|Founded||May 19, 1884|
|College||University of Nebraska|
|Media related to Sigma Chapter|
Edith P. Doolittle, Cora Ellen Fisher, Mary Letitia Jones, Alla Lantz, Sopha Myers, Adella Eugenia Stratton
Fraternity Council Officers:
May C. Whiting Westermann, Fraternity President 1902-1904, Grand Secretary 1919-1902, Fraternity President 1922-1926; Ruth Kadel Seacrest, Fraternity President 1944-1948, Director of Chapter Programs 1940-1944; Kelly Riggs, Field Secretary 1978-1980; Stephanie Nelson (Whiten), Traveling Consultant 1996-1997; Lori Armiger, Traveling Consultant 2002-2003; Lizzie Fraser, Traveling Consultant 2003-2004; Ann Moernius, Leadership Consultant 2009-2010, Amy Johnson Sutton, Fraternity Treasurer, 2018-2020
Fraternity Loyalty Award:
Fraternity Alumnae Achievement Award Recipients:
Louise Pound, Ph.D., 1951, English literature professor; writer; Adele Coryell Hall, 1984, member of National Board of Governors of the United Way and other nonprofit boards, wife of Don Hall of Hallmark, Inc.; Martha Cook Fricke, 1992, National School Boards Association president
Additional Outstanding Sigma Alumnae:
Molly Beard (Rung), Graduate Counselor 1974-1976; Kelly Riggs, Graduate Counselor 1979-1981; Robin Darst (Hanus), Graduate Counselor 1975-1977; Catherine Hove (Breen), Graduate Counselor 1980-1982; Wendy Wiseman (Gustafson), Graduate Counselor 1982-1984; Beth Penner (Witherspoon) Chapter Consultant 1988-1989; Stephanie Nelson (White) Chapter Consultant 1997-1997; Lizzie Fraser, Chapter Consultant 2005-2007; Sunny Backlund (Bellows) Chapter Consultant 2006-2007; Betsy Strain, Convention Chairman, Chairman of Field Reps, Sesquicentennial Committee.
The Early Years (From The History of Kappa Kappa Gamma 1870–1976)
The name Sigma was assigned to several Kappa chapters, but then recalled, before it became permanently assigned, on May 19, 1884, to the chapter at the University of Nebraska. Those former chapters included the University of Michigan; Lasell Seminary in Auburndale, Mass.; and possibly Callanan College (now part of Drake University) in Des Moines, Iowa.
The University of Nebraska was but 15 years old when Sigma Chapter was established through correspondence with Mu Chapter and members of Grand Council. The State Legislature had, in 1869, set aside four square blocks in the town of Lincoln for a campus, and had appropriated $100,000 for a building, University Hall. This was the only college building when Sigma was founded. In 1915, land was condemned north and east of the city campus to make room for new buildings.
During the early years, no honors or prizes were given, the expression “extra-curricular activities” was unknown and athletics were slowly being organized. Even caps and gowns were not yet in the picture, and the Class of 1890 was much concerned over the selection of senior robes. The black mortar board and gown of the East was finally the choice.
Sigma’s early policy of initiating no preparatory students, its great desire to have its own hall, the organization within its own ranks of a Shakespeare Club, its strong sense of Fraternity, helped determine its character: “Our chapter is small now but of one heart, one soul,” wrote an early member. Spring was usually a quiet time in Lincoln, but the spring of 1890 contained drama never to be forgotten. It began with the decision on the part of the Kappas, Kappa Alpha Thetas and Delta Gammas to plant a Greek-letter flower bed.
On Arbor Day, armed with the permission of the chancellor, steward, and janitor, the young ladies set out 200 plants in the form of a key, a kite, and an anchor. The next morning, the girls found all their work undone. Some cried. Some “wished we were boys and could swear.” The destructive “barbarians” or anti-Greeks explained that they would not have an advertisement for fraternities attract the attention of the delegates to the Interstate Oratorical Convention. This contest found the university “reasonably distracted,” not only because of the episode of the flower bed (which neither a lawyer nor the authorities wanted to bother with) but because the Nebraska orator was being tried for plagiarism.
Such furious farce was not uncommon. The Sigma charter had been granted to a group emanating from one called TTT or “The Tempest Tossed,” and September 1884 saw the outbreak of the “Greek–Barbarian War,” with the barbarians claiming that the sacrosanct literary societies would be supplanted by the Greeks. New bylaws were passed, forbidding Greeks to join these old societies, so a new one, Philodicean, was formed.
This unpleasant feud left its mark on all aspects of university life. When Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1896 (May Whiting [Westermann] was one of the two women named first members), a conscientious “barb” was undecided about joining any organization with Greek letters in its name. That year, the Nebraska legislature was preparing a bill to abolish fraternities in the state university.
In April 1897, The Key contained suggestions from N.E.L. (who must have been Naahmah Elizabeth Lowe) that elimination of the gulf between the groups would be accomplished if Greeks would “avoid an excessive exhibition of fraternal love in the presence of non-fraternity members” and if pins were worn “in some modest place so as not to remind non-members of the existing barrier.” Even so, it was considered a great triumph when Sigma’s Anna Broady (Haggard) won the short story contest in the campus periodical while Willa Cather, prominent barb, was editor. Distinguished Louise Pound bridged the gap to some extent by becoming a Kappa after a brilliant student career as a barb. She later served the Fraternity as one if its first province presidents.
In 1891, Dr. James H. Canfield, who had been professor of history at the University of Kansas, became chancellor at Nebraska. The university had grown steadily, but he popularized it in a remarkable way, and before he left in June 1895, to become president of Ohio State University, he had the satisfaction of seeing students thronging to its gates. It had gates in those days, and a fence that has gone to the cemetery. Much might be written of Dr. Canfield as a brilliant scholar and an able executive, but to Kappas the world over, he is known as “the father of Dorothy.” (Dorothy Canfield Fisher). How Sigma had watched Dorothy during her prep years and with what joy they heard of her initiation by Beta Nu Chapter when she entered Ohio State!
Dr. Canfield’s interest in the small university library led to the erection of the new Library Building and to the appointment, in 1892, of one of Sigma’s charter members, Mary Jones, as librarian.
In 1896, eight members of Sigma attended the General Convention at Evanston, the first time there had been a real delegation. So enthusiastic did the girls become that they invited the next Convention to meet with Sigma. Now Lincoln at the end of August was hardly an ideal place for girls who had been summering in the mountains and at the seashore, but it was a Convention long to be remembered (and long before air-conditioning), nonetheless. There were blue-and-blue decorations in the windows of the most important stores, a tribute to Kappa unknown before or since. Meetings were held in the old chapel in Uni Hall, and with the stars and stripes floated a huge pennant of Kappa colors. The Phi Kappa Psis gave their chapter house for the use of the Council, and the other fraternities vied in entertaining.
It was at this Convention that May Whiting (Westermann) began her Fraternity career, as an assistant to the Marshal.
The Key of July 1896 reported a chapter dinner at which charter member Mary Jones told of the girls of 1884, the pioneers who bravely defied all kinds of opposition. “Had you heard it,” goes the account, “you would have known what Sigma used to be, and had you heard May Whiting’s toast, ‘The Ideal Kappa,’ you would know what Sigma hopes to be. ...”
Highlights of the 1910s-1920s
During the spring vacation of 1901, 13 members of Sigma accompanied the Grand Secretary, May Whiting, to Boulder, to install Beta Mu Chapter at the University of Colorado. The fact that they all had railroad passes added to the pleasure of the occasion. The girls, in preparation for this event, tried song writing and fitting Fraternity words to popular tunes. They were delightfully entertained by the Boulder girls and the Denver alumnae. Many years later, in 1927, two of Sigma’s actives and half a dozen members living in Wyoming helped install Gamma Omicron Chapter at the University of Wyoming.
Early meetings were in members’ homes, but in the fall of 1902, Sigma rented its first house. It was a little red cottage of seven rooms and was called Kappa Lodge. The most interesting recorded memory of that first home is the chapter library, which the girls began to build as a memorial to Grace Leming, the only active member who had died. Each girl gave a book to the little library on her own birthday, and Mrs. Leming gave a framed picture of Grace to be hung over the bookcases. After three years, the house was given up as being too expensive.
By March 1925, after a time in another rented property, a chapter house became a necessity, and ground was purchased for it. Construction began May 1.. The alumnae association negotiated the mortgage, and a loan was secured from the Fraternity Endowment Fund. The Kappa house, of brick and in the English style with gables and long, sloping roofs, was impressive.
In subsequent years, two large additions were made to the house. Sigma received the first scholarship cup awarded by Panhellenic. In 1954, the chapter had the highest all-around average for sororities and again won the cup. It also won the Mortar Board cup for scholarship and activities.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Highlights of the 1980s:
The University campus expanded as The Lied Center for Performing Arts and the Campus Recreational Athletic Center were constructed during this decade. The chapter house also welcomed change as the first computer room was carved from a former storage area, the kitchen received necessary updates and the main level was completely redecorated.
The chapter averaged 96 members during this time and programming focused on the Fraternity and chapter heritage as well as utilizing communication skills to facilitate chapter functions. Always striving to be campus leaders, Sigma was the first of the Nebraska Greek community to establish a designated driver program, and one of the first to vote to hold a non-alcoholic date parties with fraternities.
In 1983, a legendary pledge class met again for their regular reunion with 19 of the original 22 members celebrating their 45th reunion and planning to be together to receive their 50-year pins four years later. Louise Benson Ball was a proud member of this reunion group.
“A Century of Sisterhood” was the theme of Sigma’s Centennial celebration of April 6–8, 1984. The weekend began with an open house on Saturday at the Kappa House with tours of the house and campus. Alumna Nancy Hoch, University of Nebraska Regent and U.S. Senate candidate, served as mistress of ceremonies at a luncheon at the Cornhusker Hotel. Honored guests were Lucy VanHorne Sawyer (1904 initiate), Sigma’s oldest living member; Adele Coryell Hall, Alumnae Achievement Award recipient; Wilma Winberg Johnson, Fraternity Director of Alumnae, and Virginia Bonville Thomas, Zeta Province Director of Alumnae. Also, Martin Massengale, Chancellor of the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, was in attendance and received a $1,000 gift to the university from the Fraternity in honor of Sigma’s Centennial.
Sigma actives served as “decade hostesses” during the luncheon, dressed in costumes representative of each decade of Sigma’s history. Actives also sang a medley of Kappa songs, which provided the background for a slideshow depicting the lives of Sigma members from 1884–1984. Many alumnae joined in the singing, especially “Oh Pat.”
The luncheon also featured the pinning of five 50-year members and a presentation of a lovely stained-glass window with the Centennial chapter logo by the Lincoln, Omaha and Fremont alumnae associations. Awards and scholarships were also presented.
A Saturday evening gala, which doubled as Sigma’s spring formal, allowed actives and alumnae to enjoy each other’s company during this special occasion.
A Sunday brunch at the Kappa House included an archives display. Barb Miller Hoppe, Colorado, compiled a special book of Sigma history with the help of several other members. Sigma alumnae Betsy Stillwell Strain and Michelle Sample organized the Centennial, which saw approximately 600 participants from 22 states celebrating 100 years of sisterhood in Sigma Chapter.
Philanthropy efforts were most successful as funds were raised in support of the Lincoln Action Program and the Nebraska Human Resource Research Foundation as well the Rose McGill Fund. The chapter received awards for Outstanding Philanthropy at the 1987 and 1989 Zeta Province Meetings. Honors included Zeta Province Meeting awards for Scholarship Programming, Highest Grade Point Average and Outstanding Chapter.
Highlights of the 1990s
Panhellenic challenges included Recruitment revisions. The focus on No Frills presented a paradigm change for the 15 NPC groups, and a great deal of effort went into planning effective recruiting. The dates for Recruitment changed during the decade including the week before the start of classes and during Labor Day Weekend after classes began.
