Cooperative Sorority & Alumni

About 4-H House

Throughout its eighty years of growth, 4-H House has maintained the following purposes:

  • To strengthen the bonds of friendship
  • Develop a spirit of unity among its members
  • Promote scholastic interests
  • Maintain an enriching home at lower cost
  • To provide social activities
Cooperative living is our most important element.
At 4-H House every woman shares the responsibilities of the house's day-to-day operations.
Our new members are chosen during interviewing weekends held in the spring. All new members live in the house the following fall. Members of a pledge class may range from incoming freshman to seniors to ladies transferring from another college.

A girl is a new member the first semester she lives in the house. During this time, the active members and, more specifically, the new member educator, introduce the new members to our cooperative style of living. It is very important to 4-H House that new members adjust well to their new home. The top priorities for a new member should include:

  • Achieving a minimum 2.6 grade average
  • Fulfilling house responsibilities
  • Adjusting to campus life
During the first semester, each young woman is paired with a big sister, who is an active member that becomes a special friend. Active members also serve as academic advisors to new members in order to help them with classes and their chosen majors.


4-H House's philanthropy, Journey, honors the lives of Jennifer and Jackie Esworthy who were killed in a car accident on June 8, 1997. Jen and Jackie were traveling home from a family gathering with their parents and Jen's fiance when a drunken driver broad-sided their car. Jen and Jackie were killed and the others were seriously injured.

Journey's purpose is to help ensure the safety of all those who travel the streets and highways of Illinois. Journey's mission is simple: Keep repeat drunk drivers off the road and keep loved ones safe. Journey raises money towards increasing the number of video cameras available in police cars so officers can videotape drivers' reactions.

Jen Esworthy, 22, was a 1997 graduate of the University of Illinois with a degree in business. Jen served as president, treasurer, Dad's Day Chairman and countless other offices at 4-H House. Jackie Esworthy was four years younger than Jen and had just been admitted to the University of Illinois, College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences for the fall 1997 semester. She would have begun her pledging semester at 4-H House that same semester.

The women of 4-H House honor the memory of Jen and Jackie Esworthy through an annual Euchre tournament held every spring. In the fall, 4-H House raises awareness of drunk driving through a homecoming float in the Homecoming Parade.

Alumni Association Board

The 4-H House Alumni Association Board administers the affairs of the Association through 16 board members.

A major aspect of the relationship between the Association and 4-H House is advisory and governing. The Association, represented by the Board, is ultimately responsible for the efficient operation and governance of the House. This is accomplished by contact and communication with the 4-H House Executive officers and is why we actively participate in House operations. In short, the House is self-governing and the Board ensures the self-governing system is running smoothly.

Another major aspect of the relationship between the Association and 4-H House is that of landlord/tenant. The 4-H House property is owned by the alumni of 4-H House, the Illinois 4-H House Association. The cooperative unit, 4-H House, leases this property from the Association. As such, the Association manages and controls any and all physical changes to the house and property. Operations are managed with a goal of break-even. We rely on alumni contributions to build any reserves necessary for future projects – both foreseen and unforeseen.

Regular board meetings are held in Champaign-Urbana or via conference call to conduct the business of the association. Most are held in conjunction with a house activity to give the board and the women of the house opportunities to interact together.

If you are alumni of 4-H House and are interested in serving on the board, please contact us at membersupport@4hhouse.com.
The Illinois 4-H House Alumni Association
is primarily responsible for the efficient operation and governance of the house.
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