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Headquarter Hauntings

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“Kappas are a caring, supportive sisterhood, watching over their members and ready with a helping hand. How appropriate, then, that Kappa Kappa Gamma should have a spectral ‘caretaker’ watching over visitors at their Headquarters.”

        - Robin Smith, Columbus Ghosts

Pink Lady

The building that currently houses Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Headquarters was originally built in 1852 by Phillip Snowden, a silk merchant, and his wife Abigail. The home has gone through several different owners over its time, including Governor David Tod during the Civil War era and banker David Gray and his family. From there the Columbus Women’s Club used the home as a clubhouse, adding an auditorium to the back of the building. Financial issues from the Great Depression caused them to sell the house, leaving it to fall into the hands of several more owners over the next decade. Eventually, it was bought by Clara O. Pierce, Ohio State, in 1951 to be used as our Headquarters.

Over the past 62 years, Kappa volunteers, interns and staff members have reported seeing and hearing strange things happening around Headquarters. There are tales of a woman roaming the building, a man in black wandering the halls, and a formally dressed couple on the stairwell.

Diane Selby, Ohio State, was a student worker at Headquarters during the late 1950s. During her time here, Diane experienced a number of mysterious encounters. One day, she heard the vacuum running in the closet. Thinking that the cleaner, Adele, had forgotten to turn it off, Diane turned it off and went about her business. When she saw Adele later that day, she talked to her about leaving the vacuum running. Adele said that it was impossible, as there are no outlets in or near the closet. The two went to investigate only to find the vacuum cleaner running again, unplugged, in the closet.

Diane had another inexplicable experience with a coworker. Their desks were next to a window overlooking a courtyard, when Diane heard a musical quartet. Glancing out of the window, she found the courtyard to be empty, oddly. Knowing the music was too loud to be coming from the neighbors, she asked her office mate if she heard the music as well. Her coworker acknowledged hearing the music. “But,” Diane said, “There is nobody out there.” Her coworker, keeping her eyes on her work, simply acknowledged the instance, saying “Yes, I know.”

The most famous ghost though is that of Miss Celinda Hatton, infamously known as the Pink Lady. Miss Hatton was the caretaker of the upper rooms during the early 1900s when the Columbus Women’s Association rented the top floor to boarders. She was a talented portrait artist whose picture still hangs in our Headquarters’ dining room. She was known to run a respectable establishment and took excellent care of her guests. She would often walk the halls in a pink robe to make sure everything was alright. Many believe that she still roams the halls, checking in on Kappa’s guests.

President Julie Leshay, Colorado College, has spent many nights at Headquarters for meetings and has encountered the Pink Lady. During one of her stays, Julie was woken by someone frantically running up and down the steps. Thinking it was someone who had come into work, she went back to sleep. It wasn’t until the next morning that Julie realized the noise she heard had happened too early to be an employee coming to check on them. No one else staying there heard the sounds nor had they gotten up in the middle of the night. “I personally haven’t seen her, thank goodness,” says Julie. “I like to think of the Pink Lady as our sisterly guardian so that's why I wasn't scared when I heard the footsteps.”

Museums Curator and Archivist Kylie Smith Towers, Simpson, recalls one of the more popular Pink Lady ghost tales. “During one very late council meeting, the Kappas took a brief break, all putting on their pajamas and robes before returning to continue the meeting,” says Kylie. “When they returned, the secretary called roll to be sure everyone was back.” They all were there, but then, who was the woman in the pink robe they saw walk past the doorway in the main hall? Hurrying into the hall, they found it empty; no woman in a pink robe was to be found in the house.

Have you had any paranormal encounters while staying at or visiting Fraternity Headquarters? Share in the comments below!

Adventures of the Leadership Consultants

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Our Leadership Consultants provide advice, support and resources to the chapters and advisers and serve as the link between chapters and Fraternity as a whole. They travel frequently and spend their days helping chapters become the best they can be. At the end of their year with us, these women will have built invaluable connections, have a year of leadership, traveling and consulting experience under their belts and the opportunity to enter the workforce with a stronger sense of self.

However, life as a Leadership Consultant isn't all work. These women have the chance to explore new cities, meet new people and enrich their lives. They take the time to visit local landmarks, sink their toes into the sand and enjoy ice cream cones and festivals. In this brief video the 2013–2014 Leadership Consultants share a few moments from their first three months on the job!

Interested in becoming a Leadership Consultant? Applications are due this Friday, November 1! This position is a one-year contract and is compensated with a salary and benefits package. A full position description and application details can be found on the Our Team page.

