|Founded||June 10, 1877|
|College||University of Akron|
|Media related to Lambda Chapter|
University of Akron founded in 1914, formerly Buchtel College founded in 1870
Lambda chapter: founded June 10, 1877
1,904 initiates as of (June 2017)
Mary B. Jewett, Harriet Evelyn Pardee, Elizabeth Undine Slade.
Fraternity Council Officers:
Marion Bell Slade (Ransom), Grand Marshal 1884-1986; Mary Krenzke (Grandlin), Grand Secretary, 1886-1888; Lydia Voris Kolbe, Grand President 1916-1918, Grand Treasurer 1908-1914; (Lydia) Elmie Warner Mallory, Grand President 1904-1906, Grand Registrar 1900-1904; Elizabeth Voris Lawry, Editor of The Key 1904-1905, Martha Simmons (Murray), Field Secretary 1961-1963; Lesley Dillon (Lage), Traveling Consultant 2001-2002
Fraternity Loyalty Award Recipients:
Fraternity Alumnae Achievement Award Recipients:
1962- Frances McGovern, Attorney; legislator; first female chairman of Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
Additional Outstanding Lambda Alumnae:
Dale Hinton (Hertel), Graduate Counselor 1944-1945; Martha Simmons (Murray), Graduate Counselor 1960-1961; Jill Hughes (Mealy), Chapter Consultant 1996-1997
- 1 THE FOUNDING OF LAMBDA CHAPTER
- 2 The Early Years (From The History of Kappa Kappa Gamma 1870–1976)
- 3 The Fire of 1890
- 4 Link title
- 5 World War II Years
- 6 The 1950s
- 7 The 1960s
- 8 The Early 1970s
- 9 Highlights of the 1970s
- 10 Highlights of the 1980s:
- 11 Highlights of the 1990s
- 12 Highlights of 2000-2010
- 13 Highlights of 2011-2019:
- 14 Highlights of 2011
- 15 Highlights of 2012
- 16 Highlights of 2013
- 17 Highlights of 2015
- 18 Highlights of 2016
- 19 Highlights of 2017
THE FOUNDING OF LAMBDA CHAPTER
The University of Akron, previously known as Buchtel College, has a long history of Greek life. Men’s fraternities have existed there for many years but in 1877, the Greek community decided that something was missing: a women’s fraternity. J. Augustine Gutherie, a Phi Delta Theta at Buchtel College, contacted Indiana University’s chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma to tell them about three Buchtel College women and the Greek community was on its way to changing for the good.
These three women, Mary B. Jewett, Harriet Evelyn Pardee, and Elizabeth O. Slade, signed Lambda Chapter’s charter on June 10, 1877 and held its first meeting on January 14, 1878. Five honorary members were in attendance including the wife of the Buchtel College president. This makes Kappa Kappa Gamma the first women’s fraternity on Buchtel College’s campus and the longest continuing Greek letter organization on campus.
A lot has changed since that first meeting including the landscape of campus, women’s rights, fashions, and even the name of the college itself, but several things remain the same. Lambda Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma has had over 1700 members since it first started. These active members still aspire to be good sisters, good leaders, and good students. They work to serve campus and the community. Lambda alumni still display these qualities as well, because you can’t become a Kappa and remain unchanged. Kappa is for life.
The Early Years (From The History of Kappa Kappa Gamma 1870–1976)
Generally speaking, Lambda Kappas at the University of Akron live at home with their families. Many members work to assist with their college expenses; they are active in the chapter and on campus, are community-minded and maintain high scholastic standing.
As individuals, chapter members have contributed much since Lambda’s founding, June 10, 1877. The college was called Butchel at the time, named for John R. Butchel, and Kappa was the first women’s fraternity to be placed there, and is the oldest continually active Greek letter organization on the Akron campus.
Buchtel College, founded in May, 1870, designated by the Universalist Church as its contribution to education in Ohio, was dedicated September 20, 1872, and nine days later 217 students became involved in a simple course of study with seven faculty members. Discipline was rigid: a certificate of good behavior was required for admission; abstention from tobacco and liquor insisted upon for scholarship holders; daily chapel, (cut to three days a week in 1912 and finally ended as compulsory in 1934), was a firm rule.
In 1877, young J. Augustus Guthrie, a Buchtel Phi Delta Theta, told some Kappas at Indiana University about three Buchtel girls. Letters were exchanged, and on June 10, Mary B. Jewett, Elizabeth U. Slade (Voris), and Harriet E. Pardee (Parshall) signed Lambda’s charter. The first Kappa meeting was on January 14, 1878. Five honorary members were taken in, one the wife of the college president. Literary meetings and sponsored lectures were held in members’ rooms and on the top floor of Buchtel Hall.
The first woman editor-in-chief of The Buchtelite was Elmie Warner (Mallory). The first YWCA president was Ethel Davies (Read), and the first five Mary Queens were Kappas. The first Panhellenic president was Rachel Fleming (Hertz) and the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate from the university was Evelyn Church Smith. The Lambdas were the first to wear rush outfits (1968) and by 1970 every sorority had followed their example.
Lambda alumnae have become doctors, lawyers, artists, authors, educators. They have taught in Egypt, Okinawa, Pakistan… Patricia Rose Costello was a Rockette; Gretchen Bock was associate editor of Sesame Street; Antonia Blackletter Nichols became the head of the Red Cross volunteer program in the Far East. Three Lambdas have been president of the University of Akron Alumni Association: Lucy Danforth Felt (1893), Margaret Cruickshank Fleming (1944) and Lois Waltz Burgner (1959). Margaret ( Maggie ) and Lois, as well as Evelyn Church Smith and Virginia Lyon Hardwick, have been honored by the university as outstanding alumnae.
Since Akron rubber companies send people all over the globe, Akron Kappas, with their husbands, are representing the United States in almost every country of the world.
A happy event mentioned in early minutes told of a visit in 1882 to the Wooster chapter (two years later the Wooster girls were refused a return visit by their rigid faculty), and the two groups celebrated Thanksgiving together with dinner, a reception, and, next morning a sleigh ride.
Strawberry festivals, taffy pulls, and chestnut roasts were popular pastimes. A Lambda girl was fined $2 for wearing a gentleman’s fraternity pin. Term dues to the Grand Chapter were $1; personal dues, 25 cents; initiation fee, $1.25; fines for absence, tardiness, and disorderly conduct, 25 cents, 10 cents, and 5 cents. The most tragic event ever associated with Lambda was the fire of 1890, started at the praeceptress’s party for birthday girls. A Mother Goose cap, made of paper and tufted with cotton, took fire from a gas light. Two girls died that night and another later; five others were badly burned. The whole college mourned.
The Fire of 1890
Emily Bader Chapter Registrar Kappa Kappa Gamma Lambda September 28, 2017Viola Myrtle Steigmeyer was born on November 10, 1870 in Seneca, Ohio (Archive 1).
