In a ceremony during lunch on Friday in Josey Dining Room, Sweet Briar College inducted its first class into the Kappa Theta chapter of the Kappa Pi International Art Honor Society.
Six students accepted the invitation to join the chapter: Olympia LeHota ’20, Katherine Martin ’20, Amelia Mendelsohn ’20, Rachel Partington ’20, Alexa Wright ’20 and Jade Smith ’19. They were initiated along with five faculty members from the visual arts: Shawn O’Connor, Annie Labatt, Kimberly Morse-Jones, Medford Taylor and Laura Pharis. Faculty advisors for the Sweet Briar chapter are Pharis and Morse-Jones.
The driving force behind it all was LeHota, says Cyndi Fein, executive assistant in the dean’s office, who worked closely with the dance major to get all of the paperwork submitted so the chapter could be established. “It’s been eons since a new honorary was established here,” she added. “Olympia did a great job!”
Founded in 1911 at the University of Kentucky, Kappa Pi began as a small group of students who wanted to discuss and critique their personal artwork; it has evolved more than 100 years later into the oldest honorary art fraternity. The Zeta chapter at UT-Knoxville was the first to specify that membership was to be restricted to students of art with an occasional honorary membership granted to a working staff artist on student publications. Kappa Pi became international in 1963 when a chapter was established in the Philippines, and later another international chapter was chartered in Mexico. In 2015, Kappa Pi changed its name from “Art Fraternity” to “International Art Honor Society.”