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Founders Day 2014

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By Kylie Towers Smith, Simpson, Museums Curator/Archivist

Kylie Towers Headshot

One hundred forty-four years ago, six young college women announced the creation of an organization that would go beyond the expectations of their peers, and dare I say, beyond their own expectations. They likely upset the routine of the chapel service that morning, but little did they know they would upset the routine of college life and coeducation for decades to come. No longer was it acceptable for women to be shut out of the halls of higher learning. While they were pursuing an education and working to support one another, they created a network of members that supports each other emotionally, academically, financially and socially—a network of more than 260,000 women and counting!

I often wonder if Minnie, Anna, Sue, Lou, Lou and Jennie ever thought about the founding of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Were they constantly in awe of what they had created or were they so close to the event that it was much more important to focus on moving the organization forward rather than glorifying its past. History rarely feels like history over the course of a year or two, but I’m grateful that after just six years, the delegates to the 1876 Convention voted to designate October 13, 1870 as the official founding date of Kappa Kappa Gamma. No other charter date could be determined, so the day the women marched into chapel wearing their shiny golden keys (and recorded by the school newspaper) seemed as good a day as any.

I also wonder what the Founders would think about how we celebrate Founders Day today. What if the Founders were online? Between the lunches, brunches and dinners coast to coast, we find hundreds of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts. I think the Founders would be tickled to know how many Kappas embrace the founding of the Fraternity. Wouldn’t it be great if we could count the number of members who will dress up and portray the Founders for some program or another?

First Grand President, Tade Hartsuff Kuhns, Butler, once said “The character of the Fraternity is determined by the quality of its individual members, but its success as an organization depends upon their united efforts for the attainment of its aim and object.” I think our Founders would be proud of where we have been as an organization and where we are headed. Kappa’s aim and object are high and it’s only together that we’ll continue to succeed. Happy Founders Day!



Posted by Blog Admin at 10/13/2014 09:26:44 AM | 

Wonderful words, Kylie!
As a member of the Alpha chapter of Kappa and a 1971 graduate of Monmouth College, Founders Day has always been such a special occasion!
Attending Vespers in "the" Chapel, walking by the area where the Kappa Bridge was located, driving by the Stewart House numerous times....those and other events make Founders Day so special to me!
Our Founders would be in awe with how Kappa has grown and what we have accomplished as an organization in 144 years!
Thank you for such special words on Founders Day!
Posted by: Bunnie Laine Lubs ( Email ) at 10/13/2014 5:36 PM

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