Viola also went by two other nicknames, Lulu or Lula. It was not easy to find Miss Steigmeyer in historical records because of her other two nicknames. In the U.S. Census of 1880, Miss Steigmeyer was put down as Lula (Archive 2). This name was used in other newspaper articles such as Mourning Buchtel (Archive 3). It was not until the end of my research, that we found her real name. On Ancestry.com, someone made a family tree with her father, Frederick H. Steigmeyer, and mother, Caroline Steigmeyer. They had labeled Viola Myrtle Steigmeyer as the daughter of Frederick and Caroline Steigmeyer. I can assume that Lulu and Lula are nicknames for Viola (Archive 8). On Viola’s gravestone, it uses the name “LuLu Steigmeyer.” Under her name, are the names Lockie and Clarence. These were the names of her brothers who died a year after birth. However, Lulu died in 1890, but her gravestone says 1870-1900 (Archive 9). I can only assume that this was a mistake. I have read online articles saying that gravestones are not always an accurate way to get a person’s date of birth or date of death. I can hypothesize that with the sudden death of their daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Steigmeyer may have not had the funds at the time to create a gravestone for their daughter. It also could have been just a mistake made by the gravestone maker that in fixing it would have cost too much time and money (Archive 10). The real reason may never be known. On December 13, 1890, the women of Kappa Kappa Gamma were having a birthday celebration for all the girl’s birthdays that fell between the months of September to December. This celebration occurred at Cary Hall in Buchtel College. There were about a dozen or so girls dancing around a piano. These girls were wearing festive costumes, tall paper caps trimmed with cotton, surmounted by a tassel, upon their heads (Archive 4). While they were dancing, Miss Aurelia Wirick, of Iowa, moved her head up and the tassel went over the gas jest. Within an instant, she was covered in fire from head to toe. Some girls did not notice and they danced past Miss Wirick and soon caught themselves on fire. Spectators were frightened with fear, but some quickly tried to put out the fire by tearing the clothes off of the women (Archive 5). A hero arose from this tragedy; Mr. Shoaf grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran into Cary hall. On the second floor, Miss Wirick was lying on the floor. Mr. Shoaf extinguished the flames and ran to the third floor. There Mr. Shoaf found Miss Addie Buchtel on the ground with all of her clothes burned off. Miss Steigmeyer was a few feet away on the ground unconscious. Shoaf put out the flames in the room and moved on towards the west end of the hall. There he saw Miss May Steves engulfed in flames. She moaned out, “My God! Won’t somebody do something for me?” Shoaf put out the flames. Miss Steves then said, “My God! My God! Won’t somebody send for my mother?” Miss Eva Dean was a few feet away with fire burning on her head and her arms. Shoaf then put out the fire. The last girl on the fourth floor was Miss Dian Haynes, who covered herself with blankets and quilts to stop the fire, but those too ended up catching fire. If it was not for Mr. Shoaf, she would have been dead (Archive 5). Shoaf went into room 61 and found two girls ready to jump from a fourth story window. He put out the flames in the room and continued to stop the fire in Cary Hall until it ended for good. Miss May Baker found her way to a bathtub to stop the fire that was on her (Archive 5). Miss Steigmeyer was taken to her room. She was burned in many places to a crisp. Her lower limbs, back, and shoulders were deeply burned. Her lips, nose, and ears were burned into mere cinders. Miss Steves’ clothes were burned from her body and then she was taken to a room and placed on sheets. When physicians arrived, they decided it was best to move her to another position. In doing so, shreds and bits of tissue stuck to the sheets, which caused intense pain for Miss Steves. She was constantly calling for her mother. At 12:20 a.m. Miss Steves passed away. Miss Steigmeyer passed away at 5:15 a.m. that Sunday morning (Archive 5). Two girls died within 12 hours of the fire; however, this event would claim another life one year later. Three of the women recovered from their injuries and returned to college. They were Miss Eva Dean, Miss Myrtle Barker, and Miss Dian Haynes (Archive 6). Miss Barker had suffered from her injuries ever since that fire. The burns healed rapidly, but other complications soon came apparent. Despite these complications, she was determined to finish her college courses. When she returned to school in the fall of 1891, she was not the same. The pores of her skin were entirely closed so that perspiration was impossible. All the heat and impurities could not escape her body. She suddenly became ill and died at 8:30 p.m. Friday, October 10, 1891 (Archive 7). This fire had claimed a total of three lives and scarred about a dozen more. It was featured on the front page of the Summit County Beacon on December 17, 1890 and the Cleveland Plain Dealer on December 15, 1890. It was a horrific tragedy that even death came as a relief from such horrible torture.
Summary The fire of 1890 was tragic. This fire took place in 1890 at Buchtel College in Cary Hall. It took the lives of May Steves, Viola Steigmeyer, and Myrtle Barker. May Steves and Viola Steigmeyer died within 12 hours of the fire. Myrtle died one year later from her injuries. Many speculate that the reason Kappa has a no open flame rule in their houses was because of this event. Lambda Kappas have always referred to our house ghost as Lola. From the information above, we can now call her by her right names; Viola, Lula, or Lulu. We also now know that two other girls died. May and Myrtle will be given attention as our “ghosts” in our house as well. Even though the fire did not happen at a Kappa house, I am sure we will say that they are with us in our house. For more information please refer to the archives mentioned. Archive 5 explains in great detail what happened. A special thanks to Jeff Bader for helping me find all of this information.
]] Lambda’s interest in the Fraternity at Large was spurred by the election of Marion Bell Slade (Ransom) as grand marshal in 1884. The 1886 Convention was held in Akron, costing considerably less than $75. Lambda presented another honorary member, Emma White Perkins, who sang at the Convention. Mary Krenzke (Grandlin) was Grand Secretary, 1886-1888. Lambda had continuous representation on Council. Elmie Warner (Mallory) served four years as Grand Registrar and two as Grand President after her marriage, 1904-1906; Elizabeth Voris Lawry was Editor of The Key and then Grand Treasurer; Lydia Voris Kolbe was Grand Treasurer six years, Business Manager of The Key two years, and Grand President, 1916-1920. She was also the first Gamma Province president. Helen Farst Walace wrote the Lambda chapter report for the 1870-1930 History of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity. Turn of the Century
In 1901, after a period of fund raising and rebuilding following a serious campus fire, Dr. Augustus Church became college president. He was a man of many virtues and well acquainted with Kappas: his wife a Beta Beta; and two daughters, Evelyn and Dorothy, initiates of Lambda and Beta Beta ∆ and Gamma Chi. After his sudden death in 1912, Parke R. Kolbe became president, and Lydia, his Lambda wife whose mother Elizabeth Slade Voris was a charter member was often a gracious hostess to the chapter.
Under Dr. Kolbe’s supervision the City Council of Akron accepted the land, buildings and endowment, and, with Buchtel College as a nucleus, established the University of Akron, September, 1914.
Hezzelton Simmons became president in 1933. Under him, Simmons Hall was built, and a student building, opened in 1939, was run by a student crew with a Kappa co-manager, Antonia Blackletter (Nichols). She was the first woman to ever hold such a position in the United States. President Simmons had three Kappa daughters and a Kappa daughter-in-law. He himself always presented Kappa bids to each new girl. Catherine Simmons Russell, who earned a graduate degree at Goucher College while she helped organize Delta Theta Chapter there, remembers her father’s sense of humor… She mentions an instance when she was delegated to do the Kappa laundry which conflicted with a special date. Her father, then a chemistry professor, sent her off on the date and did the laundry himself.
During the Depression many Kappas worked part time, dues were lowered, and the spring formal was cancelled. Song Fest took place for the first time in 1933.
World War II Years
World War II found Kappas knitting, wrapping bandages, selling savings stamps, writing letters to servicemen, and working at the USO. Veterans flooded the campus after the war ended.
Mary Giddings Keating was named dean of women, responsible for counseling all women student. In 1945, after years of rented rooms and houses, Lambda took the first step toward home ownership since 1900, when an unsuccessful attempt had been made. With Margaret Zink Brewster as chairman, the Lambda House Association was founded with 164 contributing charter members. In 1948 the move was made to 204 Spicer Street, a home which the chapter purchased.
During the early 1950s, all was not well with women’s fraternities. The expected increase in enrollment was mostly men. An alumnae steering committee, headed by Lambda’s Marion Barnes Zehender helped pull the chapter back to its former level.
The actives worked hard to set up a tight budget, coordinate activities, and regulate studies. Results were good and morale rose, the common goal drawing the members into close harmony. The summer of 1957 found Lambda with membership up, finances under control, scholarship excellent. So it was with disbelief the chapter read a letter from the Fraternity Council requesting a surrender of its charter due to inadequate women’s facilities on the campus. Chapter President Ann Whiting (Baldwin) called an emergency meeting of actives and alumnae. Result: a reply stating that the charter would not be voluntarily relinquished.
