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Celebrate Kappa! October 13,1870

I'll be reaching out to you monthly with history nuggets focusing upon Kappa's heritage and ritual. Take a look at this little nugget from Kappapedia written by Former Fraternity President Kay Larson.

Many chapters and associations have inquired if their celebration must be held on October 13? The Fraternity recognizes how busy schedules can get and most importantly you try to organize and recognize this event with the goal of having as many members who can attend and share in this celebration.

Please take some time to share in the comment area below your plans for honoring our Founders.


“On a little wooden bridge spanning a small stream that flows through the northeastern corner of the campus, two college girls one day held a schoolgirls’ conversation out of which grew the Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity,” Monmouth College President Thomas H. McMichael, who served as Monmouth College president from 1903-1936, once recalled. The idea of Kappa Kappa Gamma is said to have been conceived in a conversation between two college women, Mary Louise (Lou) Bennett and Hannah Jeannette (Jennie) Boyd, on a wooden bridge over a stream on the Monmouth College campus in the late 1860s.

Lou and Jennie began to seek "the choicest spirits among the girls, not only for literary work, but also for social development", beginning with their friend Mary (Minnie) Moore Stewart. Minnie, Jennie, and Lou met around 1869 in the Amateurs des Belles Lettres Hall, a literary society of which the women were active members when they first decided to form a new society. These three women, driven by their passion and convictions moved forward to inspire their shared vision with other women whom they believed to hold their same values and be of outstanding character.

It was after their initial talk, they recruited three additional women including Anna Elizabeth Willits, Martha Louisa (Lou) Stevenson, and Susan (Sue) Burley Walker, to join in founding the fraternity.

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Our Founders

Founding and Early Years of Kappa Kappa Gamma

• 1869: First pow-wow was held in A.B.L.Hall of Old Main on the Monmouth College Campus. Lou Bennett, Jennie Boyd and Minnie Stewart were in attendance. Later Anna Willits was added, making a group of four.

• March 1870: Sue Walker was added to the original group.

• April 1870: Lou Stevenson was initiated.

• April/May 1870: Four of the six members signed the charter in the parlor of Minnie Stewart’s home.

• October 13, 1870: Six members identified as wearing golden keys appeared in Monmouth College Chapel.

• 1930 General Convention declared all six women the Fraternity Founders.

These six women laid the foundation of Kappa Kappa Gamma. They determined the name, the motto, the badge and the oath of membership. They selected the colors, wrote the first Constitution, Bylaws and the charter. They served as the first officers, conducted the first rush (recruitment) and the first initiation, held the first social, began the Fraternity extension program and processed the first dismissal.

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Beta District Ritual & History Specialist Georgi Clymer

I look forward to sharing Kappa's Heritage with you to share with your chapters and associations. And feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Please share your Founders Day events with me too! I'd like to share ideas and send out Hoot Salutes!

This newsletter can be shared with your Kappa sisters in your associations and chapters.