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Sigma Kappa

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Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups
Sigma Kappa
Type: Sorority
Nickname: SK
Address: 480 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
Established: 1988
Motto: One Heart, One Way
National Site:



In 1871, the first college in New England admitted a woman on equal terms with her male peers. Colby College in Waterville, Maine made history with the acceptance of Mary Caffrey Low. Two years later Mary was joined by four more women: Elizabeth Gorham Hoag, Ida Fuller Pierce, Frances Mann Hall, and Louise Helen Coburn. These five young women bonded over their unique experience. A mere year later they decided to form a literary and social society founded on the principles of life-long friendship, intellectual and spiritual fulfillment and service for the greater good.

On November 9, 1874 Sigma Kappa was formed. The first constitution limited membership to 25 women. The original group was known as Alpha chapter, and as the sorority grew, Beta chapter and Gamma chapter were also established at Colby College. However, growth was not curbed outside the walls of Colby College. In 1904, Boston University installed the Delta Chapter, making the way for Sigma Kappa to have a national presence. Sigma Kappa became a national sorority on April 19, 1904 and subsequently joined the National Panhellenic Conference. Today, Sigma Kappa has 107 chapters in 36 states and 120 alumnae chapters in 40 states, all comprised of 148,592 members and growing.

Theta Lambda Chapter History

In 1988, the Sigma Kappa - Theta Lambda chapter was founded, becoming the third nationally-recognized sorority at MIT. As the chapter grew in the nineties, so did its presence on and off campus. Now as 2012 approaches, Sigma Kappa is thriving. We are 120 sisters strong, representing multiple countries, ethnicities, and interests. We are confident, passionate, and grateful women: confident in our abilities, passionate in our pursuits, and grateful to our founders for for making us sisters. We are bringing sisterhood to life.


24 of the sisters live in a historic brownstone in Kenmore Square. The house features many common spaces, including a chapter room, dining room, foyer, lounge, and kitchen, where both in-house sisters and on-campus sisters can be found watching past TV shows on Tivo, working on problem sets, and planning the latest chapter events. Sisters frequently browse through the fourth floor closet, where past generations of Sigma Kappas have left their course notes and textbooks. There have been a lot of improvements in the house over the past few years, including the installation of a new flat-screen TV in the chapter room. There is dinner at the house five nights a week, and food is always available in the pantry. The Sigma Kappa house provides our entire chapter with a way to experience Boston while still being a few minutes away from campus.


Sigma Kappa provides many opportunities for members to become involved in community service and philanthropic missions. It has a close relationship with the Public Service Center at MIT to do numerous projects within Boston. In the past, we have built toys with Phi Delts during the holiday season and painted the toys for and with underprivileged children. Every week, sisters tutor children at Fletcher Maynard Academy, an elementary school in Cambridge. Individually, sisters in the chapter are also actively involved in community service pursuits.

The national philanthropy, the Sigma Kappa Foundation, provides support in four main pursuits: Alzheimer's Disease, Gerontology, Inherit the Earth, and Maine Sea Coast Mission.

Alzheimer's Disease

In 1984, Sigma Kappa responded to an increasingly critical problem facing older Americans by adding Alzheimer's Disease research and education to its philanthropic activities. Research grants are made each year to universities and other institutions actively engaged in the fight against Alzheimer's Disease research. The Theta Lambda Chapter sells roses in the spring to raise funds for research. It also hosts a huge philanthropy event in Kresge Auditorium every fall called Late Night where students showcase their talents for the MIT community. SK's are excited to contribute even more to this cause by having a team for Alzheimer's Memory Walk in Boston. The chapter raised approximately $2400 last year, and hopes to be just as successful this year. For more information, see the Alzheimer's Association website (


In 1954, Sigma Kappa became the first national sorority to recognize the need for continued, comprehensive work on the study of aging and the needs of elderly populations. The Theta Lambda chapter contributes to this cause by helping the elderly community around the Boston/Cambridge area and making greeting cards and crafts for them during the holidays, and just because we love to see their smiles.

Inherit the Earth

Adopted in 1992, "Inherit the Earth" is Sigma Kappa's national service project benefiting the environment. Each year, chapters plan a service project that protects and preserves our local community. Last spring, the chapter had a community service mixer with an MIT fraternity where we cleaned up the banks of the Charles River. In the past, we have done similar projects to clean up the Back Bay Fens.

The Maine Sea Coast Mission

Since 1918, Sigma Kappa has paid homage to its Maine roots by supporting the activities of the Maine Sea Coast Mission. Each November, chapters donate needed funds and goods to families residing on isolated islands off the rocky coast of Maine. The Mission provides comfort, companionship and needed supplies to isolated mainland communities, as well as to lighthouses and islands along the coastline. For more information, see the Maine Sea Coast Mission website (

Theta Lambda's Ultra Violet Campaign

The Ultra Violet Campaign is Sigma Kappa's premiere way to raise money for the Sigma Kappa Foundation. Our Foundation is the second largest private funder of Alzheimer's research. Funds raised through Ultra Violet events are donated to each of our philanthropies (described below), and a small portion goes to national Sigma Kappa programs like the Sister to Sister Disaster Recovery Fund, Alumnae Heart Fund, educational grants, and individual scholarships.

Late Night

Late Night usually happens in October, and it is Sigma Kappa's biggest philanthropy event. Open to the MIT community and beyond, Late Night is a talent competition of sorts. Groups on campus audition their acts, and their performances can consist of singing, dancing, comedy acts, live music, acrobatics … pretty much anything you can think of! Performers include MIT fraternity and sorority pledge classes, MIT dance groups, students going solo, student groups, and much more. Sigma Kappa sisters have an act for each class year (from current seniors to current freshman). Sigma Kappa seniors host the show … something all of us sisters look forward to planning anddoing! We recruit judges from around the MIT community (from Greek life presidents to faculty), and the most impressive acts in each category get awards (and sometimes prizes).