The Akron Beacon-Journal featured the situation on the front page, and the university President Norman Auburn invited the Council to come to Akron. Accepting the invitation were Executive Secretary Clara O. Pierce, Ohio State, Fraternity President Eleanore Goodridge Campbell, Colorado, and Director of Chapters Frances Fatout Alexander, DePauw. The decision: the situation had been misconstrued. The committee was impressed with the university and was proud to have Lambda Chapter on the campus. Its delegate to the 1958 Convention returned to Akron with a large silver tray inscribed: First Place—Greatest Chapter Improvement Award—Lambda. In 1959 a new award, given in the name of Jayne Pesar, a beloved member who died that spring, was offered to the Lambda member best exemplifying a Kappa woman.
To encourage members to stay in school the Akron Alumnae Association inaugurated the Memorial Scholarship Fund, a no-interest loan fund through which alumnae can remember a Kappa sister by temporarily easing the financial burdens of an active student.
Once again, in 1966, the Kappas found themselves in the path of an expanding university, and the Lambda House Association, led by Carol Aspell Messmore, bought three parcels of property, containing four houses. Two were then rented, one was razed, and one renovated to house 12 university students. Plans for a future chapter house for 40 members were drawn up, and a fund drive launched with hopes of building in 1971. By 1968 the university no longer needed the housing, so the Kappa Annex came into being. The house on Spicer Street was sold to the university and the annex became the Kappa House. It was realized that Lambda would never need a structure to house all members and plans for a lodge-type house were made. The realization of this dream came true in 1975 when a new lodge was dedicated.
The Early 1970s
1970 was a year of great change. Greek activities lost emphasis. The events at Kent State, so close to home, had a serious effect on Akron students. Lambda Kappas ranged from those who mourned the loss of traditional events to those who gladly turned their attention to national and political action. The Kappa Centennial was celebrated on Founders Day, 1970 with 100 alumnae and 70 actives in attendance. Virginia Bader (McGuckin), who was named Outstanding Greek Woman of the Year and the Akron recipient of Kappa’s Centennial Scholarship, was a featured guest.
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@example.com with questions.
Highlights of the 1970s
Trends on campus and within the chapter included the importance of performing arts and speaking up about issues on campus. Many influential speakers visited the University of Akron to inform students about current issues, a variety of bands performed on campus, and many theatre productions were held. Fashion trends included the Farah Fawcett hairstyle, leather jackets, short dresses, wedge shoes, different prints and patterns, and big accents on clothing.
The Lambda chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma faced very few difficulties during these years. The chapter was doing very well and was successful in many aspects. They had the highest GPA on campus for several years in a row, had successful rush weeks where they pledged more than 20 women during the fall Recruitments, and they were very involved on campus and in Greek life.
The biggest challenge that the Kappas faced was maintaining such a high reputation on campus. They were able to deal with this challenge by continually recruiting outstanding women, hosting and attending many events with other Greek groups, and participating in activities throughout the campus and in the community. Kappa Kappa Gamma had a very positive reputation and was a highly respected sorority on the University of Akron’s campus.
Through the passing years, some important events occurred that influenced the chapter, like the opening and dedication of the new chapter house in October of 1975. This was very significant to the chapter and even to the surrounding community, and the mayor of Akron declared that October 26th of that year was Kappa Kappa Gamma Day. Also, members of the chapter attended Kappa’s 51st biennial convention held at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, Calif. in the summer of 1976. The women of Lambda chapter were very excited that they got to participate in and attend that event.
During the weekend of June 10, 1977, they celebrated Lambda chapter’s 100th anniversary with many of their alumni and national Kappa Kappa Gamma officers at a dinner and a big ceremony (see below). On this day, the women displayed a quilt that they’d made showing their Kappa memories. Finally, in 1979, they hosted Gamma Province Meeting in Akron.
At this time the President of the University of Akron was Dominic J. Guzzetta and the school was the third largest university in Ohio. The university opened music, speech, and theater arts building in 1975, in 1976 the building was renamed Guzzetta Hall in honor of the president and his wife.
A national energy crisis was occurred at this time and the city of Akron was experiencing a decline in their once flourishing rubber industry. To deal with these problems, the university conserved energy by turning off lights and closing its game room for a period of time. Another issue on campus, included the lack of available parking spots.
Centennial Celebration June 10–12, 1977: 200 gathered in Akron to celebrate Lambda’s 100 years. The weekend began with tours of Akron attractions for out-of-town guests. Saturday, was reunion day with many classes having noon gatherings. One loyal alumna flew from Denver to Akron for the luncheon and returned home again that evening. Others came from as far as California, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Florida, Chicago and Pennsylvania.
The highlight of the weekend was the Centennial Banquet held at the Firestone Country Club. Connie O’Dell Nolte, Akron, Akron Alumnae Association President, served as toastmistress. A check for $1,000 was presented to Dr. Dominic Guzzetta, university president, by Sally Moore Nitschke, Ohio State, Director of Membership, on behalf of the Fraternity for Centennial Scholarships.
Graduating seniors were inducted into the alumnae association by Dru Cox Zuverink, Kentucky, Gamma Province Director of Alumnae. Juliana (J.J.) Fraser Wales, Ohio State, Gamma Province Director of Chapters, presented 50-year awards to four Lambda alumnae and one Beta Beta Deuteron alumna. An audio-visual presentation of 100 years of Lambda Chapter entitled Bustles to Blue Jeans was enjoyed, highlighted by a style show presented by the active members wearing gowns which had been worn by former Fraternity Presidents.
Everyone was delighted to receive two elegant favors, a blue-and-blue needlepoint key tag made by various members and a blue enamel-on-copper fleur-de-lis pin made by area alumnae.
A new tradition began when a new President’s badge was presented to the incoming association President. This badge will be passed on to each newly elected association president and she will wear it during her term of office. At this banquet, the new association officers were installed.
During this Centennial year, Lambda Chapter was proud to earn the university scholarship cup two out of three quarters, and first place in Song Fest with Sigma Pi and Theta Chi fraternities, and, for the second year, a Lambda member was named Outstanding Greek Woman. This special weekend culminated with an open house at the Kappa Lodge, a memorial service and campus tours conducted by actives members.
Highlights of the 1980s:
Lambda chapter members worked together to make improvements to many areas of the chapter in 1987. Ritual and initiation procedures were improved, committees were reconstructed to work more efficiently at the suggestion from the Traveling Consultant, finances were kept in order and the chapter improved academically to rank second on campus. Fall rush brought 17 new pledges to the chapter. On the Akron campus, seven sororities were involved in the Panhellenic Council.
This upward trend in the chapter carried forward until the end of the decade. At the 1989 Gamma Province Meeting, Lambda received the award for the most improved pledge program. The chapter pledged 23 new members that fall in a successful rush, to add to the five new members from the spring 1989 rush. The chairman of the Panhellenic council fundraiser in 1989 was a Kappa, as was the president of the Panhellenic Council. Additionally, Lambda had the second highest GPA on campus among NPC chapters.
Lambda chapter was also recognized by the campus in 1989 by winning Desiderata, which is an award for the overall best sorority on campus based on service hours. It also won the Panhellenic Spirit Award. Housing: The Kappa Lodge was redecorated in 1987 with new carpeting, furniture and wallpaper. The formal room of the Lodge was completely redecorated in 1989 with new paint, reupholstered furniture, new curtains, the carpet was cleaned and letters were added to the outside of the annex.
Philanthropy: Increasing involvement in philanthropy was a chapter focus in 1987 and the chapter history report indicates that philanthropic fundraising that year increased by 50% from the previous year. The 1989 chapter history reports shares that Lambda donated the most service hours of any sorority on campus that year, more than 700 hours, and raised the most money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Philantropy events included the sale of Kiss-o-grams (Hershey Kisses) for American Diabetes Association, visiting Manor Care Nursing home for a Halloween party and participation in the Great Strides Walk-a-Thon for Cystic Fibrosis.
