House Mom / Cook

  • AGR Alpha Phi Welcomes our new Housemother

    Donna Robinson


         I am excited for the challenge set before me. Retiring after 21years of my own business of in-home child care, I look forward to investing my experience as a mother and grandmother into the young men of alpha gamma rho. Having raised two boys of my own I am anxious to invest in the lives of Alpha Gamma Rho young men. I'm look forward to get to know each of the brothers. My goal as House Mother is to be a "mom" away from home. My door will always be open to the brothers whether that's to share in a common conversation or a deep concern. I know there will be challenges along the way of which we can handle. Suggestions or observations are always welcome. I have a passion to cook and bake so I'm looking forward to serving the brothers of Alpha Gamma Rho.


    “House Mother” and “House Cook” positions are now one NEW position referred to as the   “House Mother” 

         The men currently in the chapter at Alpha Gamma Rho - Alpha Phi have filled the “House Mother” position. After Mom Riggs retired in the Spring of 2015, the men have been searching for the perfect candidate and finally found Ms. Donna Robinson to take on the role.

         Donna’s responsibilities include all those of the House Mothers in the past as well as that of the House Cook. When brought on as House Mother, the hiring committee brought up the idea of raising the standard salary of the House Mother if she felt comfortable with performing the cooking duties for the men of the fraternity. Being able-bodied and ready for the challenge, Mom Robinson readily jumped at the opportunity and the first week has been nothing but a complete success.

         Mom Robinson enjoys that her time as House Mother is more efficiently spent and the men have enjoyed building an even closer relationship with her as the sole female influence in the house as opposed to two separate positions. We look forward to a healthy and long-lasting relationship with Mom Robinson.  



    - A Housemom provides a smooth transition from “life at home” into “life in the Fraternity” for incoming Freshmen.

    - A Housemom teaches etiquette and chivalry to all those living in the Fraternity house.

    - She provides a sense of security and stability to the Brothers in the house, that they are accustomed to receiving from their biological mothers.

    - A Housemom relates to Fraternity members personal matters, and responds with compassion and love.

    - A Housemom tends to small details around the Fraternity that are often overlooked by Brothers who are preoccupied by other campus activities.

    - She exemplifies support in every aspect of fraternal life, such as intramural sports, homecoming activities, campus-wide Greek competitions, and class activities.

    - A Housemom can serve as a bridge from Alumni to active Fraternity members.

    - A Housemom possesses a unique way of portraying the beliefs and morals of the men of Alpha Gamma Rho to all people associated with the campus, to which the Fraternity is on.

    - She provides a sense of security to the parents of the men of Alpha Gamma Rho, as their sons embark on the most adventurous journey of their young lives.



    1. Hostess – planning and preparing for guests; greeting, social amenities, entertaining, impressions, departing
    2. Chaperon – what activities and programs should you attend; how long; informal activities; when women are present; university functions
    3. Educator – teaching values of gentleman-like conduct, values of cooperation; etiquette, teaching outsiders
    4. Steward – purchase supervisor; meal planner working with the chapter's steward; table planning
    5. Consultant – personal consultant for brothers and prospects; consultant on chapter programs; consultant for adviser, alumni
    6. Communicator – intra-chapter communications, between chapter and university and community; between adviser, alumni and brothers; with parents


     Past Housemothers


    Our housemother Edith Riggs was with us for 12 years and enjoyed helping the brothers when in need if its just a button that needs sewing, or someone to talk to and give advice, as well as helping the house cook out, decorating the house, and keeping up a scrapbook. 


    House mother

         As I start to pack for my move to Colorado I feel many different emotions. I am thrilled to be near my family. The long drives will  be over and of course they are happy I am moving out there.

         I have been so blessed by the men of Alpha Phi for the 12 years I have been the housemother. I will think about all of you with the many memories that were created during these years quite often. It is such a joy to watch you come in as freshmen and see the growth you achieved during your time here, there is much potential in all of you. Keep on the path your are on, continue to have a lot of fun together, continue to grow and be the best men you can be. 


    Thanks for the great ride.

    Edie Riggs



    Past House Cooks

     Thanks to House Cook Laura Burcham for her time at AGR

         Laura is orginally from Martin, SD but has been back in brookings for the past 8 years. Where she lives with her husband Tom, they have 5 kids and she has 3 grandchildren. She was previously a cook at pearlview retirement center, and Happy Trails preschool. Her favorite dish to make is anything mexican, and she loves dessert. Her dream location is to retire in Colorado.


    We regret to inform you that our long time house cook Helen Graslie passed away    

         Helen Graslie, age 78, of Brookings and formerly of White, died Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at the Brookings Hospital. Visitations was 4-7 p.m. Monday, May 18, 2015, at Zion Ev. Lutheran Church in White. Funeral Services were at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 19, 2015, also at the church. Burial followed in Fairview Cemetery. Eidsness Funeral Home is handled the arrangements. In Lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Zion Ev. Lutheran Church.

    Click below for 


    Funeral Program