The chapter house received improvements to the main entrance with paint and the installation of bike racks. The lower level T.V. room, fondly known as the Pink Room because of an earlier color scheme, was refurbished. Increasing membership resulted in a few beds added to accommodate more members wishing to live in the house.
Sigma Chapter was selected as a pilot chapter for the Fraternity’s New Member Program. They found success as well as challenges with the program and provided constructive feedback to the Fraternity for possible revisions.
During the early part of the decade, scholarship efforts waned and the chapter’s G.P.A. dipped below the all-sorority average. Improving scholarship became a major focus. Programs such as Registration Night during which upperclassmen assisted the freshmen and sophomores with registration decisions, study skills workshops, incentives and positive reinforcement were successful, and by the end of the decade the chapter achieved its goal.
Philanthropy efforts made a shift to the giving of time and service to the community. Chapter members assisted with an elementary school’s fun night, Honey Sunday, baby-sitting at the YWCA and participation in clothing drives and blood drives.
Sigma celebrated its 110th anniversary with special t-shirts celebrating the chapter’s heritage, and held a special Founders Day ceremony with alumnae. A special emphasis was placed on conducting the initiation ceremony exactly as written in the Book of Ritual, and new initiation equipment and robes were purchased with donations from alumnae.
Province Meeting awards included recognition for scholastic efforts, philanthropy, Advisory Board and the Sally Kiehne Kelby Award. The chapter was recognized at the 1996 Fraternity Convention with the Gracious Living and Advisory Board honors.
Highlights of 2000-2010
The University Panhellenic adopted the National Panhellenic Conference’s long-standing system of quota total for recruitment, thus allowing more women the opportunity to become a member of a Greek organization. Sigma’s membership grew to 136 during the decade. The chapter met the challenge of growth by strengthening the New Member Program and expanding the KORE group activities. Movie nights, bowling and painting pumpkins for Halloween were a few of the activities scheduled to help members develop friendships.
Sigma Chapter actively participated in Hazing Prevention Week and initiated creative ways to spread the anti-hazing message. It won the campus hazing prevention competition two years in a row.
Two major philanthropy fundraisers were held throughout the decade. Kappa Karnival and Kappa Kabana proved to be very successful, and proceeds were donated to many groups, including Lighthouse, a teen youth center, the local Alzheimer’s chapter, Peoples’ City Mission and the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. A local radio station saluted Sigma Chapter on air for donating the greatest amount of money to Katrina relief of any Greek organization. Funds were also donated to support Kappa’s philanthropy, Reading is Fundemental, and Boys for Books, a local school district project dedicated to improving the reading levels of elementary school boys.Philanthropic efforts also included the gift of service when the chapter members collaborated with different fraternities to write more than one hundred Valentine cards to distribute to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital patients.
The chapter scholarship standing rose to fourth place among the fifteen NPC groups on campus.
In 2005, Sigma members assisted in recruiting members and served as a sister chapter for Eta Iota, Creighton University.
Sigma received recognition at Province Meetings for Gracious Living, Communications and Advisory Board, and received the Barbara Sarich Programming Award and the Meg Cherry Smith Standards Award. Convention awards for 2006 were for Reading is Fundamental and Technology.
Highlights of 2011-2019
From chapter’s History Report: Scholarship, group honors/awards, traditions, special events, changes on campus or within chapter, overall nature of the chapter, chapter goals, challenges and how they were overcome, etc.:
Highlights of 2011
Kappa Kappa Gamma, Sigma Chapter, has had an amazing 2011. In January, 18 officers were installed and eager to start their new positions, led by chapter president, Lauren Jewell. We began the year with Leadership Day in which the 2010 Chapter Council and 2011 Chapter Council worked with Amelia McCormick, the Fraternity Chairman of Academic Excellence and Fraternity Trainer, on improving leadership skills, setting goals for the year, and assisting with the transition of chapter officers.
The spring semester was full of volunteer opportunities that our members took part in. We participated in the Big Event, a campus-wide day of service throughout the city of Lincoln. Many of our members also participated in Dance Marathon benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Relay for Life benefiting the American Cancer Society. We continued to support Kappa’s national philanthropy Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) with our pen pal program with a local Lincoln public school.
We held our first Kappa Goes Country philanthropic event in which we raised funds for the American Cancer Society led by our philanthropy chairman, Molly Brown. Kappa Goes Country featured cowboy boots and hats, a lasso game, and even a mechanical bull. Sigma held our annual Spring Tea at the Jackie Gaughn Multicultural Center on April 3rd to recognize scholastic achievements of our active members, award scholarships to many members, and honor our graduating seniors. This year the Lincoln Alumnae Association and the National Kappa Kappa Gamma Organization granted over 28,000 dollars in scholarships to current members of Kappa Kappa Gamma. The scholarship winners were not only girls who excelled in academics, but also individuals who showed dedication to Kappa and involvement on campus.
Scholarship is just one aspect to Spring Tea. The afternoon event was also set aside to recognize Kappa’s loved seniors. The seniors were highlighted with a spotlight video and are also asked to share their future aspirations upon leaving Kappa. Our entire Chapter Council took a road trip to Columbia, Missouri for our regional Zeta Province meeting where we were able to meet officers from all of the other chapters in our province and share ideas. Sigma was awarded Excellence in Communication and the Barbara Sarich Programming Award, along with honorable mentions in the Advisory Board Award and the Meg Cherry Smith Standards Award. Sigma members also had a fun time at a Husker baseball game with our dads for Dad’s Day planned by Kim McManus, our event chairman, and Ashley Christianson, our risk management chairman. Recruitment 2011 was completely changed due to our transition into the Big Ten.
Our new recruitment had us add in a open house round the first two days, in which every potential new member visited every house before invitations were handed out. We moved the hose tours to later in the week and ended with a preference day video about life as a Kappa and a meaningful ceremony. UNL also decided to implement a new quota total system when matching bids. This year bid matching was done all by computer instead of exclusively by hand. Also, instead of each house getting different numbers of potential new members, we implemented a new system where each house gets the same number of potential new members in order to try and even out the playing field. On Bid Day, we welcomed in a New Member class of 41 outstanding women. We all grew closer to them over the next two months during the New Member Program, and they were initiated on October 29, 2011.
All Sigma members returned for the new school year to a house that had undergone amazing renovations done by our House Board. The fall semester began with our annual Kappa Karnival, led by Megan Videditch, benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association where we made funnel cakes and had a blow-up bungee run in the spirit of the carnival theme. Sigma members also participated in the Memory Walk hosted by the Lincoln chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. At the Memory Walk, we donated our earnings of $4,300. We also raised money for two other foundations during the fall semester. We donated $800 to the Zitek family from Kappa Gear sales and $930 for 1 million for Anna foundation. We celebrated Kappa’s founding on October 13 at the Wick Alumni Center, led by Caitlin Guenther.
At Founders Day, we took the time to honor not only the founders but also groups and individuals who continue to contribute to our fraternity today. By recognizing individuals and groups, Kappas from many different years of initiation, we were able to see the powerful links we have created overtime. The evening was spent also honoring distinguished alumnae and handing out awards. The Alumnae of the Year was Kaye Jesske and the Spirit Key was given to Sarah Yost and Amy Gratzinger. A Special Ceremony for Presentation of 25-year Kappas was also preformed. Those honored were: Jacqueline Milton Burmeister, Victoria Domina Fischer, Judith Hodapp, Kaye Balfour Jesske, Amy Fuerst Johnson, Dada Crandall Johnson, and Kayla Peters. The Forty year Kappas who received an iris were: Rebecca Halpin Koller, Janice Shook Erwin, Julie Moreland Pittenger, Mary Easley Schmidt, Theresa Fitle Smith, Karen Anderson Walls, and Sara McIntosh Wooten. 50 year Kappas pins were given to: Susan Irvine Garwood and Sherry Hoppe Zehr. Finally, the 65 year Kappas recognized were: Elizabeth Shellenberger Liggett, Barbara Hockenberger Ferguson, Nancy Lawlor Jenkins, and Mary Dunnell Peters.
Anti-Hazing Prevention Week was led by our Education Chairman, Caitlyn Guenther. Sigma Chapter was the proud winner, now two years running. Throughout the week we passed out cards to learn to respect ourselves. On the card we each wrote a goal for ourselves, sealed it in an envelop, and was told to carry it with us as a reminder of our goal. This followed our motto for the week : "Do you respect the person looking back at you?" We also implemented a week long sharing of encouragement called "Kappa Kindness, Keep it Flowing". This is where we posted 5 annoyomus sticky notes on girls doors and if you received one on your door, you were to write another for a friend and leave it annoyoms. #kkgrespect.
Homecoming this year was exceptionally exciting for Sigma because we had three seniors chosen to be on Homecoming Court, the most of any house on campus. This fall, we hosted Meggie Centers, a Kappa Leadership Consultant during our Initiation Week. In the fall we also had Dad's weekend where we attended a hockey game, bowling and brunch. This was very helpful and a great time for the girls who have dad's that are from out of town. They were able to spend the entire weekend together, rather than just a day. Our parents auction was held at the Cornhusker Marriott hotel on November 4th, 2011. This event was put on by parents club.
Campus: The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, chartered in 1869, is an educational institution of international stature. A member of the Association of American Universities since 1909, Nebraska is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a Doctoral/Research Extensive university. UNL is a land-grant university and a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Today, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is one of the nation's leading teaching institutions, and a research leader with a wide array of grant-funded projects aimed at broadening knowledge in the sciences and humanities.
Lincoln offers all the amenities of a midsize regional city of 250,000. Ranked in the Top 10 in many quality of life, safety, environmental and other studies, this is a remarkably comfortable and friendly place; when you're here, you're among friends. With more parkland per capita than any other city in the United States and an intricate trails network, Lincoln offers a wealth of outdoor diversions. Lincoln is also one of the fastest growing metro areas in the Midwest, with abundant employment opportunities. Downtown Lincoln lies at the southern edge of UNL's City Campus, and is seasoned by coffee houses, theaters, specialty shops and restaurants offering cuisines from around the world. Shopping opportunities are everywhere, with national retailers anchoring large malls in both east and south Lincoln. Boutiques, galleries and salons are located in neighborhoods throughout the city.
On June 11, 2010, the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors formally accepeted the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to join their conference. The Big Ten expanded the conference to 12 schools for the 2011-12 school year. The Big Ten Conference was formed more han 115 years ago. This conference is known for the world-class academics and has a strong sense of goals and values. The Greek community at Nebraska is one of the strongest in the country with 24 Interfraternity Council Fraternities (19 are residential) and 15 Panehllenic Council Sororities (13 are residential).
The Greek Community at UNL prides itself on the selfless service it provides to the community. Each chapter on campus has a special fundraiser or event they host every year. The Greek Community at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is known for developing leaders. You will find Greek Members as student government leaders, student organization members, and NU athletes. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a large campus with a diverse student body. The Greek Community at UNL helps its members to become comfortable living on a large campus and to become an important part of campus life. Chapter: Sigma Chapter was one of the first houses established at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, therefore naming it a national landmark. The house holds space for 65 women to live in, either three or two-person bedrooms. While the house provides a place to live, it means so much more to its members. Sigma has 136 active members.
Every woman in Sigma offers something special and unique to our house, making it stand apart from other sororities and organizations at UNL. The women in Kappa are very involved in a variety of activities both on campus and in the community. By participating in student government, professional groups, honoraries, intramurals and clubs we communicate our Kappa pride all over Lincoln. Our two major philanthropies continue to be a success, and we are always looking for ways to improve our chapter by setting annual goals. We have grown as a chapter in the last couple years making it a point to recruit girls that are Kappas at heart and right for our chapter. We take pride in being ourselves at recruitment to ensure the satisfaction of the new members and continue the outstanding reputation Sigma holds on campus and in the community.
This year, Sigma Chapter tried to minimize the membership selection session time by using clickers instead of using paper to vote on the girls going through recruitment. This was very beneficial for the chapter and was very efficient. We continued to use these clickers for voting issues during meetings along with elections. Our only other challenge was switching from Quickbooks to BillHighway. It was a lot of work for our treasurer, Kayla Stauffer, to learn and implement the new system. In doing that, we no longer handle any paper money, checks or cash. This was a great move for us here at Sigma.
