A Brief History
The Panhellenic Club of Annapolis was founded in 1933. Mrs. John Norton Johnson, Sigma Kappa, inspired and organized the local group, and bore the burden of the early days. Panhellenic met mostly at local restaurants for socializing with "no officers, no dues, no bridge, no business."
As Christmas approached, members thought they should "do something;' and the idea crystallized into a Christmas tea with guests bringing gifts for hospitalized children. Next year came collecting toys and outgrown children’s clothes. These were distributed to the needy in Anne Arundel County.
The clothing drive germinated into the idea of a thrift shop to found a scholarship for a local high school girl beading to college. Panhellenic rented a room in a two-room building at 161 Prince George Street, and set up shop with rough boards on saw horses for a counter. A year or so later, the building was purchased with a loan from a member and renovations were made. The shop was disbanded in 1943 during World War II, and rented to the Navy Relief Society for a nursery for two years. In 1945, the house sold for a profit of $1,310 and $1,000 was invested in a government defense bond. Series G. The interest helped with the scholarship fund.
Bylaws were established in 1944 and the Panhellenic Club of Annapolis became fully organized. Dues were twenty-five cents! This same year, Mrs. Joseph Kaylor noted a need for a bookmobile for Anne Arundel County, and in 1945, Panhellenic presented its first card party and fashion show to raise funds to help start the bookmobile and assist with the scholarship donation.
Through the years and to date, Panhellenic has had a yearly benefit. Started out as a bridge and fashion show, it is now a luncheon and fashion show. Tickets started out at $1 and are now $20. For three years the club tried other means to raise funds - a Flaming Festival (table displays with a tea), an auction and diminishing bridge parties, but the fashion show-luncheon has come out on top.
In 1949, Panhellenic started meeting in the homes of members.
In 1962, the club stopped the Christmas tea, as many other organizations in the area now helped needy children. Today, we have a holiday party for members and their guests.
Every spring, the club sponsors a Senior Tea for college-bound seniors of the Annapolis area. At that time, Panhellenic representatives explain some of the intricacies of college life with a discussion of sororities and women’s fraternities.
Our scholarship is now a “Merit Award" based on all-around leadership qualities as well as scholarship. At a regular spring meeting, the awards are giving out with parents and counselors invited as our guests.
Yearly activities include collecting items for a battered women’ s home, a field trip and summer picnic.
Panhellenic meets September through May at 11 a.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month, at members' homes. 1n 1991, a dinner meeting was started to reach our full time working members. In 1993, we had 133 members, averaging a meeting attendance of 55. In 2005 our dues are $20, membership is 103 and fundraiser tickets are $35.00.
~ Louise Sunderland Alpha Delta Pi
Update - 2018 - by Judy Duckett/President
To remain a viable alumnae organization of the National Panhellenic Conference, the Panhellenic Club of Annapolis will evolve and change over time to meet the needs of its members, affording the opportunity to continue to make great friends and life-long memories. 2018 saw the development of our website allowing our local club activites and information to be shared nationally. Dues were raised to $30 , the Senior Tea and summer picnic were eliminated and the Merit Awards are now presented at a Spring luncheon. Therefore, by staying connected, the future of our club will be exciting with an ever evolving history.
What is NPC?Made up of 26 member organizations, the National Panhellenic Conference is the world’s largest umbrella organization specifically charged with advancing the sorority experience. Through its advocacy, NPC seeks to enlist nearly 5 million sorority women in its efforts to showcase the transformational power of the sorority experience.