The history of the Gamma Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi is one that should be well noted. Originally the band at the University of Washington was made up of men from the military service. Deciding that Kappa Kappa Psi agreed with many of their ideals that they held on what a band should be, on December 16, 1920, the University of Washington became the third school in the fraternity’s history to join, making it the Gamma chapter. The first class was 20 men large and the fraternity enjoyed 10 years of prosperity at the school. Then, around 1930, for unknown reasons, the chapter was discontinued. The most likely reason for this is that there was a large change in leadership within the band program and the need for the chapter was probably diminished.
In the early nineties, however, students of the University of Washington Husky Marching Band brought a new interest in reforming the chapter that had been disbanded. Led by student leaders Jim Cabral, Jason Berman, Matt Winberry, Amy Painter, Tonya May, Amanda Chandler, Adam Smith, Douglas Smith, Amy Bower and Michael Farthing, the chapter was recolonized on July 10, 1993, by the brothers at California Polytechnic State University (Iota Pi) with large help from Iota Gamma at Washington State.
In 1994, Dr. J. Brad McDavid, a life member, became the director of the Marching Band and has only helped the chapter to grow. Since then, the chapter has been attaining great numbers and has increasingly been reaching out to the community through its members. Recently the chapter has won awards on the district as well as the national level for service towards bands. In 2001, they helped plan and lead the first ever Western District Convention for Colonization in Portland, OR. The Gamma Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi will see a long future in front of it.
Gamma's Active Family Lines
Some fun facts:
- Gamma served as the advising chapter for the Oregon State University colony (now the Theta Chapter).
- The Husky Marching band has only been around since 1929 so the Gamma Chapter is actually older!
- Chuck Norris is an Honorary of the Gamma Chapter.
- Worldwide fan phenomenon “the Wave” often performed by fans in crowded stadiums or other such venues was created by former Husky Marching Band director Bill Bissel.
- Gamma was a finalist for the Schroggs Founder’s Trophy in 2017.