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The Next Great Kappa Chapter

(Friendship, Leadership, Sisterhood) Permanent link

By Lucy First, DePauw; Chapter Council Adviser, Ohio Wesleyan; Contributing Writer/Editor, The Key

I remember many things from my senior year at DePauw University: my 30-page senior seminar, the multitude of job applications completed in the wee hours, and, of course, the bittersweetness of commencement. But one of my strongest memories came in November, when the incoming Vice President-Organization was sworn in, taking my place on Chapter Council.

Since joining Kappa I had taken an active leadership role, eventually being elected Membership Chairman and then VPO. Despite the extra responsibilities, I loved every minute of it. I truly felt I was leaving a positive, lasting contribution within our chapter. I worried what my relationship with Kappa would be without these leadership roles. How would I find meaning in Kappa after graduation?

After graduation, I moved back to my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, and quickly realized that I knew very few people. Luckily, I had kept in touch with some Kappas from my summer internship at Fraternity Headquarters. One of them, Libbi Rettew Vynalek, Virginia Tech, encouraged me to attend Founders Day with the Columbus Alumnae Association. I was nervous. It would be my first official Kappa event as an alumna, and I had no idea what to expect.

It was at that dinner that I would start my next chapter with Kappa. The Advisory Board Chairman and Chapter Council Adviser at Ohio Wesleyan, Ericka Greene, informed me that she would be stepping down to become a Province Director of Chapters. She asked me if I would be interested in transitioning into the role of Chapter Council Adviser. Without hesitation I said, “Yes!”

Now, I am working with my third Chapter Council at Ohio Wesleyan. Just like my college days, I spend late nights working on Kappa emails and my to-do list. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Working with the undergraduate members of the chapter has allowed me to continue to find meaning in Kappa while also giving back to the organization that has given me so much. Perhaps most unexpected is the multitude of friends– spanning across the country and several generations–that my Kappa volunteer work has brought into my life.

About a year after I graduated, my mom asked me what was the best decision I made while in college. My answer was easy: joining Kappa. Not only because of the four years of memories in the chapter, but also because of all the friendships and personal growth it has afforded me in the years after college.

Staying involved with the organization after graduation is easier than you may think. You can use the Kappa website to find a local alumnae association. You don’t have to attend every event, but try to attend at least one. You never know who you might meet or what opportunity may come your way. If you’re interested in serving as an adviser, your local alumnae association can help you find chapters in need of alumna support or you can reach out to the PDC near you. Whether you have a little or a lot of time to devote, there’s so many ways that you can keep Kappa a part of your post-graduate life.

Everyone writes their own Kappa story. But let me speak from personal experience when I say the best ones include Kappa after college. What will your next Kappa chapter be?

Loyally,

Lucy

Show Your Kappreciation

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By Catherine Roebuck, Social Media and Communications Specialist

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month and we certainly have a lot of volunteers to thank. From Fraternity Council to chapter advisers, Kappa’s volunteers are the backbone of our organization, devoting countless hours of their personal time to help make Kappa great. So every year when April arrives, it’s important to take the extra time and say thank you to these women. There are many ways to show your appreciation for their help and guidance; here are just a few of our favorites:

1. Write a Thank-you Note: The simplest way to show your appreciation is to write a thank-you note. List the specific things your volunteer has done to help you or your chapter or association. You’d be surprised how much this gesture means to her!


 
2. Make a Goody Bag: Whether it’s a bag of Cheetos and M&Ms (the most popular snack combination for meetings at Fraternity Headquarters) or a volunteer’s favorite snack, a goody bag with a cute saying goes a long way when volunteers are up late at their Kappa desk.
 

 
3. Treat Them: This one is perfect for a volunteer who is nearby. Treat her to a nice dinner or surprise her with a meal prepared by you. Bonus points if you make her favorite dish! You can find great recipes on our Delish! Pinterest board.
 

 
4. Send Flowers: A bouquet of irises will brighten up the home or office of a volunteer for days!
 

 
5. Send a Gift: Whether it’s a customized mug for the coffee lover, or a gift card to her favorite restaurant, she will certainly appreciate the effort.
 

 
So no matter how you do it, be sure to show your appreciation and thank a volunteer this month. Comment below with how you are showing a volunteer your appreciation.

Catherine

Golden Key Safe-Keeping

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By Jessica Gleim, Utah, Keepers of the Key Chairman
 
Kappa badges are highly collectable. When online bidding sites became more popular, someone needed to make sure our keys are kept in good hands.  The Keepers of the Key are a group of collegiate and alumna members who ensure that the little golden keys stay in the hands of our sisters and not in those pesky non-Kappa collectors. Many of the badges we’ve rescued were lost or stolen—some for upwards of 40 years—from members who thought they would never see them again.
 
In the 10 years the Keepers have been rescuing our beautiful golden keys, 76 have been returned to the original owner or their families. In total, 285 badges have been rescued, including several historically significant pieces which are displayed at Fraternity Headquarters and in The Heritage Museum of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Prices for badges range from $3.40 (the best bargain thus far) to $2,676. On average, an antique badge runs $250. The money to purchase the badges is pooled together by the Keepers of the Key from our own pockets. Often badges are passed along to other sisters who reimburse us the purchase price, but we rescue badges because we value the deeper meaning behind our key. Some of us have our own collection of badges from our chapter or of various styles and eras, but the end goal is to keep our history in the hands of our members.
 
Our first priority is to return badges to the members, if appropriate, followed by returning the badge to the member's family, and finally adopting the badge out to a Kappa who will wear and treasure it. Badges that aren’t kept for historical purposes or reunited with their original owner are put up for adoption on our website. Since 10% of each adoption is donated to the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation, rescued badges make a great replacement if you have lost your own.

If you’ve lost your badge, be sure to register your badge with the Keepers. Please include as much of the following information as you can: your chapter, any engravings, badge style (jewel type or plain gold), your initiation date, lettering style (enamel or plain), if it was lost or stolen, and when/where/how it was last seen. We will keep an eye out for your badge. If it is rescued, we will be able to return it to you.

One request we make is to please avoid bidding on Kappa badges, pins, and other historical items on auction sites, as this will result in Kappas bidding against fellow Kappas and driving the prices up. If you are interested in a badge currently online, we will work with you to bring it safely into Kappa hands. If you find a badge for sale online, please email me and the Keepers will get to work.

Reuniting a Kappa with her lost badge is a joy. The happiness members express when reunited with their badges truly exemplifies how much our badge means to each and every member who has the opportunity to pin it proudly.

Loyally,
Jessica

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