Sigma chapter kicked off 2012 eager to be back in the Chapter House for the spring semester. As always, the Kappas were busy taking part in many campus events, as well as their own Kappa happenings. January brought new officers into Chapter Council.
As February rolled around, with a chill in the air, the Kappa girls treated themselves to a much-needed night out dancing. Kappa Krush was held at the Wick Alumni Center on campus for a night of fancy dresses and fun. Later in the month, some Kappas chose to dance the night away at the campus event Dance Marathon. Girls in attendance were delighted to meet the author of the popular book, “Heaven Is For Real,” Todd Burpo.
March was much welcomed as girls looked forward to traveling, and going home for Spring Break! Mid term tests were a bit easier to get through because of the unusually warm weather; wearing shorts in March can make any girl happy! Kappas took advantage of the balmy weather by holding the “Kappa Hunger Games” in the Selleck green space. This variation of the game Dodgeball served as the perfect chapter bonding for the All House Retreat before the week of Spring Break.
The week back from Spring Break was full of Kappa events AND a re-vamped Kappa Kitchen thanks to Kate Kollars and her work with House Board. A new fridge, variety of snacks, and a salad bar cart were included! This sweet surprise had the whole house excited, even Donna and Nicole couldn’t hide their smiles.
Kappa Goes Country, Mom’s Day, Relay for Life, and Celebrate Sigma (formerly Spring Tea) were all packed into the first weekend back from Spring Break! Kappa Goes Country, the spring philanthropy, was co-hosted with Phi Kappa Theta in the KKG parking lot. The event was complete with a mechanical bull, nachos, pulled pork sandwiches, and country music. However, due to a noise complaint from the fall philanthropy, the music was kept fairly quiet and was turned off at 1 a.m. The proceeds of $3,060 were donated to the American Cancer Society.
The following day, the fun continued with Mom’s Day. Wearing their shorts and adorable Mom’s Day shirts, Kappas and their mothers went to Paint Yourself Silly in the Haymarket. Afterwards they treated themselves to supper at Lazlo’s. Some members even invited their mothers to walk alongside them at Relay for Life later that night. All the mothers were also invited to attend Celebrate Sigma the following day. This special event was held at the Wick Center, to honor scholarship winners and wish the senior class well as they shifted into alumni status.
As April came about, campus turned green and spirits rose in the 616. The month was filled with The Big Event, Pen Pals Party, Rookie Recruitment, Senior Week, and Dead Week. As the school year drew to an end, the Kappas left the 616 ready for a break from their studies, but sad to leave their sisters for the summer.
Though summer break was in full swing, some lucky chapter memebers had the opportunity to travel to Jacksonville, Florida for the National Kappa Kappa Gamma Convention. Sidney Peterson, Megan Videtich, Alyssa Fishbaugh, Natalie Pavlish, Kristin Richter, along with Chapter Council Advisor Mary Ford and House Board President Karen Meginnis all made the once in a life time trip.
August brought the Greeks back to campus, with the excitement of Recruitment and catching up with friends. The Kappa house had a definite glow to it, with its fresh coat of paint and new roof that was part of the summer maintenance. The chapter women moved in and geared up for Work Week, and Recruitment Week. As always, this time was emotional and trying for all, but when all was said and done, Kappa bid 36 new members. Bid Day’s theme, “The Best Just Got Better,” was highly appropriate. The new member class was welcomed with an afternoon full of taking pictures, painting coffee mugs, eating at Chipotle, and getting to know their new friends. Two days later, these 36 young women formally pledged to become a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Just as classes started for the fall semester, philanthropy season and football season kicked-off as well. Kappa Kandyland philanthropy was held on Thursday, August 30th in the KKG parking lot. Complete with a cotton candy machine and photo booth, the chapter raised $4,000 for the Make A Wish Foundation. Two days later, Husker Football had their season opening game against Southern Mississippi. This exhilarating day had the Kappa girls sporting their stylish new KKG husker tanks and crop top shirts, along with a great pair of sunglasses.
August was gone in the blink of an eye, and September brought an exciting, new Kappa event: the Parent’s Banquet. Alongside the Parent’s Club, Natalie Marcuzzo the event chair planned this elegant dinner to honor and recognize the beloved family members of chapter members. The event was held at the Holiday Inn downtown, and raised money with a silent auction. Members and their family dressed up in their best for this special night, cherishing their time in the company of loved ones.
September also meant Kappa’s National Anti-Hazing Week would take place. The 3rd annual weeklong campaign to recognize chapters for promoting anti-hazing on their campus was again embraced by Sigma Chapter. The chapter women took to social media to show their anti-hazing spirit. Particularly memorable were the hilarious anti-hazing captions and slogans created for pictures of movie scenes. Despite the attempts to win the Anti-Hazing Week competition for the 3rd year in a row, the countless “retweets” and Facebook tags to Headquarters were not enough to lock in the title.
October is always a busy month to be a Kappa. Between Founder’s Day, Boo & Boo, Big/Little Reveal, Key Reveal, and Initiation Week, things can get pretty hectic! Founder’s Day was held at the City Campus Union on October 7th. Education Chairman, Sydney McCoun and her committee planned and hosted the lovely occasion. Chapter members and alumni whom attended were treated to a tasty scoop-able cheesecake bar catered by High Society Cheesecakes. The tables were decorated with burlap runners and daisies in Mason jars. Registrar Samantha Samuelson also created a memorable display of archives for the occasion.
Initiation Week packed Big/Little Reveal, Key Reveal, Boo & Boo, and Initiation all into 7 days! The chapter was also fortunate to have a Leadership Consultant, Kristi, stay with them for the week. But at the end of this Kappa-filled week, 36 new members were initiated into Sigma Chapter as the Pledge Class of 2012.
With the crazy month of October under their belts, November seemed much calmer. The girls welcomed Thanksgiving Break with open arms as a week to go back home and enjoy time with family before beginning the “grind to Christmas Break.” But more excitement awaited the Kappas as they returned from Thanksgiving Break. Elections of new chapter officers and the highly anticipated Winter Formal took place the last week of November. Allowing for a bit of a distraction from the fast approaching Finals Week.
Dead Week and Finals Week are never too terrible if you are a Kappa. Especially this year, when the chapter women were spoiled with snacks every night from Parent’s Club and House Board. Also the new Christmas decorations hanging around the house kept everyone’s spirits bright. By the Saturday morning after the last final tests, the 616 was quiet and empty. But it wouldn’t be long until the halls of Kappa would again be filled with the joy of friendship and sisterhood once more.
An overall description of Sigma Chapter and UNL campus is "growth." With our school’s first year playing in the Big 10, the college is growing and improving in every aspect. From new dorm halls, to the Memorial Stadium expansion, an addition to the Devany Center, and attempts to increase student enrollment, the physical growth is obvious. However, the college, and entire state of Nebraska, was sad to see one of their biggest proponents for growth leave them at the end of 2012. Dr. Tom Osborne began his retirement from the UNL Athletic Director position, and was honored in a most memorable way at the last home football game on Novemeber 17th against Minnesota.
But “growth” is something that Sigma Chapter is always striving for as well. With any bumps in the road, or everyday challenges that arise, the women of this chapter adapt, learn, and grow with each step. Everyday they are growing in their academics, friendships, and sisterhood. They learn that with every step forward, or backward, their Kappa sisters are there to help them and uplift them. Growing in Kappa is something these women will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Highlights of 2013
Sigma chapter kicked off 2013 eager to move back into the Chapter House for the spring semester. Per usual, the Sigma Kappa’s were very busy taking part in many events around campus, as well as their own Kappa events. January brought a new Chapter Council.
-February also brought a fun weekend at Province for our Chapter Council. The Zeta province meetings were held in Lawrence, Kansas at Kansas University. Sigma Kappa won four awards including, the Advisory Board Award, the Jayme Morris-Hardeman Risk Management Award, Honorable Mention Martha Gallagher Cox Chapter Award, and an Honorable Mention Excellence in Communication Award.
-April brought our every growing spring philanthropy titled Kappa Goes Country. This year it was co-hosted with Kappa Sigma in Sigma’s back parking lot. The UNL Rodeo Team made an appearance and taught girls how to rope a fake calf. There were also two mini ponies that gave people rides around the lot. Arby’s sandwiches, chips, cookies and lemonade was the cuisine on the menu. Sigma raised $3,350 for Touch of Hope Haiti.
-The Sunday after Kappa Goes Country was Celebrate Sigma (formerly Spring Tea). This year it was held at the Champions Club here on campus. Celebrate Sigma is to honor scholarship winners and is the last hoorah for the senior class to be recognized and honored and for them to officially shift into alumni status.
-The summer brought a brand new first floor to Sigma. Much to the girls surprise the first floor was completely redone for recruitment in the fall. The house mom Diane Stark, and Kandy Denker were the woman in charge of design and buying all of the new things. Samantha Samuelson, Kelsey Moreland, and Raylynn Mosel also gave their creative inputs. In the end the walls got a fresh coat of paint, new couches and chairs, new study tables and all new lighting completed the fresh new look to the house.
-August brought the Greeks back to UNL, the Sigmas moved back into the 616 and got ready for Work Week and Recruitment weeks to begin. As always, it was an emotional and exciting week for everyone, but when it came to an end, Kappa bid 45 new members. Bid Day’s theme this year was, “Forget the Good Life, Welcome to the Great Life.” Activities included taking pictures in a photo booth, a DJ and cotton candy at the house and then a dinner at the Single Barrel. Two days later, all 45 members formally pledged to become members of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
-This year the Sigma’s decided to try something different for the fall philanthropy, Kappa Kickball was created. It was a kickball tournament between groups of men from the fraternities on campus. It was a beautiful day for the Sigma’s to coach, referee and cheer on the boys at the Vine Street Fields on campus. Kappa raised $1,400 for the American Cancer Society.
-October brought Sigma Founder’s Day, Boo & Boo and gearing up for Initiation. Founders Day held on October 13th was a fun night at the City Campus Union. There were cupcakes and cake pops for the girls to eat while we celebrated Kappa’s founding.
-November started off to a great start with the first full week being Initiation Week. The Sigma’s packed in Big/Little Reveal, Key Reveal and Initiation all in one week. The chapter was also fortunate to have the Leadership Consultant, Morgan, stay with them for the week. At the end of the week 44 new members were initiated into Sigma Chapter as the New Member Class of 2013.
An overall description of Sigma Chapter and the UNL campus is “growth.” This year brought Sigma the biggest pledge class that it has seen in awhile, with over 1,000 girls going through recruitment this past fall it was bound to happen. UNL has also been building new dorm halls and a new housing building called the 50/50 building. Lincoln has also been growing. Building a new area in the Downtown area of Lincoln, called the Railyard, which is where the new Pinnacle Bank Arena is. The new Arena has brought many concerts and fun events to Lincoln and is also where the UNL men’s basketball team plays their home games. “Growth” is a word that is heard around Kappa all the time. With the bigger and bigger pledge classes every year, growth is a common word. Sigma is always looking towards the future and to how the chapter can improve and become the best that it can be.
Highlights of 2014
The year of 2014 marked yet another successful and busy time for Sigma chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. To kick off the year, 18 new officers were installed at formal meeting and they had the pleasure of attending Leadership Day. Leadership day brought the new and old officers together under the assistance and activities of Sharon Gober, Director of Standards. This paved the way for a smooth transition into the new roles and helped promote support between officers as well as motivation for a great year! Under the leadership of President Hannah Kupka, the chapter took on a great year of events.
