About Us

About Us

About Uswho we are

Our Purpose

Our Purpose Statement and Values reinforce and complement each other in expressing Sigma Kappa's reasons for being, what it strives to achieve, and how we will conduct the organization and ourselves.

Sigma Kappa fosters lifelong connection in sisterhood while being true to our founding as an intellectual and social women’s sorority. Through mutual support and respect, we inspire all members to lead a life of purpose.

Sigma Kappa Collegiate Members

Our Values

The values of Sigma Kappa are personal growth, friendship, service and loyalty; bound by a promise.

Sisters in Graduation Gowns

Personal Growth

Bound by a Promise to be the best person you can be.

• Social: Demonstrating leadership through behaviors that are in alignment with the Sorority's values
• Intellectual: Committing to a lifetime of learning and enrichment
• Spiritual: Striving to live a purposeful life

Member Volunteering

Service

Bound by a Promise to model service and leadership in your communities, especially within Sigma Kappa. 

• Offering your time, ideas or resources to support the common good and assist those in need.

Sisters eating icecream

Friendship

Bound by a Promise to demonstrate sisterhood and friendship throughout life.

• Sisterhood
• Self-respect
• Mutual respect

Sisters at the Louvre

Loyalty

Bound by a Promise to remain loyal to Sigma Kappa and to living its values in all that you do.

Our History

Colby College, in Waterville, Maine, was the first college in New England to admit women on an equal basis with male students. Mary Caffrey Low was the first woman to be admitted to Colby in 1871. She remained the only female student until 1873, when four more young women from Maine, Elizabeth Gorham Hoag, Ida Fuller, Frances Mann and Louise Helen Coburn joined her.

During the school year of 1873-74, the five women decided to form a literary and social society. College administrators informed them that they needed to present a constitution and bylaws with a petition requesting permission to form Sigma Kappa Sorority. On Nov. 9, 1874, the five young women received a letter from the faculty approving their petition to create the Alpha Chapter of Sigma Kappa Sorority. Thus, this date has since been considered our Founders' Day.

In the original constitution, chapter membership was limited to 25 members, so the Beta and Gamma Chapters were also established on Colby’s campus to accommodate all the female students who wished to join. In 1893, deciding intramural expansion was no longer desirable, they voted to fill Alpha Chapter to the limit of 25 and to initiate no more into Beta and Gamma chapters. The Sigma Kappas realized if the organization was going to continue to grow, it had to expand beyond the walls of Colby College. In 1904, the Delta Chapter was established at Boston University with help from Alpha Chapter member Elydia Foss. This made Sigma Kappa a national sorority and made it eligible to join what was then called the Interfraternity Conference, now known as the National Panhellenic Conference. 

Sigma Kappa Sorority was founded in 1874 and has achieved a number of goals and set many benchmarks since then. Below is a listing of the greatest milestones and achievements of Sigma Kappa Sorority from its founding until today.

 

1874

On November 9, 1874, our five founding women received a letter from the college administration approving their petition to form Sigma Kappa Sorority. Thus, this date has since been considered our Founders' Day.

1875

First initiation ceremony. Death of Elizabeth Gorham Hoag.

1890

Because of a membership limitation of 25, Sigma Kappa established Beta* Chapter on the Colby campus.

1891

Lavender and maroon were first mentioned as sorority colors.

1892

At the annual reunion meeting, the violet was chosen by unanimous vote as the sorority flower at the earnest request of Nellie Bakeman Donovan, Alpha.
Gamma* chapter established at Colby.

1893

It was decided to fill the ranks of Alpha chapter, to initiate no more into Beta and Gamma chapters, and to extend Sigma Kappa beyond Colby walls.

1894

Triangle pin was adopted- "maroon enamel, unjeweled."

1896

Odes of 1896 were published.

1904

With the installation of Delta chapter, the first beyond the Colby campus, extension grew nationwide. Sigma Kappa was incorporated under the laws of the state of Maine.

1905

Sigma Kappa was admitted to the National Panhellenic Conference.

1907

The Sigma Kappa Triangle, Sigma Kappa's official magazine, was established and has been published regularly since its first issue in January 1907. A new song book, edited by Sara M. Collins, Delta, was published.

1911

Sigma Kappa coat-of-arms adopted.

1915

The pearl was adopted as our official jewel. Our official banner was accepted.

1918

The Maine Seacoast Missionary Society was adopted as our national philanthropy in honor of our founders, who were all from Maine.

1920

New member pin adopted.
A second edition of the song book, edited by Sara M. Collins, Delta, was published.

1924

History of Sigma Kappa, 1874-1924, edited by Emma E. Kinne, Epsilon, was published.
National headquarters was first established and located in Reading, Massachusetts.
Hattie May Baker, Delta, was appointed as executive secretary.

