Great lives create great things. The growth of Kappa Phi was not an instantaneous something; it had behind it the heritage of a Christian woman, a heritage based on unselfishness, humility and love.
Kappa Phi began as a women’s Sunday School class in a Methodist Church in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1915. Mrs. Gordon B. (Harriet) Thompson, the wife of the Wesley Foundation pastor, was the teacher of this group of freshmen women who would become the core of Kappa Phi. The following year, in 1916, the group grew, and welcomed any Methodist woman attending the University of Kansas, and The Kappa Phi Club was born.
Harriet Thompson, reminiscing about the founding of the new organization, once wrote that, after a year of ‘praises and prayers, laughs and disappointments, tears, thrills, depression, and sometimes just plain plodding without a glimmer of inspiration…came the Ritual, the Constitution, some established precedents, a Hymn, and an organization.”
One of the goals of the group has always been to prepare women to be leaders in the church, and Kappa Phi women have served as missionaries in places like China, Japan, India, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Many other sisters have served and continue to serve as ministers, deaconesses, Christian educators, and in other forms of service at home and abroad.