Jessica B. Garretson Finch Cosgrave entered Barnard in 1889 and, in 1891, a Boston acquaintance wrote to her asking about organizing a chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at the new college. Her class decided that a fraternity would be welcome if the class could all be members, and if, in turn, the whole next class could be initiated also.
Poet and suffragist Alice Duer Miller entered Barnard College in 1895 and joined Beta Epsilon in 1897.
At a faculty meeting on May 26, 1913, a resolution was made stating that for the three-year term starting October 1913, no society at Barnard of which the organization, the emblems and the rites were in any way secret, and which had national affiliations, should be allowed to elect new members. On April 25, 1916, the Beta Epsilon Chapter announced that, although it was convinced of the advantages of fraternities, “We do not wish to reorganize … under the system in force three years ago,” and on May 29, a committee recommended the adoption of a resolution against reorganization.
On June 14, 1893, Barnard College graduated its first class and every member of the class was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Eight graduates were the chapter’s charter members. The ninth, Jeannette Clenan, was its first pledge.
Jessica Garretson Finch Cosgrave, chapter member and head of Finch Junior College, received an Alumnae Achievement Award in 1948. The formal presentation of this award marked the first Kappa event ever televised.
The most distinguished of all Barnard members, Virginia C. Gildersleeve, Ph.D., received an Alumnae Achievement Award in 1946. She is also the best known of all Barnard alumnae: Dean of Barnard from 1911–47, one of the founders of the International Federation of University Women and its president from 1924–26 and 1936–39, the only woman delegate from the United States to the 1945 conference to draft the United Nations Charter, and the first American woman to receive an honorary LL.D. from Princeton. She was noted as a “sound scholar, able administrator, lifelong student of international affairs, and militant advocate of world peace.”
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