Sally Moore Nitschke
Sally Moore Nitschke BN – Ohio State (1931 – 1995)
Jean’s successor was Sally Moore Nitschke, a mentor to countless collegians and a beloved friend who “never forgot a name.” Sally Nitschke was a vivacious President (1980-1984) with friendly blue eyes whose own name has become synonymous with Kappa standards.
Sally’s most prominent contribution in her years of Fraternity service was in educational programming. She held a lifelong interest in the personal growth and development of young women, and her article in The Key – “Your Character, the Criteria of Hers” – remains a benchmark in articulating Kappa ideals and standards. A summa cum laude graduate of The Ohio State University and a Phi Beta Kappa, she served Beta Nu as Membership Chairman and President and received a B.A. in English before going on to serve as Beta Nu Membership Advisor and House Board President. She also was Reference Chairman for the State of Ohio. After the 1965 fire at Fraternity Headquarters, Sally’s supportive Kappa husband, architect Charles Nitschke, was contracted to rebuild from the devastation. With him, she had two sons and a daughter who pledged Iota – DePauw. In addition to Kappa, Sally was well known for her civic contributions and held various volunteer positions at her alma mater, Ohio State, ultimately receiving posthumously in 1996, its Distinguished Service Award.
Before her Kappa presidency, Sally held numerous Fraternity offices: Gamma Province Director of Chapters, Chairman of Chapter Pledge Programs, Director of Field Representatives (1972-1974), Director of Membership (1974-1978), and Director of Chapters (1978-1980).
While President, Kappa continued to grow, pledge numbers increased, and nine chapters were installed. Sally also took steps to ensure that the Fraternity was technologically prepared to keep track of its members and provide services needed. A computer system was installed at Headquarters for membership and chapter finance records; the Kappa Kappa Gamma Professional Directory, as part of the CHOICES Program, was published; Information Services was formed; chapter finance seminars were initiated; and financial forecasting was developed. The Key celebrated its centennial, with a special dinner and program at the 1982 Convention. Sally’s personal imprint is found in the programs started during and after her presidency, which today remain resource beacons for women both inside and outside the Fraternity. Sally had recognized that women need information to help them deal with the complexities of life in its various stages – and she often stressed that Kappa is for a lifetime. In response to Sally’s untimely death, memorial gifts to the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation are used to endow a fund that supports existing and future educational programming to address core needs of the membership.
Following her presidency, Sally served as the first Chairman of the Long-range Planning Committee (1984-1986). Among her other pioneering chairmanships was that of the Chairman of the Development Committee (1986-1988). Its charge was the first major membership-wide capital campaign to raise funds for the Fraternity’s philanthropic funds since the Centennial Fund.
Her strongest legacy is the educational programs developed when she was Chairman of Education and Leadership Program Development (1988-1992). Those programs include KEEP SAFE, Wherever You Are – recognized throughout the Panhellenic world for its benefits to women and a better understanding of date/acquaintance rape; INSIGHT on Domestic Violence; and SEEK – Self-Esteem for Every Kappa. During that time, Sally was also Chairman of the Task Force on Ethics and Values. She was Chairman of Extension (1992-1995) before her death in 1995. “The Fraternity, each chapter and every member are like a braided rug,” Sally once said, “for our aims, our work, our good times, our joys, our sorrows are so intertwined with one another that when something happens to one of us, we are all affected.” Many, many were affected positively by their association with Sally Nitschke.