A Sigma Kappa pledge party at Illinois Wesleyan, circa 1951.
IWU Eta Chapter of Sigma Kappa Sorority to Celebrate Centennial
January 25, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Illinois Wesleyan Eta chapter of Sigma Kappa, the longest
continuously active Sigma Kappa chapter in the nation, will celebrate its 100-year
anniversary with a weekend of events Feb. 3-5.
The highlight of the weekend will be the presentation of a check for $40,000 to create
an endowed scholarship that will be awarded annually to an IWU senior. The presentation
to IWU President Richard F. Wilson will take place at 3 p.m. on Saturday Feb. 4, during
an open house and reception at the chapter house (1011 N. East St., Bloomington).
The reception, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 2-4 p.m.
Any IWU senior will be eligible to receive The Sigma Kappa Centennial Scholarship,
based on criteria that include academic merit and financial need. The scholarship
will be rotated each year among the University’s academic departments, and faculty
from each department will be invited to nominate deserving students. Funding for the
endowment was generated by individual gifts from SK alumnae across the U.S.
“We created an endowment fund so that the scholarship will continue for decades, just
as Sigma Kappa has , as a way of demonstrating our commitment to Illinois Wesleyan,”
said Nancy Brown Bicket, IWU ’67, of Bloomington and Naples FL, who has headed the
centennial planning effort. Her co-chairs were Bloomington resident Ginni Hestrom
Pedersen, IWU ’72, and Kathleen Larey Lewton, IWU ’70, of Stamford, Conn.
The Eta chapter of Sigma Kappa was chartered on Feb. 14, 1906, two years after the
Delta Chapter of SK approached a local sorority, Zeta Theta Delta, which had been
founded in 1903, about creating an SK chapter. Thirteen women were initiated as charter
members on Feb. 21, 1906, and the chapter has been continuously active since that
time. Currently, there are 75 active members and more than 800 alumnae living around
Sigma Kappa, which has 235 collegiate and alumnae chapters, was formed as a national
organization in 1874 at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, dedicated to the ideals
of sisterhood, intellectual and spiritual fulfillment and service and philanthropic
activities. The sorority currently supports four national philanthropic efforts,
including Inherit the Earth, the Maine Sea Coast Mission, the Alzheimer’s Association,
and gerontology research and services.
The centennial weekend will include several celebratory events, which are free and
open to the public:
Feb. 3 (Friday)
12 p.m. – All-Campus Symposium: “Working Women: Emerging Roles, Evolving Responsibilities and Changing Career Paths,”
Main Lounge, Memorial Center (104 E. University St., Bloomington); featuring IWU alumnae
in career fields including medicine, law, business, public relations, fine arts, education
Feb. 4 (Saturday)
2-4 p.m.– Open House and Reception and Sigma Kappa Centennial Scholarship presentation,
Eta of Sigma Kappa sorority house, (1011 N. East St., Bloomington);
Feb. 5 (Sunday)
11 p.m. – Centennial Chapel Service, IWU Evelyn Chapel, (1301 N. Park St., Bloomington).
SK members and alumnae will also gather for a celebration evening on Saturday at Bloomington
For additional information about the centennial, contact Taylar Kuzniar at (309)556-3181
or Kathy Lewton at (917) 734-5376.
Contact: Taylar Kuzniar, (309) 556-3181