Guest Blogger Emily, Butler
As one of the founding members of the National Panhellenic Conference, Kappa has a rich history in promoting the Panhellenic spirit. A piece of needlework hanging in the Heritage Museum at Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Headquarters was given to Kappa by Phi Mu, and Kappa actually called the first meeting of Panhellenic women in 1891—although the National Panhellenic Conference wasn’t officially founded until 1902. Kappa shares some history with Kappa Alpha Theta, as both organizations were founded in 1870 and jointly published a shared timeline of their histories in 1995 celebrating 125 years since both organizations were founded. Kappa and Theta were the first organizations to join with other Panhellenic groups in a co-housing venture in 1965 at the University of Pittsburgh, and when the pipes at the Kappa Alpha Theta house at the University of Montana burst in 2009, Kappa opened its doors and the two organizations shared Kappa’s house for five weeks.
Kappa’s Panhellenic spirit doesn’t end with the history books—in fact, some of the women who work at Fraternity Headquarters are members of other NPC organizations. Kari, our Executive Director, is a member of Alpha Phi. “It gives me an appreciation of how all of the Greek groups are working toward the same goal and for the greater good of the community,” Kari says. Our Director of Finance, Heather, is an Alpha Gamma Delta and Marcia, Kappa’s Administrative Assistant, is a Chi Omega.
Alison, Kappa’s Meeting Coordinator, is a Phi Mu. She says her background with another Greek organization made it easy to understand Kappa’s role as an organization. “From the time I started at Kappa, everyone has been very welcoming and it didn’t matter that I wasn’t a Kappa or that I’m a member of a different Greek group. Kappa truly embraces the idea of the Panhellenic community.”
Women who join Panhellenic sororities most likely join for similar reasons: they’re seeking lifelong friendship, networking, and leadership and community service opportunities. So, it’s not surprising that those similarities don’t end at membership in one NPC organization—sisterhood in one opens the door for Panhellenic sisterhood with more than 4 million women.