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Give Back, Connection, Heritage

Porch Stories


Mary Jane Crist, Arizona, Former Foundation Trustee

For many years, a group of Kappa sisters met at the Colorado cabin of Robin Whitfield Brown, Texas Tech, and the Michigan cottage of Jane Tourner Curry, Indiana. Oh, the fun we had! We spent hours talking, reminiscing, and playing Bridge or Rummikub. We not only shared a golden key, but we also shared life’s moments with one another: struggles and triumphs, weddings and babies, illness and heartbreak. Jane’s cottage had a porch where we would gather and we began to call ourselves the “Porch Sitters.” We hailed from different chapters and several decades, but Kappa brought us together.
Front row (left to right): Jane Tourner Curry, Indiana, and Eloise Moore Netherton, Texas - Back row (left to right): Mary Jane Jackson Crist, Arizona; Robin Whitfield Brown, Texas Tech; and Martha Hodson Erwin, Texas

Together with Foundation Executive Director Maggie Coons, Hillsdale; Stewart House Museum Director Mary Osborne, Monmouth; and Archivist/Museum Director Kylie Smith, Simpson, we came up with a project near and dear to the Porch Sitters’ love for Kappa history: The Stewart House Museum’s front porch. Soon, we were in touch with the daughters of the Porch Sitters, who joined the effort to raise funds to improve the porch. More than $27,000 was raised from 11 gifts. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect since 2021 was also the year that Martha celebrated 75 years of membership in Kappa. Just one more reason to celebrate!

Time spent at Robin’s cabin and especially on the porch of Jane’s cottage with Kappa sisters meant so much to all of us. We can’t redo the porches of all the chapter houses, but we can make sure Kappa’s porch — the porch at The Stewart House — is just as welcoming as Jane’s was.

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2023 Foundation Focus Newsletter

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