2014 brought new chapter goals for the actives to work towards including: to increase involvement outside of Kappa and improve social media image, improve chapter academic excellence, establish awareness of Fraternity/Chapter History, By-Laws/Standing Rules, Chapter Budget, and Ritual, and lastly to strengthen chapter accountability, courtesy, and trustworthiness. To achieve these goals, a monthly focus action plan was implemented. VPO, Lindsey Arneson established a theme each month and programs were put on to that concentrated on this theme. For example, October is Fraternity/Chapter History Month. To put this into practice, in October 2014 we celebrated Founder’s Day, which celebrates the establishment of our national fraternity. Throughout the month, the members were further educated on Sigma history through trivia questions and quizzes during meeting and a newsletter around the house with many fun facts.
For Spring 2014, our All-House GPA was a 3.35. Of this, 43 members received a 3.5 GPA or above and 10 members received a 4.0. We had tremendous support and financial donations from the local Alumnae Associations. We are so fortunate to have such generous alumni. They provided us with many scholarships just for Sigma Chapter amounting to over $25,000. They were presented at our event, Celebrate Sigma, during the Spring of 2014. Challenges include increasing our chapter’s GPA and academic rank on campus. I believe we succeeded in informing our chapter of our academic expectations. We provided exciting incentives for attending class through the “No Skippy Jar” and reward academic successes through the “Owl Jar.” For recruitment, we voted to increase the grade requirement for incoming freshman from a 3.33 to a 3.5 GPA. We are very excited about these changes!
Sigma chapter successfully completed two main philanthropies under guidance of Philanthropy chairman Ally Patterson. In the Spring, our chapter put on Kappa Goes Country in our parking lot with a local fraternity on campus. At Kappa Goes Country, the girls helped facilitate games and line dances, while also passing out Arby’s sandwiches. We also had a live concert from a local artist, Nicky James. We raised a little over 2,000 dollars for the Alzheimer's Association. In the fall, we had our second annual Kappa Kickball. This event is an all day kickball tournament for local fraternities around campus. We had over 22 teams participate and ended up raising 5,500 dollars for Educate Uganda. We also sold spots in our parking lot to raise money for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation for our home football games. Last but not least, we started collecting children's books from alumnae to start up a book drive. Additionally, Kappas took on the unwritten tradition of participating in Dance Marathon to benefit the Children's Miracle network and The Big Event, a volunteer day reaching out to the city of Lincoln. Many Kappas served on the executive board for this event.
Along with all the other events Kappas participated in this calendar year, three different formals took place. Two of which were held at a venue and the girls and their dates dressed up in formal attire. In addition, we had "Kappa Date Night" in the Spring at the house were we enjoyed eating all together and having their dates interact. Last spring we also held dad’s day, the dads and their daughter went on a tour of Memorial Stadium and enjoyed company from each other. The moms and daughters are eager to attend the mom's day which will be in Spring 2015.
This past year the chapter was educated in a number of ways. Last year’s seniors were able to take part in three Senior Programs during the Spring of 2014. These programs were focused on etiquette, relaxation through yoga, and Celebrate Sigma. The seniors this year were also able to participate in three Senior Programs. These were focused on budgeting/finance, building a resume, and once again relaxation through yoga. In Spring 2014, we had a successful Celebrate Sigma, where the seniors were honored and multiple women received awards and scholarships. The week of September 22-26 of 2014 was National Anti-Hazing Prevention Week. Each day of the week there was a different contest/activity, all of which combined to promote anti-hazing with our fraternity and campus. During the fall of 2014, we also took part in Founder’s Day, where we celebrated the 144th year of Kappa! In addition, this past year we also participated in Greek Week and Homecoming. Both events were successful and we had great involvement from everyone in the house. We also held two dinner exchanges during the fall semester with other sororities on campus. In October, we hosted our annual "Boo and Boo" event where we decorated the whole house, provided snacks, organized Halloween themed games, and had trick-or-treating at each of the rooms. There was a great turn out with alumnae, their children, family, and friends.
Another big highlight for Sigma this year were the retreats the ladies of Kappa got to participate in together. Each pledge class had the opportunity of choosing their retreat in Spring 2014. A couple initiation classes decided to go to Husker baseball games together, while others took on self defense classes. In the Fall of 2014, members attended an all house retreat at the recreation center. During this time together we did many team building/trust building activities as well as a couple childhood games such as playing with a parachute and ships and sailors. We had a lot of fun getting to know one another a little bit better through the games we played and trust builders we worked through. Also in the Fall the standards committee held a night for all of the new members to come over to carve/paint pumpkins together and eat caramel apples! Throughout the entire year, the standards committee worked to strengthen the sisterhood of Sigma Chapter and get women more involved in the lives of their sisters.
This past summer eight Chapter Council members and two Chapter Council advisers traveled to Houston, Texas to attend Kappa’s Biennial Convention. It was an honor to represent Sigma and we were awarded the Standards Award among five other honorable mentions. We take pride in our chapter, thanks to our devoted members, influential Chapter Council, inspiring Chapter Adviser Mary Ford, and loyal alumnae. Also in the summer, Sigma had a very successful work week and recruitment week. One day of formal recruitment we focused on our national philanthropy, Reading is Fundamental where the members of the chapter created bookmarks with the women that were coming through. This was a new and exciting experience.
In other news, it was a great year for finance this past year, members were timely about paying their bills every month. Also, this past year, we a live out meal plan for members so that they could eat at the chapter house as often as they wanted. This plan seemed to be effective and because one of our chapter goals was the chapter budget, it was great that our finances went smoothly this calendar year.
Fall was a very exciting time for Sigma because our new members were getting initiated! We initiated 46 New Members on November 8, 2014. We then held ritual review for the new members following Initiation. For the entire chapter, we continued to improve on ritual and held practices for songs and meanings of ritual. We also continued to follow parliamentary procedure as well as continuing to hold Kappa Kappa Gamma values and ritual to a high standard. The new members had the opportunity to grow as a class and in sisterhood at their two new member retreats that fall. They went to the pumpkin patch for one and then passed the key for the other.
Kappas also focused on reaching out to the other Greek organizations on campus this year. Sigma sent out sympathy cards and flowers to actives and other greek organizations who experienced losses, as well as sent out Valentines and holiday cards in the winter to chapters on campus.
In November we hosted a Staff Appreciation Dinner to thank all of the staff at Kappa for what they do for us. To ensure the house was held to standard and to show our support for all the house board does for us, we started to have mandatory live-in meetings every first Thursday of the month as something new to keep everybody in the loop. These were extremely successful and helped remind and encourage the women of Kappa Kappa Gamma to respect the house. Overall, the year 2014 was nothing short of excellent for Sigma Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma and they look forward to an exciting and successful 2015!
The Greek community at Nebraska is a very strong system. Summer of 2014 brought in the most amount of women for formal recruitment our campus has ever seen! It houses 23 Interfraternity Council Fraternities and 15 Panhellenic Council Sororities. The Greek community is very diverse and prides itself community events; each organization hosts at least one philanthropic fundraiser each year. Kappa Kappa Gamma has immense support from the other organizations, which is apparent in the amount of money raised this year. Just like the Greek system in general, Sigma has a diverse population of young women involved in various things on campus, such as University athletics, officers of clubs, members of Honors Societies, a newly accepted treasurer of Panhellenic, and many more. The overall nature is inspiring, uplifting, and motivating.
Sigma chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma holds chapter meetings in a multipurpose room in the lower level of their chapter house. It is a chapter owned facility on the campus of University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Our chapter has their own house that they love and take pride in. Our chapter was one of the first houses established on campus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Due to this, it is now considered a national landmark. The house consists of three levels. We have two person and three person rooms on each level, and the occupancy of the house is 65 sisters. Active members from every pledge class love to come to the house and spend their free time there; it is unique, cozy, and makes our members feel "at home."
Highlights of 2015
The year 2015 brought many great things for the lovely ladies of Sigma Chapter. Once again, it was a busy and exciting year for us! After the installment of the new and eager officers in January, Kappa Kappa Gamma hit the ground running. Our Chapter Council hosted successful triplet meetings and the annual leadership day with a Kappa Trainer from Nationals for a start. This helped our chapter set new and strategic goals for the year, most of which were completed. The main goals we focused on this semester included increasing chapter involvement, increasing knowledge of Kappa Kappa Gamma history, and to increase accountability within the chapter. Steps were taken in the right direction to reach these goals throughout the semester. A great way that we facilitated meeting these goals was by hosting two Leadership Consultants, one earlier in the semester and one right before second semester, who met with each council member and gave tips for other chapters on how to meet our goals.
In the spring of 2015 we had three senior programs, the first was on interior design. Our seniors were able to go to a local decorating shop and be taught one on one skills about how to decorate small living spaces and on a budget. The next program was hosted by one of our Kappa Advisors and we called it Kappa Kitchen. The advisor taught the ladies great appetizers and mock tails they could whip up for any occasion. Of course afterwards, they got to be the taste testers. Our third senior program brings us to Celebrate Sigma. Celebrate Sigma is our final send off for the seniors and an end of the year banquet for the whole chapter. Celebrate Sigma was held on Sunday April 26th last year and senior week started Monday the 20th leading up to Celebrate Sigma. Senior week started with our senior ceremony on Monday and a day full of celebrating our seniors. We read sweet goodbye letters from their parents and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.
In addition, this semester included many different events and opportunities for us to grow as sisters and as individuals. Kappa ladies had the great pleasure of attending many fun events put on by our event chairman, Kathryn Dahl. These included both Mom’s and Dad’s day, a semi-formal and a formal. Other things included bon fires, bowling and game nights with other houses on campus. Spring semester 2015 we held 4 events for Kappa 4 weekends in a row! We started with semi-formal held with 3 other Greek chapters which was country themed. We then moved onto Mom’s Day which included lunch at the house, a parents club auction, and painting a fleur-de-lis canvas on East Campus by an art instructor. Next came Formal “Kites & Keys” held with Kappa Alpha Theta, which had a photo booth and pizza at a spectacular venue downtown. Lastly, for Dad’s Day, we had lunch at Kappa, Greek merchandise sale at the house, and bowling on teams with our dads. We were very privileged to have so many great events and memories made!
Other things Kappa Kappa Gamma was involved in this Spring include: Greek Week hosted by UNL, blood drives, a banner competition, study nights at the Kappa house, attending baseball games together, and sisterhood nights. Lastly, one of the biggest accomplishments we reached at the end of this semester was that we ranked fifth out of the fifteen Panhellenic chapters on our campus with a GPA of 3.498—the highest ranking and GPA we have held in quite some time. We had seventy-three members receive above a 3.5 GPA and sixteen members receive a perfect 4.0! The past few semesters have proven just how smart Kappas truly are. It was a great end to the semester!
The summer months for Kappa were also extremely exciting! In addition to recruitment planning, we had a big surprise this summer! With a special thanks to our wonderful house board association and many donations, the lovely 616 underwent a variety of changes including: the bedrooms in the house receiving brand new carpet and paint, as well as new furniture, including bed sets, desks, and dressers. We also received sleek gray curtains to replace the sliding closet doors, full length mirrors engraved with Kappa keys, new roof installed by the front door, and new washer and dryers that are free of charge to members. The ladies were extremely grateful for these renovations and very anxious to show off the new rooms during recruitment!
Fall semester started off strong under the recruitment process with the leadership of Amy Baumert, our Membership Chairman. Throughout formal recruitment, we were seeking women who share the same Kappa ideals that this chapter possesses. We worked hard with the members to represent Kappa Kappa Gamma in a positive light throughout the entire process by always maintaining a positive and energetic attitude. Along with a successful formal recruitment this fall, we were eligible to participate in a process called Open Recruitment. What this means is we had the opportunity to meet and consider women at UNL to be potential new members through a more relaxed process than formal recruitment. This was a very exciting thing for us, as it opened the door to many women that we might not have had the opportunity to consider for membership otherwise. Through Open Recruitment, we were able to meet with women in a casual setting, giving us the opportunity to get to know them and learn more about them. In the end, we were able to initiate 57 new women into the fraternity in November.
