Women's Literary Societies

Alpha Kappa Chi, 1917-1918Literary societies were once a common feature at Concordia.  Alpha Kappa Chi (AKX) was the first all-female literary society at the college.  Even as its focus shifted from literary pursuits to social events to charitable activities, AKX provided a way for Concordia women to engage with their campus and their community for over eighty years.  Phi Kappa Chi (PKX) was another major women’s society at Concordia College from 1946 to 1969.  Although PKX was relatively short-lived, it provides an interesting look at some of the factors that influenced the rise and fall of women’s (and men’s) societies at Concordia.

Women in WWI

When the United States decided to forego their neutrality to the first World War in 1917, thousands of American men were drafted into the armed forces.  Although women were unable to enlist, their services were required and appreciated in Red Cross work either as nurses or as citizen volunteers simply rolling and packing bandages.  Women of Concordia College were quick to participate in the Moorhead chapter of the Red Cross by rolling bandages and knitting sweaters, mittens, caps, and scarves.    

Emma Norbryhn (1877-1977)

Emma NorbryhnEmma Norbryhn was a linguistically gifted woman who instructed a variety of language courses at Concordia.  During her lengthy teaching career she introduced new language courses and taught Norse, French, Latin, German, and Greek before retiring in 1948. At her retirement she held the title of longest term of service at the college. Today she is among a handful of Concordia faculty to reach the forty year mark.

Martha Brennun (1894-1961)

Martha BrennunMartha Brennun was a Norse and math instructor at Concordia, who later worked as registrar. Brennun was the salutatorian of the first collegiate class at Concordia. She also helped establish the first literary society at the college.

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