On March 9, 1897, the Caltech Gnome Club (Kappa Gamma fraternity) was founded. During the next 44 years, this club became one of the strongest and most popular at Caltech. Along with the other fraternities, it was invited to disband in 1931 with the establishment of the first four undergraduate student houses. Somehow, the Gnome Club survived for twenty years as a social group of Caltech alumni interested in maintaining their ties to one another and to the Institute. In 1951, then-president Dr. Lee DuBridge gave permission to the Club to recruit new members from the graduating seniors in order to provide for the future continuity of the group.
Keeping with the early traditions and spirit of the Kappa Gamma fraternity, the Gnome Club has attempted to recruit new members each year from the most active students and the leaders of the graduating classes.
The Gnome Club is now in its 117th year as an organization. Many members continue to support Caltech through active participation in the Alumni Association, the Caltech Y, SURF, the Alumni Fund and other Caltech organizations. The Gnome Scholarship Fund, which has sponsored scores of undergraduates over the years, and other Gnome Club Activities are part of the Club’s support of Caltech.