KU sorority that’s been a part of Greek community for nearly a century suddenly dissolves

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Students are still living in the Alpha Gamma Delta House at the University of Kansas, but as of this week they are no longer members of the sorority.

Alpha Gamma Delta’s international headquarters released a statement saying the 96-year-old KU chapter has been dissolved, citing low membership.

No member of the sorority would speak to FOX 4 News, but Malik Jackson, a fraternity member, said Alpha Gamma Delta has struggled to recruit new members in recent years.

“Over the last three to four years something happened,” Jackson said. “I don't know what happened, but they've struggled."

The KU chapter has about 60 members, which is about a quarter of the membership of a typical sorority. During a conference call on Friday, the sorority’s international leadership team explained to alumni and parents that it couldn’t afford to continue the chapter. One parent later told FOX 4 that the KU chapter is about $100,000 in debt.

Parents and alum said they are upset with Alpha Gamma Delta’s decision to suddenly close the chapter during the first week of class. They said it should have been closed at the end of last year – instead it was only announced after six new members had already pledged.

Parents are also upset that Alpha Gamma Delta won’t release their students from an $8,000 housing and dining contract. But the sorority said the house will stay open for the remainder of the school year. However, the large Greek letters that adorn the front of the house are expected to be taken down as early as next week.

One mother told FOX 4 that she wants the Panhellenic Association – which governs Greek organizations – to revoke her daughter’s membership in Alpha Gamma Delta. A revocation would allow her daughter to join another sorority. Revocations are rarely granted, but the mother told FOX 4 she thinks they should be in this case, accusing Alpha Gamma Delta of misleading her daughter by not revealing its financial problems when she joined.

FOX 4 Problem Solvers tried to talk to someone at the sorority’s international headquarters in Indianapolis, but our calls weren’t returned. Instead we were sent a press release citing recruitment problems as one of the reasons the chapter had been shuttered.