Kappas. The pledges organized a Breakfast with Santa for Monmouth children. During 1995 the chapter continued book week at the local library and they made a beautiful bulletin board which featured the children with their favorite books.
The new member classes from each sorority faced off in a challenge to collect clothes for the Jamison Center. The pledges sponsored a Christmas Party at the Pinewood Nursing Home and entertained the residents with Christmas Carols. In 1996 the chapter organized the Pizza Roll which brought 50 underprivileged children to the local roller rink. After skating, the children were served pizza.
In 1995, it continued the annual golf tournament with the proceeds going to the Warren Avenue Center, the Kappa Foundation and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The members continued with book week and organized Jail N’ Bail which benefited the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and participated in Rose McGill’s Holiday Sharing program. This year’s new member class enjoyed their Christmas party which was held at the Pinewood Nursing Home.
1997 began with numerous philanthropic events which demonstrated the strength and dedication of the chapter. The second annual pizza roll with Sigma Phi Epsilon brought smiles to the faces of 50 children from the community. The event included two hours of roller skating followed by pizza. The chapter held a Teetertotterathon in the spring and made contributions to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Kappa Foundation from the funds raised. Alpha also sponsored a Rose McGill Kappa, a blood drive and another successful Jail N’ Bail from which the proceeds were donated to Breast Cancer Research and served as Bell Ringers for the Heart Association during Christmas time.
A New Millennium -- Highlights of 2000-2010: Alpha was ranked first scholastically on campus and with a 3.25 average and was above the all-sorority GPA. In 2005, the chapter had a very successful recruitment and pledged 20 wonderful women. Each of them proved to be an asset to the chapter and many were recently elected to offices as sophomores.
Once again the chapter had the highest GPA on campus among both Greeks and non-Greeks. It received an award for outstanding chapter operations at our Greek Week Banquet. One thing the chapter wanted to do was plan more exciting social events and to accomplish this our social chairman planned new exchanges and events. One of these exchanges was a decadence night at the Monmouth Soda Works with another sorority, Alpha Xi Delta. There are also many new social events and exchanges planned for the coming year. This year has been amazing and we hope that next year will be even better.
Philanthropy: Alpha chapter participated in many successful philanthropies: took part in a mentoring program in one of the local schools. the Relay For Life and many of our members held positions as committee heads and members. the New Members planned a philanthropy called Rent a Kappa which raised $500.
Campus 2005: 1,200 students, All student GPA 2.90, All Greek GPA 3.02 Chapter 2005: 60 members, GPA 3.2
The Monmouth College campus is located one block from The Stewart House, former home of Minnie Stewart, one of the Fraternity Founders. It is a small private Liberal Arts college. In 2006, there were 63 members in the chapter and 19 New Members. The chapter’s meetings are held in Marshall Hall which is the oldest building on campus.
The 2006 archives display was shown in the chapter room and included the following items: Outstanding Achievement In Unity, Loyalty, and Gracious Living, Greek Week 2005, photo album, the Founder's pictures, old board with keys, 2003-2004 Challenge for Excellence, Kappa books, stick candle holder, pledge class 2002 gift, keys and lock in picture frame, class of 2004 gift, owl house, 1870-1913 Kappa Kappa Gamma directory, 3 of the Founder's badges, pledge pin from 1916, 1998-2002 Scholarship Award, pitcher, Outstanding Achievement 2000, and "The Key.” This was a great year for the Alpha Chapter, not only did the chapter have an amazing recruitment, but it gained 19 wonderful new members. Kappa formal was held in the spring of 2006 and was a great success. In the fall of 2006, Kappa was awarded the Homecoming Spirit Award for having the most spirit on campus. At Convention, Kappa was received two awards. Through the year of 2006 Kappa Kappa Gamma has had great relations with the Greek Life on campus.
Alpha Deuteron Chapter had an excellent 2010. In the spring the chapter received word from the College that Kappa would finally have a home for the sisters to live and gather. The chapter had excellent fall recruitment where we gained 15 wonderful new members. During homecoming week, Kappa was awarded third place in the homecoming parade and float competition. Also, the chapter participated for the first time in a community event known as, The Great Cardboard Boat Regatta. It gallantly came away with the Titanic award for most dramatic sinking. Once again, the chapter was recognized for the highest GPA on campus including the highest New Member GPA yet. The chapter had a successful philanthropic endeavor where the sisters bonded together. They created friendship bracelets for children suffering from severe illnesses in the OSF hospital in Peoria. They were given as a Christmas donation.
