KAPPA KAPPA GAMMA ACHIEVES HISTORIC MILESTONE
Kappas around the globe celebrate 150 years of sisterhood
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Oct. 14, 2020) — On Oct. 13, 2020, Kappa Kappa Gamma marked its 150th Founders Day, concluding a yearlong celebration of its Sesquicentennial.
"One hundred fifty years ago, our Founders started Kappa to gain the equal right to engage in scholarship, leadership, philanthropy, social life, and, later, professional association,” Fraternity President Gail Owen said. “The Monmouth bridge was the birthplace of our journey, the starting point of a voyage of discovery. It’s a journey we’re still on today. Only 150 years of Kappa history has been written. The story of Kappa is still young. As we reflect on where we began, what we have done with all that was given to us, most important is how we, together, intend to build a bridge to Kappa’s next 150 years of empowering women."
Kappa was founded in 1870 at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, by six women: Anna Willits, Jennie Boyd, Lou Stevenson, Lou Bennett, Minnie Stewart, and Sue Walker. Together, they believed in women’s potential to positively impact the world — a belief that lives on today in the organization’s tagline: “Dream Boldly. Live Fully.” Since then, Kappa has grown to be an international organization comprised of 145 active chapters across North America and 240 alumnae associations around the world. Over the last 150 years, more than 300,000 individuals have joined in the bonds of sisterhood to live Kappa’s shared values of truth, connection, respect, optimism, trailblazing and knowledge.
“These six women were among the earliest women to enroll at Monmouth College and were intent on leaving a lasting legacy,” said Kylie Smith, Kappa’s Archivist and Museum Director. “Their legacy has grown far beyond. Our members have contributed to women’s rights, fought for women’s suffrage, led governments and businesses, discovered scientific breakthroughs and more.”
Kappa’s Sesquicentennial kicked off on Founders Day last year, Oct. 13, 2019. Over the last year, Kappa has celebrated with a mobile museum tour (with virtual tours occurring this Oct. 18 and Oct. 20), an original song competition, a commemorative jewelry line, and a special edition of its award-winning magazine, The Key.
To mark this year’s historic Founders Day, Kappas across the globe gathered together virtually for a special Founders Day event, which featured remarks from Owen and Clarence R. Wyatt, President of Monmouth College, and concluded with several Kappa traditions. Additionally, the Kappa Foundation hosted its second Founders Day Giving Challenge, with over 3,000 donors participating. These gifts will continue Kappa’s legacy of investing in members and fulfilling their evolving needs.
For more information about Kappa’s Sesquicentennial, visit www.kappaturns150.org and read The Key magazine’s 150th-anniversary issue.
About Kappa Kappa Gamma
For 150 years, Kappa Kappa Gamma has provided leadership opportunities, educational programs, and, most importantly, the unwavering support of loyal sisters to help members dream boldly and live fully. With 145 active chapters in the U.S. and Canada, more than 240 alumnae associations around the world, and more than 300,000 initiated members since its founding, Kappa empowers women to pursue their potential. The Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation delivers educational and leadership training, preserves the Fraternity’s heritage, provides scholarships, and offers financial assistance to members in need. For more information about the Fraternity or its Foundation, visit www.kappa.org.