Highlights of the 1990s
The Lambda Kappas were a diverse group with sisters involved in many different groups and activities on campus, such as Panhellenic, Order of Omega, varsity athletics, cheerleading, Mortar Board, University Dance and Theatre and Student Government. A Kappa was the 1990 Akron Homecoming Queen! Kappas were also active in the Akron community through their strong philanthropic program.
In 1991, Lambda Kappas won Greek Week for the fifth year in a row, and the Alpha Gam Lip Jam for the second consecutive year. The chapter maintained the second place academic ranking. At the 1991 Gamma Province Meeting, Lambda received the Overall Programming Award, and at Akron’s Greek Recognition Dinner the same year, the chapter received the Outstanding Pledge Program award. There were six new pledges in the spring on 1991, and 24 in the fall. New initiatives begun by the chapter that year included Gamma Girls, a part of the Standards Committee dedicated to raising chapter spirit and morale, and a Key Scholar program to recognize members receiving an A or B on a test, paper, speech or quiz.
Fall Rush and COB in 1995 brought 14 new members to the chapter. In October, Lambda chapter celebrated the Fraternity’s 125th anniversary at a dinner with the Akron Alumnae Association.
A Lambda chapter goal in 1996 was to increase participation in Panhellenic events. The chapter focused on this and in the process won second place in Greek Week and won the participation award at Open Gym with the Greeks that year. The chapter had 45 members in 1996, and there were six sororities on campus. The GPA requirement for rush was raised that year to 2.75 for rushees who attended college, and to 3.0 for rushees coming from high school.
In the spring on 1997, 11 members of the chapter were able to attend GammaProvince Meeting and the chapter received honorable mentions for Ritual and Advisory Board Support, and awards for Finance and Philanthropy. In August 1997, the chapter celebrated 120 years on the Akron campus. At that time, the University had five sororites and 14 fraternities on campus, and the Kappa chapter had 34 members. However, the chapter history report for 1997 states that the total number of students going through rush on the campus had been steadily declining during the past semesters. Eight new members were added during fall rush in 1997.
Two challenges faced by the chapter at the end of the decade were the adoption of the Fraternity’s new New Member Program, and the death of a sister, Sarah Strain. The latter pulled the members together emotionally and made them realize how much they valued one another.
In the spring of 1998, the chapter ranked first on campus academically! Quota for the Fall 1998 rush was nine, and Lambda chapter pledged 12 new members. The chapter closed 1999 with 32 total members, and many awards from the 1999 Gamma Province Meeting, Most Improved Chapter and New Member Award, and from the University, Continuous Recruitment Award, Most Improved GPA, Scholastic Achievement award, Highest NM GPA award, Alumnae Relations award and Adviser of the Year.
Throughout the decade, the chapter successfully worked to raise money for Project 2000, which was an effort to raise $10,000 for a scholarship fund in the Kappa Foundation by the year 2000. The final amount raised by the chapter was more than $13,000.
Housing: In July 1990, new rose colored carpeting was installed in the formal room of the Kappa Lodge. With the help of the men of Delta Tau Delta, the chapter also worked on the landscaping around the house and annex during that summer.
The 1998 chapter newsletter reported that the chapter meeting room had been totally re-decorated with new carpet, wallpaper and mini-blinds. Exterior painting of the lodge was done in 1999, and the walls and ceiling of the formal living room were also painted. At the end of the decade, a sizeable donation from the Hudson Alumnae Association was earmarked for the replacement of the furnace in the annex.
Philanthropy: In the spring of 1990, Lambda chatper participated in the 15-mile Super Cities Walk for Multiple Sclerosis. In the fall, the chapter participated in two service projects, The Brush-Up on Akron Campaign in which the members fixed up houses for lower income senior citizens which the chapter did again in 1991. The chapter returned to the Manor Care Nursing Home for another Halloween party with the residents and their grandchildren.
For Halloween 1991, the chapter helped run Spooking At The Top of The Town, an AIDS benefit, and in November baked cookies for La Sertoma, a group that fed the less fortunate at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The chapter philanthropy in 1995 was Kappa Kidney Kamp and it raised money with two Swing-A-Thons. The October philanthropy event in 1995 was Boo-at-the-Zoo at the Akron Zoo. The Swing-A-Thons and volunteering at Boo-at-the-Zoo continued until the end of the decade. Five active members of the Lambda chapter were able to visit Kappa Kidney Kamp in the summer of 1998 to see the benefits of their fundraising efforts.
The chapter raised money for Kappa Kidney Kamp by selling chocolate covered pretzels and big Hershey’s Kisses in a Valentine’s philanthropy event in 1998.
Chapter Convention Awards: Honorable Mention for the Panhellenic Award, Convention 1990 Honorable Mention for Finance, Ritual and Fraternity Education, Convention 1996 Honorable Mention for Finance (Unhoused), Honorable Mention for Fraternity Appreciation, and the award for Greatest Scholastic Improvement (9 or fewer Panhellenic Groups), Convention 1998
Highlights of 2000-2010
In 2005, Lambda chapter consisted of 42 members, with 12 new members added in the spring, and 13 in the fall. This was the first time in many years that the chapter met its recruitment quota. This was due in part to a recruitment blitz assisted by Kappas from Fraternity Headquarters.
On March 4, 2005, the university’s Annual Greek Recognition dinner was held and the chapter received the academic achievement award, the Most Panhellenic award, the bronze level excellence award, and the Desiderata award. Lambda was also recognized for having 50% of the chapter on the Dean's List and as the Panhellenic Council’s sports champs. A number of chapter members attended Gamma Province Meeting at John Carroll University, where Lambda received awards for best sisterhood, best philanthropy, most service hours, and the Best of the Best award.
In the fall of 2005, Emma Weaver attended Leadership Academy and brought back great enthusiasm for Kappa, and the chapter held Founders Day with the Akron Alumnae Association on October 16. Lambda Chapter had a very successful 2007. It recruited 12 members during spring COBs with themes such as Get the Scoop on Kappa, Kappa Kappuccino, and Pajama Jam. They also affiliated Kirsten Buccigrossi from the Eta Eta chapter at the University of Central Florida. After formal recruitment in the fall, 18 new members were initiated.
Chapter activities and social events this year included: a scrap booking social with Alpha Delta Pi, a social with Alpha Gamma Delta and FIJI, Sapphire Ball, Parent’s Luncheon, Songfest, Greek Week, Founders Day, AGD’s Lip Jam, and a Pinstripes and Pearls Date Party.
At the 2007 University Greek Leadership Awards, Lambda received the New Member Academic Excellence Award, the bronze level for the Praestantia Award, and Selena Meyers received an alumna recognition award. At Gamma Province Meeting, the chapter received the award for Most Improved Chapter.
Chapter membership was 62 in 2008, thanks to successful spring and fall recruitments. Lambda chapter participated in and hosted many activities on campus this year and in 2009, including Up Till Dawn, Song Fest, Spaghetti Dinner, Relay for Life, Freshman Move In, Lip Jam, Ice Cream Social, Mocktails, Greek Week, Make a Difference Day, sending girls to Kappa Kidney Kamp, and Kappa Karaoke. The Lambda chapter was especially proud to have the highest grades of all the sororities on campus for both spring and fall semesters in 2008. In 2009, Lambda chapter took five new members during informal recruitment and reached total. The chapter was honored to host the Gamma Province Meeting in 2009 at the University’s Quaker Square on April 3rd and 4th, and once again received several awards at the University’s spring Greek Life Awards.
