In 1954, Sigma Kappa became the first sorority to recognize the need for continued comprehensive work on the study of aging and the needs of the elderly population. Responding to an increasingly critical problem facing older Americans, Sigma Kappa added an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease to its gerontology program in 1984.
Alzheimer’s disease is a growing epidemic that affects one in three people in the communities where we work and live and is now the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death. As baby boomers age, the number of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease will rapidly escalate, increasing well beyond the estimated 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s today. This is why the Sigma Kappa Foundation is committed to “Making Alzheimer’s a Distant Memory” by creating a major funding stream to the national Alzheimer’s Association for research to find a cure.
In 2000, the Sigma Kappa Foundation entered into an agreement with the national Alzheimer’s Association whereby the Association selects scientific research proposals, ideally submitted by a female researcher working on a campus with an active Sigma Kappa chapter, for sponsorship by the Sigma Kappa Foundation.
Through Alzheimer’s disease and gerontology-related research grants from the Sigma Kappa Foundation, Sigma Kappa has become one of the nation’s leading contributors to Alzheimer’s disease prevention, research and treatment efforts. Since 1989, the Sigma Kappa Foundation has granted more than $1 million in research and psychosocial grants to investigators and practitioners who are on the front lines in the fight against this debilitating disease.