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Chapter History

You have to know where you’ve been to know where you are going. Kappa holds a special place in its heart for Fraternity history, but every chapter of our organization has unique beginnings of its own. Each plays a part in shaping us today. Read more about our chapters’ histories at Kappapedia.

The Delta Beta chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was founded October 25, 1930. Although Duke University's institutional history began in 1823, it wasn't until James Buchanan Duke donated 40 million dollars to create the Duke University endowment. Although a Women's College existed separately from the men's Trinity College until 1972, by 1929 there were four national sororities and several local groups at Duke. That year the local, Sigma Beta, was added to the Pan-Hellenic Council and remained local for two years. With the help of sponsors Miss Eva Malone (Ellis) and Mrs. Clarence Pemberton and under the guidance of Rheva Ott Shryock, Pennsylvania, the girls decided to petition Kappa Kappa Gamma. The request for a charter accompanied by a film prepared by the members was granted at the 1930 Convention. Installation was held on October 25, 1930 and attended by Clara O. Pierce, Ohio State, Province Directors, alumnae and actives from 12 Eastern chapters. Despite a national depression in the 1930s, the 1937 edition of Duke's yearbook remembers the Kappas as, "…with a dash and a smash you have the Kappas - possessors of happiness and beauty, and the essential elements to make a good chapter."