Fall semester began with a very successful formal recruitment. On Bid Day, the chapter had lunch outside the Kappa Lodge and attended a home football game at the university’s new stadium. The chapter welcomed 16 wonderful women and exceeded chapter total. In the fall, the chapter was excited to participate in Homecoming events and a member of the chapter was crowned Homecoming Queen. Once again in 2009, Lambda has the highest GPA on campus for the spring and fall semesters.
Housing: The Kappa Lodge on the Akron campus was redecorated in 2008 and 2009 with new paint and furniture. A new roof was installed in 2008.
Philanthropy: The chapter held its annual Balloon Pop on Oct. 22, 2005 at the Homecoming game. That same year, the members rang the bell for the Salvation Army at Dave's Market prior to the holidays. In 2007, the Balloon Pop raised more than $700 for Kappa Kidney Kamp. In 2008, Lambda members donated more than 1600 service hours through their philanthropic efforts.
The chapter held a signature RIF event at a local elementary school in 2009. That summer, 16 members were able to visit Kappa Kidney Kamp in southern Ohio, and the chapter hosted Balloon Pop again that fall.
Highlights of 2011-2019:
Highlights of 2011
Lambda Chapter started the year welcoming seven new members into the chapter. With these new girls as well as all returning actives, the chapter had a successful and busy semester. On February 25, the chapter held a movie night sisterhood which allowed the girls to bond more closely. The chapter was visited by the leadership consulant in the spring semester and received suggestions for improvement and further growth. They were given another opportunity to learn and improve when several girls attended Province. This was held April 8-10 in Cincinnati, Ohio and offered a review of ritual and fraternity standards.
The chapter hosted its annual Spaghetti Dinner April 13 raising $1,100 for Kappa Kidney Camp and collecting books for Reading is Fundamental. The women of Lambda Chapter celebrated the end of the semester by enjoying their Sapphire Ball in April. It was held at Prime at Anthe's. They finished the spring strong by earning second place overall at The University of Akron's Greek Life Awards. Lambda Chapter received an award for most service hours and a member of Lambda Chapter earned Greek Woman of the Year. Along with being active within the chapter, the women were very involved with other Greek organizations, events, and philanthropies. Several members participated in intermural volleyball forming two teams. They attended Greek Night at the basketball game in the James A. Rhodes Arena, hosted a Panhellenic Sisterhood for the other Greek women at the University, and held socials with FIJI, Phi Delta Theta, and Theta Chi.
Apart from the hard work they put into their own philanthropies, the women supported other chapters' philanthropies as well. They participated in Lambda Chi's bathtub pull, Delta Gamma's spaghetti dinner, and FIJI's dodgeball tournament. The women also supported Nuance, an acapella men's chorus on campus and were named their number one fans for the third semester in a row. Continuing their philanthropic support they wrote letters for Up 'til Dawn to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, jumped into freezing water to raise money at the Polar Bear Plunge, and enjoyed participating in Relay for Life with a Beauty and the Beast themed table. The entire Greek community at the University of Akron joined together to raise money in an event called Songfest. Each chapter practiced and performed songs and dances to match the theme which was Broadway. The women enjoyed participating in this event and look forward to it every spring. The community raised just under $5,000. All the sororities kicked off fall recruitment with an ice cream social at which possible future members came to learn about Greek Life.
Also unifying the community was the All-Greek tailgate. Lambda chapter enjoyed supporting sports teams at the university including the nationally ranked soccer team as well as the football team. After a successful fall recruitment, Lambda chapter initiated 23 new members. They welcomed them with a fantastic Bid Day featuring lots of blue and blue and a carnival theme.
The majority of the chapter attended Founder's Day and returned with a hightened sense that Kappa is for life. Several members attended the homecoming dance at the university and enjoyed other homecoming festivities. Chapter Retreat was held at Munroe Falls Park and included a pot luck lunch and Olympic games as well as Big/Little Reveal which was done with puzzle pieces. The new members planned Mocktails, an event hosted at the university to creatively promote alcohol awareness.
The women of Lambda Chapter created a non-alcoholic drink called "Slime Time Live" to fit the Nickolodeon theme. Both actives and new members participated in Greek Week, an annual event at the university where sororities and fraternities compete in fun contests and games. While it is a competition, it also brings a sense of unity within the Greek community. Not only did the women of the chapter hold socials with other sororities and fraternities on campus, they also got the opportunity to have a social with the Kappa Kappa Gammas from John Carroll.
The group carved and painted pumpkins for other Universiy of Akron sororities and fraternities. Lambda chapter worked hard to build community with other chapters but also built community within their own chapter. A few members of the chapter hosted a taco dinner at their home for the women of Lambda chapter. This became a new chapter tradition titled "Taco Wednesday." This helped bring the women together as sisters. The women of Lambda Chapter completed over 1,400 service hours during the fall semester. Several members danced in Alpha Gamma Delta's Lip Jam contest which raised money for Alpha Gamma Delta's philanthropy. Lambda chapter finished the year with a Christmas party featuring a gift exchange as well as Senior Night. One member graduated in December and another joined the Navy. Overall, the women of Lambda chapter are very pleased with 2011.
Campus: The University of Akron is home to over 29,000 students from 46 states and 80 different countries. It offers over 300 degree programs and educates both undergraduate and graduate students. The current president is Dr. Luis M. Proenza. The university has over 80 buildings but also abundant green space. The University is able to offer a lot of students financial aid making college possible for many learners. 78% of students at the university are receiving some sort of financial assistance. There are many student resources on campus including the counseling center, the career center, and the recreation center. During the summer of 2011, the university's main library, Bierce, renovated its first floor modernizing it and making it an ideal place for learning and studying.
Chapter: Lambda chapter is proud to be a diverse group. At just over sixty members, the women of the chapter have various interests and majors. Interests include dance, animals, crafts, fitness, pageants, and sky diving. Majors vary greatly and the women of Lambda chapter are studying engineering, public relations, psychology, dietetics, fashion merchandising, exercise science, accounting, education and more. Several members are in the Honors College. Members are involved in several other organizations outside of Kappa Kappa Gamma. These include Campus Focus, other service fraternities, Greek honoraries, dance companies, and Emerging Leaders. Many members also work jobs on and off campus.
Welcoming such a large class of new members made it challenging to know everyone and form a sense of unity and sisterhood. The women of the chapter met this challenge and overcame it in many creative ways. Receiving Bigs helped the new members feel more a part of the chapter and feel more comfortable. Lambda chapter also planned retreats and sisterhoods to increase bonding time. "Taco Wednesday" was the most creative solution to this, as members could spend time together in the middle of the week and enjoy dinner together. Academic performance was also a challenge in the fall semester but the women are working hard to overcome this. The chapter is taking this challenge very seriously. They are holding study hours as well as starting a healthy academic competition and forming study groups.
Highlights of 2012
Lambda chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma had a very successful and exciting 2012. Soon after returning from winter break, they began informal spring recruitment with various themed nights including Spa Night, Taco Wednesday and Kappa Kamp Out. After various events such as fortune cookie big-little reveal, 5 new members were initiated on March 24, 2012. Over the course of the semester Kappa showed Greek-unity through involvement with PHC sisterhoods such as a Zumba night, and attending other sororities’ philanthropy events.
Chapter unity was reinforced through sisterhood events including ethnic food night and game night and through participation in intramural volleyball and basketball. In March they attended the Greek Life Awards where they received awards including the Edna A. Gainer Service Award, and the silver Praestantia Award. Several officers attended webinars hosted by Headquarters, and many members of Lambda chapter visited the Kappa Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio and met with the OSU Kappa Chapter.
In April, Kappas participated in Songfest, that was Billboards Hits themed, performing songs that included, “9 to 5,” “I Will Survive,” and “Girlfriend.” April also included an annual Parents’ Lunch at the Kappa Lodge, and participation in Relay for Life, in which Kappa raised a significant amount of money for the American Cancer Society. The annual Spaghetti Dinner was also held in April, in which a record amount of money was raised for one of Kappa’s philanthropies, Kappa Kidney Camp. The semester ended with formal at The University of Akron’s Martin Center. During the summer many actives traveled to Southern Ohio, for Kappa Day with the campers at Kidney Camp. Two members also traveled to Jacksonville, Florida for Kappa Convention where Lambda Chapter was recognized with The Heritage Award.