Rose Sales

Rose Sales go on for a whole week around the beginning of May, usually the week before Senior Ball. MIT students can send roses to their date, friends, or significant other. (The prices are much lower than you'd find at any florist, and the roses are delivered for you!)

All proceeds from Late Night and Rose Sales support one or more of Sigma Kappa's philanthropies.

Community Service

Service projects that the Theta Lambda chapter has done in the past include tutoring at a local K-12 school, Red Sox Green Team, Charles River and Fens clean up mixers, Boston Marathon water station, MIT Colleges Against Cancer (CAC)/Relay for Life, Walk for Hunger, and more! Many sisters are also involved in projects such as Women's initiative, encouraging girls in rural areas to pursue engineering; and Camp Kesem, running summer camp for children whose parents have cancer.


From assisting with book swaps and tutor match-ups, to organizing faculty mixers and much-needed study breaks, Sigma Kappa's scholarship program concentrates on supporting sisters as they battle through the day-to-day stresses of MIT. Sigma Kappa has made the FSILG honor roll over the past few years and consistently receives top honors from the National organization, and it is continually improving its scholarship program. Sigma Kappa's academic strength extends beyond the reaches of MIT. Sisters frequently receive interview tips, graduate school advice, internship recommendations, and even job offerings from our alumnae. Sigma Kappa is a national organization; being part of it means that we have an instant way to network and meet great people anywhere in the country.


Sigma Kappa also has a thriving social life to balance out its commitment to academics and philanthropies. There are numerous events throughout the year, ranging from mixers with fraternities to the annual spring formal, Violet Ball. Here's a list of some of our events:

Mixers with Fraternities

This past year, the chapter had several mixers per term with fraternities at MIT. Each mixer is a chance for the sisters to get to know the guys in different houses by doing a variety of different activities. Some of the past mixer themes have been Poker Night, lasertag, make your own sushi, and Movie Night.

Crush Party/Fall Semi-Formal

In October at the fall semi-formal event, sisters either bring a date, or submit several names of people she has a crush on. In past years, each of these crushes will receive a Crush can invitation with the message, "Sigma Kappa has a crush on you!", and they all spend the entire night trying to figure out which sister has a crush on them.

Sigma Kosmopolitan

Sigma Kosmopolitan takes place one night in December, where sisters can bring a date to the house for a fancy dinner. The sisters all just get together for some music and delicious food, and who doesn't love that?

Holiday Party

The annual Holiday Party in December is a sisterhood event where the sisters all hang out one last time before the end of the semester. In the past, there's been a Vermonster eating contest between all the classes, a Secret Santa gift exchange, a sister crossword puzzle, and the handing out of ridiculous awards to sisters. It's a fun way to relax and have fun with everyone before the stress of finals kicks in.

Blind Date Ice SKate

In February, Blind Date Ice SKate takes place at the Frog Pond in the beautiful Boston Common. Every sister is matched up with a blind ice skating date, and neither person knows who their date is until they get to Frog Pond the day of the event. There's nothing like tackling awkwardness and ice skating with your sisters by your side.

Violet Ball

The year ends with Violet Ball, a memorable night for all the sisters and their dates. The formal features a delicious multi-course dinner, and a DJ with a ton of dancing. It's also the last time to be with all of the seniors before they graduate and to thank them for all the work they have put into the chapter. In past years, Violet Ball has taken place at the Boston Aquarium, a Boston boat cruise, Fenway Park, and, in true Sigma Kappa style, is always a very classy affair!


Recruitment is an opportunity to meet upperclassmen girls from diverse backgrounds who have all found their own place in Greek life. In this five day event, you will visit all six sororities at MIT, including Sigma Kappa. You will see all the sororities on the first two days, a maximum of three on Sisterhood Day, and a maximum of two on Preference Day. Recruitment ends on Bid Night when you will be extended a bid from one of the sororities.

Many women are somewhat skeptical of Greek Life when they first come to MIT. You may ask yourself why, after 18 years, do you suddenly need sisterhood? Others will be curious and ready to explore what Greek life can do for them. No matter how you feel about sorority life, we encourage you to take that first step and explore. Life at MIT can be stressful between all your classes and your extracurricular activities. For most, it is the first time living away from home and finding yourself in a place where you don't know anyone. Greek life provides you with an opportunity to find your college family, your home away from home.

Sigma Kappa is a group of 120 women at MIT working to enhance themselves intellectually and socially, while making a positive change on their surroundings. We come from different states, countries, nationalities and religions. We participate in different activities, choose different majors, and prepare for different careers. Each one of us is unique, but one thing we all have in common is that we are all enthusiastic about our passions, both within SK and elsewhere. Not only will you find us involved in numerous student groups throughout campus, you'll also find us meeting with advisers to start new ones. You'll find us playing in a majority of varsity sports, singing in the Muses and Resonance a cappella concerts, and coordinating as well as performing in both the DanceTroupe and Ridonkulous shows. In these events, you'll also find a ton of us in the audience with the largest signs and the loudest cheers.

At Sigma Kappa, we pride ourselves on our sisterhood. SK isn't just two letters you wear on your chest, it's about being a part of a group of girls who will always be there for you. To us, sisterhood means never having to ask for a hug, IMing someone when they are 10 feet away just to say hi, or laughing so hard that you can barely breathe. It means painting your entire face in school colors and cheering on one of your sisters at her championship volleyball game, or spelling out a sister's name on your stomach because she's giving a speech at Ring Premiere. In the end, Sigma Kappa is a place where you can be confident about yourself because your sisters are always by your side.