In December of 1954, a group of women living in Woody Hall founded a local women’s sorority, Sigma Kappa Gamma. On January 15, 1955, the group formally pledged Sigma Kappa. Twenty six women and two alumnae initiates, Cleo Ulm of the Physical Education Department, and Violet Crisp, were also pledged.
After a formal new member period, the Gamma Kappa chapter of Sigma Kappa was installed. A banquet was held at Giant City Lodge on Saturday April 23, 1954. Mrs. M. S. Dreyfus, National President, and Mrs. Robert Lingle, Province 10 President, were in attendance. Frances Warren Baker, Editor of the sorority’s magazine, the Triangle, was toastmistress. A Sunday open house at Woody Hall capped the weekend’s festivities. The following fall, the chapter moved into the top floor of Barrett’s Dorm on South University Avenue. The 1959 merger of Pi Kappa Sigma and Sigma Kappa made the Gamma Kappa chapter the largest women’s sorority on campus.
On May 26, 1959, Pi Kappa Sigma members were initiated into Sigma Kappa. Edna Dreyfus, Sigma Kappa Province President, attended the initiation. Following the ceremony at the Sigma Kappa house, a formal initiation banquet was held at Engel’s. Helen Colburg, first vice president of the SIU Sigma Kappa chapter, acted as mistress of ceremonies and Jeannine North sang two songs for the group. A tea on Thursday afternoon in Woody Hall’s formal lounge was given by Sigma Kappa in honor of their new initiates. A get acquainted slumber party and banquet was also held between the sororities before their merger. The merger of Pi Kappa Sigma and Sigma Kappa seemed to have taken place with relative ease.
Sigma Kappa Residences
1955 – Founded by Woody Hall Residents
1956 – 510 South University (Barrett’s Dormitory)
1957-1960 – 306 South Beveridge Street
1960-1963 – Fulkerson Hall (Greek Row)
1963-2011 – Crawford Hall (Greek Row)
2015-present -- 308 West Cherry Street
Service to Southern Award Recipients
1958 – Sonnie Unger
1960 – Marsha Van Cleve
Most Valuable Sorority Woman
1960 – Mary Lee Hake
1995 - Deb F
25 Most Distinguished Seniors
1995 - Carrie Shannon Rigdon
2010 - Amanda Weaver
2011 - Ashton Decker