Monmouth College enacted the first steps toward building houses for all Greek Life members. The three sororities present on campus received individual houses for the first time in the fall of 2010. Also, the school received a Jumbotron, as a gracious donation from an alum, for the football field.
A lovely home was graciously given to Kappa Kappa Gamma by Monmouth College in the fall of 2010. It has been a wonderful opportunity for the chapter to create a true home for the actives as well as the alumnae.
The opportunity for the members to now come together in one area and hold various sisterhoods, activities and chapter meetings in the house has been a wonderful bonding experience. A higher form of chapter unity is consistently a sought after goal. Through holding monthly key sisterhoods and having a home to enjoy our sisters in has made such the goal more feasible. Likewise, the chapter must better learn how to utilize Kappa resources, such as the website.
Honoring Kappa’s Origins
The earliest days of Kappa were memorialized at Monmouth College in 2010 with the dedication of a marker near the site of the rustic wooden bridge where a few young women spoke of forming a secret society of their own. Another marker was placed at the home of Kappa Founder Martha Louisa “Lou” Stevenson –the site of Kappa’s first business meeting, when the golden key was chosen as the official badge. Both markers were funded by a grant from the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation’s Museums Committee.
Fraternity President Denise Rugani, UC Davis, and Alpha Chapter President Lindsay Trafton, Monmouth, unveiled the historic marker during a weekend celebration coinciding with the date of the college’s founding in 1853. Denise said, “For me to be part of the dedication of the markers at Monmouth College was truly one of the most special moments of my time as Fraternity President. These markers are a reminder to all of the power of the women’s movement in America. They keep the message of our Founders alive. From a time when few women were admitted to college, these women not only attended college but also had the dream of creating a women’s organization equal to that of the men’s fraternal organizations. Today it is our moral imperative to keep their vision alive and pass it on to future generations.”
It was on a pedestrian trestle bridge over a stream that ran though the Monmouth College campus where Kappa Founders met to pursue their dream of a secret Greek society similar to those of the male students. The marker is located at the approximate midpoint of the block-long bridge, which stood until the early 20th century when the stream was diverted underground.
Among Fraternity officers present were Kay Smith Larson, Washington, Fraternity Historian and former Fraternity President. Kay recalled how the Monmouth College policy of admitting women on an equal footing with men since its earliest days helped lay the groundwork for the founding of the first national secret collegiate society for women, Pi Beta Phi, at Monmouth in 1867, followed by Kappa just three years later.
Monmouth College Trustees and Alpha Chapter alumnae Gail Simpson Owen and Barbara Watt Johnson attended the dedication and Gail reflected on the meaning of the bridge. She said, “The metaphor of a bridge is fitting as we build bridges to take us from one place to another; from the known to the unknown, an arduous journey made easier with a bridge, a connection. For me, the Kappa Bridge spanned the distance from my family 5,000 miles away to my new sisters and friends. I recognize that it is our turn to build the next bridge for those who come after us.”
Highlights of 2011-2019: (scholarship, group honors/awards, special events, philanthropy and service projects, etc.):
Highlights of 2020:
Note to Chapter Registrar: Please refer to your chapter archives including chapter meeting minutes and back issues of The Key to fill in any gaps in the above historical highlights. If your chapter archives are not complete, please research your university library, campus newspaper and yearbook archives for newsworthy information about your chapter. Please double check your work for accuracy. Contact chapter Advisory or House Board members, local Alumnae Association members, or your Province Director of Chapters for assistance. Your efforts will ensure a complete and accurate history of your chapter for future generations to enjoy!
Visiting Monmouth Today
A trip to Monmouth, Illinois, affords visitors the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the Founders of Kappa Kappa Gamma! The Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation operates The Stewart House Museum, open to the public for tours and events. The home of Martha Louisa Stevenson still stands and Kappa Kappa Gamma placed an historical marker on the property in 2009. The marker recognizes the home as the location of many early meetings of Alpha Chapter. Another historical marker was placed at site of the "Kappa Bridge" where early Fraternity History tells the story of two Kappa Founders meeting to discuss their plans for a Greek letter organization.
The brochure Footsteps of the Founders is available at The Stewart House and includes a cemetery map and a map of town indicating the former locations of the homes of other Founders. Today only Minnie Stewart's home and Lou Stevenson's home are still standing.