To get involved on campus, Kappa Kappa Gamma initiated a brand new event called “Kool Off With Kappa.” This was held the second week of classes outside of our University Union, where we had a table set up with a banner, and popsicles that we passed out to students as they walked by. Each committee went together at various times and wore special shirts; it got great feedback. It was an awesome way to get to connect with our committees, meet the new members, welcome students back to school, and to get involved! Following this event, we also competed in Homecoming week, where the theme of the week was Heroic Huskers, and we were paired with Beta Theta Pi, Farmhouse, and Kappa Sigma. The four of us worked together to build an amazing lawn display outside of Beta, create a Monday Night Live skit, participate in the blood drive, run a 5k, and participate in the biggest Husker fan competition. The week ended with the homecoming football game, which was against Southern Mississippi. The week was very busy and lots of fun! The seniors also had more senior programs, this time we arranged to go to the mall and get styling tips for professional wear, business casual, day to night outfits, and some ideas for dressier events like weddings. After the styling tips the seniors were allowed to shop around the store and get some great deals. In addition, a financial advisor from Northwestern Mutual came over to the Kappa house and presented to the seniors some good tips on how to manage your money after college. In November we will have our last senior program, which will be on etiquette.
The Fall semester brought even more social events for our Kappa women. We hosted Mom’s Day at the East campus party rooms consisting of lunch and painting pumpkins, which most girls took back to Kappa to decorate outside. We also had an a capella boys group, The Bathtub Dogs, come sing at the event replacing lyrics with “Kappa’s or Kappa Moms.” The members loved hearing their talent at this event. The last event of the Fall was formal, which we co-hosted it with Pi Beta Phi and Kappa Alpha Theta. It was called “Triad,” and we replicated t-shirts Sigma made in 1989 and also hosted it with the same houses. It was special to us to still be able to repeat other events that were special to previous Kappa’s at their time here at UNL.
Kappa Kappa Gamma also celebrated our founding sisters from Monmouth college on October 12th with cupcakes, cake balls, alumni, and some great presentations on the creation of Kappa Kappa Gamma and the foundation it has come to be today. Over all this year has been great and hopefully through programs and every day interaction we can keep building education into our Kappa lives.
As you can see, Kappa Kappa Gamma was blessed with another year of great events, involvement, academics, new members, and opportunities to grow as individuals and sisters. We are very proud of our year and the goals we met. The ladies became close through sisterhood events and encouraging each other to be the best women they can be! We are excited to enjoy our Winter Break and come back to see what 2016 has in store for us!
Our campus is undergoing the creation of a new Business college this year. It is very exciting to see the progress! We also got a brand new Student Recreation Center on both City Campus and East Campus, which our sisters like to enjoy together! In addition, our campus is constantly growing in students and Greek life. The overall nature of our chapter is involved, inspiring, close-knit, and energetic.
What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community?
One of our favorite ways to grow as sisters and individuals is through Philanthropy events, which were planned under our Philanthropy chairman, Sarah Lindstrand. We vote on our organizations every year! This Spring, we held an event for an organization called Emma Strong. The Emma Strong foundation is a fund that was started to help out a little girl battling a life-threatening illness, and it was brought to our attention by a Kappa Alumni. This is the organization that our chapter felt strongly about and voted on at a chapter meeting. We teamed up with the fraternity Kappa Sigma to put on a event to donate the proceeds to Emma Strong as, Kappa Sigma was supporting the Wounded warrior organization. We held an event called, “Kappa Karnival” this event was held in Kappa’s parking lot. It included music, cotton candy, snow cones, Arby's sandwiches, face painting, bean bags, and a dunk tank. Everyone that attended this event had a great time, and the women of Kappa really enjoyed getting to know some of the men of Kappa Sigma better. We made just under $4,000 at this event that we were so excited to donate to Emma strong! In the beginning of Fall, we held Kappa Kickball, a well-known philanthropy on campus. Many people enjoy this philanthropy because it’s during the day and all of the players get really into the game. This year we had great weather and a wonderful turnout with many different teams and with each team a “coach” which is a member of kappa. The players and coaches get into every game. The atmosphere during this day was great with cheering and laughter throughout the day. At this event we had Arbys, chips, cookies and water, for everyone to enjoy. For kappa kickball we made around $2000 for the Melanoma foundation, which again was a foundation we voted on as a chapter.
Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support?
We chose the Emma Strong foundation after it was brought to our attention by a Kappa Alumni. Because it was so near and dear to her heart, we thought it would be a great opportunity to show our support to her. We chose the Melanoma Foundation because one of our current actives lost her best friend due to Melanoma. To show our support for her, we voted on this foundation.
Highlights of 2016
Sigma Chapter had a very busy and productive 2016 spring semester. We finsihed 5th overall in grades with an all house GPA of 3.524, and set an even higher goal to achieve 3rd in grades for the coming fall 2016 semester. We hosted our spring philanthropy which was cookout themed and benefitted the Muscular Dystrophy Association, something that one of our active members has been personally affected by. Spring semester had its own set of challenges as we were put on warning of probation due to an inncident that happened the previous semester. Sigma chapter and its members handled this with poise not only completing all the required programs but also using these circumstances as a way to better our chapter as a whole and come back from this incident stronger than we were before. Our education chairman hosted our annual senior week and Celebrate Sigma at the end of the semester to celebrate the accomplishments of our dedicated seniors and to celebrate the end of another successful academic year and watch our seniors transition from actives to alumna. We completed various programs as an entire chapter including an alcohol awaremness program led by a Kappa Trainer. We had 7 chapter officers attend convention over the summer where they learned numerous lessons that they brought back to share with the entire chapter in the fall. Fall semester began with a successful recruitment where we invited 57 new members to join Sigma Chapter. They completed a 10 week new member program and were initiated on November 5th, 2016. We hosted our fall philanthropy which was Krispy Kreme and Kappacinos, which benefitted the American Cancer Society. We were able to raise over $5,000 not only during the event but with the help of a Go Fund Me page, something that we had never used before to raise money. We continued to donate to the Kappa Foundation during the fall by selling out our parking lots for home football games, this is a long standing sigma tradition. Philanthrophy was a main focus this semester and through the donations made by our generous alums we were able to donate more time, money, and books to RIF this semester than ever before. The Public Relations chairman hosted our fall event known as Boo & Boo the week of Halloween. This is another Sigma tradition where we invite alums and various members of the community to bring their kids to come and play games and trick-or-treat around our house. We finished all our programs required by our warning of probation, concluding with a presentation led by a Kappa Trainer that was titled "always wearing your letters". This program was received well by all members due to its relevant content about shedding a positive light on Sigma chapter at all times. We are continuing to improve each member and our chapter as a whole as the fall semester comes to an end. We have learned an immense amount during our warning of probation and will take the lessons far into the future to continue to better our sisterhood.
The Greek community has recently been put under a microscope here on our campus and throughout the United States as a whole. We have worked hard to overcome these negative stereo types and misconceptions about the greek community by having a positive impact on our campus as well as throughout the Lincoln community. We have hosted events at our house as well as involved ourselves in campus events that try and shed a more positive light on the greek community and its members. Our chapter is comprised of a large group of very unique and individual members who all bring their own set of attributes and characteristics to our house. Each member is involved in campus life in a different way, from greek and on greek honors fraternities, to university program council, and various clubs. We use these various outlets to spread a positive message about our chapter and promote as positive greek image to all we encounter.
Each semester we hold our philanthropy and we are lucky enough to decide who we would like to see our money benefit. This calendar year we donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the American Cancer Society. We chose these organizations due to the strong personal ties it had to some of our individual members. We donate to the Kappa Foundation on a weekly basis during the fall semester and do RIF events at local elementary schools throughout each semester. We choose these organizations because each member of Sigma chapter is valued in such a way that when they are struggling with things personally we take that to heart and want to support them as much as possible. When emotional support is coupled with financial support and donations we see a real impact in their lives that only strenghens our sisterhood throughout the years. We donate to the Kappa Foundation because of all the great work they do with that money, we have had multiple Kappa Trainers and seen the impact of the Rose Mcgill fund and know that our donations are going to be used in the best ways possible.
Highlights of 2017
Sigma Chapter stayed extremely active throughout the year. Whether that be hosting events, participating in on campus activities, or studying hard, the Kappa's were everywhere.
We hosted our Spring philanthropy, which benefitted a local organization, Wonderfully Made, that provides kids with special needs all around the Lincoln area. "Kappa Con Queso" was able to raise $4,000 for this great program! Our mini philanthropy spring semester benfitted the Children's hospital and medical center which raised around $600. This past fall we hosted "Krispy Kremes & Kappacinos" in benefit of the Blood Clot Alliance. We were able to raise $2600 in honor of a member who has struggled with this in the past. Our mini philanthropy was for a local family struggling to keep their three boys happy and healthy due to a rare disease. We were able to donate $900 directly to their medical bills.
Academically our chapter ranked 8th out of 16 sororities with a 3.45 GPA. Our goal is to push a little harder and attain a 3.52 GPA. Our education chairman hosted our annual senior week and Celebrate Sigma at the end of the semester to celebrate the accomplishments of our dedicated seniors and to celebrate the end of another successful academic year and watch our seniors transition from actives to alumna.
We completed various programs as a chapter, including multiple visits from leadership consultants (who were extremely knowledgable and fit in great as Sigmas). We had 5 chapter officers attend a leadership convention in Saint Louis over the spring where they learned numerous lessons that they brought back to share with the entire chapter in the fall.
Fall semester began with a successful recruitment where we invited 50 new members to join Sigma Chapter. They completed a 10 week new member program and were initiated on November 18th, 2017. We continued to donate to the Kappa Foundation during the fall by selling out our parking lots for home football games, this is a long standing sigma tradition. Philanthrophy was a main focus this semester and through the donations made by our generous alums we were able to donate more time, money, and books to RIF this semester than ever before. The Public Relations chairman hosted our fall event known as Boo & Boo the week of Halloween. This is another Sigma tradition where we invite alums and various members of the community to bring their kids to come and play games and trick-or-treat around our house.
The Greek community at Nebraska has recently been put under a microscope here on our campus and throughout the United States as a whole. We have worked hard to overcome these negative stereo types and misconceptions about the greek community by having a positive impact on our campus as well as throughout the Lincoln community. We have hosted events at our house as well as involved ourselves in campus events that try and shed a more positive light on the greek community and its members. Our chapter is comprised of a large group of very unique and individual members who all bring their own set of attributes and characteristics to our house. Each member is involved in campus life in a different way, from greek and on greek honors fraternities, to university program council, and various clubs. We use these various outlets to spread a positive message about our chapter and promote as positive greek image to all we encounter.
Every semester we are fortunate enough to hear many different personal stories and connections our own Kappa's have with specific organizations, families, etc. This process is so special to us because we are able to donate money somewhere that we can potentially see a difference made in one of our own Kappa's. This past year we donated to Wonderfully Made, The Children's Hospital and Medical Center, The National Blood Clot Alliance, and a local family going through hard times. While we are able to donate money to these wonderful places, there are also Kappa's donating their time all over Lincoln. Many people volunteer at local schools, hospitals, Dance Marathon, The Big Event (University puts it on), and many more.
We choose these organizations because each member of Sigma chapter is valued in such a way that when they are struggling with things personally we take that to heart and want to support them as much as possible. When emotional support is coupled with financial support and donations we see a real impact in their lives that only strenghens our sisterhood throughout the years. We donate to the Kappa Foundation because of all the great work they do with that money, we have had multiple Kappa Trainers and seen the impact of the Rose Mcgill fund and know that our donations are going to be used in the best ways possible. We also donate books to financially struggling kids and schools around the area as well as visit those schools and kids and read the books to classrooms through RIF.
Highlights of 2018
Throughout the 2018 year, many girls bustled in and out of the big, blue door of the white, Kappa house at the 616. With a total of 168 active women in the chapter many activities, clubs, majors, jobs, and athletics kept Kappa’s members busy. At the beginning of the year, 18 new officers were installed at Formal Meeting, and Summer Baldwin became the 2018 Kappa Kappa Gamma Sigma Chapter President. The new council members became acquainted with their positions and advisors as they met with previous officers.