Fall semester began with a very successful formal recruitment in which we recruited 18 phenomenal young women, including two legacies. They were welcomed at Bid Day which was Island themed and included things such as volleyball in the front yard and decorating of their new member binders. After the new member education program, 17 women were initiated on November 10, 2012. In October, Kappa participated in one of their yearly philanthropy events, Balloon Pop, in which they raised $750.00. Chapter retreat was held at a local park, where the chapter participated in several games, lots of eating and had big-little reveal.
Founders Day was celebrated at Portage Country Club, and the women, got to see a Kappa alum receive her 65 year pin. Dad’s Day was another event in October, in which members and their dads went to the Akron Zips football game and enjoyed various pre-game festivities together. Also in October, Kappa participated in all Greek Week events, and an active member was crowned Homecoming Queen. Throughout the semester, Kappas participated in various Akron events such as Make A Difference Day, Up ‘til Dawn, Mocktails, Freshman Move in and had several social events with fraternities. The women enjoyed a date party at a pumpkin patch and ended the semester with semi-formal at Infocision Stadium. Overall 2012 was a very successful year for Kappa.
Several challenges Lambda chapter has decided to work on for 2013 are making sure new members always feel welcome, increasing the overall chapter GPA and encouraging sisterhood more within our chapter. Over the course of this past year Kappa’s involvement within the Greek community at Akron truly grew.
Campus: The University of Akron is located in downtown Akron, with an undergraduate population of nearly 30,000. They currently offer over 350 academic degress for both undergraduate and graduate students. Over the course of the past year, a new residence hall, South Hall was built, as well as various features on campus available to all students such as a new restaurant in Quaker Square, and the Coleman Commons.
Chapter: Lambda chapter currently has 64 active members of various majors and cultural backgrounds making the chapter very diverse. Majors of women include Psychology, Dance, Education, Engineering, Dietetics, Nursing, and many more. Members are involved in several activities around the Akron community and completed countless numbers of volunteer hours. The women of Lambda Chapter look forward to an exciting and fun-filled 2013.
Highlights of 2013
Lambda Chapter started off 2013 by recruiting four lovely ladies through several recruitment events such as Kappa Kampout and the favorite Kappa PJ Party, where they watched the movie Pitch Perfect. Six members were initiated, one of whom was visiting from Denison University. Overall, the spring semester was quite busy, especially when it came to philanthropy events. Lambda chapter hosted a Zumbathon and the annual Spaghetti Dinner, which the proceeds went towards our philanthropies. The ladies also volunteered at various events, such as WITAN and Relay for Life. Lambda supported Camp Quality by participating in Songfest, which is a Greek wide fundraiser and competition at the University of Akron. Socials were also held with three fraternities on campus, which were Phi Kappa Psi, Alpha Sigma Phi, and Phi Delta Theta. A Tiffany themed Mom’s Day tea was also held at the Lodge for Mother’s Day. Lambda chapter won several awards at the Greek Life Awards, including the Silver Praestantia. Several members also traveled to the Province Convention in Columbus where they attended workshops and also won awards. At the end of the semester, Lambda chapter held their Masquerade formal at Guy’s Party Center. In the summer, members attended Kappa Kidney Camp to spend time with the campers.
The fall semester for Lambda chapter began with formally recruiting nineteen women. The Bid Day theme was Toy Story, and t-shirts were made that had the phrase, “You Have a Friend in KKG.” A chapter retreat was held to help the new members connect with the actives. The ladies were split up into four teams based upon the houses from Harry Potter, and they competed against each other in mini games. In the end, the Slytherin House won the cup. A separate new member retreat was also held so that the Fall 2013 pledge class could bond with one another. The first week of October brought Greek Week, which had a Hunger Games theme. The homecoming dance was held this week, and the Lambda chapter president was named Homecoming Queen. Balloon Pop was also held during the same weekend, and the chapter raised over $700 for Kappa Kidney Camp. The new members created a drink for the University of Akron’s event Mocktails, which promotes alcohol awareness. It was decade themed, and Lambda had the decade of the 1920s and named their drink Gatsby’s Green Light. Founder’s Day was held on October 13th at the Portage Country Club, where the ladies of Lambda chapter, active and alumna, came together for a great lunch. This event helped to deepen their appreciation of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Lambda had three socials with the fraternities Tau Kappa Epsilon, Theta Chi, and Kappa Sigma. They also participated in other Greek chapter’s philanthropy events, such as Phi Delta Theta’s Soberfest, Sigma Nu’s KanJam, and Alpha Gamma Delta’s Lip Jam. Many members also participated in various volunteering opportunities, one of which was the University of Akron’s Make a Difference Day. A Kappa trainer also came to the lodge to put the ladies through a couple activities to teach them about how to effectively communicate with each other. Overall, 2013 was a great year for the women of Lambda chapter.
Campus: The University of Akron is located in the metropolitan area of Akron, Ohio. The campus’s student population of over 27,000 is a very diverse group who hail from over 46 American states and from over 80 countries around the world. The university has more than 300 programs for undergraduates and graduates, and with over 250 student organizations, it keeps its’ students busy. The campus boasts over 80 buildings, including a recreation center (The Rec) and the Goodyear Science and Polymer Building. The University of Akron’s president, Dr. Luis M. Proenza, announced his retirement was set to take place at the end of the academic year. At the end of 2013, it was announced that The University of Akron had the best lifetime return of investment of any public Northeastern Ohio university, and that students also have the lowest amount of student debt in the state.
Chapter: One of Lambda Chapter’s best qualities includes its diversity of its members. With over 60 members, there is a wide variety of majors being achieved. Examples of these majors are: engineering, education, business, communications, geology, dance, psychology, and nursing. Many members are also apart of more campus organizations, such as ZPN, Greek Honoraries, SHRM, and Campus Focus. Some members are also apart of the Honors College. In addition to their academics and extra-curricular activities, numerous members have jobs either on or off campus, and have also achieved internships.
Highlights of 2015
2015 began as our chapter participated in the first annual Warm Up with the Greeks that kick started spring recruitment. After hosting many recruitment evens including a pajama party and a piñata party Lambda chapter welcomed four new members. At the end of January we celebrated our new members by having our first spring bid day that was candy themed.
February was an exciting month for Lambda chapter as we participated in events such as IFC’s Next Top Pizza, Delta Gamma’s Spaghetti Dinner and a Social with Phi Delta Theta. Six of our members also had the opportunity to go to Pittsburgh to attend the Kappa Regional Meeting.
In March Lambda attended the Greek Leadership Awards where we won the Sportsmanship award and the Public Relations award. April proved to be a busy month as kicked off Initiation week with Spread where our House Chairmen made us a taco dinner. On that Saturday we were able to initiate all four new members and wrap up the day by participating in the University’s Relay for Life. The next day Lambda participated in Songfest where our theme was “Tween Radio Station.” We may not have won any awards but we had a lot of fun singing and dancing on the EJ Thomas stage.
April was also filled with many philanthropy events. We hosted Kapparonie and Cheese at the lodge where we sold mac and cheese to the community to raise money for Kappa Kidney Camp. We also hosted Kolor a Kappa where we sold food and people could throw water balloons filled with colored water at us. This event was super successful and we were able to raise a lot of money for Girls Academy. The Spring Semester wrapped up with Formal which was called “A night at the movies”.
Over the summer our lodge underwent renovation as we got a brand new kitchen. The Fall semester began with formal recruitment. To kick start recruitment Lambda volunteered for Freshmen Move In throughout the week where we had the opportunity to help new students move into their dorms. We also participated in the Glow Party and the Ice Cream Social put on by the Fraternity and Sorority Life Office. After a fun week of formal recruitment Lambda Chapter was able to welcome 22 new members with a Katy Perry themed bid day complete with Left Shark.
