Greek community welcomes new sorority

Anne Wein

Over 100 years after being founded by four friends, Kappa Delta sorority has built its membership to over 180,000. Kappa Delta still continues to grow and has opened four new chapters in this academic year; the most recent being an addition to the Greek community of Villanova University. The Eta Theta chapter of Kappa Delta is made up of about 100 women, and it is the ninth sorority at the University.

Casey Sanders is one of two chapter development counselors who have been working to bring the organization to the University. Chapter development counselors are in charge of officer training, development and education. They usually travel, opening and assisting new chapters, helping with recruitment planning and assisting in the recruitment process. “Anything to do with Kappa Delta, we do,” Sarah McCaffrey, the second chapter development counselor who came to help at the University, said

The University was interested in acquiring a new sorority because many of the other ones on campus were becoming very populated. “I’m glad to see that there is another opportunity for girls on campus, and an addition to Greek life in general,” sophomore Kristin Andreotes, a member of Alphi Chi Omega, said.

Kappa Delta does not go to schools on its own, but rather waits to hear from a university that is interested in developing a new sorority. “We don’t really choose the school, they kind of choose us,” Sanders said. “There is a flyer sent out saying which schools are currently wanting to open new chapters, and from that flyer, Margaret [Duncan], the national vice president of membership, will send our extension materials to the one that we are interested in.” Duncan is in charge of overseeing the recruitment efforts of all of the chapters throughout the country.

After the extension materials from the interested sororities were received, the University chose three sororities to come and give presentations. “We were one of the three that were chosen to come to present, and from those three we were chosen to be the ninth sorority,” Sanders said. After being chosen, Kappa Delta came to campus, starting the process of establishing its newest chapter.

“Our first impression of Villanova was warm and welcoming,” Duncan said. “No matter who we worked with or where we were on campus, folks greeted us warmly and were more than willing to help us make our weekend run smoothly.”

After being chosen to enter the Greek community, Sanders and McCaffrey came to campus and started marketing the sorority. “Basically what happens is we come to campus and we do an initial public relations push where we go and speak to Greek organizations and student organizations, letting people know about Kappa Delta, letting them know we’re here,” McCaffrey said.

Signs and posters stating “Kappa Delta: Where the possibilities are endless,” were put up all around campus, and a table was set up in Connelly Center for about two weeks where interested women could sign up to go through the recruitment process.

“At the end of those two weeks, we have what we call our colonization weekend, where we hold open houses, information sessions, preference events and a bid day,” McCaffrey said. “It’s a chance for the women who are interested to learn more about Kappa Delta and for them to get a chance to meet Kappa Deltas in the area.”

The colonization weekend ran from Jan. 23 through Jan. 25 when the final bids were given out. Kappa Deltas from the College of New Jersey and Penn State came to help with the colonization weekend. Potential new members also got a chance to meet national officers from Kappa Delta.

“The colonization weekend was a huge success,” Duncan said. “Not only did Sarah and Casey do a fabulous job, but Panhellenic was so supportive.”

Kappa Delta was founded in 1897 by four women in Farmville, Va., at what is now known as Longwood University. Kappa Delta chapters everywhere support four philanthropies: Girl Scouts of America, Prevent Child Abuse of America (PCAA), Children’s Hospital of Richmond, Va., and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

The women of Kappa Delta work closely with local Girl Scout troops as well as the national Girl Scouts of America. Many colonies choose to have their own troop from the surrounding town and assist them in earning their badges and doing fundraisers. Kappa Delta is the only national panhellinic group to work with the Girl Scouts of America.

Kappa Delta’s Shamrock Event is designed to raise money for PCAA. “Shamrock is an event to benefit Prevent Child Abuse America, and every chapter of Kappa Delta gets to decide what they would like to hold,” McCaffrey said. “Kappa Deltas here will definitely get involved with Shamrock in some way this spring.”

McCaffrey will be staying for about a year to help the new Eta Theta chapter develop and establish itself.

“I would say that Kappa Deltas are very excited to be here at Villanova because of the students’ dedication to philanthropies and to making the world a better place,” said McCaffrey.

“Villanova is a great fit for Kappa Delta for a number or reasons,” Duncan said. “It is a campus that encourages its student to be connected to their campus and their community. Kappa Delta is an organization that empowers its members to reach out to each other and its community. There is a genuine commitment to community service on your campus, and that is one of the fundamental values of our organization.”

In addition to being the only sorority to collaborate with girl scouts, Kappa Delta is also the only sorority that has its own national holiday. National Women’s Friendship Day is celebrated every third Sunday in September. “It’s a day for all women to gather around to celebrate friendship with each other” McCaffrey said.

Over the next few months Kappa Delta will establish its presence at the University, and by March the pledges of the Eta Theta chapter will be initiated as official Kappa Delta sisters.

“I love Villanova,” Sanders said. “Everyone has been so friendly, and the campus is incredibly gorgeous. I think it’s a great place for Kappa Delta to be. The kind of women here at Villanova are intelligent, sophisticated and well-rounded, and that is a perfect match for Kappa Delta. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be here.”