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Krueger recalls the best $10 she ever spent

Barry McNamara
Earlier this month, Emily Krueger '20 was named Monmouth College's Greek Woman of the Year.
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MONMOUTH, Ill. – At the beginning of her freshman year at Monmouth College, Emily Krueger ’21 decided to make a small investment. The rest, as they say, is history for the student named the College’s Greek Woman of the Year earlier this month.

“My sister (Beverly Krueger ’14) is a Monmouth alum, but she wasn’t involved in Greek life,” said Krueger, a biopsychology major with a minor in chemistry and a participant in the College’s Honors Program. “I did SOFIA (Summer Opportunity for Intellectual Activity) at the start of my freshman year, and one of my mentors was in Greek life.”

Soon after, the College’s recruitment week started.

“I thought to myself, ‘It’s only $10 (to participate in recruitment), and it seems like something fun to do,’” said Krueger. “And then it completely changed my life.”

Krueger has evolved into a leader with Kappa Kappa Gamma, and she can trace another event from her first year at Monmouth as a contributing factor.

“Attending the (Fraternity and Sorority Life Awards) ceremony for the past couple years, I’ve noticed that the people who get the Greek Woman of the Year award literally did everything on campus,” she said. “I remember my freshman year when Mary Kate Luzzo (’18) won. I was just so awestruck by her, and I really looked up to her. So now, to look at myself in that kind of light just really shows me how much I’ve done in my time at Monmouth and how much I’ve grown.”

Krueger serves as president of the Order of Omega and Blue Key Honor Society, is KKG’s vice president of internal affairs, and is past president of the College’s Panhellenic Council.

“As a chapter, we’re really trying to support each other through social media,” she said of the unprecedented turn the spring semester has taken due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Also, in my role as our vice president of internal affairs, I’m having meetings with girls who have academic concerns.”

To that end, the sorority even held last weekend’s spring formal over Zoom.

Krueger said the friendships she’s made with her sorority sisters is one way her life has changed, and with those friendships has come much-appreciated support.

“The biggest part is just friendships – having someone to sit with in class or in the caf and having someone to study with,” she said. “My sorority is really my home away from home.”

Krueger lost her father to an accident last year, and her mother was diagnosed with early onset dementia.

“The people in my sorority are so completely supportive. I’ve been through some really rough times,” she said. “When my dad died, the girls donated money, they signed a card and many of them came to the visitation and the funeral. They’re just a great group who has supported me even in the toughest of times.”

And that support has continued during a time made even more challenging by Krueger’s new routine.

“It’s definitely been a struggle,” she said of being back home in Chicago. “My situation is a little unique, since it’s now just me and my mom. I’m her primary caregiver in addition to being a full-time student.”

Next year, Krueger will have a choice to make, weighing whether to attend graduate school or medical school. Her developing interest in neuroscience might be the ultimate deciding factor.