Cedar Rapids, Iowa Alumnae Club

Charter date: 3/1/1916

The History of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Alumnae Club

This alumnae club was organized in 1915 and chartered in March 1916. By June 1917, Helen Holmes reported in The Arrow for the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Alumnae Club, “The club has been established one year and while they are not a large nor a strong organization, they are gradually gaining new members. It is due to the club’s I. C. members that they are able to have a club. Of the 21 members in the club, ten are charter members of the I. C. Sorosis that was established in this city many years ago, and they are the most enthusiastic.”

In the early years, the club members would alternate hosting Founders’ Day with the Iowa City, Iowa, Alumnae Club until they closed in the 1960’s. In 1960, Amy B. Onken visited the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Alumnae Club and gave a wonderful speech on fraternities at the home of Georgene Iles Robbs. Two members of each of the other alumnae clubs were invited to attend. Mary Lou Van Burg Gallagher and another Pi Phi were co-chairs for the Chapter Dinner at the 1977 Minneapolis/St. Paul Convention. Many alumnae club volunteers worked to produce the corn husk doll centerpieces representative of Iowa. In 1979, eight members went to Holt House to present a quilt holder crafted by member Roene Cammack’s husband, to display a quilt called a “chapter quilt.”

Philanthropic Service

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Alumnae Club has held many Settlement School Sales and gave all proceeds to local chapters. The club has also donated 500 books with First Book® from 2013 to 2014. From 2014 to 2015, the club supported local literary programs through a donation of 500 children's books to United Way of East Central Iowa on March 10, 2015. The contact at United Way, Laura Columbus said, "The club is planning to use 100+ of the books for the club’s kick-off event." The rest of the books will be part of the ‘Reading into Success: The Campaign for Grade Level Reading’ to help increase the number of children reading proficiently by the end of the third grade. ​​

Awards and Club Recognition

  • Club of Excellence
  • Little Pigeon Award for the Settlement School Sales (1967)

Meaningful Mementos

  • Angels and corn husk dolls from the 1977 Convention.

Notable Alumnae

  • Georgene Iles Robbs, State of Iowa Governor's Volunteer Award in 1996, and Phi Beta Kappa Society Award for her leadership and uncommon dedication to advancing the liberal arts and sciences in 2006