Kappa Kappa Iota: Nu State (California)
A Professional Organization for Educators

The History of Nu State California


The history of Nu State – California was first written by Co-authors Celesta Walters, ETA and Jean E. Snyder, Zeta. These two women traced and recorded the Nu State events from 1955 to 1985. It was lovingly dedicated to the present and future members and in their words, “time slips by and unless written records are maintained, facts slip by as well.” Celesta Walters carefully researched the early years drawing from her personal records and state sources. She was the “unofficial” historian for the state organization and when illness prevented her from completing the work, Jeanie Snyder chronicled the years from mid-1977 to 1985. From 1985 to 2015, 30 years of continuing Kappa records were kept in notebooks by each chapter and are now being scanned so that they might become permanent archives and copied to CD-ROMs that storage can be maintained, and referred to by future Kappas.

Kappa Kappa Iota is the oldest educational sorority for women educators in America. As the times changed so did the terminology. We are still the oldest educational association for educators in America, but open to both men and women, and an association rather than a sorority.

The purpose of the order is to promote good fellowship and cooperation among teachers, to strive for the elevation of the teaching profession, and to oppose all forces detrimental to the educational system of the United States of America.

The first chapter (conclave) formed in California was Alpha in Long Beach, CA. It was organized by Anne Huddleston on May 25, 1955. Irma Shook, National President from 1953 – 1955 assisted with the formation. The second chapter formed was Beta of Fresno, CA also in 1955. The third chapter was Gamma of Los Angeles, CA in 1959. Once California reached ten chapters, California was given official State status and recognized by National KKI as Nu State. Because California is such a large state, traveling was not feasible, therefore, Beta and Gamma dropped out leaving only Alpha. Sara Shaffer 1966, reactivated Alpha. Gamma was reorganized in Palm Springs in 1967 by Marjorie Taylor. Kappa chapter of Bakersfield organized in 1967 by Blanche Young and Juanita Thomason was the first president. Iota chapter of Bakersfield was also organized in 1967. That same year, in Ontario, CA. Eta chapter was organized. Additionally, Epsilon chapter was organized in Fontana, CA. Delta chapter of Upland, CA, Theta chapter of Porterville, and Zeta chapter of Claremont, Ontario, Upland, and Lambda chapter of Colton, Riverside, and San Bernardino were organized.

California officially became Nu State on April 8, 1967. Marjorie Taylor was the first president. The ten chapters equaled 109 members. The Area Conference concept was introduced by Celesta Walters; president of Nu State from 1968-1969. During that year, Mu chapter of El Segundo, Redondo Beach, and Torrance was organized. Also, Kappa Guys were invited to participate.

In June of 1970, the National Convention was held in Atlanta, Georgia, Sara Shaffer, Nu State President, initiated a new ruling that any member holding a national office automatically becomes a member of the State Board of Directors. In 1971 Kappa officially became a tax exempt organization and members could deduct their expenses. It was also voted to have the Code of Ethics read every year at the State Convention. In 1972, Nu state had 169 members.

On November 28, 1972, Xi chapter was founded in By Carolyn Brown in Riverside. Joan Malcolm was Xi’s first president. Planning began for Nu state to host the 1976 National Convention. By the end of 1975, Nu state had 13 chapters and 228 members.

In 1976, Nu State hosted the National Convention in Anaheim at the Disneyland Hotel. Since it was also the Centennial Celebration, the “ringing of the bells” was the theme both nationally and for Kappa Kappa Iota. The total membership for Kappa National was 10,936 members with 508 chapters.

In 1976-77, it was determined that treasury records would only be kept for 4 years, after which they would be discarded. In 1978, Lambda chapter held a “rush tea” for Xi chapter to help build their membership.

State rosters now replaced the yearbooks. Kappa jewelry can now be ordered directly from the national organization. 1979-80 marked acceptance of Robert’s Rules of Order and the Parliamentarian, known as the out-going president, was added to the list of officers.

1981-82 marked the Diamond Jubilee in Tulsa Oklahoma, with 10 delegates attending from Nu State. 1983-84’s Annual Area Conference had twelve Past State Presidents in attendance. Under Carolyn Rockwood’s presidency, Nu State became involved with Battered Adults and Abused Children.

In the last 15 years, there have been many changes. Highlights of the events include; Nu State hosted the National Convention in Palm Springs, CA (2002).