Nebraska’s second chapter of Alpha Phi, Delta Xi at Nebraska State College, Kearney, Nebraska, was added to the shining constellation of the Fraternity on May 11, 1963, during formal installation ceremonies. Five weeks earlier the local sorority, Kappa Alpha Phi, had eliminated the “Kappa” in its name and become a new chapter of Alpha Phi.
Kappa Alpha Phi was established in 1956 at Nebraska State Teachers College, which was then limited to teacher education. The institution’s motto through the years had been “Grow with a Growing College” and that was just what all the Greeks on campus had been doing. The institution dropped “Teachers” from its title and grew into a liberal arts and teachers college, and all the women’s fraternities were national. The first women’s national to come to campus was Alpha Xi Delta.
During the first semester of 1962-63, Kappa Alpha Phi was visited by Sara Ann Wheeler Hatton (Omicron-Missouri), Alpha Phi director of programs; Billie Keeton Turner (Beta Zeta-Idaho), director of extension; Madeline Girard (Nu-Nebraska), governor of District VI; Grace Baldwin Pedley (Nu-Nebraska), state alumnae chairman, and Bev Murray Kimball (Nu-Nebraska), local alumna. On April 1, 1963, Kappa Alpha Phi voted to petition Alpha Phi Fraternity. Present at the meeting were Mary Jo Schmale Cobb (Nu-Nebraska), president of the Lincoln alumnae, and Carol BonDurant (Gamma Chi-Portland State), field secretary.
April 8 marked the official welcoming of 50 women and Miss Dorothy Klein, college sponsor for the group, into the Delta Xi chapter of Alpha Phi. The ceremony took place in Martin Hall at the college with Carol BonDurant and local alumnae, Barbara Hershberger Bush (Nu-Nebraska), Beverly Murray Kimball and Joann Seidel Rogers (Nu-Nebraska) conducting the new member ceremony. With initiation only five weeks away, new member training rapidly commenced, with the new members receiving double doses of everything--including study hours. Carol BonDurant served as a very capable new member educator, not only teaching the women the fundamentals of Alpha Phi, but also the Fraternity songs. The new chapter became a happy, singing group.
The week preceding Inspiration Week, the formal new member ceremony was held at the home of Bev Murray Kimball for several prominent Kearney women.
A highlight of Inspiration Week was an evening service conducted by Carol BonDurant and Bev Kimball on Friday, May 10, at Martin Hall. Following this, an informal get-acquainted gathering and songfest were held with Ruth Knight Vos (Beta Gamma-Colorado), international president, Billie Keeton Turner and about 40 actives from Nebraska (Nu) chapter, who arrived on a charter bus from Lincoln. Everyone present was deeply impressed by the singing of Delta Xis.
The installation banquet was held that evening at Grandpa’s Steakhouse. Ruth Vos and Billie Turner were present and spoke. Other featured speakers were Mary Alice Snider; Mrs. Ruth Sisler, dean of women; Helen Wimberly, Panhellenic adviser, and Barbara Bush, Delta Xi chapter adviser. Also present were Madeline Giard and Carol BonDurant.