1926

Death of Mary Low Carver.

1927

The name, Sigma Kappa, was trademarked and copyrighted.

1930

A new song book was published. Ruth E. Litchen, Xi, was appointed executive secretary, and national headquarters was moved to Lawrence, Kansas.

1933

Death of Ida Fuller Pierce.

1935

Death of Frances Mann Hall.

1936

National headquarters was moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. Margaret H. Taggart, Alpha Iota, was appointed as Director of NHQ. In honor of our 60th anniversary, a poetry anthology edited by Lillian M. Perkins, Omicron, entitled Brave Maroon, was published.

1937

First traveling secretary (field consultant), Ruth Norton Donnelly, Lambda, was appointed.

1941

October issue of the Sigma Kappa Triangle was our fourth song book.

1949

Death of Louise Helen Coburn.

1950

History of Sigma Kappa, 1874-1949, written by Lillian M. Perkins, Omicron, was published.

1954

Gerontology was adopted as our third national philanthropy.

1956

With the purchase of a permanent national headquarters at 3433 Washington Blvd., Indianapolis, Indiana, Sigma Kappa became one of the first NPC groups to own its own home.

1959

Sigma Kappa and Pi Kappa Sigma sororities merged.

1962

The Sigma Kappa Foundation was established.

1970

Sigma Kappa Directory was published.

1974

CENTENNIAL YEAR-History of Sigma Kappa, 1874-1974, was published.

1978

The Order of the Triangle ceremony was accepted as part of our ritual.

1982

Graduate consultants were added to our field personnel.

1984

Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders was adopted as a focus for our gerontology philanthropy.
Brave Maroon II was published. The second poetry anthology was edited by Lillian Perkins, Omicron.
The dove was accepted as our official symbol.

1985

First Sigma Kappa in space, Dr. Rhea Seddon, Lambda. A mission specialist for NASA, she carried Sigma Kappa's badge on the space shuttle.

1987

AWARE-Guidelines for the Social chairwoman was published.

1988

Booklet of Significant Sigma Kappas was published.
Heart adopted as an official symbol.

1989

The Sigma Kappa Foundation became a separate legal entity with the purpose to support the educational and personal development of Sigma Kappa members and to support Sigma Kappa's philanthropic priorities.

1990

The national headquarters building located at 8733 Founders Road, Indianapolis, Indiana, was purchased by the Sigma Kappa Foundation.

1992

Adoption of Inherit the Earth as an additional focus for the gerontology program.

1993

National Housing Corporation established to assist collegiate chapters with housing and furnishing needs.

1996

Sigma Kappa becomes the first NPC sorority to undertake a consistent graphic identity campaign as a part of a marketing communication plan.

1997

Promise for New Members was published.

1998

Sigma Kappa Web site debuted.

1999

Promise for Initiated Members was published.
Sigma Kappa celebrated 125th Anniversary.

2000

Sigma Kappa became one of the first Greek letter organizations to begin a licensing program for its vendors, Shop Sigma Kappa.

2001

Virtual Violet, an online e-magazine for alumnae, debuted. 

For Sisters Only section added to the Web site.

2003

Sigma Kappa's paperless plan was debuted - All printed materials were made available on the private side of the website and monthly officer mail started being sent via email.

2004

The 25-year pin was adopted at the 2004 national convention.

2005

Redesigned Web site debuted.

2008

Sigma Kappa Foundation’s Ultra Violet Campaign debuts.

National Vice President for Extension added to national council.

2009

Visual identity updated.

2010

The recording secretary and corresponding secretary positions were combined into one position named vice president of communication. 

The philanthropy and Sigma Kappa Foundation chairwomen positions were combined into one position named vice president of philanthropic service.

Field consultant program was renamed leadership consultant program.

2012

College Officer Training School (COTS) was renamed regional leadership conference (RLC), formatted to bring programming closer to our members and allowing more members to participate.

The SKoop replaced Virtual Violet and Sigma Kappa Savvy as the official newsletter of Sigma Kappa Sorority.

2014

The Promise program for New Members underwent a complete update and transition to a new delivery model, including e-learning.

The programming responsibilities were removed from the executive vice president’s role and a new vice president of programming was created.

The Sigma Kappa Foundation pledged to donate $1 million to the Alzheimer’s Association and become a member of the Zenith society, the Association’s group of most engaged and dedicated donors.

National headquarters relocates to 695 Pro-Med Lane, Carmel, IN 46032-5323.

2015

Donna Crain King, Epsilon Rho, installed as chairwoman of the National Panhellenic Conference.

Online education launched in SKILLab: Sigma Kappa’s Interactive Learning Lab. This online platform includes education and training courses for new members, collegiate and alumnae chapter officers and national volunteers.