Within the Greek Community at the university, Kappa’s presence was made clear throughout the year. Sigma’s Panhellenic Delegate, Kali Dodd, attended weekly meetings with fifteen delegates from other chapters, acted as the liaison between Kappa and The National Panhellenic Conference, and created opportunities for Sigma Chapter to build relationships with other chapters on campus. For International Women’s Day, Kappa teamed up with Kappa Alpha Theta and handed out goody bags in front of the Student Union in the spring. This event was a huge success, and Kappa plans to do it again next year in 2019! Kappa had the pleasure of being paired with Beta Theta Pi and Delta Delta Delta for Greek Week in the spring. The Homecoming Week theme was “Bringing Tradition Home” in honor of Scott Frost’s first season as head coach of the football team. Kappa had very high involvement in all of the events and placed in the top three for the blood drive and lawn display competitions. Kappa was paired with FarmHouse, Sigma Chi, and Pi Alpha Chi for Homecoming. Sigma Alpha was added to the Panhellenic Community this year, and Theta Phi Alpha is no longer recognized as a Panhellenic chapter. Sigma chapter received an honorable mention for Panhellenic at the National Conference in Denver, Colorado. Kappa’s very own, Andrea Harris, was elected to serve as the 2019 Panhellenic President.
During Formal Recruitment in August of 2018 over 1000 women participated in the action-packed week, visiting a total of 16 chapters each. Kelsey Martinez, Sigma’s Membership Chairman, hosted all Potential New Members throughout the week and prepared for their arrival all summer. This year, Kappa had 5 members volunteer as Rho Gammas during the week, mentoring small groups of women and guiding them throughout the week. Bid Day came at the end of the week planned by Emma Tuttle, Sigma’s New Member Chairman. Bid Day was “Kappa Kandyland” themed with pascal colored props, tank tops, glitter, colorful lipstick, hair dye, and many excited new members and actives. Chapter Registrar, Andrea Harris, organized Bid Day photography to commemorate the special day. After 52 women ran into the arms of joyful Sigma Members, 51 of them successfully completed the new member program with Tuttle throughout the beginning of the 2018 fall semester. On October 26th and 27th, alumni came to initiate the 51 new members composed of daughters, sisters, granddaughters, and nieces. Jessica Moore, Sigma’s Marshal, planned a successful, exciting, and well-rehearsed initiation ceremony for the chapter. She emphasized Kappa’s songs and traditions throughout the process.
Many changes to the UNL campus happened this year. One was that the Cather/Pound Dorms behind Neihardt Residence Hall were demolished in late December of 2017. The lot on which both buildings resided has been vacant and blocked off for a year after. Just this December, nearly a year after the implosion, there have been workers cleaning up the site and adding sidewalks through the still roped off area. Another change to the atmosphere of UNL is the Tobacco-Free and Smoke-Free Campus Policy. This new policy at the university was approved back in August of 2017, and it was put into full effect starting on the first of the year in January of 2018. In the fall of 2018, the Nebraska Huskers welcomed back one of their own, Scott Frost, to be the head coach of the Nebraska Huskers Football Team. Many excited fans anxiously awaited his influence on the team which has not been performing as well as they would like. After the Huskers finished their 2018 season with only four wins and eight losses, Nebraskans are not as pleased with Frost as they expected they would be. The Husker Volleyball and Basketball teams have been doing well during their 2018 seasons, and other UNL teams continue to exemplify success and embody what it means to be a D1 athlete at UNL. Finally, the Cather Dining Center and College of Business recent builds have been easily accommodating students and contributing to academic success and university comfort this year.
Another project that’s projected to be done in the next month or so is the addition to Sigma Phi Epsilon across 16th Street from Kappa. The fraternity has been making an addition on the south side of their house and ensuring that it matches the rest of the house’s old, genuine, brick exterior aesthetic. Fraternity, Sigma Nu, just to the North of Sigma Phi Epsilon, remains abandoned and unkept. Fraternities Phi Gamma Delta, Delta Tau Delta, and Phi Kappa Psi still remain in band standing with the university and are working to rebuild and reconfirm their fraternity values and status in the Greek and University communities.
During the 2018 year, Sigma boosted the house GPA to a 3.476 which was above the all-campus GPA of 3.274 and the all sorority GPA of 3.473. With the assistance of Colleen Doyle, Vice President of Academic Excellence, Sigma got a Chegg account in order to provide more academic assistance to all members. Kappa tried monitoring study hours on the GINsystem App to allow for more flexible study hours. This year, Sigma had an incredible 72 active members with a GPA of 3.5 and above. Sigma has also been able to provide tutors for around 14 girls in the house this year.
Kappas were extremely involved on campus in 2018. Select senior members were a part of UNL’s Order of Omega, an all-Greek honors society. Many active members played on intramural sports teams, club sports teams, and the chapter had two D1 athletes in the 2018 year: a women’s soccer player and a women’s tennis player. Women in all colleges from Journalism and Mass Communication, to Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, to Business, to Engineering, and many more were 2018 actives. A handful of Kappa juniors and seniors in the 2018 year attended the new UNMC College of Nursing in Lincoln, Nebraska, with some choosing to remain active members on special status instead of going to associates status. Kappa women participated in summer and semester study abroad programs that took them across Europe to places in Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Ireland, and to many more adventurous destinations along the way. In September of 2018, a Kappa senior, Jordyn Koenig, Vice President of the Big Red Chapter of Pheasants Forever at UNL, organized a Youth Mentor Hunt for college students to test out hunting and have the opportunity to learn how to shot from other Pheasants Forever members. Koenig and six other Kappa members participated in the event, creating an awareness and promotion of the sport across campus.
In June of 2018, six actives in Kappa accompanied by advisors and Sigma alumni attended the 2018 Kappa Kappa Gamma National Convention in Denver, Colorado. Those who attended were inspired by many generations of Kappas from across the United States. Women expressed their Kappa spirit with little golden keys, blue clothing, owl accessories, and a common theme of fleur-des-lis. Convention had officer training programs and the Sigma actives who attended, all members of the 2018 council, gained insight into their positions and ideas about how to implement changes to their position in the future. Kappas also learned about diversity, inclusion, and made changes to national Kappa bylaws and standing rules. In 2018, Kappa became inclusive of transgender women, a big step in Kappa’s goal of becoming inclusive to all women. Sigma Chapter submitted applications for awards at the Biennial National Convention, where Sigma received honorable mentions in House Board, Advisory Board, and Panhellenic. Attendees of the Convention left Denver with new ideas, forward-thinking minds, and more Kappa merchandise than they had when they arrived...
Philanthropies this year were organized by Aly Burd, Philanthropy Chairman. In the spring of 2018, she and her committee planned Mac and Keys benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association. Kappa raised a total of $5,500. In the fall of 2018, Kappa hosted Krispy Kreme and KAPPAcinos benefiting the John Atkinson Lung Cancer Foundation and $5,000 was raised. In addition, Kappa hosted mini philanthropies benefitting various organizations such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and to Write Love on Her Arms. Kappa also hosted Reading is Fundamental events, where members would read to elementary school students at underprivileged schools in Lincoln, as well as donate books to them. In the spring of 2018, many of Kappa’s actives participated in the Big Event and Dance Marathon, University organized volunteering and fundraising events that a large portion of UNL’s student population was involved in and excited about.
Kappa had many glam formals, special events, and fun sisterhood retreats throughout the 2018 year. Elizabeth Mattern, Event Chairman, and Madison Felix, Risk Management Chairman, kept events organized and fun. Sigma was able to bring back the Sapphire Ball, a Kappa tradition in the fall of 2018. This event was a hit for all members! Events ran smoothly thanks to these two council members and were approved by national headquarters and obliged by Kappa’s sorority contract. Both council chairmen planned events with other Greek Chapters like Crush Formal and Mom’s Day in the spring and American Social, Dad’s Day, and a self-defense class in the fall.
Vice President of Standards, Sydney Hawekotte, made sure that all members were following Kappa bylaws and standing rules. She made sure that all members were reaching the standards Kappa has set in place. She also planned many sisterhood events with the help of her committee. Each member planned a sisterhood event, which occurred about every month like the October trip to Vala’s Pumpkin patch during Nebraska’s peak of the fall season. Hawekotte also hosted a public speaker, Ann Brewer, who talked about the danger and realness of sex-trafficking.
Education Chairman, Maggie DeGarmo, held both the Celebrate Sigma and Founder’s Day banquets, which both were a success. At Celebrate Sigma, Kappa honored the seniors and celebrated all the achievements of Sigma Chapter within the last year. Scholarships were also awarded to select actives of Sigma Chapter. Kappa also had a program with the seniors and the alumni where Kappa listened to a motivational speaker who was also an alum of Kappa. Kappa got to celebrate the seniors during senior week which was a great way to send them off into the real world. This fall semester, Kappa held the Founder’s Day Banquet to celebrate the founding of Kappa. Kappa also honored alums, house board, advisors, and new members, and it turned out to be a successful night. The 2018 semester ended with a senior program where the seniors did cooking classes with Kappa’s amazing cooks, Donna and Nicole, who have been working at Sigma Chapter for years. Seniors all really enjoyed it and learned a lot about making enchiladas and baked ziti.
With a new year comes new changes, and some definite changes occurred at Kappa over the 2018 year. Susan Hirt, Chapter Council Advisor, spent her last year working with Sigma actives and alumni as she prepared to move out of the state to work. However, some other advisors were introduced into the Sigma family in 2018 like Krista Hafez, Registrar Advisor. Diane Stark is still the Sigma House Mother who works hard to keep the big, white house in order and exercises her “handyman” skills, helping to fix nearly everything in sight. Kappa purchased a new blue couch, which actives call “BC”, and large chair for the living room as overseen by Alexa Berry, House Chairman. Another change of 2018 is the transitioning of paper documents to digital documents that will continue to be a change implemented throughout the coming years. President Baldwin gave other council officers a chance to look over Sigma’s bylaws and standing rules, and Sigma was able to make amendments to the way room preference works, as well as live-out parking lot time frames. Sigma also elected smaller positions for a banner chairman and a t-shirt chairman, and those selected were able to involve committees and the chapter in more events. Hannah Sickler, Vice President of Organization, kept the chapter aware of activities and events by updating the chapter calendar. She worked to restructure committee night so that it was more productive than it had been in the past. Her committee helped come up with ideas on ways to keep Sigma Chapter more organized and is working on cleaning up old files and items that are no longer of use to the chapter. Sickler also worked with two separate LCs, Leadership Consultants, from Nationals and helped host them during their visit to Sigma Chapter.
Other components of Sigma’s 2018 year included the chapter’s presence in social media. Public Relations Chairman, Sydney Lenarz, and her committee monitored all social media of active Kappas. They created new social media outlets such as VSCO, kept all social medias up-to-date for active members and alumni, put on an all-house photoshoot in the spring of 2018, and hosted a children's Halloween party called “Boo & Boo” for Kappa alumni, friends, and family in fall of 2018. The final accomplishment for Lenarz was sending out a blog/newsletter to Kappa alumni explaining what each council member had accomplished throughout their time on Sigma’s council. Andrea Harris, Sigma’s Registrar, is working to create the 2018-2019 composite, making it a tribute to the 1982/1983 composite design that depicted many mothers of current Kappa actives. Unfortunately, it was broken in the spring of 2018 when it fell off the third floor hallway wall, which lead to the idea of recapturing its design in 2018’s composite. Macie Kubat, corresponding secretary, replaced the mailboxes in the house, so that live-ins would have their own personal space to receive mail. Kubat also sent out holiday cards, gave flowers for chapters in need, and helped with house announcements. Sydney Miller, recording secretary, took minutes and attendance at chapter council meetings and every Monday night meeting. Her committee took attendance during philanthropies this year. Finally, last but certainly not least, Kappa’s finances were managed by Frannie Folson, Sigma’s Treasurer. Folsom continued to use BillHighway for member dues to be paid, was frugal and conscientious of spending, and added to and reduced officer budgets. The Assistant to the Treasurer in the spring of 2018 was Mollie Sperry and in fall of 2018 was Lauren Leapley. The assistants helped Folsom in charging freshman and other visitors for guest meals. As it is built into their dues, many juniors and seniors still eat at Kappa daily.
