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Kappa Kappa Gamma's Alpha Chapter to dedicate new house at Monmouth College

04/12/2017
The Kappa Kappa Gamma women’s fraternity, founded nationally at Monmouth College in 1870, will formally dedicate its new chapter house at 1 p.m. April 22.
History will be made for a second time April 22 at Monmouth College.

The Kappa Kappa Gamma women’s fraternity, founded nationally at Monmouth College in 1870, will formally dedicate its new chapter house at 1 p.m. April 22.

The purchase of the 915 E. Broadway home last summer was underwritten by gifts, largely from Kappa alumnae. It overlooks the site of a wooden bridge where tradition holds that founders first met to secretly plan the organization, which today boasts more than 260,000 members.

With 3,516 square feet – including eight rooms and four bedrooms on the finished first and second floors – the new home offers the women’s fraternity a much larger space for meetings. In fact, some recent Kappa meetings were held in the College’s Center for Science and Business because the Alpha Chapter had outgrown its former house.

“From the Sunday evening chapter meetings, sisterhood events and Greek Life exchanges, to the pledging and initiation ceremonies, and even the alumnae advisory board meetings, this house has become the perfect home for Alpha Chapter,” said chapter president Madeline Neal ’18 of Charleston, Ill. “It is warm, welcoming, unique and beautiful – much like our members.”

The house, which is 121 years old, has been extensively renovated. It sits on a 33,062-square-foot lot that includes a tennis court and detached two-car garage.

Kappa alumnae are also excited about the chapter’s new house.

“It’s important that the girls have a place to congregate and to carry on the self-growth and intellectual excellence that is such an important part of being a Kappa,” said Nancy Speer Engquist ’74, a member of the College’s board of trustees, who donated to the project. “It’s a huge improvement, and the girls have real ownership and real pride in making it a better place.”

The women’s fraternity movement began at Monmouth College in 1867 with the founding of what is now Pi Beta Phi. Along with Kappa Kappa Gamma, the two women’s fraternities are known as the Monmouth Duo. Monmouth’s other women’s fraternity, Alpha Xi Delta, was founded in 1893 at Lombard College in Galesburg, Ill.

At the April 22 dedication ceremony, Kappa alumnae Michelle Merritt ’89, Gail Simpson Owen ’74 and Karen Barrett Chism ’65 will all have turns at the podium, as well as students Kelci Foss ’18 of Mount Morris, Ill., Katherine Hinman ’18 of Elmhurst, Ill., and past chapter president Jessica Irons ’17 of Abingdon, Ill.