Hosted the inaugural National Volunteer Development Weekend to provide training for all national officers.

2016

Visual identity updated and a collaborative website with all three entities was created.

Launched Sigma Kappa Foundation’s first ever campaign; Shared Hearts. New Heights. A Campaign for Sigma Kappa.

2017

The Sorority Strategic Plan 2017-2020 was created to focus on making Sigma Kappa a leader among sororities, empowering our collegiate members and chapter, and providing alumnae with opportunities for continual growth.

The RESPΣΚT movement was upgraded with the goal of educating, energizing, and empowering our members. RESPΣΚT allows members of Sigma Kappa to engage in topics that interest them, while giving them the tools to lead and advocate for important issues in their chapters, on their campuses, and in their communities.

Day of Service was established as a way for our members to continue to find ways to positively impact our communities.

2018

The virtual Sigma Kappa Book Club was launched as a space for members to share their love of reading.

The debut of The LowDown, a quarterly e-newsletter for all members, shares information about the national organization, higher education and fraternity/sorority life issues.

Legacy Link, a way to connect legacies with Sigma Kappa from an early age, was introduced.

Launched a partnership with Talkspace, the global leader in online counseling. This put Sigma Kappa at the forefront of improving the mental health of its members by providing direct access to valuable mental health resources.

The Sigma Kappa membership eligibility policy was updated to include anyone who consistently lives and identifies as a woman

2019

Creation of the Ritual Inclusivity task force who was charged with reviewing the Sigma Kappa ritual to identify non-inclusive language and information.

2020

COVID-19 pandemic sends students home from campus and forces virtual learning

Ritual, chapter meetings recruitment and sisterhood building.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access committee created

Legacy policy removed and Legacy Link program sunset

2022

National council transitions to a governance board and new volunteer structure rolls out

An eighth district was created

Ritual Inclusivity changes revealed

Digital museum was launched and made nearly 150 years' worth of physical archives accessible to the membership online

Jewelry


 Sigma Kappa pins and badges represent your Sigma Kappa membership. They connect our sisterhood and carry deep meaning to our sisters. Check out our collection by clicking the link below!

Learn More
Badge Photo

Symbols & Insignia

The symbols and insignia of Sigma Kappa have great meaning which is revealed during the ceremony of Initiation. They demonstrate our heritage and values and are significant because of what Sigma Kappas believe. Members of Sigma Kappa are obligated to uphold our high standards and ideals, remembering that Sigma Kappas all over the country are bound by the same tenets.

Colors


Sigma Kappa’s colors, lavender and maroon, were officially adopted in June 1891. The significance of Sigma Kappa’s colors is revealed in the ceremony of Initiation.
Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms


The Sigma Kappa coat-of-arms was adopted in 1911 and reflects the familiar symbols of the sorority - the dove, the violet, the Greek letters, and maroon and lavender. The significance of the coat-of-arms is revealed following the ceremony of Initiation

Flower


Wild Purple Violets were loved by Sigma Kappas from the very beginning.  The delicate flowers grew wild along the banks of the Messalonskee River where the founders sat and dreamed of Sigma Kappa. In June 1892, the violet was adopted as our official flower.  In 2008, the 83rd national convention clarified that the official flower was the wild purple violet.
Symbols

Symbols


The dove was accepted as an official symbol of Sigma Kappa at the 1984 convention and its significance is revealed in the ceremony of Initiation. The heart was adopted at the 1988 convention because of the close connection to our open motto.

Our Digital Museum

For nearly 150 years, Sigma Kappa has preserved a wealth of historical materials, including our Founders' personal letters, member photographs, jewelry, and more. Now, through our partnership with HistoryIT Sigma Kappa is taking steps to ensure our history remains safe and accessible to all our members for years to come.

Visit Now
Historical Photo from the Digital Museum

NPC

As the premier advocacy and support organization for the advancement of the sorority experience, the National Panhellenic Conference provides Sigma Kappa a voice in the fraternal community. In addition, our members benefit from this expanded Greek community, allowing them to network with Greek women who are members of other sororities. The NPC also provides resources like The Sorority Life, a valuable asset for potential new members, parents and alumnae. Overall, our representation in NPC helps us establish a strong reputation and influence in the Greek community.

Sigma Kappa currently has a representative, Cheri De Jong, Epsilon Omega, serving as chair on the NPC Board of Directors, a board that helps provide direction and oversight of the entire National Panhellenic Conference.

Certain principles and standards of conduct have been agreed upon by the member groups and are considered to be Unanimous Agreements. Each sorority is responsible for enforcing and adhering to these agreements by the members of its groups. It is up to the sorority women to make Panhellenic stand for worthwhile ideals of college life and offer positive examples of fraternal membership as collegians and alumnae.

NPC Crest