With the ending of 2018 comes the excitement and anticipation of what the 2019 year in the big, white house at 616 at “Dear old Nebraska U” will bring. Wonders of what the future holds for politics, social development, scientific discoveries, artistic innovation, the global community, and, of course, the legacy of Kappa Kappa Gamma keep us attentive.
Highlights of 2019
The year of 2019 marked another successful and busy year for Sigma Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. At the beginning of the year, 18 new officers were installed at Formal Meeting, and Madison Felix became the 2019 Sigma Chapter President. The new council members had the pleasure of attending Leadership Day bringing new and old officers and chapter advisors together to pave the way for a smooth transition into new roles. The goal was to help promote support between officers as well as motivation for a great year!
Within the Greek Community at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), Kappa made their mark at the university. Sigma’s very own, Andrea Harris served as the 2019 Panhellenic President and we could not be prouder! Andrea worked alongside the Interfraternity Council (IFC) to install a hard alcohol ban on chapter events except when served by a licensed third- party vendor which went into effect August of 2019. The policy is in line with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s longtime commitment to reduce high risk drinking among students. The Panhellenic Council also created a new bylaw so that all candidates could be reviewed for a position on their council. Previously, if a member from a sorority was president a member from the same sorority could not be president the following year. Sigma’s Panhellenic Delegate, Samantha (Sam) Barnard, attended weekly meetings with fifteen delegates from other chapters, acted as the liaison between Kappa and the Panhellenic council, and created opportunities for Sigma Chapter to build relationships with other chapters on campus. During the spring semester of the 2019 academic school year, Sam focused on increasing Sigma involvement at campus events. She focused on doing this at UNL Homecoming events including competing in the Lip Sync competition, raising money for the Lighthouse Foundation at the block party, creating a banner, pomping for lawn displays, and participating in Homecoming events overall. Kappa Kappa Gamma placed third overall out of the Greek Community with the help of Phi Delta Theta and Phi Kappa Psi. We also collaborated with Kappa Alpha Theta to help women on campus celebrate International Women’s Day. During the fall semester of the 2019 academic school year, Sam mainly focused on Kappa’s involvement with participating in “Greek Week” events. These events included: banner making, the Lip Sync Competition, making lawn displays, parade participation, and house tours.
During Formal Recruitment in August of 2019, over 1000 women participated by each visiting 16 chapters each. Regina Brokke, Sigma’s Membership Chairman, and Maddy Felix, Chapter President, attended Greek preview in March to speak to potential new members about Kappa and give a sneak peek to recruitment. Regina dedicated her summer to redecorating the house with help from her committee and planning out the recruitment schedule. During recruitment, Regina organized recruitment practice with Pi Beta Phi which was lots of fun! Alexa Berry, New Member Chairman, and her committee worked hard to plan bid day which was themed “Kappa Palooza” where we welcomed 52 new members into our arms. On November 23, 2019, we successfully initiated all 52 members with help from Clare Ellerbee, Chapter Marshal, and her committee. Clare worked hard to emphasize the importance of ritual by educating the whole chapter during her Program Night.
During the 2019 school year, Sigma had a house GPA of 3.465 ranking 9th out of 51 Greek chapters and earning above the average UNL GPA of 3.149 and the average sorority GPA of 3.455. Lauren Kubat, Vice President of Academic Excellence (VPAE), implemented different academic programs that had not been previously installed. Weekly study nights, individualized approaches to POC, Dead Week study food and incentives, and much more were started. Although we did not improve semester to semester GPA, a deeper appreciation and motivation of academic excellence was found among Sigma’s members. The collaboration with Katie Krzemien, Vice President of Organization, on Dead Week Study Snacks and Prizes was one of the most successful parts of this last year. Over 600 study hours were logged between the Spring and Fall dead weeks. Girls in the new member pledge class used this as an opportunity to come to the house and get to know each other. Another key success from this past year was the purchase of a white board and a white noise machine for “Multi”, Sigma’s silent study room. Lauren Kubat’s main goal was to encourage a strong academic environment for girls to be encouraged to study smarter, not necessarily harder. Sigma Chapter has now been educated about more academic resources on campus and feel more comfortable getting academic support when they need it.
In February of 2019, President Madison Felix, Vice President of Standards Kylee Hines, Vice President of Organization Katie Krzemien, Vice President of Academic Excellence Lauren Kubat, Education Chairman Mollie Sperry, and VPAE and House Chairman advisor Kim Miller attended the Kappa Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas. Those who attended roomed with council members from The University of Kansas and collaborated with council members from across the country to learn and brainstorm new ideas. They had the opportunity to listen to speakers who demonstrated the true meaning of being a woman in the 21st century. The Sigma representatives attended workshops including “Courageous Conversations”, “Life after Kappa” and many others. These members left inspired and were reminded to constantly have the confidence to be independent leaders in their endeavors.
Philanthropies in Spring of 2019 were organized by Ann Krause. Ann and her committee planned “Kamp Kappa” which benefitted the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and raised $3,000. McKenna Bradley took over as Philanthropy Chairman in the fall semester of 2019. McKenna and her committee hosted “Kapiji Dog Days of Summer” with Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji). Sigma Chapter raised a total of $6,500 for the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, setting a new record in fundraising! Sigma members and friends brought their dogs and eat barbeque. In honor of Kappa’s 150th Anniversary, the chapter decided to participate in Kappa National’s 150 Hours of Community Service Initiative. We were able to cumulatively serve over 400 hours in the last two months of the semester! We also hosted a holiday-season toy drive. We collected 116 new toys for HopeSpoke, a local mental health organization that specifically gives resources to struggling kids, families, and young adults. To close out the semester, we partnered with Blaze Pizza to raise money and awareness for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society. It was quite a philanthropic semester for Sigma!
Kappa had many glam formals and special events organized by Event Chairman, Brooklyn Housch, and Risk Management Chairman, Brianna Oehm. In January 2019, they planned a Masquerade Ball with Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Alpha Phi. In April 2019, there was a formal themed 80’s dress/workout. The semester was filled with dinner exchanges, socials, and study nights with various Greek chapters on campus. Mom’s Day was held at Kappa as a spa night with massage chairs, polaroid pictures, face masks, nail stations, and lots of food. The fall semester began with a Stampede Formal in September with Delta Gamma, Alpha Gamma Pho, and Farmhouse. The second formal was the annual Sapphire Ball in November. Trying something new, Mom’s and Dad’s Day was combined this semester for a Parents Weekend. We had a barbeque on a Friday evening and a brunch the Saturday morning following. A favorite social of Sigma Chapter was going to the Pla More for swing dancing with Alpha Gamma Rho. The freshman attended several introductions with fraternity freshman where they got to know one another, strengthening our Greek bonds on campus.
Vice President of Standards, Kylee Hines, worked to establish more transparency and communication between the chapter and the Standards committee all while maintaining confidentiality. Kylee educated the chapter on probation and what nationals allows for terms of probation that benefit members most. Kylee’s mission statement for the term was comprised of guiding members to grow and develop as women, and she worked hard to achieve that. The Standards committee also put together several sisterhood events and a Program Night. The night consisted of two therapists sharing information on eating disorders, how to spot a potential disorder, and what the best next steps are to help the person being treated. One sisterhood event was “Kappa Kanvas”. This event included several artists guiding the chapter on how to paint Sigma’s signature white house. It was a fun and memorable event for all in attendance.
Education Chairman, Mollie Sperry, facilitated many chapter events and programs for the current chapter members and local alumni association. Mollie worked closely with the 2019 graduating seniors, their parents, and alumni to plan the end of year celebration called Celebrate Sigma. Mollie worked with our adored cooking staff to build the annual senior gift, a Kappa Cookbook with original chapter recipes. Mollie facilitated a senior sisterhood cooking event where they got to learn from cooks Donna and Nicole on how to make our legendary Kappa enchiladas! Mollie facilitated an all-house program through nationals to discuss mental health issues that affect college students.
House Chairman, Chloe Discoe, was in constant communication with our kitchen staff, house board and director, chapter council and chapter members to maintain our beautiful home. Chloe, Maddy, and Lauren attended house board meetings once a month to discuss the foundation of the “616” (our nickname for the chapter house), potential remodels, and other various financial aspects. Chloe worked with House Director, Diane Stark, to schedule fire drills, inspections and handle any issues that arose in the house. Chloe planned a wonderful staff appreciation dinner to thank our wonderful cooking staff and house director. Chloe also managed live-in room selection and contracts for both live-in and live-out members.
Public Relations Chairman, Anna Mantini, worked to maintain the chapter’s overall image to the community and alumni through various public events and publicizing chapter activities. Anna focused on social media webpages, the main ones being Twitter and Instagram. Her committee put on a public relations events for Saint Patrick’s Day to cheer up students during midterms. They also planned the all-house photos in April which took place at the Nebraska Capitol building. In the fall, she planned “Kool Off with Kappa” for students to grab a free snow cone outside of the Kappa house. She also held our annual Boo and Boo where alums bring their children to trick or treat and play various games at the house. Maddie Mallisee, Recording Secretary, took minutes and attendance at chapter council and Monday night chapter meetings. She made sure members were held accountable in attending events that were required and encouraged attendance for optional ones. Maddie held a drawing and gave out gift cards to 10 of the 84 members who did not miss a single chapter meeting. Olivia Hartnett, Corresponding Secretary, replaced the mailboxes in the house so that live ins could have their own personal space to receive mail. Sigma’s Treasurer, Lauren Leapley, managed chapter finances and continued to use Bill Highway for members to pay their dues. Lauren allocated more of our dues to officer budgets in order to make more efficient use of our annual funds. The elected Treasurer Assistant, Ellie Hellman, worked to charge freshman and associate members for guest meals at the house and Kappa apparel. Kappa began using Venmo to accept philanthropy donations which increased the amount donated. To balance this, new elements of checks and records were implemented to keep track of our funds. The last in her position, Chapter Registrar Amanda Malashock organized bid day photos, the chapter composite, and reports.
With 2019 coming to an end, Sigma Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma continues to grow and develop, looking forward to the upcoming year at the big white house!
Highlights of 2020
The year of 2020 marked a time of hardship, change and growth for Sigma Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). At the beginning of the year, 16 new officers were installed at Formal Meeting – 2 less officers than prior years since of Historian and Recording/Corresponding Secretary were absorbed into other positions. The new and old council members and chapter advisors had the pleasure of attending Leadership Day, hosted by prior Vice President of Organization (VPO) and current Vice President of Standards (VPS) Katie Krzemien, to ensure smooth transitions. The goal was to build a support network which was utilized greatly in 2020 to counter unprecedented challenges faced by Sigma Chapter. The new counsel faced the loss of the Sigma Chapter House Director of 8 years, Diane Stark, in January followed by unexpected difficulties with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shutting down due to COVID-19, affecting many events planned by Chapter Council.
Newly installed Chapter President Lauren Kubat, fondly called “Kubat”, set a goal at the beginning of her term to update Sigma’s Standing Rules. She hosted the first ever Council Retreat with Vice President of Organization Riley Cossen to help the council revise the Standing Rules and bond as a group. Due to the sudden strike of COVID-19, the chapter was unable to vote to pass updates on the Standing Rules. The live-in members of the Kappa House were required to move out due to this. In spite of the abrupt change to Kappa life, Kubat hosted weekly council meetings and monthly house board meetings via Zoom, even helping interview and hire Sigma’s new House Director Stacia Anderson. Throughout the second semester of her term Kubat updated the bylaws and standing rules to adjust to the new COVID-19 reality. Traditional Monday night meetings were moved to a zoom format, where all members would join on their own device via zoom. This offered a safe, socially distanced alternative to our normal meeting structure. Announcements continued as normal, as council members would read from the power point that was shared to everyone’s screen.