September proved to be an even more exciting month as Lambda was paired with Kappa Sigma and Phi Kappa Tau for a superhero themed Greek Week. October was as busy as ever as we had our annual Chapter Retreat where we played Disney themed games and ate food while bonding over our sisterhood. We were also able to have some fun at our Margaretville themed date party where we danced and at lots of good food, despite the rain.
In November we initiated 20 of our New Members as well as having socials with Phi Kappa Psi and Phi Sigma Kappa. The standards committee also hosted an overnight sisterhood to help us bond and grow as a chapter. Overall 2015 was a very good year for Lambda chapter as we were able to contribute to all of our philanthropies and build our sisterhood.
This year showed big changes for The University of Akron. As we gained a new president, many changes were made. We became The University of Akron “Ohio’s Polytechnic University” and many buildings, including the School of Education building began construction with help from the LeBron James Foundation. In 2015 Akron’s Panhellenic Council officially opened for expansion and by next fall we hope to welcome another chapter on campus. 2015 was the year of social media as everyone was tweeting, Instagraming and Facebooking. Frozen was a fan favorite and as always skinny jeans and printed dresses could be seen all over campus.
Chapter Meetings and Housing:
Where does your chapter hold chapter meetings? In the chapter owned or rented facility? In a university owned facility, house, dorm, lodge or classroom?
Lambda chapter holds our chapter meeting at our lodge where we have a specific meeting room.
What is the history of your chapter’s housing? Have your members had the opportunity to live together in any way? Does your chapter have a house, lodge, apartment or suite? If yes, is it chapter owned or rented, or university owned? How many sisters can live there? Has your chapter owned or lived in more than one house during its history?
Lambda chapter gained a lodge in 1975 after buying land from the University. Although over the years Lambda chapter has had many annex house which housed chapter members, the lodge does not house girls. Lambda chapter is fortunate enough to own our own house, and this past year our House Board did some major renovations by redoing our kitchen and updating our cubby room where personal items can be kept. This renovation has been significantly helpful when we host events and when preparing food for recruitment.
Highlights of 2016
We began 2016 with a bang by having our Leadership Day to bring in the new officers for our Chapter Council. We hosted many recruitment events the last two weeks of January to hopefully bring us another great spring pledge class.
We also started off the month of February with a few more recruitment events that brought us four wonderful women for the Spring 2016 pledge class. We held our Spring Bid Day soon after to celebrate our new members, and the theme was Kappas Have S’more Fun! To complete this fun camping theme, we even brought a huge tent into the meeting room. We also held our first philanthropy event of the year, Kapparoni and Cheese, which is an event that was created and started by our Philanthropy Chairman in 2015. We decided to do it again this year and it was met with huge success. Many members of the Greek Community attended in support of us and our philanthropies. Our New Member Educator brought in a new system for getting to know the new members called Kappa Speed Dating, which was a really awesome way to help both the chapter and new members bond with each other better.
March began with the GLAs and was filled to the brim with philanthropy events, PHC events, and meetings. We had Big Little Reveal where our four new members happily joined their new families, and they began to feel even closer to Kappa. March was also the month that we started doing extension presentations to welcome another chapter onto our campus. We had a team of 10 sisters who regularly attended these presentations to help make the decision for our Panhellenic Community.
Our busiest month of the spring was April. We participated in many philanthropy events including Dance Marathon, an organization that many of our sisters were very involved with. We also participated in Relay for Life where we were one of the top organizations in raising donations. Our new member class also held a fundraiser of their own called Kappa Kornhole, and the next week was our Inspiration/Initiation Week, where all four of the members of Spring ’16 were initiated. We held our second philanthropy event of the year, Late Night Waffle Bar, this month as well. This was a brand new event for us that turned out to be a lot of fun not only for those who came to the event, but also for us as we had a great time making waffles and hanging out around the kitchen together. We created a team for Walk A Mile called the Blue Keys (much like the Black Keys, which is a famous Akron rock group) and many of our sisters raised money and attended the event. And finally, we ended our very busy month with a formal to get the stress off of our minds and dance the night away. May was short and sweet for us as it marked the end of the semester. We participated in a few final philanthropy events and hosted our own philanthropy event. We brought back Kolor A Kappa again this year to end out our semester. We also had our senior night, where we said goodbye to our sisters who were going alum.
The summer time meant more time for our sisters to hang out by the pool, volunteer, and practice more of our favorite hobbies, which we did a lot of. It also meant some sisters went back home, which meant lots of road trips to see sisters that were further away. We also kepy up the philanthropic spirit by walking in the Kidney Walk in Cleveland with some of the Phi Taus, and participating in World Kidney Day. All day on June 29 our sisters shared facts about kidneys in support. To bond right before recruitment, there was even a pool party where many sisters hung out and reminded each other why they joined this amazing organization.
Before classes even started, recruitment started. In August, we were attending recruitment workshops, volunteering to help freshmen move in to the dorms, and talking to PNMs at the Ice Cream Social and Glow Party. September brought us recruitment, where we welcomed our Rho Gams back home and a Fall Pledge Class of 22 women to their new home. We celebrated the successful weeks of recruitment with a Drake Bid Day. You could find gold glitter in the house for months after this celebration. We had study nights, house dinners, sisterhoods, and Kappa Speed Dating to help the new members and actives bond and get to know each other well as they became a bigger and bigger part of the chapter.
We were also excited to welcome the newest chapter on to campus, Delta Zeta! We had a lot of fun going through some of the steps of recruitment with them, and helping them bring home a wonderful pledge class for their organization as well.
October proved to be the busiest month in the year for the Kappas, and we really had to stay on top of things this month to keep up with everything. We all took a trip to the Akron Zoo for our Chapter Retreat, and we all felt like little kids again, running around looking at animals and going down the slides with otters. Some of our sisters attended Alpha Phi’s Housing Ceremony for their new house, while others attended Delta Zeta’s Bid Day. We participated in Greek Week with Theta Chi, Delta Zeta, and Phi Delta Theta, which helped us to get to know members of the Greek Community that we may not have gotten to know before. We also hosted our first philanthropy event of the semester, Lemonade for Literacy, along with attending Soberfest, Kappa Sigma’s hockey fundraiser, Octoberfest, and Mocktails for Alcohol Awareness Week. We also had our Big Little Reveal as well, which gave our new members families to call their own. Many of our sisters also proudly took on the role of becoming a Big to a Delta Zeta Little as well, helping the DZs to feel like Akron really is home for them. And finally, we ended the crazy month by attending our cartoon themed Date Party held at the Score. Everyone came dressed as their favorite Kartoon Network character, and we had a great time!
The first week in November was Inspiration/Initiation Week and on November 5 we initiated 20 beautiful new women into the chapter. Things slowed down a bit for the chapter, but our sisters continued to participate in events, especially the Flag Football Game and Sweat for a Cause for Circle of Sisterhood. We partnered up with Alpha Sigma Phi to host a dodgeball tournament in the Field House on campus. We also got a brand new Chapter Council filled with many new faces that we know are going to bring brand new ideas and events to the chapter in the next year, and we can proudly support in their endeavors. We ended the semester strongly, with many of our sisters gathering to study for finals and help each other succeed in any way possible. We sent off a group of seniors, and soon after we had our last philanthropy event of the year, Christmas with the Kappas. We did this event last year, and this year we brought it back for the second year right before Finals’ Week to help everyone take a break from all of the studying and get in the holiday spirit. The president of the university, President Wilson, even attended our event with his wife!
