History of the Little Rock Alumnae Association
In October, 1927, eighteen Kappas from Little Rock and other parts of the state met at the old Peacock Tea Room to organize a state alumnae association of Kappa Kappa Gamma. All officers elected were from Little Rock: President, Mrs. Vernon Jackson; Vice President, Mrs. W.T. Sitlington; Treasurer, Miss Alice Sims; Recording Secretary, Mrs. Eugene Eberle; Corresponding Secretaries, Bess Hodges and Mrs. H.L. McMullen. Other Kappas present at the luncheon were Mrs. E.E. Moss, Mathilde Hicks, Sybil Watt all of Little Rock; Mrs. Jefferson Fletcher, Lonoke; Mrs. Bruce Shaw, Pine Bluff; Mary Jackson, Marianna; Nelda Hickman, Hot Springs; Jimmie Porter, Fayetteville; Geneva Davidson, Ozark; Mrs. Gus Reichardt, Helena; Jean Porter, Russellville; Mrs. Wallace Hurley, Camden.
Because of its statewide character at the time, the group was designated “Arkansas Alumnae Association”. In later years, when there were other groups organized at Fort Smith, Fayetteville and Hot Springs, the name was changed to “Little Rock Alumnae Association”.
At the time of the organization meeting, there was a great deal of publicity in the Little Rock papers, with pictures of Mrs. Jackson and each paper devoted almost a column to the history of Kappa Kappa Gamma and listed all members in the state at that time, including members in the active chapter at Fayetteville. At the time, plans were made to have a state-wide meeting once a year, preferably during the State Teachers’ Association convention, this in addition to regular meetings during the year. The next meeting was scheduled for February, 1928. A charter from the national organization was granted the group January 13, 1928.
The charter group was very active and raised quite a lot of money holding rummage sales, etc. and invested their funds in Building and Loan with the prospect of assisting in the Gamma Nu chapter's acquisition of its own house.
A state meeting was held in Little Rock in 1931 with fourteen members present at the home of Mrs. Vernon Jackson. Towns represented were Hot Springs, Stuttgart, Lonoke, Lake Village, Marianna, Fayetteville and Little Rock. At that time, plans were discussed for a new chapter house.
During the years 1931 to 1939, the Little Rock Panhellenic Association was very active and sponsored a rural library which was moved from one community to another. This later grew into a Bookmobile project which was taken over by Pulaski County. All groups were active in donating books and magazine subscriptions in support of the project.
A state convention of Kappa Kappa Gamma was held July 1, 1933 at the Albert Pike Hotel, Little Rock. Mrs. Jefferson Fletcher, Lonoke, and Daphne Dailey, Gamma Nu President presided. Plans were made for a houseparty to be held at Bella Vista. Many alumnae and actives were present from Northwest Arkansas.
In 1935, members voted to surrender the Association charter because of indifference among local Kappas, but national officers thought that this decision should be reconsidered. At the meeting of June 8, 1935, the group voted to continue the Association because: (1) the national fraternity needed official representation in Little Rock; (2) National had just purchased a new chapter house for Gamma Nu; (3) Nelda Hickman, as the new President of Panhellenic, would need the support of the Association.
For the next few years, the group was active and did much in assisting Gamma Nu in their summer rush, holding luncheons for actives attending the University of Arkansas games at Little Rock, and entertaining for brides and national officers visiting here. However, in 1941, the group practically died out because of the war, and the status of the group dropped from that of an Association to a Club. No minutes are recorded and through the efforts of a few loyal members, enough dues were collected each year to send to national to retain the charter. The main activity of the depleted group was giving rush parties in the summer months. Kappas always took the lead in forming a Panhellenic to function in the summer months for rush.
In September, 1947, a reorganization meeting was held at the Sam Peck Hotel, the Association status was regained, a fundraising project was planned and subsequently, debts were paid off and the association once again began growing. Rummage sales were held twice each spring and twice each fall in the rural settlements to coincide with cotton chopping time and there was more money available in the area. The name of the group was changed about this time to Little Rock Alumnae Association. The project for 1948-49 was to assist Gamma Nu financially in putting on Theta Province convention. In spring, 1950, the Little Rock Alumnae Association was honored by being asked to be the representative of Theta Province at National Convention in the Almira J. McNaboe competition for best small association in the fraternity.
Today, the Little Rock Alumnae Association continues to grow and expand to meet the needs not only of Kappas in the area but organizations through our volunteer efforts. If you are not a member, please consider joining today!