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Sigma Kappa Sorority (Iota Chapter) Records

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Abstract: Sigma Kappa Sorority, Iota Chapter was established at the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado in 1908. Over the years, the Chapter was involved in philanthropic activities such as the Maine Sea Coast Mission and assisting Alzheimer's patients. In the 1930s the Chapter acquired a house at 2258 Josephine St. in Denver. In 1967, the Chapter became dormant but was reestablished in 1988. The chapter closed again in 1993 because of financial difficulties. Sigma Kappa Sorority, Iota Chapter records include handbooks, correspondence, meeting minutes, pledge manuals and reports, calendars of events, notebooks, business cards, catalogs, brochures, a guest book, photographs, plaques, trophies, books, and videos.

Creator: Sigma Kappa Sorority.--Iota Chapter (University of Denver)

Biographical/Organizational History: The Iota Chapter of Sigma Kappa Sorority was established at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado, on February 21, 1908. It was the first Sigma Kappa chapter to be chartered west of the Mississippi River, and only the ninth chapter chartered since the founding of the sorority at Colby College (Waterville, Maine) in 1874. Students at the University of Denver attempted to form a chapter in 1906, but lacked sufficient funds. In the winter of 1907-1908 the Grand President of Sigma Kappa, Sara B. Mathews, visited Denver and recommended that the charter be granted. Financial struggles of the organization and health problems of the members limited the growth of the Chapter in its early years. However, five years after the Chapter was founded, it gained enough strength to host the 39th Convention of the Sigma Kappa Sorority. The convention was successful, with Iota Chapter offering sorority sisters Western hospitality, fun and community. The Chapter was involved in a variety of philanthropic activities. Its primary beneficiary was the Maine Sea Coast Mission, and in later years the Chapter also helped Alzheimer's patients. The Chapter members were involved in many University activities, and strove to maintain high academic standards. In the 1930s, the Iota Chapter acquired a house for its members. The Sigma Kappa House at 2258 S. Josephine was constructed in 1932. It was purchased by the University in 1960 and renamed for Mrs. Rollie Bradford, a Sigma Kappa alumna and member of the University of Denver Board of Trustees. The Iota Chapter had 35 members in 1966, and encountered financial difficulties. The National Council of Sigma Kappa decided to close the Chapter in October 1967, although they left open the possibility of reinstating the Chapter in the future. It was not until 1988, however, that enough interest was generated to reorganize the Chapter. At that time the University invited Sigma Kappa to reopen their Iota Chapter. In 1993, the Chapter was again experiencing financial problems as they graduated their largest class ever. Members began sacrificing class commitments to keep the Chapter open, and it was decided to close the Chapter. On May 14, 1993, the members of Iota Chapter voted to release the National Charter it had received when it reopened five years before.

Arrangement and Organization: The records are arranged in four series:
1. Iota Chapter Officers' Files, 1987-1993.
Series 1contains handbooks and other materials related to the officers of the Iota Chapter, including President, Vice-Presidents for Pledge Education and Membership, Panhellenic Delegate, Philanthropy Chairman, Registrar, Social Chair and Treasurer.

2. Iota Chapter Files, 1987-1993.
Series 2 contains the business files of the Iota Chapter, including correspondence, minutes of meetings, pledge manuals and reports.

3. Rush Papers, 1940s-1992.
Series 3 contains materials related to rush activites, including party plans, policies, handouts, reports and photographs

4. Memorabilia, 1930-1991.
Series 4 includes the Chapter's memorabilia, such as award plaques and trophies, books, videos, and oversized photographs.

Separated Materials: None

Inclusive Dates: 1930-1991

Scope and Content: The majority of the collection pertains to the most recent incarnation of the Iota Chapter, from 1988 to 1993. The records contain handbooks for the chapter officers and the chapter's files, which include correspondence, meeting minutes, pledge manuals, calendars of events, notebooks, business cards, catalogs, brochures, directories, a guest book and reports. Materials related to rush activities include party plans, policies, handouts and reports. Chapter memorabilia consists of award plaques and trophies, books, videos, and oversized photographs. Some of the memorabilia dates to the earlier period of the Iota Chapter.

Collection Number: U223

Size: 5 - linear feet, 5 record boxes

For more information about this collection and related collections, contact:
Steve Fisher
Curator of Special Collections and Archives
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