Don't Let It Pass You By

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Meet Mary Beth, Texas A&M!

Mary Beth Headshot

On her first visit, Mary Beth experienced just how strong the bond between sisters can be. During a formal chapter meeting, a slideshow began playing. “I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I thought they were doing a spotlight on seniors, but after the first few slides, I noticed the pictures were of the same two girls. At the end of the slideshow, the girl who created it asked her big to be her bridesmaid in her wedding. It was such a special moment to witness.”

A fifth generation Kappa, Mary Beth is no stranger to the values and leadership that comes with being a Kappa. Her great grandmother, Grace Duff Snider, was initiated into Omega Chapter, Kansas, in 1894, and for almost 120 years, her family has been motivated to drive the vision and ideals of our Founders into an optimistic future.

A former Marshal and Vice President-Organization, Mary Beth was an active leader during her collegiate years. After meeting former Leadership Consultants and learning more about the position, she was inspired to apply. “Traveling, working with college women and leadership development are all things I am passionate about, so I felt that the job description was written for me.”

As an international business and Spanish major, she learned about different cultures and interacting with people from around the world, as she studied in Spain. “Doing this job has put what I learned in college into action. You work with women from all over, with different backgrounds and personalities, and you have to learn to relate to everyone, no matter the difference.”

Despite the differences, Mary Beth has bonded with each chapter she has visited. “I would be lying if I said I haven’t gotten emotional leaving a time or two.” Her former chapters send her letters of thanks and appreciation, confirming that she made a difference and helped the chapter grow. “I underestimated how much those words of affirmation would mean to me. They help get you through being away from family and friends for extended periods of time. I’ve grown to care about every chapter and member and value our bond.”

“Just as I found out on that first visit, Leadership Consultants have an incredible group of women who support you the entire time and you soon find out that it is the opportunity of a lifetime you don’t want to pass you by.”

Mary Beth Interest

Don’t forget: the deadline to apply for a Leadership Consultant position is November 1. This position is a one-year contract and is compensated with a salary and benefits package. A full position description and application details can be found on the Our Team page. If you or someone you know would make a great Leadership Consultant, make sure to apply by the November 1 deadline!

Serendipitous Moments

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Meet Cara, Arizona State!

Cara Headshot

“This position is full of serendipitous moments,” says Cara, former Vice President-Academic Excellence and President of Epsilon Delta Chapter. “You go in expecting one thing and come out very pleasantly surprised by the women you meet, the places you visit and openness for growth you find.”

Cara first learned of the Leadership Consultant position when she met with a previous LC who visited her chapter. “I remember thinking how great of an opportunity it would be. I wanted to be able to share what I have gotten out of being a member of Kappa so they too could see what this wonderful organization has to offer.”

She has learned that the success of chapter visits depends on her approach. “When you go into a visit, you need to quickly gain the confidence and trust of the women in order to make an impact. You need to quickly connect with everyone and be able to relate to them.”

There are very few jobs that offer this type of character building in such a short period of time, and it is a skill that will benefit both the professional and personal lives of the Leadership Consultants. “I feel more prepared to enter my graduation field and handle the variety of personalities I will come across than I did before taking on this role.”

One of Cara’s chapter visits has included Eta Sigma, Chapman, which was installed this past spring.. “It was refreshing to see the excitement and joy the women had toward Kappa. It was a reminder to me of how far Kappa Kappa Gamma has come, and how much growth there is for this organization.”

Representing the Fraternity has opened Cara’s eyes to the possibilities that existed within her. “Before, I wanted to know everything and have answers for people right away. This job has taught me that I don’t always have the answers, and it’s more beneficial to ask before answering. Being honest builds a better outcome for everyone.”

A previously self-proclaimed “homebody,” Cara has found she is capable of being independent and on her own, growing as a person. “I went to school very close to where I grew up, so it was scary thinking about going out on my own and not being able to go home whenever I please.” She credits keeping busy and having a supportive group of family and friends for making the transition easier than she anticipated.

“I truly love this job and how lucky I am to have this opportunity.”

Cara Interest

The deadline to apply for a Leadership Consultant position is November 1. This position is a one-year contract and is compensated with a salary and benefits package. A full position description and application details can be found on the Our Team page.

All Things Are Possible with Coffee and Glitter

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Meet Jordan, Knox!

Jordan Headshot

“All things are possible with coffee and a little bit of glitter,” says Jordan, a former English literature major, after a month as a Leadership Consultant (LC) with Kappa Kappa Gamma.

