“The spirit of Clovia began in 1930 with a handful of women who shared the same ideals and the warm bonds of fraternity and friendship. It has continued and grown through the years, involving many women across the nation in its bonds of sisterhood. Every young woman who becomes a Clovia pledge, an active, then an alum, creates a continuous, living testimony to the ideals of its beginnings, is writing the history of Clovia.”
Alpha of Clovia’s History
Throughout the year 1930, some of the prominent former 4-H women attending Kansas State College at Manhattan, Kansas held private meetings in their various rooms. These meetings strengthened their ties of friendship and they discussed their dreams of a social organization for former 4-H women.
During the summer of 1931, definite plans were made for these women to live together in a house in Manhattan. They organized on a cooperative basis by sharing the work and bringing items from home to reduce costs. Thus, Clovia was officially started September 7, 1931.
Alpha of Clovia Charter Members:
Alpha of Clovia Scholarship House link:
Beta of Clovia’s History
In 1937, the National Rural Youth Conference was held at Kansas State College and the organized houses entertained women from other schools in their chapter houses. Two Minnesota women, Audrey Fox and Ardes Shulstad, were entertained at Clovia and returned to the University of Minnesota with the dreams of establishing a similar organization.
Beta of Clovia’s first meeting was October 26, 1937. During the winter, the group drew up a constitution with the help of William Dankers. On February 24, 1938, the Senate Commmittee of the University of Minnesota formally accepted the constitution. The group was officially recognized as Sigma Phi Eta. One of the important objectives for Clovia was fulfilled in the fall of 1939, when a cooperative house was established at 1506 Raymond Avenue.
Representatives from Alpha of Clovia visited the University of Minnesota campus on May 7, 1939. At this time, Sigma Phi Eta was installed as the Beta Chapter of Clovia and the National Association of Clovia was founded.
Beta Chapter Charter Members:
Beta of Clovia rented the house at 1506 Raymond Avenue during the 1939-1940 school year. Ten women and a housemother established cooperative living there. In September of 1940 through the assistance of the Minnesota Farm Bureau and Mildred Schenck Harrington, the Alumnae Beta Chapter bought the property located at 1502 Raymond Avenue for $8,000.
On October 26, 1939, Student Affairs Committee accepted the National and the revised Chapter Constitution. The group was officiall recognized as the Beta Chapter of Clovia at the University of Minnesota, instead of Sigma Phi Eta.
During 1957, the house was completely remodeled. The house legally belongs to the Alumnae chapter, as they are in an incorporated organization.
In the spring of 1978, the alumnae chapter purchased an apartment building, 1499 Cleveland Avenue, for $80,000. Clovia East accommodated eight women in the upper two floors, and a resident manager in the garden apartment, where Verna Mikesh resided throughout Clovia’s ownership of the building. Clovia East was sold for $130,000 in the fall of 1989.
The house at 2067 Carter Avenue was purchased from Gamma Omicron Beta on July 6, 1989 after their chapter disbanded. It was purchased for $185,000, including $10,000 for furnishings. The house at 1502 Raymond was sold for $112,000. The actives moved to Carter Avenue on July 22, 1989.