Chi Kappa Rho History

Chi Kappa Rho was created by one woman with a great idea. She believed that women engaged professionally in the various fields of recreation could come together to promote unity of purpose, high standards of achievement, and a better understanding and appreciation of related endeavors for the attainment of professional goals. Such a group could also provide an opportunity to foster friendship and sociability, stimulate mutual helpfulness and loyalty, and provide professional services.

In 1935, this woman, Helen I. Pontius, shared her idea with several women at a Los Angeles Playgrounds Department Recreation Directors meeting. In 1936, Alpha, the first Los Angeles chapter was chartered and Chi Kappa Rho became a reality.

The organization grew slowly within California between 1935 and 1967. The first National Board was established in 1964, and in 1975 the organization became a California non-profit corporation.

In 1991, the membership voted to officially change the name of the organization from Chi Kappa Rho to Women in Leisure Services, Chi Kappa Rho, Inc.

Today, Women in Leisure Services, Chi Kappa Rho, Inc. is a national organization for professional women involved in the delivery of leisure and community services in public, private, non-profit, and commercial settings. A network of chapters serve administrators, supervisors, educators, therapists, and allied professionals throughout the country.  Each chapter provides an effective framework for women to share ideas, broaden interests, sharpen skills, and influence the profession with the authority of a unified group.

The name Chi Kappa Rho comes from the Greek letters X, K, and P, which stand for character, knowledge, and recreation. The symbols on the Chi Kappa Rho seal are the scale for justice and service, the lamp for enlightenment, and the wings for athletics.

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