Foundation Annual Report
*53% of applicants who had qualified applications were awarded a scholarship.
knowledge and optimism
Goosebumps of Gratitude
My name is Megan Chunias and I want to express my sincere gratitude for the Wilma Winberg Johnson Adelphe Scholarship. As I applied for this scholarship, I was thankful but curious about its origin. What inspired this Kappa to pay it forward so that I can continue my education?
Let me introduce Wilma Winberg Johnson, Massachusetts. She joined Kappa in 1943 and served as a Graduate Counselor (Leadership Consultant). Over the years, Wilma consistently volunteered for the Fraternity and Foundation.
Because of all that Kappa has given her and her experience as a Graduate Counselor, Wilma was moved to establish a scholarship for former consultants. "As a recipient of this scholarship, my wish is for you to have an outstanding experience wherever you go in Kappa," Wilma said.
Wilma's words gave me goosebumps. Like me, the opportunities and support Wilma received from Kappa aided her growth as a young woman. I was born at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts, where Wilma volunteered as a coordinator for the Teddy Bear Project, which aims to reduce children's anxiety upon entering the Hospital by gifting them a coping kit that includes a handmade bear. I immediately resonated with this passion for mental health support, especially for Children, as it's closely related to my career goals. The Kappa connections are truly never-ending!
I served as a Leadership Consultant in 2021-22 and I'm now pursuing a master's of social work at The Ohio State University. I am deeply appreciative of both the Kappa Foundation and Wilma for supporting my dream of becoming a mental health professional.
After grad school, I plan to become a mental health professional with a focus on sport-based positive youth development. This path could lead to working as a mental health counselor in a school or nonprofit program management. Regardless of where my graduate studies take me, I am eager to make a positive impact on children's lives.
Thank you for helping me reach my goals with this scholarship. I am so appreciative of Wilma's generosity and the support from the Kappa Foundation. I often tell people that Kappa is the gift that keeps on giving. It's so true. This sisterhood has provided me with opportunities to grow as a leader, meet some of my best friends, and further my education. Kappa continues to add value to my life year after year. Thank you again.
We share this story in loving memory of Wilma, who died in September 2023. She was a Loyalty Award recipient and dedicated Kappa volunteer of over 40 years.
a letter from grayson's mom and dad
Our Little Warrior
Born on Jan. 19, 2022, Grayson Bradley was the perfect addition to our family. His sister, Riley, was excited to be a “big sissy.” The first few months of his life were everything we could have hoped for. He was meeting all milestones and was the happiest baby you would ever meet. He was easygoing and always had a big smile on his face.
At 9 months old, everything changed. We noticed Grayson was startled by sudden noises and had recurrent viruses. In December, we noticed unusual movement patterns that became more frequent and severe. January was spent in and out of the emergency room and seeing a local neurologist, who dismissed our concerns. After sharing videos of Grayson's episodes with his pediatric team, we were referred to Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami. Video EEG confirmed that Grayson was having as many as 20 seizures a day.
Grayson remained in the hospital through the month of February as the seizures increased in severity and frequency, peaking at over 80 per day. Between shifts as a police officer, Grayson's dad, Drew, drove back and forth on days off to see us. After failed attempts to control Grayson's seizures with medication, he was stable enough to be discharged to continue treatment at home, though no closer to answers.
The next step was a referral to the Nicklaus Children’s Brain Institute’s ION-Channel Clinic. Grayson was admitted in April for tests. We were finally given a name for his disease: SCN2A Developmental Epileptic Encephalopathy (loss of function and mixed function). There are only 360 reported cases in the world, and effective treatment is unknown. What we do know: His condition is lifelong and the prognosis is likely to mean severe to profound intellectual and physical disabilities and continued seizures.
We traveled to Boston to attend the FamilieSCN2A Conference. We met with the most sought-after specialist for this condition at Boston Children’s Hospital and continue to consult with our team in Miami as well. Grayson has intensive therapies each week, including speech, physical, occupational, and feeding therapy.
As Grayson's full-time caregiver, I have taken an extended leave of absence from work and Drew picks up extra shifts, which takes him away from our family. Grayson no longer says the words he once loved to show off. He has yet to learn to clap, point, or wave but he has started walking and growing in his gross motor skills. We have learned to celebrate the small wins and live in the present.
While we have planned for many what-ifs, our savings have been wiped out and the loss of a second income has been unexpected. The Kappa Foundation's Rose McGill financial assistance during this difficult time has eased our burden and we are grateful for the help with circumstances beyond our control so we can focus on Grayson's health and progress.
With gratitude, Kathie, Central Florida, and Drew Bradley
Career Academy 2023
Three-part exclusive virtual series curated for Kappa entrepreneurs. Topics included starting and running a business, when to take your side hustle full time, and how to conquer your fears.
Two hosts facilitated discussions and provided guidance to entrepreneurial-minded Kappas. One hundred and thirty attendees were inspired to continue their professional development through shared stories of other women’s career successes, obstacles, and tips and tricks for getting started or continuing a career journey.
- Five main leadership competencies: confidence, vision, relationships, grit, adaptability.
- Out of 122 collegiate participants and 62 alumna participants, 75% of attendees would recommend this program to other Kappas and 74% of participants felt Leadership Academy was a valuable experience.