Katie Krzemien began her term as VPS with a mission to rebrand Standards at Sigma Chapter as a safe space for members to grow. Katie held a mock Standards meeting during her program night to show transparency among her committee as well as assigning more responsibilities to the elected members on her committee. She created a monthly “Sunshine Sister” program to show support to individual Kappas where members nominate each other anonymously to receive personalized care- packages and letters from the Standards committee (continuing via mail during COVID-19). Katie hosted a “Galentine’s Day” Sisterhood event with Panhellenic Delegate Ericka Knapp to bring Delta Gamma and Kappa together over a spa night, cookie decorating, and more in February. One of the most important Katie had to do this year was enforce all of the COVID-19 protocols in the fall semester of 2020. This included making sure all live-in members were socially distanced at all times, and wearing their mask throughout the house. Some of the socially distanced protocols included only allowing 4 people at each dinner table, socially discanced markings in “BC” and “pink”, and allowing no visitors into the house. Katie did a great job of making sure everyone followed these new rules.
Riley Cossen is the Vice President of Organization (VPO) at Kappa, one of three women by the same name on council this year. She started her term out strong by helping host the first ever Council Retreat, bringing food and games to help everyone bond. She began laying out the Kappa calendar in regard to events and meetings months in advance and stepped up in light of changed due to COVID-19. Riley welcomed our Leadership Consultant (LC) Jenna Patton virtually. It was Jenna’s first virtual visit as an LC since she was scheduled to come to Sigma Chapter the week universities shut down across the country in response to the pandemic. Riley continued to meet with her committee via Zoom and plans to make themes for Committee Chapter Meetings at Kappa. After elections Riley was in charge of organizing the transitions for the new council. Riley had to help ensure the new council members had two, one-on-one sessions with their old council counterpart to help the transition go smoothly.
The Vice President of Academic Excellence (VPAE) Mia Soulierre set the goal of raising Sigma Chapter’s grade point average (GPA) from a 3.49 to a 3.5 for the spring semester. Alongside this, she transitioned the Academic Excellence program at Kappa for members who struggle academically from “Period of Concern” (POC) to “Academic Progress Plan” (APP). This new program enables a more empowering approach to academics. Since COVID-19 forcing UNL to move to digital learning, Mia’s committee has been doing Zoom check-ins with APP members to aid them in this time of transition and help them in response to changing university policies. One of the most successful parts of Mia’s VPAE position was during the fall 2020 finals week. The girls in the house logged their study hours for dead week on the Omega One app. The three girls with the most hours got gift cards, and all the other girls were entered into a drawing for other study prizes. This was a great way to encourage the girls in the house to study for finals, and was very successful in the end.
The first Sigma Secretary since removal of Corresponding/Recording Secretary is Bethany Meyers. At the beginning of her term, she organized and transferred chapter rosters into the Recognized Student Organization (RSO) Portal in response to changing UNL policies regarding how sorority life functioned on campus. She worked with her committee to promote attendance at meetings and events, researching ways to make taking attendance more efficient. She created a concise version of meeting minutes called This Week in Kappa (TWIK) to keep the chapter up to date on council plans and actions since Sigma could no longer meet in person with COVID-19 and in place of any kind of digital Zoom meeting. During COVID-19 the composite planning presented challenges for Bethany, however, in the end she was able to successfully
Ellie Hellman is the Treasurer at Kappa after serving as the elected Treasurer Assistant in the year prior. She managed member balances, updated the budget, and helped to ensure timely payments of chapter dues. Ellie had the difficult job of calculating and organizing refunds to chapter members in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She worked with House Board to refund dues and live-in expenses with the shut down of UNL housing and the Kappa house. She is working on creating educational programming for the future regarding Kappa and personal finances. Ellie had to work on finding a solution for the refunds to members due to COVID. She worked hard to organize a system to ensure members got back the money that wasn’t used in the last part of the Spring 2020 semester. The next semester she organized monthly payments just incase the members had to be refunded again, so it was a simpler system.
The first Marshal since Historian was absorbed into the position was Elise Gamble. She ensured that all meetings, voting, attire and meeting decorum adhered to Kappa guidelines. Elise made formal meeting more efficient by implementing suggestions from her District Specialist and emphasized the importance of Kappa ritual and history at meetings. She updated Key Reports, completed this annual chapter history report, and purchased a speaker and mics for the chapter room. Due to COVID-19, she was unable to perform graduating senior ceremonies. One of the most important things was using zoom for Monday night meetings. She was able to find a way to get all the members on meetings so we could have our weekly discussions, and google forms for voting. We celebrated Founders Day/the 150th with the alumni. They were in-person, the chapter joined via Zoom. The chapter was treated to a cinnamon roll breakfast and the Marshal had a banner made to commemorate the event. Elise had to do virtual pledging for the new members, and pinning ceremonies. The in person initiation shifts were at the student union using the All-in-One service, and alumni and advisers were able to attend with no linked COVID-19 cases. Kappa families were able to eat dinner together the week of, provided by the Marshal, New Member, and Event Chairmen.
Education Chairman Dalia Nabulsi held many programs such as Harm Prevention in the beginning of her term. She oversaw new monthly program nights for chapter meetings and coordinated speakers such as a police officer from the Omaha Police Department and a UNL employee who spoke on resume building. Dalia was unable to have Celebrate Sigma due to COVID-19 but found a way to honor graduating seniors despite this. She sent them care packages including a special cookbook from Sigma Chapter’s beloved cooks and highlighted them individually through social media spotlights. Founders Day was a success on zoom, where alumni and all members attended. the Education chairman had a program night with a Kappa Alumni from Arbon, where she educated members about healthy eating. Kristen Louden, House Chairman, took on many responsibilities with the Kappa House this semester. She served as a liaison between House Board and the chapter while everyone mourned the loss of our House Director Diane. While searching for a new House Director, Sigma’s active alumni network took turns staying the night at the house, revisiting their college days while getting to know the active members. Kristen was part of the committee that helped to hire our new House Director Stacia and worked to ensure general upkeep of the house. When the house shut down due to COVID-19, she helped live-ins move out quickly and efficiently. Kristen was able to assign move in times to all the live ns so we could have a safe, socially distance move in. This was spread out over two days. There were subsequent bathroom assignments where girls were assigned a toilet, shower, and sink to reduce touch points.
Membership Chairman Emily Evans worked during the Spring Semester to plan Formal Recruitment in the Fall. She held “Rookie Recruitment” in March before UNL shutdown for COVID-19 where the younger pledge classes trained and prepared for Rush. Emily planned to innovate the Recruitment process by having Kappa’s test their compatibility with Potential New Members (PNMs) via the Enneagram personality test. As well, she planned to revamp Philanthropy Day by active members wearing T-shirts naming their favorite philanthropy Sigma has supported these past years. This year was the first virtual recruitment in Kappa history. Emily coordinated recruitment over zoom, and it went extremely smoothly and Kappa received a Pledge Class of 51 new members. We then participated in open recruitment where we got 10 more members. A standing committee was added to help with recruitment.
Brooklyn “Brook” Housh is Sigma’s New Member Chairman. She kicked off the 2020 spring semester by hosting the first ever New Member overnight retreat at Nebraska’s Mahoney State Park. Many Kappa executive officers past and present held a night of fun festivities, one of which the Freshman Pledge Class wrote a letter to their senior selves which they will open in a few years. It was a great, safe night for the New Members to bond with each other and older Kappa sisters. Following this, Brook planned “Sneak”, a day for Littles to surprise their Bigs with shirts and more to say thank you. Due to COVID-19, this event was moved to the Fall. Virtual bid day theme was Kappa Disco this year. Bid day boxes were delivered to each girl of the new pledge class that was disco themed. There were Owl Pal dates via zoom, and big/little reveal was in waves so it could be in person. The new members participated in a virtual pass the key, and all of the new members were given Valas tickets for a bonding experience.
Sigma’s Philanthropy Chair is Andrea Atkinson, a member whose philanthropy submission was selected by chapter vote in 2019. Her passion for philanthropy was unchanged by COVID-19 even though the philanthropy she planned, Mac n Keys, had to be cancelled. Sigma Chapter still raised and donated money despite this to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in order to honor House Mother Diane Stark. Andrea brainstormed on ways to give back during the pandemic and even began planning the Fall philanthropic events. Andrea did a virtual fundraiser for Lolo’s Angels, one of our philanthropies this year, where she sold t-shirts to make money. There was also a toy drive to help with less fortunate kids.
Reilly Kortus, Public Relations Chairman, worked hard to represent Kappa Kappa Gamma well on campus and on social media. She did introductory posts on Sigma’s Instagram @kkg_unl for each new member of council, “takeovers” for members studying abroad, and encouragement posts during COVID- 19. Reilly planned to have a booth on UNL’s campus called “Kiss Me I’m a Kappa'' for Saint Patrick’s Day where Kappa’s would hand out stickers to passersby. Reilly was also in charge of the council photos thatwere taken at the end of the fall 2020 semester. These photos had to be coordinated during thepandemic, and showcased masks and social distancing.
Event Chair Claire Andry and Risk Chair Rylee Reggio worked together to plan fun, safe formals where all Kappa protocols and paperwork was followed. They hosted a Crush formal with Alpha Xi Delta, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and Pike. Due to COVID-19, they were forced to cancel their “80’s in Aspen” semi- formal and events through the remainder of the spring semester. Claire and Rylee innovated the formal transportation system according to Kappa requirements to ensure ease and safety traveling to and from the venue. Rylee also collected driver forms alongside House Chair Kristen to encourage members to submit them. One creative way to keep the members engaged during the fall semester of 2020 withoutformals was to create “Kappa Pods”. These pods were composed of 8-10 members of the chapter who had the same available times. The kappa pods were given money to do fun things around Lincoln, suchas going out for lunch, dinner, or ice cream.
Ericka Knapp served as the Panhellenic Delegate, working like no delegate before to make sure all Sigma members had a say in Panhellenic matters and furthering Kappa’s relationships with other Greek houses at UNL. She held a sisterhood event with Delta Gamma and celebrated International Women’s Day with Kappa Alpha Theta where everyone handed out stickers and succulents together. Ericka’s main event of the Spring, Greek Weekend, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.However, she continued to meet with the Panhellenic Council via Zoom to discuss Recruitment rule changes for the Fall. Through the entire year of 2020, Sigma’s Chapter Council worked tirelessly to ensure everyone in Kappa had an amazing time despite all the hardships faced. Even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,Kappa bonded together via endless Zoom calls, text messages, and some hand-written letters. Sigma Chapter is a proud representation of the values of Kappa Kappa Gamma, ready to face 2021 even stronger than before.
In Memory of Diane Stark Sigma Chapter’s House Director, Diane Stark, has been a huge and influential part of Kappa for the past 8 years. Diane was a smart, multi-tasking, strong woman who could do ANYTHING! She loved her flowers and transformed the Kappa house to have the most beautiful yard on campus. She took so much pride in the house itself and the ladies living in it each semester. She prided herself in saving Kappa money by fixing a multitude of things in the house and streamlining Kappa’s budget. Diane had two sons, Todd and Travis, and their families that lived close by. Her biggest pride and joy were her 4 grandchildren, loved by the Kappa girls, that would often visit her at the house. The grandkids would beg to have sleepovers at the Kappa house. After a courageous 3 ½ year battle with breast cancer, she passed away on January 29th, 2020. Diane never wanted to worry the girls in the house and was very private about her illness. She wanted life to be normal for everyone around her, and she did an amazing job of that. Kappa was so lucky to have her for 8 incredible years and will be forever grateful for how much she taught us about how to live life to the fullest. Diane Stark will be greatly missed by so many.
Highlights of 2021
Highlights of 2020s:
From chapter’s History Report: Scholarship, group honors/awards, traditions, special events, changes on campus or within chapter, overall nature of the chapter, chapter goals, challenges and how they were overcome, etc.:
Chapter Convention Awards:
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!