As former House Chairman and Vice President-Organization for her chapter, Jordan interacted with Leadership Consultants before taking on the job, though she never imagined that she would become a Leadership Consultant herself. The path set forth by these women whom she admired opened up the door of possibility to Jordan, who happily took the chance to make a difference in the lives of collegians.  

After being on the road, Jordan has learned to love adventure. “I wanted to see the country, to be challenged and see what I was capable of. I have already met so many women whom I admire and I am so proud to call my sisters.”

Problem solving skills, interpersonal communication, teamwork and critical thinking have become skills that she has perfected during her travels. These skills give Jordan confidence, enriching her personal and business life.  “The skills I’m learning on the road are the kind that can be translated to almost any job in any field. I’ve learned how to connect with almost any person I meet … whether it’s asking for directions in New York City or developing fast friendships with new people, I’m prepared to make the most of the world.”

Those fast friendships will follow Jordan to her next adventure and shape her experiences there.  The chapters she visits keep in contact with her and she thrives on seeing them grow and develop, not only as women, but as an organization.  “I never imagined that I would become as invested in these chapters as I am. Their success and happiness is also my own.”

“There is rarely a day that passes where I am not inspired by the women who make up this organization.” Jordan considers this one of the many rewards of being in her position. “They are, without question, some of the most compassionate, talented and loyal women I have ever known.”

Though her year on the road has just begun, Jordan has an optimistic approach to the rest of her journey. “During the long weeks and late nights, after four flights and a handful of delays, I am lucky to spend time with the women who make Kappa what it is today.  Every day is an opportunity to do something memorable, generous or make someone laugh or smile. There’s no doubt in my mind that I have the best job in the entire world.”

Jordan Interest

The deadline to apply for a Leadership Consultant position is November 1. This position is a one-year contract and is compensated with a salary and benefits package. A full position description and application details can be found on the Our Team page.

Growing Talent Through Service

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Meet Morgan, Mississippi!

Morgan Headshot

Leadership Academy, a weekend program hosted by Kappa Kappa Gamma that focuses on confidence and leadership skills, has helped many women achieve their goals and take on challenging leadership roles during the 10 years of the program. For Morgan, it was the turning point in her Kappa and collegiate career. “When I first joined Kappa, I was a shy freshman at a school where I didn’t know anyone. Going to Leadership Academy helped me recognize the latent leadership skills that I already possessed and encouraged me to seek out new leadership opportunities to hone these skills. After that one short weekend, I became extremely involved in Kappa, which opened up new doors to amazing opportunities, including the Leadership Consultant (LC) position.”

It became clear to Morgan that the more she gave unselfishly, the more she received in satisfaction. “I believe that each of us is provided with unique talents and it is our responsibility to grow those talents through service to others.” To continue to provide service to others after serving as Philanthropy Chairman, Marshal and chairman of Derby Days, Morgan applied to be a Leadership Consultant.

As a marketing and corporate communications major with an emphasis in public relations, Morgan is learning the job skills necessary to become successful in her career. “I am on the road working with all different types and chapters and members across the continent. I am learning how to communicate with everyone in a way that is best suited for that group and handle uncomfortable situations. I am also learning how to best market Kappa so that it integrates well on different campuses.”

Morgan has had a profound effect on the chapters she has visited. One chapter said that she changed their lives in the two weeks she was there, becoming one of their greatest role models. “The absolute best is when the girls say they don’t want you to leave and hope that you can come back to their chapter. Those words make me even more confident that I was meant to do this job.”

“This experience has already given me an expanded understanding of the differences between attitudes and perspectives of sisters within a single house as well as at different universities. It has taught me patience to not only listen but to seek to understand different views or approaches before making a comment or recommendation.” Morgan has learned to ask questions to ensure that she understands others, giving her a clearer understanding of herself, her attitudes and her priorities.

Morgan Interest

The deadline to apply for a Leadership Consultant position is November 1. This position is a one-year contract and is compensated with a salary and benefits package. A full position description and application details can be found on the Our Team page.

Versatility is Key

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Meet Mallory, Michigan State!

Mallory Headshot

“If I could describe this job in one word it would be versatility.” Mallory, a business management major, learned about being versatile early on in her time as a Leadership Consultant (LC). As an LC, the schedule can quickly go from presenting to a large group of women to helping plan an extensive Recruitment week. An LC has to be personable and immediately jump into any situation, no matter how difficult or awkward.