All in all, the morale of the chapter this year was very high. Our sisters were proactive in supporting other organizations on campus, and getting involved all over campus in the causes that they were passionate about. Many sisters were involved with the election, and strongly encouraged all members to go out and vote. Some were even involved with protests after the election. With the changing president of the university, there was a much more positive outlook for everyone on The University of Akron’s campus, and it was especially evident throughout the Greek Community as our new president become even more involved with our activities as well. 2016 was a great year to be a Lambda Kappa, and we are excited to see what 2017 has in store for us!
Highlights of 2017
2017 was filled with many amazing highs and some devastating lows. 2017 will be remembered for the work we did at Girls Academy, our Coachella themed bid day, and a loss of someone very special. January Leadership day started this year off on January 15 to welcome our new Chapter Council officers. At the end of the month we held COBs (Continuously Open Bidding) and participated in Warm up with the Greeks to gain us three new Kappas.
February Before bid day we held formal pledging for the new members. In February we held a red, white, and blue bid day for the three new members. Then towards the end of February Lambda chapter held its first Girls Academy event at Hyre Middle School. Many actives and alumni spent a day and a half at the middle school building student’s confidence, leadership skills, and self-esteem. There was about 40 middle-schoolers attending this event. Actives were the leaders of the event and became role models for the girls. Some alum who made this event possible were Courtney Powell, Abbey Gauger, and Keri Deyling.
March This month was started off with Lambda’s infamous Kapparoni and Cheese philanthropy event. At this event we sell different types of macaroni and cheese including buffalo chicken, hamburger, and a regular style. This was a great start for new members to get their feet wet into Kappa life. New members had their retreat where they bonded at the house with their pledge class. Big/little reveal gave the new members a person to look up to in Kappa. At the GLAs (Greek Life Awards) we won the sportsmanship award. Congratulations to our past president, Julie Logsdon, for winning the Chapter President of the Year award and the Thomas Vuckovich leadership award. Julie is everything that Kappa stands for and has really left her legacy for years to come. We ended the month with a parent’s lunch showing our loved ones what Kappa life is like.
April was an important month for the new members. The new members participated in spread, Blue and Blue, Fireside, and then they were initiated on April 8th. In this spring semester we have had almost perfect attendance in every other sororities or fraternities’ philanthropy events. Our presence in the community changed a lot due to being involved in others events. Kappas also participated in Relay for Life, Take Back the Night Walk, Walk of Heroes, and Dance Marathon. A new charter was acquired because the previous one had incorrect information on it. The charter had a woman on it who was not a charter signer, but the first initiated (Annie Litchfield Faber). The problems were fixed and now the new charter hangs on the formal room wall. Late Night Waffle bar was a hit as we served over a hundred waffles to the community. All the money raised went to our philanthropies. Formal was to the theme of Poseidon’s Sapphire Ball which took place at Tangiers.
Summer May was a time for mourning in Kappa. Morgan Sisley, our past Event chairman from the year of 2013 and our past President from the year of 2015, passed away. She left us on May 23 due to ovarian cancer. Morgan was an essential part of how Kappa is today. Through her presidency she formed relationships with new members, other chapters, and the community that will never be forgotten. She has touched our lives in such a way that we can all agree she is our aspire to be. In July some members got to spend a day at Kappa Kidney Camp making new friends with the kids that were there. They participated in games, boating, tie dye, ate food with the kids, and played marshmallow dodgeball. As summer was ending, we had to prepare for recruitment. We started with confidence week to prepare and had an Ice-cream social with the other sororities to help recruit potential new members. During confidence week, we had daily photoshoots that were all themed differently. Some of the photoshoots were Akron themed, pajamas, summer themed, and Kappa themed. Move in day is important in trying to get girls for recruitment. This is where we helped incoming freshman move into the dorms while promoting Greek Life. We also attended the Glow Party to start out the semester. School started on August 28th and we were all excited to start a new semester out fresh.
September Sisterhood round, philanthropy round, and preference round went by quickly and we were ready for bid day. The theme for this year’s bid day was Koachella. We were dressed in tie dyed shirts, flower crowns, and boho style outfits to achieve the perfect bid day. We received 22 new members all ready for what Kappa has to offer for them. Two of those new members were legacies, Stephanie Bohnak and Katherine Gage. That same day the new members were pledged into Kappa and had their first meeting. Their first meeting may have been confusing, but the new members were excited to get involved. Towards the end of the month, we had a Kappa Trainer come in from headquarters. She taught us the importance of academics and why school comes before Kappa. Our academics has been slowly going up, but the Kappa Trainer helped us get back on the right direction. On September 30, Kappa’s chapter retreat was held at an Indians game. It was a chilly night so we all snuggled up eating our $1 hot dogs and drinking our hot chocolate. Unfortunately, the Indians did not win, but we were rewarded with fireworks for sticking it out until the end of the game.
October We Kappas love taking pictures and what better place to take pictures at than an apple orchard?! We had a sisterhood at Rittman apple orchards where we were picking apples and picking out the best pumpkins. The bees scared us, but they did not stop us from bringing bags full of apples home. The next week was Greek Week. The theme was Disney and we were teamed up with Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) and Sigma Nu. Our team name was Oozma Kappa based on the movie “Monsters University”. We participated in a banner contest, rock painting, capture the flag, a “Moana” movie night, an escape room, Greek God and Goddess, and a day of service. We placed 2nd in the banner contest, 1st in rock painting, and 4th place overall out of 6 teams. On October 13, Kappa’s birthday, the registrar held a birthday party for members and alumni. At this party there was old slides shown on an old projector, old films that were formatted to play on a CD, a research paper on the real history of Lambda’s tragic fire in 1890, and much more. Many new members came and learned about Kappa’s history.
The new members competed in a sorority and fraternity competition called Mocktails. Their themed that they picked out was Hades. They made their own costumes and rocked it out with an awesome drink. It was one of the first events that new members got to bond with each other at. New member retreat gave a chance for their pledge class to spend some time together.
The day of October 22nd will be a day remember by the new members forever. That day started off the new member’s bigs hiding in trunks of cars until their littles found them. After the new members found their families, we headed to Tangiers for our Founders day. We reminisced on the past as many alumni were there. A lambda alum who was over 100 years old was there to celebrate too. New Member of the Year award was given to Emily Toth, Active of the Year award was given to Emily Bader, Chapter Advisor of the Year award was given to Kimberly Steel. Lastly, Jen Tater received the Maid of Minerva Award of Merit from the Akron Alumnae Association. Congratulations to all who worked hard in the name of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
October 26th was a special day for the students at Springfield Elementary School. We held a Reading is Fundamental (RIF) event there in a Kappa alumni’s classroom (Kindra Kin). We read students Halloween books, had them color bookmarks, and gave each student a book to keep. We also had a sisterhood that day where we dressed up as grandmas and grandpas to play BINGO. We ate fig newtons, banana pudding, and rice crackers. The next day we had a social with Theta Chi where we made caramel apples and played a huge game of Mafia.
November was a busy month for Kappas. Kappa Karnival started the month off with carnival games and raffle baskets to gain money for our philanthropies. Dynamic Duos was the date party’s theme. Soon enough it was initiation time again. We started with spread, then blue and blue, then fireside, and lastly initiation. The new members were finally let into the secrets and rituals of our sorority. This year many sisters were influenced by our movements to try and disprove the stereotypes that are associated with sororities. All over the country many unfortunate situations have been happening that have been harming the Greek Life reputation. Lambda chapter has been working to disprove those stereotypes and work towards a better reputation of sororities and fraternities. We also have been excited about the news that the Kappa chapter at OSU is coming back. We also cannot stop expressing our happiness that Meghan Markle (Kappa alum) will be marrying Prince Harry. We even say that we are related to royalty. 2017 has been a year filled with many great memories like Girls Academy, Kochella, chapter retreat at the Indians game, and our new found friendships. Yet, it was not easy to deal with the passing of our sister, Morgan Sisley, but we will always know that she is right by our side guiding us to success in our Kappa days.