Courage to Commit
- 112 Courage to Commit programs delivered to 10,500 collegians, highlighting four programs: Alcohol Skills Training Program, Behind Happy Faces, Are You Ensuring Everyone's Asked to Dance? Doing Your Part (DEI), Power From Within (Human Dignity).
- 15 general Kappa Education Trainer visits delivered to 950 attendees.
Mental Health Moment
- 1,287 collegiate members accessed Talkspace from July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023.*
- 25% discount for alumna members who access Talkspace.
- 191 Kappas took one of the 10 Mindwise mental health screenings.
*This number is new enrollees and does not incorporate anyone who is already enrolled and utilizing Talkspace.
Women Doctors: An Opportunity of War
Dr. Mary M. Crawford, Cornell, put her life on the line to serve as a pioneering surgeon in World War I. She made history as the first woman contract surgeon assigned to the American Ambulance Hospital near Paris. It wasn’t the first time she defied the odds in a male-dominated field.
After receiving her medical degree from Cornell in 1907, Mary longed to be a surgeon and join a horse-drawn ambulance service. These roles were reserved for men at the time. That didn’t stop her. She found a posting at the Brooklyn Williamsburg Hospital that accepted her application. Mary became Brooklyn’s first woman ambulance surgeon in 1908. Ambulance surgeons treated patients at the scene and she saw it all — broken bones, burns, and more. It wasn’t a job for the faint of heart. She was bitten by patients several times and was once nearly choked to death. Nevertheless, she persisted.
When WWI began in 1914, Mary was determined to do her part. Thanks to funding from Anna Gould, a New York City socialite and Duchess of Talleyrand, six surgeons were sent to aid efforts in France. Mary was the only woman surgeon.
Things were off to a rocky start when Mary arrived in Paris and was initially turned away by administrators at the American Ambulance Hospital. But it didn’t take long for the hospital to look past her gender and focus on her skill set, which included the ability to perform new anesthesia techniques. Despite her success, American doctors refused to promote her over her male colleagues, so Mary switched to the French service. Soon, she was in charge of multiple hospital wards and had dozens of patients under her care. While Mary was excited to learn and be part of the war effort, as the months wore on, she wrote in her diary how the trauma was beginning to affect her. Mary returned home after a year of embracing French medical methods and apparatuses and dedicating her time to patients, many of whom were French colonial soldiers.
Upon her return home, Mary continued her career in the advancing medical field. She became the first woman medical director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where she turned her focus to industrial medicine for the next 30 years. Women played a vital role in history but were often marginalized or overlooked in historical narratives. Kappa’s history is rich and filled with women, like Mary, who challenged the status quo and blazed a trail for generations to follow. We are committed to preserving our heritage and women’s history so future generations can learn about and from the women who’ve paved the way.
Dr. Mary Osborne, Monmouth, Stewart House Museum Director, uses the archives to educate others and further her own knowledge of trailblazing Kappas, like Mary M. Crawford. Dr. Osborne has spent recent years studying Dr. Crawford’s war-time diary. Along with preserving history, Kappa aims to make remarkable accounts of historical moments, like Dr. Crawford’s war-time diary, available to the public. Later this year, McFarland and Company Publishers will print This Ghastly War: The Diary and Letters of a Woman Doctor in the American Ambulance Hospital in France, 1914–1915 by Mary M. Crawford, M.D., and edited by Mary E. Osborne. The combination of Mary Crawford’s firsthand accounts paired with Dr. Osborne’s introductory essays paint a holistic picture of what it was like supporting the war efforts in the early 1900s.
Make An Impact
The Sapphire Circle recognizes annual giving by honoring donors who contribute $500–$999 during the fiscal year in unrestricted or broadly restricted funds.
22 Sapphire Circle - Partner donors gave between $750–$999.
268 Sapphire Circle donors gave between $500–$749.
The Iris Circle recognizes annual giving by honoring donors who give $1,000 or more during the fiscal year in unrestricted or broadly restricted funds.
33 Iris Circle patron donors gave between $2,500-$4,999
262 Iris Circle donors gave between $1,000-$2,499
40 Iris Circle benefactor donors gave $5,000+
The Omega Society honors Kappas and friends who have made commitments to the Foundation through their estate plans. These supporters recognize that the work of Kappa extends well beyond a lifetime and want their support to continue after they're gone. There are 308 living members of the Omega Society and known commitments of $5,874,995.25 from 100 of the members. Over the course of the 2023 fiscal year, 16 alumnae joined their sisters as members of the Omega Society, committing $829,950* in estate gifts to Kappa.
*as these gifts are not yet realized, they are not included in the contributions reported.
Our investment manager is Mercer Advisors. The Kappa Finance Committee and Investment Committee value Mercer’s investment management abilities; experience with responsible, environmental, social and governance investing; focus on gender diversity within the firm; the broad selection of investment choices; performance reporting and client service model; and fees. Kappa’s first objective is to protect the assets that so many donors have given. The second is to grow those assets over time. We use a variety of investment strategies to achieve those objectives and our committee, which is made up of Kappa volunteers who are experts in the space, monitors the portfolio quarterly.
As of June 30, 2022, the Kappa Foundation endowment was $54,288,003.91 with 129 endowed funds. Endowed gifts make a transformational impact in Kappa’s programs and the lives of women. These funds may be established with a minimum $100,000 investment over five years.