At the end of her time as a Leadership Consultant, Mallory will attend graduate school at Ohio University to receive a master’s degree in both business administration and sports administration. “There are so many skills that I have already learned as an LC that will apply to my degrees and my future.”

She has learned that the balance of work and travel is something that requires practice and  patience. The life of a Leadership Consultant is filled with changing plans, meetings and presentations at the drop of a hat. Being flexible with your schedule is key to being successful. “It is important to expect the unexpected. You serve many roles and really never know what situation you might find. It requires you to be very resourceful.”

During a trip to Montreal, Mallory became ill and had difficulty seeing a doctor in the area. The women of the Delta Delta, McGill, bonded together to help Mallory get better. “They arranged for me to see a recent Kappa alumna’s mother, who is a doctor. Sisterhood has no age limits and there are no boundaries it won’t cross!”

Balance also comes into play with her relationships. Constantly traveling can make it hard to keep in touch with family and friends. “With all the technology today, it is nice to be able to keep in touch with those close to me no matter where I am in my Kappa travels.”

The connection between family and Mallory was strengthened during her trip to the Alpha Chapter at Monmouth.  “My mom is a member of another Panhellenic sorority, Pi Beta Phi, and their Alpha Chapter was founded there too. I was able to tour their house and really feel the bond not only between Kappa sisters, but also Panhellenic sisters.”

During her time at Alpha Chapter, Mallory was able to explore The Stewart House Museum  and grow her connection to the history of Kappa. “It was truly amazing to be able to have that experience and really see where the Fraternity began and how it has grown.”

Mallory is embracing and enjoying the Leadership Consultant experience, making the most of her membership. She is excited to continue her travels and experience chapters outside of Recruitment. “Kappa is an international organization of women who are all connected. We are truly sisters.”

Mallory Interest

The deadline to apply for a Leadership Consultant position is November 1. This position is a one-year contract and is compensated with a salary and benefits package. A full position description and application details can be found on the Our Team page.

Love What You Do

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Meet Page, Louisiana State!

Page Headshot

“It’s not work if you love what you do.” Page subscribes to this adage, firmly knowing this job is an extension of herself and her passions. “During my senior year I found myself in an awkward position. I didn’t want to leave college, but I also wanted to be in the real world. I had been encouraged by an adviser to apply to be a Leadership Consultant (LC), and when I learned more about the position, I realized this job was the answer.”
“Being in the management field, it is important to know how to work with different people. Everybody has different opinions, ways of handling situations and personalities, and during my time as a Leadership Consultant I’ve already seen it all.” The position has challenged Page, forcing her to become more patient, open-minded and motivating to others, skills that are key to becoming not only a good manager, but a great leader.

She also has learned essential time management skills and how to handle difficult situations in a quick and calm manner. “As an LC, you have to be quick on your feet when it comes to problem solving. In life, you never know what’s going to be thrown your way, so having these skills allows me to remain calm while quickly coming up with solutions.”

Traveling to a new chapter every week is a challenge for every LC. Each chapter and each member is unique, and discovering the best way to communicate to all the different personalities is key to being a successful Leadership Consultant. An LC must approach each chapter as a new challenge, a new opportunity and a new beginning.” If I have brought a new perspective of Kappa to at least one member in the chapter, I consider it a successful visit.”

Page has discovered more about herself in the past month than she anticipated. “I’ve learned what I need to get by day to day. Not having the opportunity to be settled down really made me discover what is essential for me to function on a daily basis. Some things are materialistic, like a cup of coffee in the morning or a favorite T-shirt to sleep in, but others aren’t, like taking an hour or so of ‘me time’ to have peace and quiet and get work done.”

Page Interest

In the end, when Page sees a new member class run toward their new sisters, helps a chapter officer see a situation in a new light or has a great conversation with a member, she knows that making a difference never gets old.

“I will never forget the experience this job has given me. It’s given me a global view of our organization …  I’ve been able to see women that share the same love for Kappa, and it’s amazing.”

The deadline to apply for a Leadership Consultant position is November 1. This position is a one-year contract and is compensated with a salary and benefits package. A full position description and application details can be found on the Our Team page.

Hard Work and Dedication

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Meet Illiana, New Mexico!

Hard work and dedication are second nature to Illiana. During her collegiate career, she majored in biology and Spanish, was Risk Management Chairman and Vice President–Standards and President of her chapter, was a Rho Gamma recruitment guide and sat on the Academic Excellence Committee.

