Lucy Wight Allan
(Lucy) Evelyn Wight (Allan), Beta Beta Chapter, St. Lawrence (1871-1957)
Kappa’s fourth Grand President is remembered as a great educator who devoted her life to helping girls and women make their ways in the world. Originally from Brooklyn, she made an impression as Beta Beta’s delegate to the Convention of 1890 with her knowledge of parliamentary law. She was also an outstanding speaker; that year she had won a prize for oratory at St. Lawrence University, from which she was graduated in 1891 with a Bachelor of Science degree.
It was Evelyn Wight who represented Kappa at the first Panhellenic Convention in Boston in April 1891 – and she was elected first Panhellenic president. She had an instinct for friendliness combined with a genius for organization, and that first conference is remembered as fostering warmth and friendship among the groups represented, with much accomplished.
Chapter house discussion continued during Evelyn’s two-year term (1890-1892) and the first Grand Council session between Conventions took place in 1891 in Columbus, Ohio. She also helped with the installation of Beta Epsilon at Barnard.
After her term, Evelyn went west to Stanford University for graduate study, where her involvement helped put Beta Eta – Stanford (founded in 1892) on firm footing. With a new B. A. degree from Stanford, she returned to New York and started a high school teaching career. Duing this time she helped the women at Adelphi College establish Beta Sigma Chapter. She also married Mansfield Allan, “a brilliant young journalist,” who died only a year and a half later.
In 1908, Evelyn returned to Stanford as its first Dean of Women and the first Dean of Women in the country. In eight years, she established for women proper campus housing, a clubhouse and an emergency loan fund. She also retained her Panhellenic spirit, gathering all the women’s fraternities together for an annual Panhellenic banquet.
On her return to New York she joined the education staff at Lord & Taylor and realized that women could perform nearly all of the men’s positions in that line of work. Later, she served as principal of the Girls Commercial High School in New York and as Girl Scout Commissioner for the Brooklyn District. She put her knowledge to work in creating a set of courses for young women who needed to be self-supporting at the end of high school. In addition, she also fulfilled a dream in adopting a daughter, Lou Weston Allan.
Lucy Evelyn Wight Allan was still an outstanding speaker when she appeared as ranking Grand President at Kappa’s Diamond Jubilee Convention in 1946 and was appointed Fraternity Ritualist. In 1950, she was one of six Kappas to receive the Fraternity Alumnae Achievement Award.