Illiana Headshot

Holding leadership roles was one of the main reasons she chose to become a Leadership Consultant (LC). “I found it fascinating to continue a leadership role and travel at the same time. I had great experiences with previous LCs who helped me realize that an LC is a helpful resource the Fraternity offers and to be a part of that would be really special.”
Taking on the Leadership Consultant role has brought on new challenges for Illiana. “This position is great for getting someone out of their comfort zone because you really never know what is coming next.”

As her travels continue, Illiana is embracing the changes she finds in herself. She has learned to act quickly, remain calm in stressful situations and relax. “Seeing the silver linings and staying positive are really important. You really can’t plan too far in advance and must be ready to embrace many different experiences.” Illiana says that laughter truly is the best medicine, and that learning to let things go and to move on from situations that are stressful have kept her grounded.

Illiana Interest

Much of the laughter Illiana gets to experience comes from spending time off with the collegians. “My fondest memories come from hanging out with the chapter women and getting to know them better. I deeply cherish trips to their favorite local restaurants, walks around campus and late-night chats.”

Though she majored in biology and Spanish, taking on this position has clarified the future for Illiana. “I would love to take on leadership development with at-risk youth and attend a graduate program in social work. I believe that this job teaches you something for any type of profession, but my experiences have given me the fundamental skills to work with people and help them find their inner leader.”

“This job has really changed me for the better. I never thought I would be traveling and working for Kappa, but I went for it and it has been much more than I ever thought possible.”

The deadline to apply for a Leadership Consultant position is November 1. This position is a one-year contract and is compensated with a salary and benefits package. A full position description and application details can be found on the Our Team page.

Relishing New Experiences

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Hannah Carlton, Missouri, is spending a year on the road traveling the U.S. in a giant hot dog. And not just any hot dog, but an official Oscar Mayer Wienermobile called Wishy, based on the license plate IWISHIWR.

Hannah Hotdogger

Each April, 12 recent college graduates are chosen to drive one of six Oscar Mayer Wienermobiles  for one year. The drivers are dubbed “Hotdoggers,” and they travel in pairs to a different city each week. Since the Wienermobile program’s inception, only 450 people have been official Hotdoggers. “If you crunch the numbers, it was easier to get into Harvard’s class of 2017 than to be a 2013 Oscar Mayer Hotdogger,” Hannah says. “We didn’t have to take any tests, [but] we did have to sing the jingle.”

“I think I was drawn to this position because of the absurdity of it all,” she says. “When else would I be able to say that I drove a giant hot dog around the country?”

The life of a Hotdogger is spent on the road, usually traveling between 30—40 states. After three months, Hannah is already on state number 24.  “I am the first to admit that I seem to have picked up a bit of a travel bug. I have become addicted to seeing new places, trying new things and meeting new people ... I am introduced to a new city every week, and though I have the normal five-day work week, I am a tourist every day. I try to take advantage of it by seeing and doing as much as possible. Knowing that there is always something to be discovered is what gives me the energy to continue exploring.”

Hannah has enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Times Square in New York City from atop her Wienermobile, taken the cast of the TV show Psych to a red carpet event, surprised shoppers at Wal-Mart and has met some amazing people along her travels, including her Wienermobile co-pilot Mike.

Hannah/Mike Hotdogger

“My 22nd birthday was only a few weeks into the job, and my partner Mike and I found ourselves in Louisville, KY, for my special day. I didn’t expect anything on my birthday.  I didn’t know anyone in Louisville, and Mike and I had only met a month before. I was in for a total surprise. Mike told me happy birthday on every single platform for communication and  told the hotel we were staying at about my birthday. They snuck in deserts and a handwritten and homemade card while I was gone. It went to show that even though we were far away from home, it is the people you meet on the road that make you feel as though you are never really gone or alone.”

A highlight for Hannah was the chance to visit her old stomping grounds at the University of Missouri while traveling with the Wienermobile. She gave some of her sisters a ride around campus and stopped at the Theta Chapter house to give her house mom, Linda, a spin as well. “My friend Amanda, who is also a Kappa, enjoyed this even more than me. She couldn’t stop laughing while riding ‘shot bun,’ as she called it. It was a complete affirmation that even though I’m no longer a student, I am most definitely still a Kappa Kappa Gamma.”

IWISHIWR Mike/Hannah

Hannah will be traveling around the Northwest region of the United States, including Kennewick, Seattle and San Fransisco over the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for Hannah’s Wienermobile by tracking it here and follow her adventures on the official Oscar Mayer Hotdogger blog.

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